Batman 25
Batman #25
Publication Information
Published October 1944
Executive Editor Whitney Ellsworth
Cover Artist(s) Dick Sprang; Jack Burnley (Inside art)
Writer(s) Don Cameron
Inker(s) Jerry Robinson
Letterer(s) None
Editor(s) Whitney Ellsworth
Alternate Covers

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Batman #25 is an American comic book, published in October of 1944.

"Knights of Knavery!"Edit


The story begins at the mansion of a Mrs. Van Landorpf, where The Penguin is seen running across the roof and cursing himself for having walked into a trap. He jumps off the roof and attempts to glide away with his umbrella, but Batman and Robin soon catch up to him and tackle him to the ground. A short while later, The Penguin is seen being shoved into a cell at Gotham Penitentiary, and bemoans his misfortune - he, "the smartest crook in town", had failed to steal the Van Landorpf emerald and had walked into a trap, to boot.

The Penguin's cellmate lets out a stream of mocking laughter, and proclaims himself to be "the smartest crook in town". It is The Joker, who promptly shows Penguin "his card". Penguin, not taking this blow to his pride well, soon gets into an argument with Joker, reminding the Ace of Knaves that just last week, he too, had attempted to steal the Van Landorpf emerald, and had met the same fate as himself. Deciding that "this town isn't big enough for the two of us to operate in", the two agree to a contest - whoever can steal the Van Landorpf emerald first gets to stay, and the loser will have to leave Gotham.

Before the contest can start, however, the two must escape the prison first. Entering a brief truce with each other, the two criminals raise a commotion about how filthy their cell is, prompting a guard to give them a broom and telling them to clean the cell themselves. Once the guard is out of sight, The Penguin removes the wire binding the broom's straws together, and fashions it into a long hook, which he uses to steal the unsuspecting guard's keys. Soon enough, the two escape their cell - Joker knocking the guard out along the way - and split ways as soon as they leave the prison, reminding each other of the conditions of the bet.

That very evening, news of their escape hits every paper in Gotham, catching the attention of Bruce Wayne and Dick Grayson. Not wasting a second, the two change into their identities as Batman and Robin, and begin to formulate a plan to catch both The Joker and The Penguin, a plan, Batman says, that will need Mrs. Van Landorpf's cooperation. The two soon arrive at Mrs. Van Landorpf's home, and ask for her help in capturing the two escaped criminals, which Mrs. Van Landorpf is only too happy to agree to. The next night, she is to appear at a fashion show, and Batman tells her to place a notice in the newspaper that she will be wearing her famous emerald to the show. In actuality, however, the emerald will be left in their care.

Robin assumes that he and Batman will be staking out the fashion show, but Batman negates the theory, stating that Joker and Penguin will be too smart to fall for the notice, which they will undoubtedly believe is a trap; he wishes to use their own cleverness against them. The Dark Knight's words are soon proven right, as The Penguin is soon shown in his hideout, berating his henchmen for believing the notice, as Mrs. Van Landorpf will be modeling tailored clothes at the fashion show - something that emeralds are never worn with. That night, Batman and Robin are shown inside the Van Landorpf home, staking out the safe where the emerald is kept, and hide when they hear footsteps.

Sure enough, The Penguin and his men show up to steal the emerald, thinking that The Joker has fallen into Batman's trap. They, too, however, hear footsteps, and hide as well. To The Penguin's surprise, it is The Joker and his gang, ready to steal the emerald, and all the while thinking that The Penguin has fallen into Batman's trap. The Penguin, unable to stand the insults that The Joker is indirectly hurling at him, reveals himself and does battle with the Ace of Knaves.

Batman and Robin seize the opportunity, leaping into the fray and knocking The Joker off of his feet with a blow. The Penguin then attempts to trip Batman up with his umbrella, but is intercepted by Robin. His diversion, however, has given The Joker enough time to take out a special gun that fires a smoke bomb into the air, allowing him and Penguin to get away and leaving the Dynamic Duo with nothing but their small-fry henchmen. As they flee onto a train, Joker and Penguin realize that they had escaped because of each other, and decide to let bygones be bygones - Batman, after all, is their real enemy.

By the following evening, The Joker and The Penguin's partnership has allowed them to easily steal everything from jewelry to payrolls all around Gotham. Batman and Robin are at a loss as to what to do, and Commissioner Gordon's forces are faring little better - in spite of double patrols everywhere, his men have not prevented a single robbery. Just across the street from the police station where the three are, meanwhile, just across the street, yet another crime from the recently-formed criminal duo is occurring - The Penguin, disguised as a balloon peddler, has just snatched a $50,000 payroll and escapes by using the balloons to lift himself into the air. The Dynamic Duo see The Penguin float past the window of Commissioner Gordon's office, and leap out of the window, grabbing onto the portly criminal.

Their combined weight, however, is not enough to bring The Penguin down, and as they are so high above the ground, they cannot let go, either. With the Caped Crusaders unable to do anything, the three of them continue to float until they pass by a highway where The Joker is waiting, prepared with a shotgun, several henchmen, and a trampoline. In a matter of seconds, all of the balloons are popped by blasts from the gun, and the three fall into the prepared trampoline. In an instant, Batman and Robin find themselves captured by Joker and Penguin, and are brought to their hideout. Once there, however, the two get into an argument over how to finish off the Dynamic Duo - Penguin insists on using the Chinese Water Torture, while Joker wants to overdose them on laughing gas.

Soon enough, the argument devolves into one over which one of them is the better criminal, and in the end, the two decide to make Batman the judge. Batman tells the two about a crook named "Stuttering Sam", who could shoot an object twice the size of a nearby vase (itself little bigger than an apple) off of the top of his head from fifty yards away. Batman goes on to say, that compared to him, Joker and Penguin are little more than "a couple of muggs". Infuriated, Joker and Penguin set two of the vases on Batman and Robin's heads and brag that they will be able to knock them off from fifty paces away. Each of them fire their gun from that distance, and do indeed succeed in knocking off the vases without doing harm to either of them. Batman and Robin then proceed to use the shattered pieces of the vases to cut the ropes tying their hands together, all the while distracting Joker and Penguin by feeding their egos - Batman claims that Joker is superior to Penguin, while Robin proclaims the exact opposite.

Instead of arguing further, however, Joker and Penguin decide on a "compromise" - no water torture and no laughing gas; they will simply shoot the Caped Crusaders and be done with it. Unfortunately for them, Batman and Robin have freed themselves completely by now, and waste no time in soundly defeating both criminal masterminds. As they are being tied up by the Dynamic Duo, both Joker and Penguin swear to never work with each other again - something that Batman is only too happy to encourage, as they will be kept in separate cells from now on. Later on still, Batman and Robin are shown in their identities as Bruce Wayne and Dick Grayson - Bruce hopes that with their most recent accomplishment, things will quiet down for a while, but Dick hopes that things won't be too quiet.