Batman 85
Batman #85
Publication Information
Published August 1954
Executive Editor Whitney Ellsworth
Cover Artist(s) Sheldon Moldoff
Writer(s) David Vern
Inker(s) Charles Paris
Letterer(s) None
Editor(s) Whitney Ellsworth
Alternate Covers

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Batman #85 is an American comic book, released in August of 1954.

"Batman - Clown of Crime!"Edit


Batman and Robin are carefully watching the Joker, recently released from prison, but still highly suspicious. Their suspicions pay off when he barges into a research facility with his gang, with the intent to steal a large amount of highly precious radium. Batman and Robin chase the Joker into another room, inside which esteemed inventor Dr. Rayburn is testing out his latest invention.

Too late to dodge, the Caped Crusader and his worst foe are struck by the beams emitted from the enormous machine, which knocks them unconscious. Dr. Rayburn expresses surprise that they are still alive, as they were struck by Epsilon rays, to which no human being has ever been exposed to before. Sure enough, the two begin to stir, but "Batman" strikes Robin when he attempts to help his mentor up, and smashes the machine with a Batarang before making his escape, laughing madly all the while.

"Joker", meanwhile, makes no attempt to escape, and even asks if Robin is alright. Robin talks with Dr. Rayburn in private, who agrees that it is entirely possible that the rays might have switched the minds of the two men into each other's bodies. Later that night, Robin explains the situation to Commissioner Gordon, who tells him that the incident must be kept secret for as long as possible. Robin explains that for the two to be swapped back, Dr. Rayburn will need to repair his machine, and he will have to secure a supply of isotopes for him. As a result, he must leave town.

During this time, "Batman" visits a dingy underworld bar, and confounds all the customers by passing out exploding cigars. The crooks, convinced that "Batman" has gone crazy, attempt to convince him to take off his mask. Inspired, "Batman" spreads the word that he will take off his mask if given one million dollars. Downtown, meanwhile, "Joker" bursts in on a jewelry store robbery (demonstrating several acts of Batman-like agility in the process) and apprehends the crooks, turning them in to the police.

Robin, receiving word of this even as he travels across the country, is pushed to work even faster when he envisions playing a game of golf with the new "Joker". "Batman", meanwhile, creates more mischief around the city by filling a swimming pool with freezing chemicals, allowing him to rob the people inside. In addition, he also steals the payroll at a pen company, using the giant pen on display as a way of blinding everyone there.

While both Commissioner Gordon and Alfred display their disturbance at "Joker" acting exactly like Batman, "Joker" busies himself with finding the ringleader behind collecting the one million dollars that will convince "Batman" to unmask himself. His searching leads him to not only this ringleader, but "Batman" as well, whom he chases all the way to a roof where he is ready to unmask himself before a giant magnifying glass, so that the entire city can see who Batman really is.

"Joker", in a move of desperation, throws a bottle of milk at the lens, clouding it and rendering it useless. He then easily subdues "Batman" and handcuffs him until Robin returns that very night with the needed isotopes. With the machine now repaired, Batman and Joker are returned to their rightful bodies.