Detective Comics 149
Detective Comics #149
Publication Information
Published October/November 1952
Executive Editor Whitney Ellsworth
Cover Artist(s) Dick Sprang
Writer(s) Bill Finger
Inker(s) Charles Paris
Letterer(s) None
Editor(s) Whitney Ellsworth
Alternate Covers

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"The Sound Effects Crimes"Edit


The Joker is in his hideout, when he suddenly hears the sound of thunder and lightning. Turning his head, he realizes that it was merely a sound effect coming from a radio play that his henchmen are listening to. Inspired, the Joker creates a soundproof studio and has his men make various noises, which he records. When asked as to why, the Joker responds that they will find out in good time... as will Batman and Robin.

The next evening, the Joker sneaks into the top balcony of the Gotham Theater, carrying a record player. By using a careful mixture of noises from the studio, he is able to trick the audience (and even Batman and Robin) into thinking that the theater is collapsing. As the audience flees, the Joker and his men loot the box office, but not before being noticed by the two, who swiftly give chase in the Batmobile.

Passing by a mountain, the Joker stops Batman and Robin from following him by playing a recording of sounds that make the motorists think an avalanche is coming by. The resulting traffic congestion blocks the path of the Batmobile, forcing the two to give up the search. Later, the Caped Crusaders use a sound-detecting device to locate the Joker's fake sound effects, and find one almost immediately, at the Gotham Museum.

As it turns out, the Joker has used his record player to fool the citizens into thinking that the museum is on fire. As the firefighters arrive, he and his men disguise themselves, and blend in to rob the museum. Batman and Robin soon arrive on the scene, prompting the Joker and his men to flee through the Hall of Glass. Batman warns Robin to stay back, as the right sounds can shatter glass, but he is too late - the Joker uses his record player to create a rain of glass shards that nearly skewer the Boy Wonder (though he is narrowly saved by a glass bowl that falls over him).

Batman and Robin inspect a book that the Joker had dropped earlier in the robbery - a book entitled The Great Martian Radio Hoax. From this, the two deduce that the Joker's ultimate plot will be very similar to the accidental panic that the book documents - something that affects the entire city. Sure enough, the Joker uses his record player to simultaneously create the sounds of planes and the sounds of explosions, causing the townspeople to think that they are under attack by Soviet planes (this story having been released during the Cold War).

By this way, the Joker hopes to clear the city of people, allowing him and his gang to pick it clean. Batman, however, intervenes by revealing the Joker's scheme with a radio broadcast, and the entire scheme is foiled. It is not a complete loss for the Joker, however, as he had recorded Batman's broadcast. With a little editing, he creates a record of Batman's voice proclaiming that a flood has overcome Gotham, which he plans to have broadcast over the radio.

Later that night, Joker and his men infiltrate the record company, intending to slip their record amongst the songs for the early-morning "Up-To-The-Minute-Music" hour. They, however, are greeted by a nasty surprise - Batman and Robin are there, waiting for them. Batman subsequently reveals that while he was revealing the Joker's hoax, Robin was eavesdropping on his plans with the sound detector, and easily figured out where his next target would be.

Furious, the Joker sends a shelf of records crashing to the floor and attempts to make his escape. The Caped Crusaders give chase, however, and while Robin incapacitates his men with a container of shellac, Batman chases the Joker onto a giant record player in the lobby of the company. The Joker then picks up an enormous record needle, intending to impale Batman with it, but the Caped Crusader turns the tables on him by by turning on the automatic record-changer, causing the Joker to become trapped beneath a giant record, ready for delivery to jail.