Today, Batman is one of the most recognized superheroes in the world, and there has been countless material on the caped crusader. This review is of what’s known as the old school version of Batman, and the first time that the world was introduced to the world of Batman.
The comic book begins quite simple and plain, with Bruce Wayne’s parents killed by a random mugger. In the first issue, Batman is shown to gain strength by exercising and also becomes a master scientist. In this version, Bruce decides to take the disguise of a Bat because he thinks that the image of a bat would strike terror in a criminal’s heart, as most criminals are superstitious.
The next page sees the introduction of The Joker, a master criminal, who announces on the radio that he will steal the Claridge diamond and kill the owner, Frank Claridge. But before the dastardly plan can be put into motion, Mr. Claridge contacts the police, and the police promise to provide security to Claridge.
The people in blue cannot help the man, who falls down dead right in front of their eyes, with a weird laugh emblazoned on his lips. And what’s more, the Claridge diamond is stolen too!
In the next panel, we are told about how the Joker put his plan in motion by injecting Mr. Claridge with poison the day prior, which resulted in his death on that particular day.
The next day, another rich man, Jay Wilde is threatened in the same manner, and while the police once more offer protection, the Joker gets his man with the help of poisonous gas.
The sudden deaths gets the attention of a crime syndicate, who think that getting Joker is cutting into their business. The leader of the goons, Brute Nelson, is now gunning for the Joker. His cronies let out the message that Brute is looking for the Joker, and this message gets to the Batman, who decides to keep an eye out.
The Joker lands up at Brute’s house, and so does Batman. There is a skirmish between the goons, Batman and Joker. In the fight, the Joker shoots Brute, but the Batman chases Joker. However, the Joker gets the upper hand and kicks Batman into a pond.
Next day, Joker announces his third kill, the Judge Blake, and succeeds in killing the Judge, because The Joker comes disguised as a police officer to the Judge’s house.
But as The Joker escapes from the house, Robin tries to follow him, and is attacked and captured by The Joker. Batman reaches the Judge’s bungalow, and finds out where The Joker has taken away Robin with the help of a special light that shows footsteps in the dark.
When Batman reaches the place where Robin is captured, he is pitted against Joker, who attacks the Batman with the same poisonous gas. and the Joker leaves him to die.
However, Batman recuperates and saves himself and Robin, and Robin tells The Batman that the Robin is all set to steal the Cleopatra necklace next. The dashing duo now rush to the house of the owner of the necklace, Otto Drexel. And before The Joker can do anything, Batman and Robin beat up the Joker together and put him behind bars.
The first issue of Batman is an action packed introduction to the world of Batman, and the issue becomes awesome simply because it is the first appearance of three iconic characters.
The comic book also has two major inventions shown, the Joker’s Laughing Gas and Batman’s flashlight that shows footprints in the dark.