The Legacy of the Batman: Part 5 – Comic stories that were adapted for television

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Although the TV Series adapted many things from the comics, Lorenzo Semple, Jnr. the shows go to writer for the first season, realized that it was a difficult task financially and creatively to keep taking certain elements from the comics.

“It took a good deal of brain-power to adapt flimsy mag-story to our pattern.”
“I really increasingly realized the gulf between comic-book Batman stories and our own.”


As comic book artists are able to include things in comics that are easy to draw, but when it comes to translating those same things to film they tend to be very expensive, because they are very costly to create, and certain ideas that were used in the comic stories adapted for tv were probably seen as being too outlandish to use in the series. Which would explain a few of the changes to some of these comic stories that the tv series drew from. Having said that though there are a few things in these TV Series episodes that were never done in the comic stories that they were drawing from either.

Season 1
Batman #171 May, 1965- “Remarkable Ruse of the Riddler”
Cover Artists Carmine Infantino and Murphy Anderson, Writer Gardener Fox, Penciler Sheldon Moldoff, and inker Joe Giella

Episode 1- “Hi Diddle Riddle” and Episode 2- “Smack in The Middle”
Original Air date: 1/12/66 and 1/13/66
Written by Lorenzo Semple, Jnr. and Directed by Robert Butler

“Hi Diddle Riddle” and “Smack in The Middle” used a few elements from the “Remarkable Ruse of the Riddler” story. But the overall story is different from “Remarkable Ruse of the Riddler,” as Riddler works with the molehill mob. Instead of being jealous of the attention that Batman was given them like he was in the “Remarkable Ruse of the Riddler.”

  • This episode begins with the following riddle, which is the first element that was taken from the “Remarkable Ruse of the Riddler” story.

Why is an orange like a bell?

The answer is because they both must be peeled.

  • This leads us to the next element that was taken from the “Remarkable Ruse of the Riddler.” Which was the idea of Batman and Robin seemingly catching the Riddler threatening Mr. Peale of the Peale Art gallery at gun point.
  • But before this happens Riddler leaves Batman and Robin with another riddle via a recorded message.

“There are three men in a boat with four cigarettes but no matches. How do they manage to smoke?”

The answer of course is with a cigarette lighter.

  • As Batman and Robin in both stories peer through the window of Mr. Peale’s office, they notice that the Riddler is holding up Mr. Peale at gun point. This of course sprung them into action, but much to their embarrassment, it’s revealed that the gun Riddler was pointing at Mr. Peale was actually a cigarette lighter. And the Riddler wasn’t trying to steal the cross of the north from Mr. Peale. As Mr. Peale was giving the cross of the north back to the Riddler since he had inherited it.
  • In “Remarkable Ruse of the Riddler” when Batman and Robin worked out that Riddler was going to do something at the peale art gallery, it was after they deciphered a secret riddle that the Riddler had written on a piece of paper.
  • But in “Hi Diddle Riddle” Batman and Robin discover that there was secret writing on the back of a court summons. That secret writing on the court summons lead them to a nightclub, where Batman is drugged by a member of the molehill mob gang who spikes Batman’s drink. But in “Remarkable Ruse of the Riddler” Batman and Robin finally managed to stop the Riddler in a nightclub.

Batman #169 February, 1965- “Partners in Plunder”
Cover Artist Carmine Infantino, Writer Ed Herron, Penciler Sheldon Moldoff, and inker Joe Giella

Episode 3- “Fine Feathered Finks” and Episode 4- “The Penguin’s a Jinx
Original Air date: 1/19/66 and 1/20/66
Written by Lorenzo Semple, Jnr. and Directed by Robert Butler

“Fine Feathered Finks” and “The Penguin’s A Jinx” took a lot of elements from the “Partners in Plunder”story. But these episodes also made some minor changes as well.

  • At the start of the “Partners in Plunder”story Penguin reveals that he is going to trick Batman into planning a crime for him. This was followed by the idea of Penguin using the opening of a jewellery store to his advantage. When he sends two of his henchmen to advertise a prize give away if people enter the shop with an umbrella, much to the dismay of the shop owners who have no idea why people are entering the shop with umbrellas, as there was no weather report about it raining that day. And they certainly had no idea about this prize draw that the customers were talking about.
  • When the umbrellas are opened by the unsuspecting customers they begin to let off smoke lightning. This prompted the shop owners to call Commissioner Gordon, who then contacts Batman on the hotline phone to tell him the news. Shortly after this Commissioner Gordon informs Batman and Robin that more free umbrellas are being giving away at the Jefferson bank, so Batman and Robin race over to the Jefferson bank to confiscate a load of umbrellas. The idea of Penguin using the opening of a jewellery store to his advantage was used at the start of the “Fine Feathered Finks” episode, but the idea of Commissioner Gordon contacting Batman and Robin about more free umbrellas that were being given away at the Jefferson Bank wasn’t used until half way through the “Fine Feathered Finks” episode.
  • Determined to find out what’s going on Batman and Robin in “Partners in Plunder” and “Fine Feathered Finks,” go to arrest Penguin at his umbrella shop, but Penguin tells them they cannot arrest him for they have a lack of evidence. But moments after leaving the shop one of the Penguin’s henchmen drops a giant umbrella in the middle of the street. Attached to the handle of this giant umbrella was a smaller multi-colored umbrella which Batman retrieves for analysis.
  • In “Partners in Plunder” it’s never mentioned how the giant umbrella got in the middle of the road. And the small multi-colored umbrella that was seen attached to the giant umbrella in the “Fine Feathered Finks episode,” wasn’t actually attached to giant the umbrella in the”Partners in Plunder story”; it was attached to another umbrella that was around the same size.
  • After taking the multi-colored umbrella back to the Batcave in “The Penguin’s a Jinx,” Batman and Robin initially suspect that Penguin is planning to steal the jewelled meteorite, like he did in “Partners in Plunder” but they dismiss this idea when they remember how heavily it is guarded. Penguin who was listening to this conversation learns of Batman and Robin’s plan to protect the movie star Dawn Robbins, through a secret radio transmitter in the umbrella that was retrieved by Batman. Penguin in “Partners in Plunder”similarly learned of their plan to protect the jewelled meteorite.
  • While Batman and Robin’s intentions differed as I have already mentioned, the final element that was transferred over from “Partners in Plunder,” sees Penguin trapping Batman and Robin with his Penguin Magnet after they tried to prevent him from carrying out his plan.

Batman #73 October, 1952- “The Joker’s Utility Belt”
Cover Artist Dick Sprang, Writer David Vern, Penciler Dick Sprang, and inker Charles Paris

Episode 5- “The Joker Is Wild”
Original Air date: 1/26/66
Written by Robert Dozier and Directed by Don Weis

A good amount of things that we see in these episodes are taken from “The Joker’s Utility Belt” story.

  • Like the idea of Joker being upset because he wasn’t included in the comedians hall of fame. This prompts him to steal some jewels from the museum’s new jewel collection. Which was his way of getting back at the museum owners for not including him in the comedians hall of fame.
  • But as the Joker and his henchmen were about to steal the new jewels at the Gotham museum of modern art. Batman and Robin arrive on the scene just in time to stop them. Joker and his henchmen then brawl with our heroes. In “The Joker’s Utility Belt” during the fight a giant picture is knocked off the wall. And hits Batman in the back of the head.
  • While Batman and Robin in “The Joker’s Wild” arrived just as the Joker and his men were leaving with the jewels. But unlike “The Joker’s Utility Belt” in which a giant picture frame falls and hits Batman in the back of the head. It was actually a sword that falls from the wall and hits Batman in his head.
  • When Joker’s henchmen were carrying Batman away in “The Joker’s Utility Belt” Batman uses a gas pellet to escape from Joker. In “The Joker Is Wild” Batman who wasn’t really knocked after being hit, reaches for his utility belt and grabs a gas pellet which he uses to his escape.
  • Livid with the fact that Batman was able to escape once again due to his utility belt. The Joker decides to create his own utility belt which he could use against Batman.
  • For his next crime Joker in “Joker’s Utility Belt” decides to rob the box office at the civic opera during the opera Pagliacci. But Joker in the TV Series actually participates in the opera as Pagliacci to lure and Batman and Robin to the opera so that he could unmask them on live television.

Episode 6- “Batman Is Riled”
Original Air date:1/27/66
Written by Robert Dozier and Directed by Don Weis

  • After taking over a television broadcast in “Batman Is Riled” Joker gives Batman a clue about a crime featuring an item of clothing. Batman, Robin, and Alfred, then make the connection between laughwell’s return to Gotham and Joker’s next crime. While Batman in “Joker’s Utility Belt” learned of Joker’s plan by reading a newspaper.
  • Batman and Robin’s second showdown with Joker and his men takes place at Professor’s Laughwell’s private studio. But this wasn’t any old showdown because Joker decided that this was the perfect opportunity to first use his utility belt against Batman. During the fight manages to put his utility belt on Batman. So that when Batman went for what he thought were smoke pellets. He instead would be taking out pellets that would burst into flowers and flags that were designed to taunt him and Robin.
  • In the series it was at the last longer warehouse that Batman and Robin once again battled with Joker and his gang at. But unknowingly to them Joker switches belts with Batman during the fight. So when Batman tried to stop the Joker and his gang with a smoke pellet. His smoke pellet ends up bursting into streamers, confetti, and flags that were designed to taunt him and Robin.
  • Later on in the story Joker presents what looks to be an ordinary cork which his henchmen replace the real cork with. So that when Batman smashes the bottle against the S.S. Gotham steamship a cloud of paralyzing gas would be released.
  • Though there is a difference in “Joker’s Utility Belt,” after suspecting that something was wrong Batman switches the champagne bottles to avoid releasing the cloud of paralyzing gas. But a woman unknowingly takes the original bottle and smashes it against the S.S. Gotham thus releasing the cloud of paralyzing gas. With Batman and Robin now out cold Joker’s henchmen were able to carry them off to Joker’s hideout.
  • However in the TV Series after they suspected that something was wrong Batman and Robin prepared for the release of the gas. By taking what was later revealed to be universal drug antidote pills. So they tricked Joker and his henchmen by pretending to be knocked out and by allowing themselves to be captured and taken to Joker’s hideout.
  • Although the final sections in both stories differ one element remains the same. And that is the fact that during the final fights in both stories Batman grabs Joker’s belt and throws it into an object thus creating havoc.

Batman #121 February, 1959- “The Ice Crimes of Mr. Zero”
Cover Artist Curt Swan, Writer David Wood, Penciler Sheldon Moldoff, and inker Charles Paris

Episode 7- “Instant Freeze” and Episode 8- “Rats Like Cheese”
Original Air date: 2/2/66 and 2/3/66
Written by Max Hodge and Directed by Robert Butler

Although much of the story is the same one notable difference between “The Ice Crimes of Mr. Zero” and the episodes “Instant Freeze” and “Rats Like Cheese,” is that the butler of the princess who is robbed in the story is killed. When Mr. Freeze in “Instant Freeze” freezes the butler to stop him from ringing the alarm. Which causes him to fall over and shatter to pieces.

  • Later on in the “The Ice Crimes of Mr. Zero” story, Mr. Zero escapes from the police by freezing their police car, but at the beginning of the episode “Instant Freeze” Mr. Freeze freezes the ground to prevent a motorcycle cop from stopping him.
  • It’s then explained in a flashback that Mr. Zero’s transformation came about after a lab accident with freeze solution. And it’s said that Mr. Freeze in the TV series also became a villain after an accident with freeze solution, but his transformation began when a beaker of freeze solution was knocked onto him during a fight with Batman.
  • In “The Ice Crimes of Mr. Zero” Mr. Zero and his henchmen are shown in their respective areas in Mr. Zero’s mountain lair. Mr. Zero had an air conditioned area for himself while his henchmen had a heated couch for themselves. But in “Instant Freeze” and Rat’s Like Cheese” Mr. Freeze had a cold zone for himself and hot zone for his butler and henchman.
  • The idea of Mr. Freeze robbing a jewellery exchange also comes from “The Ice Crimes of Mr. Zero.” Though there is difference with how the scene was presented in the TV series; after robbing the jewellery exchange in “The Ice Crimes of Mr. Zero,” Mr. Zero prevents Batman and Robin from following him by freezing the ground. But Mr. Freeze in “Instant Freeze” after robbing the Gotham City diamond exchange prevented Batman and Robin from following him by freezing the Batmobile.
  • Another idea taken from “The Ice Crimes of Mr. Zero,” is the idea of Mr. Freeze being delivered to the Gotham City Hotel hotel in a storage box, but the idea to steal the princesses jewellery following that scene differs from what happens in “Ice Crimes of Mr. Zero,” as Mr. Zero orders his goons to steal the tiara and diamond pendant from the princess. Whereas Mr. Freeze in “Instant Freeze” demands that the princess gives him her diamond pendant.
  • In “The Ice Crimes of Mr. Zero” Batman and Robin arrived too late, as Mr. Zero was just leaving the Gotham City Hotel with his goons. So Batman and Robin try to intervene but Mr. Zero stops them by freezing their batlines. After landing on a canopy Batman and Robin tried to catch up with Mr. Zero when he created an ice shute to get down to ground level. But Mr. Zero destroyed the shute with his heat ray before they could get to him.
  • In “Instant Freeze” when Batman and Robin came to save the princess, Batman referred to Mr. Freeze as Dr. Schimel (which is a name that he was only given in the TV Series), and tells him to stay right where he is. But Freeze and his henchmen once again escape, although not before he uses his heat ray to keep Batman occupied by burning the curtains. After putting out the fire Batman and Robin try to catch up with Freeze; who gets the better of them once again by freezing them at the end of the episode.
  • In “The Ice Crimes of Mr. Zero” Mr. Zero planned to continue freezing the wealth of Gotham City by freezing the gotham arena, but Mr. Freeze had done just that at the beginning of the “Instant Freeze” episode.
  • Both the comic story and TV Series episode end with Batman punching the frigid fiend. In “The Ice Crimes of Mr. Zero” Batman decks Mr. Zero to prevent him from refreezing him into a block of ice, whereas Batman in “Rats Like Cheese” decked Mr. Freeze after he was taunting him.

Detective Comics #346 December, 1965- “Batman’s Inescapable Doom-Trap”
Executive Editor Julius Schwartz, Cover Artists Carmine Infantino and Joe Giella, Writer John Broome, Penciler Sheldon Moldoff, and inker Joe Giella

Episode 9- “Zelda The Great” and Episode 10- “A Death Worse Than Fate”
Original Air date: 2/9/66
Written by Lorenzo Semple, Jnr. and Directed by Norman Foster

Much of the story is similar to “Batman’s Inescapable Doom-Trap.” But minor alterations were still made, like the decision to create a new female character called Zelda The Great, which was an attempt to give the show more female villains.

  • The episode starts with a bank being robbed, but the robber whacks the guard in the face with their bag inside the bank. Whereas the guard in “Batman’s Inescapable Doom-Trap” is hit in the face outside the bank.
  • In “Batman’s Inescapable Doom-Trap” Bruce Wayne and Dick Grayson mull over the notion of why a criminal would need to steal $100,000 each year, but in “Zelda The Great” it’s Batman and Robin who try to work out why a criminal would need to steal $100,000 each year.
  • Whilst there are similarities in the “Batman’s Inescapable Doom-Trap” story and the TV Series episodes “Zelda The Great” and “A Death Worse Than Fate,” there is a notable difference in “Batman’s Inescapable Doom-Trap”; Eivol Ekdal the creator of the inescapable doom-trap, works with a phony escape artist called The Great Carnado, but in the TV Series Eivol Ekdal works with a phony escape artist called Zelda The Great.
  • In another element taken from “Batman’s Inescapable Doom-Trap,” Zelda The Great, much like The Great Carnado is shocked when he was testing the inescapable doom-trap. Though the difference is that Eivol Ekdal wouldn’t tell Zelda how to escape the trap until he got his money from her, whereas Eivol Ekdal in the comics wouldn’t tell Carnado how to escape the death trap unless he was paid another $100,000.
  • In “Batman’s Inescapable Doom-Trap” Batman chased the Great Carnado into an old house and gets caught in the inescapable doom-trap, but Batman in “A Death Worse Than Fate” worked out the location of Eivol Ekdal’s workshop and is then lured into his doom-trap.
  • But as Batman stepped into the inescapable doom trap it fills up with gas, and his initial attempts to escape the doom-trap in both stories aren’t successful; he gets electrified when he tries to remove the vent from the floor of the doom-trap, but he eventually manages to escape from the trap by placing a utility belt onto the vent thus causing the trap to blow up. In “Batman’s Inescapable Doom-Trap” it was his belt that he used to do this, but in “A Death Worse Than Fate” Batman borrowed Robin’s utility to do this.
  • Upon escaping from the doom-trap Batman & Robin are met by two mobsters who had paid $100,000 for a chance to kill them. In “Batman’s Inescapable Doom-Trap” the mobsters survive after failing to kill Batman and Robin in a crossfire attack. However in “A Death Worse Than Fate” the mobsters accidentally kill each other after failing to kill Batman and Robin in a crossfire attack.
  • Both stories end with a villain trying to escape, but the villains who try to escape in both stories are stopped by Batman. In the comics The Great Carnado tried to escape but was bowled over, after Batman had punched one of the mobsters into him. And in the series Eivol Ekdal tried to escape but he was prevented from escaping after being hit in the back of the head with a batarang.

Batman #161 February, 1964- “The New Crimes of the Mad Hatter”
Cover Artist Sheldon Moldoff, Writer David Wood, Penciler Sheldon Moldoff, and inker Charles Paris

Detective Comics #230 April, 1956- “The Mad Hatter of Gotham City”
Executive Editor Whitney Ellsworth, Cover Artists Win Mortimer and George Roussos, Writer Bill Finger, Penciler Sheldon Moldoff, and inker Charles Paris, Edior Jack Schiff,

Episode 13- “The Thirteenth Hat” and Episode 14- “Batman Stands Pat”
Original Air date: 2/23/66 and 2/24/66
Written by Charles Hoffman and Directed by Norman Foster

In the first of two episodes that drew from not one but two comic stories. “The Thirteenth Hat” and “Batman Stands Pat” faithfully transfers a few elements over from “The New Crimes of the Mad Hatter”and “The Mad Hatter of Gotham City” but it makes two minor alterations.

  • In “The New Crimes of the Mad Hatter” Mad Hatter and his henchmen rob the Gotham trust company while wearing fireman’s uniforms. But in “The Thirteenth Hat,” Commissioner Gordon informs Batman that Mad Hatter has just stolen a fire chief’s hat, and the fire chief that was wearing the hat.
  • Another element taken from “The New Crimes of the Mad Hatter,” was the idea of Mad Hatter stealing the hats of all the people who testified against him in court.
  • Batman and Robin in both “The Mad Hatter of Gotham City ” and “The Thirteenth Hat,” go to a sculptor to get a sculpture of themselves made, but Mad Hatter switches places with the sculptor in order to get his hands on Batman’s cowl.
  • But while Mad Hatter succeeds in obtaining Batman’s cowl in “The Mad Hatter of Gotham City,” this doesn’t actually happen in “The Thirteenth Hat” as Mad Hatter doesn’t get his hands on Batman’s cowl until episode 69 “The Contaminated Cowl.”
  • With the help of homing transmitters in hats Batman in “The Mad Hatter of Gotham City” and “Batman Stands Pat,” is able to track down Mad Hatter at his hideout. When he gets there Batman at gun point is asked to unmask in front of Mad Hatter and his henchmen. But instead of doing as Mad Hatter says Batman attacks Mad Hatter and his henchmen with a loose turban that was hanging on the wall.
  • After Batman and Robin’s fight with Mad Hatter and his henchmen the police (in both “The Mad Hatter of Gotham City” and “Batman Stands Pat”) show up to arrest Mad Hatter, and it’s said that Mad Hatter will now serve a long sentence in prison. Well at least until when he’s ready to break out of prison again for the next story.

Batman #53 June, 1949- “A Hairpin, a Hoe, a Hacksaw, a Hole In the Ground!
Cover Artist Jim Mooney, Penciler Bob Kane, and inker Charles Paris

Episode 25- “The Joker Trumps an Ace” and Episode 26- “Batman Sets the Pace”
Original Air date: 4/6/66 and 4/7/66
Written by Francis & Marian Cockrell and Directed by Richard C. Sarafian

Several elements from the “A Hairpin, a Hoe, a Hacksaw, a Hole In the Ground!,” story were transferred over the tv series.

  • Such as the idea of Joker robbing a lady’s hairpin. Although the lady that he robbed in “A Hairpin, a Hoe, a Hacksaw, a Hole In the Ground” was in a jewellery store, while the lady he robbed in “The Joker Trumps an Ace” was in a fur salon.
  • As well as the idea of Joker stealing a hole at the winnie-koh-toh country club, which happens on-panel in “A Hairpin, a Hoe, a Hacksaw, a Hole In the Ground!,” but it happens offscreen in “The Joker Trumps an Ace.”
  • In both stories after being summoned to Commissioner Gordon’s office, Batman and Robin learn about the next crime that Joker was planning through a record that was sent to police headquarters.
  • The crime that Joker was planning involved stealing the maharajah of nimpah’s golden golf clubs, but while both stories feature the idea of the maharajah of nimpah getting a hole in one, which activates a gas bomb as the ball hits a hairpin that was in the hole. It was only in “A Hairpin, a Hoe, a Hacksaw, a Hole In the Ground!,” that the Joker’s henchmen would steal the maharajah’s golden golf clubs, because Joker’s henchmen in “The Joker Trumps an Ace” steals the maharajah’ s golden golf clubs as well as kidnapping the maharajah himself.
  • This leads to a chase in both the comics and TV series. In the “A Hairpin, a Hoe, a Hacksaw, a Hole In the Ground!,” the chase led to a stage effects factory, while in “The Joker Trumps an Ace” it leads to a toy version of the van that Joker’s men used to kidnap the maharajah. But inside that toy van was a clue that leads Batman and Robin to an abandoned refinery.
  • In both stories Batman and Robin go to the respective locations that Joker had led them to, but they are led into a trap however the Joker gives them a fighting chance to escape. In “A Hairpin, a Hoe, a Hacksaw, a Hole In the Ground!,” Batman and Robin had to escape from a room that had a gas cylinder which was about to explode. But in “The Joker Trumps an Ace” the deathtrap that Batman and Robin had to escape from a giant chimney that was filled with deadly gas.
  • Finally in the “A Hairpin, a Hoe, a Hacksaw, a Hole In the Ground!,” the maharajah of nimpah was a different person altogether. But in “Batman Sets the Pace” it was revealed that the Joker was pretending to be the maharajah of nimpah, so that he could claim $250 million dollars in ransom money.

Detective Comics #341 July, 1965- “The Joker’s Comedy Capers”
Executive Editor Julius Schwartz, Cover Artists Carmine Infantino and Joe Giella, Writer John Broome, Penciler Carmine Infantino, and inker Joe Giella, Editor Julius Schwartz,

Episode 31- “Death in Slow Motion” and Episode 32- “The Riddler’s False Notion”
Original Air date: 4/27/66 and 4/28/66
Written by Dick Carr and Directed by Charles R. Rondeau

“Death in Slow Motion” and “The Riddler’s False Notion”only used three elements from “The Joker’s Comedy Capers” story.

  • One of which was the idea of a villain dressing up as Charlie Chaplain to commit a robbery. In “Joker’s Comedy Capers” Joker dressed as Charlie Chaplain robs a bank, but in “Death in Slow Motion” Riddler dressed as Charlie Chaplain to rob a movie theatre.
  • And Riddler and his followers being highly amused by their film in “Death in Slow Motion,” recalls a similar idea taken from “Joker’s Comedy Capers,” in which Joker and his henchmen were amused while watching the film of a crime that they had committed.
  • The idea of an eccentric millionaire with a love for silent movies was also taken from “Joker’s Comedy Capers.” Although Joker wrote a series of slapstick crimes in the style of old movies for Mr Van-Van Laugh, but Mr. Van-Van Laugh had no idea that they were actually real crimes that the Joker was committing. While Riddler uses his film as a smokescreen for his real crime, which was to steal all of Mr Van Jones priceless silent films and hold them for ransom.

Season 2
Batman #36 Aug-Sep, 1946- “The Penguin’s Nest”
Cover Artist Dick Sprang, Writer Alvin Schwartz, Penciler Bob Kane, and inker Ray Burnley

Episode 61- “The Penguin’s Nest” and Episode 62 “The Bird’s Last Jest”
Original Air date: 12/7/66 and 12/8/66 Written by Lorenzo Semple, Jnr. and Directed by Murray Golden

A few elements were taken from the “Penguin’s Nest” comic story, such as the idea of Penguin opening a restaurant and getting his customers to sign their orders with their signatures, so that he could legally collect their handwriting samples.

As was the idea of Penguin’s repeated attempts to get himself arrested, the final element taken from “The Penguin’s Nest comic story” was the idea of Penguin being ever so eager to get himself arrested, because he wanted to return to prison so that he could give the handwriting samples that he collected to a well known forger who was doing a life sentence at Gotham State Penitentiary.

However alterations were made to all three of these elements when they were implemented in the series, such as the idea of Penguin opening a restaurant and asking his customers to sign their orders with their signatures so that he could legally collect their handwriting samples.

  • In the comic story Bruce Wayne and Commissioner Gordon find it odd that Penguin’s customers have to give him copies of their handwriting samples. But in the series it’s Bruce Wayne, Chief O’Hara, and Commissioner Gordon, who find it odd that Penguin’s customers have to give him copies of their handwriting samples.
  • The idea of Penguin getting caught stealing an item from one of his customers. Also differed from what was done in the comics because in “The Penguin’s Nest,” Penguin stole a women’s purse, but in the TV series it was Aunt Harriet’s diamond bracelet that he stole.
  • And in the comic story it was Batman who insisted that Commissioner Gordon shouldn’t arrest Penguin. But in the series Commissioner Gordon orders Chief O’Hara to arrest Penguin, but Bruce Wayne insists that Penguin shouldn’t be arrested because Penguin wants to be arrested.
  • So Penguin decides to launch a cream pie into the Commissioner’s face, but the aftermath of this incident also differed as well, because in “The Penguin’s Nest” Batman and Robin much to his dismay help the Penguin to escape, before Commissioner Gordon is able to arrest him.
  • In the TV series when the GCPD, and Batman and Robin all refused to arrest Penguin, he decided to throw a cream pie in the Commissioner Gordon’s face. So that the Commissioner Gordon would have no choice but to arrest him, but Batman suggests that Penguin should not be arrested.
  • So Penguin in both stories continues his attempts to get himself arrested, so that he could hand over the handwriting samples that he collected to a well known forger who was doing time at the Gotham State Penitentiary.
  • In “Penguin’s Nest” (the comic story) Batman outsmarts Penguin by pretending to be Stickney Withers (who was a forger that was serving a life sentence for at the Gotham Penitentiary), by handing him a cheque for $100,000. With the cheque now in Penguin’s possession Penguin finally successfully gets himself arrested for reckless driving. After he had served his 30 day sentence in prison, he attempts to cash in the cheque at the bank upon his release. But the cashier notices that the Stickney Withers signatures on the cheque that Penguin gave him, and the signature on one of the documents that he had do not match, so the cashier calls the police who send over Batman and Robin to take Penguin back Gotham State Penitentiary. Where he is seen bickering in a cell that with who I presume is the real Stickney Withers.
  • In “The Bird’s Last Jest” when Penguin was finally returned to jail, he was planning to give the handwriting samples that he collected to Ballpoint Baxter who was regarded as the best forger in the country, but before he could put this plan into action he was told that Bruce Wayne had helped to release Ballpoint Baxter on parole the same day that Penguin was returning to prison.

Detective Comics #230 April, 1956- “The Mad Hatter of Gotham City”
Executive Editor Whitney Ellsworth, Cover Artists Win Mortimer and George Roussos, Writer Bill Finger, Penciler Sheldon Moldoff, and inker Charles Paris, Editor Jack Schiff,

Episode 69- “The Contaminated Cowl” and Episode 70- “The Mad Hatter Runs Afoul”
Original Air date: 1/4/67 and 1/5/67
Written by Charles Hoffman and Directed by Oscar Rudolph

Only a handful of things was taken from “The Mad Hatter of Gotham City” for use in the episodes “The Contaminated Cowl” and “Batman Runs Afoul.”

  • Like The Green Derby restaurant which was still in business in “The Mad Hatter of Gotham City,” but in the “The Contaminated Cowl” the green derby was an abandoned restaurant that Mad Hatter used as his base of operations.
  • Another element that was transferred over from “The Mad Hatter of Gotham City,” was the idea of Mad Hatter spraying Batman’s cowl with radioactive spray. But only in “The Contaminated Cowl” does Batman’s cowl turn pink after being sprayed with Mad Hatter’s radioactive spray.
  • In the final element used in both stories Mad Hatter disguises himself as a lab worker so that he could steal Batman’s cowl at an atomic energy experimental building.

Batman #130, March 1960-“Batman’s Deadly Birthday”
Cover Artist Sheldon Moldoff, Writer Bill Finger, Penciler Dick Sprang, and inker Stan Kaye

Detective Comics #140 October, 1948- “The Riddler”
Executive Editor Whitney Ellsworth, Cover Artist Win Mortimer, Writer Bill Finger, Penciler Dick Sprang, and inker Charles Paris, Editor Jack Schiff,

Episode 79 - “Batman’s Anniversary”
Original Air date: 2/8/67
Written by William R. D’ Angelo and Directed by James B. Clark

These episodes were the 2nd episodes in the series to be made up of a mixture of elements from not one but two different comic stories.

  • In “Batman’s Deadly Birthday” Commissioner Gordon summoned Batman to his office for a surprise birthday party, but in “Batman’s Anniversary” the idea is modified as it’s the Gotham Plaza that Commissioner Gordon summons Batman to for a surprise birthday party.
  • And the idea of the dairymen donating a cash cow to Batman to give to his favorite charity, was also an idea that was taken from “Batman’s Deadly Birthday.” Although the cash cow he was given in “Batman’s Deadly Birthday” was silver and not gold like it was in the tv series.
  • In “Batman’s Anniversary” the golden cash cow which is brought out by the milk maiden of the month is stolen by the Riddler. Whereas the silver cash cow from “Batman’s Deadly Birthday” is stolen by an unnamed villain off-panel.
  • Riddler in the “The Riddler” hijacked the “cross cleaning company” which presented people with nightly crossword puzzles, and presented Batman and Robin with the following crossword puzzle answers Basin, Street, and The Banquet. Whereas Riddler in “Batman’s Anniversary” presented Batman with the same answers but he did it through the Gotham City Herald Newspaper.
  • After working out the clue to the Riddler’s riddle Batman in “The Riddler” interrupts a charity banquet at basin street, because he thought that the Riddler was going to cause havoc there. But just as the mayor was about to answer Batman’s question about whether or not Riddler was there, a police officer interrupts the conversation and tells the mayor and Batman that a water main has burst and flooded the underground vault in a Gotham City bank. Riddler who is responsible for this is then seen robbing the vault of the bank, but before Batman could stop him he escapes from a manhole that was inside the flooded bank.
  • But in “Batman’s Anniversary” Commissioner Gordon calls Batman to inform him that a water main has burst and flooded the underground vault in a Gotham City bank. During this conversation Batman tells Gordon to send the GCPD over to the banquet at basin street incase any criminal activity takes place there, but instead of criminal activity taking place at the banquet on basin street, it was actually about to take place at the flooded bank. Since that’s where the Riddler and his cohorts were. But just as they were about the rob the flooded bank Batman and Robin arrive. And a fight ensues after a brief struggle with the dynamic duo Riddler and his cohorts flee from the flooded bank via a manhole cover nearby.
  • In “Batman’s Anniversary” when Batman and Robin are leaving the bank, they notice that the Riddler has left them the following riddle.

When is a man drowned but still not wet?

The answer is when he is trapped in quicksand.

  • While they were still mulling over this riddle in the Batcave Alfred informed them that they better hurry up, otherwise they’ll be late for their cake sculpture appointment, as they were being asked to pose for some marshmallow figures that were going to be put on top of Batman’s cake, Batman being the upstanding public citizen that he is, is more than happy to pose for these marshmallow figures for his cake.
  • Unfortunately for him though is that this idea is a lie as he and Robin were being led into Riddler’s giant cake deathtrap, which was yet another idea that was transferred over from “Batman’s Deadly Birthday.” With Batman and Robin now trapped in the quicksand icing of the giant cake deathtrap. Riddler and his cohorts rub salt in the wounds of the caped crusaders by singing happy anniversary to Batman. However, in “Batman’s Deadly Birthday” Batman had trapped an unnamed villain in the giant cake deathtrap’s wet plaster icing, while the crowd who came out to celebrate Batman’s birthday sung happy birthday to Batman.

Episode 80 - “A Riddling Controversy”
Original Air date: 2/9/67
Written by William R. D’ Angelo and Directed by James B. Clark

  • After Batman and Robin escaped from the deathtrap, it was announced on television that the Riddler had left the following riddle at the scene of the crime.

When is an eagle’s nest blessed best?

The answer is when there were babies in the nest.

  • With this in mind Batman and Robin in both stories work out that Riddler was referring to a nightclub on top of the Gotham City State Building that’s known as the aerie.
  • But while the Riddler in “The Riddler” went to the eagles nest to steal some of Harrison Eagle’s (a millionaire collector’s) portraits, Riddler in “A Riddling Controversy” went to the eagles nest to steal $1 billion of Anthony Aquila (an exile dictator from the South Americas) money.
  • The comparisons for this episode end when Riddler leaves Batman to free Harrison Eagle and Anthony Aquila from their respective puzzle deathtraps that he had put them in.

Thanks to Andy Fish of The 1966 Batman Message Boards for providing me with copies of Batman #36, Batman #53, and Batman #130. And I would also like to thank Bob from the 1966 Batman Message Boards, for letting me know that Newsrama.com’s December 2013 list of DC Comics’ Solicitations includes a trade paperback book which will collect some of these stories. 

The book will be called BATMAN ‘66: THE TV STORIES, and it will collect the following stories; 

Batman #53 June, 1949- “A Hairpin, a Hoe, a Hacksaw, a Hole In the Ground

Batman #73 October, 1952- “The Joker’s Utility Belt

Batman #121 February, 1959- “The Ice Crimes of Mr. Zero

A story from Batman #140- which I assume is a typo, because as far as I know there wasn’t a TV series episode that was based on any story from Batman #140.

Batman #169 February, 1965- “Partners in Plunder” 

Batman #171 May, 1965- “Remarkable Ruse of the Riddler

Detective Comics #230 April, 1956- “The Mad Hatter of Gotham City

Detective Comics #346 December, 1965- “Batman’s Inescapable Doom-Trap

Detective Comics #359 January, 1967- “Million Dollar Debut of Batgirl

Previously the only stories that were included in collected editions were;

Batman #36 Aug-Sep, 1946- The Penguin’s Nest- Batman:The Dark Knight Archives Vol. 8 HC (2013)

Batman #73 October, 1952- “The Joker’s Utility Belt” – Batman #176 (1965)
Greatest Joker Stories Ever Told HC (1989), Greatest Joker Stories Ever Told TPB (1989), Joker: The Greatest Stories Ever Told TPB (2008),

Batman #121 February, 1959- “The Ice Crimes of Mr. Zero” – Batman #176 (1965), Batman #121 [Variant] (1997), Batman in the Fifties TPB (2002),

Batman #161 February, 1964- “The New Crimes of the Mad Hatter” – Batman Family #6 (1976)

Batman #169 February, 1965- “Partners in Plunder” – Greatest Batman Stories Ever Told Vol. 2 TPB (1992), Batman:The Dynamic Duo Archives Vol. 2 HC (2006), Showcase Presents Batman Vol. 1 TPB (2006),

Batman #171 May, 1965- “Remarkable Ruse of the Riddler” – Batman:The Dynamic Duo Archives Vol. 2 HC (2006), Showcase Presents Batman Vol. 1 TPB (2006),

Detective Comics #140 October, 1948- “The Riddler” – Batman from the 30s to the 70s HC (1971), Batman:Featuring Two-Face and the Riddler TPB (1995), Batman Archives Vol. 7 HC (2008),

Detective Comics #230 April, 1956- “The Mad Hatter of Gotham City” – Batman Annual #3 (1962), DC Special Blue Ribbon Digest #15 (1981), Batman Annuals Vol. 1 HC (2009),

Detective Comics #341 July, 1965- “The Joker’s Comedy Capers” – Batman in the Sixties TPB (1999), Showcase Presents Batman Vol. 1 TPB (2006),

Detective Comics #346 December, 1965- “Batman’s Inescapable Doom-Trap” – Showcase Presents:Batman Vol. 2 TPB (2007)

DISCUSS

Source: Lorenzo Semple, Jnr’s. November 9th, 1965 and November 15th, 1965 letters to William Dozier, Box 6, Collection Number 06851, William Dozier Papers, American Heritage Center, University of Wyoming. And Mike Voiles from dcindexes.com, reprint guide for every comic book on existance.

 


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