Posted By Art Baxter

batman-1.09

First Series - Card #9

batman-1.10

First Series - Card #10

batman-1.11

First Series - Card #11

For our finale I'd like to offer up a three card Joker sequence from the First Series. Now, as I mentioned before, the bulk of the First Series is one long story. The criminals are after a "top secret formula." A portion of the formula is missing and the Joker wants to know which member of his gang took it. So, what does he do but gives each one a lie detector test. When the traitor is revealed, the low level thug takes a poison pill rather than to be tortured by the Joker. It's an odd plot for a Joker sequence but there you go.

One of the things I like about the cards is that the supporting cast, namely the henchmen. These men may be thugs but they wear suits and hats. These middle aged men have a career in thuggery and hire out their services to crime kingpins like the Joker: a criminal mastermind dressed as a clown. They most likely work on commission, ie: "a piece of the action." Do these men have wives and families or do they live in a flophouse. Take that poor slob strapped into lie detector. He looks like a "one last big score before retirement" kind of guy. He's sweatin' like a pig as you would if the Joker had you strapped into one of those. (I took a lie detector test a long time ago and let me tell you...they are NO FUN!)

Obviously guilty as sin, the low level thug (more likely the accountant) takes a poison pill rather than being killed by the Joker. Why the Joker is enjoying the scene rather than stopping him to get the information he needs is anyone guess. Joker, his henchman and Batman all seem to be enjoying the scene. Tell you the truth, it is pretty funny.

The Joker depicted here is clearly the Caesar Romero version. Note that his ears and hands are flesh colored and his hair is blue. Apocryphal!

Here are a few links for further reading:
You can find out about Norm Saunders here and here.
You can read about the Topps Batman Cards here.
You can see the sets in there totality here: First Series, Second Series and Third Series.

Batman, Robin, the Joker, the Riddler and the Catwoman are all © DC Comics


 
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