Detective Comics #265

DC ⋅ 1959

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Key Facts

Origin of Batman retold

Issue Details




Curt Swan


Bill Finger


March 1959


BATMAN’S FIRST CASE In Gotham City Park at exactly noon, a new "Batman Clock" is unveiled to celebrate the heroes Batman and Robin. The Batman Clock has been vandalized by a costumed villain called The Clock who says that Batman will die at 3pm. The Batman Clock collapses. The Clock appears and reveals that he destroyed the statue using a timer that released acid. The Clock leaps to a hidden motorcycle and rides away, but Batman recognizes his face. Bruce Wayne remembers his childhood. He was strolling with his parents when they were approached by a mugger who demanded his mother's necklace. His father attacked the mugger, and the mugger shot both his parents. Bruce promised that he would dedicate his life to finding their killer, and to fighting all crime. He attended a school of criminology and trained his body to physical perfection. When he was ready for his career of crime-fighting, he knew he would need a disguise to instill fear in criminals. Just then a bat flew into his window, and he took this as an omen. He would become Batman.   The first criminal Batman saw on patrol was a thief sneaking into the Gotham Silverware warehouse. Batman swings down on his silken rope and punches the thief into a giant spoon. The thief feigns a leg injury, and punches Batman when he comes closer to look. The thief is able to escape, but Batman finds white particles where the thief ran through a freshly paved street. Batman identifies these as thallium, used in the manufacture of glass, and traces his quarry to the abandoned Gotham Glass Works. The thief suspected Batman would follow him, and throws a net on Batman when he arrives. This teaches Batman to never underestimate a criminal. Batman is left tied up in the basement, but he uses a bucket of rouge to help him slip out of his bonds. Batman confronts the thief who shoots at him. Batman tricks the thief into shooting a mirror while taking the thief out from behind. Robin remembers reading a story about "Kyle" in Batman's Diary. They visit Kyle's former cellmate Tom Rogers for answers. Rogers explains that Kyle laughed at them for trying to go straight. Kyle developed an obsession with learning about clocks so he could use them to take ironic revenge on Batman, because Batman made him "do time" in prison. The prison warden confirms that Kyle was incarcerated years ago at 3pm, which is why The Clock chose that time. The Clock sits in his hideout full of clocks and vows that just like he was Batman's first case, he will also be Batman's last. The Clock leaves another warning for Batman that his next caper will be "the tiniest clock crime." The Clock disguises himself as a reporter to visit the Gotham Watch Co. These watches are easily damaged by acid, and The Clock throws a pocketful of orange peels to distract the employees. While they're busy, he steals a bag of valuable tiny watch screws. Batman and Robin arrive. The Clock accidentally drops his watch while jumping out the window. They pursue him outside onto a giant clock. The Clock knocks Robin off his perch, and Batman is forced to save Robin while The Clock escapes. Batman investigates the dust inside The Clock's wristwatch, and finds an unusual amount of flour. This can only mean the abandoned flour mill outside of town. They step inside and an alarm clock goes off. The Clock reveals that he knew the watch would lead them to him, and he set a trap. The Clock knocks Batman and Robin out by dropping flour bags on them. Batman wakes up tied to a clock. The Clock explains that Batman will die at 3pm when the clock he's tied to explodes before leaving. Robin is tied to a pole and forced to watch. Batman is still wearing The Clock's wristwatch and he swings back and forth to smash the wristwatch against a wall. Using the tiny broken shards, he cuts his bonds and they both escapes. The Clock sees the explosion while he's driving away, and assumes Batman and Robin are dead. The Clock goes to Gotham City's Clock Fair, where a giant pocket watch replica contains giant real jewels. Bursting out of a giant cuckoo clock, The Clock throws smoke capsules so he can steal the jewels. Batman and Robin rush in to stop him. The Clock tears off the pocket watch’s giant hour hand and uses it as a weapon. Batman kicks the mainspring housing, and The Clock becomes trapped inside its coils. Robin remarks that The Clock was caught by a clock. Exactly 1 hour and 13 minutes later, The Clock is back behind bars in prison. Batman visits him and remarks that they've given The Clock a cell that faces the prison clock. THE MENACE OF THE DEADLY LIGHTS! THE FANTASTIC HUMAN FALCON A costumed crook by the name of the Falcon uses the attributes of birds in his crimes, prompting John Jones to try to stop him.

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