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That Time Batman Was Transformed Into a Magical Genie! | CBR

In every installment of I Love Ya But You’re Strange I spotlight strange but ultimately endearing comic stories. Feel free to e-mail me at brianc@cbr.com if you have a suggestion for a future installment!

I continue a month’s worth of I Love Ya but You’re Strange’s (as a sort of “April Fool’s” month) with a spotlight on the time that Batman was transformed into a magical genie!

This story appeared in 1963’s Detective Comics #322 by Bill Finger, Sheldon Moldoff and Charles Paris. Let me just note this one thing right off the bat, if you’re a Batman comic from the late 1950s/early 1960s and you are titled “The Bizarre Batman Genie”…

Then you KNOW things are crazy, because the stories from that era were, in general, typically nuts, so if they are even saying, “Yeah, this one is particularly bizarre” then that is saying a whole lot.

The basic concept is that there was this guy who had this magical lamp and magical powder that if he hit you with it, you would transform into a genie and be forced to perform three wishes before returning to being human. You know, like you do.

Well, a gang of crooks went to steal the lamp and the magical powder and when Batman and Robin interfered, the bad guys hit Batman with a smoke bomb filled with the powder. Batman vanished!

When the crooks got back to their hideout, they tried out the lamp and sure enough, Batman had been transformed into a genie that would obey their three wishes! They wished for him to empty out the Gotham mint…

Robin tried to stop Batman, but the Bat-Genie no longer recognized his trusty sidekick (the Bat-Genie also had a whole new vernacular)…

Batwoman was also out of town, so it was down to just Robin and Bat-Girl to try to stop the Bat-Genie, and Robin did his best to derail the wishes, with some clever thinking, like replacing the money in the Gotham mint with actual mint leaves, so when Bat-Genie emptied out the Gotham Mint, it was not of any money…

The crooks adjusted with their second wish, but Robin and Bat-Girl then used subterfuge to see if Robin couldn’t steal the lamp. He got a hold of it, but he was then sent reeling into the waters below, seemingly to his doom…

But when the crooks then tried to use their third wish, they were shocked to see that Batman was a human again! And he quickly arrested them.

As it turned out, Robin used the last wish as he plummeted to the ground, and that both saved his life and also brought Batman back to normal!

I really like how Finger had Robin and Bat-Girl shine in this messed up situation. What a fun comic book. There’s also this panel in there that has nothing to do with anything that I just loved so much that I figured I’d share here…

You would rarely see Moldoff going dark like that with shadows and stuff. It was really neat.

If anyone else has a suggestion for a future I Love Ya But You’re Strange, drop me a line at brianc@cbr.com! Again, we’re going to have a whole month of these, so, well, more suggestions would be great!

See the time Batman was transformed into a magical genie!

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