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Detective Comics #48 (Feb 1941): When a lone boater (who conveniently happens to be carrying surveyer's tools in his rowboat) discovers a previously undiscovered (but large and easily reached) cave under the "great gold treasury" of Fort Stox, Kentucky, he tells his story to a group of strangers (who happen to be petty criminals who are hiding from Johnny Law). In order to get the man to reveal the exact location of the cave, the mobsters frame his daughter, a Gotham City cabaret singer who just-so-happens to be dating Bruce Wayne, for a murder that she would have willingly actually committed. Batman discovers this plot (but forgets to subdue his unwilling stoolie, allowing the crooks to get the drop on him) and rushes to Kentucky in the Batplane just in time to free the girl and her father and subdue Renaldo, the head mobster and foil the robbery. All of which leads to this panel:

Holy Cornball Replies, Batman!

Now, I'm willing to admit that the early 1940s were a different time. However, I'm pretty sure that even back then, if the U.S. Army stationed around the United States' gold reserves found a masked man dressed like a bat among a bunch of petty criminals in a cave with a ladder leading into the broken vault, that masked man wouldn't get a medal and a handshake. Besides, I think the Fort Stox Commander should be very suspicious of anyone who turns down a reward for saving the country's gold supply. And that's why waterboarding is still legal, boys and girls.

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To be continued...

 

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