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classic coverThe Batman cover formula is well in place by this issue: feature the Dynamic Duo in cheerful, barrel chested action poses with striking, often solid color backgrounds, slap that enormous logo on the top, and watch kids fight over the result. The brash action and pulpy adventure of the early Bat issues is plainly evident in this classic image. By this time, the formula had been well enough established that scribes Gardner Fox and Bill Finger, largely responsible for growing the Batman rogues' gallery through the Golden Age, were coming up with more and more ridiculous ideas for themed villains, such as this issue's Clock Maker. This bizarre baddie, obsessed with the loss of time and the intricacy of clockmaking, neatly fits into the series' themes of loss and mortality, even if the stories themselves were drifting away from pulp melodrama into pure action. There are still plenty of dark, moody moments in this fascinating attempt to create a new Joker/Luthor/etc.