NOTE: Characters in this fict are property of DC Comics, Inc. No money is being made from this story, no infringement is intended.
PAGE ONE: SPLASH PANEL: Night in Gotham City.
Buildings and streets for a setting. On street level, ALLY BABBLE
is running for his life, a bunch of cop-uniform coats over both his arms
and draped over his back. A bunch of cops, in their shirtsleeves
or undershirts, but definitely wearing cop hats, are chasing him.
Gangsters await him in an alley ahead, their guns out. Batman, wondering
what the heck is going on, swings down on his rope.
There are two serious captions, and one funny one to segue into the title:
ALLY BABBLE AND THE FORTY SLEEVES!
1st panel: Long shot of the GOTHAM UNIFORM WORKS. Ally's prattle as a voice-over.
2nd panel: Inside shot; workers rushing out of a door, hands on ears, bowling over a foreman just outside the door. Ally's prattle is still going on.
3rd panel: Foreman enters to find ALLY BABBLE, measuring tape draped about his neck, working at a sewing machine on a cop coat, while the worker next to him, a guy named Edgar, lays his head on the table and covers it with his hands.
4th panel: Foreman pulls ALLY up by his lapels. Ally, smiling, gestures to a rack of 40 cop coats he's finished up this morning.
5th panel: Foreman shoves his face in Ally's and says, "And what about the 250 MORE we WOULD have finished today if YOU hadn't DRIVEN EVERYBODY NUTS???"
6th panel: Ally booted out of room.
1st panel: As Ally leaves in a huff, the foreman tells Edgar to take the rest of the day off. WITH PLEASURE, boss, says Edgar.
2nd panel: Foreman, in hall, beckons the other workers to come back, promising Ally is gone for good. Union steward tells him to put that in writing, or they STRIKE!
3rd panel: Edgar and Ally leaving front gates of factory, going in opposite directions.
4th panel: A cruising car of crooks (a big guy named Willy and a smaller guy named Marvin) pulls up beside Edgar and its occupants greet him. You got the CLAIM CHECK, Edgar boy? We need to get out of town...we been having BAT trouble.
5th panel: Edgar checks in all his pockets, muttering, "Why, SURE I got it...it's in here...nope, must be in here...no, maybe in my wallet..."
6th panel: The crooks are NOT looking like happy campers, and Edgar is going, "Uh...guys..."
1st panel: Batman walloping the last of about seven armed guards in the office of "UNCLE" BEN McCUTCHEON, cigar-smoking criminal big shot. Bats says, "All right, I turned up unannounced--you sicced your goons on me--we could BOTH use a lesson in manners."
"Get to the POINT, Batman," says McCutcheon.
2nd panel: Batman, crunching two gunsels' heads under his arms, faces off with McCutcheon: Word is that YOU are getting a shipment of hot rocks in from Chicago.
My, my, what people will say, says McCutcheon. Cigarette?
3rd panel: No thanks, says Batman, backhanding a knife-wielding hood. It'd stunt my growth.
Tell me, Bats, says McCutcheon, tenting his fingertips, --why do people think I'm receiving STOLEN JEWELS? Isn't that ILLEGAL?
4th panel: Batman matadors with his cape and a charging crook runs past him and slams headlong into McCutcheon's desk. Ole, says Batman. Because you're said to have the best JEWEL CUTTERS in the underworld, he continues.
Would you drop the next guy BEFORE he hits my DESK? asks McCutcheon.
5th panel: Batman, standing on desk, lifts McCutcheon out of seat by his shirt-front, face-to-face with him.
Tell you what, says Batman. If I find those jewels in your nicotine-stained little hands--I'll drop YOU like a rock down a DEEP WELL. That's all.
1st panel: Backshot of Batman leaving through window. One gunsel gets up, goes for his gun. McCutcheon says, Ease OFF, Lester. You DID your job--you kept the man ENTERTAINED.
2nd panel: McCutcheon facing window. Lester, running his hand through his hair, asks, If he's WISE, what do we do now?
WISE? asks McCutcheon.
3rd panel: McCutcheon addresses his rising gunmen. Batman isn't HARDLY wise...and YOU'LL do what I TELL YOU! Now get ahold of WILLIE's bunch!
4th panel: Shot of crook in car, on car-phone. Lester? he says. Oh, there's problems with Edgar--YOU want to speak with him?
5th panel: Marvin, a strongarm guy, has one hand on Edgar's collar and has his other fist drawn back for a tremendous blow to Edgar's face, as the crook in the car extends the phone to Edgar, saying, "Edgar--it's for YOU."
1st panel: Marvin, dejected, speaks to his crony in the car: Aw, Willy--I just can't STAND a case of PUNCHUS INTERRUPTUS!
Edgar speaks nervously on the phone: Yes--this is he...
2nd panel: Split panel: McCutcheon talking to Edgar.
McCUTCHEON: Edgar, if you weren't my brother's wife's COUSIN--!
EDGAR: But Mr. McCutcheon, I HAD the claim check right beside me all morning--didn't let it out of my SIGHT...
3rd panel: Edgar, realization dawning on him, stares into space and says: "ALLY BABBLE!"
4th and 5th panels: McCutcheon, on phone, and Batman, on roof of McCutcheon's building, listening to a phone tap on a headset. Both of them do a reaction take and simultaneously say: "Ally WHAT?"
1st panel: Ally Babble, in boarding house room, tossing darts at dartboard where a smiling picture of his foreman is tacked, hears a knock on his door: NOW what?
2nd panel: Ally, upon opening the door, is flung backwards as Marvin bulls through.
3rd panel: Marvin pins the terrified Ally against the wall, Willy and Edgar entering behind them.
MARVIN: Can I punch HIM, Willy? I need to HIT somebody!
WILLY: SAVE it, Marvin. Mr. BABBLE--EDGAR here tells us you might have something he LOST.
4th panel: Marvin upends Ally and shakes him; change and wallet come out, but no claim check. In voice-over, Willy tells him that they're looking for a CLAIM CHECK Edgar lost, and would he be so kind to tell them if he knows where it is--before they PULP him?
5th panel: Edgar is in the process of telling Ally, still upside down, to forgive him, it's just one of those things, as Batman makes a dramatic entrance, surprising all by crashing through the window.
1st panel: Marvin drops Ally and prepares to face off with Batman. Before we get INTO this, Mr. Bats, he says, could you do one thing for me?
What's THAT? asks Batman.
2nd panel: Marvin throws a punch and Batman ducks it. Wally points his gun at Ally.
MARVIN: I've never FOUGHT ya before, so how do I stack up against the JOKER, 'n' TWO-FACE?
BATMAN: Tell you what, friend...
3rd panel: Bats wallops Marvin in the jaw, batarangs Willy's gin hand up, forcing the gunshot to go into the ceiling.
BATMAN: --I'd recommend you to them ANY TIME!
Or: Ask me after I've beaten you FIFTY TIMES, instead of just ONCE!
4th panel: Landlady bursts through door, wielding crock pot; Ally runs out door.
5th panel: Landlady, angered, thinking Bats looks suspicious, claps crock pot over Batman's cranium.
Panel l: Landlady's hands at her mouth, as she says, Oh, my GOODNESS--
Marvin draws his hand back, asks Willy, NOW can I?
Willy: GO for it!
Bats is pulling the crock pot off.
Panel 2: Marvin wallops the heck out of Batman just as the crock pot comes off.
Panel 3: Batman on the floor, landlady over him, Willy and Marvin run through the door, telling Edgar to keep in touch.
Panel 4: Batman revives. Landlady apologizes, saying she heard a breaking window, thought it was a burglar again--and you looked SUSPICIOUS--
Natural mistake, ma'am, groans Batman.
Panel 5: Ally Babble lying flat on his face on rooftop, as Willy and Marvin run past below.
Panel l: Ally paces the roof, wondering how he's supposed to have gotten a CLAIM CHECK from EDGAR--
Panel 2: Little light-bulb goes off in Ally's brain. The COP COATS! He must have SEWED the claim check into one of the COAT LININGS!
Panel 3: Ally, pacing the roof, pulls his hat over his ears and eyes. And now, he says, all I gotta do is go through FORTY COP COATS to find out WHICH is the RIGHT ONE! Yeah.
Panel 4: Edgar tells Batman that he was mailed a claim check for some locker in Gotham's Central Station, and he was to make a rezendevous later to drop off what he found there. Batman says he can guess what he was to drop off...but WHERE?
A priest tends to things at the altar of a Catholic church during off-hours. In walks Ally Babble, saying he wants to do confession. Oh, NO, the priest mutters mentally, having taken Ally's confession before. He glances around, sees a new (very young) priest, and shoves him in the confessional booth, while Ally takes the other side. The priest beats a hasty retreat, muttering, "There, but for the grace of God, go I..."
Split-view of confessional; Ally going on and on and ON, young priest already asleep.
Batman swings into the window of Commissioner Gordon's office. Gordon has an ambassador from a foreign country with him.
Batman and the ambassador shake hands. The ambassador explains that the jewelry which has been stolen was needed as collateral for a national loan. They have to get it back or their small country's economy may go belly-up. He hands Batman a manila envelope with photos of the gems and documentation. Batman takes it and swings out.
The Ambassador and Gordon watch him leave. The Ambassador asks Gordon if Batman will be able to succeed. Gordon replies that with Batman, it isn't a question of "if"...it's a question of "when".
Scene: McCutcheon's headquarters. McCutcheon is livid about the failure of Willy and Marvin, and tells his lieutenants so. He also isn't pleased about Batman's interference. "I feel like relieving some TENSION. Boys, we're going to bag us a BATMAN!"
Cut to: Ally leaving the church, dejected--then he sees a cop out of his cruiser, ticketing a parking violation (violator is in his own car). Ally, inspired, says to the cop, "Sir, is that one of those NEW coats?"
"Well, don't you know, the worker who stitched these things together at the Uniform Works had BUBONIC PLAGUE? You'd better GIVE me that coat!"
"WOW!" Almost without thinking, the guy hands over his coat.
Ally rips open the coat lining, and says, "Nope...this isn't it." Then he tells the cop he has to commandeer his prowl car to help search out the contaminated coats.
"Don't you want me to HELP?" asks the cop.
"Are you KIDDING? You might catch the PLAGUE! I've been INOCULATED!" He takes the keys from the cop.
Just as he starts up the engine, a voice comes on the radio, audible to all, telling the cops to pick up Ally Babble for questioning. Ally peels out.
The cop and speeder look at each other.
The cop asks for a lift to the nearest police station. The speeder gives him a blank look. The cop tears up the ticket, and gets into the car.
In Batmobile, Bats has photos and papers from manila envelope on the seat beside him. And on the cop band radio comes the voice: "Attention, ALL UNITS--all new police coats are CONTAMINATED!"
Switch to Ally speaking through the radio mike as he drives, saying, "The coats are being collected by the drived in car #--let's see--3548!"
Shot of cops shucking coats as his car pulls up.
Shot of Ally driving, cop coats in seat beside him, as voice comes on the radio: "Attention, all units--be on the lookout for a guy impersonating an officer--" gives Ally's description, mentioning the jewels.
Shot of cops going, Oh, NO...!
Ally carrening through streets in the cop car, reflecting that he hasn't had time to go through the coats yet. NOW what does he do?
Shot of Batman near Batmobile, getting info from coatless cops.
Ally's car goes past Marvin's car. Wally gets on the car phone, saying, "It's HIM, boss. 35th and Lex--tell the boys to GET GOING."
Ally's cop car is blocked on one street by crook cars. He swings the car around and tries to go the other way, only to see more cars blocking him off. Then he sees other cars blocking the side streets. He gets out of his car, faces hoods, who have their guns drawn. They back Ally against the side of the car, his hands up, smiling nervously, trying to get more than a few words out...
Then Batman swings down and clouts the gunmen in front of him.
1: Batman and Ally duck behind the side of the cop car as other hoods open up on them.
2: Batman, crouching, manipulates remote control device, asking Ally what he thinks he's doing; Ally is clambering into the cop car through the open side door.
3: Ally, lying flat on front seat of cop car as bullets go whizzing through windshield above him, gets on cop radio and tells police their location, their situation, and then some.
4: The Batmobile, under remote control, smashes through the wall of cars. Hoods scatter.
5: Batman, picking up Ally by his belt and collar, bundles him into the Batmobile.
1: Batmobile speeds off as hoods head for cop car to retrieve the cop coats.
2: A batch of coatless cops appear, guns drawn, and the hoods reach for the sky.
3: Batman, Edgar, Ally, and Gordon in Gordon's office.
4: The foursome look at a pile of 40 cop coats with the sleeves torn off and piled up beside them--and not a ONE of them had the claim check.
1: Batman, Ally, and Gordon looking at the pile, wondering what to do next; Edgar, feeling something chafe his foot, sits down and takes off his shoe.
2: Edgar holds up his shoe, claim check flutters out.
3: Edgar holding the claim check, and looking VERY sheepish.
4: Ally, realizing Edgar's blunder has darned near cost him his life, tries to get at Edgar; Batman restrains him.
5: Ally, later, at open locker in Gotham Central Station, taking bag of gems out of the locker; a heavy hand is on his shoulder.
1: Ally turns to see McCutcheon and the ambassador side-by-side; McCutcheon has a gun trained on Ally.
2; Batman, hanging by his heels from a rope looped to the ceiling beam, swoops down, grabs McCutcheon's gun hand with one mitt, and bonks the two bad guys' heads together with the other.
3: Batman, standing over kayoed bad guys, explains to Ally that the ambassador himself hired McCutcheon to get the jewels, intending to sell the jewels on the black market and split the proceeds with McCutcheon.
4: Ally, hands in pockets, is downcast, wondering what he'll do now that he's out of a job.
5: Batman, putting his hand on Ally's shoulder, asks if he's considered another line of work...
PAGE TWENTY-TWO: (full-pager) Bruce Wayne and Alfred at a disco,
watching Ally, now the Rap King of Gotham, entertaining a crowd with the
sixth hour of his Rap-a-Thon--and he's STILL GOING STRONG!