I always thought Batman was someone who would never kill or maim anyone. How else, I wondered, is the homicidal maniac Joker still alive? After all, doesn't the Batman have a misplaced sense of self-righteousness!?
Turns out the Batman wasn't always like this. Recently came across the very first episode of the caped crusader's chronicles, The Case of the Chemical Syndicate, published in Detective Comics No. 27, May 1939.
A criminal by the name of Alfred Stryker attacks Batman, who in retaliation, punches him and the bald Stryker falls right into an acid tank. The Batman says "A fitting end for his kind" before disappearing into the darkness.