The biography of The Lady is not finished yet. Lady Batman is a busy girl. She told me all this in ten minutes over The Editor’s breakfast, and then ran off saying, ‘Got to go, old girl! The mob’s after me.’ Cor, I wish I had her life:
Detective name – Lady Batman
Real name – Lady Elizabeth Dudley; known to family and friends as Lizzie Dudley.
Age – 32
Place of Birth – Woden Hall, Staffordshire, England.
Place of Residence – Gotham City, United States.
Occupation – Private Detective.
Lizzie Dudley is the only child of Sir Ranulph Dudley, adventurer and soldier. On her father’s mysterious disappearance in India, Lizzie found herself left with no rights to her father’s estate thanks to archaic laws of inheritance which stated that only a male child could inherit. Her home and fortune was therefore given to her odious cousin, Lord Cornelius Pemberton. Rather than be forced to marry him, Lizzie fled to the country that seemed to her to offer freedom, opportunity and an escape from the feudal bonds of England – the United States of America.
Taking what little personal wealth she had, Lizzie enrolled at Gotham State University which, unlike her own country, offered women the opportunity to gain a full degree just the same as the male students. In Gotham Lizzie thrived, eventually securing a doctorate in history. Having put off marriage until she had completed her education, Lizzie got engaged to the youngest professor on campus – the dashing Derek James – but on the eve of their wedding Professor James was cruelly murdered. Vowing to take revenge, Lizzie put to use her research skills learnt in academia and the martial arts skills her father taught her to investigate her fiancés death. This is how Lizzie smashed a money laundering ring operated through the university research funding system. She also found out that her husband-to-be was very much involved in this, being at the behest of gangsters due to gambling debts. Lizzie thus learnt that her weakness for six-foot two, black haired, blue-eyed men (of which there is a curiously large number in 1930s/40s Gotham) is her fatal weakness and must be controlled AT ALL COSTS.
Her success in this investigation, though bringing her fame, also brought down her university career. The university chancellor, furious with the shameful portrayal of his institution in the press, forced her out of the university. Lizzie – having no other demonstrable skills – thus decided to set up as a private detective in the city. She rents a sleazy-dive office not far from Crime Alley. She charges $25.00 a day for her services. Her assistant is Daniel Danaher or ‘Danny Boy’ an American-Irish lovable lunk of a man who helps her out when she needs muscle and who poses as her husband to get her into places which refuse to admit ‘dames only’. He also provides her with home-cooked meals when she needs them thanks to his lovely wife, Rose.
Lizzie is a woman in a man’s world, and so struggles to make her mark. However her intelligence, wit and principles set her apart from the rest of the crowd. Also – she hits really hard and really fast. This Lady knows how to break bones.
Her initial jobs were mainly domestic based – cheating husbands, runaway wives, kids up-to-no-good. The other shamus’s soon teased her about her British accent and aristocratic origins – hence her initial nick-name ‘The Lady’. However, something strange is happening in Gotham and in other US cities such as Metropolis: there’s a costume fad. More and more men in masks are popping up. What’s more, the bad guys are getting meaner, nastier. Some of them are wearing costumes too.
Lizzie’s smarts tell her that things are changing. If she and the others – private detectives, police, the public investigators – don’t realize what is happening soon they’ll get left behind at best, or at worst – the crime situation will get out of hand. Lizzie, therefore, has begun to specialize in investigating ‘The Comics’. This is Lizzie’s term for costumed heroes and viallins, taken from the popular Sunday Funny comic strip in the Gotham Gazette which often includes stories on costumed types. She is therefore, one of the forerunners in what becomes known as criminal profiling, and so starts to make her mark as The Comics Detective.
Her first and greatest obsession is The Bat-Man, for reasons that are explained in her first story.
Her unrequited passion is Wesley Dodds, aka The Sandman. His heart belongs to Dian Belmont however. Therefore, she pours all her love into her automobile – Packard 1601 Eight Convertible Coupe in maroon which Lizzie calls ‘Abigail’.