"... and I swear by the spirits of my parents to avenge their deaths by spending the rest of my life warring on all criminals."
– Young Bruce Wayne, Detective Comics #33 (1939)
With these words, the grief-stricken orphan embarked upon a grim, life-long path of retribution, honing his body and mind to battle crime as...The Batman.
That is, until he met Superman on the Golden Age covers of World's Finest Comics.
Suddenly, his mission to avenge the murder of his parents was all but forgotten, as Batman was swept up into Superman's world of frivolity and idle leisure.
Along with his young ward Robin, the Batman of World's Finest spent much of the 1940's living the good life with his pal Superman, a sort of Kryptonian Huckleberry Finn who reveled in the world's myriad lazy pleasures.
Don't believe me? Here....let the covers speak for themselves!
Who could have imagined the spectacle of the formerly driven Darknight Detective roller skating (on a bright yellow cover, no less)....
..or helping Robin land the big one down at the ol' fishing hole.
....or a madcap jalopy road race!
Sure, they'd show up for the occasional WWII propaganda cover...
...but then it was right back to their life of non-stop tomfoolery!
For a time, sports seemed to fill the long, lazy days...
... but when baseball and tennis began to lose their appeal, things took a bizarre, unsavory turn.
Such as those rainy afternoon three-way photo sessions:
...the kinky gymnastics...
...the male cheerleading...
...and most disturbing of all....the Skinny Dipping! (note the awkward "Uh...you go first!" expressions of Superman and Batman)
Sure, the other Golden Age superheroes occasionally found time to relax...
However, these incidents were brief respites of fun in an otherwise busy life of crime fighting, unlike the All-Fun, All The Time policy of the World's Finest team!
When they weren't roller skating, cheerleading or getting a shoeshine, the World's Finest Team's agenda would turn......to romance.
With girls, okay? Sheesh!
Anyway, when it comes to love, what better way to impress the ladies than:
...to comically frolic on a playground seesaw,
...fix a flat (note Batman's ear-to-ear grin),
..or, well...I'm not sure what they're up to here. Dancing? Wrestling? Superman about to hurl Robin into orbit?
Even when things got serious, our Golden Age Lotharios always managed to rescue the best looking female victims.
By the way...is the girl getting rescued from the fire the same girl being pulled out of the train wreck?
So, despite the Batman and Detective Comics titles staying faithful to Bruce's grim childhood vow, it's clear that his life of giddy, non-stop leisure on the covers of World's Finest Comics remains a conspicuous "stain" on his otherwise spotless crime fighting record. So much so, that perhaps Batman's dyspeptic personality of the past several decades has been some sort of bizarre "penance" or "over-correction" for the breezy nonchalance of his misspent World's Finest years.