Issue #30, Detective Comics (Aug. 1939)
The Bat-Man … Doesn’t Have A Tag-Line This Issue!
Moody Monday, dear readers! We here at Hus af Snark have had one hell of a weekend last week, involving much out-of-towning and yarn-touring. More on that later, with our thanks for bearing with the delay, but for now, it’s Monday so that means…Broody!Bats is up.
And my, how he keeps ‘em coming. Five fatalities so far that he’s been directly responsible for? Yikes! But then… this is a different time, yes?
When last we saw our vigilante, he was watching his nemesis, Dr!Death burn to…well…to death, in his lab, an unfortunate result of dropping a vial of “fiery death” after Batsy ironically tossed a fire extinguisher at him. With Dr!Death barely in the ground (i.e. the next morning), Bruce finds himself reading a rather odd headline in the newspaper:
Brilliant!Brucie deduces that it MUST be Dr!Death at the crux of this dilemma, despite his obvious “dead” condition, so he pulls on his trusty “mild-mannered reporter” disguise and pays a visit to the victim’s widow, one Mrs. Jones. It’s there that he learns the deceased DID in fact receive a note from Dr!Death, demanding half a million dollars.
After he’s stuffed his face, Bruce returns to the mansion to get ready for his second date with Dr!Death, and we are treated to the 1939 comic-book equivalent of a television montage as he gets his gear together. Arriving back at the Jones’ residence, he quickly scales the wall and sneaks into the office.
Meanwhile, somewhere else:
Quick as a wink, Mikhail hot-foots it across town and breaks into the self-same room our hero is hiding out in. Batman darts behind a curtain, leaving the safe door wide open. Mikhail, a cossack like Jabah, heads straight for the goods and Batman decides to follow him back to Dr!Death’s new hideout. Of course, all of this is going swimmingly, that is until the insomniac upstairs pays them a visit on her way downstairs for some hot milk:
Before Mikhail can silence the interloper, Batman tackles him and knocks him out the window. Mrs. Jones hits the floor in a dead faint, and our do-gooder bat tends to her:
Determined to follow through, our hero then leaps out the window and checks on the unconscious Mikhail, slipping the bag of jewels back into his hand and sneaking off:
Batman proceeds to tail Mikhail as he fences the stolen loot at the pawn shop and then back to where he assumes Dr!Death is hiding out:
Again climbing to the roof, Brilliant!Batman drops down through the sky light, and just happens to stumble on Mikhail’s apartment:
Mikhail is inside, not quite asleep yet, so Batsy decides to fling a gas capsule in there and choke him to sleep with the fumes before heading inside to rummage through his things:
Unfortunately, Mikhail wakes up while our hero is figuring out his next move:
Batman leaps out the window just as Mikhail fires his first (and only) shot, grabbing his silken rope and swinging well out of the way. Frustrated!Mikhail sticks his head out the window and tries again:
Leaving Dead!Mikhail dangling from his window, our hero stops to make a phone call to the illustrious Gotham PD:
That finished, he’s off to Ivan Herd’s place to reclaim the diamonds and put an end to this charade, once and for all:
Naturally, Ivan’s response isn’t to spill the beans about where he got the diamonds. To the contrary, he upends the table he’s sitting at and tries to get away. As Batsy is reeling him back with his silken lasso, he discovers that things may not be what they seem:
In the end, Batsy is surprised to discover that Ivan Herd is really his nemesis:
Batman trusses up Doctor!Death like a turkey, leaving him to be found by the GPD when they arrive. Looks like his body count is back down to 5, as Doctor!Death is still alive. He’s already fled the scene, as he does, but he’s left behind another of his love letters:
Until next week!
~Go Team Batsy!