"Dark Messenger of Mercy": A bag lady in a subway is murdered by poisoned gold coins laid on her eyes by a mysterious "benefactor" who kills her to release her from her squalid existence. After finishing business matters concerning Wayne Enterprises with the second in command, [[Lucius Fox (
Appearing in "Dark Messenger of Mercy"
- Quentin Conroy (Single appearance)
- Ballerina (Only appearance; dies)
- Gloria Gordon's receptionist
- Squirrel Kominsky (Single appearance)
- Shamrock (Single appearance)
- Slugger (Single appearance)
- Poet (Single appearance)
- Good Queen Bess (Single appearance)
Synopsis for "Dark Messenger of Mercy"
A bag lady in a subway is murdered by poisoned gold coins laid on her eyes by a mysterious "benefactor" who kills her to release her from her squalid existence. After finishing business matters concerning Wayne Enterprises with the second in command, Lucius Fox, Bruce Wayne retreats to his apartment at twilight and learns about the ghastly murder from Alfred. Changing to Batman, he goes to the GCPD Headquarters, where he learns from Quentin Conroy, who files a complaint with Commissioner Gordon that the coins have been stolen from his late father's priceless collection.
Batman prowls the Gotham streets to look for the killer and finds a band of homeless people, led by Shamrock, a friend of the murder victim. During the visit he saves one of their number from being slain by the coin-killer, whom they recognize as John Francis Conroy, aka "Limehouse Jack", but the killer escapes. The street people tell Batman that Conroy disappeared from their group fifteen years ago. Batman confronts Quentin Conroy and learns that Limehouse Jack was his father. The elder Conroy succumbed to job pressure, left his family, and took to the streets. Though Conroy claims his father is dead, Batman is not so sure.
Later, masquerading as a panhandler, Batman traps and battles Limehouse Jack with the help of the street dwellers. Limehouse Jack proves to be Quentin Conroy, whose motivation was to "give (the street dwellers) peace!" Later, after Conroy is taken in, Batman tells Gordon that Conroy's shoe soles gave him away. One heel was worn away more than the other, and, though Conroy did not limp, "Limehouse Jack" certainly did.
- First appearance of Lucius Fox. Lucius becomes a major supporting character in the Batman family of titles. He appears next in the next issue.
- This story is reprinted in DC Retroactive: Batman-The '70s #1.
- Lucius and Bruce talk about how the Roxxon Stock will split again. Roxxon is the name of a major company at Marvel Comics that caused trouble for many of it's heroes, including Captain America and Iron Man -- probably a pun?!
- This issue includes a Fred Hembeck humor strip of the Elongated Man and the Justice League of America.
- This issue includes a Hostess Twinkies advertisement featuring Superman entitled "An Unbeatable Power".
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