"Arise, Ye Ghosts of Gotham": Gotham City is visited by a religious group called the Hellerites, a group of people who centuries ago owned the land that later became known as Gotham City. The forefathers of Gotham had forced the Hellerties out off the land, and now they have returned with th
Appearing in "Arise, Ye Ghosts of Gotham"
- Josiah Heller (As a spirit) (Single appearance)
- Karl Loftus/"Josiah Heller II" (Single appearance)
Synopsis for "Arise, Ye Ghosts of Gotham"
Gotham City is visited by a religious group called the Hellerites, a group of people who centuries ago owned the land that later became known as Gotham City. The forefathers of Gotham had forced the Hellerties out off the land, and now they have returned with their apparent messiah and founder Josiah Heller was prophesied to come back and threaten to turn Gotham City into a desert unless the land was turned over to his people.
When the Hellerites arrive in town, Commissioner Gordon asks Batman to look into the matter as the Hellerties start trying to take claim of the city. As Bruce Wayne, owner of most of the property in Gotham City, Batman turns land that he personally owns over to Heller, while as the Caped Crusader he investigates the group.
Detecting supernatural forces at work, the Phantom Stranger also arrives in Gotham to confront the leader Josiah, which leads to Batman and the Phantom Stranger to join forces to learn the truth behind Josiah's apparent supernatural powers. The investigation is also joined by Dr. Thirteen who has come to the city to debunk the supernatural events as an elaborate hoax, this brings him at blows with Phantom Stranger.
As Batman is attacked in his home by a possessed Dick Grayson, Batman soon learns that there are actually two Josiahs, one of them the ghost of the real Josiah, who is raising the ghost of the dead Hellerites to haunt Gotham City, and a phony trying to cash in on the Hellerite curse. Batman revives the Phantom Stranger, and with his help they expose the fake as con-man Karl Loftus, who has partial amnesia and actually believes he is a descendant of Josiah Heller (but doesn't actually believe he is the second coming of Josiah, that part is a con). With the truth revealed and Loftus remembering who is and admitting his identity, the ghost of Josiah and the Hellerites return to their eternal rest.
- Issue is reprinted in Showcase Presents: The Brave and the Bold Batman Team-Ups Vol. 2 and Showcase Presents: Phantom Stranger Vol. 2.
- This story reveals that one of Dick Grayson's ancestors was an early member of the Hellerite sect, back when the Hellerites were based in Gotham.
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