"Hang the Batman": After mystery writer Archer Beaumont reportedly commits suicide, Commissioner Gordon receives a note warning Batman to find Beaumont's murderer within six days, or Beaumont himself will emerge from the grave and hang Bat
Appearing in "Hang the Batman"
- Bucky Somoza (Single appearance)
- Drungo (Single appearance)
- Sweetback Goss (Single appearance)
- Johnny Gee (Single appearance)
- Fast Eddie (Single appearance)
- Swifty (Single appearance)
- Gotham City Police Department
- Horace Hobson (Single appearance)
- Joshua Carlton (Single appearance)
Synopsis for "Hang the Batman"
After mystery writer Archer Beaumont reportedly commits suicide, Commissioner Gordon receives a note warning Batman to find Beaumont's murderer within six days, or Beaumont himself will emerge from the grave and hang Batman till he is dead. The note is signed "(the late) Archer Beaumont," and, after Batman reads it, the words vanish from the paper in a chemical reaction and are replaced by a stick-drawing of a gallows, as in the children game of "Hang the Butcher."
Ignoring this criptic warning, Batman goes on about and continues his quest to capture the gang of a notorious criminal called Drungo. During this investigations until he finally captures the crook and his gang, Batman is reminded of the hangman message until he can't ignore the signs anymore.
The "Hang the Batman" images have turned up on the headlight of the Batmobile, on the Gotham Gazette building, on a painting, and along the semi-blacked-out streetlights of Gotham. Batman realizes the stunts smack of the gimmicks Archer Beaumont used in his fiction, and heads for the writer's mansion. There he meets Horace Hobson, Beaumont's personal secretary. Hobson tells Batman that Beaumont was found dead in a locked room, apparently committing suicide with his own gun. Batman demonstrates how the real killer forced Beaumont to open a window by pumping in choking gas, then killed him and escaped. The fingerprints on the ventilation system identify the murderer as Bucky Somoza, a gangster sent to jail after Hobson wrote a novel based on Somoza's crime and revealing how he did it. Batman captures Somoza and then gets Hobson to admit to staging the "Hang the Batman" tricks in order to get Batman to solve the mystery for him. Hobson admits that he was Beaumont's uncredited writing partner. Batman offers to help him write a new novel based on the murder of Archer Beaumont.
Appearing in "I Now Pronounce You Batman and Wife!"
- Lurk (Single appearance)
- Professor Vasco Marke-Witch (Single appearance)
- Snazzy Trope (Single appearance)
Synopsis for "I Now Pronounce You Batman and Wife!"
Batman runs down small-time crook Snazzy Trope changing bulbs on a streetlight, braces him, and learns that Trope has been hired to do so by an unknown party. Returning to the Batcave, Batman is felled by knockout gas planted in a punching bag. He awakens to find himself on a tanker ship, with Ra's al Ghul pronouncing him married to his daughter Talia. After introducing Batman to his allies Lurk and Prof. Vasco Markewitch, Ra's informs Batman that they are on international waters and he locks Batman and Talia in a stateroom so that, hopefully, they will consummate the marriage.
Regretfully, Batman slugs Talia unconscious and picks his way to freedom with a dinner fork. Batman steals a helicopter and escapes the ship. Ra's puts his latest plan into motion, using the phony streetlights to emit gas that anesthetizes Gotham's population and cuts off electronic communication with the outside world. The Demon Brotherhood, in gas masks, steal loads of diamonds from the gem district, to be used in Markewich's matter/energy experiments. Batman, also gas-masked, intervenes and knocks the diamonds away from Ra's as he is preparing to board the tanker with his men. In the final struggle, Batman is shot in the arm, but he is saved by Talia, who grabs the gun and forces her father and Markewitch to board the ship, saving Batman. She then follows her father, returning to their headquarters and leaving the Batman's life again.
Appearing in "Death Strikes at Midnight and Three"
- Alfred Pennyworth
- Anthony Toombs (Single appearance)
- Milo Lewes (Single appearance)
- Gimp Malone (Single appearance)
- Boilerplate Thomas (Single appearance)
- Bernie Sorrel (Only appearance; dies)
- Benjamin (Single appearance)
Synopsis for "Death Strikes at Midnight and Three"
Special prosecutor Bernie Sorrel is poisoned at a dinner he shares with Bruce Wayne, but manages to gasp out that he would get evidence he needed to put away the Milo Lewes drug ring from a blind man at midnight and three. Batman captures the phony waiter who poisoned Sorrel, but only learns that he was paid by Lewes. From his crime-computer files at the Batcave, Batman identifies the blind man as Anthony Toombs, Lewes's accountant, a man with total recall. Toombs has recently learned that Lewes himself accidentally blinded him, and now he seeks revenge.
Visiting Lewes, Batman learns that the drug czar has planted evidence on the murderer of Sorrel that will indicate a rival mobster set up the kill. However, he hears from one of Lewes's hoods that two hitmen have sighted Toombs and will kill him at midnight and three. Batman discovers Toombs and the gunsels at a movie theater showing Buster Keaton's silent classic, The General. He rescues Toombs and captures Lewes before the latter can escape in his private plane, bringing the drug kingpin to ground at last.
- This book was first published on July 27, 1978.
- "I Now Pronounce You Batman and Wife!" is reprinted in Batman: Tales of the Demon. The story is also referenced in Batman: Son of the Demon.
- "Death Strikes as Midnight and Three" is reprinted in Greatest Batman Stories Ever Told, Legends of the Dark Knight: Marshall Rogers and in Batmam: The Greatest Stories Ever Told.
- This story is notorious for being the first Batman story written in prose with illustrations.
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