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in: Julius Schwartz/Executive Editor, Dick Giordano/Cover Artist, Gaspar Saladino/Cover Artist Frank Robbins/Writer, Elliot S. Maggin/Writer, Bob Brown/Penciler, Murphy Anderson/Inker, Ben Oda/Letterer, Julius Schwartz/Editor, Murphy Anderson/Penciler, Bruce Wayne (Earth-One)/Appearances, James Gordon (Earth-One)/Appearances, Gotham City/Appearances, GCPD Headquarters/Appearances, Virginia/Appearances, Richmond/Appearances, Raymond Palmer (New Earth)/Appearances, Jean Loring (New Earth)/Appearances, Alpheus Hyatt (New Earth)/Appearances, Ivy Town/Appearances, Ivy University/Appearances, 19th Century/Appearances, Chicago/Appearances, Time Pool/Appearances, Comics, 1973, 1973, February, 1972, December (Publication), Detective Comics Vol 1, Bronze-Age, Colourist Credit Needed, Synopsis Written, Wikify

Detective Comics Vol 1 432


Detective Comics Vol 1 432

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"The Great Rip-Off Mystery!": Batman sets out to crack the case of a murdered courier carrying a briefcase full of torn halves of paper currency. His investigation leads him to Virginia, where he poses as the murdered courier until he finally captures the criminal

Appearing in "The Great Rip-Off Mystery!"

Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters:


  • Reb Cranston (Single appearance) (Member of a Heist-Gang)
  • Yank Merill (Only appearance; dies) (Member of a Heist-Gang)
  • Andrew Willis (Only appearance; dies) (Member of a Heist-Gang)
  • Mitch (Single appearance) (Mugger)
  • Wingie (Single appearance) (Mugger)


Synopsis for "The Great Rip-Off Mystery!"

Batman sets out to crack the case of a murdered courier carrying a briefcase full of torn halves of paper currency. His investigation leads him to Virginia, where he poses as the murdered courier until he finally captures the criminal mastermind who orchestrated the great heist.

Appearing in "Suddenly... the Witness Vanished!"

Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters:


  • Henry Norton (Only appearance; dies)

Other Characters:

  • Alpheus Hyatt
  • Unnamed Judge (Single appearance)
  • Mrs. O'Leary's Cow




  • None

Synopsis for "Suddenly... the Witness Vanished!"

Jean Loring questions her client, Henry Norton, during a trial. He is accused of stealing a first-edition copy of Carl Sandburg's poetry and microfilm copies of every issue of the Ivy Town Herald since October 9, 1871. Henry refuses to answer Jean's questions and when the judge demands answers, Henry begins to glow stating that he is leaving the courtroom and has a date with a hog-butcher. Ray Palmer, who was watching the proceedings waiting to have lunch with Jean, sneaks away and changes to the Atom. Recognizing Henry's glow as similar to that from the time pool, Atom heads to Ivy University to Professor Hyatt's lab. Atom changes back to Ray Palmer and Professor Hyatt tells him that the time pool shimmered and changed color about an hour ago (which Atom says corresponds to Norton's disappearance). Professor Hyatt leaves for a rest and Ray switches back to Atom. Deducing 1) that the Hog-Butcher refers to Chicago (as it was a nickname coined by Sandsburg's poetry), 2) that the newspapers would have no value to someone from the future meaning the time traveler was from the past, and 3) the reason he started stealing newspapers from October 9, 1871 was because he was from the day before, Atom sets the Time Pool to Chicago, October 8, 1871. He appears in the residence of Henry Norton who apparently has built his own crude time machine and wants to use the newspapers to bet on horseraces to get rich. Instead he learns he is destined to die in a fire today. Atom recognizes the day as that of the Great Chicago Fire. Atom tries to rescue Henry but in Henry's emotional confusion, he believes Atom to be some type of angel of death. Henry runs into Mrs. O'Leary's Stables and gets a pitchfork with which to defend himself. Atom and Henry struggle with Henry accidentally poking a cow which knocks over a lantern starting the fire. The barn catches fire so quickly that Atom is unable to rescue the now-unconscious Henry Norton and Atom escapes alone. He makes his way back to Norton's residence, grabs the stolen items and returns through the Time Pool. He returns the stolen items but refuses to tell anyone the whereabouts of Henry Norton saying only that he is dead and the case is closed.



  • There are several oddities in the "Suddenly... The Witness Vanished" story including 1) Henry Norton went back in time directly from the courthouse leaving unexplained how the stolen items made it back also unless he had them on him at the time (which seems unlikely), 2) it takes Atom an hour to get from the courthouse to the university (which seems unlikely), and 3) why a resident of Chicago wanting to know the future of Chicago would travel to Ivy Town and steal their newspaper.

See Also

Recommended Reading

Links and References

  • No external links.

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