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"By Death's Eerie Light!": After a long night on patrol, Batman returns home, but he is denied a well deserved rest because as soon as he steps into his apartment at the Wayne Foundation penthouse, he witnesses his trusted butler and confident [[Alfred Pennyworth
Appearing in "By Death's Eerie Light!"
- Doctor Phosphorus (First appearance)
- Doctor Bell (First appearance)
Synopsis for "By Death's Eerie Light!"
After a long night on patrol, Batman returns home, but he is denied a well deserved rest because as soon as he steps into his apartment at the Wayne Foundation penthouse, he witnesses his trusted butler and confident Alfred, collapse without any apparent reason. Batman tries to call for an ambulance, but there is none readily available, forcing him to change into his civilian identity of Bruce Wayne and take Alfred to the Gotham General Hospital.
As soon as he delivers Alfred to the hospital, Bruce learns that there a hundreds of similar cases reported across the entire city and he decides to investigate the mystery as Batman. On his investigation, Batman learns of a written threat delivered to Commissioner Gordon's office, in which a mysterious Doctor Phosphorus assumes responsibility for the whole "epidemic". Without a definitive answer, Batman returns to his base of operations and after a long session, he deduces that the illness had been placed in the drinking water, affecting millions of people and threatening millions more. When he tries to contact Commissioner Gordon to warn him about the danger, Batman realizes that it is too late as Gordon has been affected as well.
Batman goes to the Gotham Reservoir to investigate the source of the poison and he is finally confronted by the mastermind behind it all: Dr. Phosphorus. A demented man with a personal vendetta against Gotham City for causing him his grievance and his horrific mutation. His body glows bright yellow in the night and his skeleton shows through his skin, creating a menacing image.
The confrontation between Batman and Phosphorus starts, but the Dark Knight soon realizes that he is unable to touch his adversary without suffering severe burns, even through his Batsuit. Batman, however, does his best to attack Phosphorus, but the villain fights back, causing them to fall down to the river below. Once under water, Batman realizes that his enemy's skin doesn't hurt him anymore, and he strikes back, forcing Phosphorus to retreat with the promise of coming back to get his revenge.
Appearing in "The Origin of Doctor Phosphorus"
- Doctor Bell
- Rupert Thorne (First appearance)
Synopsis for "The Origin of Doctor Phosphorus"
Dr. Phosphorus breaks into the home of Gotham City Council member Dr. Bell and reveals his true identity to him. Phosphorus was once Dr. Alex Sartorius, a man who sought to create a new nuclear energy plant in Gotham, but was forced to build it outside of the city. Eventually, Sartorius was transformed by sand irradiated during the nuclear plant’s meltdown, driven up one element on the chemical table, from silicon to phosphorus. Now he has sworn to make Gotham pay, and demands that Bell use the city council to stop Batman from interfering with him, or die. Bell calls the Council’s head man, Boss Rupert Thorne.
- This book was first published on February 22, 1977.
- The entire issue is reprinted in Shadow of the Batman #1 and Batman: Strange Apparitions.
- Doctor Bell appears next in Detective Comics #470.
- This issue includes an advertisement for Hostess Cupcakes featuring Wonder Woman.
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