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Detective Comics Vol 1 481

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"Ticket to Tragedy": Batman finds himself in England, seeking to protect Alfred's cousin, Sir Basil Smythe, from an unknown killer. When a man is murdered in place of Smythe, Batman investigates the case closely and he learns that



Appearing in "Ticket to Tragedy"

Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters:

Villains:

  • Milt Solo (Single appearance)
  • Greeny Velvet (Single appearance)

Other Characters:

  • Sir Basil Smythe (Single appearance)
  • Henry Frome (Only appearance; dies)
  • Bart (Single appearance)

Locations:

Items:

Vehicles:

Synopsis for "Ticket to Tragedy"

Batman finds himself in England, seeking to protect Alfred's cousin, Sir Basil Smythe, from an unknown killer. When a man is murdered in place of Smythe, Batman investigates the case closely and he learns that Smythe has developed a new technique of heart transplant that could save millions of lives. Unfortunately, after witnessing the death of a dear friend, Smythe loses hope in humanity and he decides to destroy the annotations on his revolutionary technique. Batman prevents this and asks Smythe to reconsider his decision, after which the elder replies that he would only preserve the documents in Batman is able to capture the killer in three days, time in which he would arrive at Gotham City. Batman accepts the bargain and he goes looking for the criminal.

Batman follows the only lead he has to the criminal's whereabouts and he infiltrates a recently built train towards Gotham, where he finally finds the killer, disguised as the host of the opening journey. Batman manages to capture Milt Solo right in time to meet Smythe outside of the Gotham Airport and prevent him from destroying his valuable research.

Appearing in "Does the Costume Make the Hero?"

Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters:

Villains:

  • MAZE (Behind the scenes)
  • The Raven
  • Bart Twitchell (Single appearance)
  • Warner (Single appearance)

Other Characters:

Locations:

Items:

Vehicles:

Synopsis for "Does the Costume Make the Hero?"

Robin agrees to try out three new costumes designed by his fans. He is required to use each of them at least during one mission and Robin agrees. He joins Chief McDonald on the investigation of his roommate disappearance, but he is soon called to action against an eavesdropper. Robin switch the first brown costume in favor of a red and yellow outfit, which included a jet-pack. Flying towards the intruder's location, Robin tries to learn the man's intentions when he is suddenly attacked by The Raven and although he fights back, the villain damages the jetpack, forcing Robin to use the last and more dark costume.

Robin and Chief McDonald track the criminals to a hidden retreat at night and Robin goes into action, forcing the thugs out of their hideout. The criminals are too scared of Robin, but the Teen Wonder deduces that his new appearance is not the only reason and he takes out the outfit, which was tampered earlier by the criminals to conceal an explosive within. Chief McDonald rounds up the criminals and Robin decides to stick with his own and original outfit.

Appearing in "A Slow Death in China!"

Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters:

  • Leslie Tauburn
  • Senator Thomas Cleary

Villains:

  • Wo Fong
    • the Sino-Supermen

Locations:

Synopsis for "A Slow Death in China!"

On a diplomatic mission to China, Congresswoman Barbara Gordon is attacked upon her arrival by a couple of Sino-Supermen. The assailants are defeated by a valiant reporter by the name of Leslie Tauburn, who was sent to cover the events related to Barbara's mission.

When the criminal Wo Fong learns that his attack had failed, he sends more of his Sino-Supermen to Barbara's hotel, where she is staying with Leslie. The Sino-Supermen break into their room and the girls fight the humanoids separately. Barbara manages to make a quick switch to Batgirl and she is able to defeat them before making an equally fast change taking her costume off to avoid alerting Leslie of her secret identity.

Once again, Wo Fong makes a third attempt, but this time he uses the Chinese equivalents of Batman and Robin to kidnap both Barbara and Leslie.

Appearing in "The Wittles Snatch"

Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters:

Villains:

  • Walter O'Brian (Single appearance)

Other Characters:

  • J.J. Whittles (Single appearance)
  • Mrs. Whittles (Single appearance)

Locations:

Items:

Synopsis for "The Wittles Snatch"

Certain day, a man hires Jason Bard's services as private detective to find her missing wife. Bard was the man's last choice after having asked a number of other detectives without success. Jason Bard and his new partner, Robert Langstrom start digging information and they suddenly come across a ransom note to be delivered near the Gotham Giants' stadium.

When a man picks up the money and takes off in his vehicle, Man-Bat goes into action and stops the man just to learn that he was simply one of the private detectives who failed to find the missing woman and expected to cash in the husband's desperation.

Following their investigation, Bard and Langstrom go to a nightclub, where they find the woman, but they also encounter an aggressive man, trying to stop them from rescuing the woman. Man-Bat once appears and defeats the man, who is also another of the private detectives on the lookout for the woman. When Bard and Langstrom take the lady back to his husband, they learn that she had run away looking for excitement. Leaving the couple to themselves, Bard and Langstrom move out after they were paid and each of them go to their places. Bard goes to the solitude of his house and Langstrom to the company of his daughter and wife.

Appearing in "Murder in the Night!"

Featured Characters:

  • Batman (Flashback and main story)

Supporting Characters:

Villains:

  • Xavier Simon (First appearance) (Flashback and main story) (Origin)

Other Characters:

  • Ronald Thursgood (Appears only as a corpse) (Flashback and main story)
  • Red Larken (Flashback only)
  • Bruno Clark (Flashback only)
  • Professor Zamier (Flashback only)

Locations:

Items:

Synopsis for "Murder in the Night!"

Batman is summoned to a crime scene by Commissioner Gordon and upon arriving, he is utterly shocked as the rest of the GCPD was when they found the scene. A man has been mutilated and several parts of his body are lying across the floor. The police are baffled at the crime, but the scene reminds Batman of the story by Edgar Allan Poe called "The Murders in the Rue Morgue", where a victim is brutalized by a gorilla. Gordon also informs Batman that there have been already two more victims of the same criminal.

While checking the crime scene, Batman finds a picture of five men at World War I and he remembers the same picture from his past. Batman retreats and goes to the Batcave II, where he finds the same picture in a chest with his father's items. Bruce remembers the story about Xavier Simon, who was sent to prison for a crime when his four friends gave him away. Thomas Wayne was among his friends and the victims of the recent crimes are all the rest of the men in the picture.

After making the connection, Batman goes to the last known residence of Xavier Simon and finds the old man alone in in his penthouse. Simon reveals that he is in fact responsible for killing all of his former friends, who betrayed him years ago and he is seeking revenge against them. Ever since he learned about Thomas Wayne's death, he focused his attention on his son Bruce, and after years of studying him, Simon has deduced that Batman and Bruce are the same person.

Finally, Simon explains that his plan will succeed once he has eliminated Batman and taken control of his young body. Simon starts a machine that closes every possible exit out of the place and he activates a helmet that would transfer his mind into the body of an animal: a white gorilla, the same that he used to commit the previous crimes. With no escape from the trap, Batman is forced to fight Xavier Simon in control of the gorilla's body.

Notes

  • This book was first published on September 28, 1978.
  • "Ticket to Tragedy" is reprinted in Batman in the Seventies and Legends of the Dark Knight: Marshall Rogers
  • This is the first issue of Detective Comics featuring stories originally prepared for the cancelled Batman Family title. Due to the last minute decision of merging the titles, there is no editorial explanation for the switch and the editor credits are split between Julius Schwartz, current editor of Detective Comics and Al Milgrom, former editor of Batman Family. The explanation for the sudden change is addressed in the next issue by the newly-appointed editor, Paul Levitz.

Trivia

  • No trivia.



See Also


Recommended Reading


Links and References

  • No external links.

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