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Detective Comics Vol 1 496

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"Murder on the Mystery Ship": Bruce Wayne attends an International Horror Film Exposition on the luxury ship Varania III, where one of the subjects in the exhibition is the famed horror actor, Basil Karlo, now an elder man convicted to [[Ar

Appearing in "Murder on the Mystery Ship"

Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters:


Other Characters:

  • Myrna Gentry (Single appearance)
  • Stacy Darnell (Single appearance)
  • Rita Morgansen (Single appearance)
  • Herman (Single appearance)
  • Nurse Jacobs (Only appearance; dies)
  • Bill Motherwell (Single appearance)




  • Ocean Liner, "Varania III"

Synopsis for "Murder on the Mystery Ship"

Bruce Wayne attends an International Horror Film Exposition on the luxury ship Varania III, where one of the subjects in the exhibition is the famed horror actor, Basil Karlo, now an elder man convicted to Arkham Asylum.

However, when Basil Karlo reads of the Exposition, he is enraged at not having been invited and kills his nurse, escaped from Arkham and makes his way to the ship.

Basil Karlo (New Earth) 099

Karlo as Clayface in his heyday

There, in a mock-up of his old dressing room he is confronted by the exposition host, John Carlinger, famed actor and director. Karlo lunges for Carlinger and soon afterwards, Clayface reappears.

Clayface, one of Karlo's most famous horror movie creations, attempts to kill some of the party guests. Bruce goes for a quick change into his Batman gear and, but as he struggles with Clayface, he is forced into a swimming pool to save a woman from a napalm attack. After saving the woman, Batman notices that the makeup on his glove from punching Karlo is gone and he induces that it was, in fact, not Karlo as Clayface, but Carlinger who used the modern pancake-type makeup instead of the old greasepaint Karlo would have been familiar with.

Batman goes to the mock-up dressing room and waits until "Clatface" arrives. When Carlinger appears, Batman forces a confession out of him and he discovers the corpse of Basil Karlo, locked up in the closet. After he killed Karlo in the dressing room, Carlinger used Karlo's identity as Clayface to target the three actors preparing to force an audit of his film company finances.

Appearing in "Stealer of Souls!"

Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters:

  • Jim Dover
  • Tracy Dover


Other Characters:

  • Jeff Cotton
  • Charles Turner (First appearance)
  • Detective Cameron (First appearance)




Synopsis for "Stealer of Souls!"

Barbara Gordon has been playing the role of mother for Tracy Dover, who was affected after she saw Batgirl apparently being killed. Her constant care and devotion for the girl, who is on her way to recover the use of her legs, has caused Barbara to come closer to Tracy's father, Jim and they start falling for each other.

Meanwhile, Dr. Voodoo, a villain with magical powers, attempts to rob Gotham’s Diamond District by turning the people into mindless zombies. When Barbrara learns of the event, she attempt to stop Dr. Voodoo, but the criminal is much too powerful for her to handle. However, her defeat gives Batgirl the answer to overpower the criminal.

Batgirl tracks down Dr. Voodoo to his hideout, where she confronts him once again and she manages to overpower his magic by using loud music, which would prevent her from being defeated. Although Batgirl manages to capture most of the thugs, Dr. Voodoo escapes with the promise of return and get his revenge against Batgirl.

Around this time, a couple of men are conspiring against Barbara Gordon and they have come up with the perfect plan to frame her for murder.


  • This book was first published on August 28, 1980.
  • "Murder on the Mystery Ship" is reprinted in Tales of the Batman: Don Newton Vol 1.
  • This issue features the only appearance of Basil Karlo, aka Clayface on the Earth-One continuity. Clayface would reappear years later after the Crisis on Infinite Earths, during the New Earth continuity. Because he is killed at the end of this issue, this story is not considered canon as part of the character's history.


See Also

Recommended Reading

Links and References

  • No external links.

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