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"The Case of the Chemical Syndicate": This story is reprinted from Detective Comics #27.


Quote1 Batman? I knew it was only a matter of time. In Gotham there's no way to permanently avoid you. Other than killing you once and for all. Quote2
-- Pesticyde



Appearing in "The Case of the Chemical Syndicate"

Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters:

Villains:

Other Characters:

Locations:

  • Gotham City (First appearance) (not yet named, see "Notes" below)
    • Apex Chemical Corporation (Mentioned only)
    • Crane Residence
    • Gordon Residence
    • Lambert Mansion
    • Stryker Laboratory
    • Wayne Manor (First appearance)

Items:

Vehicles:

  • Bruce Wayne's Automobile

Synopsis for "The Case of the Chemical Syndicate"

This story is reprinted from Detective Comics #27.

Commissioner Gordon relaxes at home entertaining his young socialite friend Bruce Wayne. Wayne asks if anything exciting has happened lately, and Gordon explains that a fellow called the "Bat-Man" is puzzling him. Gordon receives a call that chemical manufacturer Lambert has been found murdered. They have Lambert's son in custody, whose fingerprints were found on the knife. Gordon invites Bruce Wayne to the Lambert mansion with him, and Bruce Wayne says he has nothing better to do.

Batman Earth-Two 0002

The Bat-Man debuts.

When they arrive at the crime scene, young Lambert insists he is innocent. The lad explains that he arrived home early and saw his father lying on the floor. When he entered the library, he saw a figure escaping out the window. He pulled a knife out of his father's back, and his father's last word was "contract." Lambert's son recalls that his father had three associates, Alfred Stryker, Paul Rogers, and Steve Crane. Steve Crane calls Gordon on the phone. Lambert told Crane that he had received a death threat the previous day. Crane has received a similar death threat, and asks for police protection. Bruce Wayne decides to go home, and Gordon rushes over to the Crane residence.

Batman Earth-Two 0003

Police pursue the Bat-Man.

Steven Crane is killed by a gunman who enters through the window. The thug and his partner steal a paper from Crane and climb onto the roof. They are confronted by a figure they recognize as the Bat-Man, standing in the moonlight. The Bat-Man punches the first thug out, then grabs the second one in a headlock and throws him off the second-story roof. He grabs the paper and escapes as Gordon is pulling up. The GCPD try to arrest the Bat-Man, but they are unable to catch him. Gordon learns that Crane has been murdered, and moves on to the next business partner. The Bat-Man smiles when he reads the paper he stole, and drives off in his automobile.

Paul Rogers visits the laboratory of Alfred Stryker, having learned of Lambert's death by news broadcast. Stryker's assistant Jennings clubs Rogers over the head and ties him up. Jennings explains that he will lower a gas chamber over Rogers and kill him the same way he puts animals to sleep. Jennings leaves to activate the gas. The Bat-Man leaps into the room through an open transom, which is some kinda old-timey ceiling window I guess. The Bat-Man grabs a wrench and dives inside the gas chamber before it closes.
Batman Earth-Two 0011

"A fitting end for his kind."

He plugs the gas jet with a handkerchief, and busts through the glass with his wrench. Jennings returns and tries to pull a gun on the Bat-Man, but the Bat-Man punches him in the face really hard. Alfred Stryker enters and demands to know what happened. When Rogers explains that Jennings tried to kill him, Stryker pulls out a knife to finish the job. The Bat-Man is hiding in the shadows, and he grabs Stryker from behind to stop him.

The Bat-Man explains to Rogers that they were all partners in the Apex Chemical Corporation. Stryker had made secret contracts with all of them to pay them a sum of money each year until he owned the business. He grew tired of waiting and decided to kill them so he wouldn't have to pay. Stryker breaks out of the Bat-Man's grip and pulls a gun on him. The Bat-Man punches Stryker so hard in the face that Stryker breaks through a railing and falls into a tank of acid. The Bat-Man remarks that this is a fitting end for his kind, and leaves via transom. Rogers tries to thank the Bat-Man, but he is already gone.

Batman Earth-Two 0012

Batman is... BRUCE WAYNE?!

Later at his house, Commissioner Gordon relates this story to Bruce Wayne. Bruce remarks that this is a lovely fairy tale, and leaves. Gordon thinks to himself that Bruce Wayne is a nice young chap, but he seems to lead a very boring life. Bruce returns home to Wayne Manor, where it's revealed that he is in fact the Bat-Man.

Appearing in "The Cry of Night is -- "Kill!""

Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters:

Villains:

Other Characters:

Locations:

Items:

Vehicles:

Synopsis for "The Cry of Night is -- "Kill!""

This story is reprinted from Detective Comics #387.

Batman and Robin swing across Gotham City. They arrive at a crime scene where the wealthy atomic chemist Lambert has been murdered with a poker in his own living room. Commissioner Gordon is accusing Lambert's hippy son Mel, whose fingerprints were found on the murder instrument. Mel is furious and rants about authority figures abusing their power. Batman determines that the fingerprints could have gotten there at any time, and they cannot prove that Mel is guilty. Batman and Robin leave to investigate while Gordon has his back turned. Mel announces that the scene is one big bummer and he is going to split.

Batman and Robin return to the Batcave, where they're welcomed by Alfred Pennyworth. Robin hates Mel, believing that punks like him should all be locked up without a key. Batman reminds him that their job is to protect everyone's rights, not just those of the people they like. The Batcomputer determines that Lambert was part of a chemical syndicate with three other men, Alfred Stryker, Paul Rogers, and Steven Crane.

They drive to visit Steven Crane in the Batmobile. Crane explains that Mel and his father had a heated argument several days ago in the lab. The elder Lambert insisted that his chemical research would benefit all mankind. Mel Lambert insisted that the research would really be used for military purposes, and lead only to advances in war. Robin believes this proves Mel guilty, but Batman tells him not to jump to conclusions. They leave the apartment and hear gunshots behind them, as Crane is murdered. They rush back in and the killer shoots at them as well. His silhouette resembles Mel Lambert, and he escapes but drops a piece of paper when Robin hits him with a batarang. The paper is an account of Crane's part in the research. Batman believes this casts doubt on Mel as a suspect, but Robin believes it confirms his suspicions. They rush to find Paul Rogers next.

Paul Rogers has heard about Lambert's murder, and gone to visit the laboratory of Alfred Stryker. Stryker lets Rogers inside, and Rogers is clubbed on the back of the head with a gun. The culprit is a masked man resembling Mel Lambert. Batman and Robin burst in, and they take down the masked man. It is not Mel Lambert, only a man dressed like him. Stryker picks up the gun and reveals that he hired this killer to do his dirty work. Stryker forgets to keep track of Batman in the shadows, and Batman karate chops the gun out of his hand. Batman explains that he knew one of them was the culprit because only someone involved in the chemical syndicate would want Crane's research data. Stryker was attempting to eliminate his partners so he could claim their research as his own for financial gain. Mel Lambert was simply a convenient scapegoat to frame for the murders.

That night, Mel Lambert and Robin are both troubled. Mel Lambert criticized Batman for being part of the system, but Batman was the only reason he wasn't thrown in jail. Robin realizes that he tried to jail an innocent man simply because he didn't like him personally. They both know they have some thinking to do.

Appearing in "The Case of the Chemical Syndicate"

Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters:

Villains:

Other Characters:

Locations:

Items:

Vehicles:

Synopsis for "The Case of the Chemical Syndicate"

Batman watches over the city at night. An older man gets into a cab with an Iranian driver, who complains about racism in America. The cab is attacked by a costumed woman who sprays it with acid, destroying the vehicle and killing its passenger. The woman announces that her victim coordinated transportation, so it is only fitting he died in transport. The Iranian later recounts these details to homicide detective Dana Hanrahan. Batman arrives and Dana tells him that the victim was Theodore Lambert, Vice President of CLRS Chemicals.

Bruce Wayne knows Theodore's son Ted Lambert, and has Alfred set up a late-night tennis game with him. Ted complains to Bruce about his father, who made his fortune by abusing the environment. Ted announces that he is waiting for his father to die, so he can undo this damage using his father's fortune. Hanrahan arrives and accuses Ted Lambert of murdering his father. Ted admits to a history of arguing with his father about chemical dumping, but insists that he loved his father.

There is a press conference held for CLRS Chemicals by public relations executive Steven Crane. Crane tries to put a positive spin on their dumping, insisting that these chemicals can be used to save the planet. They are developing cleaning materials and pesticides to kill viruses and bacteria. The costumed woman arrives and reveals that she calls herself Pesticyde. Pesticyde murders Steven Crane and his wife in front of a giant crowd, melting them both into a pile of goo. The crowd scream and run in terror, so she begins killing them indiscriminately. Batman arrives to investigate the convention center, and Pesticyde tries to kill him. Pesticyde escapes by burning a hole into the sewers. Hanrahan is horrified when she arrives, and throws up several times at the sight of the melting bodies.

Hanrahan investigates Fred Stryker, the chemist at CLRS Chemicals. Stryker was disfigured in a horrible chemical accident, and is now confined to a wheelchair. His nursemaid Mrs. Watkins tells the police that he cannot move or speak, so Hanrahan leaves. It's revealed that Fred Stryker has a daughter named Priscilla Stryker, who took the identity Pesticyde to avenge him. The other three executives at CLRS refused to listen when Fred told him their chemicals were too dangerous and harmful. They were only concerned with making a profit. When a machine broke, the chemicals fell onto Fred Stryker. This was apparently a mechanical error, but Priscilla believes it was a plot by the others to kill him.

The only remaining executive is Paul Rogers, in charge of business at CLRS. He denies police protection, but Pesticyde easily breaks through his security system. Pesticyde reveals her identity to Rogers, who is her godfather. She kidnaps him to a chemical processing plant, where she dangles him over the vat of chemicals that destroyed her father. Batman arrives just in time and knocks the remote out of her hands with a batarang. He is barely able to swing Rogers to safety before she returns fire. Batman and Pesticyde battle on the catwalk. Pesticyde insists that she is not a killer, she only wants justice, and asks if Batman wouldn't do the same. Pesticyde accidentally destroys the ground underneath her, and falls to her death in the tank of chemicals she prepared. Batman stands on the catwalk and says that he would not do the same thing.

Appearing in "The Case of the Chemical Syndicate"

Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters:

Villains:

  • Alfred Stryker (Dies)

Other Characters:

  • Mel Lambert
  • Paul Rogers (Dies)
  • Professor Lambert (Dies)
  • Steven Crane (Dies)

Locations:

  • G.C. Chemicals
  • Rogers Chemicals

Items:


Vehicles:



Synopsis for "The Case of the Chemical Syndicate"

Late at night, a bum walks down the highway into Gotham City. He finishes drinking his bottle of table wine and throws it at a sign. There is a disturbance at G.C. Chem Co. when a thief steals something in one of the trucks. Batman and Commissioner Gordon arrive to investigate. The guard on duty explains that he chased the thief to an office, where they stumbled on the corpse of company owner Professor Lambert. The thief takes his mask off and reveals that he is Mel Lambert, Professor Lambert's son. Batman determines that Mel could not have been the killer, based on fibers on the knife. Batman realizes that Mel is still hiding something, and grabs a bag of cocaine out of Mel's pocket. Mel pulls a gun and threatens to shoot Commissioner Gordon. Batman throws the cocaine in Mel's face and punches him out. Mel is taken into custody.

Batman leaves to check up on Professor Lambert's partners. The homeless man from the beginning tries to tell a cop that his friends are dead, but the cop won't listen to a drunk. Lambert's partner Steven Crane is at home reading when his butler receives a call from Gordon. His butler opens the door and is pistol-whipped by two robbers. The robbers force Crane to open his safe, then shoot him in the head. Batman bursts in and violently beats the two killers. They confess that a man named Paul Rogers hired them to make it look like a robbery. Batman and Gordon rush to the Rogers Chemicals building.

The homeless man is attacked by several muggers, but Batman sees this and defends him. Paul Rogers is innocent, and the real culprit is his partner Alfred Stryker. Stryker forces Rogers to write a suicide note at gunpoint, claiming responsibility for ordering the deaths of his friends. Gordon arrives at Rogers Chemicals to find Paul Rogers swinging dead on a noose. Batman arrives and does not believe the suicide note. He knows Alfred Stryker is still in the building, and calls out to him. Stryker fires his gun at Batman and Gordon. Batman throws a batarang to make Stryker drop the gun. Stryker tries to leap over a metal railing, but the railing collapses and he falls to his death in a tank of acid. Batman fishes out Stryker's skeleton, and remarks that this is "a fitting end for his kind."

Batman explains that Alfred Stryker owned a waste disposal company partnered with Lambert, Crane, and Rogers. To increase profits, Stryker illegally buried the toxic waste and his partners kept quiet. The city bought Stryker's dumping grounds for a housing project, and this lead to an incident where several homeless men died. Stryker killed off his partners so they couldn't report him to the police.

Notes

  • The cover is an updated version of Detective Comics #27.
  • The second story is a reprint of Detective Comics #387. The title of the story has been changed. It was originally The Cry of Night is -- "Sudden Death!"

Trivia



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