"The Blockbuster Goes Bat-Mad!": Since his defeat by Solomon Grundy, Blockbuster has been put into therapy and now has become a functional employee of the Wayne Foundation, earning a steady paycheck. However, one day while out spending
Batman #194 is an issue of the series Batman (Volume 1) with a cover date of August, 1967. It was published on June 6, 1967.
Synopsis for "The Blockbuster Goes Bat-Mad!"
Since his defeat by Solomon Grundy, Blockbuster has been put into therapy and now has become a functional employee of the Wayne Foundation, earning a steady paycheck. However, one day while out spending his earnings on toys, Blockbuster comes across a display of Batman merchandise. Recalling his past encounters with Batman sets him off on a rampage. After destroying the display, he is confronted by security guards and reverts back to his friendly nature. The police take Blockbuster back to the Wayne Foundation where scientists can figure out what caused him to go off on a rampage. At the mere mention of Batman's name, Blockbuster goes into another angry outburst and smashes out the wall and goes on another rampage.
This prompts Commissioner Gordon to call in Batman and Robin for help, sending the Dynamic Duo after the confused brute. Finding him in yet another department store trashing Batman merchandise, Batman tries his usual trick of revealing his true identity as Bruce Wayne, a ploy that would always calm the monster down as Blockbuster regards Wayne as his friend. This however backfires when Blockbuster suddenly puts two-and-two together and realizes that Batman and Bruce Wayne are the same man and resumes his attack. A further attempt to mimic the voice of Blockbuster's brother also fails. Batman is then knocked out by Blockbuster, and Robin follows suit right after.
The confused and muddled Blockbuster then goes back to the island of his origin where he attempts to recreate the accident that led to his human alter-ego to be rescued by Bruce Wayne many years ago: By falling into quicksand. Batman meanwhile has revived and deduced where Blockbuster is going to go next and comes up with a plan to deal with the monster. Arriving on the island just after he "failed" to save Blockbuster, who is now on a rampage again, Batman allows himself to be attacked in the darkness. When he is tossed into the quicksand, Batman is illuminated by the moon enough for Blockbuster to see and fall for his trick: Batman has come wearing a mask fashioned after Solomon Grundy. Considering Grundy to be his friend, Blockbuster pulls "Grundy" out of the swamp. Free from the quicksand, "Grundy" then knocks Blockbuster into the mire again. When the monster screams for help, Batman removes his Solomon Grundy disguise and comes to Blockbusters rescue. With Blockbuster pulled out of the muck, the creature is convinced that Batman and Solomon Grundy are the same man and considers the Caped Crusader his friend, thereby ending any future rampages caused by the Blockbuster in the future.
Appearing in "The Blockbuster Goes Bat-Mad!"
- Blockbuster (Flashback and main story)
- Solomon Grundy (Flashback only)
- Margot Rankin (Single appearance)
- Dr. Sloane (Single appearance)
Synopsis for "The Problem of the Proxy Paintings!"
Armchair detective Martin Tellman is attending his regular monthly bridge session with millionaire industrialist Reginald Stonefellow, his son Ronald, and art scholar Haverford Mimms. Mimms takes a look at some paintings that Martin has recently purchased and points out that they are genuine Matiss paintings worth $50,000 and an original Seurat valued at $100,000. Martin finds this hard to believe as they are only replicas that he purchased for $100 each, however Mimms insists that they are the genuine article. In order to solve this mystery Martin calls in his colleague of the Gotham Mystery Analysts: Batman, Commissioner Gordon, mystery novelist Kaye Daye, crime reporter Art Saddows, District Attorney Danton and private investigator Hugh Rankin.
When analyzing the clues, Batman decides to check out the paintings with Commissioner Gordon, Kaye and Art go to examine the paintings while sending the others to collect Reginal Stonefellow and his son and bring them to Marty's place. When Martin asks why, Batman points out that Stonefellow is also an art expert as well and has been playing bridge with Martin for many years, and thus finds it impossible to consider why Reginald was unable to see that the paintings were originals or reproductions.
When Batman and the others arrive at Martin's home, they find that the garden gnome that acts as a signal for the security system has been set off, prompting Batman to go into the house alone to see what's up. Inside, Batman finds crooks attempting to steal the paintings and easily defeats them in a fight, turning them over to the authorities. Later, with all the members of the Mystery Analysts together with Reginald and his son they learn the truth: That Reginald and his son had legitimately purchased the paintings and secretly switched them with the reproductions as a gift to Martin for saving Ronald's life years prior. They had done so in secret as they knew that Martin, probably stating he was only doing his job, would never have accepted the paintings up front.
This raises another question: how did the crooks learn that the paintings in the house were real and not reproductions? It's then revealed that Reginald had sold the reproductions to John Burelson, the owner of the Gotham Art Curio Shop. They realize that Burelson must have made the connection between Reginald selling him back his reproductions and the purchase of originals -- making the final connection when he personally delivered the last reproduction that Martin had purchased in person. Needing solid evidence in order to arrest Burelson for masterminding the theft, Batman and two of the other members of the Mystery Club disguise themselves as the crooks and arrange with Burelson for the pick-up of the "stolen" paintings. When Burelson arrives to get the loot, he realizes that the men dropping it off are impostors when he realizes that they took all the paintings including a small Modiglani worth only a mere thousand dollars.
Anticipating for this possibility, Batman had the loot dropped right on the site of an automatic sprinkler system, and the timing is just right as they go off just before Burelson can fire a single shot. With John disorientated by the sprinklers, he is easily knocked out and turned over to the police. With the mystery of the expensive paintings solved, Martin then donates the expensive works to the Gotham City Museum of Art where they are placed on display in a new room named in honor of Martin.
Appearing in "The Problem of the Proxy Paintings!"
- Mystery Analysts of Gotham City
- Reginald Stonefellow
- Ronald Stonefellow
- Haverford Mimms
- John Burelson (Single appearance)
- Batman Recommended Reading
- Batman (Volume 1)
- Batman (Volume 2)
- Batman (Volume 3)
- Batman and Robin (Volume 1)
- Batman and Robin (Volume 2)
- Batman Confidential (Volume 1)
- Batman: Gotham Knights (Volume 1)
- Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight (Volume 1)
- Batman: Shadow of the Bat (Volume 1)
- Batman: Streets of Gotham (Volume 1)
- Batman Incorporated (Volume 1)
- Batman Incorporated (Volume 2)
- Batman/Superman (Volume 1)
- Batman/Superman (Volume 2)
- Batman: The Dark Knight (Volume 1)
- Batman: The Dark Knight (Volume 2)
- The Brave and the Bold (Volume 1)
- Detective Comics (Volume 1)
- Detective Comics (Volume 2)
- Superman/Batman (Volume 1)
- World's Finest (Volume 1)