"This Murder Has Been ... Pre-Recorded!": The murder of a construction company owner leads Batman to a plot by the killer to murder Marla Manning, a lady journalist investigating the crime.
Appearing in "This Murder Has Been ... Pre-Recorded!"
- Marla Manning (First appearance)
- Sandra Sloane (Single appearance)
- Zachary Nova (Single appearance)
- Comissioner Gordon (Phone call only)
- Miss Atkins (Phone call only)
- Tom Sloane (Dies in flashback)
- Batman/Bruce Wayne's Sports Car
Synopsis for "This Murder Has Been ... Pre-Recorded!"
The murder of a construction company owner leads Batman to a plot by the killer to murder Marla Manning, a lady journalist investigating the crime. Commissioner Manning first contacts Bruce Wayne, as she was the writer responsible for informing the people about the Wayne Foundation's Victims Program, and she had learned about the murder. Bruce promises her to contact Batman and later that night, he visits her and together they start investigating the case more closely. Batman contacts Commissioner Gordon about the case of Marla Manning's death threat.
Batman follows the clues to a man called Nova, who was the main suspect of the crime. However, Batman couldn't find any proof of his guilt and is forced to return to Marla empty handed. Then, they come up with the idea of posting a note in Marla's newspaper story about how she would reveal the identity of the killer in the next issue. As they expected, the killer contacts Marla and tells her that he knows she is bluffing, but that he would gladly give her the information for five hundred dollars. After the killer gives her an address, she calls Batman and tells her about the killer's call, but tries to protect Batman by giving him a fake address.
Marla goes to the meeting point unprotected, but before she could reach the phone booth, Batman pulls her out of the line of sight and tells her to stay hidden while he goes to make the "exchange". Batman enters the phone booth and he is immediately locked inside and a recorded confession starts playing in the booth. Nova reveals himself as the killer, but his confession would blow up with anyone inside the booth. After the bomb explodes, Marla walks closer to the destroyed booth and finds shreds of Batman's cape. Suddenly, Nova appears from the shadows and attacks Marla, who is only saved by the echoing confession of Nova, which comes from every corner of the dark street they are. When Nova is distracted by his own voice, Batman appears and tackles him, capturing the killer for good.
Afterwards, Batman explains that he placed a dummy inside the phone booth and that he copied the taped confession with an indestructible airliner tape-recorder. Finally, Marla and Batman learn that Nova had been blackmailing his victim ever since he saved his life in the Vietnam War, but when he refused to obey, Nova murdered him. Using the confession, Batman takes Nova to the authorities and the killer meets justice.
- The "Letters to the Batcave" letter page of this issue includes a note from editor Julius Schwartz, in which he explains that Alfred's last name revealed as "Pennyworth" in Batman #216, was not a creation of writer Frank Robbins, but rather that they used the name that former DC editor Whitney Ellsworth had given the character when he wrote for the Batman syndicate strip.
- No trivia.