"Batman: "The Mystery of the Menacing Mask!"": A heated debate over Gotham Village has begun. While anti-crime groups want the area of Gotham City destroyed and rebuilt, there are those who are asking for conservation of the location as a historical landmark, because its destruction would le
Detective Comics #327 is an issue of the series Detective Comics (Volume 1) with a cover date of May, 1964. It was published on March 26, 1964.
Synopsis for Batman: "The Mystery of the Menacing Mask!"
A heated debate over Gotham Village has begun. While anti-crime groups want the area of Gotham City destroyed and rebuilt, there are those who are asking for conservation of the location as a historical landmark, because its destruction would lead to many becoming homeless and many businesses going under.
As part of the committee, Bruce Wayne and his ward Dick Grayson decide to take a walk through Gotham Village where they are confronted by Linda Greene, who asks Wayne to help preserve Gotham Village. She tells how she and her fiancé James Packer grew up there and will be married. She also explains that she is worried because James has been away from home at odd hours and she found a map. When seeing a circled x Batman and Robin recall an earlier evening when they were doused with an isotope that put the same mark on their foreheads. Learning what kind of isotope it was and who in Gotham last ordered it they followed their lead to criminal Frank Fenton who flaunts stolen goods in their faces. Batman and Robin are unable to stop Fenton because the isotope they were exposed too allows Fenton to paralyze them until he can make his escape.
Finishing their recollection Linda spots her fiancé, and Bruce and Dick offer to speak to him on her behalf, but instead change to Batman and Robin to pursue him. They end up finding a secret tunnel way to the criminal organization which runs in the Gotham Village area. When Fenton tries to paralyze them again, he soon finds it doesn't work and Batman and Robin manage to round up the whole crowd.
When the police arrive, Batman notices the ring leader is wearing a fake mask and removes it to reveal that he is Roland Meacham, the head of the preservation committee of Gotham Village. When asked how they managed to counteract the effect of the isotope Batman then reveals that they used lead shielding in order to block the commands from Fenton and were able to stop all the crooks.
Later, back in their civilian guises Bruce and Dick see that Linda and James have patched things up and bring them news that the committee had decided to preserve Gotham Village after all.
Appearing in Batman: "The Mystery of the Menacing Mask!"
- Linda Greene (Single appearance)
- Frank Fenton (Single appearance)
- Smiler (Single appearance)
- Gotham City Police Department
- Unnamed Police Captain
- Andrew Wallis (Single appearance)
- James Packer (Single appearance)
Synopsis for Elongated Man: "Ten Miles to Nowhere!"
Ralph and Sue are informed at the US/Canadian border that some jewel thieves have stolen diamonds in Montreal worth two million dollars but Ralph is more concerned that the guard has never heard of him. His frustration increases when they check into the Star-Bright Motel and the owner likewise has never heard of him. The next morning Ralph checks the odometer on his car (as he always does) and realizes it's 10 miles over what it was when they parked. They drive about a mile away, in case they're being watched, and Ralph changes to his Elongated Man costume and returns to the Motel while Sue drives on to go shopping. Ralph finds and follows tire tracks which take him to an isolated farmhouse and eavesdrops on the occupants who are discussing their diamond theft. Overhearing the Dibnys discuss their travel plans in a restaurant as well as the fact that their car was currently being serviced at a garage, the thieves spot-welded a box containing the diamonds to the bottom of the Dibny car and allowed them to transport the jewels across the border. Following them, they waited for the Dibnys to go to sleep, then drove the car to the farmhouse to retrieve the jewels and, after returning the car, decided to wait in the farmhouse. Elongated Man takes the criminals down and drives them (in the villains' car) to the closest police station where Ralph, again, is frustrated that nobody knows him. He finds Sue as people around him seem to recognize him only for Ralph to show that he's pinned a paper announcing his identity to the back of his jacket.
Appearing in Elongated Man: "Ten Miles to Nowhere!"
- A gang of jewel thieves (Single appearance)
- Captain Boomerang (Digger Harkness) (Flashback only)
- Flash (Barry Allen) (Cameo)
- Kid Flash (Wally West) (Cameo)
- Central City, Missouri (Flashback only)
- USA/Canada Border
- Lake Champlain, New York
- Star-Bright Motel
- The Dibny's Car
- "The Mystery of the Menacing Mask!" is reprinted in DC Special Series #1, Millennium Edition: Detective Comics #327, and Batman: The Dynamic Duo Archives Vol 1, DC Silver Age Classics: Detective Comics #327, Batman: A Celebration of 75 Years, and Tales of the Batman: Carmine Infantino.
- Bob Rozakis stated that the first appearances of the Earth-one Batman were "generally assumed Batman #126 and Detective Comics #327, the issues when Julius Schwartz took over" Who's Who: The Definitive Directory of the DC Universe #2 credits this issue as the first appearance of the Earth-One Batman eliminating Batman #126 as it was over three years before this issue.
- Convergence #0 confirms that Detective Comics #327 is the first appearance of "Pre-Crisis Earth-One Gotham City" also eliminating Batman #126 as a first appearance of anything Earth-One Batman related.
- "Ten Miles to Nowhere!" is reprinted in Detective Comics #445, Millennium Edition: Detective Comics #327, DC Silver Age Classics: Detective Comics #327 and Showcase Presents: Elongated Man Vol. 1.
- Elongated Man back-up features begin with this issue.
- Although intended to be the first issue to feature Batman's "New Look", the costume actually made its debut in World's Finest #141 in May, 1964. It should be noted however, that the cover of that issue still features Batman's "Old Look".
- Batman uncharacteristically holds a group of criminals at bay by holding a gun on them at the end of this issue. This was a mistake by editor Julius Schwartz and writer John Broome, since both of them were completely unfamiliar with the Batman mythos at the the time of writing the story. The mistake was promptly noticed by the readers and the error was duly noted by the creative team.
- 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)
Links and References
- Daily Planet promotional page Vol 79 #5 week of Feb 5, 1979
- Man of Two Worlds; 2000 (Schwartz Autobiography)