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"Batman: "The Screaming House"": While driving around near Gotham City, Batman hears screams coming from an old abandoned house and decides to go take a look. Inside the house, a man named Joey is being tortured by thugs. Batman knocks out some thugs but then Joey bet

Quote1.png Don't you think that fellow might catch cold with his chest exposed like that? Quote2.png
Batman

Detective Comics #37 is an issue of the series Detective Comics (Volume 1) with a cover date of March, 1940.

Synopsis for Batman: "The Screaming House"

While driving around near Gotham City, Batman hears screams coming from an old abandoned house and decides to go take a look. Inside the house, a man named Joey is being tortured by thugs. Batman knocks out some thugs but then Joey betrays him and knocks out Batman, and then kills the rest of the thugs.

When Batman awakes, he follows Joey to man called Turg, and confronts him along with his gang. Batman discovers that Turg and his gang are planning to destroy an incoming vessel, as they are spies for another country and Joey was a U.S. espionage agent. After a good deal of waterfront chasing and fighting, Batman prevents the thugs from destroying the ship and defeats the gang. Batman then finds clues that lead him to the leader of the gang, Count Grutt, who is actually Elias Turg. Batman battles Turg once more, with swords, and the criminal ends up fatally impaled on his own blade.

Appearing in Batman: "The Screaming House"

Featured Characters:

Antagonists:

  • Count Grutt (Elias Turg) (Only appearance; dies)
  • Carl (Single appearance)
  • Al (Single appearance)

Other Characters:

  • Joey, Federal agent (Only appearance; dies)

Locations:

Items:

Vehicles:


Synopsis for Bart Regan, Spy: "The Ring of Death"

Ligoni, leader of the "Ring of Death," uses bombs to murder some government officials. Bart Regan, Spy, goes undercover to investigate, and busts him.

Appearing in Bart Regan, Spy: "The Ring of Death"

Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters:

  • Bart's Boss

Antagonists:

  • Ligoni (Single appearance)
    • Ring of Death, terrorist society (Single appearance)
    • Jim Lacey (Single appearance)

Locations:

Synopsis for Cosmo, the Phantom of Disguise: "Mutiny on the Sea Swan"

A gang of hijackers plots to steal a ship, bound for England, by faking an emergency and causing an evacuation, then taking over. Their scheme is to divert the ship to an unnamed enemy nation, and sell it. Cosmo, the Phantom of Disguise, foils their plan.

Appearing in Cosmo, the Phantom of Disguise: "Mutiny on the Sea Swan"

Featured Characters:

  • Cosmo, the Phantom of Disguise (Final appearance)

Antagonists:

  • Mr. Abrams, shipping company vice president (Single appearance)
  • Steinbach, U-boat commander (Only appearance; dies)
    • U-boat crew (Dies)
  • mutineers:
    • Tom Barowsky (Single appearance)
    • Aleck Corigan (Single appearance)
    • Boroff (Single appearance)
    • Alex (Single appearance)

Other Characters:

  • Captain Barker (Single appearance)

Locations:

Vehicles:

  • S.S. "Sea Swan" cargo ship
  • enemy U-boat (Destroyed)
  • destroyer

Synopsis for The Crimson Avenger: "Laura Burlingame's been Kidnapped"

J.N. Worthy and his gang kidnap Laura Burlingame, the daughter of his former business partner. He then dupes the parents into sending him, with the ransom money, to act as go-between with the gang. Lee Travis finds out about it, and soon the Crimson Avenger is on hand to witness the meet-up, then trail the gang back to their hide-out. Crimson gets the girl to safety then returns to wait around for the gang boss to show up. He takes down all of them, then departs, just ahead of the arriving police, who still seek to arrest the elusive vigilante.

Appearing in The Crimson Avenger: "Laura Burlingame's been Kidnapped"

Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters:

  • Wing
  • Steve, newspaperman

Antagonists:

  • J.N. Worthy (Single appearance)
    • his gang of kidnappers: Barney (driver), Rosie, others

Other Characters:

  • Laura Burlingame (Single appearance)
  • Laura's parents (Single appearance)
  • Cops

Locations:

Synopsis for Speed Saunders: "The Crime Roundup"

Speed Saunders gets ambushed, doused with whiskey, thrown in an alley, and framed as a drunkard. He gets demoted. He goes to war against the frame-hangers, visiting and busting up many criminals, in many parts of town. Eventually he gets his reputation cleared, is reinstated in his old job with a big raise in pay, and in the process sends a large number of punks to jail.

Appearing in Speed Saunders: "The Crime Roundup"

Featured Characters:

Antagonists:

  • Limpy Lee, killer, from Cincy
    • Joe Forrest, henchman
  • Big Shot Downes, rules all gangland
    • Gus Rollin, gunman
  • Hogan, shady restauranteur
    • his bodyguard

Other Characters:

  • Patsy Ross, reporter
  • Officer Brogue
  • Goodtime Bill (Mentioned only), (dead)
  • Mayor Smith

Locations:

Synopsis for Steve Malone: "Miss Cooper is Kidnapped"

Three creeps, Trigger, Spats, and Joe, kidnap Miss Cooper. Steve Malone tracks them down, makes his first parachute jump, rescues her, and defeats them.

Appearing in Steve Malone: "Miss Cooper is Kidnapped"

Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters:

  • Happy, Malone's Assistant

Antagonists:

  • Trigger (Single appearance)
  • Spats (Single appearance)
  • Joe (Single appearance)

Other Characters:

  • Miss Cooper (Single appearance)
  • Harold S. Cooper, millionaire (Single appearance)
    • his butler (Mentioned only)
  • Ed, police pilot
  • many cops

Locations:

  • big city
  • East Mountains

Synopsis for Cliff Crosby: "Judge Carson is Kidnapped"

Cliff Crosby and his reporter friend Teddy Jenson look into the abduction of a judge, who is being sold to a slave ring in South America.

Cliff gets captured himself, and the judge gets thrown to a giant octopus. Cliff fights the octopus, then wears its corpse on his head, to frighten the slavers. He defeats them and rescues the judge.

Appearing in Cliff Crosby: "Judge Carson is Kidnapped"

Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters:

  • Teddy Jenson, cub reporter (First appearance)

Antagonists:

  • "Buck" Dawson, kidnapper (Single appearance)
    • stoolie girlfriend
    • three henchmen
  • Slave Ship Crew
    • Whip Man

Animals:

  • Lulu, giant octopus (Dies)

Other Characters:

  • Judge Carson (Single appearance)
  • hundreds of slaves
  • Coast Guard Crew

Locations:

Vehicles:

  • Slave Ship
  • U.S. Coast Guard Cutter

Synopsis for Slam Bradley: "A Dynamite Gift"

Slam is bequeathed a horse by a grateful deceased former client. Slam parks the horse in his apartment building's garage while he tries to figure out how to unload the beast. It's a fine looking horse and its name is "Dynamite." That night a vengeful thug visits the place, looking to murder Slam and Shorty. Dynamite gets loose from the garage and attacks the hood, knocking him unconscious. This wins Slam over, and he's now determined to hold onto it, so it doesn't go over well, the next morning when the horse is missing. According to a signed note that they find on the floor, Dynamite has been stolen by Jean Kennedy, widow of the late grateful former client, who claims to be the rightful owner.

Slam and Shorty visit the widow's estate and confront her on her private riding trail. A snake startles the horse and it bolts; Shorty accidentally but heroically catches and stops Dynamite, and the whole conversation changes. At the end of it, Slam owns Dynamite, and Mrs. Kennedy is his trainer, for a part interest in Dynamite's future racing career.

At Belmont Park, one jockey mistreats Dynamite, and gets fired for it on the spot. This punk, Murphy, teams up with a notorious gambler, "Chips" Grant. Grant meets Slam Bradley, gets belligerent, gets punched into a drinking trough, and forms a grudge of his own. That night Grant sends Murphy, with a hypodermic syringe full of horse dope, to visit Dynamite's stall in the Belmont stable, planning to get the horse and its owners blacklisted from all legitimate racing venues. But Slam and Shorty are guarding the stable, intercept him, and after a few thumps send him on his way. The next day Dynamite wins a race.

Dynamite goes on to win a series of races, and is entered into the Kentucky Derby. Chips Grant has meanwhile been busy, obtaining incriminating evidence against Bradley's new jockey, Stevens. It turns out Stevens is an escaped bank robber, and will do anything at all to not get squealed on, so he agrees to throw the race. Shorty accidentally overhears this deal get confirmed, in the stable, and he exposes it to Slam, who busts Stevens, but now has no jockey. So naturally Shorty Morgan gets dragooned into jockeying Dynamite in the Derby. Grant snaps, and makes a last ditch attempt to salvage his scheme, from trackside, with a handgun; he ends up trampled to death. Despite all this, Dynamite wins. Slam signs over full ownership of Dynamite to Mrs. Kennedy, and the boys retire from the horse racing business.

Appearing in Slam Bradley: "A Dynamite Gift"

Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters:

Antagonists:

  • "Blade" Roscoe, gunsel
  • Murphy, ex-jockey
  • "Chips" Grant, gambler (Dies)
  • Stevens, new jockey, old robber

Other Characters:

  • Slicker & Gypum, lawyers (Mentioned only)
  • Ronald Kennedy, deceased (Mentioned only)
  • horse delivery truck driver
  • Jean Kennedy, horse trainer

Animals:

  • Dynamite, horse

Locations:

Notes

  • Published monthly by Detective Comics, Inc.
  • Batman:
    • "The Screaming House" is reprinted in Batman #237, Batman Archives Vol 1, and Batman Chronicles Vol 1. In Batman Chronicles Vol 1, The Screaming House is called The Spies.
    • The last panel of the Batman story plugs next month's issue, featuring Batman vs The Monster Men. However, that story was instead published in Batman #1, and the next Detective Comics issue features the introduction of Robin, the Boy Wonder.
    • Batman is knocked out by blows to the head (Joey's club attack, and a heavy bag of grain dropped onto him) for the 4th and 5th times of his career.[1]
    • Count Grutt wears a monocle.
    • Batman grapples Count Grutt onto the point of a sword that's stuck through a wooden door, fatally. This may have been retconned out of Earth-Two history. It is never mentioned again.
  • First issue for Cliff Crosby by Chad Grothkopf.
  • Last issue for Cosmo, the Phantom of Disguise, by Sven Elven.
    • Yet another cargo-pirating hostile-national U-boat is destroyed in this story.
  • This issue the Crimson Avenger returns, with Jim Chambers still writing it, and art by Harry Lucey. This feature has been absent since Detective Comics #29.
  • Last issue for Mart Bailey art on Slam Bradley.
    • Shorty Morgan gets accidentally knocked unconscious by a race horse.
    • Per page 10 panel 6, "Desperate, 'Chips' fires at Slam -- Most of his bullets miss -- " So does Bradley catch a bullet or not? The chronicles are unclear.
  • Speed Saunders gets head-konked unconscious, with a liquor bottle.
  • Also appearing in this issue of Detective Comics were:
    • Fantastic Facts: "Ordered to March Across the Ocean" by George Papp
    • "Murder At Sea" (text story), by John Randall
    • "Tiny"
    • Detective Stamp Page: "Small Decisions" (text article)
    • "Six Big Headline Features for the "Big Six" Comic Magazines!" (full page ad, same copy and art as last month's ad, for the current issues of Action, Adventure, All-American, Detective, Flash, and More Fun Comics)

Trivia

  • Last issue, Steve Malone didn't bring a handgun along when he raided the bad guys' lair. This time he brings one, but drops it during a parachute jump.


See Also

Recommended Reading

Links and References

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