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"Batman, with Robin the Boy Wonder: "The Murders of Clayface"": Julie Madison is part of a new film called Dread Castle. One of Madison's colleagues and her boyfriend are murdered on the set of the film. When Batman investigates the m

Quote1.png Fools! They play at murder, not realizing that I do not pretend, but shall in reality bring death! Quote2.png
Clayface

Detective Comics #40 is an issue of the series Detective Comics (Volume 1) with a cover date of June, 1940.

Synopsis for Batman, with Robin the Boy Wonder: "The Murders of Clayface"

Julie Madison is part of a new film called Dread Castle. One of Madison's colleagues and her boyfriend are murdered on the set of the film. When Batman investigates the murders, he finds the male victim right before he dies and he managed to identify his killer as "Clayface."

Batman and Robin take the investigation to the film's set and there, Batman stops some gangsters, but unfortunately they aren't the ones behind these murders. Meanwhile, Robin finds the real killer and Clayface attacks him. Batman saves Robin, but Clayface manages to escape.

The next day, one of the scenes with Julie is being filmed and Clayface is about to kill her, when Batman and Robin intervene. Batman takes off Clayface's disguise, revealing his identity as Basil Karlo, the make-up man and embittered ex-actor, who wanted to kill the actors that were remaking his own classic film, "The Terror."

Appearing in Batman, with Robin the Boy Wonder: "The Murders of Clayface"

Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters:

Antagonists:

Other Characters:

  • Fred Walker (Only appearance; dies)
  • Kenneth Todd (Single appearance)
  • Lorna Dane (Only appearance; dies)
  • Mister Bentley (First appearance)
  • Ned Norton (Single appearance)
  • Roxy Brenner (Single appearance)

Locations:

Items:

Vehicles:


Synopsis for Bart Regan, Spy: "The Forgarian Ball"

A team of Forgarian spies has obtained some U.S. military secrets, and one spy has double-crossed his teammates, stolen the documents for himself, and stashed them in a safety deposit box in a bank in New York City. The other two spies murder him for that, but are unable to recover the documents. Bart Regan is assigned to retrieve the secret materials, and he does so, along with arresting three or more of the Forgarian spies.

Appearing in Bart Regan, Spy: "The Forgarian Ball"

Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters

  • Chief

Antagonists:

  • Forgarian Spies
    • Jac Gurdini, Embassy Attache
    • Susie, fake widow

Locations:

Synopsis for Red Logan: "An American Reporter in London...."


Appearing in Red Logan: "An American Reporter in London...."

Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters:

  • Inspector Enright
  • Ivan

Antagonists:

  • Mrs. Tulford, spy
    • Mrs. O'Riley (Dies)
    • four operatives: Larry, Flaccini, others

Other Characters:

  • Lorry Driver
  • Coroner
  • Officer Simpson

Locations:

Items:

  • set of War Office plans

Synopsis for The Crimson Avenger: "The Mysterious Rays"

While an armored truck is delivering currency deposits to the city bank, a criminal overlooks the deposit with a telescope, from a building across the river. The sniper incapacitates the guards, indeed he paralyzes everybody on the entire block, using a ray attached to the scope. Then two criminals, dressed in full-body protective suits, drive up in another truck, loot the armored truck, and drive off unpursued.

At the office of the Globe-Leader, Mac comes in and informs Lee Travis about the robbery. Lee orders Mac to start writing about it, and visits the crime scene, figures out that the rays must have been projected from across the river, and resolves to cross the river himself that night, as the Crimson Avenger. He also figures out that the robbers were wearing rubber suits, and why.

That night, Wing drives Crimson across the bridge to investigate. Leaving Wing with the car, the Avenger checks out the neighborhood, spots a suspicious looking shack, and eavesdrops on a conversation inside it. A mad scientist is showing off his new invention, making wild promises to a henchman, and explaining his plan, which is to rob another bank. When another bandit arrives at the shack, the Crimson jumps him and defeats him, then takes him away in his car.

A few days later at the bandits' hideout, the scientist suspects that Butch, their missing colleague, has betrayed them. However, he decides to proceed with the plan without him. They raid the bank, and the scientist uses his ray to paralyze everyone present. They loot the bank's truck, and again drive away unpursued, almost. The Crimson Avenger and Wing have grabbed onto their truck, and before long, they all reach the gang's hideout. There, Wing holds the henchman at ground level while Crimson chases the scientist up the stairs, and corners him. When he tries to use his ray on the Avenger, it has no effect. The vigilante is wearing protective rubber clothing, while the scientist has no defense against the gas gun.

The next day's Globe-Leader headline is "MAD SCIENTIST CAPTURED." Lee meets with Mac, who expresses his curiosity about the identity of the Crimson Avenger.

Appearing in The Crimson Avenger: "The Mysterious Rays"

Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters:

  • Wing
  • Mac, Ace Reporter

Antagonists:

  • Mad Scientist (Single appearance)
    • Joe, robber
    • Butch, robber

Locations:

Items:

  • Electrical Paralyzing Ray

Vehicles:

  • Armored Bank Trucks
  • Bank Robber Truck
  • Travis' Limousine

Synopsis for Speed Saunders: "The Jewel Robbers"


Appearing in Speed Saunders: "The Jewel Robbers"

Featured Characters:

Antagonists:

  • Chick Doneen, robber (Single appearance)
  • Al, robber
  • 3rd robber

Locations:

Vehicles:

  • Doneen's Big Yellow Sedan
  • Speed's NYPD Motorcycle

Synopsis for Steve Malone, District Attorney: "The Prodigy"


Appearing in Steve Malone, District Attorney: "The Prodigy"

Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters

  • Smithers, assistant (See Notes.)

Other Characters

  • Usha Leika, violin boy prodigy
  • Clara Leika, his sister
  • Motorcycle Cop
  • Karla King, famous harpist

Antagonists:

  • Fuhlra, Master of Music (Behind the scenes)
    • turbanned henchman
    • Sari, Snake Charmer
      • her many cobras

Locations:

  • Opera House
  • Country Road
  • D.A.'s Office
  • formerly deserted mansion

Items:

  • Stradivarius Violin

Synopsis for Cliff Crosby: "The New Plane"

Cliff's new job is to supervise the construction of Bridgeman Aero Corporation's new model airplane, which is competing for a government contract.

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Appearing in Cliff Crosby: "The New Plane"

Featured Characters:

Antagonists

  • Federal Aviation Company, Bridgeman's competitor
    • Les Sharron, pilot
    • Spider, fixer

Other Characters

  • Mr. Bridgeman, Bridgeman Aero Corporation
    • Mac, mechanic
    • radioman
    • assembly workers
    • Jerry, pilot

Locations:

  • Bridgeman Aero Corporation factory & aerodrome
  • Federal Aviation Company factory & aerodrome

Vehicles:

  • Bridgeman C-32 (sabotaged, abandoned, recovered)
    • military-looking prototype aircraft
  • Federal S-32 prototype aircraft
    • just not as fast as the C-32

Synopsis for Slam Bradley versus the South Side Mob, in "The Murder of Slugger Carmen"


Appearing in Slam Bradley versus the South Side Mob, in "The Murder of Slugger Carmen"

Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters:

Antagonists:

  • Luigi Barratti (Single appearance)
  • Carlo Pimento (Single appearance)
  • other gangsters

Other Characters:

  • Slugger Carmen (Dies)

Locations:

Notes

  • Published monthly by Detective Comics, Inc.
  • Bart Regan, Spy gets head-whapped with a blackjack, but is only stunned for a moment, not knocked out.
  • Batman: "The Murders of Clayface" is reprinted in Batman: From the 30's to the 70's, Batman Chronicles Vol 2 and Batman Archives, Volume 1. An updated version of this story is told in Secret Origins (Volume 2) #44, featuring most of the same characters and plot, but helping to establish Basil Karlo's place in New Earth continuity.
  • Cliff Crosby survives one bungled parachute jump, then fights and kills a shark, with a knife.
    • Cliff knocks himself unconscious, with a 400 mph power dive, in which he blacks out from the G-pressure.
    • Cliff makes a mid-air plane-to-plane jump, dumps the other pilot, then grabs control of the plane and lands it.
  • In Crimson Avenger, the NYPD has once again captured a mad scientist and presumably captured his paralyzing ray weapon.
  • Last issue for Ken Ernst art on Red Logan, replaced next month by Ed Winiarski.
    • This story makes mention (page 1 panel 6) of Logan's earlier adventure in Boronia, which took place in More Fun Comics #37. This kind of thing happened very rarely in comics of that era.
    • Winiarski also wrote that earlier story, which implies that he may have written this one as well.
    • Red gets head-konked unconscious, with a pistol butt.
  • Speed Saunders:
    • Speed gets shot in the scalp and is "felled." He recovers almost instantly. Later he bullet-wounds two of the perps.
    • Last issue's story closed with a blurb asking readers for feedback on a new character, Danny, Speed's kid assistant. Danny does not appear in this issue.
  • Steve Malone's job title is "District Attorney of the County."
    • Steve's subordinate, "Smithers," might or might not be the same person as his assistant, "Happy." Neither of them is visible in this story, but Smithers is given some spoken orders by Malone.
    • Malone shoots the fleeing female villain, from behind, grazing her scalp for a knockout.
  • Also appearing in this issue of Detective Comics were:
    • "Here It Is!" (full page ad for the current issue of Batman #1, with the same art and copy as last month)
    • "Theft at the Fair, Part 1" by Gardner Fox
    • "Superman!" (full page ad for the current issue of Superman #5)
    • "Superman Is on the Radio!" (1/2 page ad for Superman's radio show)
    • Detective Stamp Page: "New Air Mails" (text article)
    • "The "Big Six" Comic Magazines Still Lead the Field!" (full page ad, same art as last month's ad, for the current issues of Action, Adventure, All-American, Detective, Flash, and More Fun Comics, with the same art and copy as last month)



See Also


Links and References

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