"Batman: "The Case of the Prophetic Pictures"": Pierre Antal, a famous portrait artist and womanizing ne'er-do-well discovers that his paintings have been defaced or damaged. The subjects of the paintings are also dead.


Quote1.png Vanity, sheer vanity! I like to look at myself! Always enjoy looking in the mirror! Quote2.png
Bruce Wayne

Detective Comics #42 is an issue of the series Detective Comics (Volume 1) with a cover date of August, 1940.

Synopsis for Batman: "The Case of the Prophetic Pictures"

Pierre Antal, a famous portrait artist and womanizing ne'er-do-well discovers that his paintings have been defaced or damaged. The subjects of the paintings are also dead.

In the following days, a millionaire and an opera singer have portraits done by Antal, only to later find that the pictures are later altered, showing them being killed by different weapons. The day after each portrait is completed, each person is killed exactly in the manner their portrait predicts.

Batman tries to prevent a hanging of one subject of the paintings, Mr. Warren, and climbs the outside of a skyscraper to Warren's penthouse in hopes of surprising the killer, but arrives too late and when police arrive, Warren is already swinging, so of course they suspect Batman of doing the murders, and there's a brief chase

Later, Robin manages to find the killer on a yacht, disguised in a painter's smock and beret, while wearing a green skull and pursuing his next victim. Although he saves the intended victim, the killer escapes.

To lure him out, Bruce Wayne has a painting done by Antal and sets up a dummy to fool the killer. In his mansion's study, Batman manages to detain and unmask the killer, who turns out to be Wylie, a financially-stressed socialite who was trying to raise the prices of his art collection via this elaborate and murderous ruse. Soon after being caught, Wylie commits suicide with his own handgun.

Appearing in Batman: "The Case of the Prophetic Pictures"

Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters:

Antagonists:

Other Characters:

  • Mikoff (Single appearance)
  • Vangild (First appearance; dies)
  • Carmen Largo (First appearance; dies)
  • Mr. Warren (First appearance; dies)
  • Mr. Travers (Single appearance)
  • Mr. Drake (Single appearance)
  • Mr. Bleek (Single appearance)
  • Jim (Single appearance)

Locations:

Items:

  • Portrait of Bruce Wayne

Vehicles:

  • Batman's souped-up 1939 Cord, still pre-Batmobile


Synopsis for Bart Regan, Spy: "The Missing Gas Mask"

Bart Regan helps track down the thief who stole the plans to a new gas mask.

Appearing in Bart Regan, Spy: "The Missing Gas Mask"

Featured Characters:

Antagonists:

  • Ransom Hensel, secretary of inventive research

Other Characters:

  • Bulkley, clerk

Synopsis for Red Logan, Ace Reporter: "The Jewelry Robberies"


Appearing in Red Logan, Ace Reporter: "The Jewelry Robberies"

Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters:

  • Police Commissioner Ryan
  • Doctor McKay

Antagonists:

  • Cecil Martin, jeweler
  • Blackie Malone

Other Characters:

  • Mr. Lemos, jeweler
  • Mr. Collins, jeweler

Synopsis for The Crimson Avenger: "The Girl in Red"

Lee Travis was leaving the office of the Globe-Leader after a day of work, when he accidentally bumped into a man with a cane. The man yelled at Lee before walking away, appearing to be following a woman. Lee watched the old man follow the woman, until the man told two thugs to grab her and take her with them. He tried to follow them, but lost them, as they entered an alley.

Later that night, Lee returned to the alley as the Crimson Avenger and found a secret door. Once he entered the hideout, he walked down a flight of stairs and knocked out a guard before coming upon a meeting between members of an organization, who declared themselves the greatest master minds in crime and science, who intended to take over the world and who the woman was standing in front of. The group had intended to use the woman to trap some world leaders whom the group targeted. The woman claimed that she refused to help them. Suddenly, the Crimson, who overheard the meeting, was approached from behind by one of the members, who pushed him off of the window, onto the meeting table in the room. Next, the group took Crimson and threw him into a dungeon, which they intended to flood, killing him. However, Crimson escaped by crawling through a water duct until he realized that he was in the bottom of a well. The Crimson decided that he could make a balloon by shooting his gas gun into his cloak, causing him to float up. Meanwhile, the organization was about to send the woman into the dungeon, but as they opened the door, the Crimson Avenger emerged and shot them with his gas gun and later defeating them.

The next headline of the Globe-Leader read. "CRIMSON SAVES GIRL!"

Appearing in The Crimson Avenger: "The Girl in Red"

Featured Characters:

Antagonists:

  • Crime ring intent on world domination

Other Characters:

  • Mac
  • Unnamed kidnapped girl

Locations:

Synopsis for Speed Saunders, Ace Investigator: "The Pyromaniac"

Speed busts a pyromaniac.

Appearing in Speed Saunders, Ace Investigator: "The Pyromaniac"

Featured Characters:

Antagonists:

  • Hal Johnson (Single appearance)

Other Characters:

  • Dolan (Single appearance)

Locations:

Synopsis for Steve Malone: "Murder In the Seashore Inn"

Steve solves the murder of a newspaperman killed by protection racketeers.

Appearing in Steve Malone: "Murder In the Seashore Inn"

Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters:

  • Bullet Bronson, innkeep

Antagonists:

  • Protection racket

Other Characters:

  • Kelly & Flannagan, police officers

Synopsis for Cliff Crosby: "An Ear in the Mail"


Appearing in Cliff Crosby: "An Ear in the Mail"

Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters:

  • Inspector Becker
  • Connie Becker

Antagonists:

  • The Black Dragon Tong

Synopsis for Slam Bradley: "The Gem Jewelry Company"


Appearing in Slam Bradley: "The Gem Jewelry Company"

Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters:

Antagonists:

  • gang of crooks

Other Characters:

  • Officer Callahan

Locations:

Notes

Trivia

  • In "Case of the Prophetic Portrait", the portrait of Bruce Wayne was shot with a bullet (as an "omen" of how he'd die), and this was later kept in the Batcave as a trophy. The portrait can be spotted in the Trophy Room in Detective Comics #676.


See Also

Recommended Reading

Links and References

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