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""The Malay Penguin"": Back in action, Batman and Robin find a couple of suspicious thugs near the river and the heroes drop on the thugs like a thunder. They are not aware that the thugs are in fact working for [[Rupert Thorne (New Ear

Quote1.png I hate people who know they know it all! Quote2.png
Bruce Wayne

Detective Comics #473 is an issue of the series Detective Comics (Volume 1) with a cover date of November, 1977. It was published on August 25, 1977.

Synopsis for "The Malay Penguin"

Back in action, Batman and Robin find a couple of suspicious thugs near the river and the heroes drop on the thugs like a thunder. They are not aware that the thugs are in fact working for Rupert Thorne and that they just tossed the body of Hugo Strange into the river, but Batman suspects something is amiss. Unfortunately, since the Gotham City Council have declared Batman an outlaw, the Dynamic Duo are forced to leave the thugs once the police sirens start approaching them.

Meanwhile, The Penguin goes to the auction of Batman's secret identity, but he finds nobody except for a faint hint of the Joker, who was also one of the criminals looking forward to the information. When the criminals realize that Strange is nowhere to be found, they each go their separate ways, but Penguin sets in motion his next criminal caper.

Thinking ahead, Batman and Robin go to the Reed Gallery to warn the owner to increase the security measures for the exhibit of the Malay Penguin, a priceless and unique relic, which might be the target of the Penguin. However, Reed refuses any help, forcing Batman and Robin to retreat to their headquearters at the Wayne Foundation building.

At dawn, Bruce makes arrangements to fix several of the wrongs done by Strange to his company and later, he and Dick go to Gotham General Hospital, where Silver St. Cloud is being treated after she was also captured by Strange's henchmen. The doctors have made sure that Silver isn't infected with the monster serum and after a couple of days, she is ready to leave the place. During Bruce's visit, she is formally introduced to Dick Grayson, but the young man has to leave the room to give Bruce and Silver some well deserved private time.

At night, Batman and Robin go back in action and they find The Penguin prowling near the Reed gallery. The heroes attack the villain, but the Penguin outsmarts them and escapes using one of his trademark helicopter umbrellas, but he leaves a cryptic message for Batman to solve.

In the meantime, Rupert Thorne and his associates have a meeting at the Tobacconists' Club, when suddenly, Thorne experiences a vision of Hugo Strange, threatening to eliminate him in revenge for his actions. Since nobody else noticed anything unusual, Thorne keeps the event to himself and he continues the meeting as normal.

At that moment, Batman and Robin hear an alarm near the galleries and they go to investigate, but once again find a dead end with yet more cryptic clues. The next day, a flock of birds drop old coins all over Gotham with messages attached for the Batman. After reading the message, Batman deduces the true intention of Penguin's plan and the Dynamic Duo rush into the Batmobile towards the Gotham Airport, where they stop Penguin from hijacking a plane and leaving the city with the Malay Penguin in his possession. Batman explains the deduction process he used to locate Penguin and thwart his plans, which leaves Robin perplexed of his mentor's detective skills.

Appearing in "The Malay Penguin"

Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters:


Other Characters:






  • The cover art holds some resemblance to the cover of Detective Comics #27, the first appearance of Batman. It is possible that this cover is a homage to the classic Golden Age issue.
  • In the issue, there is a business contact of Bruce Wayne by the name of Broome, who is needed in France. This is a clear reference to previous Batman writer and Julius Schwartz's personal friend John Broome, who was then living in the European country.
  • The "Reed Galleries" is also a nod to the current Batman writer, David Vern Reed, who also wrote Batman in the Silver Age.

See Also

Recommended Reading

Links and References