"The Vengeance Vow!": Batman goes to the circus owned by Kathy Kane after he was informed about an incoming attack by the League of Assassins. Upon arriving, Batman finds Kathy struggling against some
- Our strength is in our arts-- the crafts and sciences of murder!
- — Sensei
Appearing in "The Vengeance Vow!"
Synopsis for "The Vengeance Vow!"
Batman goes to the circus owned by Kathy Kane after he was informed about an incoming attack by the League of Assassins. Upon arriving, Batman finds Kathy struggling against some of the League's members. Batman stops them, but before he could learn anything from Kathy, Batman is confronted by the new member of the League: Bronze Tiger. The fight is over in seconds as Batman is defeated and a few minutes later when he recovers, he finds Kathy's corpse clutching to her Batwoman's costume inside the circus tent.
At that moment, Ra's al Ghul appears and reveals himself as the anonymous informant who told Batman about the attack. Batman deduces that Ra's is somehow involved in Kathy's murder, but without hard evidence, he goes looking for the Bronze Tiger and the real killers. Once Ra's is alone, his daughter Talia comes out of hiding and she demands to know why is he using Batman against the League of Assassins. Ra's explains that he needs total control of the League and he can't get it so long as Sensei has the allegiance of most of the League's members. Ra's hopes that Batman can stop the Sensei before he can move and take control of the organization.
At their hideout, the League of Assassins test their abilities against the Bronze Tiger, who is a formidable fighter capable of defeating all of them. Sensei is pleased with the Tiger's fighting skills, but he doesn't like the fact that the Bronze Tiger refuses to kill.
Later, Batman prepares himself in order to confront the League after he has discovered their hideout. He tries to get inside unnoticed, but the League is aware of his presence as soon as he steps inside. Batman overcomes a couple of traps and defeats some of the League's members until he finally comes face to face with Sensei. Batman is only interested in taking in the killers of Kathy Kane and for this reason, Sensei summons Bronze Tiger. A fight between Batman and the Bronze Tiger starts and Sensei tells his men to let them battle until one is defeated.
At that moment, one of Ra's spies inside the League decides to take the chance to kill Batman with a poison dart while Batman is concentrated, fighting the Bronze Tiger. This act of foolishness forces Sensei to murder Ra's spy and Bronze Tiger refuses to keep fighting. Batman takes an antidote from his Utility Belt, but the recovery is slow. Sensei has had enough of Bronze Tiger's defiance and he commands the League to eliminate him. Batman crawls to a nearby light switch and turns off the light, just as the Bronze Tiger is viciously attacked from behind with a knife. Using the darkness to his advantage, Batman takes down most of Kathy's murderers, but when he turns on the lights, he can't find Sensei or the Bronze Tiger and The only thing he finds is the Tiger's mask. With such a mystery unsolved, Batman knows his mission has just begun.
Appearing in "The Case of the Cavorting Corpse!"
- Preston (Single appearance)
- Jack (Single appearance)
- Marty (Single appearance)
- Daniel Hays (Single appearance)
- Bob (Single appearance)
- Betsy (Single appearance)
Synopsis for "The Case of the Cavorting Corpse!"
That night, the body of Hays disappears from the morgue and Robin is called into action. The next day, he spots Hays driving a car on the streets and he goes to McDonald's office, where several sightings of him have happened in town. Robin investigates the evidence from the previous accident and he finds a clue that leads him to New Carthage's lake. Going to the place, Robin finds an abandoned shack and a vehicle outside. In the driver's seat, the corpse of Hays has been placed in driving position and when he takes a closer look at the vehicle, he finds a suitcase filled with diamonds.
Robin waits until three men appear and start arguing about the suitcase. Robin jumps at them and rounds them up, learning that they were accomplices of Hays, who was part of a smuggling ring. The two younger men confess that they stole the corpse because the dealer they would give the diamonds to would only make business with Hays and they tried to fool him. After learning the truth, Robin takes all the criminals to the authorities.
Appearing in "The Fatal Finale!"
- Abner Beckermann
- Aldo Beckermann (Mentioned only)
- Adrian Grout (First appearance; unnamed)
- Dark Dimension Entities (Cameo)
- Gotham City
- Dark Dimension
- Castle Branek (Mentioned only)
Synopsis for "The Fatal Finale!"
The Demon barges in on Abner Beckermann who, being the last of the Beckermann line, is now charged with the duty of keeping the Eternity Book safe. Beckermann begrudgingly allows the book to be forced upon him to be rid of the strange creature, but with Etrigan's departure, Abner tosses it into the waste-paper basket.
With his objective complete, Etrigan returns to Jason Blood's apartment and transforms back to his human host. Jason changes his clothes and soon finds the rest of his home deserted. He thought at least one of his friends would have waited for his return. As it happens all three were awaiting his return, but a fourth party had already magically subdued them, Baron Tyme!
The Baron once again seeks the Eternity Book, but Jason informs him it has been secreted away by his demonic counterpart, he has no knowledge of it whereabouts. Tyme is not satisfied with the response and tortures Harry and Glenda until Jason resorts to releasing Etrigan once more. While battling the Demon, Tyme has an epiphany sparked by his foe's dual nature. Tyme is a man trapped between two worlds, as are Jason and Etrigan. While one takes form the other is banished to Limbo, so by tapping into the power of their transformation, Tyme can make himself whole again. The Demon refuses to comply until Blood's allies are once again threatened. Tyme's incantation forces Blood's self to surface, still occupying the same space as Etrigan, manifesting in a hybrid being split right down the middle, mimicking Tyme's unnatural appearance. With everything in place, Tyme begins the transference, siphoning the mystic energy that separates the two dimensions they share. Slowly the spell works, and as Tyme's human body is restored, Jason's body disappears... forever.
Jason's friends watch on helpless, until Randu gathers them to combine their minds with his. The concentration is just enough to switch off the lights with telekinesis. The sudden darkness breaks the ritual when Tyme loses sight of his conduit. Frantically Tyme searches for his subject, but it is Etrigan who brings attention to himself. Tyme spins around to see his one chance to become whole standing before him in the shadows. Without hesitation he continues to absorb the last required energy, only to find the spell reversed. He is now rapidly losing his humanity, until he is consumed by the void of the Dark Dimension.
As the lights come on, Jason Blood stands before an arcane mirror from which Tyme manipulated his reflection, drawing on the wrong energies.
In the vacant executive suite of Abner Beckermann, the night janitor makes his rounds collecting the days garbage. As he empties the trash can into his bin, he spies the Eternity Book. Amazed at the find, he immediately recognises its value and salvages it for himself. His first instinct to pawn it is overcome by curiosity, and he decides he should read it first.
Appearing in "The Case Of The Untouchable Crook!"
- Gloria Mann (Single appearance)
- Congressman Cartwright (Single appearance)
- Anton Karyov (Single appearance)
- Carlton Roberts (Single appearance)
- Congresswoman Gerald (Single appearance)
- Batcycle (Destroyed)
Synopsis for "The Case Of The Untouchable Crook!"
When a criminal breaks into Barbara Gordon's apartment in Washington, D.C., he is promptly stopped by Batgirl. When the police arrive to take the criminal, Batgirl switches to Barbara and learns that the criminal has diplomatic immunity.
The next day, Barbara goes to a Congressional hearing, where she tries to expose connections between the criminal and a corrupt Congressman, but there is not enough evidence and the case is closed. At night, Batgirl investigates the objects that the criminal tried to stole and learns that they are secret documents with classified information.
It is then that Barbara is visited by the corrupt Congressman's secretary, who tells her the whole truth behind the dealings between the criminal and the corrupt Congressman. Barbara decides to disguise herself as the secretary in order to approach the criminal and capture him as Batgirl.
The criminal is taken by the FBI, but he asks for asylum, as he would be killed if he is deported to his own nation. Although Batgirl doesn't like the idea of allowing such a criminal to stay in the US, she realizes his testimony is vital to prove the corruption inside the Congress.
Appearing in "SST - - The Super-Sonic Threat!"
- Francine Langstrom (Cameo)
- Wayne Eliot (Single appearance)
- Cara Eliot (Single appearance)
Synopsis for "SST - - The Super-Sonic Threat!"
Robert Langstrom tries to get his life as a private eye in control, but his double identity as Man-Bat makes it extremely difficult, considering that he also has to look after his baby daughter Rebecca.
While on Jason Bard's office, a woman shows up and requires their service to find out whatever her husband is doing. Langstrom takes the case when Bard refuses to take it and he starts an investigation on the apparently normal man. However, at twilight, Man-Bat follows the man to a building, where he realizes that the man is building some sort of armor to become a super-hero. When the armor goes out of control and the man is sent flying around town, causing several damages to property, Man-Bat follows the man and stops him from causing any more damages.
After the case is closed, Langstrom has a good laugh at the poor attempts of the man of becoming more than just a man, but Bard reminds him that the situation is not far from what happened to Langstrom himself.
- This is the first issue of Detective Comics that doesn't feature any previously produced stories by former editors Al Milgrom or Julius Schwartz. This is obvious after the change of tone and direction of most of the Batman stories and it would continue under Paul Levitz's editorial guidance.
- The first story features a special thanks to Sensei Richard Hill for his advice on martial arts and how to illustrate a combat.
- "The Vengeance Vow!" is reprinted in Batman: Tales of the Demon.
- "The Fatal Finale!" is reprinted in the Steve Ditko Omnibus #2.
- This storyline is continued in The Demon (Volume 3) #31.
- On page 9 of the Man-Bat story, there is a man that resembles former Detective Comics editor, Julius Schwartz.
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- Cover gallery for the Detective Comics series
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- 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)