Type Comic
Date 1940-02

Detective Comics #36

Detective Comics #36 (1940-02)

Henceforth, I'm skipping Slam Bradley. For now, then, I'm only reading the Batman comics in this magazine.

Batman

Batman sees a man leap from a speeding car, and then get shot. When he goes to the man and asks who it was that shot him, the man only says ". . . fog . . . fog . . . strange . . . fog . . . strange . . . ahhh". The man dies, and police spot the two and assume that Batman has killed him. Batman escapes, and later muses on what could have happened to the man who was shot. In a truly Holmesian manner, it takes Batman only a few seconds to deduce that clearly the man "meant a 'fog' had something to do with a person named 'Strange'--Professor Hugo Strange!". Outstanding deduction, Batman, but I think you must have read ahead in the script to get that one. Batman describes Strange as "a criminal genius" and "undoubtly the greatest organizer of crime in the world". He also examines a book that he found on the dead man, containing a list of banks and the note: "If this book is found please notify the F.B.I. --John Davis". Batman declares that he will not return that book to the FBI until he clears his name.

It transpires that Strange is using a very thick fog to cover the tracks of his underlings, so that they can rob banks without the cops being able to effectively give chase. Knowing this, and having the list of banks, the Batman waits at the next bank on the list for the criminals to strike, then captures them. Strange is upset by this, and plans to ambush the Batman on the next night. Batman gives a good show, but is ultimately overcome. Strange has him tied and intends to whip him, but Batman frees himself. A struggle ensues, and Batman gets the upper hand. Afterward, he discovers an electrical engineer who had been missing, Henry Jenkins. Jenkins tells Batman that strange had somehow found out that he'd invented a way to concentrate lightning, which created steam in the air, causing the unusual fog, and had kidnapped him to force him to build a machine to do it. The two stop the machine, and with Strange captured, Batman's name is cleared. Strange vows that when he escapes, he'll devote the rest of his life to revenging himself upon the Batman.