Batman #8 - Story 3

October 10, 1941

"The Superstition Murders"

You know, yesterday's story was fantastic. Today was the first time since I started this thing, that I found myself drifting as I read. This story did not hold my attention.

Basically, a theater group, in celebration of the opening of a new play, hosts a party where they plan to break a number of superstitions. As they laugh at their actions, they are warned by an old man of the dangers of what they are doing.

Bruce Wayne is at the party where he's introduced by the producer to the financier of the play who is also the star, his co-star, the author of the play and a photographer from a magazine covering the event. The star starts the proceedings by walking under a ladder.

Later in the evening, there is a scream as the star is found dead under a ladder. A drinking glass is close by. Bruce tries to get hold of it as it might be a clue. Meanwhile, the photographer develops pictures of the event and discovers who murdered the star via poison from a trick ring.

Batman returns to the scene of the crime and finds the glass holding the faint odor of almonds, suggesting death by poison. He is jumped by the murderer. The murderer gets away and Batman accidentally tackles another man he mistakes for the killer. The mistaken man was the original lead in the play who was dumped when it was discovered he drank too much.

Batman searches him and the others for the glass, but not one of them has it. There are motives for the murder of the star, but as the producer points out, he would be more clever about it.

Batman sends Robin to check in on the photographer whom he finds dead. The murderer attacks Robin and gets away after Robin falls into a hopper of corn cobs. He finds a clue in the form of a card from Argus Studios. Remember them? Batman makes a long distance call.

Later, the producer is grilled by Gordon as he is still the primary suspect in all this because of his motive. He is released on a "Writ of Habeas Corpus" on the night of the play's premiere. The co-star is killed when a black cat with poison tipped claws scratches her when its startled.

Batman pursues the killer throughout the theater and eventually catches him. He turns out to be the author who was trying to make sure the play wasn't successful as he would then get full rights back to the script and could sell it to Argus Studios.

It was a slog to read through this, as there are a lot of red herrings throughout the story I didn't even get into, although I will say I did like the throwback to Argus Studios. What's next? Well, I peaked and we've got another Joker story coming up, Citizens!

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