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Detective Comics #102


May 23, 1945

"The House That Was Held for Ransom"


The Joker is back and according to the blurb on the splash page, he does a twist on an old scheme. Let's see if it's true as we open on reclusive J. Bullion Stickney who receives a letter from another pigeon fancier who wants to sell his collection. It's enough to draw Stickney from the house, something he hasn't done in years.


Once in Gotham, Stickney finds that his benefactor is no where to be found. He returns to his home only to find it gone. The entire house, down to the foundation, has disappeared and the only clue is a note from the Joker saying he has the house for ransom with instructions to follow.


Bruce and Dick hear of the theft on the news and cut short there vacation. They make their way to the house and along the way, they find a car being held up on the side of the road. A quick change and they are in the middle of it all. They send the thieves running and find that all the truck they tried to hijack was carrying was old bricks found at a nearby bridge.


The mystery of the bricks has to wait as the two continue on their way to the missing house's lot. There, Batman determines the house could only be carried away along the nearby river. He finds the house had a brick chimney and he realizes that the house must have gone under the bridge, the bricks on top being knocked off, which is why the crooks were after the bricks, so the final destination of the house could not be determined.


They quickly get the Batplane (first time we're seeing this in ages) and make their way to where they surmise the house wound up. They spot pigeons flying about and go in to land, but the house is nowhere to be seen. The two are captured by Joker's men and tossed into quicksand.


The pigeons are gathered up, but one gets its wing caught in the cage door. Joker tells his men to leave the pigeon behind. Meanwhile, Batman and Robin manage to free themselves from the quickly and find the pigeon. Batman determines the wing isn't broken, but dislocated and snaps it back into place. They follow the bird who homes in on Stickney's house. They find the residence in camouflage. There, they quickly round up the Joker and his men.


I can't help but feel that this could be, with a little work and more plotting, this could be a Batman 66 story. The whole concept of disappearing houses is something you would see on the show. As it stands here for the comic, this is a little thin in terms of story, but I still liked it.


What's next? We're back to the Sunday Funnies, Citizens!

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