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Detective Comics #97

January 24, 1945

"The Secret of the Switch"

The story opens with headlines lauding a criminal known as the Slasher. He received this praise because just as Batman and Robin were about to catch him, he kills himself and leaves a note saying where other criminals in his combine are hiding with their loot. The Duo round them up and Gordon proclaims that the Slasher should receive the praise at his funeral.

But Batman is concerned about one thing. They never found Slasher's vicious dog so he and Robin head out to Oscar the Weasel who says that the dog is kept over at the auto wrecker yard. There, the two are attacked by the dog and the owners of the yard. Batman punches the dog, knocking him out. The owners get away in the confusion.

But the yard's phone rings and Batman takes the call. The voice on the other end says a train will arrive on time. Before heading to meet that train, Batman heads to Slasher's apartment where they found the body. They find nothing unusual save for an alarm system that leads to the roof. From there, the alarm wire leads across several buildings to an abandoned house.

There, Batman and Robin discover that the one missing member of the gang is being lured to the house as the rest of the combine's loot is stored there. But who is luring him? Batman reasons that it's the Slasher who didn't die, but make up someone to look like him and killed him while having his own features changed.

The two are surprised by Slasher and his men who capture them. They then wait for the remaining partner who shows up and is able to open the safe holding the loot which he tricked out with a series of switches. Throw the right switch and you can open the safe. Throw the wrong one and a bomb goes off.

Slasher and his men confront the guy and they in turn are confronted by a freed Batman and Robin. Slasher threatens to throw the wrong switch if Batman doesn't leave, but he still advances on the criminal. Slasher throws the switch, but nothing happens. It turns out the basement had been flooded the year before, rendering the bomb and mechanism useless.

This story didn't hold my interest I liked the art though, so there was that. And what's next, Citizens? We're off to see if World's Finest Comics continue to live up to the reputation.


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