Friday, October 31, 2008

Detective Comics #382

Detective Comics #382 (On Sale: October 31, 1968) has a cover by Irv Novick.

"Riddle of the Robbin' Robin" is by Frank Robbins, Bob Brown and Joe Giella. Batman and Robin attempt to stop the Smokescreen Mob during a robbery. The crooks get away, but Batman tracks the gang to their hideout. When he arrives the stolen jewels are missing from the safe, leaving Batman with no evidence to hold them.

The crooks are upset that they were robbed. This was only the latest of several heists involving their loot. Fingers, the gang boss, suspects the Blowtorch Mob and barges into the rival gang's hideout to accuse them of the crime. When he arrives he learns that they too are the victims of robbery. The two gangs then come up with a plan to catch the thief.

The two gangs decide to hold off on any crimes for several days. Batman notices the severe drop in criminal activity during this time. The crooks then plan a big heist and have rigged a death trap on the safe where they will stash the loot. However, the man they use to set the trap is really the thief. He plans to double-cross the gang by having Robin open it. While the Armorer leads Robin to the safe, Batman is able to unravel the plan and save his partner. The leaders of the mobs are then the victims of their own death trap.

The back-up Elongated Man story, "The Wishing Well Wonder," is by Gardner Fox and Sid Greene. Elongated Man returns to Fairview City and stops a fur robbery. He is reunited with Billy Warner, who has been given a magic coin that grants his wishes. Billy refuses to reveal the source of the magic until the wishes stop coming true. When they do, he shows Ralph the coin which contains a tiny radio transmitter.

Ralph deduces that crooks gave Billy the coin to spy on the boy's grandfather who owns a rare diamond. When Ralph investigates, he finds that the diamond has been stolen. He catches up to the crooks, but while apprehending them Billy distracts him. The diversion allows the crooks to knock out Ralph and escape. Billy then attempts to revive the Elongated Man.

Edited by Julius Schwartz.

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