Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Brave and the Bold #92

Brave and the Bold #92 (On Sale: August 25, 1970) has an amazing cover by Nick Cardy. This is just a beautiful, moody masterpiece by Nick. 

"Night Wears a Scarlet Shroud!" by Bob Haney and Nick Cardy stars, introduces and lays rest to The Bat-Squad. Cardy's art is really top notch this issue; one of his best. Bruce Wayne is in England looking into his investment in director Basil Conventry's new historic thriller, "The Scarlet Strangler." Bruce meets script girl Margo Cantrell, technical adviser and former Scotland Yard Inspector Major Dabney (an expert on the history of the real Strangler) and Mick Murdock, a young musician hired to play weird music to keep the cast in the right mood. 

As the fog rolls in and the filming starts, a half-human shape grabs actress  Vivian Tremaine and shambles off with her into the mist. When the director faints and the actor who was supposed to be playing the Strangler is found dead in his trailer, Bruce Wayne exits and Batman appears. With the help of his three new friends Batman begins investigating the murder. As Batman and the Bat-Squad fan out it is discovered that Coventry has disappeared.

In the misty fog Batman has a run-in with a carriage that makes him wonder if he seeing things, but the next thing he sees is the Strangler. Batman jumps him but the Stranger gets the better of him. As he closes in for the kill he is interrupted by the sounds of approaching footsteps and makes a hasty retreat. The Major finds Batman and a clue on a piece of the Strangler's garb in Batman;s hands. 

The Major goes off in search of wine cellars while Batman uses Mick and Margo to set a trap for the Strangler with Margo as the bait. The trap they set works and Margo is attacked by the Strangler. They all attack the Strangler and are wearing him down when a mysterious stranger steps in and knocks out each of our heroes. When they regain their senses the team finds a newspaper on the ground dated 1906.

Meanwhile, the Major has discovered the wine cellar they were looking for and calls the other to him.Inside they find actress Vivian Tremaine chained to a wall, but when they release here she says she is Lucy Crown, a shop girl. Lucy was the first victim of the real Strangler back in 1906.

While considering the unthinkable, they see the Strangler outside as he is approached by Basil Coventry who seems to be warning the Strangler away. However the Strangler attacks Basil and as Batman rushes to save him the Major has no choice but to shoot the Strangler, who falls into the Thames. When they look to check in on Coventry he is again missing. 

Batman goes searching for him but is attacked by Coventry who is mad and convinces that he is the Strangler. In their scuffle they fall through a weak floor and end up in another cellar. As they crash through the rubble Batman finds himself trapped under an old WWII bomb. The sight of the bomb snaps Coventry back to reality The team tries to move the bomb off of Batman but are unable to do do. Worse, the bomb has become activated in all the movement and will explode in 10 minutes. 

Mick and the Major try without success to disarm the bomb and finally Batman tells them to get out of the area. From a sage distance they Bat-Squad views the explosion and morn the Batman's loss. Just then Batman shows up and tell them how he was able to dig a hole in the wall and let the river in which made the bomb buoyant enough for him toe swim free before the explosion

It ends up the Basil Coventry is the grandson of the original Strangler and became obsessed with making a movie about his grandfather. However, his father, who had been in a mental institution for years, leaned of the movie and snapped, thinking he was the Strangler. He killed the actor hired to play him and abducted Vivian Tremaine thinking she was Lucy Crown. With the case wrapped up, Batman expresses his interest in someday working with the Bat-Squad again. Apparently his interest was not that great, as The Bat-Squad never appeared again. 

This story was reprinted in Showcase Presents:The Brave and the Bold Batman Team-Ups Vol. 2 TPB.

Edited by Murray Boltinoff.

1 comment:

Dave Potts said...

That's one of my favorite Cardy covers.