Batman 8 – The Superstition Murders, and the Joker goes cross-country

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A nice, recursive cover for Batman 8 (Dec/Jan 41/42).

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Finger, Kane and Robinson spin a really enjoyable murder mystery in this issue, The Superstition Murders.  This is not only the title of the story, but also the title of a play being staged.

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The troupe hold a superstition party to gain publicity, each of them breaking a classic one.  Before the page is even over, the people begin to be killed off, using the same superstitions they broke.

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Batman is a step behind for much of this story, as the bodies mount up.  He does finally deduce that the author of the play was the killer, with a weird explanation that involves regaining the rights to the production.

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The Joker makes his inevitable appearance in this issue, another Finger, Kane and Robinson story, which is much better than the one last issue.

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I first read this story as a kid, in a giant reprint issue of Batman stories.  The Joker heads across the US, committing murders in different states, and leaving cards behind, with the name and outline of the state.

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It’s really not too hard to figure out that the Joker is spelling his name with the murders.  He will do this repeatedly over the next decade or two, although usually with thefts instead of murders.

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