Batman 110 – the Crime of the Month Club, Alfred resigns, and Batman becomes a phantom

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The final story in the issue gets the cover of Batman 110 (Sept. 57).

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There is a good Joker story in this issue, by Dave Wood, Sprang and Paris, although the Joker doesn’t appear much in it.

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The Joker auctions off plans to robberies themed by month, getting paid up front, rather than participating in the crimes.  This keeps him offstage for much of the action.

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He does show up for the final theft, so that Batman and Robin can catch him.

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Alfred gets the focus of the issue’s second story, by Finger, Moldoff and Kaye.  The story has Alfred reflecting on his days with Batman and Robin, as he writes his letter of resignation.

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The story behind how Alfred came to work for Bruce and Dick is much the same, except when it comes to how he discovered their identities.  In this new version, the heroes called for Alfred’s help, choosing to let him in on the secret, rather than Alfred discovering it himself.

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The story has lots of flashbacks to how he has helped Batman in the past, including covering his identity for an ever-suspicious Vicki Vale.  Alfred believes that he must have accidentally revealed something to a shady man he saw just after coming to work for Bruce Wayne, and has seen again recently.  In fact,the “man” is just Bruce in disguise, who had been testing Alfred back at the start, to see if he was trustworthy.

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The cover story, by Hamilton, Sprang and Paris, gives Batman the power of intangibility.

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As the result of chemicals Batman was exposed to during a fire, his body looses its solidity.  He can pass through anything, but cannot touch anything.  Robin deals with the physical stuff, as ghostly Batman does the thinking.

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It’s a decent story, some good visuals, and a nice twist as Robin vanishes by hiding inside Batman’s phantom form.

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