Batman 274 – the Olympic treasure hunt

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The third chapter of the Underworld Olympics appears in Batman 274 (April 1975), as Reed and Chan combine two continents for the Afr-Asian team.  Apparently there is exceptionally few criminals in either Africa or Asia, requiring them to team up.

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Ambra Kadiri is the leader of the Afro-Asian team, and gets more play than any other villain in this storyline, aside from the unnamed master of the Underworld Olympics itself.  The assignment this team gets is a bit different than the others, a treasure hunt taking them through Gotham City, with clues in rhyme.

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Batman stops the first team members, who break into the library and set fire to the cover of an old book, revealing the next clue.  Batman notes the Nigerian hand signals by which one of the captured thieves communicates the poem to the others.

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But with Batman keeping en eye out for any strange crimes, and the public revelation of the poem, Ambra Kadiri sacrifices herself to delay Batman, showing off her steel-tipped fingernails in an excellent fight scene.  That ends her time in the Olympics, but I do wish she could have made a return appearance.

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As for Batman, he is getting more and more irritated with the entire competition, and snapping at Alfred because of it.  By this point, he has noticed the continental groupings, and with the odd and meaningless crimes taking place, suspects that this is some giant, international game.

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Batman has also put together that all of the stops on the treasure hunt connect to the classic movie Treasure of the Sierra Madre, and with a Humphrey Bogart film festival taking place, deduces that it will be sight of the final crime.  And indeed it is, as the Afro-Asian team have to steal the world “treasure” from the sign.

So Batman stops them, but by this point is all prepared for the next and final team, which has to be North American.

The story concludes in the next issue.

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