Batman 291 – Where Were You on the Night Batman was Killed? begins

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Batman 291 (Sept. 77) begins a very unusual four part storyline that involves a large number of Batman’s villains, as they hold a trial to determine which of them actually killed the hero.

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David V Reed, John Calnan and Tex Blaisdel open this issue as news spreads throughout the underworld that Batman has been killed.  No one knows exactly what has happened, and lots of people start claiming responsibility – even the Cavalier.

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To determine what really did happen, the various villains put together a trial to hear the different claims.  Ra’s Al Ghul serves as the judge, and Two-Face, appropriately, functions as the prosecutor (or high inquisitor).  The jury is made up of the Mad Hatter, Spook, Poison Ivy, Scarecrow, Signalman and Mr. Freeze.  This is the only time that the “new” Mad Hatter dresses as the original.

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Catwoman is the first claimant, and makes a dramatic entrance, dressed in mourning.

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Her story involves a new identity she had adopted, Madame Claudine, a high end couturiere.  Supposedly she has gone straight, but Batman does not believe this.  Nor should he, as this was all just another scam of hers.

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Catwoman relates how Batman figures out what he is up to, takes down her gang, and pursues her.  The two wind up going over a cliff and into the river.  Catwoman tearfully relates how she lets Batman drown in order to save her own life, while floating to safety on a jaguar cage.

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Two-Face quickly demolishes Catwoman’s story, showing that the cage she claims to have sailed away on does not float, and would have sunk to the bottom of the river.

Catwoman returns in a few months in the pages of Batman Family.

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