Batman 305 – Batman takes risks, and who killed Mrs. Batman?

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Unsolved Cases of Batman returns, backing up a story that uses some giant props in Batman 305 (Nov. 78).

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The Death’s Head Gang, lead by a mysterious leader called Thanatos, rob a number of businessmen, all of whom had made disastrous decisions with their companies in the preceding week, a this Gerry Conway, John Calnan and Dave Hunt story begins.

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An Italian journalist, Lina Muller, accompanies Bruce Wayne as he heads to a gambling island just offshore from Gotham, an island visited by all of the victims shortly before they began losing their companies.  He gets a mind blast, which leads him to take bigger and bigger risks at the casino.

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The dangerous risk taking continues when Bruce becomes Batman, and it’s so bad that even Commissioner Gordon notices, and is reluctant to allow Batman to go after the Death’s Head Gang.

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But Batman goes on anyway, and captures Amos Fortune, who he had noticed at the casino.  The mental blasts had been sent by the master of luck, who was working with Thanatos.  They induced the victim to take ever increasing risks, causing them to make bad business moves, and leaving them prey to Thanatos.

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The story climaxes back at the casino, where Batman has rigged the giant games to work for him, avoiding any element of risk.  He take down the villains, unmasking Thanatos as Lina Muller.

Not a bad story.  Amos Fortune is usually a Justice League villain, and fought the team earlier in the year. He returns in a few months in Wonder Woman.

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Bob Rozakis, Don Newton and Dave Hunt begin a 2-part Unsolved Cases of the Batman story in this issue, which begins as a dead woman is found, wearing a ring inscribed with the name Mrs. Batman.

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Needless to say, Batman has never seen this lady before, although Commissioner Gordon seems to feel the need to ask about it.

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Batman analyzes the composition of the ring, and the inscription, and goes in disguise to question the jeweller who made it.  To his great surprise, he finds the woman the ring belongs to, alive and well, and wearing an identical piece of jewellery.  Even the man who made it cannot tell the two rings apart.

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Puzzled, Batman returns home, only to have a mysterious man enter the Manor, informing Bruce and Alfred that he has used an x-ray camera to determine that Bruce is Batman, and that he will reveal this to the world if Batman tries to stop him.

A strange first half, concluded in the next issue.

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