Batman 327 – Professor Milo runs Arkham Asylum

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A great Joe Kubert cover on Batman 327 (Sept. 80).

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Continuing the Wein, Novick and McLaughlin story from last issue, Batman is undercover as an Arkham Asylum inmate, which has been taken over by Professor Milo. Batman sneaks out of his cell, and explores some of the other cells.  Maxie Zeus gets a cameo, his first appearance in this book, following his last appearance in Detective Comics a couple of months earlier.  It will be a couple of years before his next appearance, also in Detective.  Batman checks out the cells of Two-Face and the Joker as well, even though both are currently considered dead. In both cases, and for Zeus as well, it seems the inmates are allowed to decorate as they see fit.

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But Milo has been watching all of this on his spy cameras, and has Batman brought to him.  He gives him drugged tea, which Batman throws away.  But the cup was drugged as well, with a hallucinogen absorbed through the skin, which Batman did not suspect.

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Milo then plays his mind games with the hero, trying to convince him that he only thinks he is Batman, a symptom of his insanity.  This almost works, until Batman catches a glimpse of himself in a mirror, and sees his dilated pupils.  Unfortunately, the art at this point shows his eye slits as all white, denying what the text is telling us.  Ah well.

With his plans foiled, Milo puts on a sealed suit and releases a gas guaranteed to drive any who inhale it insane, and then sicks the inmates on Batman.  But instead, they turn on him, attacking him and tearing the suit.

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So the story ends with Milo completely insane. This is the last pre-Crisis appearance of the character (indeed, his last appearance until very recently), so one can safely assume Milo spent his remaining time crazy, and in the asylum.

The comic expands with this issue, gaining eight extra pages, and has a Batman and Robin back-up story, which is too mediocre to write about.

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