Batman 354 – Boss Thorne loses it


Boss Thorne takes centre stage in the Conway, Newton and Alcala story in Batman 354 (Dec. 82).


As the situation in Gotham spirals out of the control of Mayor Hamilton Hill and the new police commissioner, Paulins, the deputy status of Batman is revoked, and replaced with a shoot to kill order.  Not long after, Batman does get shot by an officer, and returns to the cave, bleeding profusely, to be tended by Alfred.


Dr. Thirteen is out of the hospital, but with no memory of entering the Batcave.  He has been hired by Boss Thorne to seek out the ghost of Hugo Strange.  What he finds are holographic projectors, which have been relaying the image of Strange’s ghost.


In the previous issue of Detective, Batman broke Deadshot out of prison (the reason for the shoot to kill order), and we see that he is being held in the Batcave, as Batman tries to elicit a confession that he was hired by Thorne to kill Bruce Wayne.


In a set-up for the next issue, Vicki Vale receives an angry and threatening phone call from Catwoman, warning her away from Bruce Wayne.


Batman mutely starts shadowing Thorne, pushing the already distraught mob boss over the edge.  Thorne is convinced that Hill and Paulins are the ones behind faking the ghost of Hugo Strange, and he confronts them in Hill’s office, killing Paulins.


With Thorne now raving mad, and having killed the police commissioner in front of witnesses, he gets carted off to Arkham, while Batman forces Hill to promise to re-instate Gordon, not being able to pin anything criminal on the mayor.  We discover that Batman is really still in the Batcave recovering from bring shot, and that it was Dick Grayson in the costume who was tailing Thorne.


Really excellent art and a fun resolution to this long running storyline, that ends with a great kicker, as we see that Hugo Strange is really still alive, and that it was he who had been tormenting Boss Thorne all along.

Both Thorne and Strange are seen again shortly, but Deadshot takes a little over a year to return.  This is the last pre-Crisis appearance of Dr. Thirteen, and I think we do not see him again until the Books of Magic miniseries in the 90s.


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One thought on “Batman 354 – Boss Thorne loses it

  1. Rogerinho March 24, 2017 at 6:08 pm Reply

    Reblogged this on Blog do Rogerinho.


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