An evocative cover for Batman 202 (June 1968), but not a great story to suit it.
Fox, Stone and Greene spin this story in which Batman and Robin deal with a series of robberies that seem to involve floating weapons and hidden enemies. Alfred knows something about what is going on, but when he tries to tell the heroes, he collapses, after muttering about an “Eternal Gate.”
Following that clue, Batman and Robin head to the Eternal Gate Cemetery.
They find and defeat the bad guy. Alfred wakes up, and give a long explanation about how he knew that the villain must be a mind reader who he knew years ago. The man saved his life once, and Alfred’s internal conflict about turning him in caused his collapse.
I would happily have skipped over this tale, except I had to write about the back-up story.
After a number of stories in which Robin had played the lead, but not received the billing, he finally ascends to his own back-up series, which will jump back and forth between Batman and Detective over the next few years.
Friedrich, Stone and Giella open this story as Dick Grayson heads out to run for school council. Bruce is impressed, and agrees that he needs to devote a bit more time to his life as a teenager.
On the way to the school, Dick gets attacked by a biker gang. Switching to Robin, he follows, and then infiltrates them. He succeeds in taking down the entire gang himself.
But it proves to be a hollow victory. He has missed the student council debate, and, as a result, lost the election. Alfred and Bruce try to cheer him up, but it’s clear they do not succeed.
Dick Grayson has discovered the cost of playing the hero.