gc8's Detective Comics #40 - The Murders of Clayface review

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Clayface's Debut is a Classic Whodunnit!

Not all the Batman appearances in Detective Comics have been mysteries, but this one definitely is.

Julie Madison, Bruce Wayne's fiance, has landed a role in Argus Pictures' horror film 'Dread Castle' a hugely elaborate production for which a full size castle has been built as a set. But early on the picture is plagued with problems. Mr. Bentley the head of Argus Pictures fires the director, Ned Norton, who swears the film will never be completed without him. Shortly thereafter, Lorna Dane, the picture's star, gets death threats from her jilted ex, and on top of all that, the mob is shaking the studio down for 'protection' money. So, when Dane is murdered during a blackout on set, there's a long list of possible suspects.

This was one of the best Golden Age Batman stories to see print. Probably inspired by Lon Chaney and the original film version of Phantom of the Opera, we have a story filled with intrigue, blackmail and murder, all set against the atmospheric backdrop of a castle. Bob Kane does a great job depicting Clayface in subtle but effective horror illustrations.

Highly recommended.


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