Classic Comics: DETECTIVE COMICS #235 (September 1956)


While watching old Wayne family home movies, Bruce Wayne sees his father, Dr. Thomas Wayne, in a “Batman” costume which he wore to a masquerade ball years earlier. Later, Bruce learns that his father had a hit placed on him by a Gotham gangster named Lew Moxon. Due to their detective skills, Batman and Robin figure out that Joe Chill — the trigger man of the Wayne murders — was only Moxon’s pawn. The two then go after the individual who is ultimately responsible for the murders. When confronted by The Dynamic Duo, Moxon has zero memories of Thomas Wayne or Joe Chill.

The cover of DETECTIVE COMICS #235, September 1956

Puzzled, The Batman discovers that Moxon was in an automobile accident which resulted in the latter getting amnesia. Regardless, The Dark Knight stays on Moxon’s trail. Robin then suggests that Bruce wear his dad’s old “Bat-Man” costume and confront Moxon. When this happens, Moxon freaks out as it seems that seeing Batman sporting his father’s old bat-suit caused some ancient memories to return. “You’re dead,” Moxon screams in terror at The Batman, “I had Joe Chill Kill you! Leave me alone!”

Moxon freaks out so bad that he bolts out of the building and is hit by a truck and killed. “A fitting end for one of his kind,” says Batman. OK, he said that in DETECTIVE COMICS #27 when Alfred Stryker dies in “The Case of the Chemical Syndicate,” but his statement fits here as well, right?

DETECTIVE COMICS #235 was written by Bill Finger, penciled by Sheldon Moldoff, and inked by Stan Kaye. It went on sale for 10 cents and has a cover date of September 1956.

“The First Batman” from DETECTIVE COMICS#235 made Michael Uslan’s list of the most important Batman comic book stories from 1939 to 1979. The story can be found reprinted in Batman: The Greatest Stories Ever Told, Vol. 1. – Bill “Jett” Ramey