Classic Comics: DETECTIVE COMICS #27 (1939)


The legend began here…

DETECTIVE COMICS #27, May of 1939.

This, of course, is the comic that featured the very first appearance by Batman – or “The Bat-Man” as he was originally called. Batman’s debut took place in a short story titled “The Case of the Chemical Syndicate,” which was written by Bill Finger with art by Bob Kane.

In the story, Commissioner Gordon and the Gotham City PD discover that wealthy industrialist named Lambert has been murdered and Lambert’s son’s fingerprints have been found on the murder weapon. Lambert Jr. says that his fingerprints were found on the knife because he pulled the knife out of his father’s chest. Gotham millionaire Bruce Wayne – who apparently likes to hang around crime scenes in his spare time – figures something fishy is up and decides it’s time for The Bat-Man to investigate the crime.

The Bat-Man focuses on Lambert’s old business partners – Crane, Rogers, and Stryker – as possible suspects. Not long afterward, Crane is found dead – murdered in his own home. Believing they must be next on the hit list, Rogers meets with Stryker who reveals to Rogers that he is the killer. Stryker then kidnaps Rogers and plans to take over all of their business partnerships.

The Bat-Man locates and saves Rogers who was being held inside of Stryker’s chemical factory. Stryker attacks The Dark Knight, but he thwarts the attack by beating Stryker back and causing him to fall into acid.

And no, Stryker does not emerge with bleached white skin and green hair. He’s just dead. “A fitting end for his kind,” says The Bat-Man.

In the end, Commissioner Gordon discusses the event with Bruce Wayne who yawns and says he has no interest in the exploits of The Bat-Man. Upon returning to Wayne Manor, it is revealed that Bruce Wayne is The Bat-Man. – Bill “Jett” Ramey