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Another great tale, by Denny O’Neil, Neal Adams and Dick Giordano in Detective 410 (April 1971.)

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Batman is pursuing a killer, and winds up in an old house that is home to a handful of former circus freaks: a strongman, a thin man, a fat lady and a boy with flippers instead of hands and feet.

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The thin man gets murdered, but Batman realizes it was not by the man he was chasing.  The boy attempts to clue Batman in, but is incapable of speech, and cannot draw clearly with the flippers.

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But there’s not much to figure out once the strongman tries to throw flipper boy off the roof of the house.  Very nice Adams designed page as Batman swoops in to rescue the boy.  All in all, quite a sad, but powerful, story.

The boy with flippers does return many years down the road, gaining the ability to talk, as the bartender in Shadowpact.

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Batgirl’s series has already taken a sharp downtown, largely because Don Heck has become the artist, but Frank Robbins gives her some stories that are all but insulting.  This one, for example, puts Barbara into a situation with gangsters trying to find out if a fashion designed will make mini, midi, or maxi skirts for the new season.

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Yes, sure, it’s a multi-million dollar industry, but the story keeps playing it as if the only reason Barbara is interested in the case is the fashion element.

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The cliffhanger does not help the situation.  What is the point of the blouse template?  Are they seriously planning on turning her corpse into a blouse?

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