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A very creepy cover by Nick Cardy for Detective 436 (Aug,/Sept. 73), as Shotgun Smith returns in a story by Frank Robbins, Bob Brown and Frank Giacoia.

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Bruce Wayne returns from a vacation, and Shotgun Smith is now working customs, checking for drugs.  Alfred is quite surprised to find some in Bruce’s luggage.  Bruce examines the powder, just before Shotgun comes bursting in to arrest him.

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Batman finds himself suffering a crippling fear of the dark – a side effect of exposure to the powder, but still has presence of mind to demand a warrant from Shotgun, which he does not have.

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Batman realizes that only Shotgun and the stewardess could have planted the drugs on him, and follows him, finding the two together.  But he has also been alert enough to spot that this is not the real Shotgun Smith, but someone impersonating him, and using his position, in league with the stewardess, to smuggle drugs on unsuspecting passengers.

Not a bad story, but it’s unfortunate that Shotgun isn’t really himself in his second appearance.

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Sue gets kidnapped in this Elongated Man story, by Elliot S! Maggin and Dick Giordano.

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The kidnappers lure Ralph to them, with an invisible dog trick. I love the panel of Ralph stuck in the glass jar.

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They show Ralph a live video feed of Sue, who flashes two fingers at him.  Ralph pays little attention to their demands – they want him to use his powers to their benefit – instead trying to figure out Sue’s clue as to her location.

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He does so, and captures the bad guys (booga booga), but the story ends on the wonderful twist, as Ralph explains how he figured out Sue’s clue, and Sue replies that she never intended it as a clue, she was just telling him to save her before 2 o’clock.

 

 

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