Marty Pasko and Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez craft a decent whodunnit in Detective 459 (May 1976), but unfortunately it really has little connection to Ernie Chan’s cover.
The story deals with a successful mystery novelist, whose books always have a trademark “clue before dying.” He is wealthy, successful arrogant, hated, and fairly obviously going to be the victim.
His body is found, along with a clue left before dying. But was the clue really his, or a distraction by the killer?
Some good action scenes, and a solid mystery that plays fair.
The concluding half of the Man-Bat story, also by Pasko, with art by Pablo Marcos, has the villain trying to draw supernatural energy off of Man-Bat and She-Bat. Up to now, there had never been anything supernatural ascribed to them, and though by and large the Man-Bat stories would stay in the realm of the scientific, occasionally he would be portrayed as something magical.
Much of this story has Kirk fighting the bad guy, both in human form, and as a demon. It’s not clear which of the two forms is the villains true nature.
Kirk manages to defeat him, and frees Francine, restoring her to human form. The Langstroms return a year down the road, when Man-Bat gets a series in Batman Family.