Gerry Conway, Don Newton and Frank Chiaramonte provide a full-length story in Detective 511 (Feb. 82), introducing a new villain, Mirage.
The story takes place in the immediate aftermath of the mayoral election. Hamilton Hill won, after Arthur Reeves faked photos of Batman were exposed.
Mirage is a thief, armed with some wrist weaponry that causes hallucinations in any who look at him. He can affect individuals, or large crowds.
Vicki Vale is at a racetrack he robs, and takes photos of him. His effects do not show up in the pictures, an important clue for Batman to protect himself from Mirage’s powers.
Robin is a supporting character again, giving university another shot as Dick Grayson. But classes fail to be as interesting as the exotic woman he runs into, Dala.
Fans may recognize this name as the female accomplice/victim of the Monk back in very early Batman stories. A number of early villains would be re-introduced in the next year.
Arthur Reeves, upset about losing, goes to the man who backed his campaign and gave him the fake photos – Boss Thorne, recently released from Arkham. Thorne also reveals that he leaked the undoctored photos to Olivia Ortega, which ruined Reeves’ run for mayor. Thorne has his own game, and everyone else is just a pawn.
Batman manages to break Mirage’s spell, and brings him down. When I read this as a kid, I just loved this villain and eagerly awaited his return. Now, I’m not so sure what I liked, aside from the unusual costume. Mirage would appear again from time to time, usually in groups with other villains.
The issue ends with Bruce Wayne stepping down as the head of the Wayne Foundation, and appointing Lucius Fox to take his place. That had more or less been being built up since the moment Fox was introduced, and the position has fit him like a glove ever since.