Mike Kaluta does the cover for Detective 434 (April 1973), the first half of the introduction of the Spook, a major player against Batman in the 70s.
The Spook is introduced by Frank Robbins, Irv Novick and Dick Giordano, materializing in a cell in Gotham’s new high security prison, offering the man incarcerated , Big Turk, a way out. The Spook blinds the man with dust first, to keep it a secret.
No one can figure out how the escape was done, but Batman does manage to round up Big Turk, and has him in the Batmobile when the Spook suddenly appears in the road before him. Batman gets out to investigate, but the Spook vanishes. More frustratingly, so do the Batmobile and his prisoner!
While Batman is getting humiliated by having the police return the abandoned Batmobile to him, we get to see the Spook’s lair, and his intricate monitoring system, while he gives his sales pitch to a hood. For a price, the Spook will ensure to free anyone who gets captured.
There is nothing supernatural in the way this character is played, despite his name. Anything that gets explained, is shown to be scientific in nature, or a trick.
At story’s end, Batman disguises himself as Big Turk, and heads to prison, in order to get to face the Spook and see his game for himself.
The story concludes next issue.
Hawkman solves a puzzling mystery in this issue, about the serial thief who keeps getting caught, but the stolen goods keep vanishing.
E Nelson Bridwell scripts, with Rich Buckler and Dick Giordano on the art. Hawkman eventually figures out that the thefts were done earlier, and the “stolen goods” he was caught with were dissolving duplicates. Kind of impressive scientific stuff for a thief. Bet he stole the secret on how to do that.
This is Hawkman’s last solo story before he is ordered back to Thanagar, and resigns his position with the Justice League. In a couple of years he gets exiled, and returns to Earth, and his next solo story is also in the pages of Detective.