A bit of old, a bit of new in Detective 328 (June 1964), as the New Look Batman continues, but in a story by the old guard, Bill Finger and Sheldon Moldoff. Joe Giella continued on the inks.
While Batman and Robin are out of town, Alfred hears about the Tri-State Gang’s latest crime, and sets out to find them on his own. He succeeds, but falls into their hands. Meanwhile, Batman and Robin discover him missing, and go after the Tri-State Gang themselves. They also get captured, but Alfred gets free.
It’s not the greatest story, and it’s all just a set-up for the big finale, as Alfred gets crushed by a boulder while saving Batman.
Bruce creates a philanthropical organization, the Alfred Foundation, in his memory. This would eventually change names and become the Wayne Foundation.
As well, Dick’s never-previously-mentioned Aunt Harriet makes her debut just before the story closes, moving in with the two men. Killing off Alfred and replacing him with Aunt Harriet was an attempt to make the Batman series seem less gay, although it really didn’t succeed.
Ralph comes across a farmer pursuing a man who stole his barn door, and the oddness of that crime ensures that the Elongated Man gets on the case, in this story by Gardner Fox and Carmine Infantino.
This is also the first story to really start playing the relationship between Ralph and Sue. Ralph forgoes anything in his quest to solve mysteries, while Sue longs for lavish resorts and classy restaurants.
The story is simple but diverting, the only really disturbing element is when Ralph grabs a gun from a hoodlum with his nose. Yeah, I would drop a gun if someone’s nose came flying across the room at me trying to grab it.