Detective 495 – The Crime Doctor vs Sterling Silversmith, the importance of a mattress, Batgirl goes after a gang boss, and Black Lightning and Robin end
Michael Fleisher, Don Newton and Frank Chiaramonte conclude the Crime Doctor storyline in Detective 495 (Oct. 80).
Picking up from where last issue left off, the Crime Doctor is amazed that the men who hired him would want to kill him, and works with Batman to escape the building before it blows up.
It was the bloodthirsty and greedy Sterling Silversmith who ordered his men to turn on the Crime Doctor, just so he could avoid paying for his services.
Silversmith has his men kidnap the Crime Doctor, while Batman hunts them both. Silversmith gives Thorne quicksilver to drink. Batman captures Silversmith, but is too late to help Thorne. He is still alive, but mentally fried, and confined to a hospital.
This is the final appearance of both Sterling Silversmith, and this incarnation of the Crime Doctor, although another one will pop up in the pages shortly after Crisis on Infinite Earths.
Bob Rozakis and Dan Spiegle share this brief Tales of Gotham City chapter, which deals with a small time gangster who has been stealing from the mob, stashing the money in his mattress. They are on to him, and he has to pay them back that evening. Returning home, he finds his apartment on fire.
He winds up trapped in his burning suite, and uses the mattress to break his fall when he jumps. The money stuffed mattress winds up with the mobsters, and the man has his life, but nothing else.
A good one.
Batgirl is after a mob boss in this story, by Cary Burkett, Jose Delbo and Frank Chiaramonte.
Barbara is having her own romantic troubles, as office geek Richard Bender tries to make a date with her, while she still longs for the father of the girl she rescued.
But the bulk of this tale follows her efforts as Batgirl to find proof linking the man, Beeler, to the crimes she knows he is guilty of. She succeeds, but overall, this story is kind of flat.
Jean-Marc deMatteis scripts this final Black Lightning story, which deals with street gangs and the crappy life choices for slum kids.
Inspector Henderson and Jimmy Olsen both guest star – both were supporting characters in Black Lightning’s old book.
The story gets quite violent and intense. Even after Black Lightning wins, he has to talk the young hood out of killing himself rather than head to prison.
While Henderson and Jimmy Olsen both next appear shortly in Superman titles, Black Lightning does not return again until the launch of Batman and the Outsiders, three years down the road.
Harris, Nicholas and Colletta bring Robin’s series to a close with another story about his stresses at university.
As before, he is getting barked at by Jennifer, and is in academic trouble. At the same time, he is trying to track the shipment of drugs into the college from Gotham.
He gets Jennifer’s blessing to spend the night working on an essay, but winds up heading out as Robin.
He stops the bad guys, but blows his university career. Without even saying good-bye to Jennifer he leaves Hudson University, riding off into the pages of New Teen Titans.
Dick Grayson would not get a solo series again for many years. Tim Drake would get a series before Dick Grayson does.