Posts tagged ‘Dr 13’

Detective 520 – Boss Thorne hires Dr 13, and a Catwoman solo story


Gerry Conway and Don Newton art joined by inker Alfredo Alcala on Detective 520 (Nov. 82).


Batman meets with Jim Gordon and Jason Bard, as well as Vickie Vale.  Her editor committed suicide, and they know he gave Vicki’s pictures to Boss Thorne.  They are trying to tie Thorne to Hamilton Hill.

Batman breaks into a prison, and breaks Deadshot out, to get the name of who hired him.  Floyd Lawton has no problems giving up Thorne’s name, but is surprised when Batman knocks him out and sends him back.


Meanwhile, Boss Thorne is more concerned with the hauntings of Hugo Strange’s ghost than with the detectives, and has hired Dr. 13 to find out if the ghost is real.  Dr.13 was last seen a little over a year earlier, investigating the ghost of Wayne Manor.


Dr. 13 goes to Greytowers, the phony hospital run by Hugo Strange, and his ghost materializes.  And Alfred dusts the Batcave.


Catwoman’s solo tales had been running periodically in the back pages of Batman for the last few years.  This issue marks her only solo story in Detective, by Bob Rozakis and Gil Kane.


Selina Kyle bumps into a former henchman of hers, and, sensing that he is lying to her about his plans, decides to follow him. Catwoman is on the good side of the law these days.


It’s a soft story with a happy ending, as the guy has gone straight as well, and was hoping Catwoman would follow him and be his back up as he exposed some thieves.

Adventure 428 – Black Orchid debuts, and a Dr. 13 story


Black Orchid debuts, beginning her short-lived cover feature with Adventure 428 (Aug 73).  Created by Sheldon Mayer and Tony de Zuniga, Black Orchid was a hero whose identity remained completely unknown during her run.  Her powers were also a bit of a mystery.  Certainly she was capable of flying, but whether this was innate or something endowed by her costume was never explained.  She was also never the main character in any of her stories.  In each tale the villain was, essentially, the star.  There would be a number of female characters in the tale, and the bad guy would try to figure out which of them was really Black Orchid in disguise.


The story in this issue deals with a district attorney trying to get information on an organized crime ring.  He attempts to infiltrate them in disguise, but gets caught and almost killed, Black Orchid swooping in to rescue him.


The mobsters then try to set up the DA and frame him for murder, but once again its Black Orchid to the rescue, and this time she makes sure the gang gets caught.


Tony de Zuniga does some of his best work on this series.


Dr. 13, the Ghost Breaker, had a back-up series in Phantom Stranger, but that had recently been replaced by Spawn of Frankenstein. This story, by Steve Skeates and de Zuniga, had likely been intended for that run, but moved here.

A woman is distraught over the unusual death of her husband, who apparently died of fright.  The reader sees that this happened right after he put on a pair of glasses.


A cleaning lady finds the glasses and tries them on, allowing de Zuniga a full page of horrific visions, which he does to the max.

Examining the glasses, Dr. 13 notices a tiny needle in the frame, and has the needle tested.


Dr. 13 then proudly explains to the woman that her husband had plotted to kill her with the glasses, but messed up and took them instead, accidentally killing himself.  As the poor widow breaks down completely, Dr. 13 strolls merrily away.  Jerk.

Dr. 13 would continue as a supporting character in Phantom Stranger, and his next solo outing would be a Vertigo Visions special in the 90s.

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