Denny O’Neil, Neal Adams and Dick Giordano craft a really clever variation of a team-up story in Detective 404 (Oct. 70), as Batman gets involved with a film crew making a biopic of Enemy Ace.
Bruce Wayne is one of the producers of the film, and he views the story of Hans Von Hammer as that of a man trying to maintain nobility in the madness of World War I. There is also a lookalike descendant of Hans who disagrees completely with the way the film portrays Hans, and thinks it demeans him.
Someone keeps sabotaging the film production, and it’s not difficult to guess who. But that’s all just a set-up for the big finale, as Franz dresses as Enemy Ace, and challenges Batman to a dogfight.
Who cares if it’s not really practical, it brings Enemy Ace fully into the story, even if it’s a different man in a different time.
Franz dies when his scarf gets caught in the rotor, but it’s given a hint of a supernatural feel, as if his ghostly ancestor denied him.
There is a follow-up story, of sorts, a few years down the road.
Batgirl investigates the murder of underground film director Billy Warlock in this story by Frank Robbins, Gil Kane and Frank Giacoia.
Jason Bard was arrested for the crime after being seen by witnesses, but he was on a job, and ordered to dress a certain way. It doesn’t take Barbara long to figure out he was set up, despite the damning evidence against him. Commissioner Gordon gets a brief scene.
Batgirl follows the trail to two of Warlocks stars, who freely admit to their crime, as they work to turn Batgirl into a statue.