The Joker story in Detective 388 (June 1969) is just lame. No tow ways about it. But I imagine it didn’t feel that way at the time, with the moon landing a current event when John Broome, Bob Brown and Joe Giella crafted this tale.
It begins with Batman and Robin chasing the Joker as he robs a planetarium, and later a laboratory in which a scientist has created an anti-gravity machine.
The Joker and his man manage to capture Batman and Robin, who get knocked out, and wake up in space suits on the moon.
And how did the Joker get them there? The story never even tries to answer that. It’s sad that Batman and Robin actually believe they are on the moon for a page, despite the theft of the anti-gravity machine, which should have wised them up immediately that the Joker is just trying to make them think that’s where they are.
Incidentally, this story attributes the Joker with a phosphorescent glow to his face, the result of the chemicals that dyed his skin. It’s not a bad idea, but does not appear in any other stories.
Great Gil Kane/Murphy Anderson splash page to start off Frank Robbins Batgirl 2-parter.
Barbara Gordon is apartment hunting, and answers an ad for a free apartment for a red-headed girl (shades of the Sherlock Holmes tale, “The Red Headed League.” Barbara gets a big complex story from her new roomie, who needs her to dress as Batgirl for an awards ceremony while she goes to visit an ailing relative.
The story is so convoluted it should raise Barbara’s suspicions, but doesn’t. She is a bit surprised when Batman comes to the door, even moreso when he attacks her.
It’s not the real Batman, of course, and Barbara manages to elude him. She follows him to the awards ceremony, and finds a number of other goons dressed as heroes there. They all believe her to be the woman she is impersonating, who is really part of their gang, but who betrayed them.
The story concludes next issue.