No pirates in Detective 49 (March, 1941), although there would be a story coming in a few months that does pit Batman against them, so perhaps this cover can be viewed as a trailer.
Clayface returns, along with Julie Madison and the head of the studio, in a Bill Finger/Bob Kane/Jerry Robinson story that is really just a replay of the original.
Julie Madison has not been seen since the last Clayface story, as she has been swept up by Hollywood, and even given a new name, Portia Storme. She formally ends her engagement with Bruce Wayne in this story.
Meanwhile, Basil Karlo escapes during a prison transfer, and again dons his Clayface garb, intending to kill everyone he didn’t manage to kill the last time around. Preferably on a movie set. Like last time.
The car is officially the Batmobile as of this story, although it’s still the red one. Just occurred to me that we haven’t seen the blue car in Detective since the introduction of Robin, so perhaps this was a new car he painted in Dick’s honour.
The story really only gets into high gear in the last few pages, once they are back amid the phony castles of the set.
It’s not a bad story, but it’s the same story, without the whodunnit element. This was the last appearance of Basil Karlo as Clayface until the early 80s. There would be two more men adopting the name Clayface before his comeback, the first of which was Matt Hagen, in the early 60s.
Julie Madison also leaves the comic after this story, pursuing her Hollywood career. She next appears in an issue of World’s Finest in the late 70s.
The Crimson Avenger is given his best opponent by far in this issue. A mad scientist (just named Jon), builds a giant golden android, Echo, and sends it on a destructive rampage.
The Avenger wins out through some deft footwork, and a lot of luck. After seeing an attack by Echo, Lee follows it back to the scientist’s lab. When the bad guy orders Echo to kill, the Avenger steps out of the way, and Echo kills his master.