Steve Englehart, Marshall Rogers and Terry Austin bring their Joker story to a rousing conclusion in Detective 476 (March/April 1978).
The Joker continues to murder those who he feels are denying him copyright on his fish, despite the best efforts of Batman and Commissioner Gordon.
Near one of the murder sites, Batman’s attention is drawn by the ghost of Hugo Strange, and Batman discovers a gas meter. He does not understand it’s significance, but uses it later, and it points out the Joker. This was Strange’s device to make sure that only the bidders from the first night of his auction would be re-admitted.
But that’s towards the end of the story. Before that, we are treated to the Joker in his insane glory. The writing and art combine perfectly to create an entertaining, blood thirsty madness.
The story catches up with Boss Thorne and Silver St. Cloud, whose car ride goes from silent introspection, to a heated argument about Batman and corruption in Gotham. Thorne kicks Silver out of the car, and she searches for a way back to Gotham.
Not a good move on Thorne’s part, as it turns out Silver’s presence was the only thing delaying Hugo Strange’s ghost.
So as I said before, Batman uses that gas meter and finds the Joker and they have a big fight. Silver returns during it, watching the electrifying climax of the battle.
She explains to Batman that she knows who he is, and loves him, but could never live with the day to day reality of the danger he faces. She tells him she has to leave him, before she cares so much that she couldn’t leave him. And she goes.
A beautifully played out scene, the news that Thorne has talked and that Batman is no longer banned is left as a hollow victory.
It’s many, many years before Silver St. Cloud returns. First in a Legends of the Dark Knight storyline, and then in a Batman mini-series. Neither were really satisfying.