Such a powerful cover for Detective 355 (Sept. 66). The actual story, by John Broome, Sheldon Moldoff and Joe Giella, is acceptable, but the Hooded Hangman is clearly a one-shot villain.
The Hooded Hangman is a successful pro wrestler, whose identity is unknown.
One night, responding to an alarm, Batman sees the Hangman running from the scene, and they fight. Batman realizes the Hangman was innocent, but there in order to fight. He knocks Batman out, and almost succeeds in removing his mask before others show up and he flees.
After some more fighting, Batman recognizes the bruises on the newscaster’s face as ones he would have left on the Hangman. I always laugh envisioning a newscaster on the air with massive bruises, as if nothing was wrong.
So Batman gets into the public fight Hangman wants, and allows himself to be defeated and unmasked, because he has made himself up as the newscaster. Tables turned, and the newscaster is exposed as the Hangman. End of story.
As I said, definitely a one-shot villain, but such a compelling cover. I believe it to be the inspiration behind the creation of Bane.
Gardner Fox and Carmine Infantino share this story, the penultimate chapter in Zatanna’s quest for her missing father, which had run through a number of DC comics.
Ralph gets involved when he sees stolen jewels flying through the air, and is unable to stop the thieves flying with them.
It turns out Zatanna was responsible, trying to find the last artifacts she was looking for. Zatanna pretends not to know the thieves are thieves, but she was working with them, and desperate, so I’m pretty sure she is lying about that. At any rate, she helps Ralph round them up.
Zatanna then prepares to cast a spell that will take her to another dimension in search of Zatara. Ralph offers to help, but she insists she will do it alone.
As it turns out, in her next appearance, in Justice League of America a few months down the road, she does call on Ralph, as well as the other heroes she encountered on her quest, for help.