The Case of the Chemical Syndicate
|"The Case of the Chemical Syndicate"|
Cover of Detective Comics #27, art by Bob Kane.
|Publication date||May 1939|
|Main character(s)||Batman, Commissioner Gordon|
A man named Lambert is murdered and his son's fingerprints have been found on the knife. Commissioner Gordon goes to the crime scene and interviews Lambert. Jr., who says that someone else had murdered his father and his fingerprints got on the knife as he was pulling it out of his father's chest. He also says that his father had three other business partners named Steve Cranes, Alfred Stryker and Paul Rogers.
Just then, Steve Crane calls Commissioner Gordon and tells him that Lambert received an anonymous threat on his life yesterday and that he had got the same one today and doesn't want to die. The police go to Crane's house but are too late as the murderer has murdered him.
The murderer meets one of his accomplices and shows him a contract he stole, both people smile and head off. Suddenly, a dark, terrifying creature looms over them - Batman, who defeats the two criminals and goes to investigate the contract.
Later, Paul Rogers goes to Alfred Stryker's house. Stryker's assistant, Jennings, puts Rogers into a gas chamber to kill him. Batman arrives and saves Rogers and defeats Jenkins. Stryker arrives and reveals himself to be the mastermind and attacks Rogers, but Batman incapacitates him.
Batman reveals that Stryker wanted total control over the business and so, hired the murderers to kill his business partners. Stryker tears free and attacks Batman. Batman punches him into an acid tank, killing him.
Commissioner Gordon talks to billionaire philanthropist Bruce Wayne and tells him about Batman's caper. Bruce claims that he isn't interested, and goes home — where it is revealed that he is none other than Batman.
As well as being printed in Detective Comics #27, The Case of the Chemical Syndicate has been reprinted in:
- Detective Comics #387
- Detective Comics #627
- Famous First Edition C-28
- Millennium Edition:Detective Comics #27
- Batman Archives Vol.1
- Batman Chronicles Vol.1
- Batman:From The 30's to the 70's
Brad Meltzer wrote an updated version of this story with art by Bryan Hitch for the New 52 Detective Comics vol. 2 #27 which was released in January, 2014 as part of Batman's 75th anniversary. The plot and characters are largely the same as the original with a twist ending implying Stryker's dip in the acid transforms him into the Joker.
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