Batman foils a gang of counterfeiters unloading funny money at the Gotham Freight Yards and is helped by an unseen marksman with an echoing laugh. Bruce Wayne follows the money trail to Tumbleweed Crossing, Arizona, where unruly hippies have been wreaking weekly havoc. Bruce meets Lamont Cranston, a scientist who is staying at the same hotel, then Batman journeys out into the desert, where a shadowy figure shoots down the counterfeiters’ plane before they get away. The unseen marksman helps Batman dispatch the leader of the gang, then meets him back at the Gotham Freight Yards at midnight and reveals himself as The Shadow.
That's quite a cape, Batman!
Jack: This issue marks Jim Aparo's first Batman story for Detective. He had been drawing DC horror comics and the Batman team-ups in The Brave and the Bold. I think he is the second best Batman artist we've seen since January 1970, after Neal Adams. I do see a resemblance to the Novick/Giordano style, but I think Aparo's art is better. I especially like the wordless sequences.
Jack: I agree that this is exciting stuff, but I think we had a similar jolt during the brief period when Rich Buckler took over the art on the Robin backup. The level of quality didn't last long, though. I only have a vague recollection of this series but I'm looking forward to more.
Jack: Goodwin notes that Julius Schwartz will stay busy with Shazam and Strange Sports Stories, two series I loved at the time. Had I been on Peter's school playground, that admission probably would have gotten me beaten up (you wouldn't have lasted a day!-PE). There were no December 1973 issues of Batman or Detective Comics, and these two November issues were the last with a 20 cent cover price. The next issue of both titles would start the run of 100-page super-spectaculars that pervaded the DC line in 1974.