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Detective Comics #30 was published in August 1939. The issues saw the publication of the Batman story "The Return of Doctor Death". The story sees Batman's second battle with Doctor Death as he investigates the death of a diamond owner. The issue was written by Gardner Fox and suspected to have been drawn by Sheldon Moldoff.

"The Return of Doctor Death"[]


Less than a week after his encounter with Dr. Death, Bruce Wayne learns of a mysterious death of a man called Jones, who died after turning purple. Suspecting Death to have survived, Bruce pretends to be a reporter and visits the the man's widow to learn more about him. Though her, he discovers Jones lost a fortune in the Great Depression though kept a valuable collection of diamonds. His suspicions confirmed, Bruce returns at night as Batman and infiltrate the house. Death, meanwhile, is revealed to have survived his encounter through the use of a secret passage, though has been horribly disfigured as a result of the blaze. With his resources drained, he dispatches his remaining henchman Mikhail to steal the Jones' diamonds.

Moments after opening the safe, Batman learns of Mikhail's arrival and hides before he enters the room. As Mikhail steals the diamonds, Mrs. Jones enters the room, forcing Batman to interfere to save her life. After knocking him out, Batman decides to tail him to lead him back to Death, leaving the diamonds in his possession. After treating Jones for injuries sustained in the scuffle, he tails the henchmen to a pawnshop in the city's Bowery district and later a cheap hotel.

Deciding to look for clues, Batman breaks into the building and, after locating Mikhail, uses a gas capsule to knock him out. After ensuring the agent has dissipated, Batman begins searching for clues, though is unsuccessful. Mikhail soon recovers and attacks Batman, forcing him to flee out of the window. Having left his Batrope hanging outside, the vigilante uses it to swing back towards the window, during which he kills Mikhail by breaking his neck.


Gardner Fox brings back Bill Finger's Bat-Note concept for its second appearnce

Deciding to return to the pawnshop, Batman deduces that Mikhail had left it with the business. After tipping off the police, Batman breaks into the building and confronts the owner. As he flees, Batman uses his rope to snare the man, during which he learns it to be a disguise. The Man is revealed to be Doctor Death, who had been horribly disfigured from their last encounter. After subduing him, Batman leaves him and the diamonds for the police to pick up, along with a note asking them to return the jewels back to Mrs. Jones.




  • New York City (Original Intention) / Gotham City (Retconned Appearance)
    • Wayne Manor
    • Jones Residence (Only appearance)
    • The Bowery (First Appearance)
      • Ivan Herd Pawnshop (Only appearance)
    • Unnamed Hotel (Only appearance)