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Detective Comics #41 saw the publication of "The Masked Menace of the Boys' School/A Master Murderer". The comic sees Robin's first solo adventure as he investigates both a series of murders and the disappearance of a student at a local boarding school. The story was written by Bill Finger and drawn by Jerry Robinson.

"The Masked Menace of the Boys' School"[]

Synopsis[]

At the Blake's School for Boys, the superintendent is found murdered on the grounds one night. That same evening, a boy named Ted Spencer is kidnapped from his room. Having heard of it through the newspapers, Bruce Wayne and Dick Grayson decide to investigate themselves. To investigate from the inside, Bruce enrolls Dick at the school, where they meet the headmaster Blake. During the tour, they meet several staff, including art teacher Mr. Graves and history teacher Mr. Hodges. They also witness a confrontation with Blake and Greer, who has been fired due to the influence from a pupil's father. With police on the scene, Bruce decides it's better for Dick to patrol alone, though agree to keep in contact.

During his first day, Dick learns the police are searching for Ted Spencer's diary due to the suspicions that he had seen something previously. That night, he sneaks into his room and discovers it hidden amongst his workbooks. In it, Robin learns that Spencer had seen a masked man walking down the school's corridors and planned to inform Blake. Before he can read more, Robin is attacked by the masked man, who manages to knock him out during a struggle and escape. Robin informs Batman of his discoveries via radio communication, who suggests he investigate Blake's room. Meanwhile, the masked man burns the diary and vows to continue his work.

The following night, Robin attempts to climb to Blake's office via a vine. However, he is called away by screams for help, only to find an escaped asylum patient has murdered one of the janitors. As the man attacks him, Robin subdues him. However, he is forced to flee because of arriving police officers. The following day, the police assume the escapee is responsible for the superintendent's murder and call officers away from the grounds. However, Robin is not convinced and breaks into Blake's office that night, only to find him dead inside. The police are called back after its discovery and implicate Greer, who is revealed to have been fired because of Spencer's father.

Still not convinced, Batman encourages Robin to continue his investigation. That night, he sees the masked man leaving Blake's office and follows, discovering he has been using a secret passageway from a classroom to outside the school grounds. Tracking him to a nearby house, he discovers a gang of criminals, who have been producing counterfeit money and been in collusion with Blake. It is also revealed they were responsible for Spencer's kidnapping. Before their leader can kill the boy, Robin makes his attack.

Shortly into the fight, Batman makes his presence known and helps Robin defeat the group. As the masked man attempts to escape, Robin uses his slingshot to knock him out. The masked man is revealed to be Graves, who Batman reveals to have been in partnership with Blake in a counterfeiting scheme and that the school was actually a way to cover their operations. Blake had reported Spencer's discovery to Graves but become panicky after the incident, leading Graves to murder him. With their case solved, Batman and Robin arrest the criminals, with the former confident for Grayson's future as a crime-fighter.

Appearances[]

Individuals[]

  • Batman/Bruce Wayne
  • Robin/Dick Grayson
  • Mr. Graves (Only appearance)
  • Unnamed asylum escapee (Only appearance)
  • Mr. Blake (Only appearance; dies)
  • Ted Spencer (Only appearance)
  • Greer (Only appearance)
  • Hodges (Only appearance)
  • Unnamed student (Only appearance)
  • Unnamed superintendant (Appears as corpse only)
  • Unnamed janitor (Appears as corpse only)

Organizations[]

Locations[]

Objects[]

Notes[]

  • "The Masked Menace of the Boys' School" was initially unnamed in initial publication. Some reprints have titled the story "A Master Murderer".
  • This is the first story to feature Batman and Robin using communication equipment stored on their utility belts.
  • Other stories in this issue include an untitled Spy story, an untitled Red Logan, Ace Reporter story, an untitled Crimson Avenger story, "The Railroad Mystery" (Speed Saunders, Ace Investigator), an untitled Steve Malone, District Attorney story, an untitled Cliff Crosby story, and an untitled Slam Bradley story.
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