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Detective Comics #42 saw the publication of the Batman story "The Case of the Prophetic Pictures". The story follows Batman and Robin's investigation into a series of murders related to an artist. The story was presumably written by Bill Finger, and drawn by Bob Kane and Jerry Robinson.

"The Case of the Prophetic Pictures"[]


On a night away from crime-fighting, Bruce Wayne attends a party organized by Wylie, a socialite with an interest in art. During it, he and the guests are introduced to Antal, an artist who Wylie discovered in Europe. During the party, Bruce witnesses a confrontation between Antal and a man named Mikoff, and learns that the artist has a reputation with womanizing. In the weeks following the party, many of Gotham's socialites are taken with Antal's skill and begin commissioning paintings from him.

One night, one of the socialites, Vangild, discovers his painting has been stabbed. The following night, he is discovered to have been murdered, having been stabbed in the heart. Days later, opera star Carmen Largo discovers hers has been stabbed with a dart. The following night, she is killed onstage with a dart to the neck. The murders soon gain media attention. After a third socialite, Warren, finds his vandalized with a noose, he approaches the police for protection. Deciding to investigate, Batman makes his way to Warren's penthouse, where he finds the killer has already struck. The police also arrive upon the scene and quickly blame Batman, prompting him to fend them off and flee the scene.

Whilst Bruce visits Commissioner Gordon to turn up further leads, Antal visits to ask for police action, giving them several leads to investigate. At the same time, Wylie arrives and claims he has been attacked by the same killer. Another socialite, Travers, reveals that he has recently been threaten, having found an arrow imbedded in his painting. Whilst Batman investigates another matter, he sends Robin to protect the socialite on his friend's yacht. The Boy Wonder arrives just as a masked figure prepares to kill Travers and is able to top their attempt. However, the murderer is able to overpower him and escape capture.

At their home, Batman meets with Robin and reveals he has deduced the killer's identity, revealing the motive to be financial. However, to draw them out, he decides to get a portrait painted by Antal for Bruce Wayne. After its completion, he takes it home and finds it shot up within the night. Working with Dick, Bruce sets up a dummy for the killer to attack. That night, the killer attacks the dummy, with Batman subduing them quickly.

The killer is revealed to be Wylie, who Batman reveals was heavily in debt. Wylie had bought many of Antal's paintings cheaply, with the whole scheme made to make him notorious and drive up the prices. He'd also framed an attack on himself to draw police attention away, having used a secret passage to slip past police unnoticed. Before he can be arrested, Wylie commits suicide to escape the law. With the case wrapped up, Batman decides to call the police to inform them of the discoveries and tell them that Bruce Wayne has been saved by the Batman...



  • Batman/Bruce Wayne
  • Robin/Dick Grayson
  • Commissioner Gordon
  • The Painter of Death/Wylie (Only appearance; dies)
  • Pierre Antal (First Appearance)
  • Bleek (Only appearance)
  • Mikoff (Only appearance)
  • Ryder (Only appearance)
  • Vangild (Only appearance; dies)
  • Carmen Largo (Only appearance; dies)
  • Warren (Only appearance; dies)
  • Travers (Only appearance)
  • Drake (Only appearance)
  • Rodgers (Only appearance)
  • Mikoff's sister (Mentioned only)
  • Ryder's wife (Mentioned only)
  • Drake's wife (Mentioned only)