Batman #235

DC ⋅ 1971

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Key Facts

2nd appearance of Ra's al Ghul

Issue Details




Neal Adams


Dennis O'Neil


September 1971


SWAMP SINISTER A heavy and large package arrives for Bruce Wayne at the Wayne Foundation Penthouse. Alfred and Bruce manage to open the box and they realize that it is a coffin with a dead body inside. Bruce quickly changes into Batman and prepares to leave with the corpse to the GCPD Headquarters and start an investigation, when suddenly Ra's al Ghul appears and informs Batman that he sent the package because he needs Batman's help.  Ra's tells Batman that Striss, one of the scientist working for him, had developed a formula to alter chemical elements' properties without his permission and that during a confrontation between them, Ra's was knocked by Striss' assistant, Polard. Ra's was thought to be dead, but with help from his other scientists, Ra's recovered and started looking for Striss. After an extensive search, all his men could find was the dead body of Polard, the man who attacked Ra's. When they examined the body, they found traces of the formula developed by Striss and also discovered that when humans were exposed to the formula, it turned into a deadly plague, which is what killed Polard. After telling the story to Batman, Ra's asks the Dark Knight to find and stop Striss from spreading the plague and also save Ra's daughter, Talia, as she had already begun a manhunt for the scientist, unaware of the dangers.   Batman starts his investigation in the house of a notorious chemist, who could provide Striss with the chemical elements he needed to test his formula. When Batman arrives at the place, he realizes that it is too late, as both Striss' men as well as Talia's henchmen have arrived before him and someone had kidnapped the chemist. Batman takes down the thugs guarding the house and when he enters the place, he interrogates the housekeeper, who informs Batman that the thugs have taken Mr. London to a "small stream".   Batman deduces that the housemaid refers to the Louisiana swamps and he prepares a flight on Ra's private jet to Louisiana. Batman descends on the marked location and starts following the traces left by Striss' formula until he finds an odd abandoned cabin in the middle of the swamp. When Batman enters the place, he finds a concealed elevator inside and he prepares to descend, unaware of the activities taking place below, where Talia had already caught up with Striss and Mr. London, and she was ready to eliminate the scientist for the murder of her father. Batman arrives in time to stop Talia from killing Striss, but when he is explaining them about the deadly plague contained in the formula, Striss attacks them and Batman is forced to defend Talia from Striss, who grabs a machine gun and tries to shoot at them. Batman manages to hold Striss' aim away from them, but one of the bullets hits the vial with the formula, spilling the chemical over the desk. Batman punches Striss and the man falls on top of the formula, which starts affecting him immediately. Batman takes Talia and Mr. London out of the room and he seals it completely in order to avoid the plague from spreading away.   Finally, Batman, Talia and Mr. London reach the surface of the swamp, where Ra's is waiting for them and Talia is overjoyed to learn that her father is still alive. Ra's has taken a team of doctors to make sure they are not infected and they prepare to leave the place. Before leaving the swamp, Talia shows her gratitude to Batman by kissing him, but Batman is still shocked at Talia's willingness to kill, which makes him unsure about her last kiss. THE OUTCAST SOCIETY Robin works hard to convince the communards to let him take Pat Whalon, the main suspect of the attack on a police officer, to stand trial. However, Whalon breaks away, confessing his crimes and he runs into the forest, where he causes a brushfire that may destroy the commune. CASTLE WITH WALL-TO-WALL DANGER! Bruce Wayne and Dick Grayson are interrupted by a call on the Batphone during breakfast. Commissioner Gordon has them look at the latest Lifestyle magazine which features a photo of Albert Maunch, who resembles a crook named Frank Prangel, a crook which escaped Batman's capture. As Batman and Robin, they fly to England to take Maunch in, however when they arrive they realize it was a case of mistaken identity as Maunch only resembled the criminal in question. Maunch invites them to stay for dinner, and Batman and Robin soon stumble upon a series of traps, and are attacked by thugs while staying at the castle. They soon learn the truth after Frank Prangel threatens Albert in a secret room. Frank is knocked out as he holds a gun on Batman and Robin, and the story behind everything is revealed to by Albert: Frank Prangel is Albert's brother, Vincent, who went to America to be a crook. Albert however learned that the castle that he now lives in was where a number of Nazi's who escaped capture during World War 2 came to hide some of their loot. When Vincent learned this he locked up Albert's wife and children and forced him into loyalty. With Vincent captured and locked behind bars, Albert was free to find the hidden treasure and report it to the world.

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