Detective Comics - Issue 27 Edit
Year: May 1939
Stories: The case of the Chemical Syndicate
The Case of the Chemical Syndicate Edit
Author: Rob't Kane (Bob Kane)
Bruce Wayne is visiting the home of Commissioner Gordon when Gordon gets a call about the murder of Lambert the head of Apex Chemicals. Bruce accompanies Gordon to the crime scene where they find Lambert's son, whose fingerprints are on the knife. He insists he came home, found his father stabbed and tried to pull the knife out. He also says his father mentioned a contract before dying. He provides the names of his father's business associates. One of the associates, Steven Crane calls to tell Gordon he'd gotten a threatening phone call.
Bruce, as Batman goes to Crane's residence but is too late, Crane has been shot. He beats up the two murderers and discovers a paper they stole from Crane's safe.
At Alfred Stryker's lab, Batman discovers Paul Rogers about to be murdered by Stryker's assistant, Jennings. Batman saves Rogers and subdues Jennings. When Stryker comes in, Rogers tells him what happens. Stryker pulls a knife on Rogers and goes to kill him, but is stopped by Batman. During the fight, Stryker accidentally falls into a vat of chemicals and dies.
Batman reveals that Stryker had wanted to own Apex Chemicals all on his own, but he couldn't afford it. So he made secret deals with each of the partners. He then began killing them, assuming he wouldn't have to pay them back if they were dead.
The first appearance of Batman. This story also bears a striking resemblance to the origin story of the Joker.