The Eraser Who Tried To Rub Out Batman!
Standing outside a department store window display, Bruce Wayne is captivated by a giant eraser. Wayne is reminded of an old college classmate, one Lenny Fiasco. Prone to making mistakes at the black board, Wayne can only recall a single time he ever saw Fiasco without an eraser in his hands, at a winter carnival. Fiasco, tears brimming in his eyes, watched Wayne ride by with the "Ice Queen", a fellow classmate, and Fiasco's secret crush. Returning to Wayne Manor, Wayne is informed that the police commissioner has been desperately trying to contact Wayne, or rather, his alter-ego, Batman. Wayne, along with his youthful ward, Dick Grayson, as Batman and Robin, journey to the Riverside Bank, and a rendezvous with Commissioner Gordon. The bank robbery is but the latest in a string of crimes that has baffled Gordon. Somehow, the perpetrators have managed to commit these robberies without leaving a single bit of evidence behind. The Batman conducts his own investigation of the crime scene, but can also turn up no clues. Stepping outside for some air, the caped crusader is mobbed by a group of autograph seeking groupies, all but one of whom completely ignore his sidekick, Robin. Suddenly, a model of Batman crashes at his feet. Believing it to be a distress signal, the dynamic duo scales the building wall, to the window the model fell from, and discover a charity auction in the midst of being robbed by masked gunmen. Batman and Robin quickly subdue the would-be robbers. A quick search of the men produces a newspaper that ignites at the Batman's touch. The paper turns out to be a copy of "The Secret Underground", a criminal publication that offers tips on committing crimes. Of particular interest is an advertisement from a man called "The Eraser", who offers to eliminate any and all crime scene evidence, for a mere 20% of the profits. Batman and Robin go undercover to flush the Eraser out into the open.
Batman's cover identity is that of an organ grinder, with Robin cast in the role of the monkey. With the co-operation of the Gotham City Police Department, Batman, as the organ grinder, burglarizes a jewelry store. Robin is left behind to serve as back-up, in case Batman runs into trouble. In the process of robbing the store's safe, the "organ grinder" is startled by the sudden presence of the Eraser. The bizarre villain removes his helmet and begins erasing all the evidence the "organ grinder" has left in the commission of this crime. Batman is stunned to see that the face behind the Eraser's helmet is that of Lenny Fiasco, his old college classmate. Unfortunately, Fiasco also recognizes the "organ grinder" as Bruce Wayne, by the signature scent of his shaving lotion. Fiasco confesses his love, to Wayne, for Celia Smith, The Ice Queen of the Winter Carnival. When Wayne "took" her from Fiasco, the broken hearted collegian left the academic life behind for a life of crime. Now, the class joke who was always erasing his own mistakes, is cleaning up by erasing the mistakes of Gotham City's criminal element. Wayne pleads with Fiasco to reconsider the path he's chosen, but Fiasco gasses Wayne into unconsciousness, and carries his hated rival to his secret hideout. Fiasco has engineered an exact recreation of the Winter Carnival, complete with life sized figures of Wayne and Smith, carved from ice. Wayne is placed inside his own figurine and left to slowly freeze to death. Wayne uses his escape artist skills to free himself from his icy coffin. The Boy Wonder arrives, providing Wayne with the necessary distraction to switch to Batman. The Dynamic Duo uses Fiasco's ice sculptures as cover, as they close with the Eraser, and his gunsels. In short order, the villains are put down. In prison, Batman and Robin gift Fiasco with the giant eraser, from the department store window. By the time Fiasco erases the mistakes of his life, his sentence will be ended.
The Ten Best-Dressed Corpses In Gotham City!
In the office of Police Commissioner Gordon, Batman and Robin meet with Matt Whitson, the publisher of the magazine, Squire. Every year, Squire releases a "Ten Best-Dressed Men of Gotham City" list. Prior to the release of this year's publication, the first three men on the list, Charles Lowry, Deems Davis, & Terrence Green, have all died. All within the last week. The next name on the list is that of Batman's alter-ego, Bruce Wayne. As they exit the police precinct, Batman tells Robin that, just that morning, he was nearly killed, as Wayne, when he suddenly lost control of his car and drove off into a ravine. With the killer believing that Wayne has perished, Batman and Robin rush to inform the fifth man, Hampden Dennis, of his peril. Dennis brushes off the potential danger, and goes about his business. Batman and Robin tail Dennis to a seedy area of Gotham City. When Dennis' chauffeur enters a building through the basement entrance, then emerges carrying a metal box, Batman reveals his presence. Dennis and the chauffeur attack Batman and Robin, but are quickly defeated. At police headquarters, Dennis is revealed to be the secret king of Gotham City's numbers rackets. While his arrest is a real coup for Commissioner Gordon, it doesn't bring Batman any closer to catching the killer.
As Dennis' arrest has only just occurred, Batman reasons that the killer would have no way of knowing that Dennis is safe and sound in the Gotham City jail. Batman and Robin travel to Dennis' home, in the hopes of catching the killer. The Dynamic Duo split up to search the house. When Robin enters the sauna, the door locks behind him, and the room begins filling with scalding hot steam. Robin radios Batman for immediate assistance. As Batman races to the sauna to rescue the Boy Wonder, he is ambushed by the killer. Though the killer has gotten the drop on Batman, the Caped Crusader manages to dodge the killer's bullet, before beating the man down. Once Robin has been released from the trap meant for Dennis, Batman attends to the killer, Matt Whitson. During the Korean War, Whitson had been taken prisoner and, in an act of cowardice, betrayed his countrymen. It had been Whitson's secret for years, until Deems Davis, the author, uncovered the truth while researching for a book about the war. Deems opted to blackmail Whitson, prompting Whitson to kill Deems. By blind chance, Charles Lowry, the architect, perished in a genuine accident, earlier that same week. Lowry's death inspired Whitson to begin staging accidents for the other men on the list, in the hopes of leading the police astray in their investigation of Deems' death. Unfortunately for Whitson, while he may have outfoxed the police, he was no match for Batman.