#439 featured The Batman in the story titled "Night of the Stalker."
Right before the sun rises in Gotham, Batman witnesses a crime very close to home. A robber shoots and kills a woman in front of her young, now orphaned, son. Even worse, Batman is unable to prevent the robber and his partners from getting away.
Nonetheless, Batman uses two of his greatest weapons - his detective skills and fear - to one by one track down each person involved and lead them to their death. No, The Batman does not kill them as each are victims of their cowardice - the real cause of their undoing.
I clearing remember reading "Night of the Stalker" as an eight year old boy and thinking how dark this story was. Also, there was not one word of written dialogue in the story - which as an eight year old, was right up my alley! Also, the fact that the little boy in the story was probably about my age struck a chord with me. "Night of the Stalker" is a Batman tale from my childhood that is forever seared into my memory.
"Night of the Stalker" from DETECTIVE COMICS #439 was written by Steve Englehart, penciled by Sal Amendola, inked by Dick Giordano, and edited by Archie Goodwin. It went on sale for 50 cents on November 29, 1973 and has a cover date of February/March 1974. “Night of the Stalker” from DETECTIVE COMICS #327 made Michael Uslan's list of the most important Batman comic book stories from 1939 to 1979. The story can be found reprinted in Batman: The Greatest Stories Ever Told, Vol. 1.
Final page from "Night of the Stalker" in DETECTIVE COMICS #439
Bill "Jett" Ramey's personal Batman comic book collection.
Bill "Jett" Ramey's personal Batman discussions with Michael Uslan.