Detective Comics #469: "The Origin Of Dr. Phosphorus!"

Detective Comics #469
"The Origin Of Dr. Phosphorus!"
May, 1977

Steve Englehart: Author
Walt Simonson: Pencils
Al Milgrom: Inks
Jerry Serpe: Colors

Dr. Bell discovers to his dismay that he has received a late nite visitor
to his own home... Dr. Phosphorus.  It turns out that Bell should know
him by another name -- that of Dr. Sartorius. 

Contrary to popular belief, Anton Sartorius still lives, and Dr.
Phosphorus is pleased to see some hint of recognition from his old
colleague.  They were two of the members of the Tobacconists' Club, a
membership which included only the most powerful men in Gotham City.
Sartorius gained entry into the club by way of his own practice on Park
Avenue, and his $200,000 dollar yearly income.  These and Bell's
sponsorship allowed him to attend a meeting with the city council
chairman, Boss Rupert Thorne.  The chairman knew of a possible tax
shelter which may be of some interest to Dr. Sartorius.

The two men shook hands, with the doctor agreeing to placing his money
into their power plant.  After investing his entire savings into the
plant -- it turned out that the citizens of Gotham did not want such a
plant in their city.  Both Bell and Thorne had planned to place the
matter on the ballot -- but even with their clever campaigning, they
lost.  Anton Sartorius saw his tax shelter being placed not within Gotham
City limits, but three miles offshore, in the Atlantic Ocean.

In addition to the bad location, the plant required even more funds for
restructuring, and there was no money left.  As a result, corners had to
be cut.  It was on one November evening that Anton Sartorius decided to
check out his investment firsthand, and he would not be denied.  He saw
the recently installed reactor core, and believed that things would soon
be going their way.  It was then that the sparks went off, and the backer
saw that the core wasn't all it was cracked up to be.

Even though he couldn't reach the exit in time, Anton Sartorius ran for
cover, and dove behind some sand bags.  Everything went his way, as five
million slivers of hot sand passed through his body.

The radioactive sand marched up one notch on the chemical scale.  Atomic
#15 -- silicon -- became #16 -- phosphorus, which burns forever.  Anton
Sartorius is not dead, and he has vowed to make everyone pay.  Bell shies
away from his former colleague, who seeks revenge on him, and eight
million other people.  The doctor and the council will be spared -- if
they manage to remove the Masked Manhunter from his trail.  They have the
power to do so -- and when this occurs, they will be left alone.  As Dr.
Phosphorus grabs onto a curtain, it begins to burn at his very touch.
Bell's fingers are slick with sweat, and the phone lines are soon hot, as

The former Anton Sartorius decides to pay a housecall on his former
colleague, who wonders what the cost of this particular visit will cost

Looking at the grinning skull which glows in the dark, "Dr. Sardonicus"
would be a good name for this ghastly villain.  No bones about it.

As was the case with their "tax shelter", each council member proved to
be rotten to the core.

Thanks to some persuasion from Dr. Phosphorus, Bell would make certain
that the Batman would be receiving a "Thorne" in his side very shortly.

Steve Chung
"The Review Of Dr. Phosphorus!"