Detective Comics #601: "Tulpa Part One: Monster Maker"

Detective Comics #601
"Tulpa Part One: Monster Maker"
June, 1989

Alan Grant: Story
Norm Breyfogle: Pencils
Steve Mitchell: Inks
Todd Klein: Letters
Adrienne Roy: Colors
Daniel Raspler: Associate Editor
Denny O'Neil: Editor
Bob Kane: Creator

At a red light on a Gotham City street corner, the driver of a Ferrari Testarossa wants to know if the driver of the Batmobile wants to race! When the driver of the Batmobile questions the sanity of the driver in the Ferrari Testarossa, the impromptu drag race begins --

SKREEEEEEEEEE The Ferrari Testarossa burns rubber and almost runs down two startled pedestrians! SKEEE Seeing that the driver is obviously not in his right mind -- when the light turns green, the Batmobile SKREEEEEEs into action! The Ferrari Testarossa has a five liter engine, is capable of sixty miles in under six seconds, and its top speed is just over one hundred and eighty -- VVRR<<<<<< As the Batman engages the Batmobile's turbo jet, he admits wondering how his own vehicle would do in just such a competition! RROARR

Two Gotham City police officers are enjoying their break, when they see, and hear the Ferrari MMMMMing past their parked patrol car! They are forced to skid when the Batmobile ROARRs by, and they turn on the siren WREEOOOEEE By the time the patrol car reaches the speed limit, the two cars will be in Canada! What the heck -- the police officer always wanted to give a hero a speeding ticket! WREEOOOO RRRM As the Batmobile RROOAAAAAAAARRRs along, the Batman hopes that the two officers are aware he is doing this for a good reason.

The Ferrari is on a direct course with an oncoming bus! The Darknight Detective must time this just -- right! The Batmobile THUMPS into the side of the Ferrari, which causes the Testarossa to SKREE, and Batman deploys the air bags -- and chute! FWAMP FOOP The Batmobile SSKREEEEEEs into the back of the bus with nary a BUMP on the air bags.

The Ferrari Testarossa SKRENCHes and SKRUNGGs into a nary alleyway meant only for cycles. Its bodywork will never be the same again! As the Batman confronts the driver of the Ferrari, he gets a closer look at the man's face -- and the skull beneath the cracking skin!

The driver disintegrates in the Darknight Detective's own hands! When the two police officers arrive at the scene, they are also at a loss to explain what has just happened here.

The sacred realm of Tibet where the snow falls in the summer is what he has often dreamt of -- He imagines the Potala Palace -- where the sun is streaming from the gilded roofs -- and the holy men are bricked up alive in their tombs --where the master of chants calls up his poems to God from the roof of the world! One day, he would like to return -- back to where he was conceived, but which he never got to see. It is much easier now because the Chinese are no longer as hostile as when his father was a young man. Perhaps he will have his chance -- perhaps if everything goes well this evening -- RRNG He heads for the door, hoping that it has all worked out, and there will be an end to this once and --

He is not glad to see his visitors as they are to see him. Mr. Kellogg knows a way to get some color into his cheeks -- especially if he doesn't have their money! When he insists to them that the money is on the way, Cecil and Lumps are told to show him what happens to liars! Cecil and Lumps give him one to GROOH on!

Mr. Kellogg decides to give him the benefit of the doubt. They will have a pot of tea while they wait for his friend to return. The owner of the Ferrari was unaware it was stolen. He had been asleep at the time when the thief cracked open the safe and took the car keys. There was seven thousand dollars in the safe -- and the thief only took five. The antiques were untouched -- but the owner is distraught when he learns of the Ferrari's current condition in a downtown alley.

When the Batman assures him the Ferrari went out in style, and the owner will collect the insurance money, there is still a two-year waiting list to be considered! With no prints on the car, the trail ends here. The identity of the disintegrated Ferrari heister will remain a tabloid mystery! After being thanked by the Darknight Detective for their cooperation, the two police officers watch as the Batmobile SKREEEEEEEEs away, and only then does one of them realize that he forgot to give Batman his ticket! Randy reminds Mick that the costumed hero did save a bus, and Mick only regrets not having a story to tell his grandchildren!

Dawn at the Tibet Shop finds Mr. Kellogg not enjoying Tenzin's tea, and he is beginning to suspect that he has made fools of them. The tea is SPSHed in Tenzin's face, as Mr. Kellogg's boys do what they have to do, with extreme relish!

Dawn is the start of a new day for most -- but for the Batman, the dawn marks the end of another evening. This has not been a satisfactory night -- with the mystery of what happened to the Ferrari thief... to be solved on another evening. Mr. Kellogg and his boys exit the Tibet Shop, confident that Tenzin will be in touch with his friend, and they will be seeing him again this evening!

This evening -- tomorrow night -- every night! If Tenzin doesn't find the money, Kellogg and his boys will keep coming back... If his father only knew what he was letting his son in for. Five thousand dollars was not worth all this pain! Tenzin cannot rely on his... friend. He knew he should have insisted on him being less arrogant and less aggressive -- more agreeable. But Tenzin was in a hurry, and it was such an effort for Tenzin... He cannot rest if he is ever to be free of Kellogg and his goons. Tenzin will have to try again. He goes down... deep... down into his own mind. And he looks for his friend.

The sun has hardly set when Bruce Wayne has risen once more. He knows that a few minutes can sometimes make all the difference in the world. As Alfred asks if there is anything for the wash, Bruce recalls what he has checked on references to sudden disappearances -- the transportation of matter -- even alien abductions... but nothing remotely comes close to explaining what happened to the Ferrari thief. When Alfred asks if he expects to find anything, Bruce admits he does not expect anything... but as the Batman, he accepts what the evening brings! Tenzin asks his friend if he understands that he is not to take any unnecessary risks. Violence is to be used as a last resort. No matter how much money there is, he is steal only five thousand dollars.

The target has been selected -- it is a quiet place out of town. If he is discovered, he must flee immediately -- and let no one detain him! This quiet place is the home of wealthy socialite -- Bruce Wayne! After scaling the walls of Wayne Manor, he will take no unnecessary risks as he slips past the electric-eye beams on the grounds. He will alert no one to his presence as he forces the windows open, but he does not account for Alfred Pennyworth, who knows the manor's moods like the back of his own hand.

He will remove only five thousand dollars from the safe. He will return to... but his presence is discovered by the Wayne Manor butler! He leaps at Alfred Pennyworth with such force, that the hapless butler drops both his gun and flashlight from either hand! BLAM! There is a minimum use of violence POW! to the butler and another SPAK when Alfred attempts to prevent his exit!

As he flees from Wayne Manor, three muggers are trying their luck with the Batman in an alley! If he had a penny for every time some punk tried that -- he'd have enough to pay their dental bill! TOK BRINGG! BRINGG! The ringing from the Batmobile puts an end to this round, and their consciousness. KIKT After seeing that the mugging victim is okay, the Darknight Detective checks in with Alfred.

There's been a spot of bother at Wayne Manor and the perpetrator became rather physical with the butler when he remonstrated with him... Before calling for a doctor, Alfred thought he should check in first. He did get a good look at his attacker and also managed to place a batbug on him. It so happened that the homing locator came out in the wash, the pocket of the other tunic to be exact! The batbug is coming through crystal clear and Alfred's assailant is heading down Ryker's Park. When he suggests that Alfred call himself a doctor, the butler reminds Master Bruce that he is a doctor. SKREEEEEE Robbing the homes of the rich -- he can understand, even when it's his own. But beating up on Alfred -- that brings out the worst in him!

He has failed. He was interrupted and forced to use violence to flee. It is as if Yama himself conspired against Tenzin! Since he may have been seen and traced here, Tenzin does as he must! It does not want to die! Tenzin knows it has no desires because it is a Tulpa -- a shadow doppleganger given substance by the power of his own mind! The Tulpa cannot die -- for it was never alive! As Tenzin made it from naught... so is the Tulpa returned to naught. Tenzin feels like a murderer -- as if he has its blood on his hands! He finds it most odd that even the faintest bit of life is so reluctant to renounce its precious gift...

Amid the ashes, Tenzin finds the mark of the Batman! The batbug is squashed in one hand -- FRTZZZ The Batmobile closes in on Ryker's Park when the bug ceases transmission. Whether it has been found or has fallen off -- the result is the same. The Batman knows he is somewhere in the area.

After scaling up the side of a building, the Darknight Detective settles in with a pair of binoculars, and is prepared to demonstrate that batbugs are not the only trick in his repertoire -- Knowing Rafe Kellogg will be back again -- Tenzin can already hear his voice -- and feel the thugs' sharp blows... Tenzin also knows he can take no more. This evening, it must end -- one way or the other! He is sorry that he must do what his father warned him never to do.

Kellogg and his thugs will find no mere Tulpa waiting for them! Tenzin goes down... deep into his own mind. And he goes looking for a demon from hell!

On the cover of Detective Comics #601 by Norm Breyfogle, the Tulpa in a stolen Ferrari is being cut off by the Darknight Detective in his Batmobile!

Daring the Batman to a street race is something I'd never thought I'd see, but leave it to Alan Grant to show what would happen if such a thing ever came to pass.

Norm Breyfogle is great at capturing the moments, whether it be Batman's grim discovery of the Ferrari thief's unnatural mode of departure, the Gotham City police officer's regret that he didn't get to ticket the Batmobile, and the Tulpa disproving Tenzin's assessment of it lacking a life of its own.

Todd Klein shines with his lettering which captures the reader's eye and the sounds of the action.

Adrienne Roy's coloring captures the mood, whether it be reflected by the light of a police siren or taking place in the small confines of a Tibetan Shop.

It's a good thing that Bruce Wayne is a rich man because there's a lot of punks who could use help with their dental bills when the Batman gets through with them.

Gotham City dentists must love Batman!

It's a good thing Alfred is a doctor because Bruce Wayne doesn't believe in house calls.

Ashes to ashes, Tenzin does what he must!

To deal with demons from hell, Tenzin must conjure up one of his very own.

Steve Chung
"Tulpa Part One: Monster Review!"