A few years after he was introduced, and eventually deposed, the Batman creative teams brought back corrupt councilman Rupert Thorne. However, where the original story had Thorne’s downfall happen off-panel (while Batman was fighting the Joker and losing one of his great loves), the sequel features this face-to-face encounter.
In the original Steve Englehart/Marshall Rogers story, Thorne snapped after thinking he was being haunted by the ghost of Professor Hugo Strange, who he’d had beaten to death. Here, Strange’s “hauntings” have been debunked (by no less than Dr. Terry Thirteen) — but Thorne must now face a revenant Batman, miraculously recovered from the sniper fire he took earlier in the issue.
Anyway, before Thorne can curl into a fetal position, he accidentally starts a fire, gets away from Batman, and ends up making a spectacle of himself to finish off his political career. Therefore, for five minutes’ worth of fill-in work, Dick should feel pretty good about himself–!
[From “Showdown,” in Batman #354, December 1982. Written by Gerry Conway, pencilled by Don Newton, inked by Alfredo Alcala, colored by Adrienne Roy, inked by Ben Oda.]