You Ain’t Got No Alibi, You GUILTY!

DETECTIVE COMICS #227: The Man with 20 Lives

Remarkably, we managed to make it through all of the last issue with nary a spark to throw our hero off guard. Rest assured, Detective Jones won’t always get off that easy.

This issue starts the same as every single issue does here for a while, with a good 4-6 panels wasted explaining that this dude is a Martian, and he can’t go home, at least not right now, but maybe someday, but until then he’s living on Earth and he’s being a detective and he’s got crazy powers. Okay? We all on board with this? All right, let’s get going.

Lt. Saunders is, as usual, perplexed with a case he’s working on. Monte Fisk is suspected of murder, but no one can crack his alibi!

What’s his amazing, uncrackable alibi for what he was doing on June the 4th at noon you wonder?

Well, he was sleeping, of course.


J’onn uses his crazy Martian telepathy to read Fisk’s mind and figure out what he was really up to on June 4th at noon. Using telepathy in these earlier issues is always far more complicated than one would ever really expect it to be. They can’t just say, oh he read his mind. Oh no. There’s way more to it than it. He uses “deep penetrating concentration” to draw on Fisk’s memories until one is “stolen” from his mind. Also he says he’s going to do it because these “earthman haven’t figured it out yet.” Like we’re going to? I guess I’m excited for that? Or not. No, probably not.

J’onn sees that Fisk committed the murder at noon, by firing the gun along with the chimes of what is apparently the loudest clock ever so that no one would hear them. However, he can’t submit this evidence to Saunders without trying to explain how he got, so he decides to do the classic Martian trick of “freak the dude out until he confesses.”

He drops a hint at Fisk that he knows how he committed the murder, and Fisk immediately sends thugs after J’onn to murder him. They try to run him over with a car, but he turns intangible before they can. They try to throw him off a bridge, but he flies away out of sight before he hits the water. Then Fisk tries to drop a safe on him, only to find that there is no one under the safe.

Fisk is right freaked the fuck out, so he decides to leave immediately. J’onn’s gotta get that confession now, so he walks into Fisk’s room and then a second later throws himself on the hood of Fisk’s car where he screams at him. Suddenly the car rounds a corner where, completely inexplicably, someone has lit a large fire. What the fuck.

The fire saps J’onn’s strength and he falls off the car, sure he’s failed at his task. He later walks to the station, only to find Fisk there, confessing! It worked! Saunders tells him that Fisk was sure a ghost detective was haunting him, hahaha. Isn’t that crazy?

Another case solved that no one will get credit for, least of all YOU, John Jones, now get back out on your beat, goddammit before I fire you.

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