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|"The Curse of the Inquisitor!"|
|First Published:||February 1980|
|Previous Issue:||Batman #319|
|Next Issue:||Batman #321|
"The Curse of the Inquisitor!"Edit
From a clipping service, Batman learns of two unusual crimes in a small town in Spain. Two priests were murdered, one being covered in bronze, the other frozen to death in a meat locker. Things being quiet in Gotham, he goes to Spain to check out the mystery. Bruce Wayne finds the aged Cardinal Ramirez haranguing his congregation to leave the sinful elements brought to them by the mass media. But the young Father Pinto opposes Ramirez, contending that the old ways are gone past recalling. That night, while watching over Pinto's residence, Batman encounters police lieutenant Hector Sanchez, who says that he is watching over Pinto since he is the same age as the two dead priests. Cardinal Ramirez appears and denounces the masked Batman as a "tool of the devil." Batman leaves, Sanchez warning him not to "fall prey to the capital sins!" Pinto is murdered by a crossbow bolt soon afterwards. Batman trails the assassin to a supposedly-deserted chapel. There he encounters the killer, Gorko (a hunchback), and his master, the robed Inquisitor. Batman almost falls prey to a deathtrap, but escapes and kayoes Gorko, though the Inquisitor escapes. Later, Batman stops the Inquisitor as he is about to seal another priest inside a bank vault. He unmasks the Inquisitor as Lt. Sanchez, who tipped his hand by mentioning the "capital sins." Each of the priests was murdered in a manner suggesting the seven capital sins (for example, one dying in a food locker symbolized gluttony). While Sanchez and Batman battle, Gorko appears and accidentally kills Sanchez with a crossbow bolt. Sanchez, who hoped to destroy modernist clerics, gives his last confession to the priest he sought to murder. Finally, Batman meets Ramirez in the confessional booth, and tells him what he has learned from local records. Before he became a priest, Ramirez sired a son, one Hector Sanchez. Batman leaves Ramirez with the quote: "Let he who is without sin cast the first stone."