Batman and The Joker: The Man Who Laughs
Batman and The Joker: The Man Who Laughs was written by Ed Brubaker with the art done by Doug Mahnke. The story itself is a one-shot comic book and can be summed up as another 12 rounds between Batman and The Joker.
Batman vs Joker: Round Number 12344564209843298
The story begins with Captain James Gordon and his colleagues examining a scene that has been littered with maimed carcasses. As they are going about their work Batman arrives and begins questioning what happened. Gordon explained that the events had transpired earlier in the day and they were attempting to figure out rest.
Later that evening, Bruce Wayne arrives at one of his many Gala Events. As the Gala begins to pick up speed a reporter appears on television announcing that Arkham Asylum had been reopened. At the height of her report, she begins to hysterically laugh and without reason, perishes. As the attendees look on, they are left with the grim image of her face with the all-too-familiar Joker-esque smile on it.
Before they can catch their breath, The Joker appears on camera announcing that his next victim would be the Gotham Millionaire, Henry Claridge. Worse yet, Henry would meet his fate at the stroke of midnight.
Face of terror
After hearing the news of Arkham’s reopening, Batman makes his way to it. Upon his arrival, he is greeted by James Gordon and the two agree that protection must be sent to Claridge. Unfortunately, they were too late and just like the reporter before him, Henry began laughing, his face turned a pale-white, and he died. To make matters worse, while this was going on, The Joker has arrived at the nearby medical center and opened the doors for the residents to make a mess of Gotham. Luckily, as it almost always the case, Batman is able to stop the anarchy before it erupted too much.
To make matters worse, while this was going on, The Joker has arrived at the nearby medical center and opened the doors for the residents to make a mess of Gotham. Luckily, as it almost always the case, Batman is able to stop the anarchy before it erupted too much.
Come up a little short
Bruce Wayne began to wonder why so many residents of Gotham were dying with the Joker-esque grin on their faces. He quickly realized that the citizens were being killed by a time-release toxin. As Bruce sat pondering, The Joker once again made an appearance. This time, he appeared on television and announced that Jay Wilde was the next to receive a visit.
Batman quickly reached out to the Commissioner and asked him to not only make his way to Wilde’s house but to get a blood sample from the target. As Gordon and his men show up at the house, The Joker released a slew of toxic smoke bombs. Luckily, the men were prepared as Batman, who had also shown up, and the men were wearing masks.
During the mix-up, Batman nearly apprehends The Joker but isn’t able to after he becomes distracted by the now laughing Jay Wilde. The Joker uses this opportunity to send a defeating blow to Batman. As he jumps out of a nearby window, The Joker unleashes a bullet from the chamber of his gun. At its conclusion, Jay Wilde is pronounced dead.
Bruce Wayne – Acid trip?
Bruce then goes undercover to unravel the mystery of the pale-white faces. He manoeuvers his way as an undercover reporter into the Ace Chemical plant and learns that the white dye is the by-product of chemical waste. Meanwhile, The Joker announces his next targets…Judge Thomas Lake and Billionaire Bruce Wayne.
This time the Commissioner is not set to take any chances and assigns a plethora of officers at both targets houses. As in the time’s before, it is too late and Bruce Wayne is bombarded with the poison. Alfred Pennyworth injects Bruce with a shot to slow his heart. By slowing his heart, he is able to slow the speed of the poison.
While this was happening a gang of armed men dressed as clowns make their way to the residence of the other victim, Judge Thomas. Now in an ambulance, Bruce Wayne begins to have delusions of the day his parents were murdered. Eventually, he is able to shake off the effects of the poison and understand what was happening. Bruce then changes into his alter ego and quickly makes short work of the clown-dressed gunmen.
Batman and The Joker
Realizing what The Joker is up to, he requests Gordon to shut off the water access in Gotham. Unfortunately, he was unsuccessful in contacting Gordon and must put a stop to the evil scheme himself. Sadly, it appears that he arrives milliseconds too late and The Joker has already poisoned the water.
Always being one up on his enemies, Batman fixes the water overpass with explosives and before The Joker can react, he explodes them. The aftermath of the explosion resulted in the water supply being cut off. He then proceeds to arrest and send The Joker back to his semi-permanent resting place, Arkham Asylum.
Title Image © DC