Issue #64, Detective Comics (June 1942)
Batman & Robin: “The Joker Walks The Last Mile!”
Didja miss me? Because I missed YOU!
Things got really hectic around here for a while. Between working, book stuffs, Geek Treats stuff, and a myriad other tiny things that turned into BIGGER things, I decided it was time to take an impromptu break and recoup. It’s been almost a month since the last update (not counting the one last week that had NO snark to speak of), but I’ve learned that it’s better to take time off than to try to force snark that isn’t easily forthcoming.
SDCC (San Diego Comic Con) season is upon us, and yet again, we aren’t going to be in attendance. HOWEVER! We are hoping that perhaps next year we’ll make it out to either SDCC or DragonCon, time and budget permitting. I’m dying to get into either one at this point. My geeky self is having tiny nerd-gasms all over the place it seems.
Lego Batman 2 comes out tomorrow and I WILL own it. Yessir. I kicked ass this weekend to get through the main gameplay of Dragon’s Dogma just to clear my plate in preparation. And next month, Nolan’s last Batflick will hit theaters. I am SO ready for it! In the meantime, we’ll be checking out Pixar’s Brave and the upcoming Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter. And yes. I plan on seeing Magic Mike. Because I am still female. And I enjoy well built men gyrating as much as the next girl. (And because there aren’t really any other movies out in time to celebrate Dragon’s birthday at the end of this month.)
SO! Let’s get to it, shall we?
NANANANANANANANA – ONWARD!
When last we saw our dynamic duo, they had just faced off against (and lost) the most gentlemanly baddie they’d had to contend with in a long while. But, as expected, just as our heroes decide that the worst of it is over, something even more sinister pops into the picture. An old familiar face, in fact:
One of his henchies downs a beer, happily contented with his new life of crime. But not all is well in Hench-land:
What follows is a tantrum befitting only the Clown Prince of Crime himself:
And then… he has a thought:
He gathers his henchies ‘round and lays out the plan. They’re stunned and not exactly sold on the idea, worried that their diabolical leader is about to reform and put them all out of a job:
The next day, we’re treated to a day in the life of a GCPD officer:
Just then, Jaunty!Joker comes strolling in:
They immediately leap into action, surrounding the big baddie and taking him into custody. To their surprise, he doesn’t resist:
It doesn’t take long before the news of Joker’s surrender hits the papers and the radio, leading to a media circus the likes of which Gotham has never seen:
Visiting hours are over, and the cops drag Joker to the confessional, where he pours out a litany of crimes that leaves them wondering just why on earth they didn’t catch him sooner:
All of his confessions lead to a speedy trial where our beloved Joker is sentenced to death:
Strangely, though, only Joker seems jubilant about this outcome (and absolutely NO ONE seems to think there might be something more afoot):
He’s given the chair and pronounced dead. Fast forward to the prison morgue, where Joker’s Henchies have arrived on scene to abscond with his body. They cart him back to his secret ambulance and force serum down his throat, not even knowing if it’ll work:
The next day, a content Franken!Joker, reveling in his new lease on life, decides to do a little shopping:
Naturally, the Jewelry Store Owner is a little freaked out by the pasty-faced vision that wants to browse his wares, so he puts in a call to GCPD. They send out a warning, intercepted by our dear Batsy:
Batman drops him off at the police court, telling them to keep an eye on him, only to discover that there’s a catch:
He’s got them dead to rights, so they decide to just do what they do best:
Inside the Joker’s room, he has a good laugh at the bungling pair, noting that he’s been sending messages to his crew with his hotel sign (something that apparently our heroes have yet to figure out):
We fast forward across town, where his henchies are busy decoding the dot-dash signals he’s sending their way before getting ready for the evening’s heist. Later, back at Hus af Wayne, our heroes suspect that something is up, but can’t prove it. So, instead:
They arrive early to the show, and Brucie gives Young!Dick a little lesson in ice-rinkery:
They’re interrupted just as the show prepares to start by a newcomer to their box:
Young!Dick notices something odd about the performance:
Suddenly, the pipes underneath the ice burst, spraying everyone with Ethyl Chloride gas. While they’re all blinded and choking, gasmasked!Henchies make the rounds, mugging everyone in the joint, including a faux-outraged Joker. Brucie and Young!Dick slip away and change into their conveniently placed costumes to start harassing the henchies:
Unable to aim their weapons (thanks to a spray of ice water earlier dispensed by Robin) the baddies find themselves having to beat a hasty retreat while they still can. Smashing out to the street after them, our heroes find themselves too late to catch the criminals and so return empty handed. They arrive just in time to hear Robbed!Joker reporting his assault. When he sees THEM, he stops by for a friendly hello:
Proving that he, yet again, will have the last laugh, Joker is nothing but overly cordial:
And what does our hero do when faced with nothing but quasi-sincere friendliness? He decides to later break into the Joker’s apartment, that’s what. Off they go, but they don’t even make it inside before they realize what fools they’ve been:
Scaling the wall, they prepare to continue their clandestine mission, when another snag is thrown in their way:
They go inside and discover that Joker has a pair of GCPD’s finest (non-donut-bound) inside, all prepped to cart the pair off to jail for attempted breaking and entering. Thinking quickly, Batsy asks for a single minute, and the Joker, not thinking, whips out his “supposedly” stolen timepiece to make sure he gets his full 60 seconds and immediately realizes his snafu:
Immediately, the cops turn on Confused!Joker and rather than be taken, he turns and leaps out the window:
Knocking the soldier from his ride, Joker steals the jeep and speeds off into the night, forcing our heroes to leap for their Bat!Mobile:
They speed through the streets when suddenly:
Catching a ride in ye olde’ Bat!Plane, Batsy chases after the off-roading jeep with Robin hot on his tail. Unfortunately for Joker, his headlong flight causes him to crash into a boulder and eject into the air. He manages to catch on to some nearby wires. Batsy sends a rope down to hoist Robin to take down the Joker, but before he can:
Joker plunges 80 feet down into the sea and disappears, leaving our heroes to wonder if he escaped. A few weeks later, we finally catch up to the ending of this issue: