"The Devil's Workshop": Gotham City experiences a harsh winter. The dangerous poverty-stricken neighborhood known as "Devil's Workshop" is hit particularly hard. There is a series of child kidnappings perpetrated by a strange laughing man. Harry Houdini h
- Ten years ago, in Cuba, I waded through a killing field of slaughtered bodies -- innocent old men, women, children -- I decided there and then that I had a mission -- I would be a guardian, a protector -- holding fast against the darkness.
- -- Bruce Wayne
Appearing in "The Devil's Workshop"
- Gordon (Mentioned only)
- Martha Wayne (In a vision)
- Miss Clark (Single appearance)
- Mr. Constantine (Single appearance)
- Mr. Queen (Single appearance)
- Theodore Roosevelt (Flashback only)
- Tom Mix (Single appearance)
Synopsis for "The Devil's Workshop"
Gotham City experiences a harsh winter. The dangerous poverty-stricken neighborhood known as "Devil's Workshop" is hit particularly hard. There is a series of child kidnappings perpetrated by a strange laughing man. Harry Houdini has recently arrived in Gotham on tour. Vicki Vale takes photos of him performing stunts for the press, but he is unhappy with his pageantry. Houdini is aware of the kidnappings, and wishes he could use his abilities to help innocents.
Bruce Wayne arrives in Gotham with his butler Alfred by train, having returned from a trip to the south. Alfred expresses concern that Bruce's vigilantism has gone from eccentric to unhealthy. Their train is interrupted by the laughing man, whose cart crashes on the tracks ahead of them. He escapes with one of the children, and bystanders rescue the others before his cart is destroyed by the train. Bruce Wayne leaps off the train to pursue the laughing man as Batman. Police officers assume Batman is the kidnapper, and begin shooting at him. The laughing man hits Batman with a hammer, and runs into the unfinished subway with his stolen child. Following close behind, Batman discovers an underground room littered with children's corpses. The laughing man claims to have eaten many of them, and he escapes when police dogs attack Batman. Batman narrowly avoids arrest, and the officers remark that "Gordon's not gonna like this."
Bruce is shocked to learn that Vicki Vale is publicly blaming Batman in the Gotham Globe.
- The subtitle to this story is "A Scientific Romance of Harry Houdini, the Ectoplasmic Man and that Shadowy Avenger, the Bat Man."
- Montenegro calls Houdini the "clown prince of the lower classes" which is a reference to the Joker.
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