"Tales of Madness": Arkham Asylum is hit by the earthquake and the security guards are trapped inside the high security area as the entire building seals every window and door to prevent the inmates from escaping. Killer Croc's cell was left opened as the guards
- Life, dear Greg, is a theater of the absurd. Be honest and gentle, and a man goes to a pauper's grave. Lie and cheat and kill, and that same man could rule the world!
- -- The Joker
Appearing in "Tales of Madness"
- Greg Roark (security guard)
- The Joker
- Killer Croc
- Vox (First appearance)
- Witch (First appearance)
- Maxie Zeus (locked door)
- The Riddler
- Zsasz (locked door)
- David (Lisa's brother; story)
- Dean (Only appearance; dies)
- Miss Jaye (Single appearance)
- Mr. Layney (Only appearance; dies)
Synopsis for "Tales of Madness"
Arkham Asylum is hit by the earthquake and the security guards are trapped inside the high security area as the entire building seals every window and door to prevent the inmates from escaping. Killer Croc's cell was left opened as the guards were feeding him. Croc kills one of the guards and the other two run to hide from the brute. Croc is called by Joker who tells him to take the guard's keys and open his cell. Once Joker is free he chooses to free a small group of inmates that included Scarecrow, Riddler, Vox and Samantha. They started to look for the two guards and found them hiding in a closet. Joker used one of the guard's taser and killed him, leaving just one of the guards alive. The name of the guard was Greg and he was going to be used for the madmen's pleasure.
The group of inmates started a contest where each of them would tell a story and they leave Greg to decide which story was the scariest of all. One by one they told him stories about their own personal vision of the world. Greg tried to keep it together but with every story he listened to, he started to lose grip of reality. Vox took the guard's keys and freed Charaxes who created a bit of chaos until he was stopped by Killer Croc and Joker. They retook the contest and there was just one more story missing. It was the turn of the Joker.
The Clown Prince of Crime told a story about him murdering hundreds of people with his Joker Venom until Batman and Robin tried to stop him. However, Joker managed to subdue the dynamic duo and then he killed Robin by stabbing a knive on his back while Batman was unable to help him because he was paralyzed by Joker Gas that made him laugh without control just to kill him as well. After finishing his story, the inmates asked Greg that the time has come for him to decide which story was the scariest one. Greg couldn't decide and he told them that all of their stories scared him. The inmates then approached Greg in an ominously, threatening and scary way. When the power was restored and the Asylum was unlocked, many guards entered the place with Jeremiah Arkahm. They found the two guards bodies and Charaxes unconscious. All the other cells were closed tight and they were shocked when they found Greg.
A week later, Greg's fiancee demanded to see him. Jeremiah Arkham advised her not to do so but she insisted. When Jeremiah Arkham showed her what was Greg now, she was shocked. Greg was held naked and handcuffed to the ground in an Arkham cell. His whole body was covered in scars with the names of the inmates he faced and he was called now The Jigsaw Man. Greg lost his sanity and was condemned to stay inside the walls of Arkham Asylum for the rest of his days.
- This issue is divided into three chapters, Democratic Conventions, Tales of Madness, and The Jigsaw Man.
- This Batman: Cataclysm crossover takes place between Catwoman #57 and Robin #53.
- This issue is reprinted in the Batman: Cataclysm, New Edition collection, but was not included in the first edition.
- The Riddler asks himself a series of existential questions, concluding with "Why a Duck?" This is not a complete non-sequitur, it's a reference to the Marx Brothers film The Cocoanuts.
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Links and References
|Batman: Cataclysm Crossover|
This issue is a part of the Cataclysm crossover that swept through all Batman Family Titles during 1998. Gotham City was almost completely destroyed by a massive earthquake. This story led into the events that would eventually create No Man's Land.