"Images": Joker is talking to some of the most prominent mob bosses in Gotham City about his latest plan to run an extortion racket. The plan consists in making a threat to a wealthy man, and then killing him, and so the next man they threaten wou
- Like the fella says, money can't buy friends, but it gives you a better class of enemies.
- -- Joker
Appearing in "Images"
- Batman (Flashback and main story)
- Cal (Single appearance)
- Lou (Single appearance)
- George Partridge (Only appearance; dies)
- Henry Haight (Only appearance; dies)
- Otto Drexel (Single appearance)
- Muffin (Only appearance; dies)
- Ace Chemical Processing Plant (Flashback only)
Synopsis for "Images"
Joker is talking to some of the most prominent mob bosses in Gotham City about his latest plan to run an extortion racket. The plan consists in making a threat to a wealthy man, and then killing him, and so the next man they threaten would pay any amount of money to save his life. The mob bosses are not convinced by the plan, and just in that moment, Batman breaks into the place and knocks all the thugs down. However, he isn't sure who the clown is and when he asks him, the Joker tells him that he is just a clown that they kidnapped to provide them with entertainment. Batman is busy tying up the criminals, and he lets the Joker go on his way before one of the goons tells him the truth about the Joker.
Joker arrives at his hideout in a camp trailer park, where a man named Melvin Reipan is waiting for him. Melvin calls the Joker cousin, and he is preparing some chemical compound for Joker. When Melvin is done, Joker tells him to go outside while he stays in the camp to test the chemical on Melvin's cat. The compound works, and the cat dies with a smiling face, and so Joker sets his plan in motion by using a radio transmitter to make a threat to a man named Henry Haight.
Captain Gordon is leaving the GCPD Headquarters when he listens to the transmission. Another cop asks him for a lift, and when they're in Gordon's car, the officer reveals himself to be Batman. They discuss the threat made by Joker, and decide to try to keep Haight safe.
In the Batcave, Bruce tells Alfred that he will be attending the ceremony where Haight is supposed to be that night but he's going as Bruce Wayne. At the ceremony, there are police officers guarding the entrances and all the security measures that could have been taken were considered. However, when Haight is reading his speech, he begins to laugh, and starts going out of control. Bruce was next to him but couldn't do anything as the man died even before he hits the ground. The man died with a rictus grin, and Bruce manages to take the letter he was reading before dying. Back in the Batcave, Bruce is analyzing the letter when he finds that there is trace of some compund that is only activated by heat and its absorbed through the skin. Bruce remembers that Wayne Industries is making research on the same compounds, and decides to check there for more information. He also tells Alfred that the Joker's voice reminded him of someone but he couldn't recall exactly Who. He says that until he can make any progress in the investigation, he is staying alone in the Batcave to meditate. Alfred tells him to not blame himself for the Joker's actions.
Meanwhile, in the Joker's hideout, the mob bosses return to him after his first crime and now they are convinced that the plan may actually work, and so they join the Joker along with Melvin, who is looking for his cat, unaware that Joker killed it.
Batman visits James Gordon at the GCPD HQ, and Gordon tells him that Joker has made another threat. Gordon tells him that this time, the entire police department was going to protect the man and Batman tells him that he would investigate the whole case from another angle.
That night, the GCPD are protecting the second target in a building. The whole place is a fortress, and there is no way that Joker could get inside. However, at eight o'clock, the man begins to laugh uncontrollably, and the he dies in the same way as the first victim. Gordon and the police are shocked at the events, and a few moments later, Batman calls Gordon and tells him that the poison that killed the man might have been administrated earlier.
Later, Alfred drives Bruce home after retrieving information from Wayne Enterprises. Bruce learns that there is a man named Melvin Reipan who used to work at WE, but was recently fired. Reipan's area of expertise is chemistry, and the reason he was fired is because of his childish mentality. Bruce realizes that a man with such qualities would be easily manipulated. While looking through the window, Bruce watches as a pickup truck races in the opposite direction, and he is sure that Reipan was the man driving the vehicle. Bruce tells Alfred to turn around and follow the pickup. Reipan is indeed driving the truck, with Joker at his side. Joker tells him to lose the limo that is following them, but Bruce has already dressed up as Batman. He opens his car's door and leaps into the air, and lands inside the pickup. Batman then throws a punch through the window and smashes Joker's face. Joker takes control of the steering wheel and turns the pickup towards the edge of the bridge. The pickup falls off the bridge to the river and Batman is left hanging on the bridge as the truck sinks deeper into the river.
Back in the Batcave, Bruce analyzes his own glove searching for something that apparently isn't there. After calling Gordon, Batman is informed that the police have found the Joker's body downriver, and they wants Batman to check it out. Batman arrives at the morgue, and Gordon shows him the Joker's body. Gordon is glad to close the case, but when Batman takes the dead body's hand and scrapes the skin, he realizes that the body wasn't the Joker's.
Batman goes to Otto Drexel's place, another wealthy man that has been blackmailed for money, and asks him about the people who were extorting him. Batman realizes that the Joker used the body of someone else to throw Batman off his trail, and he decides to set a trap for Joker.
Later, when Joker and his goons take the payment from Drexel, Joker notices that there is a tracking device in the suitcase with the money. Joker tosses the tracker inside the helicopter that they were going to use to escape, and sends the pilot away. Joker is left with two of his goons on the rooftop. One of them talks to the Joker, and tells him that he knows now why his voice was familiar to him. The man told Joker that he knew that he was Red Hood, and that after he fell into the vat of acid, his appearance and voice changed. Joker is impressed but he doesn't know who the henchman really is. The crook takes off his coat and reveals to be Batman. Joker is enraged at the sight of him and he attacks the Dark Knight. His punch hardly harms Batman, and then Batman shows the clown how to deliver a knockout punch.
Some time later, Alfred takes Bruce to the Gotham Cemetery to pay his respects at the tomb of Melvin Reipan. Bruce made the man the tombstone ,and gave him a proper burial because he felt responsible for the death of the man, who was in fact the body the police found disguised as the Joker. In the end, Bruce is glad that Joker is not a threat to the city anymore.
Appearing in "Visions of a Legend"
- Victor Fries
- Thomas Wayne
- Martha Wayne
- James Gordon
- Joe Chill
- Hugo Strange
- Robin (Tim Drake)
- Talia al Ghul
- Ra's al Ghul
- Alfred Pennyworth
- Killer Croc
- Clayface II
- Tweedledum and Tweedledee
Synopsis for "Visions of a Legend"
A pinup section with interpretations of Batman from various artists.
- In the first page there is a quote by F. Scott Fitzgerald.
- Some of the flashbacks in this issue are taken from Batman: The Killing Joke, also drawn by Brian Bolland, the cover artist of this issue.
- This issue hints that Joker's real name first two letters are Ja.
- Pinup number 7 by Ed Hannigan and John Beatty, in page 50, is a homage to Batman #406, from Batman: Year One. The pinup recreates the escape scene when Batman calls bats to his location while he uses a police motorcycle to get away.
- Pinup number 10 by Brian Stelfreeze, in page 54, is a homage to Detective Comics #659, from Batman: Knightfall. The pinup recreates the fight scene between Batman, Ventriloquist and Amygdala in a toy store.
- Catwoman's costume in pinup number 12 by Kevin Nowlan is based on her costume from Batman: Year One.
- The family name of Joker's "cousin", Melvin Reipan, is an anagram for Napier. Jack Napier was the real name of the Joker in the 1989 Batman movie.
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- Batman (Volume 1)
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- Batman (Volume 3)
- All-Star Batman
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- Batman Confidential
- Batman: Gotham Knights
- Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight
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- Batman Incorporated (Volume 1)
- Batman Incorporated (Volume 2)
- Batman: The Dark Knight (Volume 1)
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- Detective Comics (Volume 1)
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- Batman: The Dark Knight Returns