"Dreadful Birthday, Dear Joker... !": The Joker starts a new criminal plot and begins rounding up his enemies from all around town and strapping them to his special "Victim-Go-Round" in preparation for his "Birthday Party". He kidnaps Robin,
Appearing in "Dreadful Birthday, Dear Joker... !"
- The Joker (Flashback and main story) (Apparent Death)
- Sidney (Only appearance; dies)
- Gotham City
Synopsis for "Dreadful Birthday, Dear Joker... !"
The Joker starts a new criminal plot and begins rounding up his enemies from all around town and strapping them to his special "Victim-Go-Round" in preparation for his "Birthday Party". He kidnaps Robin, James Gordon, and Alfred Pennyworth. The Gotham populace are all enticed to the newly built Gotham Colliseum by the promise of free samples from the "Harlequin Baking Company".
At the place, Joker immobilizes the audience, and then takes center stage with his goons. Onstage is a gigantic Cake, with the Joker's victims tied to giant explosive candles on top. Batman arrives, and is forced by the Joker to be tied to the biggest candle in exchange for the lives of his friends. Although the Joker plans on killing them all anyway, Batman reveals he had earlier through a simple operation converted the biggest explosive candle into a makeshift rocket. He shoots into the air instead of blowing up, unties himself, and cuts both the fuses and Robin's bonds with batarangs.
While Robin fights the goons, Batman chases the Joker onto the docks. The Joker nearly escapes via motorboat, but Batman grabs a loose rope and waterskis behind him until he can climb onto the boat. They struggle and the Joker manages to push Batman out, but fails to notice that the boat is heading straight for a shoal of rocks which it hits and explodes, apparently killing the madman. On shore, Batman and Jim Gordon wonder if the Joker could've survived, both knowing that the Joker always does.
- This book was first published on December 6, 1979.
- Reprinted in Best of DC #11 and the The Greatest Joker Stories Ever Told Trade Paperback.
- The dialogue on the last panel of this story between Commissioner Gordon and Batman was adapted into the last scene of the episode The Laughing Fish from Batman: The Animated Series.
- This issue is considered notable for its classic "Joker moment" in which the Joker threatens Sidney, one of his henchmen, with a fake gun shooting out a flag reading BANG YOU'RE DEAD!, only to actually shoot Sidney through the neck with the flag once he has already expressed relief at his life being spared.
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