"The Funniest Thing Happened": At Arkham Asylum, bureaucrats debate whether or not the Joker should be allowed to visit his mother. Conditions are arranged so that his mother can visit him in the asylum, but when a bible she gifts him turns out to be a device that expel
- I killed you! You're dead! Dead! Dead! Well, just have to kill him again, that's all. Kill the little birdie. Yes, yes. First things first, though. Things to do. Places to go. People to kill...
- -- Joker
Appearing in "The Funniest Thing Happened"
- Karl Ranck
- Sebastian Ives (First appearance)
- Hudson (First appearance)
- Dr. Osgood Pellinger (First appearance)
- Strenstrom (Only appearance; dies)
Synopsis for "The Funniest Thing Happened"
At Arkham Asylum, bureaucrats debate whether or not the Joker should be allowed to visit his mother. Conditions are arranged so that his mother can visit him in the asylum, but when a bible she gifts him turns out to be a device that expels Joker Gas into the room, things go awry. The Joker manages to escape, and his 'mother' is simply a man under his influence.
Meanwhile Robin goes on his first patrol in Gotham City without the accompaniment of Batman, who is in Rio De Janeiro. Things are slow until he notices that the Bat-Signal is lit. When he arrives at Gotham City Police Headquarters, Commissioner Gordon is disappointed that Batman isn't with him, especially since it's the Joker who's escaped. Tim is unsure of his readiness to deal with the Joker on his own, but Alfred tries to be reassuring.
The next day, Tim goes to school, where he is invited to a party by a jock named Karl. He turns down the invite, but he disappoints his real friends when he has to turn down plans with them too for his duties as Robin. That night, he goes to Arkham to investigate the Joker's cell. Inside, he finds a number of computer related magazines, and wonders what reason they might be of interest to the Joker. He finds a number of references to a Dr. Osgood Pellinger, who has theories about the pervasiveness of computers.
Robin stakes out Pellinger's home and follows him when he goes out in his car at a suspiciously late hour. Unfortunately, Dr. Pellinger's car is scooped up by a plow driven by the Joker, and he is kidnapped. Robin jumps down onto the hood of the plow, and the Joker is surprised to see him alive, not realizing that there have been other Robins before. He knocks the boy off of the vehicle and escapes.
Tim is worried that the Joker will realize that Batman is out of Gotham, and go on a rampage. In order to keep him in line, Tim and Alfred agree to form a plan that will convince the Joker that Batman is still in the city.
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