"A Savage Innocence": Batman is in New York City in pursuit of a criminal. Nate Kane tells Captain Taylor that he will investigate. After the captain leaves, the Spectre comes out of Nate's eyes. The Spectre has
- The problem with you kids today is that you have no culture of your own so you're always ripping off other eras! The fifties?! The seventies?! Puh-lease! They were hideous enough once!
- -- The Joker
Appearing in "A Savage Innocence"
- New York City
- The Killing Joke Club
- The Killing Joke Club
Synopsis for "A Savage Innocence"
Batman is in New York City in pursuit of a criminal. Nate Kane tells Captain Taylor that he will investigate. After the captain leaves, the Spectre comes out of Nate's eyes. The Spectre has been living inside Nate in order to regain strength after being pierced with the Spear of Destiny. Nate is mad at the Spectre for saying they would take the case, but the Spectre is determined to figure out what Batman is up to and send him on his way back to Gotham.
In Greenwich Village, people gather at a hot new nightclub called The Killing Joke, which is modeled after the Joker. The Joker himself is the guest of honor that night, and he proceeds to kill the master of ceremonies and take the rest of the crowd hostage. The Joker is furious that his image has been appropriated and is part of a fad. As the Joker begins to spray his toxic gas into the audience, Batman arrives.
At the police station, Nate Kane gets a call that Batman has been spotted at the nightclub. He and the Spectre go to investigate. The Spectre arrives first and threatens to punish the Joker for the many murders he has committed. Batman stops him, saying that the Joker cannot be held accountable because he has no conscience and therefore lacks the ability to know that he has sinned. The Spectre enters the Joker's soul to find out the truth.
Inside the Joker's soul, the Joker has the upper hand. Still weakened, the Spectre cannot prevent the Joker from taking over. In the real world, the Spectre has taken on the Joker's likeness, and he wreaks havoc in New York City.
In the nightclub, Nate Kane finds several electrical circuits, each labeled with an aspect of the Joker's psyche. The circuits for humor, hate, and fear are all overloaded, but the circuit for conscience is completely disconnected. Nate knows that his conscience is strong, so he plugs one of the wires directly into himself. Suddenly, the Joker understands the horror of what he has done. He collapses, muttering to himself that he doesn't deserve to live. Batman takes him away, and the Spectre says that it is unlikely that the Joker will remember what he has learned.
A few weeks later, the nightclub has a new theme. It is now called The Wrath of God, and its patrons dress up as the Spectre.
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