"Knights of Knavery": This story is reprinted from Batman #25.
- Mrs. Van Landorpf (Single appearance)
This story is reprinted from Batman #25.
After the Penguin is stopped from stealing the Van Landorpf Emerald and thrown into prison once more by Batman and Robin, he bemoans his misfortune as "the smartest crook in town". This attracts the attention of his new cellmate, the Joker, who mocks his incompetence. The two men quickly develop a rivalry, deciding that Gotham's underworld is not big enough for both of them. Together, they escape prison and agree on a wager: whoever steals the Van Landorpf Emerald has the right to stay in Gotham City.
Upon hearing of the breakout, Batman and Robin cooperate with Mrs. Van Landorpf to set a trap for the two arch-criminals. As predicted, both the Joker's and the Penguin's gang appear at the Van Landorpf house to steal the gem. The Dynamic Duo swoop down to arrest the two men, however, desperation causes the Joker and the Penguin to work together. Though they both fail to steal the emerald, the Joker and the Penguin are able to escape Batman's clutches; more importantly, each now recognizes the other's talents, and agrees to a full partnership.
In less than a day, this new alliance buries Gotham under an unprecedented crime spree. When Batman and Robin attempt to capture them again, they are taken captive by a trick from the Penguin and brought to the arch-criminals' shared hideout. Both criminals are ecstatic, but begin to argue again when they cannot agree on how to kill the bound and helpless Dynamic Duo. Batman, taking advantage of their discord and respective egos, dares them into a shooting contest: whoever can hit a vase from twenty-five paces is the superior criminal.
Both the Joker and the Penguin easily accomplish the shot, but fail to realize Batman's real goal: getting a jagged vase shard so he and Robin can cut themselves free. Upon being freed, the Dynamic Duo immediately beat the two arch-criminals into submission and arrest them. Furious, the Penguin and the Joker turn on each other once more, each blaming the other for the defeat. As they argue, an amused Batman reassures them that they will never be placed in the same cell again.
Appearing in "The Trickster Strikes Back"
- Trickster (Flashback and main story)
Synopsis for "The Trickster Strikes Back"
This story is reprinted from The Flash #121.
James Jesse, in prison since his defeat at the hands of the Flash, devises a way to escape from jail. When the prisoners are instructed to make toys for orphaned children, James has rigged a toy airplane to actually fly and uses it to escape from the prison yard.
The news spreads quickly and Iris West is put on assignment to report the escape of the Trickster. Iris refreshes herself on the history of the Trickster and how he was previously defeated by the Flash. Now busy with the assignment she calls Barry to cancel a lunch date, which works out for Barry -- having heard the news -- as he was going to break off the date as well so that he could try to find the Trickster before he can pull off any additional crimes.
The scarlet speedster comes across a jewel robbery in progress and easily captures the crooks and when he is turning them over to the police, he is shocked when the Trickster appears and steals the jewels right out of his hand. Flash follows after the Trickster at super-speed as his foe flees on his special trick shoes. Try as he might, the Flash fails to capture the Trickster and his foe makes a clean getaway.
This sets the tone for their next few encounters, as the Flash would round up other crooks in the middle of a robbery, only to have the Trickster appear with some toy-related gimmick to steal the look and successfully escape. Putting his deductive reasoning to work, the Flash realizes that he Trickster must be using a toy factory to come up with his new theft devices, and deducing that he is not stealing these items, but working in toy factories at night, the Flash goes out and searches all the city's toy factories. He finds the Trickster hard at work on his next invention.
The Trickster is prepared for the Flash, and rigs up an explosive trap for the Scarlet Speedster, however the plan backfires when Flash uses his super-speed to race away from the explosion and race around and capture the Trickster. Giving up on outsmarting the Flash, the Trickster surrenders and allows himself to be turned over to the police. Later, when in his civilian guise, Barry is taken to a dance by Iris West and he has to stop dancing due to his sore feet. When Iris chides him for being lazy, Barry has to bite his lip and accept her criticisms as he cannot reveal the fact that he ran five thousand miles that day as the Flash in order to preserve his secret identity.
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