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Batman 366
Batman #366
Publication Information
Published November 1983
Executive Editor Jenette Khan
Cover Artist(s) Walt Simonson; Don Newton (Inside art)
Writer(s) Doug Menoch
Inker(s) Alfredo Alcala
Letterer(s) John Costanza
Editor(s) Len Wein
Alternate Covers


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Batman #365
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Batman #366
Gallery of Images · Main Discussion

"The Joker Is Wild!"Edit

SynopsisEdit

Continuing from the events of (Detective Comics #532, the story begins with Jason Todd all alone inside Wayne Manor, consumed by boredom. While considering what to do in Bruce's absence (rejecting the ideas of ordering a pizza or trying to find Alfred), Jason accidentally wanders into Dick Grayson's room, and discovers a massive surprise when he looks inside Dick's closet.

The story then cuts to Guatemala, or, in particular, the pyramid beneath which the Joker has erected his headquarters (destroyed in Detective Comics #532). The Joker, having narrowly avoided being crushed to death, at first curses Batman for destroying the "Joker Cave" and his model of "Joker Land", but suddenly realizes that this challenge from Batman, something nobody else can provide, is exactly what he needs. He rounds up the remaining members of his gang and heads for the village of Mixtaya to carry out the rest of his plan and assassinate General Diaz.

Three miles away, in the meantime, Batman and Vicki Vale encounter a truck full of genuine rebels, whom they "convince" to give them a ride to Mixtaya. By this time, the Joker and his remaining men are heading to Mixtaya as well, by helicopter. The story then cuts to Gotham City, where Julia and her newly-discovered father, Alfred Pennyworth, are discussing how she found out about her real father. Julia states that when her adoptive father, a man named Jaques Remarque, died, his attorney gave her a letter that he had ordered to be given to her the moment he died.

It was from this letter, Julia explains, that she learned Alfred was her real father. Julia then gets up to leave, and drops another bombshell: she suspects that her father did not die of natural causes. Meanwhile, back in the Guatemalan jungle, Batman discusses the current situation with the lead rebel, a man named Tloani. When questioned about why the rebels are wearing peasant outfits and not the fatigues supplied by the Cubans, Tloani replies that their cause is a serious one, and that they do not wish to be "walking billboards" for the Soviets.

Tloani goes on to state that the rebels are indeed heading for Mixtaya, but to hear General Diaz speak, and not to pick up smuggled arms (which the Joker's "rebels" had earlier hijacked anyways). Tloani then turns to talk with some "real friends" in the rear of the truck, but before he goes, Batman tells him that it was a third party who had hijacked the arms, not the militia or the rebels. Now left alone with Batman, Vicki thanks him for saving her, and at the same time denounces Bruce Wayne, stating that their relationship is over.

Batman begins to discuss Bruce Wayne as well, but notices the Joker's helicopters flying toward Mixtaya. He leaps out of the truck and heads for Mixtaya on his own. The story then cuts to Gotham City, where Commissioner Gordon has now been in a coma for three days. Meanwhile, over at city hall, the corrupt Mayor Hill discusses with Bullock his plan to get rid of Gordon and replace him with Bullock, as his stooge. Bullock refuses, and storms out of Hill's office, disgusted.

At this time, General Diaz has begun his speech in the center of Mixtaya, but as he reaches its crescendo, the Joker attacks. His helicopters, rigged with unorthodox weaponry (such as high-pressured jets of water and clouds of laughing gas) soon scatter the general's troops, leaving him wide open for the Joker to kill. In the nick of time, however, Batman arrives and pushes the general out of the Joker's line of fire. Meanwhile, Tloani, the real rebels, and Vicki Vale also arrive, the former two mounting an attack on the Joker and the latter snapping pictures of the entire battle.

Realizing that he is up against far too much, Joker calls for his men to retreat to the pyramids. Batman follows them, but not before telling General Diaz that Tloani and the rebels are not responsible for the attack. Tloani confirms this and goes after Joker as well, prompting General Diaz and his troops to do the same. By now, Batman has latched onto the Joker's helicopter with a rope and a Batarang, and crashes it with a well-thrown tear gas pellet, forcing The Joker and his men to continue retreating on foot.

While he and his men are running toward the pyramids, Batman taunts the Joker with every step that they take through the jungle. Incensed, Joker fires a signal flare into the sky, bringing massive amounts of backup to surround the pyramid. Batman realizes that the situation has turned, as he has virtually no chance of grabbing the Joker when faced with two dozen armed men, but luckily, help soon arrives in the form of Tloani and the rebels, who engage in a massive shootout with the Joker's men.

General Diaz and his men soon arrive as well, and for the time being, forges a truce with Tloani to bring down Joker and his gang. With Joker's henchmen distracted, Batman goes after the Joker, driven completely mad by the chaos and dancing at the very top of the pyramid instead of trying to get away. As he spots Batman nearing him, Joker whips out a machine gun, telling Batman that he is finally ready to kill him once and for all.

Readying his Batarang in a last-ditch attempt to stop the Joker, Batman is treated to a surprise when the gun is kicked out of Joker's hands by none other than Robin himself (at the time of the story's publishing, Dick had already quit being Robin and established himself as Nightwing). Teaming up with "Robin", Batman is easily able to beat the Joker into submission.

At the foot of the pyramid, meanwhile, the combined firepower of the rebels and the militia have defeated the Joker's gang. The two leaders, Diaz and Tloani, go their separate ways, but not before saluting each other. Vicki is ecstatic at the amount of material she has gotten - information about the war, the leaders of the opposing sides saluting each other, and to top it all off: the reunion of Batman and Robin. After she leaves to take pictures of the Joker's "Joker Cave", Batman compliments Jason on his performance, which had fooled not only Vicki Vale but even him, but also scolds him for stealing Dick's costume and assuming his identity without his permission.

That marks the end of this particular story, but several subplots (such as Jason being Robin and Commissioner Gordon's condition) are continued in Detective Comics #533.

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