|Detective Comics #64|
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Detective Comics #64 is an American comic book, released in June of 1942.
"The Joker Walks the Last Mile!"Edit
The story opens with the Joker pacing back and forth in his hideout while his henchmen listen to a baseball game over the radio. Joker, furious at their carefree attitudes, proclaims that his acquired wealth is no good - he can only spend it in disguise. Upon his proclamation that he is doomed to such a living death, he realizes that, in order to escape, he must die (to the shock and horror of his henchmen).
After explaining his plan to his henchmen, the Joker boldly marches into the police station and turns himself in (ironically fulfilling the wish of a policeman who had minutes before proclaimed the life of a cop to be boring). News of his "surrender" soon spreads all over Gotham, and everyone visits the Clown Prince of Crime in jail - including Bruce Wayne and Dick Grayson (who suspect that there is some sort of "catch").
With visiting hours over, the Joker is taken into the interrogation room, where he proceeds to rattle off every crime that he had ever committed. A quick trial ensues, during which the judge declares the death penalty on him. Joker, much to the bafflement of everyone else, is ecstatic at this. Soon enough, the Joker is executed by electric chair, and declared officially dead.
Mere minutes later, the Joker's henchmen burst into the police morgue, steal the Joker's corpse, and carry him back into his "private ambulance". There, they force a special serum down his throat that restores him to life - just as he had planned. The next morning, Joker sends his henchmen to carry out a task, while he himself marches into a jewelry shop and begins to loudly talk about getting a new watch.
The shop owner, panicked, calls the police, who send out a warning (but believe that it is some common criminal imitating the Joker). Batman and Robin soon arrive, and after a quick scuffle, deliver him to the police. Unfortunately, since he had already been executed, he can no longer be touched by the law until he commits a new crime (which he has not). Batman and Robin are forced to let him go.
Still not convinced, Batman and Robin, in disguise, stake out the Joker's hotel room day and night. Unknown to them, however, the Joker is sending secret messages for his henchmen to carry out crimes for him. One night in particular, he tells them to pull off a robbery at an ice show that he will be attending, and to rob him as well as "proof" his his innocence. Unfortunately for him, Bruce Wayne and Dick Grayson have also decided to attend.
The Joker's men use a heating device to melt the ice at the ice show, causing it to release the quick-freezing chemicals that were put into it earlier. While the audience is blinded by the vapors of said chemicals, the Joker's men rob several members of the audience, including the Joker himself. At the edge of the rink, meanwhile, Bruce and Dick change costumes and become Batman and Robin, and take on the Joker's men.
Though they win the fight, the crooks get away when one of Robin's stunts causes water to trickle into the wires, causing the lights to go out. Their trails go cold, forcing the two to call off the search. Back at the arena, the Joker congratulates them on their "performance", and invites them to visit him at the Hotel Blockley, where he now lives. Upon arrival, the two are able to figure out how he's sending messages to his old henchmen - by rigging the hotel lights so that they flash Morse Code.
The Caped Crusaders burst in through the back window, to which the Joker responds by revealing the police inside the room - he plans to charge the two for breaking and entering. Before he can be arrested, however, Batman tricks the Joker into taking out his pocket watch, which he claimed was stolen earlier at the ice rink. The Joker is now guilty of being an accessory to crime (at the very least), but he avoids the policemen by jumping out the back window.
He then hijacks an army jeep and drives toward the outskirts of town, but Batman (in the Batplane) and Robin (in the Batmobile) are following him every step of the way. Eventually, the Joker crashes his jeep into a boulder, and winds up hanging on for life from a power line high above the raging sea. Before the Caped Crusaders are able to apprehend him, however, his grip loosens and he plunges into the waters, to his apparent demise. One week later, however, he is shown to be alive and well inside his hideout, lamenting the end of his "holiday".