Type Comic
Date 1940-11

Detective Comics #45

Detective Comics #45 (1940-11)

Batman - "The Case of the Laughing Death"

The Joker (who we last saw, I think, in Batman #2, is posing as the owner of a music store, Rekoj. He has sent some goons to rob a museum, but Batman stops them--though fails to follow them, and so does not discover the Joker's involvement. Joker is intent on revenge; he sends a record to District Attorney Carter which is coated with a chemical that, when the needle of the record player goes over it, is turned into a deadly gas, leaving the victim, Carter, dead, with the grin of the Joker on his face.

The Joker, as Rekoj, sends his men out to steal jewels for him. Then, when they have succeeded, the Joker (as himself) shows up and steals the jewels from the thieves. Batman interrupts, but the Joker escapes, and when Batman chases him, the others escape. They then return to report their failure to Rekoj (Joker!), who is furious with their incompetence. Whew. Sending them away, the Joker congratulates himself on tricking them so he doesn't have to split the loot.

Batman has managed to follow the men to Rekoj's music store, so he drops in on the Joker. But the Joker gets the drop on him--drops a glass cylinder over him, and leaves him to suffocate, while he is on his way "across the ocean to gather some more treasure! $500,000 worth!" After he leaves, Batman takes an acid from his utility belt and uses it to escape. Then, Batman learns that a boat carrying a jade Buddha worth half a million dollars is scheduled to arrive soon, and sets off to stop the Joker stealing it.

The Joker crashes an airplane near the boat and, posing as a musician, is rescued and brought aboard. Once there, he knocks out the crew with gas, then sets to steal the jade figure. Batman arrives just in time to stop him, and after a bit of confusion, retrieves the statue and sends the Joker beneath the waves.

Will this be the end of the Joker? Not likely.

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