The Joker and the Riddler would seemingly be natural allies, but early in the Dark Knight's career, each man determined that he and he alone must be the one to kill the Bat…and either would sooner burn down Gotham than be beaten to the punch line. In the untold story of one of the darkest chapters in Batman's backstory, all of Gotham's villains must choose full-blown warfare-complete with casualties. In the War of Jokes and Riddles, only one side can claim victory…but the scars it leaves will shape Batman's future as he makes the most important decision of his life.
Even at the very beginning of his crime-fighting career, the Batman has already seen plenty of humanity's dark side-but it's nothing compared to what is about to emerge, giggling, from the shadows: a grinning, chalk-faced figure whose madness threatens to overwhelm everything that stands in its way. For Gotham City's new defender, this first encounter with the creature called the Joker will be the ultimate trial by fire-a battle that will define his long struggle against the forces of chaos and insanity.
Harleen Quinzel, an orphaned NYU graduate student with an Honour's Degree in criminal psychology, gets a job as a junior psychiatrist at Arkham Asylum in Gotham City. Disdainful at having a blonde young woman amongst his staff of older, more serious shrinks, the supervisor - George Barrie - throws her in at the deep end by getting her to monitor the Joker's state of mind on a weekly basis. Using her initiative, Quinzel tries role-reversal, in which she's the inmate and he's the psychiatrist. The plan is vetoed by her boss, warning her to stick to the procedures regarding psychoanalysis …
The Justice League of yesteryear has retired, and gotten old. The current League goes to stop a being called the Anti-Monitor, but fail, and now the old League is the universe's last hope. In this, their last hurrah, can they hope to defeat this powerful new enemy? Note: I am talking about casting older actors in these parts. I didn't think I had to explain that, but that's what I get for underestimating people's capacity for stupidity. Person who inspired this note: Consider yourself fortunate there is no apparent way to find out who you are, and therefore tell everyone …
After witnessing his parents' brutal murder at the age of 10, billionaire playboy Bruce Wayne grows up to be the masked vigilante known as the Batman. Vowing to do everything in his power to prevent the evil that took his parents, Batman starts an all-out war on some of the most twisted fiends in Gotham City, including dapper crimelord The Penguin, triple-jointed contortionist Ragdoll, Bruce's childhood friend-turned-psycopath Black Mask, and, of course, the Clown Prince of Crime, The Joker.
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