Batman 8
Batman #8
Publication Information
Published December 1941/January 1942
Executive Editor Whitney Ellsworth
Cover Artist(s) Bob Kane
Writer(s) Bill Finger
Inker(s) George Russos
Jerry Robinson
Letterer(s) Unknown
Editor(s) Whitney Ellsworth
Alternate Covers

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Batman #8 is an American comic book published by DC Comics, released from December of 1941 to January of 1942.

"The Cross Country Crimes!"Edit


As Bruce Wayne and Dick Grayson listen to the radio one night, they are shocked to hear an announcement made by G. Henry Mover, the head of the FBI. Mover requests that the two appear in Washington D.C., so that he may congratulate them for ridding the city of crime. The Dynamic Duo waste no time in arriving at Washington D.C., but, as Mover shakes hands with the Dark Knight, a bullet rips through the air, hitting Mover. From atop a nearby roof, The Joker, wielding a sniper rifle, snarls his displeasure at missing Batman, but adds that he will get the Dark Knight some other time.

By the time the police arrive to comb the area, The Joker has already vanished. Nevertheless, Batman and Robin swear to capture Joker, but this time, they will not be alone in their efforts. The entire country is now looking to bring The Joker to justice, and the president himself has ordered every police force in the country to hunt the madman down. The Joker, however, is not scared in the least, and, to prove it, announces his contempt for both Batman and the police over the radio.

Batman is able to track the radio station where The Joker's taunting message came from, but by the time he arrives, Joker is long gone. A single clue, however, is left inside the station - a Joker playing card with a taunt scrawled onto it, along with a picture of the state of New Jersey (that has the "New" scratched out). Batman deduces that this means Joker will be heading to New Jersey, and indeed, The Joker has just arrived in a small New Jersey town. Upon overhearing that real diamonds will be used in an upcoming play, The Joker determines what his next crime will be.

By chance, Bruce Wayne and Dick Grayson arrive at the same town that very night, and, lacking any leads, decide to relax by watching the play. As the play commences, a gangster is shown onstage, robbing a rich woman of the diamond on her necklace, but another actor notes that his lines are incorrect. The gangster snarls that he is ad-libbing, before taking off his mask and revealing himself at The Joker. The Ace of Knaves informs everyone in the theater that the gun in his hands is not a prop, but an actual gun, but as he begins to make his leave, Batman and Robin swing onto the scene.

The Joker is able to escape by using Robin as a temporary hostage, but the fiasco is not a complete loss for the Dynamic Duo, as Batman is able to find another Joker playing card on the street, this one with a picture of Ohio on it - The Joker's next target. Indeed, The Joker meets up with two former henchmen in Ohio two days later, and asks if they intend to turn him in for the reward offered by the government. The two men deny it, as they explain that Joker is more profitable to them alive - they need his expertise to help them rob a bus that contains the attendees for a jewelers' convention.

The Harlequin of Hate cooks up a clever plan to rob the jewelers, but, not wanting to share the spoils with the two, kills them with cigars laced with Joker Venom. He then proceeds to put his plan into action that very night, first by blocking out a stripe on the highway with black paint, then painting a new highway stripe that curves off of the road. His plan works like a charm, as the bus, unable to see the deception with the night so pitch-black, follows the "revised" highway stripe off of the road and falls down a cliff.

Batman and Robin hear the crash, and find the wreckage at the foot of the cliff, as well as Joker gleefully picking the victims' pockets. As the Dynamic Duo charge him, Joker neutralizes Robin with a shot from his gas-gun, but before he can do the same to Batman, the Dark Knight knocks it out of his hand. Joker flees up the mountain, where he finds a monorail car to make his escape with. Batman leaps onto the car as well, but is knocked off of it by a well-aimed kick. Robin, recovered from the gas, attempts to help by reversing the direction of the cars, but Joker simply leaps to the car on the opposite and escapes. As he does so, he leaves behind a third Joker card, this one with the state of Kansas on it.

As the Dynamic Duo rush to Kansas in the Batmobile, a report comes in on their radio stating that The Joker had been spotted entering a house on 2255 Concourse Avenue. Upon arriving at the house, Batman and Robin find it already surrounded by policemen, and the two, along with the police chief and his assistant, carefully enter the house to apprehend The Joker. The four find The Joker seated in an armchair, reading a newspaper, but upon charging at him, all four are hurled back by a blinding flash and knocked unconscious. Upon regaining consciousness minutes later, Batman explains that the Joker in the armchair is a dummy, wired to give powerful electric shocks to those that touch it.

A fourth card is found on the floor of the house - this one with the state of Delaware (with the "D" crossed out) on it. Later on, the Dynamic Duo analyze the four cards that Joker had left them, and come to the conclusion that, incorporating the "adjustments" that Joker had made, the states spell out "JOKER", with only the "R" missing. Batman thus deduces that Joker will strike next in Rhode Island, instead of Delaware, as Delaware does not truly begin with an E. Two days later, The Joker reads in a newspaper that a man named "I. Namtab" will be staying at Fray Hotel in Providence, Rhode Island, and that it is rumored he has on him one of the largest diamonds in the world.

Upon arriving at the Fray Hotel, The Joker knocks on the door of room where "I. Namtab" is staying, only to realize that the entire thing had been a setup by Batman and Robin ("Namtab" being "Batman" spelled backwards). A furious Joker makes a run for it, closely pursued by the Dynamic Duo, and eventually finds himself cornered atop the hotel's marquee. In desperation, Joker leaps onto a passing car on the street below, but to no avail - with a flying tackle, Batman is able to capture his elusive opponent at last, and hauls him off to "another territory that has an "R" in it" - Alcatraz Prison. As he is locked away inside Alcatraz, Joker vows that, as he had escaped prisons before, he will do it again.