Detective Comics 532
Detective Comics #532
Publication Information
Published November 1983
Executive Editor Jenette Khan
Cover Artist(s) Gene Colan
Writer(s) Doug Menoch
Inker(s) Bob Smith
Letterer(s) Ben Oda
Editor(s) Len Wein
Alternate Covers

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Detective Comics #532 is an American comic book, released in November of 1983.

"Laugh, Killer, Laugh!"Edit


Continuing from Batman #365, Batman finds himself inside the Joker's "Joker Cave" beneath a pyramid in Guatemala, along with several gunmen and a bound-and-gagged Vicki Vale, and of course, the Clown Prince of Crime himself. The Joker cheerfully greets Batman and begins to tell him about his latest scheme, when one of the gunmen protests, pointing out that informing Batman of his schemes would not be the smartest thing to do.

Joker, furious at being questioned, executes the henchman with a jack-in-the-box, which hits him in the head with a hammer and detonates upon impact. The Joker then continues with his monologue, telling Batman that he plans to take over the country altogether and transform it into a theme park (themed after himself, of course)-slash-criminal hub (and further demonstrates with a model). To this end, he has cleverly pitted the Guatemalan government militia against the rebels, planning to make the two sides engage in an all-out war.

For weeks, his men, disguised as the rebels, have been provoking the government, drawing the two sides closer and closer to war. The final blow would be struck the next day, when the top government general, General Diaz, would arrive in the village of Mixteca. Upon his arrival, the "rebels" would assassinate him, thus causing the tensions between the government and the real rebels to finally reach its breaking point.

Batman, at this point, attempts to bargain with the Joker, offering himself in exchange for the captive Vale. He then tells the Joker that if he decides against this, he would kill him in the same instant that the Clown Prince of Crime's gunmen bring him down. After a long period of silence following this statement, Joker begins to tell Batman what he intends to do with him, at which point the story promptly cuts to back to Gotham City, showing Alfred (having been "away on personal business" as shown in Batman #365) in a seedy part of the city along with a young woman.

Alfred, having just returned from purchasing groceries, tells the young woman that he will be returning to Wayne Manor after he cooks dinner. The young woman begs Alfred to not go, and demands why he never came to see her in all these years. Alfred has no answers for this, and relents, deciding that they should take the time to know each other... as father and daughter.

The story then cuts to the hospital that Commissioner Gordon is inside (having been recently incapacitated by a stroke). Harvey Bullock, blaming the stroke on one of his own pranks, continues to beg Gordon for forgiveness, and asks Gordon's daughter, Barbara, why the commissioner never went to a doctor. Barbara replies that he did it because would not accept any possibility of weakness as a policeman, and the two pray for Gordon to not die.

Afterward, the story returns to Guatemala, where the Joker has set up an elaborate deathtrap in his "Joker Cave". Vicki Vale, still bound and gagged, is laid onto the tracks of a roller coaster (something that the Joker has prepared in advance for his new vision of Guatemala). Batman is atop the cars of the roller coaster (designed to look like a train with the Joker's face on the engine), but has his hands bound behind his back. The Joker then sets the roller coaster running, taunting Batman to save Vicki before she gets run over.

Batman estimates that he has three minutes before the cars reach Vicki, but is at a loss as to what to do once he gets to her (assuming that he can survive a leap from the roller coaster and the gunmen). Thanks to quick thinking and his environment, however, the Dark Knight is able to untie his hands with a stalactite, and derails the roller coaster with a thrown Batarang just before it runs Vicki over.

The derailed cars crash and explode, hurling the Joker into the model for his visions of "Joker-Land" and collapsing the entire cave. Batman and Vicki escape (Vicki picking up a fallen gun to stop the gunmen from following them along the way) the pyramid, and head for Mixteca - Batman to stop the assassination attempt, Vicki to write "the biggest news story of the last five years". As the two leaves, however, the Joker is shown to have survived the cave collapsing upon him, and raises his head to the sky, laughing madly.

The story is concluded in Batman #366.