|The Joker #1|
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The Joker #1 is an American comic book, released in 1975. It is the first published issue of The Joker's own short-lived comic book series.
"The Joker's Double Jeopardy!"Edit
The story begins with Two-Face's escape from Arkham Asylum, assisted by a Spanish man by the name of Alvarez. The Joker witnesses the breakout, and demands that Alvarez break him out as well. Alvarez refuses, stating that he is in need of "a truly master criminal" - a title that he considers Two-Face more worthy of than the Ace of Knaves. The Joker is insulted by the proclamation, but muses to himself that he has his own escape plan ready.
The next morning, true to his word, Joker escapes from Arkham with special balloons that carry him over the walls (having replaced all the guards' pistols with harmless pop-guns beforehand). The Clown Prince of Crime drifts to a Gotham suburb, where he learns, much to his delight, that Batman is away at an Interpol Convention in Paris, and will not be around to foil his schemes for a while. Joker wastes no time afterward in getting to one of his hideouts and reuniting with his henchmen, who inform him that Two-Face and Alvarez have rented out the top two floors of a hotel - with armed guards at the doors.
Over at the hotel, Alvarez explains why he had freed Two-Face - he needs the criminal's skills in order to steal a set of golden coins transferred from his own country to the United States: ten gold doubloons with double faces. Two-Face, interest piqued, flips his coin, which comes "bad-heads up", prompting him to accept the heist. No sooner has Two-Face done this, however, does the Joker barge into the room, smuggled in beneath a room service cart (and with one of his henchmen disguised as the bellhop pushing it).
Though Joker overpowers Alvarez and his men with acid-filled cream pies, Two-Face is able to escape without a single scratch. The Joker, however, is not too worried, and looks forward to the upcoming challenge, which he expects to prove himself a superior criminal to Two-Face. As night falls, the Ace of Knaves breaks into the basement of the museum where the doubloons are stored, expecting Two-Face to make his move the next day, as it will be the second day of the month. Two-Face arrives that very night, however, proving Joker's expectations wrong, and overpowers the Harlequin of Hate.
The Joker wakes up in a sub-basement of the museum, tied to an old-fashioned lumber-mill buzzsaw. There, Two-Face explains to him that he had in fact followed his modus operandi - he intended to pull his heist at two o'clock in the morning. A flip of his coin dictates that The Joker is to die, prompting him to turn on the saw. As he leaves, the bisected criminal gloats, explaining that the saw will vertically bisect the Joker's body groin-first - and turn him into a "two-face" as well once it reaches his head. Once he leaves, however, Joker manages to free himself of the ropes with the help of the acid-spraying plastic flower on the lapel of his tuxedo.
On the main floor of the museum, meanwhile, the doubloons are indeed on display - and vigorously guarded by Commissioner Gordon and his men. Gordon reassures the museum's director that the coins will not be stolen - in addition to the policemen, the coins' case is outfitted with an alarm that would automatically seal the museum's every exit. Barely after he is done explaining, however, the lights of the museum go out, and two minutes of darkness tick by, after which the lights turn on again, the coins still inside the glass case. Gordon proudly exclaims that the coins had not been touched, but in reality, Two-Face had in fact pulled off the heist. Hiding himself in the second floor of the museum, directly above the doubloons' display, the bisected criminal had lowered a magnet on a rope through a trapdoor, hauled the coins up and away, and replaced them with a set of worthless fakes.
As the museum quiets down, Two-Face prepares for his escape, only to be confronted by The Joker. A battle between the two Arkham inmates ensues, during which Joker uses gadgets such as eye-stinging false hair and glue-smeared jacket lapels to compensate for his lack of brawn. The fight ends with both men slamming into a wall headfirst, knocking both out cold. The next morning, the two unconscious criminals are found by museum security, who round them up and prepare to ship them back to Arkham Asylum. As the guards haul them away, Two-Face demands to know why the doubloons are being left behind, to which one guard explains that the coins in the museum had been fake to begin with; Batman had discovered that Alvarez stole the doubloons before they even left his country, and hired Two-Face to steal the fakes in order to cover his tracks. The Joker cannot help but laugh at this revelation - Two-Face, "the supreme double-dealer", had been double-crossed.