Friday, February 10, 2017
From 1995, Shadow of the Bat #38, "Tears of a Clown" Written by Alan Grant, pencils by Barry Kitson, inks by Scott Hanna.
The Joker was at it again in this two-parter, with a seemingly more personal crime than usual, having kidnapped spectators that had been in the audience when a pre-Red Hood comedian bombed. (Some of the crowd had been part of a college comedy club, and may have heckled him mercilessly.) The kidnap victims had explosive collars on them, set to go off if they laugh, but the Joker isn't particular how this lot dies...!
Batman tracks the Joker down, and has it almost sewn up, when he's hit from behind by bounty hunter Wild; who isn't after the Joker for cash but revenge for his murdered family. Despite having the Joker dead to rights, Wild hesitates a moment too long, and gets a face-full of Joker gas for his trouble. Batman has to save the probably permanently-insane Wild from a bomb, and the Joker escapes.
Much of the Joker's remembrances here are from the Killing Joke, although a little lip service is paid to the idea that those memories may or may not have happened. But if they would've had to, at least in part, for the victims to have something in common.