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Many Batman stories are built on the Joker’s goal of make the Dark Knight laugh. In his twisted mind, the stoic detective is the ultimate challenge of his twisted brand of dark comedy. This idea is flipped on its metaphorical head in Batman: The Brave and the Bold #9. Here, it is Batman trying to get a laugh out of the Joker with one of the worst jokes ever.
“The Winning Card” by Tom King and Mitch Gerads spins a tale of the first confrontation between Batman and the Joker. Injured and ill, Bruce Wayne is determined to bring the Joker to justice, passing out after finally engaging the Clown Prince of Crime in combat. To his surprise, he wakes up to find the Joker, who only speaks in mad laughs, watching over him.
This inspires Bruce Wayne to try something different to reach the clearly insane Joker. Suggesting that “maybe you and I… we… we just like different jokes,” Batman attempts to tell a joke of his own. It involves a visit to a mechanic, a broken battery, and a truly awful pun.
This stuns Joker, even as Batman laughs at his own joke. To his apparent annoyance, Joker won’t laugh with him, and the clown looks truly disturbed as the Dark Knight keeps laughing. The Joker has just enough time to say, “You’re insane,” before he is knocked unconscious.
How Batman Gets the Last Laugh
The final scene of the comic finds Batman visiting Joker in Arkham Asylum. Joker is still dissecting the logic of the joke, unable to come to terms with Batman honestly finding a bad pun funny. Ironically, the idea of something humorous not making sense bothers him as a comedian.
When the Dark Knight suggests that maybe Joker doesn’t get the joke, Joker insists that he understands it just fine: “It’s just not funny.” Batman silences the Clown Prince of Crime with his reply, “I could say the same about you.” Thus begins a legendary rivalry.
Batman: The Brave and the Bold #9 is now available in comic shops everywhere.