"The Black Ring, Part Eight": Lex sits in his limousine, just inside the gates of Arkham Asylum. His Lois Lane robot sits next to him. Lex is reading the Gotham Gazette, and grumbling about the headline that says "BRUCE WAYNE FUNDS BATMAN!"
Appearing in "The Black Ring, Part Eight"
Synopsis for "The Black Ring, Part Eight"
Lex sits in his limousine, just inside the gates of Arkham Asylum. His Lois Lane robot sits next to him. Lex is reading the Gotham Gazette, and grumbling about the headline that says "BRUCE WAYNE FUNDS BATMAN!" As Lex ponders his strategy to obtain the Black Ring energy, his assistant Spalding attempts to interrupt with a newsflash: some of the news stories and science articles that motivated Lex's quest may have been planted. The Lois-bot steps in to prevent Lex from being bothered by this news, at least for the moment; as Lex prepares to interrogate the Joker.
Once inside Joker's cell, Lex finds the interrogation quite frustrating. Joker's behavior is jocular, maniacal, and irreverent, while Lex is serious and intense. When Lex senses he is being mocked, he throws a hard punch that sends Joker tumbling out of his chair.
Lex is about to leave, considering the entire exchange pointless; when Joker invites him back and agrees to be a bit more cooperative. The conversation resumes. Lex asks pointed questions to find the location of the black sphere; what he calls an unusual energy source. Joker answers each question with a riddle. Lex easily solves the riddles, as if interpreting from "Joker-speak" into regular English. The cat-and-mouse game continues a while longer. Joker has a couple of jars in his prison cell. Joker opens one, revealing a toy pony. Subsequently, after Lex tries the tactic of actually asking nicely, Joker grabs another jar and opens it to reveal the small black sphere that Lex is looking for.
When Spalding suggests that Luthor and his team just take the sphere, Joker objects vehemently. Joker wants something in return for the black sphere. But as Joker rambles on, pontificating on subjects from the meaning of the universe to the nature of the black sphere; it appears that what Joker really wants is merely an audience.
Finally Lex comes straight out and asks Joker what he wants. Joker replies that he wants Lex to increase the size of the sphere. Joker intends to use it as a doorway; to leave his prison cell. Spalding then succeeds in expanding the sphere by feeding it with additional energy. The sphere begins to behave unpredictably, expanding, and then rather suddenly and explosively turning pure white. Joker has second thoughts, and decides to stay in his cell. Joker continues to utter nonsense, and then Lois-bot pushes Spalding into the white sphere. Spalding screams in pain and then disappears. The white sphere shrinks back down to its small size, and Joker puts it back in the jar. Joker rambles some more; then Lex leaves with the jar containing the white sphere and Joker cackles with glee.
In a Las Vegas casino, two armed security guards talk as if they can hear someone inside of the walls that house their computer system. They discover a hole in the wall; and when they look inside, they find Larfleeze, the Orange Lantern. Larfleeze says he is looking for Lex Luthor; and specifically he is looking to obtain what Lex is searching for.
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