"The Anatomy of A Joke": The apartment of Barbara Gordon, Gotham City


Quote1.png What scares a man the most? A woman who laughs at him. Quote2.png
Barbara Gordon

Batgirl (Volume 5) #47 is an issue of the series Batgirl (Volume 5) with a cover date of September, 2020. It was published on July 21, 2020.

Synopsis for "The Anatomy of A Joke"

The apartment of Barbara Gordon, Gotham City

Babs just came back from a little date with Jason: she's trying to live her life as Barbara Gordon, and not only as Batgirl. She needs to give some love to her private dimension as well, or she will lose too much in life. Trying to relax after a busy day, Barbara starts noticing a strange perfume, remembering her of rotten flowers. She quickly scans her apartment to search for an external presence, and soon she is face to face with the clown prince of crime, the Joker.

Barbara reacts with terror to the Joker being inside her apartment, with memories of her paralysis getting back inside her head, but manages to stay calm, at least until Joker someway hacks her spinal device. Babs was sure she and Frankie were able to make it inaccessible to anyone, but the Joker reveals he is now in control of Wayne Enterprises, and there he found a device powerful enough to even bypass Barbara's protections. Managing to keep control of herself, Batgirl tries to counterattack Joker and almost succeeds, but in the end she must listen to what the madman wants from her.

He is after some ciphers hidden in old computers inside the Batcave: they would give the Joker access to all the gadgets and creations Batman stored during his whole career. Of course, Joker knows about the abilities of Barbara regarding computing, and he wants her to collaborate. Refusing to do anything, Barbara starts laughing in the Joker's face, and this makes the clown prince of crime go nuts, enough to distract him and give Batgirl the opportunity to trigger a silent alarm. Then, as the Joker leads her out of the apartment to play a game that will make her give up the information he needs, Barbara remembers who was at the other end of the transmission: Alfred Pennyworth. No one will hear her call for help.

As she is almost in a life-or-death situation with the Joker, and as the clown starts involving Jason Bard in the whole scheme, Batgirl decides to give away part of the information the Joker seeks, telling him that the cipher is inspired by Kryptos, a code no one has been able to break in thirty years. The Joker will never be able to break it, no matter the resources he has. The clown prince of crime does not agree: he will break it, after all he owns everything in Gotham already, and nothing will stop it. Barbara then takes out her spinal device herself, surprising Joker with an attack, piercing him with the same blade she used to remove her device from her back. As they both lay down bleeding, Joker compliments Barbara, telling her she might be the best Robin ever.

Appearing in "The Anatomy of A Joke"

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