"Tales of Madness": Arkham Asylum is hit by the earthquake and the security guards are trapped inside the high security area as the entire building seals every window and door to prevent the inmates from escaping. Killer Croc's cell was left open as the guards we
- Life, dear Greg, is a theater of the absurd. Be honest and gentle, and a man goes to a pauper's grave. Lie and cheat and kill, and that same man could rule the world!
Batman: Arkham Asylum - Tales of Madness #1 is a one-shot with a cover date of May, 1998.
Synopsis for "Tales of Madness"
Arkham Asylum is hit by the earthquake and the security guards are trapped inside the high security area as the entire building seals every window and door to prevent the inmates from escaping. Killer Croc's cell was left open as the guards were feeding him. Croc kills one of the guards and the other two run to hide from the brute. Croc is called by Joker who tells him to take the guard's keys and open his cell. Once Joker is free he chooses to free a small group of inmates that included Scarecrow, Riddler, Vox and Samantha. They start to look for the two guards and find them hiding in a closet. Joker uses one of the guard's taser and kills him, leaving just one of the guards alive. The name of the guard is Greg and he is going to be used for the madmen's pleasure.
The group of inmates start a contest where each of them will tell a story and they leave Greg to decide which story was the scariest of all. One by one they tell him stories about their own personal vision of the world. Greg tries to keep it together but with every story he listens to, he starts to lose grip of reality. Vox takes the guard's keys and frees Charaxes who creates a bit of chaos until he is stopped by Killer Croc and Joker. They retake the contest and there is just one more story missing. It is the turn of the Joker.
The Clown Prince of Crime tells a story about him murdering hundreds of people with his Joker Venom until Batman and Robin try to stop him. However, Joker manages to subdue the dynamic duo and then he kills Robin by stabbing a knife in his back while Batman is unable to help him because he is paralyzed by Joker Gas that makes him laugh without control just to kill him as well. After finishing his story, the inmates ask Greg that the time has come for him to decide which story was the scariest one. Greg can't decide and he tells them that all of their stories scared him. The inmates then approach Greg in an ominously, threatening and scary way. When the power is restored and the Asylum is unlocked, many guards enter the place with Jeremiah Arkham. They find the two guards' bodies and Charaxes unconscious. All the other cells are closed tight and they are shocked when they find Greg.
A week later, Greg's fiancee demands to see him. Jeremiah Arkham advises her not to do so but she insists. When Jeremiah shows her Greg in his current state, she is shocked. Greg is held naked and handcuffed to the ground in an Arkham cell. His whole body is covered in scars with the names of the inmates he faced and he is now The Jigsaw Man. Greg lost his sanity and is condemned to stay inside the walls of Arkham Asylum for the rest of his days.
Appearing in "Tales of Madness"
- Greg Roark (security guard)
- The Joker
- Killer Croc
- Vox (First appearance)
- Witch (First appearance)
- Maxie Zeus (locked door)
- The Riddler
- Zsasz (locked door)
- David (Lisa's brother; story)
- Dean (Only appearance; dies)
- Miss Jaye (Single appearance)
- Mr. Layney (Only appearance; dies)
- This issue is divided into three chapters, Democratic Conventions, Tales of Madness, and The Jigsaw Man.
- This Batman: Cataclysm crossover takes place between Catwoman #57 and Robin #53.
- This issue is reprinted in the Batman: Cataclysm, New Edition collection, but was not included in the first edition.
- The Riddler asks himself a series of existential questions, concluding with "Why a Duck?" This is not a complete non-sequitur, it's a reference to the Marx Brothers film The Cocoanuts.
- Batman Recommended Reading
- Batman (Volume 1)
- Batman (Volume 2)
- Batman (Volume 3)
- Batman and Robin (Volume 1)
- Batman and Robin (Volume 2)
- Batman Confidential (Volume 1)
- Batman: Gotham Knights (Volume 1)
- Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight (Volume 1)
- Batman: Shadow of the Bat (Volume 1)
- Batman: Streets of Gotham (Volume 1)
- Batman Incorporated (Volume 1)
- Batman Incorporated (Volume 2)
- Batman/Superman (Volume 1)
- Batman/Superman (Volume 2)
- Batman: The Dark Knight (Volume 1)
- Batman: The Dark Knight (Volume 2)
- The Brave and the Bold (Volume 1)
- Detective Comics (Volume 1)
- Detective Comics (Volume 2)
- Superman/Batman (Volume 1)
- World's Finest (Volume 1)
Links and References
|Batman: Cataclysm Crossover|
This issue is a part of the Cataclysm crossover that swept through all Batman Family Titles during 1998. Gotham City was almost completely destroyed by a massive earthquake. This story led into the events that would eventually create No Man's Land.