"Joker's Apprentice": In Arkham Asylum, four inmates are playing poker and one of them is telling a story about how Batman struck him down from the shadows. The other inmates tell him he's lying, but the Joker, overhearing the conversation sits down at the table and has a conversation with
Batman: Joker's Apprentice #1 is a one-shot with a cover date of May, 1999.
Appearing in "Joker's Apprentice"
- Arthur Rankel
- Calvin Marshall
- Dr. Thomas DeGeorge
Synopsis for "Joker's Apprentice"
In Arkham Asylum, four inmates are playing poker and one of them is telling a story about how Batman struck him down from the shadows. The other inmates tell him he's lying, but the Joker, overhearing the conversation sits down at the table and has a conversation with the man, Arthur Rankel. Rankel has been convicted of raping and killing eighteen women and the Joker seems to think Rankel is just the man for the Clown Prince of Crime to take under his wing and train as a weapon against Batman. Joker spends the next 83 days teaching Rankel everything he has learned about Batman during his nefarious career. Once Rankel "graduates," the Joker arranges to have Scarecrow and his gang break Rankel out of Arkham.
After escaping, Rankel continues to study Batman and prepares for his eventual confrontation with the Caped Crusader. He begins carrying on conversations with his new roommate, a rat. Utilizing two criminals, Dr. Thomas DeGeorge, and a loutish brute named Calvin Marshall, they begin killing women, filming it, and sending the video tapes to the police and media, taunting them. They kill 24 women in two weeks. James Gordon calls in Batman for help on the case. Gordon thinks the killer's methods are too clean. He suspects that the killer, dubbed DeMille by the media, is coming for Batman. Batman calls Oracle to see what assistance she can provide. According to her analysis, none of the killings fit the usual profile of a serial killer. She says its too clean, almost as if there were two killers.
Batman goes to the latest crime scene and calls Gordon, telling him his new theory that DeMille is actually a team of two killers. He tells Gordon to pass it along to the FBI and goes to see Harvey Dent. He interrogates Two-Face, who tells Batman, he suspects the Joker. Batman then goes to see a man named Milo, who confirms that Joker is behind the team murdering people in Gotham. Batman pressures Milo for their address and the man supplies the information. After Batman leaves, Milo makes a phone call and tells the person on the other end of the line that he gave Batman the information, just as the Joker planned.
Batman drops into a building, which is instantly lit up with bright light. All the exits are sealed, effectively trapping the Dark Knight Detective. The Tom and Calvin begin shooting at Batman with various guns and a flamethrower. Using explosive from his utility belt, Batman blows open a steel door and barrels through it, to the Sci-Fi film set next door. Using the PA system, Rankel tells Batman they killed all those people just to get to Batman. Rankel releases guard dogs on Batman, which he takes out using gas pellets. Cal and Tom chase Batman out of the building and into a graveyard, where Rankel joins the hunt. Batman defeats them, one by one. As the Joker watches Rankel returned to Arkham, he wishes Batman a happy anniversary. It is exactly five years from the day they met.
- No special notes.
- No trivia.
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