"Golgotham": After she her struggle with body dysmorphia led her to disfigure her own face, Duela Dent retreated to the Gotham Underground and the sewers, where she discovered, floating in the murky waters, the Joker's severed face. It had com
- No! I need this -- I'm the Joker's Daughter. Hit me like one of your super villains, Batman!
Appearing in "Golgotham"
- Eric Border
- Mahreen Zaheer
- Deacon Blackfire (Behind the scenes)
- Matilda (Mentioned only)
- Roger (Dies)
Synopsis for "Golgotham"
After she her struggle with body dysmorphia led her to disfigure her own face, Duela Dent retreated to the Gotham Underground and the sewers, where she discovered, floating in the murky waters, the Joker's severed face. It had come to her, and no one else, and because she felt she had been chosen, she found the higher purpose she needed to give up self harm and drug abuse. That had been enough for her for a while, until she realized that she couldn't go on pretending she was connected with him. She would have to find the real Joker - and she would claim him as her father. She would be the Joker's Daughter.
Knowing of the Joker's obsession with Batman, she targets him first, playing at the idea that Batman is so obsessed with stopping the Joker that if she fakes a Joker crime, Batman will find him for her. She stages a bus crash as a trap, leaving only mannequins to burn inside, along with a note containing a tiny tracker. Though Batman is suspicious of a crime without any real casualties, he pockets her note, and begins his search.
Batman enters the dark sewers, and Duela follows, cornering him there and attacking. Annoyed, Batman tosses her aside, warning that he found her tracker, and pointing out that the Joker's legend has made her sick, just like the Joker's corpse has made the deep caverns below the city sick with fungi and spores. Duela refuses to believe that the Joker is dead, which is why Batman led her to that place - where he fell. He offers her only one chance to walk away from this and get help. In response, she begs him to hit her like she's one of his super-villains. Batman claims that she is merely a child with an obscene mask. He coldly remarks that he would take the mask from her, if he didn't want to see her watch it rot in her hands, leaving her feeling even more abandoned than ever before.
With a police report coming in on his receiver, Batman excuses himself, causing Duela to chase after him madly, begging for attention from her idol-turned-father, and that father's nemesis. She follows him out onto the street, and finds herself surrounded by police. Soon, she is in the back of a cruiser as the police take her to a juvenile psychiatric clinic and send her ugly cat to Animal Control. Rather than see herself committed and reunited with her parents, Duela gnaws through her wrists, breaking the skin, and letting the blood lubricate her handcuffs so that she can slip them off. Eager to prove herself, she attacks the officers in the front, causing the car to crash. As one officer struggles away from the wreckage, Duela approaches, and garrotes her. As she watches the life leave the policewoman's eyes, Duela stops herself, despite the voices in her head telling her to. Feeling merciful, she ditches the site, thanking the wounded officers for the lift, and making her way to Arkham on her own terms.
Later, at Arkham, the orderlies are grumpy to be doing maintenance work, joking amongst each other, despite the grim shadow of what the Joker did to the asylum recently still looming over them. Soon, though, a call from security warns of a violent incursion on the front entrance, and Mahreen Zaheer sends Eric and Roger to investigate while she puts away the cleaning chemicals. In the maintenance room, though, she encounters Duela Dent, who attacks her. In her defence, Mahreen splashes her chemicals in the girl's face, but with no effect. Angrily, Duella screeches that the woman could have damaged the Joker's precious face. Pressing Mahreen into the floor, Duela demands to know about her father. Mahreen professes that she wasn't there when the Joker took over Arkham - but Roger was.
Roger and Eric enter the room, and Roger warns that if Duela tries to hurt Mahreen, he won't tell her anything about the Joker. Despite Eric's warnings, Roger lists the horrors he witnessed and underwent, knowing that the Joker's face will haunt his nightmares forever - but she is not the Joker. She is nobody, and the Joker would be disgusted with her; a child merely playing at murder. In her anger at hearing this, Duela finds the calm she needs to live up to the namesake she took, thrusting her smile-brand into a light-socket, and heating it to red-hot. She then thrusts it into Roger's chest, ripping through his side. Finally, she has killed.
As she runs down the hallways, Duela begins to feel strange, remembering the fungi and spores from the underground waterway, and realizing that she has the the Joker's Toxin inside her. She hears a voice calling to her, and finds the cell of the Anchoress. Given her long tenure as an inmate, surely she would know something of the Joker. As Duela approaches, though, the Anchoress grabs her, calling her a trespasser. She reads the girl's brain, and learns that Duela Dent is sane. She is wearing masks, even beneath the mask of the Joker, holding histories in her head of girls she thinks she is - and none of them are the truth. All of the tragedies that Duela imagines are in her past were added to her real life as means of making her normal life seem more tragic. Duela Dent does not even know who she is. The Anchoress runs her right out of the asylum, screaming.
Duela climbs up under the Gotham Bridge, and dreams of meeting the Joker, as this was where he first came when he returned. Terrified that the Joker would reject her if he met her, she seeks out one last ray of hope, in the man who cut off the Joker's face - The Dollmaker.
She finds him at Gotham Harbour, after much searching. He calls her a corruption - not worthy of the flesh she wears over her own. She reminds that she was powerful enough to conquer the Gotham Underground. Even so, he doesn't want to help. Grinning, she warns that she will kill all of his children if he doesn't sew the Joker's face onto her own. Reluctantly, he agrees - in exchange for new flesh to play with from the Underground. As his needle and thread pierce her flesh, and attach the face firmly to her own, she decides that so long as the Joker is absent, she will be his prophet and heir. She will rule in Gotham.
With the surgery done, she turns to Mathis and demands to know if he has any other genetic material belonging to the Joker on hand. He admits that he kept some of the Joker's blood. Eagerly, she dreams of feeling his poisoned blood coursing through her veins, and injects the small amount into her own bloodstream.
Later, on the outskirts of the city, she hides in an abandoned farmhouse which first housed her early after she'd run away from home. Her story, up to that point, had not been remarkable. It wasn't enough. She told lies - lived lies - in order to make herself more than what she was. She had wanted so much to have a story of her own, even if it meant letting the Joker write it for her. Her plan to become his prophet will be a failure as well, surely. The face will rot away, revealing the uglier one beneath it. Still, though, as the Joker's heir, she will make Gotham bleed, as she once did for him.
Looking to her ugly cat, Duela discovers a note attached to its collar, which reads "Hello Beautiful." Her eyes light up, and she believes, somehow, that the Joker has been watching her this whole time, and he has finally sent her a message. If it is true that he lives, she can remain his prophet and heir, and it will not be in vain. Gotham's devil will be returning, and all of Hell will follow with him.
- This book was first published on February 5, 2014.
- "Jahanum Mein Jao!" translates roughly from Urdu to "Go to Hell!"
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