"Secret Santa": This story is reprinted from Batman: The Adventures Continue #15 (Digital), Batman: The Adventures Continue #16 (Digital) and [[Batman: The Adventures Continue Vol 1 17
Batman: The Adventures Continue #8 is an issue of the series Batman: The Adventures Continue (Volume 1) with a cover date of March, 2021. It was published on January 26, 2021.
Synopsis for "Secret Santa"
Above a blimp, Scarface "threatens" to blow up Gotham with CX-8000 if the authorities don't pay him a ransom and sends them a picture of the bomb. Mayor Hill in defiance tells Commissioner Gordon to turn down his demand, but Detective Bullock tells him to calm down. Gordon warns Scarface that he'll be killed too if the bomb is detonated, but the latter states he'll escape in a helicopter and he can see it arriving. The "chopper" however turns out to be the Batwing, with Batman soon busting in through the zeppelin's window. As Batman knocks one of his goons out, Scarface orders the pilot Sluggsy to fight him. The Ventriloquist, Arnold Wesker, grabs the detonator, but finds that it has been activated. As he tries to stop the countdown, he finds that the detonator is broken. Batman escapes with Wesker upon learning this, while the other crewmen jump off in panic.
As Batman and Wesker fall, the latter drops Scarface, who "curses" him for for it. Robin soon rescues the two using the Batwing's net and later in an interrogation room, Bullock tells Wesker they know he only used half of the CX-8000 he stole. As he demands to know where the rest is hidden, Wesker tells him that Scarface had hidden it. Bullock grabs him in anger, shouting that he is Scarface, before Renee Montoya soon comes in with the recovered puppet, Bullock then hands it to Wesker so they can get answers, but Wesker again starts pretending Scarface is real. He proceeds to strike at Harvey and himself for being a "snitch". Batman intervenes and grabs the puppet out of his hand, with Gordon realizing Wesker needs psychotherapy and determining to find the explosives himself.
Months later at Arkham Asylum, Wesker has mostly healed and is given his release papers by Dr. Joan Leland. Wesker tells her that he doesn't encounter Scarface anymore and asks if he really doesn't have to worry anymore, with Joan assuring he'll never return, but he has to continue meditation and medications. At her hideout where she lives with Poison Ivy, Harley Quinn feels bored and suggests to go out as it's Christmas. Ivy reminds her that Batman sent them back to Arkham when they did that last time, but Harley states it will be different this time and suggests hosting a party. Harley states they'll invite other criminals as well, but Ivy rejects the proposal. As Harley calls her boring and states even the Joker would agree to it, Ivy relents on the conditions of not hosting it in their hideout and not inviting the Joker, to which Harley agrees.
Walking through the Gotham Plaza, Wesker feels relieved that he doesn't have to be bothered anymore with Scarface and his abuse. He however gets horrified upon seeing a puppet through a shop's window, but realizes it's just Christmas puppets. Looking at his watch, he remembers he has to take his pills, hallucinating the puppets are mocking him as he walks away. Robin, who's been spying on him by using binoculars, tells Batman that Wesker is doing fine and Bruce states he still wants to be surveyed, as holidays can make lonely people feel stressed. Before leaving, he tells Robin that the police never found the rest of the CX-8000 and it will be a nightmare if Wesker relapses into his Scarface persona in his current state.
At his hideout called "Ha Ha Hide-Away", the Joker gets frustrated at Straightman not being able to understand his jokes while he's hacking into Harley's computer, stating he doesn't have time. He reveals he has found that Harley has invited everyone to her Christmas party except him, even Wesker who he thinks is a loser. After taking out his anger on a TV, an idea to take revenge by using Wesker enters his brain. Batman later looks at the tapes of a break-in into the Arkham Asylum and identifies the intruder as Captain Carl Finley, a special forces operative who had once volunteered for the government's secret program, intended to make a human into the ultimate super-human crimefighter. The Joker however performed a surgery to twist his brain and make him loyal to him, transforming him into the "Straightman".
As Batman wonders what Finley was after, Dr. Joan Leland reveals that he was trying into the room where they store the weapons taken from the criminals. Showing Batman the tapes, she further reveals that Finley wasn't after the Joker's weapons, but the Scarface puppet, which was used to convince Arnold Wesker that it wasn't real. Batman soon rushes away with Robin in order to stop Joker from misusing it. Spying on Wesker's apartment using a drone, Batman and Robin find that he is alone. They however soon discover an invitation by Harley Quinn for a Christmas party, hosted by her and Poison Ivy, for fellow criminals. Later at the Iceberg Lounge, Harley and Ivy welcome Wesker to their party, expressing joy that he's left Scarface behind.
As Wesker questions Harley about the Penguin's absence, Harley turns the conversation to the Carpenter Jenna Duffy and asks if he knows her. Wesker states he does as she used to fix Scarface's bullet-holes. As he gets hesitant about his past, Jenna tells him to not worry about it. She states that after Penguin hired her to refurbish the club, she convinced him for letting Harley use it while he was away and in return she paid him for it. At his secret getaway of "Key Nest", Penguin expresses relief at getting away from Gotham and decides to check how Jenna's work is coming along. After hearing music while talking to her, Penguin questions if there's a party going on. Jenna denies it and states she just turned on the jukebox. When Penguin states the club has no jukebox, she quickly cuts off the call.
Batman decides to infiltrate the party disguised as the henchman "Knute Brody", suspecting Joker might use it to hand back Scarface to Wesker, which will be troublesome. As Baby-Doll is given a Mai Tai by March Hare, a woman sitting near the bar questions her age. Baby-Doll gets angry, but Wesker calms her, stating she doesn't seem to be one of them. The woman states she's never been to such a strange party and Wesker agrees the guests are eccentric. Harley questions Ivy about the woman, and she reveals that she is Eileen Kwan, the owner of the nursery where she buys fertilizers from. As Harley gets upset at her stating that she likes Kwan but only likes her sometimes, Ivy states she was joking and thanks her for hosting the party, since the holidays are a difficult time for criminals.
The Joker soon enters the club, claiming he decided to come with Straightman after hearing about the party and only comes with goodwill in his heart. Harley refuses to trust him or let him distribute his gift, with Joker stating he'll then hand it to someone neutral. Batman soon shows up as Knute Brody in a Santa Claus costume, but Joker fails to recognize him. The other criminals soon tell him his name and that he is Gotham's most incompetent henchman. He claims that he was employed to play Santa at the Gotham Orphanage, but ended up at the wrong address, As he tries to take his leave, Joker stops him and offers him the job of distributing his gift to he person mentioned on the tag. Batman then pretends to misread it as Roxy Rocket, but Straightman stops her from taking it.
Brody claims the gift tag is smeared when Joker tells him to read it again, and the latter decides to distribute on his own. Brody starts throwing the gifts to spoil his plan and tells Robin to call the police. He then tells everyone he saw police nearby ten minutes ago, resulting in everyone fleeing. Brody then takes Wesker through the backdoor and Wesker thanks him, since he would be in trouble if the police caught him with others. He hands Wesker a gift, who thanks him before leaving for the subway. Brody soon gets struck from behind by Straightman and Joker states they'll have to make sure Scarface and Wesker are reunited. As Finley questions Joker what to do with Brody, his boss orders him to crush his larynx and break his bones. They are however forced to spare him as the police arrive, and flee.
While going back home, Wesker checks his gift, but gets disappointed to find it's just full of socks. Still, he thinks to himself that they suit the Christmas season. He pretends that one of the socks is real and welcomes him to his home, but gets shocked upon finding Scarface there. The Joker soon comes in and states he brought him so they can be reunited, with Straightman even shining Scarface up. Straightman puts Scarface back on Wesker's hands and he instantly snaps into believing he's real. Scarface tries to hit Wesker, but smells something pleasant, which Straightman reveals is furniture polish he used on him. Scarface states he likes it, before warning Joker to watch out, as he might snap on him as well.
Batman later busts into Wesker's apartment along with Robin, but finds that he is not there. Robin questions if he is sure he was there and Batman affirms, pointing to the gift he gave him. Finding Joker's card in the Christmas tree, he realizes what happened and rushes to find him. As Scarface directs to take a turn and states their destination is still a couple of miles away, Joker questions if he's playing a joke on them. Scarface tells him to trust him and states he'll get the explosives he promised soon enough. As Wesker question Scarface it's right to give them to the Joker given his penchant for violence, Scarface states that he got him out and knows he's the boss. The men soon reach their destination.
When Joker questions Scarface if he really hid the CX-8000 at Santa Town, Scarface states that no one will search for them there and the place mostly lies abandoned. Scarface directs Straightman to search the candy canes after being questioned where they are hidden. After finding the explosives, the Joker commends Scarface at the Ha-Ha Hideaway for thinking about orchestrating a bombing on New Year's Eve. Scarface states that he knows where Joker can cause the most damage, but the latter questions if they can trust Wesker to not rat them out. Scarface states yes, since he has Wesker "trained", and tells him to confirm it. Wesker confirms but tells him now is not a good time to attack, since the police will be after him and will also be spying on his place. Joker assures Scarface that they'll be safe at his hideout.
On New Year's Eve, Commissioner Gordon tells Batman that they were unable to find Joker and they have heard nothing from him or Scarface. Batman states that he doesn't feel Scarface is behind what's happening, but he knows Joker will attack the Gotham Center building. Alfred soon contacts Batman to tell him that he's finally found the woman he saw with Poison Ivy at the Iceclub Lounge earlier. He states that she is Eileen Kwan and is a plant nursery owner, with Batman asking him to hack into her customer accounts. Harley returns to her hideout after shopping, but gets surprised to see Batman and Robin along with a tied-up Ivy. When Batman asks her where Joker is, she claim to be unaware as they've broken up, but eventually reveals his hideout's name by accident. Later at the Ha-Ha Hideaway, Batman and Robin find it deserted. Batman soon recovers a subway ticket and realizes it's a message from Wesker.
Meanwhile at a Gotham Subway station, which has been shut down to keep the crowd out on New Year's Eve, Joker plants the CX-8000. As Joker states they only have five minutes to flee, Scarface questions him about the ransom, but he reveals he simply wants to kill people. Joker then knocks the Ventriloquist out with a gas and drops him onto the rail line. Batman and Robin arrive just as Joker tells Scarface to start their railcar, with Batman piercing the control panel with a batarang. Straightman fights Batman, but soon gets knocked onto Joker's railcar. Joker succeeds in getting the batarang out but a train soon destroys the railcar. Robin saves Wesker and they find Scarface has been destroyed.
Batman tells Wesker that Joker has been arrested, while Straightman is still on the run. Wesker blames himself for relapsing into his Scarface persona, but Robin states that he actually helped them by leaving the subway ticket at Joker's hideout. Batman agrees, telling him he actually managed to defy Scarface and acted like a hero, which Wesker realizes is correct. Leaving the subway, Wesker gets amazed by seeing so many people. Batman and Robin tell him that it's time for a new year and new beginnings, which he agrees to.
Appearing in "Secret Santa"
- Eileen Kwan
- Gotham City Police Department
- Harley Quinn
- Joan Leland
- Poison Ivy
- Robin (Tim Drake)
- The Ventriloquist
- Alfred Pennyworth
- Captain Boomerang
- Clock King
- Condiment King
- Joan Leland
- King Shark
- Mayor Hill
- The Ratcatcher
- Roxy Rocket
- Betty Hutton (Mentioned only)
- Robin (Jason Todd) (Mentioned only)
- United States Army Special Forces (Mentioned only)
- Chernobyl (Mentioned only)
- Gotham City
- Cover gallery for the Batman: The Adventures Continue series
- Images from Batman: The Adventures Continue Vol 1 8
- 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)
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- Batman: Shadow of the Bat (Volume 1)
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- DC Animated Universe Recommended Reading
- Adventures in the DC Universe (Volume 1)
- The Batgirl Adventures #1
- Batman Adventures (Volume 1)
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- The Batman Adventures: The Lost Years (Volume 1)
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- Batman: Mask of the Phantasm - The Animated Movie #1
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