"Second Banana": While trying to club an old henchman with unripe bananas, the Joker glimpses a televised interview with Dr. Richard Sprang, an ex-Arkham psychiatrist who proclaims the Riddler to be the smartest of Arkham's inmates. In a jealous rage, the Joker seizes his henchman's computer sys
- Oh, that really burns my bagels. The Riddler?!?! Is he kidding with that? Nobody is cleverer than me!!
- — Joker
Appearing in "Second Banana"
Synopsis for "Second Banana"
While trying to club an old henchman with unripe bananas, the Joker glimpses a televised interview with Dr. Richard Sprang, an ex-Arkham psychiatrist who proclaims the Riddler to be the smartest of Arkham's inmates. In a jealous rage, the Joker seizes his henchman's computer systems, hacks into Gotham's telecommunications network, and broadcasts a death threat against the Riddler. In response, Batman, Robin, and the police place Arkham under lockdown, with the Riddler on twenty-four-hour watch.
Shortly before midnight, the Joker strikes, scrambling Arkham's security mainframe and freeing Scarecrow and Lock-Up from their cells. While Batman subdues the pair, Arkham's staff reset the mainframe, locking the Joker out of the system. The night passes without further incident - until the Joker issues a new broadcast, gloating over Dr. Sprang's death. All the focus on Riddler's safety had left him free to bomb Dr. Sprang's home, and thus "prove" himself the smartest criminal of all, able to misdirect as he pleases and kill as he likes.
Several hours later, the Joker airdrops into Arkham, his midnight broadcast having been a double-bluff. With Arkham's guard lowered, he easily enters the Riddler's cell, ready to beat his "rival" to death with a bushel of plantains - only to find himself trapped by Batman and Robin, who had anticipated everything. Indeed, Dr. Sprang had been sent into protective custody immediately after the initial threat, meaning that even the bomb had claimed nothing but an empty house.
Defiant, the Joker breaks free of the trap, attacks Robin with a burst of Joker Venom, and flees to the roof. After administering the antidote, Batman gives chase, but is outmaneuvered on the roof and left clutching the edge by one hand. Ecstatic, the Joker steps forward for a killing blow, only to slip on a stray plantain peel and fall over the edge himself - a fall stopped by Batman's timely catch, sealing one of his most humiliating defeats yet.
- No special notes.
- On the opening page, the Joker sings the iconic refrain of the 1923 novelty hit Yes! We Have No Bananas.
- Dr. Sprang's name is an obvious reference to Dick Sprang, one of the most prolific Batman artists during the 1940s and '50s.
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