"Sign of the Skull": Cosmo "Skull" Dugger suffers from anhedonia, a psychologial condition that robs him of the ability to experience joy. Using his scientific knowledge, he builds an electronic device that allows him to steal the joy--and life--of a person he points
Appearing in "Sign of the Skull"
- Skull Dugger (First appearance)
- Joe Wiley (Only appearance; dies)
- Magers (Single appearance)
- Gotham Goliaths
- Lance Layton (Only appearance; dies)
- Michael Forrester (Only appearance; dies)
- Gotham City
Synopsis for "Sign of the Skull"
Cosmo "Skull" Dugger suffers from anhedonia, a psychologial condition that robs him of the ability to experience joy. Using his scientific knowledge, he builds an electronic device that allows him to steal the joy--and life--of a person he points it at during their moment of greatest pleasure, but the process leaves a skull imprinted on the forehead of the victim. After three victims are killed, Dr. Faye Sommers calls in Batman to examine the last one, and he winds up battling some of Dugger's thugs at the hospital, who are trying to steal the victim's body. Batman picks out "Skull" Dugger's face on videotapes of the events where each of the victims were killed.
After discovering Dugger's name and residence, he drops in while Dugger is out and learns--quite painfully--Dugger's recent history from a mental recording device attached to a joy-making device. He then tries and fails to stop Dugger from committing a murder. Dugger returns to his lab, notices the recorder and joy-maker, and realizes that since Batman has used it in playback, all his instinctive responses to joy have become responses to pain, and vice versa.
Soon, Batman is taken to the GCPD Headquarters, where he sits immobile in a chair, fearful to speak, act, or move at all.
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