"Nothin' But Smiles": The Joker's return has birthed a kind of fanaticism among those not in their right minds, spreading violence and debauchery in his name. Ever since the Joker went missing, maniacs had kept vigil in Grant Park, in hopes of the Joker's return. Now that
- A few months ago, after my last trouble with the Joker, all these lunatics were allowed to congregate in Old Grant Park. I thought it was a very bad idea. For them.
- — Batman
Appearing in "Nothin' But Smiles"
- Emperor Penguin
- League of Smiles (First appearance)
Synopsis for "Nothin' But Smiles"
The Joker's return has birthed a kind of fanaticism among those not in their right minds, spreading violence and debauchery in his name. Ever since the Joker went missing, maniacs had kept vigil in Grant Park, in hopes of the Joker's return. Now that he's back, they feel they have nothing to lose. Emperor Penguin is taking advantage of that, dispersing a gas around the city meant to trick people into thinking it is Joker Venom.
Batman, meanwhile, is dealing with Die Laughing; one of dozens of Joker-themed gangs around Gotham City. He has taken down several already, but hasn't yet found the information he's looking for. When one thug from this gang fails to show any recognition at mention of the "League of Smiles", Batman disappointedly calls the Commissioner for another pickup. The first incident had happened that morning, and then several more followed shortly thereafter. At one of the scenes, a calling card was left for the League of Smiles - and until that moment, Batman had never heard of them.
Batman manages to identify the League's members thanks to a body recovered by the GCPD - a psychiatrist whom each of them shared, specializing in Joker-related psychoses. The doctor had burned to death, thanks to the work of Rodney Spurman, aka Rodney the Torch. Rodney has just joined the League of Smiles, who are preparing to make an attack on the Homestead Youth Center, where people have gathered in vigil for the victims of the Joker. Now they will be the victims.
Batman, meanwhile, is occupied with a hostage threat at Chenwick Tower when he hears about the situation at Homestead. Making short work of the hostage-takers, he rushes to the Youth Center, knowing that if the Joker were the culprit, everyone there would already be dead. He finds the building in flames, with only Rodney inside. The young man explains that he let the victims go, having realized that he didn't want to be like the Joker after all. Angrily, the League of Smiles ditched him there. As he looked at his reflection in a shard of glass, Rodney decided that he needed to dissociate himself from the Joker completely, and so he cut off the smile tattooed on his face.
As Batman gets Rodney some medical attention, the boy calls out that the League's leader, Merrymaker, is going to make sure that the League of Smiles kills a lot more people, and Batman must stop them.
Appearing in "Pecking Order"
- Penguin's Lieutenants
Synopsis for "Pecking Order"
Earlier this week, Ogilvy checked in at a crime scene, where the Joker killed lieutenants from nearly every Gotham City crime family, pinning it on the Penguin. The scene is so horrifying as to cause one GCPD officer to give up his badge on the spot. With the Penguin taken by the Joker to participate in whatever his big future plan was, Ogilvy got some ideas.
Retaliation for those murders led to more bloodshed, and eventually Penguin's partners in crime came to beg for some kind of solution to the gang wars. Ogilvy stood in Penguin's place, claiming to have a solution. He rechristens himself as Emperor Penguin, a more effective replacement for Cobblepot. He would assume command, under the assumption that his predecessor would not be returning. With the GCPD, Batman, and the Penguin distracted, they will kill all of their enemies, and blame it on the Joker. One man, Mr. Foschini, refuses to participate, and so Emperor Penguin cuts a grotesque grin onto his face with a laser-umbrella, killing him. Nervously, the remaining assembled criminals agree to do whatever the new Penguin suggests.
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- Batman (Volume 1)
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