The Batman & Robin Adventures #18
DC Comics (May, 1997)“Joker’s Last Laugh!” WRITER: Ty Templeton PENCILER: Brandon Kruse INKER: Terry Beatty COLORIST: Linda Medley LETTERER: Tim Harkins ASSOCIATE EDITOR: Darren Vincenzo EDITOR: Scott Peterson
With billboards all over Gotham City promoting a newspaper article series on Batman and Robin the Joker feels like the city’s ignored him and is in a huge funk. Harley tries to get her puddin’ to laugh by defacing the billboards and causing random mayhem, finally getting Batman into a death trap that involves a giant pie. Even that doesn’t work, and nor does the backfire that sends the pie into one of the billboards. Harley succeeds by faking a parking ticket on the Batmobile.
What they got right: This was a fun story. The Joker and Harley don’t kill just to kill but because it’s slapstick gone too far, which is what I love about the DCAU’s take on the Joker. He’s a criminal with sick sense of humor, not a body counter who wears his own face as a mask and no I’m not letting that go already because I hate that idea so very much it hurts!
What they got wrong: At what point in the 1990s did people start hating mimes? I grew with mimes and similar performers when I was growing up, and made friends with a mime that did an event around here until Cirque Du Solei called her to be awesome. (I miss playing with her. She was fun and nobody at the event wished her harm!) But for some reason mimes were something to hate around this time. Just look at Animaniacs. (Maybe it was a Warner Brothers thing.) And it’s always this one mime stereotype which my friend and none of the mimes I saw on TV growing up ever fell under. So I’m with Batman on this: the barracuda down the pants wasn’t funny, Robin!
Recommendation: A fun little Joker and Harley tale that shows just how much he doesn’t deserve her. Grab this one when you can.