Batman #9 - Story 3

December 10, 1941

"The Case of the Lucky Law-Breakers"

The Joker is back and he's made his escape from jail after being allowed in the prison shop where he crafted a duck attached to a scuba mask.

Meanwhile, Bruce and Dick go to a movie theater where they are showing a news reel of Batman and Joker's struggles. We're given a rundown of various adventures taken right from the comic. It would be nice if the editors gave us notes on which stories came from which issues.

The film finishes and a prize is given to two men in the audience of $10,000. Bruce and Dick recognize them as two convicts. This is followed by news of the escape of the Joker.

But Batman wants to find out how the two convicts were the winners of the contest. He and Robin go back to the theater where they find the Joker threatening the theater manager. There's a fight between the three, but Joker gets away. Batman figures there's a connection with the Joker and the convicts since Joker was in the theater.

The next day, Joker sends a challenge to the police that he will rob a bank in daylight. The police guard the bank, but he has set himself up selling clown dolls just outside the bank. He has a few of them set to blow up a wall in the bank where he proceeds to rob it.

Batman and Robin chase him on motorcycles which they have to ditch when the Joker jumps from his car which becomes an impediment to the Dynamic Duo. Joker gets away.

The next day, Bruce listens as a radio program gives away $20,000 to another convict. Batman figures out that Joker's racket is to rob banks and then have the money awarded to his accomplices in various legit contests. Why the Joker does this is not explained and I can't imagine what laundering the money matters to these convicts, other than they can be splashy and obvious with the money they have.

Batman sets a trap for Joker by having the papers report on the Joker's death. Joker, wanting to see what this is all about, goes in disguise and is surprised by Batman and Gordon. He breaks away and races off in a car. Batman and Robin once again "borrow" a car to pursue. He takes them out by using gas.

When they come to, they are both tied up and placed in a pit. A large, stone slab is slid into place as the Joker escapes. The two get out of their trap by lifting it enough to roll silver pencils under the slab and then rolling it aside.

The two race to a railroad crossing where an armored car is waiting for the drawbridge to lift. They stop Joker from attacking the car. At one point, it appears Joker is killed as he falls in front of a moving train, but Batman believes he will meet the Joker again. Will he? Stay tuned, Citizens!

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