Joker: Last Laugh explores the Clown Prince of Crime by turning the entire world into Joker copycats after receiving a terminal diagnosis.
The Joker is one of the most unpredictable and dangerous villains in comic book history. He has killed Jason Todd, Lois Lane, Jim Gordon’s wife Sarah, and many others. While these events were traumatic for the victims and their loved ones, it was just one more day in the Joker’s hectic life. Although his legacy is full of horrible actions, these are not enough for the Clown Prince and he takes another step when he is told that he has a terminal illness in Chuck Dixon and Scott Beatty. Joker: Last laugh.
Joker is rotting in the Slabside Pentitentary shortly after he murdered Sarah Essen-Gordon. After a routine medical examination, Slab’s medical staff informs Joker that he is dying of a brain tumor. Joker goes through the 7 stages of dueling in less than 5 minutes before starting a prison riot. The mutiny spreads to the maximum security wing, and before long, all the prisoners are engulfed in chaos. Joker finds Multi-Man, who has the ability to resurrect himself after death, always returning with a new set of powers. In the throes of madness, the mad clown kills the metahuman more than seventy times until he gains the power to burn the prison floor down to the lower levels.
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The Joker then finds Doctor Polaris, who can remove the necklaces that restrict the power of all convicts. The prison staff realizes that the prisoners are without their collars and begins to pump anti-energy gas into the room. This gas, mixed with some other ingredients that Joker previously planned to release, creates a new Joker poison that turns all the prisoners into white-skinned, green-haired, and smiling versions of themselves. The Joker convinces Black Mass to create a black hole to absorb the prison while most of the prisoners escape.
Joker carries out the rest of his plans from Easter Island. He cares about his legacy and sends his goons to capture Harley Quinn so that she can produce an heir for him. Harley is saved from Joker’s henchmen by Spoiler, Batgirl, and Power Girl. They bring Harley to help Dr. Kirk Langstrom, aka Man-Bat, create an antitoxin for the Joker Venom. Meanwhile, on Easter Island, Joker is bored with the crimes his henchmen are committing. Come up with a new plan with a couple of his elite followers to make a lasting mark on the world.
Joker, with the help of Stormfront and Mr. 104, begins to bind Earth’s atmosphere with his poison, thus creating a “mad rain”. People all over the world began to fall victim to the rain and became pranksters in the process. Black Canary decides to do some research. She tracks down the doctor who diagnosed Joker’s brain tumor and it turns out to be a lie. Joker had bothered the doctor at some point, and in retaliation, the doctor tampered with the madman’s CT scan. Joker isn’t dying after all.
With most of the main heroes of the DC Universe involved in outbreaks around the world, Barbara Gordon decides to send Robin to investigate Arkham Asylum. Robin goes radio silent shortly after entering, and Barbara chooses to send Huntress after the Boy Wonder. Huntress learns that Robin has been kidnapped and taken to the sewers below the asylum by a Jokerized Killer Croc. She discovers his lair and locates Robin’s uniform surrounded by a pile of bones at the bottom of Croc’s well. She informs the rest of the Bat-Family of Boy Wonder’s alleged disappearance. Nightwing is enraged by the death of another Joker’s Robin and decides it’s time to end it once and for all.
Meanwhile, the Joker has returned to Gotham and eagerly awaits members of the Bat-Family at Gotham Cathedral. Nightwing is the first to appear and does not wait for the rest of the team. Hit Joker until he is no longer breathing. When Nightwing lands the final blow, Robin appears, revealing that he wasn’t killed by Killer Croc after all. Batman also arrives and is able to resurrect Joker.
The Joker is then informed of his good health and sent back to Slab. While Joker may not have directly killed anyone during Last laugh, it still caused a new level of chaos and gave a terrifying glimpse of what the Joker is really capable of when he has nothing to lose.
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