[Editor’s note: This review may contain spoilers.]
Writer: Dan Jurgens
Artist: Bernard Chang
Terry McGinnis’ ex-girlfriend, Dana Tan, is being held captive by the villain Terminal, who has revealed to her that he plans to resurrect the Joker. Terminal insists that his plan will work to the disbelieving Dana and goes on to tell her the story of how the Joker died.
Years before, during a snowstorm in Gotham City, Batman was chained to the blade of a snow plow, which the Joker deliberately crashed into a police car. Fortunately, Batman was able to get free. Batman climbed into the plow to stop the Joker.
As they fought, the plow managed to get in the path of a train with a huge snow blower fan attached to the front. Batman jumped free just in time, but the Joker was still inside the plow as it got chewed up in the massive fan blades.
The accident left very little remains, but blood tests proved that they belonged to the Joker, so it was concluded that the Joker had died. However, Terminal explains that the Joker did manage to get free, but was injured seriously enough to leave enough evidence of his apparent death. Members of the Joker’s gang rescued him and put him into a cryogenic chamber before he could die. Terminal discovered this chamber.
Just then, one of the Jokerz gang members informs Terminal that Batman is outside the building. In fact, the Batmobile is attacking the Jokerz lair, but it’s Terry’s friend Max and his brother Matt in the Batmobile.
Terminal brings Dana onto the roof and threatens to kill her if they don’t leave, which they do. One of the Jokerz gang members fires a large weapon that destroys the Batmobile – or so it appears. It was actually fireworks, while another fake explosion makes it appear the Batmobile is destroyed.
However, Terminal suspects that Batman might have gotten out before the explosion. Neither Terminal or the Jokerz recognize this new member, who claims that he just got out of criminal modification therapy and wanted to “join the party.” Terminal is doubtful, but the new guy claims to be Trey Malone, son of “Matches” Malone.
Terminal states he didn’t know Matches had a kid, but that if that’s who he is, then he’s welcome in the Jokerz. However, Dana recognizes his voice and realize that it actually is Terry.
This issue, we finally learn what happened to the Joker in the Batman Beyond timeline. Or at least what the public believes about his death. It still remains to be seen if the Joker really was cryogenically frozen and will return to plague the new Batman.
It’s also interesting to see Terry try a different way to deal with the Jokerz, opting to infiltrate them rather than a direct assault. It will be interesting to see if he can continue to operate within the Jokerz, or if he’ll be found out.
I like the nod to Batman’s longtime criminal disguise, “Matches” Malone. It is entirely feasible that Matches might have had a son that followed in his father’s footsteps, and that the Malone name might carry some weight in criminal circles.
It’s still not clear what connection this story has to the Rebirth event, despite the fact that this series carries the Rebirth branding. Considering how little is known about the Rebirth storyline so far, it is still possible it is connected somehow. And, as I noted before, they seem to be hinting at a literal rebirth for the Joker.
It’s a fun story, with no drop in momentum from the Rebirth special. I look forward to seeing more of Terry’s portrayal of Trey Malone.