Chuck Dixon is joined by Brian Stelfreeze on the Joker story in Detective 726 (Oct. 98), an Aftershock story, although only barely.
A young girl has been kidnapped by a recent release from Arkham Asylum. It’s the anniversary of Jason Todd’s death, and Batman correctly suspects the Joker to be the mastermind, and goes to Arkham Asylum to confront him.
Each two page spread has a full page picture on one side, showing Batman in action. Only towards the end of the book is it clear where he is going, and that this takes place between two visits to the Joker. The opposite page shows Batman questioning the Joker in his cell.
The design gives the story its only real touches of Aftershock, as we see the ruined city.
The Joker finally reveals the location of the girl, but it’s in the back of a trunk in a car on a sinking ferry, and there is little chance the girl will still be alive.
Except that the Joker ensured she would be, with a respirator. Batman is puzzled, and the Joker explains that, Batman being who he is, he likely always proceeds with the idea that the victim is dead. Now he will have hope – which the Joker will have more fun crushing.
Nasty piece of goods, that Joker.