Sunday, December 26, 2010

The Joker - Coffee Is For Closers! - Rol Hirst

I’m thinking 9-panel grid in homage to Killing Joke and because, damn it, I need 9 panels if I’ve only got one page of Joker.

Panel One.

Close up of a coffee vending machine. Liquid pours into a plastic cup, making a coffee.

HARVEY BULLOCK (off-panel): New coffee machine’s even worse than the old one.

Panel Two.

We’re in a corridor in Gotham City Police Headquarters. Harvey Bullock is talking to Commissioner James Gordon. Bullock offers Gordon a coffee from the machine.

GORDON: Is he talking?

BULLOCK: Nothing that makes no sense. About what you’d expect from this freak.

BULLOCK: Want one?

GORDON: (Sigh.) I suppose I’m going to need it.

Panel Three.

They stand outside an interview room, preparing to go inside. Gordon takes a sip of his coffee and cringes – it tastes horrible.

GORDON: That really is disgusting.

BULLOCK: Not as disgusting as what’s in this room. You ask me—

GORDON: I don’t. No time for that old debate now, Harvey…

Panel Four.

Gordon pushes open the door for them to enter. Inside, the Joker sits at a table wearing prison whites, handcuffed.

GORDON: Let’s just get this over with, shall we?

JOKER: Conditioner! Just what I needed! My hair’s been so dry and flyaway today…

Panel Five.

Still holding his coffee, Commissioner Gordon stares at the Joker. He’s got no time for games. He just wants answers.

GORDON: Where is he, Joker?

GORDON: What have you done with Batman?

Panel Six.

The Joker looks mock-thoughtful as if he's giving the question serious consideration.

JOKER: Batman? Bat…man? Oh… Batman! Why, Commissioner, the answer’s been on the tip of your tongue…

JOKER: Where’s Batman?

Panel Seven.

Gordon spits out the coffee he’s been drinking as he runs from the room. The Joker throws his head back and starts laughing.

JOKER: You’re drinking him!

JOKER: Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha!

Panel Eight.

Harvey and the Commissioner struggle to pull the front off the coffee vending machine as the Joker’s laughter echoes down the corridor.

JOKER (off-panel): Hahahahahahahahahahaha!

HARVEY: No… Commish… You don’t really think—

GORDON: Just get it open!

Panel Nine.

Sure enough, when they pull open the vending machine they discover Batman inside. Batman isn’t dead, but he has been drugged so he’s helpless and immobile. Tubes are strapped to the veins on his wrists and in his neck, pumping his blood out and into the GCPD’s coffee whenever anyone buys a drink. The Commissioner stares in horror. Bullock starts to dry heave. The Joker keeps on laughing.

JOKER (off-panel): Hooohahahahahahahahahahahahaaa! (Snicker!)


  1. ...Holy crap! :O

    Nice one, man. You took the cliche'd "tough-bitten cops complaining about bad coffee" thing and spun it on it's ear.

  2. Loved it. Sick and twisted, done only to taunt Joker's foes. Great work, and you got the Joker's voice down pat.

  3. Rol - I like this idea. A writer always wants to do something new and wacky for the Joker and you've managed that with style here. I also love the title.


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