Held prisoner in the Slab, an Alcatraz-esque island prison specially designed to hold “metahumans,” the Joker is diagnosed with a terminal brain tumor. So he decides to go out with a bang. Plotting an elaborate escape in which he “Jokerizes” his fellow inmates and causes full-blown pandemonium, he is loosed on the world with nothing left to lose.

As the Justice League is off doing something somewhere, Batman takes a backseat for this one. Nightwing and Barbara “Oracle” Gordon take the reins, along with various other junior sidekicks.

The simple fact is that Nightwing has never been and never will be as interesting as Batman, and that’s very apparent here. The plot’s execution is a little too restrained, and without the Dark Knight squaring off against his nemesis, we’re left wanting.

On the other hand, how many times can he do that? It’s a conundrum for the writers of the 60-some-year-old character, which is illustrated by the hokey concept of this story.

Grade: B-

Batman: Joker’s Last Laugh is currently available.