#6 on the countdown of the best Batman Christmas stories is “Slayride” from Detective Comics #826 by Paul Dini, Don Kramer and Wayne Faucher.
The set-up for the issue is that Robin is fighting against some bad guys when he is forced to take refuge in a car that pulled up in the middle of the fight. He was shocked, however, to see who was behind the wheel of the car – the Joker!!
After the Joker knocked him out, Robin woke up to find himself bound and gagged in the passenger seat of the minivan with the original owners of the car dead in the backseat. The Joker seems to be ready to release him, in honor of Christmas, when the following happens…
Robin is helpless as Joker continues to sadistically run down innocent people on the streets of Gotham. There is a toy car in the seat that Robin thinks he can use to escape, but the Joker actually put it there just to taunt Robin by giving him false hope. SO twisted. There’s another twisted scene where the Joker pulls into a drive thru to order a shake and kills the manager when he can’t get the order right.
The Joker is about to kill a whole group of innocent people when Robin comes up with a way to distract him…
Robin breaks free and the Joker seems to fall to his death on a highway (of course he comes back – he always comes back). This was one of the best Joker spotlight issues ever. Dini came up with such a cleverly cruel tale – it’s crazy how clever but twisted the whole thing is. Kramer and Faucher do a fine job capturing the Joker’s disturbing nature. Some of the looks that the Joker gives are SOOOOO creepy. I like the way that they play it so that the Joker’s face is almost inhuman (Sort of like how Tim Sale draws him).
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