I don't think this cover is in continuity!
The problem with falling behind my intended schedule could also just be my fault. Today wasn't a holiday or anything and the only comic book I've read so far was Teen Titans! I have to get through Batman and Trinity of Sin before I go to bed. My wish for 2015 is that a meteor hits Earth and fucks up its rotation so that days wind up having more hours in them. But it slows down the Earth's orbit so that a year is still 365 days! Just the days are now longer and everybody can get more done and everybody's life expectancy drops about ten years. It might be more or less. I haven't actually done the math on that. Also, I hope the meteor hits Europe or South America or Australia or Antarctica or Africa or Asia because I don't want to die and then not experience the benefits of my New Year's Wish!
Scott Snyder truly Lobdell's this opening.
Batman awakens in the Batcave under Arkham with Julia and Alfred already working The Joker case (actually, the Batcomputer is probably doing most of the work. It just never gets the credit it deserves, you know?). The Joker has released a toxin into Gotham. Surprise! I bet nobody saw that one coming! The Joker must have been a biochemist in a previous life.
To combat the toxin, Batman needs to find Patient Zero to draw some blood and hopefully create an anti-toxin.
Didn't I already read this comic this month? I think this is more proof that this is some kind of fever dream brought on by the Scarecrow's Piss and Tears Fear Formula. Otherwise why isn't Batman mentioning how similar this is to the Justice League's battle with the Amazo Virus? Or, if that took place after this, why isn't anybody mentioning The Joker Toxin while battling the Amazo Virus? It's too similar not to at least mention in some off-hand way!
Superman: "We've got to find Patient Zero so Lex can find a cure!"
Batman: "He got that idea from me, you know. That's what I did to beat The Joker last month."
James Gordon has barricaded himself in his house in Gotham and is waiting on Batman to send him the cure.
I hope they call it The Fremesis Toxin!
As Batman searches Gotham Presbyterian, Gordon does research on it. And just like Mike Hanlon found archival photo after archival photo featuring none other than Pennywise the Clown, Gordon begins to find pictures from the past with The Joker always in the background. Even in his own picture of his kids on the day they got their tonsils out, there is a creepy white arm just inside the doorway to his kids' room. But before he can report to Batman that he's suddenly hallucinating because these pictures can't be true, the Bogeyman appears in his closet.
They did the Knock Knock joke all out of order!
No, no. This must all be a dream because that's too much to bear.
Batman keeps everybody from being shot but the parents turn into Joker People. He runs off with the kid while Gordon tells him on the phone that Gordon has just killed The Joker. Well, he did shoot him. But killed might be a little bit optimistic.
Oh! I bet Lex Luthor told him! Or maybe The Joker was the second person to realize Bruce was Batman after Nightwing's secret identity was blown.
The back-up story is one of the possible secret origins of The Joker. It's a cross between Stephen King's It and A Nightmare on Elm Street. The Joker is the ghost clown of Gotham who haunts the city and grows stronger with every laugh! That's probably why he hates The Batman because The Batman is terrible at telling jokes.
Batman #37 Rating: No change. I wish The Batman would stop finding so much in common with all of his nemeses! Now he's on a first name basis with The Joker? Obviously The Joker's first name is Pennywise. Batman will probably start using it next issue. Sheesh. Just get a room, guys.