Joker is throwing a party, and the whole circus is invited! Dick, still feeling the effects of having Raya die in his arms, arrives to Amusement Mile to find Joker quite pleased with what he's done with the place, but he's taken the liberty to add his personal touch to it... which includes filling up the big top with the corpses of many past circus members... damn.
Spotting Joker mingling among the corpses, Dick basically gets pushed to his ledge and says "fuck this," deciding to attempt to end this whole situation, throwing many, are they called wingdings still? Sure. Those, towards Joker's head, they all miss, or rather get stuck in the corpse Joker hides behind. Joker's rebuttal ends up being a series of explosions, filling the tent with his toxin... then even more explosions, sending Dick flying out of the place... and then more explosions!
Dick wakes up in a haze to find visions of Jokerized Jimmy and Raya taunting him, and in a rage, he lunges himself at Joker, starting to beat the shit out of him (remember that one time when Dick killed Joker?) But Joker points out that he wasn't even allowed to get to the punch line... As he says this, Dick notices he's surrounded, all the members of Haly's Circus have been infected by the Joker, who stabs Dick in the leg, leaving him at the mercy of many of his friends, coming at him with all sorts of weapons.
Perhaps worst of all, the little girl Dick swore he'd protect is also amongst many of the circus members infected with the Joker toxin... Joker gives her a special spiked mallet, and that's pretty much lights out for Dick.
Then, as Joker drags Dick away, in a scene we're all to familiar with, Dick finds himself being presented with a silver platter...
This is hands down my favorite tie in of the bunch. Joker is not only terrifying, but completely active in these issues, rather than just sort of sitting in the background, watching things unfold. Like with Batman, Joker went straight for the jugular on Dick, and it's just so enjoyable to read in a somewhat sadistic sense. Also, what does it say when Joker actually gives good life advice to a hero? ...because he does that. One can't help but think "You know Dick, Joker has a point."
And the art? Man, Eddy Barrows didn't disappoint. He went out big, that's for damn sure.
The Bottom Line:
Like I said above, and if I remember correctly, in the last review... if you only pick up one title that ties into the main story over in Batman, this would be it (Batman and Robin is close behind). You get a deeply personal story for Dick Grayson, delivered by one of the most twisted renditions of the Joker yet. Barrows may have moved on to Teen Titans, but he has also left these past two issues with HUGE shoes to fill.