Batman/Houdini: The Devil's Workshop is a 1993 Elseworlds one-shot, written by Howard Chaykin and John Francis Moore, with full-painted art by Mark Chiarello. The story recounts a fictional encounter between the superhero Batman and famous escape artist Harry Houdini in early 20th century Gotham.|
In the Winter of 1907 children are going missing from the poorest part of Gotham, known as "the Devil's Workshop". The culprit is a grinning white-faced ghoul named Jack Schadenfreude.
Meanwhile, Harry Houdini is in town for a performance and mingles with Gotham's elite. Amongst them is Bruce Wayne, from an Old Money background, and Elijah Montenegro, the nouveau riche, self-styled "Beef Baron". Also in town are other notables, specifically Tom Mix and Leonora Reinhardt. All the high society events are being documented for the "Gotham Globe" by Victoria Vale.
Vale and Wayne attend Reinhardt’s performance as the lead in Medea, where they meet the Baron again. They are then invited to a séance to be held by Reinhardt. An invitation also extended to Houdini, who has an interest in the paranormal. The séance is apparently a success, leading the three to conclude something genuinely supernatural is going on.
The abductions are traced to Montenegro’s meat factory and it soon becomes apparent that everything is somehow connected.
The story is narrated by Houdini. He contrasts his own poor upbringing with that of Bruce Wayne. It also highlights Batman's comparatively poor lock picking and escapological skills, as he learned a number of his skills from studying Houdini's work.