Tag Archives: #batman

Speculation: the Bruce Wayne/Lex Luthor partnership

When storylines collide…

In the Batman titles, mainly spinning out of the weekly Batman: Eternal, Bruce Wayne just recently lost everything. Gotham City has seized his assets leaving him broke, living and working out of a Batbunker while Wayne Manor is being converted into the new Arkham.  His equipment cached away all over Gotham has been discovered, confiscated, and dispensed amongst the Gotham criminals.  Things are looking grim for Batman, and he’s running on empty in every way imaginable.

In the Justice League titles, Lex Luthor has Joined the Justice League, and provided them with a brand new satellite headquarters.  On the civilian side, LexCorp and Wayne Enterprises have undergone a business merger and are collaborating on a number of projects.  Lex and Bruce are partners now, even though Bruce has only gone through with this partnership to keep a closer eye on Lex and to eventually double-cross him in the name of good.  Of course Lex is probably planning to do the same exact thing, in the name of awesome.

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When will the continuity police catch up with these two chains of events and tie them together?  

Think about it.  Their equal partnership is thrown severely off-balance.  Lex, who is fully aware of Bruce’s double-identity, will have two ways he can go with this.  Take the opportunity to end Batman, or to own Batman.  I think we both know which Lex will choose.  Bruce will be so desperate to save his city that he would accept Lex’s so-called benevolence and deal with the consequences later.  Bruce would insist on doing things his way, and of course Lex would agree to a silent partnership.  But we all know it’ll never stay like that.

Of course we the readers know that Bruce Wayne will eventually, somehow, get his billions back.  We don’t know how, but we can count on it.  What if Bruce somehow turns the tables on Lex and swipes his fortune, leaving him penniless and on the run from the law?  What if Bruce Wayne outvillains Lex Luthor?

Let’s hope the upcoming “Convergence” event doesn’t erase my hopes and dreams.

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Super-parodies

Thank Rao I’m a Krypton Boy
Well Krypton life was kinda laid back
Till the planet blew up like a train gone off the track
The Kents took me in, put my rocket in a shack
Thank Rao I’m a Krypton boy

Well a Smallville, Kansas, life never did me no harm
A pickin’ up a tractor and buildin’ a whole barn
In 8 seconds I can milk all the cattle on the farm
Thank Rao I’m a Krypton boy

Well I got me some friends by the name Pete and Lana
She’s a pretty little redhead, He’s got hair like a banana
But Lex lost his hair like Mr. Clean, not Spic n Spana
Thank Rao I’m a Krypton boy

When these kids came to see me in a yella soap bubble
They gave me lotsa tests and I had a lotta trouble
It was all just a joke, too bad Smallville’s left in rubble
Thank Rao I’m a Krypton boy

Well I got me a dog and I got me a monkey
Red kryptonite glows and we feel pretty funky
Someday my buddy Lex will hire Otis for a flunky
Thank Rao I’m a Krypton boy

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You know this one, you hommes sans chapeaux…

S-U-P-E-R-M-A-N
He can fly if he wants to
Like a bird or like a plane
He can fly in the sky and save a random guy
Or that hottie Lois Lane
He can fly if he wants to
Way up north to talk to Dad
But his dad is gone with the rest of Krypton
And it makes him kinda sad
He can fly He can fly
Look at that red cape there
He can fly He can fly
It matches his underwear
He’s so fine He’s so strong
The first and still the best they say
You know the line So sing along
Truth, Justice, the American Way
He’s Superman, Superman
He’s Superman, Superman
He can fly like a bullet
With more power than a train
He can jump over towers
with Kryptonian powers
And change the way that rivers drain
Bend a crowbar like a pretzel
But he dresses like a shmuck
In a telephone booth Fights for justice and truth
And America when we’re in luck
He has friends Lotsa friends
At the Planet where they work
Jimmy Olsen is his pal Lois treats him like a jerk
He’s Superman, Superman
He’s Superman, Superman
S-U-P-E-R-M-A-N
He’ll be young in the future
And if you don’t understand
He’s also been dead and split into blue and red
So there really isn’t any kind of plan
He was in love with Lana
But she married his best friend
So he still fights with Lex But if he had sex
For poor Lois it would be the end
He’s Superman, Superman
He’s Superman, Superman

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With White Blank Eyes
No one knows what it’s like
To be the Batman
Not even Cat-Man
With white blank eyes
No one knows what it’s like
To be hated
To be fated
To hearing Gotham’s cries
But my dreams are always haunted
By my parents’ futile plea
All my nights fighting evil
My life is vengeance
Till Gotham’s free
No one knows what it’s like
To chase these villains
But I don’t kill
Unlike Joe Chill
No one fights back as hard for this city
I fight for innocents—always will
Hugo Strange and Poison Ivy
Joker, Riddler, Penguin too
They would see me crying, dying
But that won’t happen, I swear to you
The thugs and muggers in the alleys
In the night when their greed runs hot
But I know that they’re all weak-willed
A cowardly, superstitious lot
I will seek out anything evil
Gotham City I’ll protect
Bat-signal flashes o’er the skyline
I respond, cape around my neck
No one knows what it’s like
To be the Batman, to fight the bad man
With white blank eyes

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The Bat-Intervention

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A meeting is called to order in the Justice League conference room.  

S: Bruce, we need to talk.

WW: It’s about your… methods.

(There are a few uncomfortable glances.) 

B: I’m listening.

S: There isn’t an easy way to say this.  You have to stop dragging children into the line of fire.

B: Excuse me?

S: You’ve been assembling an army of children.  Minors.  You’ve been making them prowl the streets and fight criminals.  Most of which are clinically insane.

WW: We overlooked the first one.  He was an exceptional case that was raised as an acrobat.  We never even noticed that the second one replaced him, until we figured out that the first one became Nightwing.  Then this second Robin turned up dead.

F: We’ve heard rumors that there was a young blonde girl acting as Robin for a short time, and that she died, too.  Can you confirm if this is true?

B:

S: We are also aware of a red-haired Batgirl, and two more Robins.

WW: It’s safe to assume that this newest Robin is Damien Wayne, your long, lost son that just returned from boarding school, despite the fact that there is no record of his existence before last year.

B:

S: Is it also true that he just recently died in battle?

B:

WW: Bruce.

S: Can you see why we have a problem with this?

WW: You wear black and grey.  They wear red and green, with a bright yellow cape.  It’s almost as if you’re using these “Robins” as decoys.

F: Is that your intent?

B: I don’t think this is any of your business.

S: We have a strict “no kill” policy in the JLA.

B: I don’t appreciate the implication.  All of you know I hold that standard in the highest esteem.  I’ve never killed anyone.

S: How old was Damien?  Eight?  Ten?

B: He was born into the League of Assassins.  He’s been trained to kill since birth.  Taking him into Gotham was the only way to give him an outlet; to put a muzzle on him.  To teach him restraint; not to kill.

WW: Eight or ten, Bruce?

B: Nine.

(Uncomfortable silence.)

S: Bruce?  No more children in the line of fire.  Don’t make us tell you again.

 

I’ve often wondered about sidekicks in comic books.  From a writer’s point of view, they allow escapism for young readers.  But from within the story, it’s actually kind of disturbing to think about.  Some sidekicks are nearly invulnerable like the Kryptonian Supergirl, or Superman’s clone, Superboy.  Wondergirl is an Amazon.  Aqualad is Atlantean.  Kid Flash has a dangerous power that he must be taught to harness and control.  Their strength and gifts make them the exception.  In fact, it might be the best way to teach them the responsibility to wield their power wisely.  But what about ordinary, mortal children, clad in brightly colored uniforms, leaping across rooftops while fighting super-powered madmen?

What is the point of the Justice League if they don’t hold their members accountable when their actions are questionable?  Have they never discussed how their darkest, broodiest, most unapproachable member surrounds himself with children and trains them to become vigilantes in the most crime-ridden city in the country?  What about when he loses one of them?  Or the next one?

Rick Veitch’s “Bratpack” mini-series (published by King Hell Press) is a parody of the Teen Titans.  This story addresses a fair share of disturbing situations that a so-called “sidekick” could find themselves in.  It’s disturbing, and a little schlocky, but I still consider it to be required reading for any mature comic book fan.

Please don’t get me wrong.  I’m a big fan of the Teen Titans, and Robin(s) in particular.  Tim Drake is a long-time favorite, and Damien Wayne is my favorite new character to debut in years.  The Batman titles are stronger books with them in it.  But don’t look at this as a reader.  Look at it from within the story.  It’s a little messed up.  And I can’t help but wonder why the Justice League has never called Batman out on it.

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