I’ve been playing this game based on the Apprentice television show over at the Brian M. Bendis forum on Jinxworld. (For non-comic readers, Bendis is likely Marvel’s more prolific writer. Avengers and all that.)
I’ve never watched the show but the game I’m playing basically consists of writing prompts. Coming up with story arcs, coming up with alternate takes on heroes, plotting out an entire Marvel line reboot and even plotting an entire year of an animated series.
It’s been great for generating ideas and characters, especially with all the plot bunnies. But it also is giving me a taste of what it would be like to write these characters, which is absolutely a blast.
Our last big assignment as a team was to come up with a #1,000 anniversary issue. Either Spider-Man or Action Comics (Superman) or Detective Comics (Batman.)
Naturally, I insisted on Batman. And then I got stuck for what I thought might be a big game changer. After all, sidekicks have all been killed before, Batman’s been defeated before, he’s even been considered dead fairly recently. Can’t really marry him off, he’s Batman and it wouldn’t stick. So then I looked at the villains and thought, well, the #1,000 issue demands the most iconic Bat villain.
So here’s our take on Detective #1,000, which might occur ten years down the line, if DC goes back to the regular number system. (They swapped all numbers back to #1 with the reboot.) This is not solely my own creation, I had the help of Kedd & Gary Sloan from the Bendis board. 🙂
I’ll give you a hint. Something very bad happens to the Joker. Second hint: Batman doesn’t do it to him.
Third hint? Look to the image.
Also, a certain redhead who’s been missing from the Gothamverse for a while makes a re-appearance.
Batman started fighting crime in a corrupt system back during the Great Depression, a problem that remains today in places like Detroit, New Orleans, and Camden, New Jersey. Batman still stands for the common person who gets back up off the ground and not only survives but vows to make certain that others never again suffer the same kind of pain. He is the guardian of the night whose quest is endless as no one person can eliminate the horrors of life.
Still, Batman will always try.
Over the years, Batman has trained a number of exceptional young men who have suffered similar losses, gained an ally in a thief whose life taught her that the ‘law’ is often a tool for the unjust, and made perhaps his truest friend in a man who, many times, provides his strongest link to the law.
As Batman: Year One was the parallel story of two men searching to serve justice, one outside the law, one inside the law, Detective #1,000 is meant to be a bookend to Year One, the story of the parallel tracks the actions of Batman and JIm Gordon and where those tracks have taken them.
This issue contains the story that allows the Batman mythos to move into the future with a somewhat altered status quo both for the Batman characters and for the city at large. Along with that, the back-up stories will showcase the best of the characters in Gotham and the work of the creators who’ve had such an impact on them.
Gotham’s Last Laugh
Short stories from Batman’s history, past and present, meant to showcase all the Bat characters.
The Jokers Always Laughs Twice–5 pages
Written by Frank Miller
Hanging from the rafters in chains is not the ideal place to find oneself, yet that is the predicament Batman finds himself in. From this disadvantage Batman must engage the Joker in a battle of wits as he attempts to deduce the target of the Joker’s gas attack, all before the Joker sets into motion his newer plan to once and for all kill the Bat! Will Batman outsmart the Joker or will the Joker have the last laugh?
Batgirl Interrupted–7 pages
Written by Grant Morrison
Art by JH Williams III
Who is the Annihilator? And what is his connections to those who have held the mantle of Batwoman? Witness his battles over the years with each successive Batwoman and learn his shocking secret origin and why you’ve never heard of him!!!
*The story ends as the last image fades out until we see an eye. As we pull further back we see a man in a hospital bed who is dying from a brain tumor. The issue having been a trip through his delusional mind and his fixation with Batwoman.
The Gordons: Father and Daughter: 8 pages
Writer: Gail Simone
Artist: Norm Breyfogle
Batgirl returns to Gotham and tries to help her father come to grips with the fact that he killed the Joker when he was trying to surrender. As Batgirl, she secretly follows him to the decrepit East End of Gotham fearing he’s about to do something final. She foils a bodega robbery on the way, loses track of him for a time, only to find him meeting in the remains of a derelict diner with former police officer Renee Montoya, who can update him on the status of the gangs and police corruption.
Gotham Private Eyes: 10 pages
Story: Ed Brubaker
Art: Darwyn Cooke.
Matches Malone gathers the private detectives in Gotham to find information on corruption in the legal system, to gather as much evidence as they can. Jason Bard, Slam Bradley, Ron Raymond and Edward Nigma are each given a task to investigate an official who may or may not be corrupt. Even new FBI Special Agent in Charge for Gotham Sarah Essen is on the list.
The Tears of a Clown–3 pages
Written by Karl Kessel
Art by Terry Dodson
The Joker is….dead? Harley Quinn struggles to accept Mr. J is no more, that he has ceased to be, that he is bereft of life. As she struggles to walk a straight line down memory lane, of the best and mostly worst of times spent with Mr. J, Catwoman and Poison Ivy do their best to help a friend deal with the death of a loved one.
Batman: Black and White:–7 pages
Writer: Paul Dini
Art: Tim Sale
Batman chases a band of munitions dealers into an abandoned eight story mall that used to be a department store. He takes them out one by one with the help of cover from items left for dust in the mall, including some sports equipment, black light left over from an old Spencer Gifts store, and various hangers and other debris left lying in dust in an old clothing store.
Writer: Dennis O’Neil
Art: Neal Adams
Horrified that a number of teens were tortured by Killer Croc before he could rescue them, Batman questions what Gotham life might be like without him. After all, if his parents had not had a child, they would not have gone to see the showing of Zorro, and they would never have been killed. Travel through the future of the Waynes as a childless couple, trying to deal with an increasingly bleak Gotham.