Watched “Son of Batman” last night!
Basically I had this idea for a DC animated movie, set in its own isolated continuity. The plot would essentially be this:
Dr. Harleen Quinzel has recently had her license to practice revoked and was fired from Arkham Asylum for engaging in a romantic and sexual relationship with a patient and inmate, the Joker. Falling on some hard financial times, she calls upon her old college roommate, and occasional girlfriend, Dr. Pamela Isley.
Dr. Isley was a prominent botanist and genetic engineer at Powers Industries, until exposure to an experimental mutagen infused her with plant DNA. The main side effects of this were turning her skin green and giving her the ability to synthesize energy from sunlight, but it also left her unable to ingest food normally. Powers Industries let her go to avoid a scandal, and Isley attempted to sue because they’d fired her for a disability that resulted from an accident in the workplace, but they had some of the most powerful attorneys in the world, and she was left unemployed and penniless.
So the two women rekindled their relationship and came up with a business venture: Isley’s last remaining asset was her lab at home, and Harley was an expert in psychiatric medications. Together, they would genetically engineer vegetables that are not only more addictive than cigarettes, but also suppress the instinct to question the ingredients, and compel anyone who eats them to share them with their friends and family and get them hooked as well.
This plan would be a money-making machine that would leave them set for life, and all they needed was some startup money. For this, they turned to the mob, specifically, a new mobster in Gotham who went by the name “Daddy Dark Side.” He gave them a loan, and they used it to purchase a small food truck. The venture was so successful that they were able to pay him back, with interest, within one week.
Daddy Dark Side, however, was not pleased with their repayment. It would, at this point, be revealed that he was actually a puppet bod for Darkseid, an alien warlord who uses a mathematical formula known as Anti-Life to force people to do his bidding. As it turns out, Famous Ivy’s “organic” wraps left anyone who ate them immune to Anti-Life, and beyond Darkseid’s grasp.
As a result, Darkseid hopes to kill Harley and Ivy and destroy their truck until the wraps were out of everyone’s systems and he could once again control whoever he liked.
Harley and Ivy, acting quickly, isolate the part of the vegetables which create an immunity to anti-life, and create a strain of incredibly potent vegetables that will, over the course of a few weeks, replace all vegetation on earth with identical vegetation that shields the population from Anti-Life.
This frees all of Darkseid’s followers from his thrall, and leaves him powerless on earth. Since his vessel’s power is derived from the people he controls, it simply gives out and dies.
However, even though Harley and Ivy are safe, the fact that everyone on earth is eating their vegetables eventually builds up a tolerance, and soon enough, their truck starts losing money. However, they have a new plan for how to stay afloat: They don costumes and embark on a life of crime.
(character references: Natalie Dormer for Harley and Kari Byron for Ivy)
Part of the thing I like about Batman taking Robin under his wing is that he was never inducting Robin into his crusade. Robin was already there, and Batman knew that if that child insisted on walking the same miserable road as him, there was no way he should be allowed to walk it alone.
I (obviously) spend a lot of time thinking about superheroes, especially my two favorites, Batman and Superman. I was wondering, the other day, why they complement each other so well. Why are they the team-up that everyone seems to come back to?
What I realized was that they’re each a whole made of two halves: They’re both divided into two halves, one indestructible and one human.
Batman, or the version of Batman I hold near and dear, is an immortal symbol. It doesn’t matter who Batman is, as long as they instill the same fear in criminals that criminals instill in their victims. As long as criminals believe Batman exists, he doesn’t actually need to show up to a crime scene to stop crimes. They see the Batsignal and they cancel the job, because it’s too risky.
That being said, the symbol of Batman needs to be maintained by a mortal, easily destroyable man. One well-placed bullet would end Bruce Wayne, and it’s Wayne’s resources that makes Batman possible. Unless someone took up the mantle and stopped the occasional crime, the idea becomes powerless because criminals will no longer feel unsafe preying on the weak.
Superman, on the other hand, was born on Krypton. He can fly, he can move the entire planet with his bare hands, he can reduce a whole city to ash just by looking at it, and there is no weapon of this world that can leave a scratch on him. He doesn’t age, he doesn’t get sick, and his body is an indestructible superweapon with an unlimited source of energy.
However, despite being a near-omnipotent alien from Krypton, he was raised entirely on Earth, as a human. Clark Kent is, mentally, no difference between him and your average Joe.
The big difference between them is which of these is the “true” identity. For Bruce, “Batman” is his real face, and “Bruce Wayne” is the mask. For Kal, “Superman” is the public persona, but “Clark Kent” is the name he calls himself.
Batman is a larger-than-life, deathless idea trapped in a mortal, non-augmented human body. Clark Kent is an ordinary human mind, tasked with the responsibility of an all-powerful, indestructible body.
Their extraordinary side is what makes them powerful, and their human side is what checks that power. Clark Kent, in an ordinary human body, is simply a good person. He’s smart and kind and has a strong sense of right and wrong, but he doesn’t really have much ability to defend the earth. Batman, in an all-powerful Kryptonian body, would have the ability to patrol Gotham City in a minute, and beat every criminal into submission with a single punch.
Batman’s human limitations are what makes him a powerful idea rather than an unstoppable force. If he had Superman’s powers, the idea of Batman would be moot, because the whole point is that criminals see the prospect of being forced to pick on someone their own size and decide that crime isn’t worth it. If Batman had a body as limitless as Superman’s, Gotham wouldn’t be protected by someone who sticks up for the little guy whenever he’s able, they would be living under a tyrant who uses his limitless power to force others to adhere to his moral code. Similarly, Superman’s human psyche and identification with humanity is what prevents him from establishing a police state with himself as enforcer.
While Batman thinks of himself as mentally above the rest of humanity, it’s important that he only has the powers his adversaries have. While Superman actually is physically above the rest of humanity, the fact that he thinks of himself as one of us is what keeps him from ever abusing his power.
Anyway, that’s why I think they compliment each other so well. If you want to find the one person who’s got the physical power of Superman and the mental and symbolic power of Batman, but does not abuse that power, you’re looking for Wonder Woman. How she manages to abstain from abusing her power despite it being unchecked is a mystery, but my working theory is that she was raised in a utopia where her only exposure to patriarchy before adulthood was a constant cautionary tale that absolute power corrupts absolutely, and that true weakness is being given a position of power that others aren’t allowed to attain, then using that power to hurt the people from whom that power has been withheld.
If I was better at drawing, I’d draw a single-panel comic that shows Clark driving a pickup truck with Diana in the passenger seat and Bruce crammed in the tiny backseat
and Bruce is asking why he has to sit in the backseat, and Diana says she called shotgun because she’s the tallest and needs the most leg room, and Bruce asks why they’re even in the tiny pickup truck, since Clark and Diana can fly and he owns dozens of cars, planes, and other vehicles that could get them all to Smallville in minutes, and Clark just laughs at them for not getting the appeal of road trips
They cast Ben Affleck as Batman and people said they were suspicious because of his performance in Daredevil, joked that Matt Damon would be playing Robin, did impressions of his Boston accent, and noted that despite being concerned that it would be difficult to envision Affleck as Batman, they were cautiously optimistic because of his performance in Dogma and rather excited for the movie overall
They cast Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman and people condemned the decision because her breasts weren’t big enough, or because her skin isn’t pale white, or because her eyes aren’t blue
When Batman was cast, people based their judgments on the actor’s past performances, business partnerships, and level of fame as an actor
When Wonder Woman was cast, people based their judgements on her breasts, and how well she conforms to an incredibly eurocentric standard of beauty
It’s almost like there’s one standard for men, and an entirely different second standard for women. Is there some kind of term for that?