Sunday was a relatively easy day compared to the previous nights. I'd had a big night at the Token Artists 20th Anniversary party where my managers and fellow comedians came together to celebrate Kevin Whyte and his company for their massive achievement. Sunday was therefore the dustiest I had felt in a while but luckily for me I had Fan Fiction Comedy and the second chapter in my new Batman trilogy. If you missed the first chapter you can read it here.
I love performing on this show and enjoy the banter with the kids from New Zealand. I find them and the show delightful. I also enjoy being the oldest person there who conversely takes it the most seriously. Once again there was a soundtrack playing underneath. This time it was music from The Dark Knight which was used because this too was the second part of a trilogy. It really is nerd heaven. Look out for ties to the Nolan universe and influences taken from Grant Morrison's run. I've linked some of the names in the story to help with the visuals for this mega tale! I have also been attempting to answer criticisms of the movies in my work. Even if I don't agree with these criticisms I'd be a liar if I said they didn't exist. In the first piece I wanted to answer how John Blake could carry on the legend without the training Bruce Wayne had received. This chapter is from Selina Kyle's point of view so we finally have a more feminine voice in the Nolan Batman world.
I love the shit out of working on these. Here's the next chapter:
The Shadow of the Bat
He once told me that surviving was easy.
Surviving is what he does.
Ever since that first night when the small time criminal turned the gun on his Mother and Father that is all he’s done.
At first we thrived. We lived the life of the free. There were times when I could have sworn that he was happy. Over time though the old habits came back. His soul was free but his muscles ached to be used again, used in the ways they’d been conditioned since his parents died in front of him.
The first warning came when he insisted we return to the homeland of the League of Shadows. He was determined to put an end to them once and for all. We hunted the last few terrorist cells with make shift weapons and old-fashioned tactics, hiding in the shadows until the hunters were the hunted and in doing so the man became a myth once more.
“The Man of Bats must die,” the new leader demanded of his petrified followers. Suddenly the leader was sucked into the shadows before anyone could move. From the dark came that guttural bestial voice that had once frozen a city in fear.
“Welcome to Hell,” came the voice from the dark. “From this position I have seven actions I can commit. Three of them will cripple you. Three of them will kill you. The final option?”
An unholy sound as breaking bone tore through flesh, the howling of the leader failing to drown out the action.
“The final option hurts.”
The broken body of the leader fell from the dark. The soldiers stood quietly too scared to move. There was no point in them acting. We were already gone.
“So have you gotten your kicks out of your system?” I asked. We were changing in a five star hotel, his one consolation to me. I looked at the scars that crossed his back, a lifetime of bad decisions etched into every line.
“I think you should wear Mother’s pearls. Tonight we’re celebrating.”
He’d been so clever in the ways he created money for us after we first left Gotham. A little job in one town followed by a well paying consultancy in a bigger city. How did a man so famous stay hidden for so long?
“When nobody is looking for you you’re safer in plain sight,” he explained.
At dinner we celebrated and I even convinced him to have a drink. The League of Shadows was decommissioned and now he could finally relax. It was time to move on. He didn’t owe anything to anybody.
Yet while his soul flew free his body ached for what it knew.
We returned to our hotel and I looked in the mirror at the person I had become. He had helped me let go of my previous life, helped me transform into a better person but I feared I was failing in my responsibilities to him.
I walked into the bedroom dressed only in the pearls.
“Those pearls do look better on you,” he said, his eyes shining in the dark.
“What can I say? I’m adaptable.”
I walked over and pushed him to a sitting position on the bed. I sat delicately on his lap and placed my arms around his neck. I kissed him gently but there was something wrong. I could feel that a storm was coming.
“We have to go back.”
My heart sank.
“You don’t owe those people anymore. You’ve given them everything.”
He smiled and in that moment I knew we were doomed.
“How are we going to return to Gotham?” I asked. “You’re dead.”
“Funny. I’ve been declared dead twice before and found a way to return. Trust me, I know what I’m doing.”
On our journey back to Gotham he filled me in on what had happened. Lucius Fox had proven that Wayne Enterprises had been a victim of fraud and the money stolen was returned to his butler Alfred. He in turn was helping the new Batman John Blake clean up the city. There were gangs roaming the streets lead by a new criminal who called himself Professor Pyg. The name derived from the surgeries he conducted on the criminals that followed him, pig masks glued to their faces, prowling the streets of Gotham.
There was also a new hero on the prowl, a mysterious man calling himself Oberon Sexton, the Grave Digger. This new hero dressed in black with a top hat, a trench coat and black mask obscuring his face. He seemed to be helping Blake see patterns in chaos where there initially appeared to be none yet there was something about him that Alfred didn’t trust.
“Follow me,” he says and I wonder if he realises he’s returned to using the Bat voice before he's changed into the suit.
Down an alley and into a dead end we walk; it is one of his many hiding places throughout the city. He opens a door that reveals a small room that in turn lights up once I close the door. Immediately the room descends into the bowels of Gotham.
“You sure know how to show a girl a good time.”
He smiles that smile that lets you know his mind is elsewhere.
“Alfred told me that Blake disappeared the night that he joined Oberon to take down Professor Pyg. Now these gangs are overwhelming Gordon and the police, the city is descending into chaos.”
“Why did you have to contact Alfred? We could be anywhere in the world.”
For the first time I see the sadness in his eyes, the real feelings he works so hard to mask.
“My city needs me. My friends need me.”
We arrive in a small room full of dusty equipment and heavy shadows. He flips a switch and suddenly I see the light. There is an old costume in the corner of the room, the original costume he once used to put fear in the hearts of the superstitious.
“I know why Blake has disappeared. A mysterious man dressed in black calling himself the Grave Digger? A man who emerges fully formed from the chaos to help Blake in his time of need? It could only be one person.”
I watch him as he dresses, he slips the cowl over his head and immediately he is standing taller. This is who Bruce truly is.
“Selina, I had to come back,” Batman says. “It’s the Joker. Time to take him down.”
We return to the night, leaping through the dark, tumbling like lovers. The wind tears dead leaves free and scatters them about us. A cat screeches somewhere in the night.
I know how it feels.
I've left it on a cliff hanger people so get down next Sunday if you want to check out the epic conclusion. And yes, next chapter the Joker is back. But then again, so is Bruce Wayne. Sheeeeeee-it is about to get real.
7th of April, 2013