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>Alt-Text: Batman and Superman sitting on the tied up Poison Ivy, Clayface, Penguin, Lex Luthor, The Joker, Cyborg Superman, Darkseid, and Doomsday while Catwoman and Harley Quinn are tied together with rope to the side. Batman is reading Watchmen, Superman is reading The Dark Knight Returns
>Pencils: Ivan Reis. Inks: Joe Prado. Colors: Dave McCaig

Continued from https://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/qstarchive/2023/5589124/

>Alt-Text: Batman and Superman sitting on the tied up Poison Ivy, Clayface, Penguin, Lex Luthor, The Joker, Cyborg Superman, Darkseid, and Doomsday while Catwoman and Harley Quinn are tied together with rope to the side. Batman is reading Watchmen, Superman is reading The Dark Knight Returns
>Pencils: Ivan Reis. Inks: Joe Prado. Colors: Dave McCaig

Continued from https://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/qstarchive/2023/5589124/

The Fashion District is on the other side of Miller Harbor from the Upper East Side. It debuted in Elliot Brown's original Gotham Map and is probably named for the Manhatten neighborhood also called the Garment District. City Hall being close to it is also from the map. The entire Man-Bat /CBI fight sequence moves south from The Upper East Side down. When writing it, I keep consulting the map to work the neighborhoods into the story. ( For more on the map see:https://www.eliotrbrown.com/wp/gotham-city-map/ )
Batman's power being money is a common joke that's been used in DC properties. The yuppies are inspired by a certain demographic of "liberal" gentrifiers of my city of residence DC. Scott Snyder established in the past the South of Gotham was home to the working class, so I had the higher class living of the southern island of Gotham be a product of recent gentrification.
Batman getting outmatched in a fight and having to escape is a plot beat I liked in Batman the Animated Series "On Leather Wings" and "Batman Begins." Many times in this quest I purposefully avoided the "Batgod" cliche where Bruce is unbeatable and can do anything with little consequences. "Billionare crashing on someone's couch" being an escape I found both clever from Bruce's POV and a comedic humbling moment.
Superhero stuff being confused for sex stuff is a classic lowbrow joke used a lot in comics, I'll return to the motif, but played more seriously, in The Man Who Laughs.
Blackgate Penitenteray debuted in Detective Comics Vol 1 #629 (credits: https://dcuguide.com/w/Detective_Comics_629). As mental health became more of a thematic focus of the Batbooks, more villains wound up going to Arkham Asylum, Blackgate emerged as the place for his "normal" villains.
Alfred's "precious" line is quoted from The Dark Knight Rises script by Jonathan Nolan, Christain Noland, and David S. Goyer. Alfred struggling with the danger Bruce puts himself in and his role in enabling that became a recurring theme once we began being written as a father figure for Bruce.
" I thought this would be about sweeping criminals off the street, maybe scaring them straight." is taken from The Long Haloween Part 1 film, an addition to the story written by Tim Sheriden. There it was about Bruce coming to terms with being a detective, here it's him dealing with facing animal monsters rather than the ordinary criminals he thought he would be dealing with.
Alfred giving advice to Bruce based on his time in the British military is inspired by Michael Kane’s portrayal in the Nolan-directed films. The quote about the abyss is based on a Dwayne McDuffie-written Batman line in Crisis on Two Earths, itself riffing on Nietzsche’s line in Beyond Good and Evil (When you stare into the abyss, the abyss stares back at you.)
The vote here was meant as a trade-off, either have an extra helper who isn't as well trained, or hold off the help for a higher upside later. A classic “Time vs Quality” choice.
The Boy Who Adopted Batman was a story in Batman vol 1 107 (Sheldon Moldoff and Charles Paris on pencils & inks and Pat Gordon on letters, writer unknown). The boy there wasn’t Dick, but I felt the title worked well for him.
"Shades of Gray" was from a Teen Titans story that didn't have much to do with Dick but the pun was too good to resist.
A friend recently linked this to me. Very funny
I wonder how this quest would have gone if we'd become more like THAT Batman...
I like our renegade socialist vigilante monster uprising version
What, more of an All-Star Batman type?
Me too. This path looks spicy
Maybe, or maybe just, like, Lego Batman. They have some overlap, both being sort of self-absorbed, tryhard, edgy egotists who are unintentionally hilarious, but Lego Batman is more like an angsty Booster Gold, substituting for a lack of (and fear of) meaningful human connections and the possible retraumatization that comes with losing them by seeking fame, glory, and constant recognition and adulation from strangers.

Imagine playing THAT Batman.
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Don't die, c'mon. Have this batkek
Well you see the long delays between the annotations are actually based on the delays in the production of All Star Batman and Robin the Boy Wonder /s

In all seriousness. I'm back to finish up Issue 2 annotations. Tell your friends
"Criminals and Cowards" is a nod towards the "Criminals are a Cowardly and superstitious lot" line that Bruce used when he came up with Batman in Batman Vol 1 #1, written by Bill Finger.
Isley doesn't know about them but the line about being into the "green, not the red" references The Green and The Red, two cosmic forces that tie into plant and animal life respectively. Think of them like the "Tree Force" and the "Meat Force" analogs to the Speed Force. The Green was created by Alan Moore in his Swamp Thing run, The Red was created by Grant Morrison in their Animal Man run.
The "vampires have interns" crack was based on a widely mocked statement DC put out for their New 52 FAQ for retailers. For that reboot, Batman has been Batman for only 5 years but still had four Robins. DC's answer was "Robin is an intern program -and a very intensive one at that."
Isley maybe thinking Bruce is a Vampire is another nod to the idea the public at large doesn't know who or WHAT he is, which is a powerful tool. It also reinforced the theme of Batman being a Batesian Mimic, a weaker species that pretends to be a more dangerous one. While some say Batman doesn't make sense in a world of superpowers and the supernatural, I argue he is MORE plausible in one. Because if people know aliens, gods, vampires and monsters are real, Batman posing as one is very effective. Civilians thinking of different origins and traits of Batman is inspired by The Batman Knowbody Knows from Batman Vol #250 (credits: https://dcuguide.com/w/Batman_250#3) a brilliant story concept that was adapted into animation twice. (Both really good.)
Emile Dorian was created in the Batman The Animated Series episode “Tyger, Tyger” (directed by Frank Paur and written by Michael Reaves, Randy Rogel, and Cherie Wilkerson). He was a Dr. Moreu pastiche much the same as he is here, doing unethical animal splicing on an island. In the show he tutored Kirk Langstrom and created the mutagen that Kirk would become Man-Bat with, so I connected him to our Man-Bat plot.
I change the Island to Santa Prisca, a Carrieban Island created by Dennis O'Neil, Denys Cowan, Rick Magyar, and Tatjana Wood in The Question vol 1 #10. It's the homeland of Bane and collected a wide variety of tropes and stereotypes of Latin America countries over the years its been in DC adaptations. More about it when we get there.
“The Dynamic Duo has no Jurisdiction” takes the “Batman has no jurisdiction” line from The Dark Knight (written by Cristopher Nolan, Jonathan Nolan, and David S Goyer) and splices it with the Dynamic Duo nickname for Batman and Robin (explained here: https://andreadallover.wordpress.com/2015/06/01/holy-history-batman-the-origin-of-dynamic-duo/ ). Batman chasing a villain outside the US in that film was an inspiration for this quest plotline.
Gates of Gotham was a Batman story arc written by Scot Snyder. It both starred Dick and heavily featured Gotham City as a “character” making it a good fit.
The Hermit of Mystery Island ( which also got a nod in Dick’s Dialogue) is a story from Detective Comics vol 1 #274 with an uncredited writer and an art team of Sheldon Moldoff and Charles Paris. The story's only connection is taking place on an Island away from Gotham but I loved the pulp camp title it had.
This post marks a major shift in the quest where I drop the markup technique and use the script format. While originally used because my IP was changing a lot at the time, the script format became a mainstay of Batquest and would later be standardized for the Nationquest series as well.

This post has the classic "smash cut to a character doing the opposite fo what they said" joke, I wonder if it translates in a text-based medium. Dick was originally going to be yelling out Cowabunga as another reference to the version played by Chris O'Donnell, but upon further research, I found the word is a faux indigenous word made up for the racial stereotype character Chief Thunderthud on the Howdy Doody Show, so I went for “woo hoo” instead.
Our version of Nightwing leans into the playful adventurous showman angle. Dick enjoys swinging through Gotham the same way he did swinging with his parents. You could say he sees his superheroing as a way to recapture the feeling fo what he lost while Batman uses it as an outlet for the pain of his loss (at least initially).
The Narrows were created for Batman Begins (written by Cristopher Nolan, Jonathan Nolan, and David S Goyer). They were inspired by the slums of the now-demolished Kowloon Walled City, and are made up of crumbling public housing. They've since been added to the comics version of Gotham
The Golums were a street gang that wore neon glow-in-the-dark blacklight skull facepaint. They debuted in Batman Forever and show up again in Batman and Robin. While they were written by Akiva Goldsmen in the script as generic criminals, Joel Schumacher’s direction and Ingrid Ferrin & Bob Ringwood’s costume design gave them their stunning look. Don “The Dragon Wilson” legendary martial artist, played their leader. This entire sequence is is a love letter to biker gang scenes from the Schumacher Batfilms.
Eliot Goldenthal scored both Schumacher Batman films so the idea is that the Golums are playing this song in-universe https://youtu.be/mNuwkYoHOkI?t=50 Avant Garde Classical Composers being bumped in the streets is just part of Gotham’s charm.
A gave our Dick a solid bit of ‘Spider-manny” energy which in retrospect is giving Terry McGinnis, the Batman beyond vibes.
Dick hiding in the lights and neon the same way Bruce uses the shadows I felt was a cool bit of duality.
Gun buybacks are programs where the government pays people for their guns and then destroys or stores them. They have had success in several areas when handled properly but as we see in this quest, they aren't a cure-all. This is a setup for Harvey Dent’s political plans in Issue #3 as well as setting up the mutagen arms race plotline. It also is a handy explanation for why Dick doesn't get shot a billion times.
The Golum /Neon Gang leader went unnamed in the films so I named them “The Don” after their actor and because it's a retro name for a gang leader. The “Davis” is a Davis Industry gun. The company flooded lower-income areas with cheap firearms through pawnshops in the 80s that went bankrupt after being flooded with city lawsuits.
Power Moves is a Teen Titan Go! It episode written by Merrill Hagan about Beast Boy getting jealous of Cyborg doing combo moves with Robin instead of him. Chosen for the name.
Various Modes of Transportation was a Teen Titans Go episode written by Matty Smith where Cyborg and Robin recreate Planes, Trains, and Automobiles. In retrospect, I should have used “Revved Up” from the 2003 series because that was a Wacky Races spoof and therefore more appropriate here.
Kane Street is named for Batman co-creator (and total Dick) Bob Kane. The name was first used to my knowledge in 52 #2, written by Geoff Johns, Grant Morrison, Greg Rucka, and Mark Waid.
In The Batman (2022) Wayne Tower is on Kane Street and in the Gotham Knights game, it is close to the GCPD headquarters like it is in this quest.
The Glowsticks are taken directly from Batman Forever.
The Golums speak in the "Mutant Slang" used in The Dark Knight Returns, taken from the unique language its colorist Lynn Varley had with her brothers.
The Street Demonz are a biker gang featured in the No Man's Land story arc. They debuted in 'Tec Vol # 614 by Alan Grant,
Norm Breyfogle, Steve Mitchell, Adrienne Roy, and Todd Klein.
The Kings of the Sun are a Biker Gang originally from New Orleans that debuted in 'Tec Vol 2 # 30 by Francis Manapul and Brian Buccellato.
I really play up Dick's daredevil show-off nature here. I think he enjoys being a superhero in a way Batman really hasn't allowed himself to.
Dick claiming to be Batman and having the gangsters laugh at him is taken verbatim from Batman Forever written by Lee Batchler, Janet Scott Batchler, and Akiva Goldsman. I even kept the “I forgot my suit” line.
And here we get the first namedrop for Dent.
The Redbird debuted as a Robin-themed sports car that Robin Tim Drake used in 'Tec Vol #668 by Chuck Dixon, Graham Nolan, Scott Hanna, Adrienne Roy, And John Costanza.
The Schumacher-directed films used the name for Dick's super motorcycle so in keeping with the Joel theme of this sequence, that's what it is here. I personally like motorcycles being associated with Robin as opposed to cars. One was Dick’s vehicle of choice in the Teen Titans cartoon of 2003.
>he even meticulously researches the origins of retro slang before using it.

I'd say that level of dedication gave me the heebie jeebies, but you know, antisemitism.

Seriously though, I don't think there's a single other QM on here that puts this level of craft and research into their quest. please finish Batquest one day, but also, please tell me you're doing writing for more commercially-viable or personally-fulfilling works, too.
Dick calls the bikers "Dinlows" a Romani term for fool. This Issue’s Dick focus led to a lot of usage of Romani language.

In retrospect, I didn't like having Bruce and Dick separate like this. The back-and-forth nature took extra time for me to write and it was a pain finding art and titles that fit two nonconnected storylines. As you'll see in issue 3, for the future I either had Dick sequences or Bruce sequences but didn't mix them like this.

Bruce invading Santa Prisca in the Batplane and having it shot down was taken from Batman vol 3 # 10 by Tom King, Mikel Janín, June Chung and Clayton Cowles. This starts a running joke of Batplanes crashing in this quest.

"The Case of the City of Terror" is a story from 'Tec vol 1 # 43 written by Bill Finger . Bruce and Dick wind up in a town run by a racketeer and corrupt and help free it. had you voted for this, we would see Bruce getting involved with local freedom fighters and would adapt the Mayor and Racketter as Western-backed strongmen. I was going to use a pre-existing DC Freedom fighter who made sense but hadn't settled on one by the time the vote made it moot. The strongest contenders were Sara and/or Carlos Quinones from the Milestone Media Blood Syndicate comic (we’ll probably get around to them someday.)

Hook Morgan and His Harbor Pirates is from ‘Tec vol 1 #54 and is also written by Finger. I wound up adapting it pretty closely, the biggest change being changing the location to Santa Prisca and combining the pirate Hook Morgan with the much later character The Hook.

“The Isle that Time Forgot” is a story from Batman vol 1 #10 written by Joseph Greene. That title was chosen mostly for its title (it’s Batman and Robin getting trapped on an island of prehistoric beasts but its all a film set, but I probably would have written in some broader adaptations. Had you voted for this we would have gone straight to the Dr. Dorian plotline.

Since this was an early Batman, I purposefully chose Golden Age stories to use as source material. You’ll see this theme continue through the quest, but it's strongest here.
While I did get REALLY involved with the Romani in this quest (even getting into multiple dialects) my dive into the Mutant language was less in-depth at the time I wrote that ypdate. I did look up a pretty detailed dictionary compiled by Adam D. Jameson (https://twitter.com/adjameson/status/1181602615957819392?lang=en ) but at the time I though they were Miller's creation. It wasn't until I was reading an anniversary edition of The Dark Knight Returns to study its panel layouts for my own comics (coming soon, thanks for the well wishes) that I saw they were actually from an idioglossia between Lynn and her brothers.

In regards to Heebie Jeebies, I really appreciate the insight there (especially ironic given the talks on the early thread on why a bleeding heart militant woke pinko lefty such as myself is on 4chan). My research doesn't show a connection between heebie Jeebies and antisemitic slurs ( H*be being the most likely connection). It is apparently a nonsense word made up for the Barney Google strip by Billy DeBeck. That being said
1. There is always the chance Billy based the word on the slur and tisi wasn't publicized
2. Even if its not based on the slur, if it is making Jewish people uncomfortable its a good reason to be wary of it.
It actually reminds me of the folk etemyolgy that "picnic" was cw: lynchings from "Pick a Nigger*" in reference to chosing Black people to lynch The "nic" there is actually based on the French "nique" meaning "small thing" (either that or a redpupilcation of "piquer" as in "pick.")

*I'm Black.
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>Hypercrisis Bro
>The Hypercriss Bro is a broTHER
The clues were there all along!

I'm also a pinko woke lefty, and also he one who asked why you were here, and also a nonwhite person, so I am glad there's more than one of us
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Me, I'm just your average white retard 4chan poster. But I appreciate this level of dedication and attention to detail, and am glad you are not a cancerous shit like most lefty types seem to be these days. I want this quest to finish one day too. Please keep up the good work. Yes, I could make the joke that Batman is black because he's the "Dark" Knight, but that's already been done before.
>Black Batman
It is kind of interesting how, even before Future State made Jace Fox a successor to the mantle, Batman's first ward has been Romani since the 90s and his biological heir has been ambiguously Middle Eastern since the idea was introduced in '95. Coupled with that batmen of All Nations club, Batman's been a very diversity-focused enterprise for a while, without usually feeling forced or awkward.
I actually do think the Bat-family is an interesting model of the Direct Action model of liberation. The idea that Gotham has this culture of independent heroism always struck me as pretty brilliant and is another reason why I think the "brooding loner" shtick works best as a character flaw Bruce works past.
Bruce having guerilla training is a nod to this version being trained by the US government.
Santa Prisca being a nation the US invaded was based on its portrayal in Gotham, where Jim Gordon served there. The invasion being down but the nation being several times worse is based on the aftermath of US invasions in Vietnam and Afghanistan. The Caribbean location also takes influence from Cuba.
Cola Nut is a key ingredient in cola soft drinks. It was established in Psyba-Rats #3 script by Chuck Dixon that Santa Prisca was the source of the nuts used for Zesti Cola and that in Birds of Prey Revolution #1 (also written by Dixon) that the Zesti company was funding a coup to back their interests in the island.
I added the bit about The “Old Regime” getting rich off it is a nod to how tropical climates in the Western hemisphere were propped up by abusive farm economies that enriched US companies while being enforced by US-backed dictators. (The “Bana Republic” line). The post-war embargo is based on the US embargo of Cuba, and soda companies still smuggling the nuts is based on Chocolate companies that buy their cocoa from plantations that use slave labor (shameless shilling for slave free chocolate companies here: https://www.slavefreechocolate.org/ethical-chocolate-companies )
Bruce posing as a vet is from Frank Miller’s script in Batman: Year One.
Was Bruce says literally translates as “Got a mojito, please?” I pulled the clunky Spanish line from this article (https://www.thrillist.com/culture/guide-cuban-drinks-culture) to show Bruce being in character as an out-of-touch American.
“Ex-pat” is a term nowadays mostly used for well-off white folks who live abroad but don’t want to call themselves migrant workers. (They totally are.) Santa Prisca being filled with Western mercenaries and vets is a throw forward to King Snake, a British soldier of fortune later revealed to be Bane’s father. We’ll see a bit of him in Issue #3.
Hook Morgan was a pirate Batman fought in ‘Tec Vol 1 #54. I combined that one-off villain with “The Hook” debuted in Strange Adventures Vol 1 #210 by Neal Adams and Jack Miller. There he was “Roy Martin”, the assassin who killed Boston Brand as a tryout to enter the League of Assasins. This fusion was inspired by how Greg Weisman combined Montana of the Enforcers with The Shocker when he was writing the Spectacular Spider-man animated series.
Qurac is a fictional nation on the Persian Gulf often used in DC as a stand-in for various Middle Eastern countries. It debuted in Tales of the Teen Titans #51 by
Marv Wolfman, Rich Buckler, Bob Smith, Adrienne Roy, And Ben Oda.
“CO” is “Commanding Officer.” From my limited experience, it is not uncommon for people who were in the military together to keep close relationships even after active service. Bruce’s cover here is his old boss giving a tip for employment.
The CRACK WHAM POW sound effects are based on those used in the Batman tv series from 1966 (Art Direction: Jack Martin Smith, Serge Krizman, Frank T. Smith, Russell C. Menzer, Jack T. Collis, Franz Bachelin and
Ed Graves)
“Doc” is short for “Dr Hands” the shortlived identity given to Blackhawks member “Chop-Chop” for that series' ill-fated rebranding as a superhero book. Cho-Chop was the team cook and a grotesque racial stereotype created by Will Eisner and Chuck Guidera in Military Comics Vol 1 #3. A military cook seemed to make sense as a bartender in a Casablanca-style veterans bar.
The robotic super hook the Hook uses was based on the version seen in the Young Justice animated series, designed by Phil Boruoussa. Art of which is used through this sequence.

Cw:racial slurs
“Diamond Dozen” is a memetic misunderstanding of “a dime a dozen’ meaning very common. I didn’t give Hook “old-timey”pirate talk but I purposefully gave his dialogue what I hoped was a weird little spice. (Note his later use of “dig.”)
Bruce is using Matches Malone again as his go-to criminal alias. This is the first time Bruce is Mr. Malone in person in this quest as opposed to just using it as a callsign for radio.
Bluebeard and Quetch are pirate henchs of the Penguin as seen in the Batman 1966 film written by Lorenzo Semple Jr. and played by Gil Perkins and George Sawaya respectively. Batman has several naval villains in comics, but as far as I know, none in the books had a retro pirate gimmick, so I always liked the 66 film’s use of them.
Hook’s belief in using legends, myths, and stories as a form of psychological weaponry is a common theme through Batman. In the Batman Begins film, the League of Shadows having a “become something greater than a man” philosophy influenced Bruce and Hook having it here is a nod to his connection with the League. In keeping with the political themes of this sequence, Hook links the idea to American Cultural Imperialism. “Real’ global south pirates consciously choosing to mirror the concept of fictional western pirates was inspired by modern Somali Pirates referring to themselves as “Jack Sparrow.” Hook’s use of a racial slur was meant to reinforce this imperialism, though if I wrote this today I would have used a content warning.
Sinbad is a legendary Bagdhaddi sailor that shows up in later editions of 1001 Nights. In keeping with the rule that all fictional references made would exist in DC or another Warner property, his DC Comics debut was in Superboy #111 (written by Jerry Siegel)
The Conroy Merchandise Company was a firm that was selling pirated goods in the original Hook Morgan story. Though I liked how it coincidentally shared the name with the late great Batman performer Kevin Conroy.
The Black Freighter was the name of a pirate ship in the in-universe Tales of the Black Freighter comic from the Alan Moore-written Watchmen series. Given Hook’s affinity for the power of legends, he probably named the ship after the quest’s in-universe version of the Black Freighter comic.
$500 dollars for a night of armed guarding an illegal smuggling operation probably IS the wrong price, though I’m not sure if it’s too low or too high.
Austin Powers is a Warner Bros property and keeps up with Hook’s Tarintino-esque pop culture vulgarity.

It was REALLY hard to find art of Bruce Wayne tied up that wasn't in porn. The image here is literally cropped erotic and it was some of the most SFW art I could find.
Bruce being tied up in a freezer as a death trap is taken directly from the original "Hook Morgan" story
The entire Hook Morgan story was gold, man. I loved reading that when the thread was live back then.
>All toed-up Bruces are porn Bruces

The Santa Prisca arc was great, and so varied in inspiration while still feeling very organic. I second this anon, loved it.

>content warnings
Even on a blue board, being in 4chan is content warning enough. I mean, you seen the QTG?
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>Even on a blue board, being in 4chan is content warning enough
The last bastion of freedom on the internet lies in our very own streets of Gotham here, like it or not. Also here, have this Batman pic I found in my folders
>that argument
I'm unconvinced but don't plan to debate it here.

>that image
My sides!
The "ratatats" of the gang's guns use a sound effect for Tommy guns common in 30s-40s gangster fiction and retro media aping it. It didn't say so here, but their guns have neon on them for no functional purpose just like the ones in Batman Forever.
Speaking of, the giant screaming naked statues that turn Gotham City into a technicolor hot wheels track on LSD, is based on Barbar Ling's genius set design for Gotham in the Schumacher films. Seriously it's the best the city has looked in live-action and I stand by that.
Dick uses “klicks” slang for kilograms, as a nod to his Romani heritage and experience touring in Europe.
Sprang Street debuted in World's Finest Comics #286 (credits:https://comicvine.gamespot.com/worlds-finest-comics-286-when-hell-breaks-loose/4000-138220/) Dick Sprang drew a lot of silver age Batman comics known for stuff like giant prop typewriters and such, (see:https://www.gothamcalling.com/giant-cash-registers/) this sequence is an homage to that era and works inspired by it, such as the Schumacher films.
"Atomic Turbines to Speed" is a fusion of Robin's lines "Atomic Batteries to Power! Turbines to Speed!” From the Batman 1966 pilot written by Lorenzo Semple Jr.
Dick moving from a shantytown of the Narrows right into a giant silver age statue is based on my idea of Gotham as a city full of disparate exaggerated elements all mushed together. Giant Fritz Langian skyscrapers next to art deco diners next to pop art advertisements. Soot and Neon and pixel art all smashed together like kids playing with five different Lego sets at once. There are also bits of inspiration from Washington DC from my local area; The city is so small geographically that a lot of neighborhoods that would be far apart in other major cities are very close to each other, meaning gentrified playgrounds for yuppies, poorly upkept apartment complexes, nightlife party streets, and residential single family homes will all be in walking distance from each other.
The Fashion District I felt was an appropriate part of Gotham to have all the Silver Age Neon camp beautiful nonsense. The statue is named “Ling” in honor of Barbara, who I mentioned earlier in this post.
“Shivers” is mutant slang for “cowards.”
When the Narrows were added to Goatham in the comics, they were put in The Finger River, which was named for Batman co-creator (and victim of Bob Kane and DC legal fuckery) Bill Finger. The river dates to Elliot S Brown’s Gotham map. This chase sequence actually takes place just to the west of the Man-Bat sequence earlier, which explains it also winding up near the GCPD HQ.
The Giant Typewriter is an almost in-universe meme example of Gotham City giant props. It first showed up in Batman vol 1 #52 written by Bill Finger, and drawn by Bob Kane, Lew Sayre Schwartz, And Charles Paris. The animatronic eye is from the Ocu-Wash billboard in the opening scene of Batman Forever (also a Ling set design) The giant cigar was an original creation based on the theme I thought it would be cool for Dick to drive a bike down.
Dick’s banter with the Batwave was loosely based on Spider-Man’s dialogue with his suit’s AI in Spider-Man Homecoming (written by Jonathan Goldstein, John Francis Daley, Jon Watts, Christopher Ford, Chris McKenna, and Erik Sommers)
https://archived.moe/qst/thread/5180270/#q5194960 (Are these archive links working for everyone)
Redbrd’s safety foam was inspired by the similar feature of the cars in the Wachowski Sister’s Speed Racer film, one of my unironic favorites.
Bronze Tiger was played by Michael Jai White in the Arrowverse. He also played Black Dynamite in the film ad animated series of the same name. Given how both characters are Black ex-military martial artists, I thought it would be fun to add some BD elements to BT. “Suey” was one of Dynamite’s action catchphrases. The “fist like dynamite” was a nod to the in-joke.
“Nenorocitule” is Romanian for “(You) bastard.” When I did my research I accidentally pulled a Romanian curse word instead of a Romani one. (I think I got it off a bad youswear entry) Luckily I found access to the Manchester Romani database and ROMLEX, making future usages of the Romani language far more accurate.
“Tiger” is a throw forward to Ben’s title of Bronze Tiger, which he hasn’t taken officially taken up yet in this quest. (Although as you can see, he has some connection to the big cat.) The Black and Yellow flack vest was a Smallville-style usage of “regular” clothes to hint at a superhero outfit.
The bit about Ben being a better martial artist than Batman is based on how he is considered a top ten fighter in DC, but usually “dedicated” martial arts characters like Lady Shiva and Bronze Tiger can beat him hand-to-hand. Someone once said Bruce is ‘the second best at everything” which I thought was a cool “balance patch.” Batman can compete in many fields, but he is outmatched by specialists.
Using the Bat summoning device from Issue 1 to call Man-Bat was a twist I hoped players liked. A sonic device summoning Man-Bat also happened in “Pets” an episode of The Batman animated series written by J.D. Murray & Christopher Yost.
Choices like the one here (“Help the person or fuck off”) were the easiest to come up with for the quest and the ones that most reflected how the voters wanted the characters to be morally. So they show up the most often.
“Fear Takes Flight!” is a story from Nightwing Vol 2 # 11 (credits: https://comicvine.gamespot.com/nightwing-11-fear-takes-flight/4000-44024/) “The Good Fight” is an Outsiders storyline written by Judd Winnick. Both tiles were chosen for their names.
In his fight with Man-Bat, Turner's dialogue sounds closer to Black Dynamite's. I would wind up toning down the B.D. influences as the quest goes on, but I like the idea that he only goes all Shaft when he is really filed up in a fight.
It may have been hard to make out without visuals, but Nightwing crashed the Redbird into Man-Bat and let the safety foam weigh him down.
"The almost magical" fury is a hint towards Turner's backstory, which we'll see more of in future quests.
The voters liked the idea of Dick being a blade user so I brought them out for this fight sequence.
The "hopefully Bruce is doing better" transition is a bit repetitive with the "I wonder if Bruce is having this much fun" line.
I have rather been enjoying the Bronze Tiger rivalry.
>The voters liked the idea of Dick being a blade user
Like we said before, it just works with how Issue 1 went and as a contrast to Gun Batman
(Cw: Racial slur)
A voter noted this was the second time in a row Bruce got caught flatfooted. “Bruce gets caught and has to escape a death trap” is a common Batman trope, but I see that adapting them back-to-back like that can make Batman seem less impressive.
The quote Bruce remembers is based on the line “All men have limits. They learn what they are and learn not to exceed them. I ignore mine.” It’s from “Tec vol 1 #663 written by Chuck Dixon. The mentor is revealed as Amanda Waller later in the quest.
The use of a quote to sum up the result of a vote was something I started in Issue 1 and frankly just forgot about in Issue 2. It's just as well because finding quotes to match the scenario was a big time sink on updates. A voter suggested it was because Bruce was learning to stand on his own as Batman without reflecting on his parents or past as much. This is a nice bit of fan lore I’ll canonize here.
“Nyaarrgh” is a scream used heavily in the works of writer Tom Taylor, its a bit of a meme over on /co/.
In the quest, it's pretty similar. He uses the cold to numb his shoulder so he can dislocate it and get his hands free, then smashes the bulb and uses the glass to cut into his skin so he can get the laser he carries there to melt the lock. In retrospect, this may have been too extreme and confusing. Most of the changes were to account for Bruce not being in costume, but I suppose I could have had him melt the fridge lock with chemicals in the light bulb.
A very dangerous toy! Drop it before it goes off and scares you to death! “ Is a direct quote from “Hook Morgan”
The “put some ice on it” line is a classic bit of Batman having fun tormenting his prey.
“Bad Odds, for Them” is from the Starcrossed Justice Leauge tv movie, written by Rich Fogel and Dwayne McDuffie. It's a classic tough guys hero line and leans into Batman being the aggressive Golden Age terror here.
This “Batman horror villain” sequence was a reaction to the voter comment noted above. Out of universe, it was me compensating for the Batman losses by having some “Goddamned Batman” moments, and in-universe I feel Bruce is pissed about those same losses and taking it out on the pirates.
Batman as a “slasher” figure for criminals is something explored often and I tried to sell the visuals of a ship being haunted by a monster ala “Alien” though I don’t know how well I pulled it off.
“Glowie” is an insult for federal agents, based on “glownigger” a term used by Terry Davis, Davis was schizophrenic and often posted about the federal government using racial slurs heavily as he believed it was a counter to PsyOps by media groups such as the BBC. It’s been adopted by various online circles.
The “it's just the wind/house settling/boat cricketing” bit was me using another horror trope.
While we’re on the topic of slurs, in Issue #2 I used them more heavily than I would these days. While I strongly believe there is a time and place to have fictional characters engage in messed up behavior I also realize that Mark Millar/Tarintino-esque slur overuse is both cringy and, in my opinion, a cheap way to edge up a story. Hook using "spic" earlier in this quest I think worked to reinforce the themes of neocolonialism the Santa Prisca arc explored but I think Quetch’s line here was overdoing it a tad.
The “lighting a match and seeing the monster” is another horror trope. As is the “haunted pirate ship.”
The Hook being able to shoot his Hook and recall it is based on the Young Justice show’s version of the character.
Hook referring to his Hook as “my friend seeing all” is actually inspired by how Raptor referred to his weapon Suyolak in the Tim Seely written run on Nightwing. Raptor himself would show up later in issue #2 (Kinda like how MCU Hela had elements of Gorr, and then an actual MCU Gorr showed up in the next Thor film)
It may be unclear what happened in this fight scene. Bruce pretended to be in the engine room so Hook shot his hook into it. But Bruce wasn’t there at all, so while the Hook was still stuck in the engine room doors, Bruce attacked Hook from behind.
Batman stunning an enemy's arm and saying “This isn’t an X, it’s an operating table, and I’m the surgeon” is taken from Batman’s fight with the Mutant Leader in The Dark Knight Returns. It’s a more brutal version of the “Batman as a doctor, like his dad” metaphor this quest plays with, fitting with the tough guy action hero one-liner vibe of Bruce in this sequence.
The Seven Men fo Death are a subteam within the League of Assasins. An Elite Hit Squad of its top Assasins, they debuted as a team in Batman #670 written by Grant Morrison, where The Hook was one of its members. I actually think I have found a good way to do the League of Assasins, so stay tuned for more in this quest. “The League of Shadows” was the name used for the League of Assasins in “Batman Begins.” It was later adapted into the comics as a splinter faction of the Leauge of Assasins in “Tec vol 1 #952 written by James Tynion IV
Professor Radium was created e in Batman Vol 1 #8. (Story by Bill Finger, pencils by Bob Kane, inks by Jerry Robinson and George Roussos.) As we’ll see later that original story was the basis for his appearance here. Comic book supervillain names being used as criminal aliases or codenames in a common modernization I use in this quest.
“Eagle” being Alfred’s codename is from Batman Vol 1 # 127 written by Jerry Coleman. There Alfred accidentally gets superpowers and launches a shortlived career as the costumed superhero The Eagle. The story is referenced sometimes in modern books by having “Eagle” be Alfred's codename or callsign like it is here.
52nd Street is a nod to “52” a number that gained symbolic importance in DC ever since the 52 weekly series written by Grant Morrison, Geoff Johns, Mark Waid, and Greg Rucka. It often shows up in street names, tv channels, and so on in DC properties. 52nd Street of Gotham technically debuted in The Dark Knight, where 250 52nd Street was where Harvey Dent was held (a nice pseudo palindrome to fit the Two-Face theme)
“The Strange Case of Professor Radium” was the story detailed above, the sequence players voted for adapted much of it.
“Siege Mentality” was the name of the Joker Last Laugh #2 written by Chuck Dixon and Scott Beatty. It was chosen fot its name. Had this one, the Batman and Nightwing plotlines would have “merged” adn we would vote on how Bruce handled Dick’s behavior and how Dick reacted to Bruce’s controlling nature.
Alfred's line is based on one Akiva Goldsman wrote for Batman & Robin. ("For what is Batman? If not an effort to master the chaos that sweeps our world.") So was the response "But I can't can I? None of us can.") As was said earlier, the Schumacher Films were a big inspiration for this quest's Robin Dynamic.
In keeping with the pulp golden age spookiness of this scene I used some reto narration to set the scene. "Vestments" gives a near-religious context for Batman, as if its a ritual he engages in. (This is a theme Pattison leaned into in the 0222 The Batman film, inspired by Batman:Shaman written by Dennis O'Neil )
The lab having no guards is foreshadowing that Radium is so dangerous to be around, he doesn't NEED guards.
"Qué vas a hacer" Means "What are you going to do?"
The High tech Batsuit we voted on earlier is made up of various armor plates that connect together. Bruce uses his laser to weld the lead plating in the lab onto his suit to make it more radiation resistant. Another visual cue I think I could have been more thorough in getting across.
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Yo, this is for you
The script-style writing probably makes some of the action set-pieces harder to describe properly, but you got noticeably better as this quest went on.
I personally prefer the “Watchmen” style scene transitions such as the one used here (where a line or event in one scene ties to the next) as opposed to the more on-the-nose “What’s Bruce doing now?” transitions I used earlier.
Gavver is British Romani for “cops.”
Ben Turner being a government agent and also a Black man was a dichotomy I wanted to explore. Especially given his background in the comics as someone familiar with state violence. The take I went with here, and one that will be explored in the next issue, is that he sees the law as a weapon of force he uses to enact his means, but he has no loyalty or affinity for it (as we see with him flagrantly violating it here.) Given how this quest deals with a lot of questions about power, the law, violence and who has the right to wield it, I hope Turner can be a cool dive into what it means to be a soldier or law enforcement officer in a way that is different than the traditional “ally on the force” trope.
Bustout would have had Turner and the CBI actively investigating Bruce and Nightwing instead of the more hands-off/tentative allies dynamic players voted for. You also would have had a chance of losing the fight, which would have led to Dick being held captive by the CBI, leading to Bruce going to break him out (if you voted to leave the Island early), or for Dick to try to get out on his own.
“Outsiders” is a long-running comic series usually dealing with a Batman-centered superhero team. The name here was chosen to reflect the version of it that Dick led, written by Judd Winnick.
“Bustout” was the story in Nightwing Vol 2 #65 written by Chuck Dixon. It had Dick attempting to break Bruce out of prison. Not the MOST fitting title but its use was a bit more than thematic.
Cobblepot Park is a location in Batman: The Telltale Series episode “Realm of Shadows” (Written by Zack Keller, Patrick Kevin Day, Shanon Ingles, Nicole Martinez & James Windeler.) The once pristine park falling to decay was used as a metaphor for the downfall of the Cobblepot Family. This was another seed for a future Penguin storyline that would have happened if the votes were different in issue 3, but I won’t go into detail because it could still show up.
Alfred giving advice based on his time in the British military was based on his portrayal in the Nolan-directed films.
Dorian having early horrific experiments with animals was taken from “Tyger, Tyger”. Man-Bat raiding pharmacies was taken from “On Leather Wings” written by Mitch Brian.
Radium gaining a desire to kill from his radiation and needing medicine to treat the impulses are taken from “The Strange Case of Professor Radium.” That story also had him accidentally kill his wife, but here I use a bit of Mr Freeze’s origin in “Batman and Robin” itself inspired by the Batman the Animated Series episode “Heart of Ice” (written by Paul Dini). Heart of Ice had Nora Freeze already dead but the film has her alive but frozen with Freeze motivated to try to revive her. I liked the film's origin better and used it as inspiration here.

In the original comics, the Prof's research was to cure death, which it did! The side effect was radioactivity and bloodlust. In the books he accidentally killed his wife, so I united the two threads with the film Mr Freeze storyline to have him on a quest to make a non-murder-nuke version of his immortality serum. The Vollitell was also from the comics. I liked how even that early there was an element of mental health in the Batman lore and that there was a “villain” who wasn't evil, but a desperately sick man who needed to take his meds. Pretty progressive for the golden age.
The Cult of Kobra is a DC comics group created by... technically Jack Kirby
& Steve Sherman but the creation is so convoluted I’ll let Wikipedia go into the details( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kobra_(DC_Comics) . I liked Kobra here for several reasons:

1. When I asked for what characters voters wanted to see, an anon asked for Cobra. They meant the GI Joe one but the DC is so conceptually similar it seemed a slam dunk
2. They let me have a terrorist faction that avoided the orientalist issues I was running into with the Leauge of Assasins
3. They were a lesser-known villain, fitting with the quest’s deep dives
4. Young Justice had a storyline with them making Venom in Santa Prisca. I had originally planned to combine that plot with the one from Batman: Shaman which had a fake Santa Priscan Cult of Chubalba being a front for a white drug dealer . (more on the original plans for Issue 2 when we get to Paris)
5. Their “Venture Bros-core” motif for lack of a better term fit the neo-pulp vibe this arc was going for.
6. A group appropriating Vedic beliefs into a cult for power fit the themes of cultural imperialism of this arc.
Hoarding medical supplies is sadly a common method by IRL militant groups to hold power in postcolonial and neocolonial areas.
Batman sympathizing with Prof Radium was a chance to do the whole “You’re just as messed up as your villains” trope done often with Batman, but with a positive spin. Instead of a bad guy trying to pull Bruce into the abyss, it's Bruce using that connection to pull a villain OUT of it.
Given Bruce’s background as a US government agent, the villains being a terror group and the post-US intervention setting, Bruce seeing the parallels between himself and the USA as ‘World Police” felt fitting.
Bruce and Radium both traffick in some in-character ableism here. If I were to go back I’d use this sequence as an opportunity for Bruce to move past his “madman" judgments, though I like how the audiences keep voting for him to be sympathetic
Fangs of the Kobra was the title of Kobra #1, the debut of the group/concept written by Martin Pasko, Jack Kirby & Steve Sherman.
The Mystery of the Madcap Island was a story in Batman Vol 1 #160 written by Bill Finger. The title was mainly chosen for its pulpy name, but I would have incorporated elements of the Comics story, which features an Island full of rich guys’ themed summer homes.
Some sidebars:
The more modern art this sequence used to represent Professor Radium was actually of Hugh Marder an oddly similar character created for the New 52 Detective Comics run by Tony s Daniel, Ryan Winn, Sandu Florea
and Tomeu Morey

Another reason for Kobra was their later connection with the character King Snake, a mercenary who is the father of Bane and has a history in Santa Prisca.
>an anon asked for Cobra. They meant the GI Joe one
That's me!
Will we see King Snake come up in a later issue as an echo of the Santa Prisca stint there? Bruce went death from above terror bat on their asses, and they were all left reeling. Perhaps in a power vacuum born of Batman's intervention and straight scaring, either King Snake or Bane steps into the forefront there? And who knows what Prof. Radium will be up to after those events in Issue 2 were done? We haven't caught up with him yet
>I liked how even that early there was an element of mental health in the Batman lore and that there was a “villain” who wasn't evil, but a desperately sick man who needed to take his meds.

Huh. Neat way to read that and relate it to real life. Interesting. Never thought of it that way!

Bane IS a traditional way to amp up a Batman storyline from he intro and defeat of The Joker.
King Snake will return. Had Issue 3 voters chosen to go for the Spy Action plotline he and Kobra would have been the main secondary villain as opposed to Mr Bloom. But he's still out there working for Kobra. I will say I really liked all three main plotlines I wrote for Issue 3 so I hope I can find places to recyle them later.
Speaking of Bane, here's this masterpiece
“Creature of the Night” is from Batman’s first origin story in Batman vol 1 #1, written by Bill Finger. “Criminals are a Cowardly and Supertsiosus lot. So my disguise must be able to strike terror into their hearts. I must be a creature of the night.”
The Atomic Radio is the quest version of the Bat-Radia, created by Ed Herron, Dick Sprang, Charles Paris, and Milt Snapinn in Batman Vol 1 #113. It was an energy jammer used by the Batman of Zurr-En-Arrh an alien Batman named Tlano. On Tlano’s planet, Bruce had powers similar to that of Superman. The radia was used by Tlano to jam the signals of invading robots so Bruce could beat them. Bruce then kept the radia (which wouldn’t work on Earth) as a souvenir.
When Grant Morrison got a Batman run they brought back this story as a Freudian/drug-induced hallucination, in which Bruce made a backup personality based on Superman and his dad. The radia was revealed to be a useless piece of junk that, in a stunning twist actually worked in the end. The signal-jamming abilities in this quest are a nod to that.
In keeping with taking harsher elements of Batman and showing them in a more sympathetic light, a common theme of Bruce in some versions is that he calls villains by their real names, as he doesn't want to seem to enable their behavior. Here, he asks the Prof’s name in a moment of humanization.
I liked the “bedside manner” line. I think I really captured Dick’s voice in this issue, it's one of the things I like about it.
“Cuttout” is Romani for “fine/good/ok” based on the word kushtim, “good. ” Using it as the “ok” in “Okay, Okay, point taken” may be odd in the original language but I made use of it here.
Batman and Dick butting heads is something that showed up a lot in the books, especially around the 90s or so. This conflict is inspired by similar arguments in Batman Forever and Batman and Robin.
Alfred being the voice of reason and mediating the conflict felt in tune with the wise old mentor vibe he’s built up over time.
Secret Sin was the story from Batman vol 1 #709 written by David Hine. It was when Dick was Batman but the name was the reason it was chosen for the vote title.
“Disaffected Youth” was a story from Young Justice Sins of Youth Secret Files and Origins written by Jay Faerber. That was part of a crossover where Klarion made adult heroes into teens and vice versa. Dick was there, but this title was also chosen for its name.
Moments of Truth is the story from Titans Vol 1 #38, also written by Jay Faerber. Another story featuring Dick chosen for its name.
Bruce here is outwardly displaying disappointment and judgment as a mask for his inward concern about Dick and shame about letting his apprentice down. I really liked playing with the idea that Bruce’s positive feelings get filtered through his negative habits.
Bruce beating the crap out of an army of Kobra goons while thinking entirely about Dick I found to be especially Humuorus.
By my count, the Bat Tranq darts debuted in Batman Vol 1 #406 by Frank Miller, Dave Mazzuchelli, and Richmond Lewis.
I also like the fact that this Bruce is a bit more self-aware. He was in mental health treatment, he recognizes he’s personality flaws as self-sabotaging and he recognizes he was being a dick to Dick. Being self-aware of your issues but still struggling with them I feel can be a relatable form of tragedy for fictional characters, (as opposed to those who just keep making the same mistakes while being oblivious to them.)
The idea of Bruce wondering if parenting guides are going too far is a nod to the back-and-forth nature of their dynamic in the books. Bruce being a literal adoptive father to Dick, or “just” a father figure, or sometimes an older brother dynamic is something the books have gone back and forth on a lot.
“The Bleeding Night” is the story from ‘Tec vol 1 #556 written by Doeg Moench. It was chosen for its name.
“Fever Break” is from ‘Tec vol 1 #584 written by John Wagner and Alan Grant. Also chosen for its name. As the quest went on and direct adaptations got thinner, we’ll see a lot more of these titles picked for names as opposed to direct application, though I am a big fan of recontextualizing past story titles. (Marvel does it a lot these days.)
This vote was a classic “be sneaky or be violent” option common in a lot of video games, Batman ones included. I also like the idea that the fight has a risk of failure but the reward of a possible stat boost. As I said earlier in the future I would tweak the Fear State system but I like the fight class system.
Batman’s speech here was inspired by the one Frank Miller gave to Bruce in Year One, and by the speech Samurai Jack gave in season 5 episode 3 (written by David Krentz and Genndy Tartakovsky) where he realized he would be willing to kill his enemies if they didn't stand down.
This battle was an opportunity to make use of our Batman’s use of guns. As I said earlier,it was s struggle to make them relevant given our Bruce is far less viscous to criminals than many other versions. So between his upset emotional state, his warning to Kobra to stand down (and some members taking him up on that offer), and Kobra’s general unsympathetic nature this was an excuse to let loose with lethal force. Though we do have it done via the impersonal “bomb from above” technique. (Which itself calls back to the US interventionist themes of this arc).
“God forgive you, you were hoping for that” is a loose quote of “I go for pain. My aim is to break the man, just the way he broke me. May God forgive me. I enjoy it.” from Jim Starlin’s script for Batman: The Cult #4.
The low dice roll meant the Batwing crashed AGAIN, starting the running gag in earnest.
The “Sprang!” Sound effect was a shot out to Bat-artist Dick Sprang.
“Something tells you to stop with the leg, you don’t listen to it” is from Frank Miller’s script for The Dark Knight Returns #2. Bruce indulging in his sadism against his better instincts is a common thread of this sequence. It is taking the horror villain as hero angle from the Black Freighter sequence and shows how dark Bruce’s mind is to get to that point.
“Shock and Awe” is a military tactic of using overwhelming force and displays of power to psychologically intimidate the enemy and break their will to fight. While codified in 1996 based on previous historical precedent (such as the Nuclear Bombing of civilian targets in Japan) it came to the forefront in the 2003 invasion of Iraq. The hypocritical irony of a “War on Terror” being fought with an explicitly terroristic use of carpet bombing was heavily criticized, especially given it didn't even work. Since our Bruce has US training, I’ve made several parrels between Batman and military tactics and concepts ( Guerilla Warfare, Psy-ops, Urban Insurgency, etc.) Shock and Awe, a tactic based on spreading fear, overlapped perfectly with the idea of Batman’s weapon being fear and was meant to reinforce the conflicts in Santa Prisca as a mirror to irl US interventionism
The Bat-magnets are based on the magnet bullet-repelling shield used in the “Field Test” short of the Batman: Gotham Knight animated anthology (written by Jordan Goldberg , Directed by Hiroshi Morioka, Art Direction by Yoshimi Umino, Mechanical Design by Yoshimi Umino, Color Stylist Aya Ôuchi ). That story has Bruce stop using it because the bullets would bounce off the field and hit other people, and he didnt want to put anyone at risk. For this quest I had the high power usage as a reason why bruce doesnt go bulletproof all the time. Since voters chose a high-tech Batman, I had fun pulling in the most extreme gadgets from various stories into one version.
The Kobra’s are probably as suspicious as a lot gets, so having them seeing Batman as an immortal monster when he’s just a guy in a suit with tech was on point. Now that I think of it, isn’t Batman basically a scooby doo villain but a a good guy?
The Kobra ranks of Lancehead and Naga were introduced by Greg Rucka in Checkmate vol 2 #4. In this quest, once you get promotes to Naga you are allowed to use the gene splicing tech Kobra is famous for.
Batman seeing the scared young cultist has his post-kill clarity kick in. The “violet rampage ending when you see how young one of the mooks is” is a trope that I felt was widespread but the only other example that comes to mind is a scene from Netflix Arcane. (Good show, worth the pirate)
I really like how I was able to take the outcome of the random roll (Bruce barely winning) and tie it into Bruce’s character arc here. Issue 3 didn’t have any of them, and seeing how well it worked out here is more reason for me to go back to using them.
Bruce’s last team is a reference to his training and work under Waller. We’ll see that expanded in the next issue. “Dordi is Romani for “(Oh) dear!” Some sources have it being used as “Oh Dordi” while others have it as just “Dordi.”
Space Trek: 2022 is a Star Trek spoof in the DCU that Beast Boy was an actor on . Itw as created by Bob Rozakis in Teen Titans vol 1 #50.
“The Six Strangest Sleuths” is a story from Batman vol 1 #101 written by Edmon Hamilton. Chosen for its name (though that was probably a mistake, see below)
“The Metamoprhosis Machine” was a story from DC Comics Presents Vol 1 #35 written by martin Pasko where Superman and Man-Bat team up to stop Atomic Skull. Even though the machine in that story was Skull’s and not Kirk’s, a Man-Bat story with that title was too good to give up. This plotline would have had Dick growing closer to Ben and having a sort of “torn between two mentors” story arc that would resolve . It probably would have kept the story closer to the original idea for the issue. (Again, see below)
The Island of 1,000 Traps is a story written by Bill Finger from Batman vol 1 #139. The name is keeping with the Pulpcore energy for the Santa Prisca. It had Bruce and Dick going to a private island to arrest a rich guy in a castle who filled it with all manner of booby traps.
And now we get to Paris. So originally this issue would have been a multi-faction war in Gotham. You would have Bruce and Dick on one side, Black Mask’s gang on the other. Then the Kobra Cult/ Cult of Chubalba supplying mutagen and the CBI as the next faction. They would all be playing off each other with the players voting who to engage with and how, thus the “Warriors of the Darkness” title. But since I didn’t plan it out in advance I wound up writing by the seat of my pants. The Santa Prisca arc really kind of “wrote itself” but I am glad how it worked out, the characters I was able to use, the themes it engaged with, and the arc I was able to put Bruce through.
Paris on the other hand was pure improv. The original idea was to have Dick go through a training arc by solving a mystery that I named after “The Six Strangest Sleuths”. The thing is, Six Detectives is a lot of characters to come up with and make work in a story, and writing a mystery is pretty difficult, especially when you are doing clues to an end you haven’t figured out. While I liked a lot of what happened in France (especially with using so many obscure French DC characters ) I really didn’t like “writing by the seat of my pants” for it, which led to a lot of breaks in updates when I had to figure out exactly what was going to happen next.
I THINK I managed to salvage it in the end (especially once I figured out exactly what the hell the Paris arc was about) but if you are wondering where the chaotic confusing energy of that plotline came from, now you know.
Paris being (in my opinion) the worst this quest has gotten (not “bad” just below my personal standards) is what led me to take so much time outlining the plotline of the Joker arc. I really like how the writing turned out there, but I do think future adventures will make more use of random rolls.

These annotations will now take a break as I start up the next installment of Nationquest. I am glad to have you all along for the ride and I hope you enjoyed it. Please feel free to use the rest of this thread to give me any feedback or wishlists for the next installment of Batquest. Featuring Superman, Amanda Waller’s Government Schemes, and a surprise mystery villain.
>isn’t Batman basically a scooby doo villain but a a good guy?
...Huh. Weird that doesn't come up more, given how often they cross over.
Mystery Inc in Batquest when?
"Now it's time to get to the bottom of this mystery!"
>unmask Batman
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Thanks again for these, QM. Your creative process is genuinely fascinating and incredibly in-depth.

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