Wednesday, November 09, 2011


Okay, so here's my idea for a bootleg Batman comic. I expect it won't be very popular with fans of the ongoing Batman comics.

Eccentric Billionaire Bruce Wayne, motivated by the tragic murder of his parents, devotes his life to fighting crime in his home town of Gotham City. Wayne has devoted his considerable fortune and intellectual resources to the study of criminology and crime prevention. His Wayne Foundation donates enormous sums of money to Gotham's Police Force, infrastructure, school system, prisoner rehabilitation programs and civic restoration. For this reason, the Mayor and Police Commissioner James Gordon indulge Wayne's mania for dressing up in a bat costume and fighting street-level crime with gadgets. Bruce Wayne believes his identity is a secret, but really everyone who's met Batman knows who he is. It's painfully obvious. As long as the money flows and the crime rate keeps dropping (it's down dramatically since Batman's campaign began) the civic authorities are willing to play along. The situation became more complicated when Bruce adopted an orphaned teenager named Dick Grayson after the boy's parents were murdered. It's become harder to turn a blind eye to child endangerment, but so far, the kid has been well taken care of and nobody wants to upset the apple cart.

Batman's fists-first approach to crime-fighting may be a little silly, but Bruce Wayne is still an excellent amateur sleuth and the police, however reluctantly, sometimes will turn to his expertise. As a fail-safe though, Commissioner Gordon has made a deal to reduce the sentence of a certain long-serving prisoner if he'll agree to dress up as a super-criminal called the Joker and distract Batman's attention when the police really need him out of the way.

My story concerns Dick Grayson growing up and coming to terms with his adopted father's psychological problems. Batman is a kind of Peter Pan figure. A boy who never grew up and Dick needs to decide whether he can keep playing dress up with Bruce or if it's time to leave fantasy behind. I think this could be a bitter-sweet and funny little story about children and adults and how age isn't always the thing that separates one from the other. I don't want it to be gloomy or depressing, Bruce Wayne's mania is kind of sad, but his colorful world of good guys and bad guys is fun and exciting. I'll also need an outside character, a reporter or a federal agent, likely a woman, who can be the reader's entry point into the weird world of Bruce Wayne.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This is very clever. I remember (starting in the 1940s) feeling a little curious about how Wayne/Batman could keep their identity secret. And I thought Bruce Wayne was a little weird. As for Robin, I felt ambiguous toward him. I didn't see why Batman needed a partner, especially a kid and I never identified with him. As a kid, I never cared for the female characters inserted into the lives of the superhoeroes, except I did like Wönder Woman and her golden lassoo and all the ancient Greek and Roman (?) gods and themes. Yeah, I thought the Gotham Newspaper editor and police chief were really using Batman. Mostly I liked the action between Batman and the crazy criminal characters. You're really on to something here. Go for it.
Best wishes,
Ron the former kid.