Nobody said it was easy (copperbadge) wrote,
Nobody said it was easy

Okay guys, it's time for Sam Explains Comic Books: The DC Edition

Also known as "Basically we wrote the best fanfic ever". Featuring Claire, gypsylady, 51stcenturyfox, spiderine, and amand_r.

And now, Fassbender smoking:

Eh, close enough. (Image courtesy of Mike Bell.)

Claire: The Superman/Batman book I read was one story about them fighting crime together and admiring each other inappropriately.

Sam: So...pretty much every Superman/Batman teamup ever.

Claire: I think it's charming how Clark says he likes Bruce because Bruce is so admirable for going through all that horrible personal trauma, and how Bruce says he likes Clark because Clark is so wholesome & generally well-adjusted.


Gypsy: Moosa argues that even permanent incapacitation of the Joker (if such a thing is possible) is ineffective, since his psychological presence in Gotham City seems dangerous enough on its own.

“What’s powerful is not The Joker’s physical presence but what he can create and conjure,” he writes. Therefore, Moosa argues that death is the only answer if Batman wants to save the most lives and prevent the most catastrophes, and even thinks that the Caped Crusader could pull it off and still keep his virtuous image intact.


Sam: I think it depends on whether you're looking at it from a Doylist or Watsonian perspective. Whether we're arguing that a moral force should choose immorality to end an immoral force, in a theoretical way that's framed within this particular canon, or whether we're arguing that it would be best for this particular story if he did so.

Foxy: I vote for life in prison. then if you want more Joker, he breaks out! Actually, logically, all of the villains would be in prison if caught. Comics are weird. But to me, throw them in jail, and then have new villains, like LAZER EYES MCGEE or something. Okay, just had weird NCIS crossover thought.

Sam: Well, that's basically what happens -- he gets tossed into Arkham Asylum and keeps breaking out, because apparently they staff Arkham Asylum with guards who are...special.

Foxy: It makes no sense to have crappy guards. I think new villains should be in the plan! Or Batman could give the Joker an ankle bracelet and the promise of a sentence commutation for helping out!

Mandr: What I think is funny is that this guy thought this was newsworthy. The process story here is more interesting than the story itself. We have been arguing about pros/cons killing the Joker from a plot and meta standpoint since The Killing Joke. Everyone has an opinion. That this guy a) thinks that he's saying something new (killing the Joker would save more lives) and b) someone agreed that he was on to something enough to make a fricking article about it is loltastic.

Ps--he should never kill him. Never.

Sam: I did kind of think "WTF, is this guy believing he's original?" but then I remember I'm in fandom and we're not like other folks.

Mandr: Actually, in fandom concepts, this guy is like that person who comes into an older fandom and throws out an idea they think is awesome, and it turns out we've been discussing it for so many years that we don't bring it up anymore.

I am sadface that someone at scifi blog or whatever thought it was noteworthy. DUDE! YOU'RE SUPPOSED TO BE ONE OF US.


Claire: Why is it BATMAN that has to kill the Joker? Since when has the Joker become Batman's problem exclusively? Way to be assholes, Gotham!

Batman shouldn't have to be the one to step up and sacrifice his principles because Gotham City can't build an insane asylum strong enough to keep the Joker in until he dies of old age.

Since a columnist is discussing this as if it were a real scenario, here's a real solution --- Put the Joker in prison and not the shitty security they have at Arkham or whatever. Yes he's brilliant but not infallible. Contain him until he dies of something banal like heart disease.

"Should Batman kill the Joker" <- I see Batman reading that over breakfast and just being like "Fuck you, citizens. Fuck you all!"

"Why do you want from me!" Batman wailed. "My parents are DEEEAAAAAAAAAAD!"

Sam: Or just send in Iron Man. Iron Man will fuck Joker's shit up.

Claire: Okay I know you like Iron Man, but the Joker is like Top Tier A Level Villain in the history of comic books. If Batman can't fuck him up, nobody can fuck him up. This is the Joker!! No contest there.

Sam: I'm not saying Batman can't fuck Joker up! I'm saying Batman is morally obliged not to. Tony has no such qualms.

Claire: Does Iron Man count as a super hero? He has no powers.

Spider: Batman has no powers either. Iron Man is definitely a superhero!

Claire: OH RIGHT!!! I always forget Batman's power is being rich!!! OH LOL that's Iron Man's power too!!!

I think if Batman allowed anybody to get up in his business, there would be many people raising their hands to shoot the Joker in the head. The Joker would take them all out though. Except for Superman. Superman arrests the Joker! Then is upset when people shoot the Joker.

Sam: Tony manipulates Superman into arresting the Joker and then gets him shot while he's under arrest! I like the way you think, Kerr.

(Ed. Note: For context, in Marvel Civil War, Tony arrests Captain America, who is then shot while being escorted to the courthouse to stand trial. Tony blames himself, and everyone else blames him too.)

Claire: Would Iron Man he feel guilty about doing that to Superman though????

Sam: He'd feel guilty, but he'd do it anyway. The thing about Iron Man is that he knows the consequences, he's aware of them, he can predict them even, he just can't bring himself to give a shit.

Mandr: Man, if the Joker and Magneto would team up to fight Iron man, that would be so fricking lol.

Claire: So many humourous panels drawn of the interesting shapes they work Iron Man into

Joker: "See if he will make a trapezoid"


Claire: I always wonder, if you slap Superman does your hand really hurt? Is it like slapping concrete??? What if you slap Wonder Woman? She is also super-powered, so I think that her skin would be impervious to slaps ... would you hurt your hand if you slapped her?

Mandr: Know what is fun? When Batman punches Superman while he's wearing a kryptonite ring.

Sam: There's a scene in "A Death In The Family" (where Robin dies) where Batman punches Superman and almost breaks his hand.

Claire: Oh Batman ... Why in the world would you punch Clark. Clark would let you do it, if it made you feel better. But I bet if you tried for a second punch he'd catch your hand like, "Now now Bruce I know you're upset-"

Batman should only do that as a LAST RESORT. Like, if Superman went bonkers or evil.

WAIT Robin dies!? Superman killed him!?

Sam: No. Batman is just ragey because Robin died, and Superman's trying to stop him from doing something, it's all hazy in my head.

Claire: Oh well in that case Batman is probably best to be ragey around Superman because he can hurt/comfort him ...

BUT not with his cock. Supes loves Lois okay! And Batman is emotionally unavailable.

That is cool that they killed Robin because it is an important lesson for Batman... If you take teenagers out to fight crime they will probably die! Not that I'd be the type of Batman friend to say I told you so, but yes I would say I told you so.

"I could have told you those kids were going to die, Batman. Seriously Batman!!!!"


Sam: Second Robin dies, not Dick Grayson, btw. Joker kills Second Robin.

Mandr: Jason Todd. And it was back in the late 80's. DC let people call in to vote whether nor not Robin should die. You can see how that went.

Sam: Yeah, Joker blows him up. But then it turns out he didn't die, he became Red Hood, a villain!

In the animated movie, he replaces him with a fake, so Bruce Wayne's like I BURIED THE KID and Red Hood (aka Jason Todd!) is like WELL YOU BURIED SOMETHING BUT IT WASN'T ME.

I think A Death In The Family was the first "grownup" comic series I ever read, come to think of it. TRAUMATIC.


Spider: They killed several Robins. The boys get memorials. The girls didn't, until Project Girl Wonder.

Claire: "The second dead Robin, a female character named Stephanie, doesn't have a memorial. In fact, DC seems to have forgotten she existed at all."

There was a girl Robin!? AMAZING

"Stephanie died of injuries sustained when she was tortured for hours by a power drill."

OH MY GOD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Mandr: Yeah, she was pretty cool. And she was fridged pretty badly, too.

Claire: That's cool they brought her back though.

Spider: I mean, yeah, they retconned her later to shut up the screaming, but my gods, that was probably one of the worst examples of overt misogyny in modern comics history -- and that's saying A LOT.

Claire: Also I don't like that Batman makes cases for the costumes of his dead sidekicks. I think that is very creepy and disturbing. I mean, what if you were his CURRENT sidekick and you had to walk past the Dead Display Cases every day at work!?

At least Torchwood puts all their dead people in a proper morgue out of the way.


Claire: I bet Superman gives great hugs. He's always so happy to hug people. People hug him back because they don't want to disappoint him.

Flash: "What is it about Superman that makes it impossible to refuse hugging him????"
Green Lantern: "I heard he hugged Batman once."
Flash: "No!"
Green Lantern: "Yeah Batman just stood there and took it."
Flash: "Amazing"






Claire: I think I bromance ship Superman and Batman though on account of that I like Lois. However, I definitely, definitely think that Supes would have pity sex with Bats.

Like, "Oh my GOD he is so sad!" Maybe a super-handjob of some kind.

"Relax bro!" Superman said to Batman as Batman was screaming in angst about something. "Just because that villain messed with your head doesn't mean you aren't a good person!"

Batman was silent.

"You are totally a good person, Bruce," Superman continued patiently.

Batman said nothing!

"I love you Bruce!" Superman hugged Batman.

Batman was very quiet.

"How about a super handjob to cheer you up?" Superman suggested cheerfully.

"OK," rasped Batman in his raspy voice.

"Awwww, you," said Superman.


Sam: I did just finish reading an arc where Joker took over reality and killed Batman over and over, years. Finally Supes gets him free and Batman goes catatonic because he can't deal with being tortured. And Supes' or something is like "Well you can take those memories on yourself..."

So, no handjob, but he did steal a bunch of horrific memories of Batman dying, so that Batman could continue to function and not spend the rest of his life a super-traumatised vegetable.

Claire: Jesus Christ how did the Joker take over reality not having super powers or mutant powers??? Did he make a reality bending machine?

He is way way too scary for me to deal with

Sam: He got hold of Mr. Myxy...pltrk's powers? I don't know how to spell his name, the creepy little guy. He tricked Myxypltk into giving him his powers, which include total control of reality.

Superman defeats him by driving him crazy. Crazier.

Claire: Okay. Actually yes that sounds reasonable. Scenario accepted.

You must never send Superman up against the crazies. Superman doesn't play head games. He is not interested in solving puzzles. Superman will just take you down and feel sorry for you.

It would not be a very interesting comic book if Superman's villains were all these crazy elaborate planners with huge schemes ... and then Superman just knocks over a brick wall, busts in and arrests them. For the sake of art you must always put Batman up against the crazies!

Sam: It's pretty true. Superman's in this reality totally controlled by the Joker and basically he just punches shit until things stop being crazy.

Claire: well conversely, you don't send Batman to stop Doomsday!

Sam: Dude, I'm not criticising, I got nothing but props for a guy who can punch his way out of an alternate reality.


Claire: Batman is really good at self promotion, he made himself a giant lamp with his symbol on it and it projects on clouds.


Claire: YEAH Batman is always out and about being seen and networking!

Mandr: Batman is pretty good at promotion for a dude who doesn't want to be seen/caught.

In No Man's Land, when the city was cut off, he was able to police whole parts of the city by tagging walls with his graffiti mark. Then crooks were like, "whoah, Batman is totes covering this block!" and they'd move out.

Claire: Um but if you lived there wouldn't you just tag Batman's logo there so criminals would go away? I sure would!

Or if I was a criminal I'd tag Batman's logo there so that I would be the only criminal on the block.

Mandr: That is exactly what happened!

Because--SURPRISE! For the first three months, Batman wasn't there! He was in the south of France establishing an alibi and fucking girls.

Claire: Three months is a long time. I think criminals would figure it out in 48hrs as no Batman arrived to stop crime in that location.

Thus Batman's graffiti tag is pretty much useless.

Mandr: Well, Robin and Batgirl were there kicking ass in the shadows.

Claire: Why was Batman in France though???? Didn't anybody notice that Batman looked like Robin and Batgirl? LOL

Mandr: Bruce Wayne was actually more useful than Batman in getting them to re-open Gotham and rebuild it, so he had to stay outside the perimeter. Robin and Batgirl did the "shadowy dark avenger" thing and were pretty successful for a while.


You mean it sucked so bad they .. walled it off??? HAHAHAH

Metropolis: "We don't want any of your crazy Gotham shit getting out. Let's lock you all in."



"The turning point for No Man's Land came when Lex Luthor arrived with his helicopters to rebuild Gotham. However, Luthor's covert plan was to take the deeds and much of the property in Gotham, since the original deeds had been burned after sending Bane to Gotham to destroy the city's records, and many of the owners either had died in the earthquake or incapable of legal battles because of financial ruins. Lucius Fox discovers copies of the original documents and notifies Luthor. Luthor then attempts to kill Fox, but Batman intervenes and reveals that he is the one who anonymously tipped the Wayne Enterprises' CEO, tells Luthor that Gotham is not for sale, and warns him to leave."

Claire: OMG that is hilarious!!!! Who the fuck's decision was that. I believe the Penguin must have been mayor.

That is such a comic book plot. "All this property is mine" because the deeds were burnt up!!!!



Claire: Clark: "Bruce that was terrific how you sent Lex packing. Really swell!"
Bruce: "Thanks."
Clark: "I want to do a Sunday feature on how Batman tipped you off to Luthor's plot!"
Bruce: "No"
Clark: "Come on, it would make Luthor look bad."
Bruce: "No"
Clark: "Fine, then I guess I have to go get a quote from Batman."
Bruce: "What?"
Clark: "Yeah he's Superman's friend and I know Superman."
Bruce: "... What?"
Clark: "Hang on, getting a txt. Yeah Batman is going to give me a quote."
Bruce: "What are you doing???"
Clark: "Getting a scoop. You can't prove I didn't get this quote."
Bruce: "!!!!!!!!!"
Clark: "If Batman tried to deny it, Superman will just say that he was standing next to Batman when interviewed."
Bruce: "...."
Clark: "Mr. Wayne, how do you feel about Lex Luthor being thwarted and Gotham being saved thanks to Batman?"
Bruce: "... I feel good about it."

He will get revenge later he is very clever.

Clark: "Time to order pizza, Lois! Pizza night!"
Lois: "Sorry, I'm just out the door to the Wayne Gala!"
Clark: "Gala? ...On pizza night? It's pizza night."
Lois: "Sorry, Bruce called and invited me last minute today!"
Clark: "There's a gala?"
Lois: "Yeah! It's girls only. 100 beautiful women and Bruce of course."
Clark: "..............................!!!!"
Lois: "Don't wait up xoxox!"


Claire: Clark fumes and calls Bruce's personal cell number.

Goes to Voice Mail: "Sorry I can't come to the phone right now, I'm having a paaaaaaaaaaaartaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay! Follow the shiznit at"

Clark pulls up the website and there's live video of 100 women frolicking in hot tubs drinking champagne.


Sam: Clark's totally gonna get Flash to pants Bruce in the middle of a fight.

Claire: Bats has probably prepared for that, leading to an awkward moment where Flash is standing there tugging on his Bat-pants.

"I'm un-pantsable," Batman rasped. "It's a rubber unitard."

Flash stopped tugging on Batman's ass.

"So awkward!" Flash said.

"Goshdarnit," said Superman.

"We didn't think this through," said Flash.

"I've got it!" said Superman, several hours later. "You should pants BRUCE. Not Batman. It could be like a glitter bomb only for CEOs who are rich."

"Like we are the 99%," said Flash. "Awesome."

Flash raced over to Wayne Corp, burst into a board meeting and tore Bruce Wayne's pants off.

"WHAT!" Bruce shouted. "My pants!"

"I got 99 problems!!!!" Flash hollered, zooming out.

Sam: And while pantsing him, because he is Flash, also changed his batman undies to superman ones.

Claire: The press didn't know what to make of it.

"I don't know how to write about this incident," said Lois sitting at her desk, looking confused. "I'm really not sure what that was all about."

"Didn't I, Lois?" Said Clark, chuckling. "Didn't I?"

"Didn't you what?"

"Nothing to see here, Lois," said Clark walking away quickly.


Foxy: how can Lois be so blind? "Wow, Superman looks exactly like you, Clark!"

A day later: "Are you sure you don't have a missing twin brother who is a superhero?"

Six weeks later: "I took a strand of Superman's hair and a strand from your comb and tested them, Clark! You have a twin!!!" And she excitedly tries to arrange a meeting.

Sam: Clark gets Bruce to dress up as Superman....

Claire: the cartoon was wicked HA HA HA very funny. It had a great crossover episode where Supes found out who Bats was by X-raying his cowl. Easy!

Then Bats found out who Supes is by .. I shit you not ... following him home. Easy!

Actually I think Batman dated Lois just to piss Clark off, which is very woman-hating of Bruce but hey that's how he rolls.

Also Batman perched outside Clark's apartment and watched him through the giant open window that Clark liked to change for bed in front of for some reason.

Clark for godsake get curtains to protect your secret identity!

Sam: In World's Finest, for a while, Batman kept his identity secret by wearing a lead-lined cowl.

Claire: That is crazy paranoia ... I guess he also has a tinfoil-lined hat so Professor X can't read his thoughts!

Not that Batman's thoughts would be hard to guess. "MY PARENTS ARE DEAAAAAAAAAD"


Sam: There's an issue I've seen scans of but haven't read where Batman spies on the Kent family dinner (Clark's folks are in town for some reason) and gets outed when SUPERDOG notices he's doing it, and Clark notices Superdog noticing. And then Batman's like I WASN'T SPYING. I WAS WAITING FOR YOUR FOLKS TO LEAVE.

Claire: DYING!!!! He was waiting for his folks to leave AND was spying wistfully.

I bet they ate a giant roast turkey with all the trimmings.

Sam: There was a fight about something, they had guests over and one of their guests was rude or something. I'm trying to re-find the scans of it now.

Claire: Who would be rude to the Kents? What the fuck, America! They are the nicest people. Fuck you! Fuck you for being rude to the Kents.

Sam: I got Jean to relink me to the scans of Batman spying like a spying thing on Superman. Whole thing is here. (Ed Note: I owe Jean like, all the things for giving me all this info, btw, and Mithen is awesome for all the posts she has up on Batman-Superman history.)

I just like Clark peering around the edge of the night-vision camera....

Claire: LOL Batman assumed Clark would tell his wife Batman's secrets?

BTW Batman was TOTALLY spying on them while they ate dinner

Sam: It's not spying if it's done with love! Batman, you creepshow.


Claire: Guys I can't sleep. I made a mistake and read a Sandman!!! All these people got murdered in a diner!!! In horrible horrible ways. I'm so upset!!!

Too scared to go asleep because a skeleton could attack me.

I thought about putting some movie on Netflix but I am worried I will fall asleep on the couch and the skeleton will get me.

Spider: THAT IS AN AWESOME ISSUE! I love Sandman. It's a masterpiece.

Claire: I made a terrible mistake! I can't find my floss and I can't go across the apartment to the bathroom to look for it because the skeleton could get me and rip out my eyeballs.

Which means I'm going to have tooth decay in addition to sleep deprivation.

This is like when Homer made the clown bed for Bart


Claire: WHAT IS THIS??? LOL the two twisted upside down

They all look like douches! Alpha Flight is not going to save me from that skeleton.

Sam: PUCK WILL PROTECT YOU. He's probably hiding under your bed RIGHT NOW. Waiting to take out the baddies.

Claire: JESUS there is nothing under my bed !

don't say shit like that


Claire: Did not sleep !! ! ! ! I think I drifted off around 3 and then I kept waking up. All my lights were on so hard to sleep

Neil Gaiman tweeted "sorry" to me but it was a qualified sorry so he can suck a dick!!!

Mandr: I am sorry, that is the funniest thing ever.

Spider: Why did Gaiman apologize to you? Because you tweeted that you were up all night?

Mandr: I am sure he said "Sorry" but what he meant was "mission accomplished".


Mandr: I have to admit that I am amused that we have sucked Sam into comics fandom.

Sam: I sucked myself into comic books fandom by reading all those Avengers fanfics done for Yuletide.

Claire: I'm still learning about the non-superman characters. I'm reluctantly in this fandom. I have to keep adjusting down my stupidity sensitivity levels.

Tags: sam explains comic books
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