In Brightest Day: Tim Drake and Torture

Even to this day, I’m blown away by Batman Beyond. I mean, it is so horrifically underrated, I have nightmares about it. 

I started watching it again recently. The complete series is on Netflix now, and man, I’m already hooked. However, I don’t want to touch on Terry McGinnis quite yet. I think there is something that’s staring me in the face that I need to touch on. Can you guess what it is?

joker junior

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Fanfiction Fridays: The Choice of Family (And Its Sequels) by Silver Spider

Sometimes comic books don’t do what I want them to do (see: DC Comics Reboot). Comics for the most part tend to be more concerned about the action that is occurring in the story than the relationships between the characters. There are notable exceptions of course, but for the most part comics are focused more on action and fighting. For those of you that long for some more character and relationship building I suggest you turn to your favorite fanfiction site.

I love all things Batman and I love the Bat Family. The dynamic in that family is fantastic, interesting, and multilayered, but because many of the characters in the Bat Family are emotionally stunted, and because comic writers aren’t often going to create a series simply to explore characters’ relationships, the dynamics of this family are often not explored.

Silver Spider’s fanfiction, The Choice of Family and its subsequent sequels, fills this gap in the comics to explore the familial relationships in the Bat Family.

Silver Spider wrote a series of one-shot fanfics that focus primarily on the relationships between Batman and the various Robins. The Choice of Family is the first in the series and begins in a hospital with Damian Wayne (Robin) and Tim Drake (Red Robin) watching over an injured Dick Grayson (Nightwing). As the story progresses the reader learns that Dick was injured in a gang altercation involving Jason Todd.

Jason, for those maybe less familiar with Batman, is a former Robin who was murdered by the Joker and later resurrected. Jason is the estranged son of the Bat Family, angry with his father and his siblings for not avenging his death by killing the Joker. The Jason Todd of the comics often struggles with his own anger toward his family, but occasionally the fact that he still cares about them is made known.

Silver Spider shows this amazingly well. In The Choice of Family, Jason feeling guilty, shows up at the hospital to check on Dick and even attempts to apologize for his actions, though he doesn’t take full responsibility for what happened at the time.

I might be a bit bias, but Jason’s journey throughout the series is arguably the most compelling. Jason begins by being angry and vengeful, blaming everybody but himself for his problems, but starting with Antidote for the Poison and climaxing in In Father’s Honor, Jason changes and grows. Jason becomes more mature and learns to turn to his family with his problems, which then allows him to begin to overcome his past and start on a better path.

As a Jason Todd fan girl this is kind of my wildest dream.

But perhaps the thing I like most about this series is that the familial relationships are stressed far more than in the comics.

In the Batman comics, the only one of Bruce’s children that calls him father is Damian, and the Robins never really refer to each other as brothers, but in Silver Spider’s series the Robins often refer to each other as brothers and refer to Bruce as their father.

Simply by using names like father and brother, Silver Spider takes the Bat Family to a whole new emotional level than the comics really have. It’s a nice and much needed change.

This is an amazing fanfic that I would highly recommend to anyone. For those interested in a good fanfic that doesn’t focus on pairings (though there are a few het pairings, they aren’t usually the main focus) and really deals with interesting canon relationships between the characters, Silver Spider’s The Choice of Family and it’s sequels are few you. Check it out!

Trailer Tuesdays: Arkham City

So far I think I should mention that this is shaping up to be just as epic and badass as Arkham Asylum. The gameplay, from what I’ve seen, looks pretty similar, but Batman does take down quite a few henchmen in ways that he didn’t in the first game, such as smashing their heads together from behind. Then, there are also times when the player apparently fights as Catwoman, which looks pretty epic too.

Speaking of Catwoman, there seems to be a lot of characters making their first physical appearances in the series, such as Robin and the Riddler. The Riddler himself wasn’t entirely absent from the first game, but it’ll be nice to see him in person here. Unfortunately, both them seem a little out of character to me. I noticed this first in Arkham Asylum during the Riddler’s interviews. Edward Nigma was never someone who actively murdered people. Well, maybe on occasion. He’s a glorified bank robber. His OOC didn’t bother me that much and his riddles were fun—especially when he accused me of looking up the answers on the internet, which I was—so I let it slide. Robin, on the other hand, seems to suffer some character-identity crisis in everything he’s in. Whether this or Young Justice or otherwise, it’s as though the creators just can’t decide if they want Dick or Tim, so they use one name and slap on the personality of the other. Arkham City seems has gone the extra mile and added Jason’s personality to the mix.

And I have to wonder what everyone’s obsession is with putting Harley in a corset. A corset, really? Harley’s always had an air of naivety to her, but the newer versions just don’t want to capture that. Not to mention, in what way is a corset conducive to an acrobat? And why is Catwoman showing that much cleavage? As Lady Geek Girl said to me, her outfit is already skin tight. How much sexier are they trying to get?

Rants aside, the game looks well worth checking out. The graphics are good, the story intriguing, and a battle system that seems just as fun as the first game’s. After all, it wouldn’t be Batman without great violence, and I personally can’t wait to play it for myself.