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/qst/ - Quests

File: Asylum.jpg (151 KB, 1280x881)
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>Art: Rocksteady Studios (https://www.igdb.com/games/batman-arkham-asylum/credits)
>Alt-text: The faces of Joker and Batman with gates labeled “Arkham Asylum” between them
>Dialouge Sample: Jonathan Nolan, Christopher Nolan, David S Goyer.

We can’t remake the system we’re trying to fight. We have to be better.

You staredown Joker.

You’re a sick man and you need help. And once you get that, you can hold yourself accountable.
Did you have anyone in mind?
Despite how impactful it was for you, you haven’t been on Arkham grounds since you left it all those years ago.
The construction made it easy to get in.
Even without city backing, Harvey used as much personal funds as he could to pay to repair the Joker’s damage.

Dr. Thompkins, thank you for meeting on such short notice.
I’ve been helping you for a long time Bruce, I don’t intend to stop now.

You pause in shock.

Don’t be so surprised. I treated you for years. You shared what you were going through...
You don’t approve?
My job isn't to approve or disapprove of my patients. It's to listen and provide them with tools to get where they need to be. Are you where you need to be, Bruce?
I think so. This path has been long and winding, but I think I am.

She gives you the same warm smile that reminded a scared boy the world hadn’t ended.

This isn’t about me though, it’s The Joker. He needs treatment.
That’s ultimately his choice to make.
Asylum then. You know as well as I do that the law isn’t equipped to handle criminals. Let alone one like him. I stopped him tonight, but if I turn him over, this will all happen again.
You want me to harbor a fugitive.
I want you to help someone who needs it. I can provide you with the resources you need to contain him, for his safety and others. Even if he doesn’t want to be helped, a place like this, with the proper support, is best for him.
This would put my staff and me in danger.
I know, and I understand if you won’t.
You’re giving the most important thing anyone can. A choice. I can’t bring anyone else in on this. Not without sharing the risks.
I trust you. And you’ll have my full protection.
Protection. If Harvey wins we’ll be able to offer a lot of that around here.
Do you think he’s right? Do you think his way is right?
I think when people’s needs are met, they can accomplish anything they dream of. I choose to get people as close to that as possible, by any means necessary.
Thank you, Doctor Leslie, I’ll be back with details.

You bleed into the shadows, but hear a voice before you fade away.

And Bruce, I’m available for new patients.
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>Alt-text: An American flag-themed campaign poster for a man, Harvey Dent, with the text: “TAKE BACK GOTHAM CITY VOTE HARVEY DENT"
>Model: Aaron Eckhart. Graphic Design: 42 Entertainment
>Dialouge Samples: Jeph Loeb

...Can call it now, Harvey Dent will be the next Mayor of Gotham City. Though seen as radical by some, the D.A.’s vision resonated with those burnt out from the status quo, especially after his successful negotiations at the Blackgate Uprising. GCN is on the ground at the Arkham Institute for his victory speech.
When I walked into a burning prison three months ago, everyone said it was a coinflip if I made it out alive. Well

He flips his double-headed coin.

I make my own luck. Just like millions of Gothamites that weren’t born with it. Who put up with a system not built for them, that destroyed them when they fell through the cracks it made! Well no more! Blackgate and its outmoded view of justice is gone. Addicts are being transferred to treatment programs. Disabled people who needed medicine, not the Magistrate will get the help they need at a refurbished Arkham I am glad to stand in front of today. And from the ashes of Blackgate a new Center of Justice will rise. Where harm-doers will be held accountable and survivors will get the help they need.

He looks down solemnly.

Only one person was lost at Blackgate, I can't help but wonder what could have been if he had been reached in time. The city would have been spared a lot of pain... But we can’t look back. Only by facing forward can we face the future. This is a new Gotham. One that doesn't box its people in, but lifts them up. That doesn't offer guns and graft, but jobs and justice. I’m just one man, but I know if I empower the people, we can end this long Halloween and from the dark see our victory!
He really pulled it off, didn’t he?
His work is just beginning. As is ours.

You turn off the screen and walk to the center of the cave. Ivy, Croc, and a masked Alfred stand before you.

Welcome to the Batcave. This was a long time coming. I used to think I could do this alone, that only my will and my vision could save Gotham from itself. Return it to normal.

With a push of a button, the Arkham files you stole pull up on screen, and delete in a haze of static.

But now I know that to truly transform this world, we must work with the people and against the system. We stand as soldiers, eco-terrorists, vigilantes, and revolutionaries. We’re outside the system, outside normalcy. But that’s what the city needs. Men like Dent can try to work inside the system. We’ll support them when necessary and stop them when needed. But I think what Gotham needs, are The Outsiders
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>Pencils: Frank Quitely. Inks & Colors: Jamie Grant
>alt-text: A stylized S, the symbol of Superman.

You turn off Dent’s victory speech in your office at CBI Gotham Branch HQ.

Man thinks he’s bulletproof.
The way he walked into Blackgate, he may as well have been.
So what’s the plan boss? The guy wants to run us out of town.
The “plan?” We leave. Joker is “dead,” the only thing left of the mutagen ring is a smarmy realtor and the mutagen itself literally went up in smoke.
But The Batman-
I know you have beef with these freaks, but this job isn’t about personal grudges. We do the most good where it's most needed. And right now, we have a lot more important things to do than hunting down vigilantes.
My thoughts exactly.

She walks in unguarded but carries herself like she’s with a platoon.

Waller, you didn’t check-in.
It’s Director Waller now, and I figured I’d save you the hassle given your reassignment.
I told you already I don’t work for you.

Your phone beeps and you check it.

But you do work for him. And given the election year coming up, he felt the need for a new vision on the metahuman problem.

She turns to Chase.

Letting the Bat blackmail the government, covering up him taking the Joker to god knows where? The CBI’s been sloppy, which is why you’re being transferred to my Task Force, where the REAL work is done.
You said it yourself, an election's coming. No way Gipper has us go directly at the Bat with the dirt he’s holding.
Once again, you’re right. Fortunately, there’s more than one way to skin a bat.

She hands you a file with a familiar symbol, and from Waller’s smile, you can see the real battle is just beginning.

To be Continued in... BATQUEST Issue #5: Worlds Finest or... Batquest V Superquest: Dawn of Justice.
And that's it for the third arc of Batquest!
I am glad you all enjoyed it and sorry about my slow update schedule (and the resultant multi-thread setup.)
Though a silver lining for a new thread: more space to do the annotations.
For those who may remember me from /co/, I got my writing start annotating Grant Morrison's Batman comics over there.
I think there's kind of a cool full circleness to me now annotating my own Batman story. is in self-indulgent? A bit.
But I figured some folks may like seeing the behind-the-scenes of how the quest was set up and breakdowns of lore and references they may have missed or wanted more of.
In keeping with the traditions of the board I leave which arc I annotate first to a vote

>Batquest Arc 1: "I Shall Become a Bat !"
>Batquest Arc 2: "Warriors of the Darkness"
>Batquest Arc 3: "The Man who Laughs"

And the archive to revisit:

>Batquest Issue #1: https://lws.thisisnotatrueending.com/qstarchive/2022/5086723/

>Batquest Issue #2 :Part 1 and 2

>Batquest Issue #3 and #4: The Man Who Laughs Part I and II
Thank you for running! It was an absolute blast, and may be one of my favourite Batman/DC canons conceptually. If I somehow become a multimillionaire by the time these characters are all public domain, this is the version I'd adapt to the silver screen.
Thanks. If Warner Discover doesn't bribe congress in time. Detective Comic 27 will actually be public domain soon.

Depending on where my career is at the time I might try to do a Golden Age Batman short film.
>Batquest Arc 1: "I Shall Become a Bat !"
Start with the start

You two gonna vote or what
Ah right. Sorry, I guess I'm just happy to see the annotations and don;t actually care what order it happens in. But still...

>Batquest Arc 1: "I Shall Become a Bat !"

From the top!
Lol one of them is me I just forgot the trip .

Locking for Arc 1, hope you folks enjoy!
>Batquest Arc 1: "I Shall Become a Bat !"
(The lws archive is rated “not secure” so open issue 1 links at your own risk)


Batquest took quite a while to develop. I read an interview about how Telltale Batman’s “choose your own adventure” style worked well for the character because there are so many different interpretations and versions of him. I thought that worked well for a quest where things like if he’s a loner or not, used guns, had a batfamily, killed or not, was more gritty or campy etc could be decided by audience vote. The italic quotes were a stylistic flourish I wound up dropping. Initially, it was because I forgot but it was for the best I think because it was getting harder to source quotes. You see a lot of the format shifting in the early installments.

This is an adaptation of the classic scene from Year One where bruce tries crimefightign without the persona nd gets his ass kicked, its become this almost mythic creation of The Batman. A common theme through the quest that I made sure to highlight here was that Batman exists in a setting with aliens, mutants magic etc. I felt Batman works best as batesian mimic (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Batesian_mimicry). He is so scary because people dont know if he is a vampire or ghost or demon or alien or cyborg or something. And that works best in a setting where people know those things are real.

Batman having FBI training was from Denny O Neil’s The Man Who Falls.” I felt a lot of modern intelligence agent/terrorist/ freedom fighter dynamics mapped well onto Batman and this is the first hint of that.

The Miagani were the indigenous tribe of Gotham established in Jim Starlin’s “the Cult.” Grant Morrison added that Bruce had Miagani ancestry, and I felt an old money family hiding their ancestry in the shadows was nice link to real world history that fit the themes of a Bat story.

Waynewave is the pre-Batbranded version of The Batwave, the toyetic computer alert system from the underrated The Batman cartoon. Voters choosing a techy Batman leads ot it being a major feature of the quest.

Ace Chemicals was the plant where Joker was jokerfied. Its an acronym here. for Axis Chemical Enterprises, which ties it to the chemical plant of the very first Batman story. That fusion first showed up in Batman 1989, but the acronym comes from Brad Metzler’s retelling of the Case of the Chemical Syndicate from the ‘Tec 27 Vol 2 ( An homage the origins Tec 27 where Batman debuted)

Golden Age Batman started with a gun, Batman began with a gun, and Batman's view of guns is one of his most iconic characteristics, so I felt gun use was the perfect first vote.

The first vote quote is from Frank Miller's TDKR the second is based on a lien from the TOTALLY fucking unhinged Batman odysssy. Beatnik wizards in the center of the earth, naked Batman ranting at the viewer. Dialouge that sounds like acid trip poetry. Gunbats. Its wild.
WITH https://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/qstarchive/2022/5086723/

I wrote a full update of gunless Batman before checking back and seeing the votes had flipped while I was writing. Based on audience feedback I started "locking" votes to avoid this, although I don't think a flip like this was ever that close to happening again.

Nanda Parbat is DC's shangri-la pseudo-Tibetan stand in where a lot of characters got kung fu training. The Arrowverse made it the HQ of the League of Assassins. I was putting in little breadcrumbs for Bruce's backstory here and there that could be fleshed out later.

Phil Kane is Bruce's material uncle that in some continuities, was his legal guardian after his parents died. Him running Wayne in a shady way is from Scott Snyder's Zero Year. Ironic I'm not actually that much a fan of Snyder's Batman run but I wound up adapting a lot of it for this quest, more than I expected. Batman having an "Uncle Phil" like the Fresh prince also struck me as amusing.

Colt 45s are the guns the First Wave Batman uses, who is based on early pulp stories and the first Batman comics that were blatantly ripping them off.

Alfred is introduced here by adapting two sequences. The first is when DCAU Alfred first sees Bruce put on the cowl in Mask of the Phantasm, which is a really well-done scene in total silence. The second was Grant Morrison's amazing Batman #682 "The Butler did it" where Alfred reflects on his history with Batman. Thats where the "gone mad from grief" line is from.

Batman Begins is an on-the-nose reference to the Nolan directed films. Even when the scene is serious I like having "comic booky" bits of theatrical dialogue like this.

Batman using the subway system and the blimps I felt was a way to get around traffic jams, avoid detection and just to be a bit creative. Batman's had a lot of subway-style bases and set ups. (Zero Year, The Batman 2022 and Batman Begins made use of them).

Phil buying out the subway system o control the city and Bruce taking control of it to protect it sets up themes of Bruce using weapons of oppression against the elite. The "inoculation" line ties into versions of Bruce that see himself as a successor to his Doctor Father, someone who is healing/curing the city.

A cool thing about Gotham is that it has a city map that's been consistent through almost every adaptation. Couple that with recurring place names and I had a lot of fun mapping out where everything took place. Ace Chemicals is established as dumping its waste into the Kane Sound (named for Bob out of universe and named for Bruce's maternal ancestors the Kanes in-universe)

This vote is about if Batman is more the stealthy sneak type or the jump-right-in and brawl type. With the vote titles coming from the classic DCAU line.

The Three criminals were meant as an unnamed adaptation of the common crook versions of The Terrible Trio.

Wow I had no idea it auto-migrated, I kept looking for Issue 1 and couldn't find it on the new site. Thanks for the information.
We open with a Ras' Al Ghul quote from Batman Begins. Who was saying this to Bruce in the Batquestverse hasn't been revealed yet. It's why "Your mentor" was the phrase chosen.

Batman's fighting style, of dropping in, scaring the enemy, and taking them out with one or two blows, is based on the e Keysi Fighting Method he used in the Nolan films. I think it really makes sense for Batman to not want to get in long drawn-out brawls, both because it's dangerous and also because the more time he spends with an enemy the less mystique he has, and the more obvious it is he's just a guy in a suit.

Batman puts on a "whisky and razorblades and cigarettes" voice. That line comes from Bryan Q Miler's Smallville comic, where Batgirl jokes that's what the "Batman voice" sounds like. (The sequence may have been a nod to the often mocked voice Bale used for Batman).

Lexcoin is the first of many "regular brand, but with Lex in it" cheap puns of the quest. They're a DC staple and I like to think they're our version of the Bojack Horseman animal puns or Flintstone rock puns. It also sets up from the start that this Batman is part of a wider universe.

Lambert was chemical plant owner who as killed in the first Batman story "the case of the chemical syndicate." Between the guns and Dr Death, the first issue has a very Golden Age vibe which iI felt was fitting for the first Bat,an adventure.

The idea of the Blimps as a high-tech police surveillance technique I pulled from Superman/batman: Apocalypse, the animated adaptation of the Jeph Loeb Supergirl arc of Superman/Batman. I am always a fan of taking older comic elements and re-interpreting them to fit with modern day. Having a city full of spy drones that look like 1930s Zepplins fits the "like a real city but extremely exaggerated" style of Gotham that I like.

The vote here is to pick between Detective Bats and scary 'swear to me!" Bats.

Caped Crusader was one of Bruce's many heroic epithets added to the character in the 60s that got used a lot in the 66 show

The world's greatest Detective as a term for Batman dates back at least to 1949, though its been used ironically out of universe for a while given how little detective work he does in many stories. (or as a joke for him missing an obvious clue)
The intro quote here is from Batman '66. I am really glad people are giving that show its flowers these days. There was a lot of, I think, a self-conscious backlash against it by 90s and 80s fans who felt comics needed to be serious business for serious adults, but over time folks have really embraced the different tones you can do a Batman story in. Depending on votes, the quest could have gone in a more Silver Age tone that was in line with '66 or The Brave and the Bold cartoon.

Bruce talking to himself was me using a /qst/ trope , the narrator as an in-universe reflection of Bruce's personas. Batman as a separate entity that was "haunting" Bruce is from Miller's The Dark Knight Returns, and we'll see this come up later in Issue 3.

Alfred Stryker was the first Batman villain, and the first case here starts as a mostly straightforward remake of "Chemical Syndicate" before linking into a wider plot. Chemicals drugs and serums were a key factor of Batman from the start and continue to be to this day. it's almost poetic that the first Batman story would literally have "chemical" in the title.

Dr Death was Batmnan's first "supervillain" and in keeping on them is also chemically themed. One thing I like doing with superhero stories is giving character-driven reasons for people acting out iconography. Bruce dresses as a Bat as a psyops for example. Dr. Death's villain name being a username felt on brand for this "designer drug dealer for the rich" version of him. The Lexcord number is based on July 1939, the cover date of Dr. Death's debut. Passwords, id, addresses, prison numbers, and the like having references to first issue dates is a longstanding comic tradition.

Jennings was Stryker's assistant in 'Tec 27. Why I gave him the first name Alan escaped me, but I'll retroactively make it an homage to the Radiator Comics artist of the same name.

This vote probably will be the most impactful for the quest. How Batman works with the law. 'Supper your police" is from the Batman 66 film, while "It wears a badge" is from Miller's year one.

The audience's voting against working with the police (and several votes that doubled and tripled down on it) ultimately led to this quest to develop its signature ACAB energy. It honestly surprised me just how consistent the voters were on that front.
>The italic quotes were a stylistic flourish I wound up dropping. Initially, it was because I forgot but it was for the best I think because it was getting harder to source quotes
Personally I like the interpretation that because it was Batman's first thread (Batman Begins) and it established a lot about how he'll be in this quest, that the flashback quotes carry meaning in that regard. Once Batman got on his feet and took to the air proper, the flashback quotes didn't need to be there anymore. The training wheels come off in the mind.
>Batman exists in a setting with aliens, mutants magic etc.
Bringing it up as a reminder where appropriate but not too much, has worked well thus far
>people dont know if he is a vampire or ghost or demon or alien or cyborg or something
Interesting take on Batman. We saw that pointed out with Crane's interrogation later on, but it's always been there vaguely, hasn't it?
>an acronym here. for Axis Chemical Enterprises
So... Axis Chemical Enterprises Chemicals? What redundancy. Somebody should joke about it somewhere

I forgot to mention a while back we're now crediting artists consistently. Finding the right art at many times took longer than writing the actual update. Especially for more obscure pieces where it was hard to find the artists to credit.

Dr Death hints at a dynamic that really is driven home in issue 3, the difference between rich assholes who just want power, and the more eccentric threats who have a personal passion and motive fo their villainy. Dr Death is doing the classic "one for them, one for you" cooking drugs for the wealthy as a side hustle to fund his research, something that I think a lot of creators can sympathize with.

Batman knocking lights out with Batarangs is a classic move, since we're the bat who gats here we do it with bullets.

Mikhail was Dr Death's Cossack henchman from his second appearance. His first henchman was actually called "Jabah" I felt the whole "indian manservant" bit was a 1930s trope I didn't want to re-use, especially because the "ex-military Russian merc" concept is a lot more evergeen.

'Tec #45 is where Bruce was first called "The Dark Knight." I'm not sure when Guardian of Gotham came about, but it was used as an episode of the Telltale Batman, which, despite me going out of my way to torrent and crack just for research, wound up influencing this quest very little.

This vote was also really big as it set up that our Batman values life over the mission. The contraction of our Batman, that he uses guns and kills but is FAR less of a dick and more sympathetic than many other versions created a very nuanced character that it was fun to write for.

You know I don't think it was set up what A.C.E. stood for , though Axis Chemicals being the first two seemed natural if your mixing it with Axis. Enterprises was the only thing that really fit but I do like the fun bit of RAS syndrome here.

>DC Comics (Detective Comics Comics)
There's your relevant meta joke :^)
I had no idea what this was until I googled it and found a bunch of stuff like this https://boingboing.net/2020/08/28/acab-all-cops-are-batman.html
Uh huh. Who's "we"?
>crediting artists consistently
Incredible that you're autistic enough, to go through all this trouble to trace and source actual artists, to credit using their art for free in this text-based multiplayer anonymous quest, on a taiwanese bait-manufacturing blog. No other QM does this shit man, to the point I consider it one of your own quest's insane highlights
Fuck steam_api64.dll. All my homies hate steam_api64.dll
>The contraction of our Batman, that he uses guns and kills but is FAR less of a dick and more sympathetic than many other versions
It is the schizophrenia that comes with anons and their control over the quest protagonist. This is a blatant example of the effect so common that most QMs and players know of it on some level. I don't know how common or extant it might be on the other questing sites (not simply "other questing sites" but "THE" other questing sites), but it is absolutely a thing here on /qst/
The sheer amount of effort you put into this quest really shines through. Your quests in general always come across as meticulously detailed and well-researched, and Batquest is no exception. As opposed to nation/Captainquest, I'm really in a position here to recognize a lot of the fine detail work which goes into it, and I appreciate it. Good job, Bro, and thank you!

.Bringing it up as a reminder where appropriate but not too much, has worked well thus far
Agreed! I am glad we're starting to get into the thick of it now, though. I've always wanted to see a Batman series with a solid continuity take him from lone operative in the dark to a staple of Gotham's civic structure, to the global or multi-planetary sort of operative that e is on the Justice league in a coherent, well-thought-out way. This quest really scratches that itch, and seeing how "our" Batman slots into a wider DC universe will be really cool!

>It is the schizophrenia that comes with anons and their control over the quest protagonist
Probably a bit of this. Batgunman was chosen back when this quest was just starting out, before we really got to understand the tone and interact with other characters. As things went on and the story developed, we ended up going in a much more traditionally-heroic, standard-Batman kind of way, albeit more anarchic in philosophy and varied in our methods. I suspect if the vote were held at a later point, we would have voted against guns.

That said, it can also be interpreted as our Batman being a lot more well-adjusted or well-rounded than is typical, in some ways. He doesn't have a rigid moral code or huge hangups about firearms. He is more willing to talk things out with his friends and allies, and to bring people into his circle. He's just not as rigid in his thinking or singular of drive as some other versions of the character.
The way I see it, our Batman has a strong sense of morals but a fluid sense of what that entails. He's always fought for "good" but he is open to readjusting to what "good" is and what the best way to fight for it is.

Another reinforcement of the "Batman as a healer" theme. An addition in this version of the story is that Martha Kane also was in the medical field.

I wanted to make sure that Bruce wasn't "Batgod." he pulls off big feats but they cost him physically, I feel when he is putting his body on the line it makes him more heroic.

Betty Boyg is a supporting character from the
Robert Kanigher /Joe Kubert Ragman run from the 90s. It took quite a lot of time to find a proper character for this interaction. I knew I wanted them to be the type of "invisible people" that are often targets for violence in city's that are overlooked by the justice system. "Nobodies" who Dr. Death would target because he knew no one cared. The issue was to not delve in hallmark style mauldin incentivity. I reached out to a sex worker acquaintance of mine who did a lot of writing on sex worker rights and advocacy but they didn't get back to me in time for the update. Given I didn't feel I had the skillset or lived experience to adapt a sex worker character, I went with betty, who was unhoused. Touches on similar themes but avoids some of that "hooker with a heart of gold" shlock that I didn't want to get into.

Her dialect is taken straight from the Ragman run, unsure if its accurate or just something that added to make her "sound poor."

Bruce using Wayne to hire people who need it is a recurring element of the mythos. Showed up in DCAU, the Morrison run and probably a lot more.

The exploding lab is a nod to the ending of Dr. Death's first appearance. It happening AGAIN is based on the fact that's also how his SECOND appearance ended.

The glowing red vials Dr Death was using set up the mutagen plot, though their ultimate origin hasn't been established...yet.


And here we intoduce Lincoln March, a character ultimately based on Thomas Wayne Jr, who has has a twisted series of adpataions and reboots acoss DC lore.

The Iceberg Lounge is a nightclub established as being owned by the Penguin in several adpattaions.

Bruce being unable to "turn off" his detective brain and noticing all the petty crime going on in the Lounge is based on a cool scene in the short lived Beware the Batman cartoon where the same thing happened to him in a restaurant. It was a bit of a struggle to figure out crimes that wouldn't make Bruce seem like a dick for looking down on but also weren't so severe it was odd he didn't leap into action.

March is playing up a facade as a idle rich drug loving party animal , fitting with the "evil Batman' gimmick, he's doing a version of the" Bruce Wayne as rich playboy" act Batman does across media.

Arkham being an actually helpful mental hospital that was brought to ruin by city and corporate greed was something I wanted to include from the get go. I think media has a bad habit of demonizing mental health and therapy and that has a run off effect in real life. And rather than deal with the issues that actually compromise mental health care (lack of budget, limited access based on race and class, hard core ableism) it gets melted down to this big THERAPY BAD/SHRINKS ARE EVIL meme that I didn't want get into.
The burnt out Arkham they built a sewage plant over doesn't line up totally with the Arkham Instiute that features heavily in the third arc, I'd like to say that was planned but it was honestly me forgetting i had used Arkham before. I'll iron out that continuity glitch in Issue 5 though.

Mikhail showing up and Lincoln talking to Dr Death is an example of the "build-up" writing style I really liked in thread 1. We start with the Case of the Chemical Syndicate which leads us to Dr Death which leads us to the Court , its more linear than later threads but I admire the simplicity.
One bit of inspiration I did take from Telltale was being able to do missions as either Bruce or Batman.

When the Court of Owls first debuted I originally thought they were a less cool version of Morrison's Black Glove, but over time I felt like they were a comic bookified take on the "old Money Skull and Bones club capitalist dicks" concept. I like the idea that Gotham was all the same stuff a regular city does, just operatic and extreme. So rich white folk run it the same as irl USA cities, but they wear masks and do creepy rhymes.

Return of Bruce Wayne is a Grant Morrison story, re contextualized here to be Bruce Wayne "returning" after we spent all this time as Batman

Shadow of the Bat was a Batman titled mostly written by Alan Grant.

This post is where the formula of using comic book stories (and sometimes tv or game stories) as the titles for votes. I liked this standard because it gave a cool "choose your next adventure" vibe. Almost like a multiple-choice tv series where you chose the focus of the next installment.

This installment is another reference to bruce taking his company from his Uncle. That's also from Zero Year. In a future installment, we may revisit exactly what went down there.

One advantage to doing the Court of Owls was that it was pretty easy to mine art. A lot of these pictures are just directly pulled from their debut story arc. I was always meh on the Snyder run writing but I loved Capullo's art, especially with FCO colors and Glapion and Miki inks.

Betty's managerial skills are a reference to the backstory in the comics for working in the Kennedy administration

The Monarch Theater was where the Wayne's were murdered. It wasn't actually named until the 1989 movie. It gets brought back up in comics (and sometimes games) for its symbolic power, here its just some dark irony.

The Court didn't usually have a singular leader, but Geoff Johns made up the "Judge of Owls" when they showed up in the Watchmen sequel Doomsday Clock. I've become less and less of fan of Johns over the years, both for his writing not appealing to me as much and for the shit he pulled on the Justice Leauge cast, but an existing singular leader character for the Court was useful here.

ACE Chemical being part of the Court of Owls Talon program is tying the starting plotline into the Big Bad of the thread.

The Talons are the supersoldier semi-immortal warriors of the Court of Owls, in the comics they made use of them for centuries but here they are a new creation. Being 'Mosnter men" made by Dr Death also makes them a partial adaptation of the Hugo Strange's golden age debut. Overlapping the various "Person given power by chemicals" villains from the Batman mythos into a singular meta-origin was one fo the most fun things of this quest. I like it when adpataions can draw connections from similar themes in comics that weren't tied together in the original books. The Spectauclar Spider-man cartoon did this well and it was a big influence on how I went about translating comic characters in a origin setting. That show also would introduce villains as normal people before they got there powers which we see a lot of in this quest later down the line.

Carver being called "young" here is ironic given the comics version is possibly a century old .

"Fear the night" is a phrase that shows up in this quest a lot but I am unsure where I got it from. I think it may be based on either "Earn the Night" from the Tom King/ Tim Seely Grayson run or "I will remind them why they feared the dark" from the villain in Hellboy 2 The Golden Army.

Batman sees The Judge of Owls crowdwork and it reminds him of a figure from his past. We'll see more of this in the next thread.

It may be hard to get across in text but this sequence of having someone put on a stretcher. Dressed in a mask then injected with a super soldier serum was taken from the origin of Bane from the underrated camp classic Batman and Robin movie.

March here shows a bit of his "mask" slipping. He is trying to keep Bruce in line without tipping his hand.

The law in Gotham being totally captured by various corporate interests is taken both from several comics, and sadly, real life. Saint Industries was from the James Tynion IV /Jorge Jiménez Batman run. Saint is a Steve Jobs type who wanted to sell the city a private security force called the Magistrate. Them making the cells for GCPD was the first time I used them as the Gotham manifestation of the Prison industrial complex. The Magistrate shows up in Issue 4 as the runners of Blackgate Prison. A corporate villain getting rich on selling the city jails was also influenced by Osborn in the Spectacular Spider-Man cartoon.

The Bullets hitting the cape was me doing the Nolan/Miller style gimmick of showing practical uses of parts of Bruce's costume. The larger dark silhouette of the cape makes it less likely for firearms to hit his actual body.

Bullets going through the cape was shown in backstory of the Adam Beechen, Ryan Benjamin, John Stanisci, David Baron, and Travis Lanham Batman Beyond: Hush comic where one going through Bruce's cape led to Dick losing his eye,

The Talon is way stronger with Bruce, but here we see Bruce noticing his weakness of being so single-minded he doesn't notice anything other than Stryker or whats in the way of Stryker. I like the idea of Bruce using wits to be enemies that have him outmuscled.

"I wont kill you but I wont have to save you" is a line from Batman Begins, while 'A fitting end for his kind" was from 'tec #27 where Stryker dies by falling into a vat of acid. (Simialar to the Joker origin showed decades later)

This vote was also critical in that our Batman doesn't kill in cold blood.

This created an interesting dynamic in that we have a guy whose primary weapon is lethal who doesn't believe in unneeded death. You'll notice once we move past the bullet-resistant Talon's Bruce uses his guns a lot less. Me trying to write around that is why we have so many of those scenes of Bruce aiming his guns at people but not firing.
>a strong sense of morals but a fluid sense of what that entails. He's always fought for "good" but he is open to readjusting to what "good" is and what the best way to fight for it is.
Anon mentality

Tommy is Thomas Elliot aka Hush, Bruce's childhood friend (and bully in the Gotham series). Jocko-Boy was a criminal character from Frank Miller and Jim Lee's mimetically terrible All-Star Batman and Robin. Thomas Wayne saving the life of a criminal was from The Long Haloween where it was Carmine Falcone. The moral there was the same as the one here, and we get another pay off for the helper/healer theme.

The "its too easy" is paraphrased from Judd Winnick's writing in the Under the Red Hood story, where Bruce says to Jason that's why he doesn't murder his villains.

>Jason Todd : What? That your moral code just won't allow for that? It's too hard to cross that line?
>Batman : No! God Almighty, no. It'd be too damned easy. All I've ever wanted to do is kill him. A day doesn't go by that I don't think about subjecting him to every horrendous torture he's dealt out to others, and then... end him.
>Joker : Aw, so you *do* think about me.
>Batman : But if I do that, if I allow myself to go down into that place... I'll never come back.

It's not exactly the same message but its touches on similar themes. (That later votes will formalize)

The spooky speech is Miller's writing from Year One. There were several other updates where I wanted to quote it but felt the repetition wouldn't be the best idea. A lot of millerbats has this kinda of skeevy Dirty Harry energy that comes off a lot worse now that we know where his head went but this speech I felt really tapped into the idea of Bruce spreading this myth of this cosmic predator of the night.

"New Money" still aspiring to the prestige of "Old Money" is a common societal trope. Thus Stryker trades chemical equipment for access to high society.

Batman's mob villains have more and more become anachronisms. The age of the mafia related in Year One and long Haloween and even the Nolan films is mostly gone in the states. For this story I chose to embrace that.

A common theme of early Batman stories (that is referenced in later ones) is the mob being replaced by an age of supervillains. Here , the idea was that the mob was already on its last legs before a new age of crime replaced it.

The Mafia is still quite powerful in Italy, thus in had an in-universe reason for Carmine being the cockroach of "godfather" style crime.

Sionis is based on the version from the Birds of Prey live action film. I loved the coked up trust fun kid energy he brought there. Sionis is the young blood, who recognizes all this mafioso shit is basically obsolete. His young "don't give a shit" vibes with the references contrasts with Carmine's serious vibe. The irony being that despite being a little shit, Sionis is right. His "new generation" of crime vibe sets up his transformation to Black Mask. Carmine being totally not into all the cape and mask stuff is from The Long Halloween where he had a disdain for the "freaks."

Sopranos and Thrones are both HBO shows, owned by the same parent company as DC (whoever that is this week). This is where I lean into the idea that all the references to other media would be Warner Bros or related properties. Thus Black Mask sassily quoting "ATL," a Warner Bros film.
>glowing red vials Dr Death was using set up the mutagen plot
>ultimate origin hasn't been established...yet
Oh right I completely forgot that existed. Huge loose end that just slipped notice

>media has a bad habit of demonizing mental health and therapy
Very nice you went against that retardation
>the "build-up" writing style
It works well in quests with arcs and such

>do missions as either Bruce or Batman
This is good, but there'll be obvious points where this is impossible and we have to act as one or the other
>gave a cool "choose your next adventure" vibe
That's what quests are, essentially. A multiplayer "choose your own adventure" or CYOA where the QM is the one writing the thing and giving the options for random faceless people
>may revisit exactly what went down there
Will you reference Fresh Prince yet again?

>adaptations can draw connections from similar themes in comics
>introduce villains as normal people before they got there powers
Doing this quest justice man

>I am unsure where I got it from
Call it inspiration from deep in the mind, or something poetic

>our Batman doesn't kill in cold blood
"I won't kill you but I won't have to save you" was one of the best moments of thread 1, in my opinion
>Me trying to write around that
This might help you. A character whose entire core gimmick is "guy with a gun who never fires the gun"
>Arkham plothole
Easy fix: they had two campuses. One got burnt in a fire and a new one was built or expanded to take on the patient load of the old facility.
Chirper is a dc comics analog for twitter that actually debuted in the Rob Williams /Mike Dowling Vertigo series "Unfollow." (Vertigo was in a lot of shake ups back then so I don't know if it's creator-owned or not.)
Me dropping the e wasn't a typo, but a deliberate mistake. I have a habit of spelling tinder as "tindr" becasue of influence from "grindr."
Carmine doing the birds/stool pidgeon" bit was a nod to motif of bird themed white collar crime in Gotham (Falcone, Owl, Penguin etc.)

Eyes Wide Shut is another Warner Bros film. The idea that because of Superman showing up, all the old rules are gone is something that comes up a lot in this quest. I like the idea that just as Superman was DCs first superhero, that his debut ushered in the age of super science and mutants and monster and so on. Its a paradigm change for society. Akin to the agricultural revolution.

Bruce using the Owls to further his mission is a cool bit of Green Hornet's "good guy disguised as a bad guy" play. He uses the owls to further his mission AND gets in their good graces. Lilcoln trying to stop Bruce sets up his growing jealousy. In the comics, there were elements of Lilncoln being insecure over the success of who he believed to be his brother. While they aren't related here ( or are they...) I like how March starts off by bringing Bruce in to boost his esteem in the eyes of the Court, only for Bruce to become their new rising star.
>The idea that because of Superman showing up, all the old rules are gone is something that comes up a lot in this quest.
Also referenced in year One, as the inspiration for Bruce Wayne's first bat-glider! I thought it was a neat touch.
It really is. So easy I probably could have pretended that was the idea the whole time, but no need to lie here. I'm only human.


Speaking of, despite Arkham burning down earlier in this very thread, Arkham is also where they are keeping the Talon. "Multiple facilities" is the canon explanation but the truth is author error.

Though D'Angelo Sewage being on Arkham Island is from the official dc comics map of Gotham (as of 2017 or so). D'Angelo was a producer of the Batman 66 show. I am unsure where it debuted, but it is a map in DC Universe online. Naming a Sewage plant after a Batman '66 producer seems like an example of the backhanded insult towards that show I brought up earlier.

This is a "choose your genre" vote that would later be used as the basis of Issue 3. The idea is we can either do a mob/crime Miller/Loeb style story or a more chemical-tinged pulp sci fi story.

Weird Science is actually a EC comics book that the bra-head 80s comedy was technically based on. EC is one of the many, MANY comic book companies that modern DC gobbled up like an early eukaryote.

Gangland is a Brian Azzarello/Tim Bradstreet/ Grant Goleleash Vertigo miniseries.

This is an early example of the quest's infamous (to me at least) long update times. The elaborate process of getting art for each post and crediting and formatting and editing it can take some time, and when you add on the actual writing on top fo normal procrastination and life stuff and Batquest is by far the quest that takes the longest. While it's very fulfilling, it something I don't have the energy to do for long stretches of time without burnout.

Issues 1 and 2 were written on the fly, which for sure led to problems (especially in Europe, more on that later). Outlining the Man who Laughs in advance made it go a lot smoother.

The quote at the top is from Batman vol 2 22. Scott Snyder and James Tynion IV had a series of backups in Zero Year focusing on Bruce and his various mentors. This was a quote from the gadgeteer Sergei who gave bruce the "final exam" of designing a way to unbury himself from under the Sphinx of Giza.

Ivy debuting as Isley is another example of the "show villains pre-villainy" shtick I got from Spectacular Spider-Man. I really like the dramatic irony because the audience is pushed to look out for every step that moves the character to what we know they wind up as.

The "super science revolution" that fell out of the sky 20 years ago is based in the idea that Superman's ship falling had carry on effects on technology.

Gothcorp is from the DCAU where it was the company that Mr. Freeze was employed at before his accident. Jason Wordrue, who would go on to become the Floronic Man was made a teacher of Pamela in the Neil Gaiman/Dave McKean Blak Orchid series and the one who transformed her in the Gaiman-written Secret Origins #36 of 1988. I always liked the idea of super scientists of similar fields in a shared universe being colleagues with each other.

House of Secrets is a classic DC anthology that later became an actual haunted house in-universe. I think the Gaiman references got me into a spooky Vertigo mood.

"The Gardener" was the title of the Batman Secret Files: The Gardener one shot that introduced Bella Garten. She may appear in the quest later down the line but the title I felt was a good one for the quest here.
"Nature Always Wins" is a quote from Ivy from Batman Arkham: Knight (written by Martin Lancaster, Sefton Hill &Ian Ball)
Slaughter Swamp was the site of the origin of Solomon Grundy, originally a golden age Green Lantern villain who spread out to a wider DCU figure. (For reasons I never understood, the golden age Green Lantern was set in Gotham City after it's 14th issue. I don't even think Batman guest starred in the golden age run). The Swamp in various lore has been home to Lazarus Pits, The Fountain of Youth, Timespace holes and general spoopy weirdness.
Dr. Death's serum being based on pollen is inspired by him making poison based on pollen in his first appearance. The Black Flowers of Slaughter Swamp are from Grant Morrison's Seven Soldiers metaseries I did a bit of compositing with here.
"You're all So Beautiful" is a line from the Gotham TV series version of Poison Ivy. in a Peter Blake-written episode. We'll see more cues taken from Gotham in issue 3.

The art for this sequence is taken from Batman and Robin, I really loved the set and production design ig Schumacher Bats and you'll see it a lot here.
Schumacher's set design was really fantastic and next-level. It made Gotham foreboding, but still a place people would want to live, and stocking its buildings with colossal monuments to heroically proportioned individuals is a very neat touch. I'm glad to see its best (or, well, least comedic) elements get worked in!
Barbara Ling is a genius
The classic "I'm Batman" line was popularized in the Sam Hamm/ Warren Skaaren Batman '89 script, through technically the first use of "I'm the Batman" dates to when Bruce introduced himself to Dick in ' Bill Finger's Tec #38 story. It's become a bit of a catchphrase since then, used in the DCAU and the Nolan films to great effect. (There is an amazing use of it that I don't want to spoil here that I can't wait to adapt.)
The idea of western pharmaceutical science catching up to indigenous ceremonies with entheogens is based on the real history of substances such as Psychobilin and Ayauchsa. The Sphere of the Gods was part of the Grant Morrison/Rian Hughes Map of the Multiverse first used in The Multiveristy Guidebook, in which it was the realm of al the various pantheons such as the Greek and Norse deities. Scott Snyder would later revael it as the source of all magic in his Justice Leauge run
The "strength of ten men" line is a classic pulpy descriptor for super strength. The specific inspiration was from the Golden Age Hour man, whose Miraclo pill gave him the strength of ten men for an hour. Later stories would tie Miraclo to Bane's venom, and the Arrowverse would use it as the power source for its version of Slade and Grundy. The intent here (that Issue 3 spells out more) is that all the various DC super-boosting serums share a common scientific origin.

The second Dr Death sequence is leaning heavy into the Golden Age tropes. Gotham being a city so weird its suburbs have Scooby-Doo style hunated mansion looking castles is a fun bit of texture I felt was in line for the setting. My favorite part of Gotham City is that it's a "normal city" with rediculous stuff like giant screaming naked statues, anachronistic blimps, giant prop advertisements, bridges that look like hot wheel tracks and cyberpunk skyscrapers all smushed together on top of it.

"The Fatal Prescription of Doctor Death!" was the title of the second part of Gerry Conway's two-part remake of the original Dr Death story in 'Tec #512

"Harvest of Death" was the title of the first post-crisis Dr. Death story by Dylan Horrocks in Batgirl vol 1 #44. Harvest was a fun play on the botantical theme

The opening quote is from Year One Bruce's monologue about Gotham.

The county that surrounded Gotham City was established for quite some time as "Gotham County" with vaugness on if the city itself was a part of it. "Kane County" was introduced in Greg Rucka's Gotham Central once again named out of universe for Bob Kane and by extension in-universe for the Kane family. 2008's Essential Batman Encyclopedia came up with the idea that "Gotham County" was a nickname for Kane County due to how big Gotham was. Scoot Snyder's Batman works heavily make reference to "Kane County" making it the current DC default (last I checked.) (Shout outs to Tom Bondurant for that research, which I didn't even have access to when I wrote this update leading me to a lot of confusion on what was where and which was which.)

The idea here is that the part of the county right north of Gotham (where Wayne Manor is) is home to gothic castles and spooky mansions and stuff like that. In keeping with the idea of having in-universe character choices leading to genre trappings, the idea is that the wealthy moves to suburbs and built all that crap to seem more "monarchal."

I can't tell where Kane Chemical originated from, but I used it here to tie into the general chemical theme across the Bat mythos that I was doubling down on here.

The art was Alex Ross's remake of Bob Kane's cover of 'tec #31, which I was first made aware of when Frank Quitely ALSO homaged it for the cover of Batman and Robin vol 1 #2 (Matt Wagner remade it when they retold the story as "Batman and the Mad Monk"). Dr Death is kinda of becoming a living representative of Golden Age evil scientist archetype.
Mikhail is speaking Balachka, a Ukranian dialect influenced by Cossack culture. And yes I spent a LONG time to get an accurate translation of that three-word line "Who goes there?"
Dr. Death's dialogue is my riff on pulp fiction serial villain-type tropes with the ten-penny words and insults to henchmen.
The internal narration here is me doing Miller-style hardboil narration.

Mikhail calls Bruce a "vampire." The modern idea of vampires dates to the Slai region so it felt appropriate for a Cossack to use it. I originally saw Mikhail as being Russian due to my knowledge of Cossacks, but when I went with Balachka he was made to be Ukranian, and Bruce's in-universe assumption mirrored my own.
"The second greatest thing she ever did" is based on something I say to my partner about their mother's cooking. I call it "The second-best thing she ever did" (the implication being that the first-best thing was giving birth to them)

[Also are the archive links taking people to the right posts when they click them? When I am doing it it is giving me the first post of the thread.]


I gave Dick a bit of the playful Spider-Man esque persona he has in modern Nightwing comics (and the early Young Justice cartoon). Had I put in more planning and labor I would have also done the "choose your own version" thing with him with player votes being abe to take him down the line of the Serious-Obsessive Teen Titans/Teen Titans Go version, the Gee Whillickers Burt Ward version or the all-loving hero I talked about above. A little bit of that trickled into issue 2 but I do wish I left more to voter influence.

Mikhail has been turned into a Monster Man thus his diallouge stopping.

The Court of Owls using Haley's Circus as a place to recruit Talons is from the Scott Snyder run, where its been going on for centuries.

I made Dick 18 here because while I love the idea of Batman building a new found family and saving people from winding up like him, I can't get with a heroic charcater agreeing to put a child in lethal danger.

"Dynamic Duo" as used to describe Batan and Robin dates to Bill Finger's Batman vol 1 #4 script (I just learned today it previously was used by the Saturday venieng Post to decsribe then goveneors Theodore Roosevelt and Chase Osborn) https://andreadallover.wordpress.com/2015/06/01/holy-history-batman-the-origin-of-dynamic-duo/

"Batman works alone, that's my motto" is from the Lego Batman Movie (written by Seth Grahame-Smith, Chris McKenna, Erik Sommers, Jared Stern, John Whittington) which I argue is one of the best 3 Batman films ever made and unironically a great Batman story. Batman as a loner is a theme that picked up in the 80s, which got played up more as either comedically ironic given the big Batfamily or an in-universe tension between him and his allies.
>Had I put in more planning and labor I would have also done the "choose your own version" thing with him with player votes being abe to take him down the line of the Serious-Obsessive Teen Titans/Teen Titans Go version, the Gee Whillickers Burt Ward version or the all-loving hero I talked about above. A little bit of that trickled into issue 2 but I do wish I left more to voter influence.
Sounds cool, but I like this conglomerate Nightwing a lot too. Some of his lines actually got me to smile and chuckle a bit, and the Phantom Zone moment of going back to save that one guy was very cool
(If anyone knows a better way to link to specific archived posts please share it.)

The ICAs are the International Circus Awards, setting up Dick's skills at such a relatively young age.

The image is from Batman Forever, another use of Barbara Ling's great Gotham production design. The quote was based on one from The Dark Knight Rises script by Christopher Nolan, David S Goyer, and Jonathan Nolan. It was used by Detective Blake The Nolanverse Robin to explain how He figured out Bruce's secret identity.

"glides down like a creature of the night" was my take on a Furmanism( https://tfwiki.net/wiki/Furmanism). I mixed "Like some predatory bird" with "Creature of the Night"- how Bruce Described himself in his origin as shown in Finger's Batman vol #1 script.

Amusement Mile debuted in Batman Vol 1 569 by Janet Harvey, Sergio Cariello Matt Ryan and
Pamela Rambo. It's an Atlantic City Boardwalk/Coney island style location that often is used for Joker-related nonsense. Theatrics are very core to Batman (he was born in a theater after all) so having his first partner be a performer (and his Butler/father figure also be a former actor) fits the vibe well. Morrison played with this very well in their run.
Batman's injuries adding up over time was an influence from the Netflix Daredevil series. I like how it showed that its non-invulnerable hero took a physical toll from the fights. Showing Bruce has been scarred up is common, but rarely do all the superheroic injuries shown tend to be plot relevant. I wanted to change that here. Dick being eager to crime fight with Bruce and Batman being hesitant is a common motif (used for other Robins as well.) The version of that dynamic that informed Dick and Bruce here was influenced by the also underrated Batman Forever.
The Sionises being rich is from Black Mask's original origin that has been kept across media. Tying them into the Court of Owls felt appropriate, especially with the twist on the masks that comes later.
Tony Zucco killed Dick's family in his origin in 'Tec vol 1 #38. Most adaptations kept that. Tony being a knife thrower (and a former circus performer himself) was from The Batman cartoon's version written by Michael Jelenic, which I felt was a good bit of mirroring.
The Sionsis speaking "upper class" to separate them from "the help" was me driving home the idea of the Owls as blue-blooded villainy.
The early Batman comics had a tendency to come up with various contrivances for why the villains didn't just shoot Batman ("You''l draw the cops!" etc) I liked the habit of in-universe justifications for tropes so this line here explains the lack of guns. Tony saying it shows he has experience with circus work. He says "emby" which is a word from the Carny cant for a gullible fool to cheat money from. It has influences from Romani, which we'll get more into as Dick becomes a bigger character.
"Holy flight plan" was from the Batman '66 episode "The Puzzles Are Coming" written by Fred De Gorter.

"Your choice, or I'LL kill you" was paraphrased from a metal as fuck threat bruce made in Bill Finger -written 'Tec vol 1 #28. Between the guns and the setting I was leaning hard on the Golden Age for issue 1.


Here we see the circus training setup pay off when Bruce realizes he's out of his depth. The "Work through the pain" was influenced by the Brian Azzarello written "Working Through the Pain" short for Batman Gotham Knight.

Batman shooting fingers off is an example of what I was saying earlier about the challenge of writing a gun user who doesn't believe in unnecessary killing. Though I do like how even with a "grittier" Batman there is still room for comic book nonsense like that.

"I’ll be back for you. All of you!" is a quote from Scott Snyder's Batman run when he is leaving the Talon's lair after getting heavily injured. On point for such a similar event.

"Endure, Master Wayne. Take it." Is from The Dark Knight script by Jonathan Nolan, Christopher Nolan and David S Goyer.

Batquest leans more toward the "interactive story" end of the quest spectrum as opposed to the "game " end, but this vote was meant to have a bit of a gamey risk-reward set up where if we kept going we could reach an objective but with a larger risk of failure.
>"The second greatest thing she ever did" is based on something I say to my partner about their mother's cooking.

>Had I put in more planning and labor I would have also done the "choose your own version" thing with him with player votes being abe to take him down the line of the Serious-Obsessive Teen Titans/Teen Titans Go version, the Gee Whillickers Burt Ward version or the all-loving hero I talked about above.
I like what you did with him, too. My only regret is he didn't really develop into a knifefighter as he initially seemed primed to be. Would have been kino to have a Batman and Robin specializing in the weapons that killed their parents.

>I made Dick 18 here because while I love the idea of Batman building a new found family and saving people from winding up like him, I can't get with a heroic charcater agreeing to put a child in lethal danger.
14-to-16 would have worked, but this is fine too.

>Batquest leans more toward the "interactive story" end of the quest spectrum as opposed to the "game " end, but this vote was meant to have a bit of a gamey risk-reward set up where if we kept going we could reach an objective but with a larger risk of failure.
I DID like your game mechanics with the fear and trust levels and such. I'd enjoy seeing some version return.
The next sequence was pretty easy to get art for because of how many covers and splash pages there are of Batman fighting Talons or featuring the Owls.

The Opening quote is from the aforementioned "Working through the pain" short.

Batman telling Dick a lesson based on his experience at Dr Death's lab was me making sure the player votes actually effected the story and characters.

The line about Zucco getting out is an early hint that Batman's main challenge is systematic, not individual.

The "You'll never have too" is pure comic book kitch from Batman Begins (also scripted by the Nolans and Goyer ). I liked how even though its "gritty" and "realistic" that trilogy was full of straight up Silver age level heroic dialogue like that. The cape flourish was also inspired by that series "Batman, away!' style exits.

I like the comic irony of Bruce falling for a billionaire playboy disguise when he is so used to putting on one himself.

This update also features internal narration cut off by dialogue or sound effects a well I dip into a lot for the quest.
The sound effects are pulled from the ones used in the Batman '66 show.

Batman's mask being boobietrapped is a classic bit of lore. This taser sequence was based on one in The Dark Knight

March's rant here are my take on the "coked up angry rich white guy" trope. He's got the physical power of a fighter but he doesn't have Bruce's discipline or temperament. He's treating the serum like a /fit/ juicer and supervilliany like a promotion he got passed over for.

Bruce recognizing the location of the Court of Owl's Maze based on feeling the river vibrations is taken directly from Batman vol 2 # 5 (Scott Snyder Script).

That issue formed the main inspiration for this next part.
I do want to get back to them. A side effect of the outlining process for the third arc was less chances for "roll for..." moments. I sketched a few out but they never made it in.
Lincoln's Speech quotes a line from Batman vol 2 #6 (written by Scott Snyder ) but the main inspiration was his speech in Nightwing Rebirth #1 (Written by Tim Seely). That also ended with March getting killed after giving a big speech to the owls that they agreed with, but just didn't want to see out with him.

Batman Venom is a Denny O Neil-written story arc that actually predates Bane, where Bruce gets addicted to the super serum. had we taken it, a similar plotline would have followed, though elements of that storyline got recycled for the Fear Gas plotline in the third arc.

"Hunt the Dark Knight" was the title of the third issue of the Frank Miller written the Dark Knight Returns, chosen here for the title more so than anything.
>I liked how even though its "gritty" and "realistic" that trilogy was full of straight up Silver age level heroic dialogue like that.
Batman flies the nuke away from Gotham. As he does so, he mutters "Some days you just can't get rid of a bomb." with a wry smile. This totally happened and was one of the funniest bits of Dark Knight Rises. Thanks Nolan
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The opening quote is based on a lien bruce gave Jason Todd Robin in a "very special episode" style issue of 'tec vol 1 561 (Doug Moench Script)
I gave it to Martha Wayne both to give her some focus that I feel other Batman stories didn't and also to show hints toward her focus on healthcare just as much as Thomas

Is the Jugde of Owl's Lincoln's literal mother or only metaphorical? I left that up to audience interpretation just like Snyder did with the question if he was Bruce's biological brother or not.
The walls being made of white marble instead of construction is also from Batman vol 2 #5. I lean on it to higlight the idea of the Owls being too far up their own ceremonial asess for their own good. (Thus Sionis and Falcone calling them on it.)
"Just One Punch" is a memed quote from when Bruce knocked out Guy Gardner in the Keith Giffen/J.M. DeMatteis written Justice Leauge vol 1 #5
The Sprang River is named for Batman artist Dick Sprang, an icon of the Silver Age. The Cape is Cape Carmine named for Carmine Infantino, another giant of that era. I picked that location because I figured the Owl's lair would be in Gotham's Upper East side and the geography would make the Sprang the closest body of water for this scene. (If you look at this map Bruce is coming out in the gulf between points 20 and 21)

This Map is the Eliot R Brown based Map that's been used for Gotham for the past 20+ years across continuties with various additions added over time like the Narrows from Batman Begins. The Burnside section was drawn by James Harvey but the person who did this art was uncredited, as it was designed for internal DC usage.

"The Mission is NEVER over" is from the (in my opinion) well-done Greg Weisman-written episode of The Batman: "Artifacts."

Batman the king of prep-time bugged the Owl's camera system, giving me a nice excuse for showing Bruce and the audience a scene after he's bailed out.

Lincoln's death and the Judge basically agreeing with him but still killing him via eye stab was, as said before taken from Nightwing Rebirth #1

Robin was called the Boy Wonder on the cover of his first appearance, in 'tec #38

Poison Ivy: Cycle of Life and Death is an Amy Chu-written miniseries that I used for art several times in this quest.
Speaking of Nolan's Batman, no comment on this? >>5595032
It's amusing how Batman '66, for all it's maligned is sort of the primary source material for a lot of subsequent adaptations like '89 and even aspects of Nolan's work. It and DKR/Year One are probably THE most recognizable Batman works, maybe with a bit of the 90s cartoon for good measure.
That thing I typed up didn't actually happen. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D3FEJXhkyVQ They went with the sad touching sacrifice bit and not the camp reference bit. Shame, because that's a prime scene for the bomb run '66 bit. Guess it would have been too much of a mood whiplash?
Oh, I know. But both of those movies definitely drew on '66 in a fashion. Catwoman's costume is like a high tech version of the Julie Newmar one.
The "save one person or the other" is a classic superhero dilemma that has shown up at least twice in Batman films. I felt having one of these is a perfect overlap between Choose Your Own Adventure/telltale games/quests and the genre trappings.
Had Isley not been the one saved she would have survived, but her lab burning down and exposing her to chemicals would mutate her into a version of Poison Ivy. The living Grayson family would continue as possible allies to Bruce, with some Tim Drake/TerryMcGinnis-esque tension over how much time their son was spending with Bruce.
This update was posted twice because I messed up the color markup. I originally used a color-coded system for dialogue inspired by Monkequest. Red for villains, blue for allies, green for neutral. After a while I started to have posts with too many speaking characters for this to become tenable, and eventually due to my movement from house to house, I wasn't able to use mark up consistently so I transferred to the script format used today.
The quote is from The Dark Knight, one of those aforementioned "Choose!" scenarios.
Triage is the medical concept of doing the most good with limited resources. If you only have on efree beds, someone has to decide if the gunshot survivor or the car accident survivor gets to use it. A good way to layer in the medical themes of the quest with a hard situation.
Gotham's bizarre Springfieldean landscape is one of the things I like about it. a Florida everglades or Lousianna swampland style biome in the middle of MidAtlantic new jersey is the geographic version of the mashup style of Gotham City architecture I like. There actually is an Imaginext Batfanboat toy, though I didn't know it at the time. Bruce using the fanboat here is because the Gotham subway doesn't go to the swaps and the blimps wouldn't be able to fly through the dense trees.
"Not having enough Pollen" is the in-universe reason why they don't just spam a thousand Talons to take over everything.
Bruce recognising a skylight as a perfect entry point is a nod to how often he crashes through them himself across media.
A common weakness of the super soldiers here is just because you can't feel pain, doesn't mean your body isn't susceptible to attacks. "But you still take the damage!" And all that.
The Talon's getting smarter is a "Jurrasic Park" moment. Where you set up a way to beat the villain (don't move in Jurassic park's case, hyperfocus here) and then take it away later to raise the stakes.
"Sticking to the shadows and trying to pick you off with one hit" was Batman's fighting style in the Nolan films. "Earn the Night" is a King/Seely line from Futures End Grayson #1 where Bruce tells Dick his costume is brightly colored because he hasn't mastered fighting in the shadows.

The "summon a swarm of Bats" device is from Miller's writing on Batman Year One, it was also adapted into Batman Begins. I like how the environment here makes it a perfect opportunity to use it. (Same with the Blackgate caves when it comes back later in Issue 4)
"You seem to have me confused with some warm-blooded damsel in distress" is a quote from Gotham City Siren #8 written by Guillem March & Marc Andreyko. It's a classic cosplay and Twitter captain.
Isley saving herself in such a brutal way was a hint of how ruthless she can be when she needs to get something done.
"Night of Owls" is based on "Night of the Owls" a Batman crossover where the Court sends Talons to attack all over Gotham City, a direct inspiration for this sequence. It was mostly written by Scott Snyder with contributions from Tony Daniel, Kyle Higgins, Scott Lobdell,
Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Gray ,Gail Simone ,
Duane Swierczynski, Peter Tomasi ,
James Tynion IV and Judd Winick.
The wordplay with Batman's "gone" leading to Dick's is a literary trick I use from time to time in this quest.
"Robin as Dick's nickname his mom Mary gave him was another pull from The Batman cartoon.
The choice between Vengeance and Justice is a recurring theme in the Bat Mythos, and how Bruce imparted that lesson to Dick was key to the storyline of Batman Forever's Lee Batchler /Janet Scott Batchler/Akiva Goldsman's script. Despite the Schumacher films general low rep, Chris O'Donnel's version of Dick was a big influence on this quest's version of Dick.
The opening quote is from a rare bit of , in my opinion, unironic good writing from All Star Batman and Robin. The idea that "Bruce Wayne" died with his parents , leaving behind a shell that would be Batman is a tragic interpretation that gets used from time to time. Even if Dick doesn't go down that exact path, the life he lived before this is over.

"Reminding a scared boy the world hasn't ended" is a great line from The Dark Knight Rises script written by the Nolans and Goyer. We see in the opening of this thread where our version of Bruce got the idea from, the idea if being there for Dick like people here there for him fits the "Batman was never alone" concept I liked from Morrison's writing.

The debate here between Bruce and Dick on if he should join was inspired by the Batman Forever Bruce's hesitance to pull in Dick.

"Holy sedatives" is from "The Catwoman Forth, a Batman '66 episode written by Ellis St. Joseph and Charles Hoffman. I liked finding ways to slip in these exclamations when it made sense.

The ending line is my take on Val Kilmer's Bruce to O'Donnel Robin on why he doesn't kill. The idea that no amount of bloodshed will make the pain stop I feel is a healthier explanation than the "If I start Killing I can't stop" one used in other versions. Especially since that Batman knows first hand that killing your parents killer won't make the hurt go away.
>Chris O'Donnel's version of Dick was a big influence on this quest's version of Dick
It kind of shows, but in a good way. That and DCAU Dick Grayson, I'd wager?
Funny enough, my view of DCAU Dick is one that Bruce pushed away with his Batdickery. He still respects Bruce and the mission but he doesn't want to work with him again. That energy would have come into play of audience votes for more of that sort of Batman (and bits leaked in in Issue 3) for the most part , DCAU Dick didn't get mined as much.

The biggest influence on Nightwing personality wise wasn't any specific run or storyline but the general idea of him as a generally happy, ethical slut with a playful attitude. Think Spider-Man with less suffering. Though I think the closest you could find would be how Tim Seely or the various animated films write him.
The Gotham Clocktower fully debuted in Scott Peterson's script for Showcase '94 #12. (Though internal shots of what would later be assumed to be the Clocktower predate it.) It was the headquarters of Oracle and later the Birds of Prey. The Waynes building a lot of Gotham architecture is a pull from the Snyder Batman comics overall. The Owls infesting buildings the Waynes built (akin to irl Owl's taking over nests of other birds) is from Batman vol 2 #3.
The "I'm Batman" line I already went over. I'll try to not lean too much on repetition.
"Brutto figlio di puttana bastardos " roughly translates to "ugly son of a bitch bastards" and is an actual Italian insult.
The Judge reacting so intensely after March went rouge was another hint of a deeper relationship between them.
Her embracing March's philosophy of moving from in the shadows Skull and Bones schemers to supervillains taking over with monsters is my take on the idea of even the villains realizing the world is changing and they must change with it. (A partial inspiration from this was the Seth Rogen starring Green Hornet film I really liked the villain's character arc in that from going from a normal mobster to a full-on pulp villain with a costume and catchphrase and his second in command pointing out it seemed like a midlife crisis. In general, I like Kim Possible/Venture Bros/Harley Quinn style stories where the characters are aware of genre tropes and in-universe act them out.)
Aubrey James is a mayor of Gotham that debuted in Legends of the Dark Knight #204 by Justin Gray, Steven Cummings, James Sinclair and Phil Balsman. His connection to Falcone and the Owls is inspired by the version played by Richard Kind seen in the Gotham TV show.

For a breakdown of the history of Batman's fin spikes/gauntlet blades see this Brian Cronin article . https://www.cbr.com/batman-evolution-spikes-gloves/
The "Gray Son" was a prophesized "ultimate Talon" in the comics Dick Grayson was thought to be the Gray Son due to his descent from the Talon Willian Cobb. Thus the Judge references "two" bloodlines. In general, I'm not a fan of "chosen one/ important family type of narratives, so this line was about all the focus I gave to the "Gray Son" stuff. In this setting, the Court just has a series of circuses and other type of exploitable but skilled groups they target for recruitment, and the Grayson family was one of them.
Dick laughing I felt was a cool hybrid of his lighter persona and the intimidation factor of Bruce. I pulled it directly from the version seen in the Young Justice tv series, played by Jesse McCartney and first written by Greg Weisman.
The knife stuff was based on the audience's replies. I agree that I want to get back to it, especially given all the thematic ties between knives, the Talons, and Zucco.
That "first rule of the circus" was totally made up by me, but I like the line.
Mislinked the post
>The biggest influence on Nightwing personality wise wasn't any specific run or storyline but the general idea of him as a generally happy, ethical slut with a playful attitude.
Fair. He hasn't really been scoring a lot honies yet, though. Maybe that could be a good choice for a future thread: Bruce Wayne fumbling through dating advice?
So I did. Its the post right after the one I linked.

Writing a way out of Bruce's secret ID being blown was something that I that would be hard but wound up smoothing out. The Owls knowing who Bruce is just seemed to fit with their whole old money costume dress-up war gimmick. It seemed to me they were villains that were engaged with "Batman as a project Bruce Wayne started" more so than villains who are engaged with "Batman as the mythological figure," so like the Leauge of Assasins in other works I had them figure out who he was. This is also one reason why Waller and Chase know who he is.
The "you have eaten well" speech is from Miller's Year One Script as the first big public action of Batman. A speech directly to the 1% preying off his city backed up with explosions and terror. It fits pretty well here since this is also Bruce's first big mission and the Owls are this story's analog of the big money power brokers that rule the city.
Bruce faking billionaire playboy nonsense to use as an alibi for Batman's actions is a classic trope. This specific instance was inspired by how in the Dark Knight he ran off with an entire Russian valley troupe to cover up his going on a mission in Hong Kong. Ibiza is an Island currently under Spanish control and known abroad for its nightlight tourism by hedonistic rich white dudes like Bruce is playing as.
Dr. Isley's ventures into the professional science world get elaborated on more in Issue 3, where she comes up against several roadblocks.
I probably should have explained a bit more about what happened at Haley's Circus between Issues 1 and 2. Issue 2 had them moving to Europe after the Owl attacks but I forgot that the Circus itself was being investigated. For what its worth they got cleared up legal issues but I don't think they'll be back in the US anytime soon.
Betty starts fading out of the plot more after this issue, I'll be sure to give her some more spotlight, I want to make sure we get a good perspective of Gothamites who aren't "on the front lines" so to speak.

Dick's Nightwing persona dates to Tales of the Teen Titans #44 by
Marv Wolfman, George Pérez, Mike DeCarlo, Dick Giordano, Adrienne Moore and Todd Klein. The name dates to an old Silver Age story by Superman vol 1 #158 written by Edmon Hamilton where Superman and Jimmy Olsen go to the Bottle City of Kandor (where Clark has no powers) and become costumed crime fighters in the vein of Batman and Robin. Dick took the name from Superman telling him this story. (Decades later we would get a new Kryptonian Nightwing and Flamebird)

Grayson is Dick’s last name but the vote title was a nod to the series created by Tim Seeley, Tom King, Mikel Janín, Jeromy Cox, and Carlos M. Mangual.
Batman working alone or with a sidekick is another “core choice” that a lot of different versions take one side or another on, so it was a slam dunk final vote for this issue.

Batman making the Robins as child soldiers was a concept that shows up in some adaptations and Frank Miller REALLY drove that home. While I am open to moral grayness and conflict with heroes i felt having the "good guy" recruiting child soldiers on a personal crusade crossed the line into villainy, so I made it explicit here that this a a voluntary direct action situation. (And then later votes we see Bruce tempted to take the relationship down that darker Miller-esque path.)
"We're not soldiers, we're knights" is from Linkara's review of The Dark Knight Returns. As the quest went on, I had to learn more how to navigate using material from folks who I personally assessed at various levels of fucked up. (There was some Devin Grayson stuff I moved away from using because of how really creepy her writing got and there were some challenges when trying to avoid Chuck Dixon stuff ) Channel Awesome did a lot of sketchy things, but from my knowledge, Linkara was more a victim of it than a perpetrator. My beef was him was mostly the shit he said on Literotica in '06 . he pulled the "I was young and that was a long time ago " card, but it's still fair of folks to judge him for the comments and me for still watching his stuff.
The idea of Dick bringing back light into Bruce's life is a common motif in the Bat mythos which is why I had them cracking jokes between them in a Schumacher/Silver-Age style manner to close the story out in an "the adventure continues" vibe.
Given the relationship between Batman's co-creators, the very of-the-time way they wrote minorities, women, and vulnerable people in early stories, and then the heavy influences that people like Miller, Burton, Nolan, Dixon, and more have had since then... I don't think there's really away to write a Batman adaptation that is true to the character's history without drawing upon at least a few "problematic" individuals. Don't sweat it.
>villains that were engaged with "Batman as a project Bruce Wayne started" more so than villains who are engaged with "Batman as the mythological figure,"
This shit is interesting to me, how differently villains and other people view Batman in relation to Bruce Wayne, that then colors their interactions with him. Crane had all the cryptic /x/ tier crazy ideas about Batman that people spread around, but after the interrogation he probably realized Batman is a mystery man in a costume. Ignoring his fear of bats and how that colors his view of Batman, there's still Crane as the educated academic inside. It wouldn't lessen his fear and respect of Batman entirely, but his mind would take that in a different direction most likely. Not sure where myself.
>speech directly to the 1% preying off his city backed up with explosions and terror
But Batman is going to get flak from many sides for wanting to change the status quo, which is something comic books really don't like doing, though I could be wrong due to my own /co/ inexperience. But this isn't /co/, this is /qst/. I wonder how much things can change in Bruce's story and mission, as the way we've been playing him is something nicely drastic
>Ibiza is an Island currently under Spanish control and known abroad for its nightlight tourism by hedonistic rich white dudes like Bruce is playing as.
I interpreted it as Ibiza in Japan, renowned for its music scene
>she comes up against several roadblocks
The people in charge don't want research that'll actually benefit the planet and humanity, but that'll line their own pockets the most. It is the same deal as modern medicine existing to cure symptoms but not root causes, as keeping root causes active and consistent is like keeping a hearth flame lit. The latter provides warmth the longer it stays burning, the former provides money the longer the people suffer.
>Gothamites who aren't "on the front lines"
They are (were?) on the front lines: of poverty and the decay eating away at the city, the ground floor, the street level, and the rock bottom

>I had them cracking jokes between them in a Schumacher/Silver-Age style manner to close the story out in an "the adventure continues" vibe.
There have been plenty of moments in Batman canon where Bruce shows even he isn't so much above it all, right? Even if things get gritty and dark, there's gonna be a wry smile or an ironic joke or some form of levity here and there.
This was a "post-credit sequence" like the type the MCU made popular. (Though comics have made use of after-story teasers for quite some time)
Kane Bridge connects the North Island of Gotham to mainland Kane/Gotham County. It was first named as such in Eliot r Brown's Gotham Map back in No Man's Land as a reference to scammy Batman co-creator Bob Kane. Its named in-universe for Robert H Kane, an ancestor of Bruce's mother Martha Kane. This storyline was written by Scott Snyder, Kyle Higgins and Ryan Parrott in gates of Gotham.
Tucker Cobblepot was created as the father of the Penguin in the Daniel Waters/Sam Hamm scripted Batman Returns. Depending on how players voted in issue 3, we would have seen the Penguin but that character is still on the Arnold Flass is a corrupt Gotham cop from the Year One story , created by
Frank Miller , Dave Mazzucchelli and Richmond Lewis.
A prisoner transport leaving Gotham city to become "the state's problem" was inspired by The Joker prisoner transport scene from the Dark Knight.
Bristol Township is the Gotham City suburb where Wayne Manor is located. It was first termed as such in the Cary Burkett-written World's Finest Vol 1 #286 The atmosphere here was playing up the same old money scooby doo spooky mansion vibes of the Gotham Suburbs from the last time we saw them at Dr. Death's castle.
The Owl's swapping white masks for Black was also from Nightwing Rebirth #1. When I saw that scene I knew it was a perfect way to connect Black Mask to the Court. His speech here also takes elements of March's speech from that issue.
Blackgate Penitentiary debuted in 'Tec vol 1 #629 by Cary Burkett, Rich Buckler, Sam De La Rosa, Gene D'Angelo, and Phil Felix. As Arkham Asylum raised in prominence, It got used more as the location for Batman villains who weren't judged as mentally unfit to go to jail. I actually forgot the Judge of Owls was still in Blackgate, I'll handle that in a later edition.
The exploding mask bit was a bit of camp gruesomeness inspired by the Gotham TV series.
"Ma tu sei pazzo" is an Italian insult roughly meaning (cw: ableism) "You're crazy man."
"Scarface" keeps the pop culture reference theme of Black Mask, though I cheat here a bit in recalling a Universal Pictures/United Artists franchise,though the Ventriloquist named his his dummy Scarface, so there is a precedent for the term in the DCU.
The reference to "wings" here is be calling to attention how much of Batman organized crime factions are bird-themed (Falcone, Penguin, Owl)
"Wait till they get a load of me" is a quote jack Nicholson gave when he played The Joker in Batman (1989). Though I was more channeling when Red Mist as portrayed by Christopher Mintz-Plasse said it in the Jane Goldman/ Matthew Vaughn scripted Kick-Ass movie. Both characters were the rich entitled and whiny sons of rich crime bosses.
The ending announcer bit, (including the fun bit of coincidence of “Same Bat-Channel still making sense here) was borrowed from the cliffhangers William Dozier would do for the Batman ‘66 show. I actually am miffed I forgot about these and want to get back to doing them. Dozier’s narration was actually a spoof of Knox Manning’s narration on the Batman 1943 serial. A lot of Batman ‘66 was a Harvey Birdman-esque piss-take on that serial which was often viewed ironically in the 1960s.

And that's Batquets issue #1 annotated? My closing thoughts?

it's a bit rough a bit raw, but I really liked the clean straightforwardness of it. It feels to me like an opening five-issue arc of a run and I like its relative narrative tightness.
In retrospect, I would have been tighter with continuity, It could have used some more "game" elements (feedback stating this would directly influence Issue 2) and it would be cool to see some of the quality of life improvements of the later threads back porter to it, but for me its my personal second favorite of the three arcs.
For folks who read or it re-read it here? What are your thoughts on Issue 1?
This is true, I think I've done a decent job of threading that needle but there is always room for improvement and I encourage my readers to bring stuff to my attention.
Issue 1 was the roughest technically, still finding its footing and all, but was still really well-done and established a lot of what keeps me hooked on Batquest
Issue 2 is interesting in that it's where many hallmarks of the quest found their footing, while also being a hot mess from a narrative point of view.
As opposed to the primarily straightforward plot of Issue 1 or the denser but planned-out plots of Issues 3 and 4. issue 2 was written freestyle by the seat of my pants. It led to some interesting places and I like how it turned out, but by the end, I realizes it was much better for me (and I think the readers) to move from this method and into the one used for The Joker arc.


'Warriors of the Darkness" is a title made by Scott Snyder used to refer to The Dark Knights, a group of alternate universe evil Batman. The name was chosen because this issue was originally going to focus on a battle between various factions in Gotham city, the law, organized crime, and Batman, all of which were 'Warriors of the Dark" in some way. The triple meaning was inspired by how "The Dark Knight" title refers to Bruce, Joker, AND Dent.
It took a while for me to find an appropriate missing character from Gotham's underclass that didn't tap into the type of poverty/sex worker objectification I spoke about earlier with Betty. I eventually settled on Sasha, created by Grant Morrison and Frank Quietly and colored by Alex Sinclair In Batman and Robin #1. Being kidnapped and almost turned into a Doll happened to her there too, so swapping Prof Pyg for Dollmaker I felt made sense here. She also was the daughter of a small-town crook, so using her avoided the "pity the unhouse/ sex workers" angle I was going for while still hopefully showing how the weak in society are preyed on.
Bruce having access to GCPD files after Saint lost the contract is a follow-up from Issue 1. I hope little details like this that got unexplained for new readers but where older readers know the backstory, are the best of both worlds for the quest.
"Cops exist to protect capital, not people"is a slogan I wanted the GCPD to really embody here. Just like so many irl cities, the police department doesn't really give a damn when "invisibles" are the ones being harmed.
Westly and Barton Mathis are both from Tony s Daniel's script for 'Tec vol 2 #3. The backstory of being the son of a serial killer killed by police is also from that issue. It took me a while to find a good "intro character" but I liked Dollmaker because it let me to a short story about the issue of the foster care system, the US's improper handling of mental health, and how police intervention after the fact doesn't address the roots causes of harm.
Cape Carmine is from the original Eliot R Brown map of Gotham and has been a mainstay since. In-universe it’s named after the mobster Carmine Falcone, out of universe it’s named for Carmine Infantino. The Blimpcams are again taken from Batman/Superman Apocalypse, written by Tab Murphy
How Batman fights is also a “choose your flavor” moment where the audience could take cues from various adaptations.

Warrior Breed (named after the Chuck Dizon written “Tec Annual vol 1 #10) would give us a brawler Batman in the line of Battfleck, Battison, or the animated The Batman.
Specter in the Shadows (named for Len Wein-written Justice League of America vol 1 # 105) is a stealthier ninja-like Batman who avoids direct confrontation, akin to the Nolan films Batman
We went with The Batman Machine (named for a Bill Finger-written story with a great Morrison-bait name where Batman convinces some crooks he died and was replaced by a robot). A High tech Batman that leans heavily on gadgets, also a bit like the animated The Batman with a bit of the animated Brave and the Bold and of course Iron Man. This vote led to the voice-activated Bat gadgets which I like, especially since they make it sound like Bruce is calling his attacks Shoen Jump style.
>Shounen Jump/Tokusatsu Batman
The idea that Batman is technically embezzling funds and therefore stealing from shareholders was something brought up in James Tynion IV's run and also something commented on about the Nolan trilogy. As someone who also has to manage keeping business and personal funds separate, I made sure that Bruce was paying for Batman out of pocket.
The Batdrones are based on the ones Bruce uses in the Telltale Games Batman series. A relatively modern invention that makes perfect sense for Batman.
Sonic weapons are a perfectly on-brand nonlethal tool for Batman to use. I wasn't inspired by any particular iteration of Batman here, though Batman often uses them whenever he fights Superman.
The First use of Smoke Bombs goes back to 'Tec vol #33 written by Bill Finger and Gardner Fox. For our high-tech Batman, the smoke pours directly out the suit, no pellets required.
They get kinda glossed over here but the two figures Batman just took down were Orifice (the flipper) and Dollhouse(with the sledgehammer), members of the Dollmaker a family, a group of followers of his who wore skin and considered themselves his adopted children. Thus the "father" line.

Both debuted in 'Tec vol 2 # 2. Written and Penciled by Tony Salvador Daniel, Inked by Ryan Winn & Sandu Florea, and colored by Tomeu Morey.


DC Comics actually has several connections to Oz (Including the weird-ass Zoo Crew storyline "The Oz-Wonderland War" which also featured Alice in Wonderland characters). They even put out the comic adaptation of the MGM film.

Mathis here has a huge guilt complex over his father's killings that led him to go into medicine, but he became so obsessed with "balancing" his father's murders that when he saved more people he felt the scales had tipped over. That psychological backstory is my own invention. In retrospect, I think it falls a bit too much into the "made-up mental health condition for a villain" pile I try to move away from.

This vote introduced Fear State (named for the James Tynion IV written event) and Trust (a two-part comic story from 'Tec vol 1 #833-834 written by Paul Dini costarring his waifu Zatanna)

The idea is a classic videogamey "edgy" option and "nice" option but I felt played well into the idea of Batman as a hero of salvation or a dangerous figure of misplaced vengeance and violence. These stats were also meant to play into how characters reacted to you through the story but they didn't come into play as much, especially because intimidating someone to do something and having them trust you so they do it for you made fear and trust scores functionally the same. I feel the skill-level mechanic worked out better.

"Listen, you're sick, I can help you" is pieced together from two lines Bruce says to Matthew Warner, a child who became obsessed with Bruce Wayne, had his butler kill his parents, and then carved "Martha" and 'Thomas" into his cheeks and started calling himself "Master Bruce." Tom King wrote it.

The Compound fraction line is from Frank Miller's All-Star Batman and Robin script, where he has Bruce as the most brutally out of control.
This vote is somewhat pivotal in Batquest, and not just because of what Batman does. At the time I didn't realize only OP could format, and as I was moving around a lot of homes at the time (still do a bit to this day, thus my shifting IPs) I was in a different home from when I made the OP, and therefore my markup wasn't showing.

That archive won't show it, but I used to use a Monkequest-inspired color coding where different characters have lines in different colors. This incident led me to make an entirely new thread complete with reposting updates, and eventually led to the script format I use today.

The idea of the mentally ill as fundamentally violent is a harmful one. In truth, people with mental impairment are far more likely to be victims of violence than perpetrators of it. (Which is why I have Dollmaker ultimately being someone taken advantage of by Black Mask's syndicate.) But the sensation concept of the "psychotic killer" permeated into pop culture, leading to a significant amount of Batman villains being mentally unwell.
Some later stories have used this as a jumping-off point for stories about mental health, processing trauma, and the like, but I wanted to make a conscious effort to shift away from that portrayal of mental health with the villains here. As I said earlier Dollmaker was an early mistep. The more positive viewpoint on mental health led to our version of Arkham being an actually helpful place held back by a capitalistic and ableist system.

I liked that the audience chose the "help" angle. A more optimistic view of Batman is that he sends most of his villains to a hospital, not a jail. I love Batman stories where you see he sympathizes with his villains and wants them to get well, often directly supporting them with resources. Bruce seeing the similarities between himself and his villains as he does here, is also something those stories tend to make use of, a positive spin on the "we're not so different" cliche.

Writing-wise it made it even harder to work the guns into the story, because not only doesn't he want to kill his enemies unnecessarily but he actively is on board with helping them if that's the best solution. I ironically wound up fitting in any situation where Batman has *something* to shoot at, an ironic inversion of all the excuses the Golden Age books kept making for the bad guys NOT to shoot Bruce.

Had the vote gone the other way, our Bruce would shift more towards to the ASBAR side of the spectrum on the scale from Adam West to Frank Miller.

Detective Vision debuted in Rocksteady Games' Batman Arkham Asylum. A fun part of a techy Bat was getting to mix all the coolest gadgets in the mythos into one character.

Dollmaker wanting to "clean" his victims is inspired by the Arrow tv show adaptation of him mixed with the Morrison/Quitely-created Professor Pyg
Out of curiosity, I have to ask: why do you run a quest on 4chan, given you lean far harder left (compassion, diversity, socialist, etc.) than the norm for the site? So do I, mind you, but I've been here over half my life and am very desensitized to problematic tropes, banter, words, etcetera.
>Writing-wise it made it even harder to work the guns into the story, because not only doesn't he want to kill his enemies unnecessarily but he actively is on board with helping them if that's the best solution
Reminder: the Anon schizophrenia (as in the thing anons do when it specifically comes to quests and choose-your-own-adventure media, like this)
>ironically wound up fitting in any situation where Batman has *something* to shoot at, an ironic inversion of all the excuses the Golden Age books kept making for the bad guys NOT to shoot Bruce.
I find it hilarious that you have to resort to doing that to cope with anon's choices
>getting to mix all the coolest gadgets in the mythos into one character
This plus "calling your attacks" is nice bit of camp, albeit faint? When will Bruce call an attack only to do something else to fuck with an enemy?

And yeah, what >>5614174 said. Even though I'm also desensitized and adapted to those things, I still like the compassion and the niceness going on. Not very easy to work with either, given our present time and the society we live in. There's only so much cynicism can matter before it gets plain boring on the internet too, in my opinion.
>Anon schizophrenia
I don't think there's necessarily a disconnect between using lethal weapons and valuing the lives of criminals. You just have to be selective when you use them, or at least adopt a Disney's Gargoyles approach: "It's one thing to kill in the heat of battle, but THIS...", as Goliath expressed his misgivings to Demona.

I guess with our tech angle, we could develop more nonlethal firearms? As Frank Miller's DKR Bats put it: "Rubber bullets. Honest."
The vote here is another example of the audience picking between how different versions of Batman handled elements of the story.

Bruce's training to be Batman was first shown in Batman vol1 # 1 written by Bob Kane. Later writers added a series of international and extreme trainings and teachers.

Bruce was first shown being trained by the League of Assasins in Batman Begins. The League was created by Neal Adams in Strange Adventures vol 1 #215, where they were named "The Society of Assasins." Ra's a Ghul, their most common leader debuted in Batman vol # 1 232 by Adams, Dennis O'Neil, and Dick Giordano.
Had this won, Minhkhoa “Khoa” Khan aka Ghost-Maker (created by James Tynion IV, Jorge Jimenez, and Tomeu Moray. “Khoa” is his nickname I incorrectly parsed as a middle name) who also left the League, would have come to Gotham, kill a bunch of criminals, fight Bruce, insult him for the way he was fighting crime, then leave before telling Bruce that if he could find him, so could the Leauge.
Later a Leauge squad led by Sandra ( I accidentally wrote in the name of her daughter CASSandra. Sandra is from Dennis O'Neil, Ric Estrada and
Wally Wood’s Richard Dragon Kung Fu Fighter #5) would have come to assassinate one of their AWOL members (a major DC comics character who will show up later in the quest) telling Bruce they won’t interfere with his Batmanning if he stayed out of their assassinations. The players would then vote on what to do. The League would have been one of the "Warriors of Darkness" alongside the Batteam, the CBI, and the Mob. Their role in the story wound up being taken by Kobra and Waller's agents, though rough ideas for their storyline will be recycled in other ways.
I hadn’t sketched out much of a role for Morgan Ducard aka Nobody (created by Peter Tomasi, Patrick Gleason, Mick Gray and John Kalisz in Batman and Robin Vol 2 #1). To be fair the character overlaps a lot with Ghost-maker (Someone who trained with Bruce as a brother who comes to Gotham to kill people and insult Bruce for not being lethal enough). And frankly, I just found Ghost-Maker to be cooler. ( “Batman’s Sasuke” sounds like lowhanging fruit, but it works)
In retrospect I’m glad the vote went another way because 1. I like this quest's usage of lesser-known characters and Kobra being the Big Enemy Organization is a cool change of pace and 2. I still haven't cracked how I would do an LOA story that doesn't steep too much in the Fu Manchu Middle Eastern Ninjas orientalist stew stuff.
The Brotherhood of the Fist is a group Chuck Dixon, Doug Braithwaite, Robin Riggs
Lee Loughridge and Jamison made for the crossover of the same name. Rather than adapting that group directly, the name would have been applied to the martial arts temple Bruce trained in as he did in Soul of the Dragon and Batman the Brave and the Bold. The lineup of Richard Dragon, Bronze Tiger, and Sandra was also taken from Soul of the Dragon, that lineup itself is a reference to the main four characters of Enter the Dragon. (Richard Dragon was created by Dennis O’Neil and James R. Berry for the novel Kung Fu Master, Richard Dragon: Dragon's Fists which was later brought into DC comics. ) Had this won, Bruce would have recognized Ben from his training when he showed up with the CBI. When Cassandra came with the league we would get backstory of how she left the Brotherhood for the LOA.
Narratively and thematically there was a lot of overlap between the Brotherhood of the Fist backstory and the League of Assasins backstory. If I could go back, I would try to come up with a more distinct third choice than just another Asian secret society. Though even now I find it hard to find a good option. Perhaps a Private Detective Organization...

Team Seven is a military group that originally debuted in Wildstorm comics before being melded into the main DC Universe after the New 52. I’ll keep the specific lineup for this quest's version a secret because that plotline is still being uncovered. I’ll get more into detail about Katherine and Chase when they show up in the story. And Sandra hasn't debuted in the quest yet. (But she will.) Voters were right in that the guns and tech angle fit a Batman with a secret agent background and I had a lot of fun interpreting Batman as a psyops asymmetrical urban warfare project.
Mr Malone and Birdwatcher were the codenames Bruce and Dick used in the Grayson series. Mr Malone is based on Bruce's alias of Matches Malone, which debuted in Dennis O'Neil, Irv Novic and Dick Giordano's Batman vol 1 #242.
Prof Cornwall is Cliff Cornwall, a golden age FBI agent from a Flash Comics #1 story by Gardner Fox and Sheldon Moldoff.
I made him one of Bruce's teachers at the FBI academy as a nod to Dennis O'Neil, Dick Giordano's, and Tom McCraw's "Batman: The Man Who Falls" story in Secret Origins of the World's Greatest Super-Heroes. That story having Bruce training with the FBI was the key basis of the 'secret agent' backstory, and you'll see more of than expanded on now that Waller is joining the main plot.
Dick connects his distrust of the police with his Roma heritage. Romani people suffer from over-policing and association with crime in Europe. (We'll see a bit more of that later.)
Dick almost using Bruce's real name when thanking him and bruce shutting down his feelings sets up the emotional through line of this arc, Bruce and Dick's relationship.
The votes here being a mob story vote, a spy fiction vote and a sci fi vote become the three major "threads" of the quest, that show up later in Issue 3. Each taps into a classic sort of Batman story.
"Inside the Mafia Gang" is the title of a World's Finest story written by Bob Haney, used more here just for the fitting name.
"Laboratory Loot" is a Detective Comics story written by Don Cameron, also chosen for the title.
"Secret Files and Origins" (Sometimes just "Secret Files") in DC Comics title used for various self-contained sourcebook style comics that often mix short stories with background lore, maps charts, and the like. (The first, JLA Secret Files and Origins was written by Grant Morrison and Mark Millar) The pun between the company and the city where the federal government is located was something I've wanted to use for years.
>how I would do an LOA story that doesn't steep too much in the Fu Manchu Middle Eastern Ninjas orientalist stew stuff
Could just have them be a regular paramilitary with a an ancient magician leader akin to MCU Mandarin and his Ten Rings, I guess?

>a lot of overlap between the Brotherhood of the Fist backstory and the League of Assasins backstory
I gues,s but one descending from Middle Eastern mystics and Hashashin ripoffs and one from a Shaolin-style Sangri-La fighting temple offer a lot of cultural distinction. I think both would have afforded you a lot of opportunity for different flavours, even if I do love our weird Marxist CIA Spook Batman.
If I were to explore the League, I would lean more into the eco-terrorist stuff I think. And I agree the League and Brotherhood aren't TOO close though I do wish I could have something with less overlap. Especially since in recent times the League has ALSO had the whole Shaolin Shangrila temple thing going on. (It really has become a bit of a narrative dumping ground for all the 'Asian' tropes.)
To answer this question, inertia mostly. I got into /co/ around 2011 where I really got into the Hypercrisis threads (thus the name). I'm not saying it was a "/co/ is love" paradise but I found it a lost less hostile than it is now.
Overtime /co/ and a lot of other nerd culture stuff online got increasingly infested with what I would call alt-right culture war bullshit. It was a gradual build-up, but it eventually led to today where you cant discuss a comic or cartoon with a bunch of people ranting about cultural marxism or esg or how much they hate trans or Black people.
I play magic the gathering, which got me into /tg/ and from there I got into quests. When they moved to the new /qst/ I followed. In my experience, I have found /qst/ to be less full of that shit than /co/ though I have considered changing websites.
My primary concern was 1. Where to go and 2. Would the players of my various quests be cool with that?
I eventually decided that I would wrap up the major story arcs of Nationquest and Batquest before considering the switch but that's still an "if"
(Taking a break but the Annotations will return)
>The pun between the company and the city where the federal government is located was something I've wanted to use for years.
Can you explain the joke? It flew over me
I prefer 4chan, but for Batquest in particular I'll go anywhere that doesn't have an arduous registration process.
DC as in the comic company that publishs Batman (Detective Comics) and DC as in the capital city of the US (District of Colombia)
The Wayne Foundation debuted in 'Tec vol 1 #328,( written by Bill Finger) as the Alfred Foundation, made in honor of Alfred at his apparent death (and replacement with Aunt Harriet). Alfred's death didn't stick (that time) and it was renamed the Wayne Foundation once the butler came back to life. The foundation meeting is on Wednesday, the traditional day comics came out. Wednesday is named after Woden the germanic deity in charge of (among other things) writing and magic. Grant Morrison found this connection pretty apt.
Kord Industries is from the start of the 1986 Blue Beetle run written by Len Wein. That series introduced the Ted Kord Blue Beetle to the DCU and created KORD as the tech company he owned. I like using little shared universe nods like this to make it feel like there's more going on "off the page" even if we aren't seeing it.
Bruce dealing with the conflicting lives and minds of Batman and Wayne is a commonly mined story dynamic that this quest will focus more on in issue 3.
Cobblepot Park is from Telltale Games' first Batman game. Its worn-down nature there was a visual symbol of Penguin's family's fall from glory. This was another Penguin setup that, had votes gone differently, we would have seen pay off in Issue 3. He's still on the table though.
Bruce's noirish internal monologue is something Miller played up and that later writers carried on with. I purposely overdid the Sin City/Roarshachisms here to set up the joke with Kathy Kane calling him on his shit.
Kathy being a spay who sees Bruce's crusade as a childish game while she deals with the world's REAL issues is taken from Morrison's take on her in Batman inc vol 2.
Casablanca is a Warners property (like all irl pop culture references in this quest from now on) and Bruce modeling himself after old genre films are based on the idea of him being inspired to be Batman because of the film he saw the night his parents died was the Mark of Zorro (It was always after a movie, but Frank Miller is the one who first wrote it as a Zorro flick in homage to one of Batman's irl inspirations)
I think the "You Invaded Iraq" joke is one of the funniest things I ever wrote.
"K-Tech" stands for "Kryptonian Tech" a subtle reminder that Superman's landing changed EVERYTHING in this world.
Barney is Barney Ling, head of GOOD a private peacekeeping organization that employed Ben Turner and Richard Dragon. Ben, Barney, and GOOD all from Richard Dragon Kung Fu Fighter #1 by Denny O'Neil, Jim Berry, Leopoldo Duranona, and Ben Oda. The CBI (Central Bureau of Intelligence) is from New Teen Titans Annual vol 2 #3, by Marv Wolfman, Mike Collins, Romeo Tanghal, Adrienne Roy, and Albert DeGuzman. More on Ben's backstory will be shown in issue 5.
"Stick to what you do best, some people really do own the world" is a Morrison-written line from Batman Inc Vol 2 #13.
Channel 52 was an in-universe news channel that ran in backups of DC comics in the New 52 era. They would gives "newscasts" that advertised upcoming story arcs. Freddie E. Williams II penciled and inked them but I have no idea who the rest of the team was.
Jim Gordon, who debuted in 'Tec vol 1 27 makes his appearance here. As a purposeful shake-up, Ben and the CBI take the place that Gordon would in most traditional Batman stories. Jim is a minor character in the quest, but he will still show up here and there. The back and forth at the press conference was meant to show the tension of the CBI "taking over" Gotham. (A similar storyline showed up in Telltale Games Batman sequel "The Enemy Within" but I wrote this before I wound up playing it. Great minds and all..) The CBI taking over also means Bruce can't access their info like he could with the Gotham cops.

"On Leather Wings" is the first episode of Batman the Animated series, written by Mitch Brian. It has Batman hunting Manbat while the cops hunt him, pretty much what's happening in the quest.

"Collision Course" is the JUSTICE LEAGUE INTERNATIONAL VOL. 3 #8 story written by Dan Jurgens. Chosen for its name more so than anything this would have pushed more of the "Batman the Outlaw" angle that we eventually circled back to in issue 4.

"The Secret of the Bronze Tiger" is the title of the Denny O Neil written by Richard Dragon Kung Fu Fighter # 18. Had players voted for this option they would have the choice to form a relationship with Ben similar to the Batman-Gordon partnership seen in other media.
Phoenix Pharmaceuticals was a chemical company Man-bat broke into during "On Leather Wings." Langstrom taking Man-bat serum materials from it is taken from that episode.

Colgate Heights is a neighborhood named in Nokia's 3D Map of Gotham made to tie into The Dark Knight Rises. https://urbanabyss.obsidianportal.com/wikis/colgate-heights
If you overlay it on top of the comic map its in the Upper East Side which I felt made sense for a lab location.
Batman's fighting style is based on fighting from above and doing easily, so a giant beats fighting him in an enclosed space thousands of feet above the ground felt like a good threat for him.
And here we see the gun being shot, and also missing. But then I realized the sound would be a cool way to play into the Bathearing.
The Harbor they are floating over is Miller Harbor , which bordered Colgate Heights/The Uper East Side and is named for Frank Miller. It debuted in Elliot Brown's original map.
"Seatbelt on! Turbines to speed!" Is pulled from Batman 66's pilot episode (written by Lorenzo Semple Jr) where Robin as played by Burt Ward said "Atomic Batteries to Power! Turbines to Speed!” I think I misremembered 'the seatbelts part as a bit fo the original quote but it seems to be a campy line of my imagining.
A Contusion is the medical term for a bruise, periorbital hematomas are black eyes.

Shadows of Gotham is a subtitle given to the first part of the Beware the Batman animated series ( developed by Glen Murakami, Sam Register, Mitch Watson & Butch Lukic).
"Hammer of Justice" is from the Batman Brave and the Bold episode "The Criss Cross Conspiracy!" written by Adam Beechen. "The Hammer of Justice is Unisex" being the full quote .

The Fight Class system was an attempt to work into "game mechanics" into the votes. The idea was that you could choose to risk a a fight you may loose or take alterative routes. I think this system worked better than the Fear State/Trust system and I expect it to return in later issues.
"Hammers of Justixe" became a catchphrase/meme in the BatB Animated universe as well, cropping up as a battle-cry in the video game and a line in Vigilante's song about Batman, "Grey & Blue".


I also quite liked the Fight Class mechanism.
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