Calling all fans! If you’ve created your own fan art, fan fiction of even fan films of your favourite superheroes, we’re keen to feature you on the site’s brand-new Fan Zone section. Since the characters are licensed, no one will earn a single cent (otherwise, we’ll all be sued by the suits), but we’d like to connect creators with other creators and show off everyone’s talents. If you have anything you’d like to submit, please get in touch: firstname.lastname@example.org. We’ll be kicking it off with a Batman story titled The Darkest Knight…
The Darkest Knight: A Batman Story
About the story:
So we’ve all been introduced to the DCEU and its major players so far. The inevitable Batman solo movie is coming, and we’ve heard whispers that it’ll contain Deathstroke, Arkham Asylum, Red Hood and possibly every other major Batman villain under the sun. So I got thinking about what sort of a story I’d like to see in a Batman film and came up with a concept where Batman needs to go into Arkham, which has been taken over by Red Hood who holds the Joker hostage. In the film, Bruce would need to deal with his past demons and decide whether he can still save Jason Todd or the criminals he put away over the years. The Darkest Knight is the prologue to this story. The Joker and Harley have been caught and put away in Arkham, but for how long? I hope you enjoy the story.
“He misses me, you know,” the green-haired psychopath whispered to the guard stationed outside his cell. “That’s why I need to get out of here. For him.” He flapped his arms and made swoosh noises.
“Shut it, clown,” the guard replied, lifting up his baton. “And I won’t tell you again: step away from the bars.”
The Joker’s blood-red lips parted, revealing a harrowing steel-capped grin. “Now, now, is that any way to speak to an old friend?”
“We’re nothing to each other, freak.”
“You’re breaking Uncle Joker’s heart here, Frank. Is your name even Frank? Well, it is now.” He swayed from bar to bar, rolling his head from side to side. “The first thing I’m going to do when I get out of here is find your family. Then I’m going to burn them until they look like Two-Face’s good side.” His maniacal smile stretched across his pale face. “Maybe I’ll roast some marshmallows while I’m at it, too. Ha!”
“Would you like me to send you photos of your cooked family, Frank? People do say I’ve got a good eye for photography. Just ask Commissioner Gordon for a reference…” He winked.
The guard slammed his baton against the bars, catching the inmate’s thumb. “I warned you!”
The Joker sucked on his bruised thumb and cackled. “Wait until Batsy finds out about this, Frank. Ooh, he’s going to be so angry with you. Nobody puts Joker in the corner.”
“For the love of God, will someone please shut that stupid clown up once and for all?” an inmate from the opposite cell pleaded. “Some of us are trying to read here.”
The guard banged his baton against the other cell’s bars. “Hey! Not another peep from you either, Cobblepot.”
“Yes, shut up, Wobblepot,” the Joker taunted.
Oswald Cobblepot, better known as the conniving criminal Penguin, mumbled and retreated to the back of his cell with his book. There was no peace and quiet when the Joker was your neighbour.
The intercom crackled.
“Attention, attention. All Level 1 guards to report to the main foyer for Protocol 182. Repeat. All Level 1 guards to report to the main foyer for Protocol 182.”
“182? I do believe that’s code for a welcome party,” the Joker said, “or a farewell, depending on how you look at it.”
This time, the guard ignored the inmate’s comments and rested his hand firmly on his pistol. As often as Protocol 182 was in Arkham Asylum, the arrival of new inmates put the staff on edge. Criminals could be rehabilitated since they were ordinary people who’d made a bad choice or two in life – but what’s the cure for pure evil? The guards and orderlies prayed for a run-of-the-mill murderer instead of the Devil’s rejects they shared their lives with on a daily basis.
Gunshots exploded from the main foyer, shaking the asylum’s stony walls and rattling the residents’ nerves. The guard sprung into action, drawing his pistol and aiming it at the steel door at the end of the cold passage. Many souls had been lost in the cells, but many more had succumbed to a cruel fate outside of them. The inimitable stench of death still reeked in every inch of Arkham from breakouts gone bad.
“That’s my ride,” the Joker proudly proclaimed, as he slicked back his hair and picked at his teeth with his nails.
“What the hell are you on about?” The guard’s trigger hand trembled. “Did you plan this?”
“If I say yes, will you pinkie promise to keep it a secret?”
The guard stuck his pistol between the bars and pointed it at the Joker’s head. “Tell me what you’ve done, you sick piece of—”
The steel door burst off its hinges and the Joker’s burly henchman, Jonny Frost, opened fire on the hapless guard. The Joker stood quietly, fixing one defiant strand of green hair that refused to fall into place. In the other cell, having instigated many shoot-outs in his previous life on the outside, the Penguin did what he did best: squawk and run for cover.
By the time Frost unloaded his machine gun’s first round, pieces of the guard were splattered across the floor, the wall and the inside of the Joker’s cell.
“Yuck,” the Joker grumbled, shaking off a gooey substance from his foot. “Does anyone have a tissue? There’s some Frank on me.”
“Time to roll, boss,” Frost said, pulling out a set of keys. “Where’s Harley? The boys’ll bust her out.”
The Joker’s sinister smile curved into a hateful grimace. “No. Leave her.”
“You sure, boss?” Frost asked as he struggled with the cell’s lock.
“Of course I’m sure, you imbecile. Let her new friend, Floyd, come to her rescue.” He watched as Frost fumbled with key after key. “And hurry up and get me out of here. I don’t have all night.”
“I’m tryin’, but nothin’ seems to work here.”
The man dressed in the furry panda suit ran down the passage, holding out a long silver key in his paw. “Is this what you’re looking for?”
“Yeah, where’d you get it from?” Frost asked.
“More importantly, who knew Panda Man could speak?” the Joker added.
Panda Man shrugged and handed over the key. Frost put it in the keyhole, but before he could open the cell door, his head met the bars. Over and over again, his head smashed against the metal until he dropped to the floor and stopped moving.
The Joker stared at his fallen henchman and back at the bloodied Panda Man. “So is this your way of asking for a promotion?” he asked.
“No.” Panda Man opened the door and went into the cell. “You and I need to talk.”
“This isn’t the best time to ask for a raise, Panda Man, even though your work here did tug on my ol’ heartstrings.” The Joker laughed, but his laughter soon drooped into a scowl. “I’ll tell you what: get out of my way now and I’ll only shoot you in the head. It’ll be quick and easy.”
“That’s not gonna happen.”
“This isn’t multiple choice.”
The klaxon blared, and the Joker’s eyes widened. “Get out of my way, you idiot. Or we’ll both be stuck in here.”
“That’s the plan.” Panda Man chuckled.
Joker didn’t find the funny side of it. He charged at Panda Guy, who used the Clown Prince of Crime’s momentum against him and redirected his attack straight into the hard brick wall of his cell.
Picking himself up and clicking his shoulder back into place, the Joker sniggered. “Beaten by a bat and now a panda. What’ve I done to deserve the wrath of the animal kingdom?”
Panda Man grabbed him by the collar and shoved him against the wall. “The only animal I see is you, Chuckles.”
The comment wiped the smirk off the Joker’s face. “Out with it. What do you want?”
Panda Man removed his furry headwear to reveal a shiny, red helmet underneath.
“Well, they do say imitation’s the most sincere form of flattery,” the Joker said as he gazed at his own sick reflection in the helmet. “But I reiterate, what do you want?”
The man shed the rest of the panda suit, showing off a full-body armoured suit covered by a military style trench coat. Like the Bat, he also possessed a utility belt, but with more “persuasive” items than Gotham’s knight.
The Joker didn’t take his eyes off the man’s belt, especially the triple whammy of a knife, Glock 40 and crowbar. “Did I kill someone you love? Or did I kill someone you hate?”
“Let’s say you ‘damaged’ me,” the man said, pounding the clown’s face three times.
“Hit him harder,” Penguin encouraged from under his mattress.
The Joker spat out a metal tooth, licked the blood off his lips and motioned for more. “Well, ‘Red Hood’, I suggest you get your hits in while you can because the Bat will be here in no time to put an end to this.”
Red Hood grabbed a knife from his belt and jabbed it into the Robin tattoo on the Joker’s bicep, pinning him to the wall. “Oh, I’m counting on it.”
The madman howled as the jagged blade tore into his flesh. “Somehow I think this might be more personal. Am I right?” he spluttered.
Red Hood danced his fingers on the crowbar. “Tell me, which hurts more? A,” he struck the crowbar downwards on the Joker’s head, “or B?” He walloped him again on the reverse swing.
The Joker’s crooked mind raced as he gazed at the hooded figure in front of him. “No, it can’t be. I watched you die…”
Red Hood swung at the Joker’s ribs. “Does anything ever stay dead in this city?”
“Good point.” The Joker attempted to laugh in between laboured breaths. “How about we make a deal?”
The beating stopped for a few seconds. “Nah, I’m just gonna keep beating you with this crowbar,” Red Hood said, resuming the beating. “Then I’m gonna cut that stupid smile off your face.”