Thursday, September 25, 2014

Futures End: Batman and Robin #1

Five years ago, the world as we know it ceased to be. Luckily, the world as we know it from The Road Warrior came into being. Many people were prepared for this turn of events. Too bad those people were geeks and nerds without any real survival skills. Tragically, they were all rape-murdered by corporate CEOs who, it turned out, were the biggest sociopaths on the planet. Some nerds and geeks survived longer than others due to their proficiency at oral sex. But even these desperate, shameless nerds could not last for long. Eee! Tess Ate Chai Tea gave and gave and gave but eventually, as he knew deep down would happen, he used a little too much teeth. He was thrown into Lightning Dome, a more terrifying version of Thunder Dome, where twenty combatants entered and nineteen left. Mostly because the nineteen were working together to fightfuck the lone other. Eee! Tess Ate Chai Tea lasted thirteen minutes, a good showing but not good enough to be remembered for more than the long weekend.

As it turned out, some of the most depraved and richest CEOs were the biggest fans of Eee! Tess Ate Chai Tea. When the updates stopped (for, you see, DC Comics continued to publish during these post-apocalyptic times although their market share was now worse than Dynamite. In their defense, Gail Simone was being forced to write all of the titles deep within Dynamite headquarters, and all of the titles featured naked lesbians as every character), the CEOs grew desperate for the only written entertainment they could stomach. A new Tess was needed. And who better to take over the job than the monster that delivered the death thrust to Tess, Goggles McDeathhurt.

And now, five years later, Goggles McDeathhurt and Xanadux Rat Wine (Mit Jellied Pinkies) Present: HOLY FUCK! Don't Put That There Chai Tea! But other radio broadcasts continue to pierce the dust. One of these is "Deep Thought," The Deep Stacks continuous cataloging of any text they can find. The broadcasts are archived in block of various length, depending on how much each Archivist is willing to read before ending his or her block to let the next Archivist on air.

Welcome to Deep Thought, Block Twelve Thousand, Twenty-Eight. I am Archivist Kesey. I've got something here that I wanted to read to everybody, and I wanted them to think on it, and to try to figure out what it means to them and their own life. But don't get all pretentious and intellectual about it. Just let the story settle inside, lay down its blanket, stretch out, relax, and make itself at home. It's a tough world out there and sometimes you just need to take a moment and get away from your own thoughts. Vacate your head, let someone else in, and just enjoy the ride. These days, it seems like the only way to escape the hardships, right?

This text is Futures End: Batman and Robin #1. It's published by, oh, I don't know, DC Comics, I think? Some of these Archivists out here are sticklers for details but what's the point? We've got the book right here! My reading of it won't matter to history. But it does matter now, to those people listening, looking for a little time out. So sit back, shut your eyes, and open your minds. Let's ride this thing for awhile, shall we?

Batman has a new Robin. One he can trust to get the crime fighting business done but he feels distant enough from so as not to burden the new Robin with his many, many issues.

Robin, of course, feels neglected and left out of the loop. But Batman certainly doesn't want him in his vengeance loop, or his mourning loop, or his obsessive compulsive loop. Batman just needs somebody that can say, "Hey, man. I get it. Gotham has some bad people, ya know? I can take care of those bad people without any supervision. I got this." Batman does not need somebody to say, "Hey, Batman! Do you approve of the job I just did? How about laying down a warm fuzzy or two on this here guy working the work for you? Maybe a pat on the back? A little praise? A compliment or two? Um, Batman? Batman? Am I doing a good job? Love me, Batman! Love me!" This new Robin seems like he's the first type but he also seems like he needs a bit more information from Alfred or Batman or some cat somewhere! We all got a few issues with the self-esteem sometimes, and a little transparency and clarity really help to chill it out.

Batman is currently on a bad trip chasing down a guy dressed up like the dude who killed Damian, The Heretic. That probably won't end well since The Heretic was a messed up clone of Damian and this one's probably a clone as well. And if he isn't as messed up as the last one, Batman might think Damian's come back to him.

Batman and The Heretic fight for a few pages while Alfred continues to get more and more worried about Batman's health. Apparently he's been so hard on his body that five years in the future, he's in worse physical condition than Alfred who must be thirty years older than he is, if not forty.

Alfred is always the first to crack. Didn't Damian's death teach him anything about being too soft? Bah, Alfred can't be anything except Alfred. It's why he's such a lovable character.

Robin saves Batman's life but in the process, The Heretic burns up. Batman takes a DNA sample to find out if it's a Damian clone but that question is never answered in this story. Instead, Batman realizes he's getting too old for this shit. He's let fear worm its way into his being, little by little by little over the years. Damian's death. Nightwing's near death. Lex Luthor discovering his identity. Bane breaking his back. Earth almost being destroyed by Apokolips. He hasn't realized how much it's eaten away at him and it all began when he lost the confidence in his sidekick's ability to keep himself safe. But this Robin is far less sidekick than the others, and, as Batman has lost a lot of speed, strength, and endurance over the years...this Robin is probably Batman's equal if, no. That's not a thought that needs to be voiced, now is it? Batman's a tough bastard and he'll always figure out a way, even if he needs to lean on, and learn to trust, new people in his life.

Hey, that was a short one, wasn't it? I wonder if I got anything else to read lying around here? Let's see...a list of chemicals I need for my cooking later. Can't read that out or I'll go out of business, right? Ha! Oh wait! Here! Here's a poem I was working on earlier when I felt connected to this present in a way I don't normally feel. Ahem. I call it "Sin Chrono City."

When Jesus Christ was crucified,
Kennedy was shot,
While Robespierre killed thousands,
Hitler did the same,
During a trial of ideas
Which left a great Greek dead
And caused a sudden rush toward space.

When Jesus Christ was crucified,
Prohibition cause a war
Between Europeans and the Indians
As a man named Jack killed London whores,
Lincoln sat and watched a play
Of a culture lost across a sea
And enslaved through countless years.

When Jesus Christ was crucified,
A universe was formed
And dinosaurs roamed through the space
Between atoms and seconds and stars,
Between cities which rose to cover the globe
While a flood cleansed this world's sins
In a garden of once perfect bliss.

Jesus Christ was crucified
The moment he was born.

I don't know. I was feeling a bit cosmic for a second. It's nothing much but a few scant phrases jammed together in a fairly repetitive pattern. But if I don't document the things I've written, who will? Archivist Shakespeare? Archivist Melville? Maybe Archivist King might. He's pretty keen on popular writings. And by popular, I don't mean thought of as cool! I mean that other definition that has to do with the masses or something. Bah, you know what I mean. I'd read the definition but I'm pretty sure it's already cross referenced in Block Blah Blah Blah.

Anyway, I'll leave you for Archivist Austen after one more poem, since I've now got Jesus Christ on my mind. I called this one "Being There."

As the cross was set upon the ground and ready to be raised to stand up high, I thought of the coming vengeance.
As they led the "Messiah" to his proving grounds, I laughed at and scorned his hated name.
As they threw his thin body upon the ground, I was the first to kick him.
And they tore off his clothes and they spit on his face and they laid him upon his wooden tomb.

And the crowd roared for a miracle, but the heavens would not open up.

As they bound his wrists upon the posts, I felt my own wrists burn.
As they tied his ankles around the base, I felt that I might fall.
As they put the crown of jagged thorns upon his human brow, I felt the sting of angry barbs encircling my own.
And they pounded the nails down into his palms and they raised the cross to stand up high, and one of them ran him through with his spear.

And the crowd roared for a miracle, but the heavens would not open up.

As the blood flowed down his wrists, I thought of every man whom I'd fought.
As the blood ran down his gasping chest, I thought of all my words against God.
As the blood ran down below his waist, I thought of every partner I'd had.
And he called to the Lord; and the guards, they all laughed; and a few of the women, they cried.

And the crowd began to walk away for the heavens would not open up.

All grew quiet as he sighed his last breaths, and I suddenly knew I was wrong.
So I cried to the lord that I should be forgiven, but I knew he ignored every word.
And I walked away to live my life so that Jesus Christ might die.

Bah, it's silly. But I suppose we should all get the chance to document the things that come out of our head, right? I guess I'm kind of lucky to have an audience. I think. Are you out there? Ha ha! Okay, Archivist Austen is looking forlorn and melancholy, so I think you're in for a good nostalgic cry in the next few hours. Take care. I mean, this ends Block Twelve Thousand, Twenty-Eight! Break out, people! Good night!

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