Comic Fodder

Batman Comes To Marvel

The first question you might ask yourself when reading the title to today’s column is, why? Clearly this could never actually happen, sure there have been a few crossovers but that’s not what I’m talking about today. I’m talking about implanting Batman, his supporting cast and villains into the Marvel Universe and the impact it would have in this post Civil War climate.

“But Shawn,” you say, “Why bring Batman into the Marvel universe at all?” The answer to this question is simple: Because he’s freaking Batman, he’s awesome and I needed a column for today so zip it feller!

Here’s how I see it:

While Tony Stark is busy spearheading the Superhero Registration Act movement, Wayne Enterprises decides now is the perfect time to branch out from Gotham into New York City. Stark is so distracted by his Civil War that he fails to notice Wayne moving in on his Government contracts and weapons sales. This move brings Bruce Wayne into New York City, Marvel’s New York, where crime is on the rise since all the superheroes began fighting each other. After a few days in town Wayne realizes that New York City is in need of a hero, someone with the ability to evade police or SHIELD capture and defend the citizens as only he can. A few quick calls later, Alfred meets Wayne in New York and begins to construct a new Batcave in an abandoned subway tunnel far below the new Wayne Enterprises building. While construction is underway Bruce wastes no time in donning the cape and cowl to dish out his brand of justice. Wayne spends his days in corporate meetings slowly integrating his company into the city and he spends his nights patrolling the rooftops as Batman.

Batman is effective enough in drastically lowering the crime rate, something that does NOT go unnoticed by local law enforcement (who are happy that he’s around), local news organizations (J.J. Jameson has found a new hero to call a menace and a monster, but is frustrated because no one can get a picture of Batman) and eventually the US Government.

From there things can go a few ways depending on the outcome of the Civil War story (still in progress):

- Bruce’s mission is too important to him to worry about getting involved in the Civil War. This could make for some interesting times when Captain America finally corner Batman in an alley and confronts him on his stance on the Registration Act. They could have words, throw fists, but ultimately Batman would flee the confrontation, not caring about anything more than keeping the streets as safe as he can.

- Perhaps Wayne Enterprises decides to make an offer to BUY Stark Industries (which I believe is now called Stark International) and Tony, caught up in his War, decides that to merge with Wayne (rather than sell-out to him altogether) will be a way to keep Stark International consumer friendly since his dealings with the Government during Civil War are having a negative effect on the consumers’ perception of the company.

- The Joker, missing Batman’s presence in Gotham decides he’s moving is whole operation to New York to be closer to his archenemy/ only and oldest acquaintance. After arriving in NYC the Joker chooses to set his base in Hell’s Kitchen, because the name makes him giggle. Here he has several run-ins with Daredevil (first the one pretending to be Daredevil, then the REAL, Matt Murdock, Daredevil newly escaped from prison), eventually bring Batman to Hell’s Kitchen for his first clash with the Man Without Fear.

- Later, perhaps, the Joker becomes obsessed with the ranting of Daily Bugle editor-in-chief, J. Jonah Jameson. Maybe he starts to terrorize JJ, begging him to write more seething articles about Batman and then lashing out at him when he refuses to take orders from a clown. This would be the perfect chance to bring Spiderman and Batman together to save JJ from the Joker, something JJ will hate, of course.

- The Joker, after getting the snot beat out of him by Batman, Spiderman and Daredevil, decides he needs to make friends and begins to research the criminal element in Marvel’s NYC. This leads him to the nearest OsCorp (CEO Norman Osborn) where he asks to speak with Norman before passing out. Norman Osborn is like the pre-Crisis Lex Luthor; only instead of a green and purple suit of armor he wears the Green Goblin costume and throws pumpkin bombs. Aside from that major difference (and the fact that Norman has a head full of thick, wavy, brown hair and Lex is bald as a babies behind) Norman Osborn is the closest equivalent to DC Comics’ brilliant master-criminal, driven by his own greed and personal obsessions. This could be the start of a bizarre business partnership between the Joker (in needs of some extra muscle and someone who knows the ins and outs of the Marvel Universe) and Norman Osborn (always looking for a new project and mistakenly believing that he can control the Joker) that could end with the self-destruction of both men but would be sure to wreak havoc on any hero they set their sites on.

The above will never happen, I’m not even suggesting it should. I think it could be awesome and I would definitely buy every issue of Marvel’s Batman. Although it will never happen it is fun to play this game and a good writing exercise for yours truly but what I really want to know is what YOU think.

Could it work? How would you do it? What other characters can we bring from DC into the Marvel Universe without drastic changes to their personalities?

Comments section below, what are you waiting for?

With a Wayne/Stark merger, can an Iron Bat be far behind? And would he have a sometimes-ally, sometimes-nemesis called "War Bat?"

Great idea. And there is no cooler title for a graphic novel than BATMAN: HELL'S KITCHEN.

And it brings up the possibility of a Batman/She-Hulk romance!

Coincidentally, I've recently been thinking back to the brief time that the two universes merged and wondering why they pitted Batman against Captain America and not Daredevil. It seems like a better match.

And I've been noticing some parallels between Bats and Iron Man, too. Both are fantabulously wealthy. Neither have any actual powers. Both belong to organizations of superheroes (JLA and the Avengers). Stark is an alcoholic, and if ANY character in all of comicdom SHOULD be an alcoholic, it's Batman.

I've been a Marveler since I was a preteen, but Batman has for a long time been the one exception. Supes is too much of a boyscout. The Flash has never interested me in the least. But Bats; Bats is complicated and dark, like much of the Marvel Universe.

The question then becomes; which character to you then pluck out of the Marvel universe and plop down into the middle of DCdom to replace Bats with? Spidey? Captain America? Tigra?

-- Posted by: John at July 11, 2006 10:20 AM


Thanks for the comments! Glad there are people actually reading this column....sometimes it's like writing in the cold, lonely depths of deep space. Your comments are just the responce I was hoping for. I'm glad my idea has struck you with inspiration.

As for your final question, which hero from Marvel should go to DC, just wait and see....I'll be posting the answer in a column coming up soon.

-- Posted by: Shawn at July 11, 2006 12:43 PM

I actually thought about a "Batman moves to Marvel" scenario before. I'm glad to know I'm not the only one. It always seemed to me that Batman was the lone DC character the hard-core Marvel fans respected. Could you imagine if he actually moved? The Marvel U would get much darker and there'd be no reason to care about the DCU anymore. However, it would be tough explaining how Gotham City just popped up out the ground.

-- Posted by: Rob at July 12, 2006 9:31 AM

Hey, didnt'/wasnt DCU's Captain Atom switched over to the Marvel Universe. Or was it Captain Marvel move to DCU?

-- Posted by: marc at July 18, 2006 3:37 PM

I like it. The Joker would be cool as a new recipient for the Venom symbiote - think Carnage with a sense of humour!

-- Posted by: Neil at July 19, 2006 9:16 AM

Personally, I'd like to keep Batman in Gotham. It's his home. But Batman in the Marvel universe is a pretty cool idea. I've been thinking up stories of Batman going up against some of the Marvel villains lately, and I'd love to see Batman clash with Kingpin. The senario would be this....Kingpin decides to move a branch of his bussiness to Gotham City. Of course, Batman will make a record of this, just in case he has to keep an eye on the guy. He starts noticing that ever since Kingpin moved in, the crime wave has jumped from local to international terms, and, while he has no evidence, he decides to check it out anyway. He consults Commishoner Gordon about Kingpin, but, Gordon tells him that he's clean. But there's just something about Kingpin's attitude that just rubs him the wrong way. He decides that he'll confront the crime boss face to face, and he finds the Sinister Six in his way. (Lizard, Mysterio, Hobgoblin, Dr. Octopus, Electro, & Chameleon.) Barely getting out alive, he calls for help from Batgirl, Catwoman, Robin, Nightwing, and a special favor from Green Arrow. what do you think so far? This is as far as I have Gotten with it.

-- Posted by: Prayerrun at November 14, 2006 10:43 AM