Batman: Shadow of the Bat #57
April 20, 2015
So... like... Batman is all just... wait, what?
(Linkara is seen not at his futon, but on a bed in a hotel room)
Linkara: Hello, and welcome to Atop the Fourth Wall, where bad comics burn. Filming this one from a hotel room. Got kind of overwhelmed with cameos last time, and I don't want to have that happen again–
Voice: Hey, sugar!
(Linkara looks up to see who said that. It's Brad Jones, who stands in the doorway)
Brad: Can I get my cameo out of the way? I'm on my way to a panel.
Linkara: (confused) Huh? I don't have cameos in this episode.
Brad: Really? (looks behind him out into the hallway) 'Cause there's, like, a line of people waiting to do theirs.
Linkara: (incredulously) Line?!
(He gets up from the bed and walks out into the hall – and spots, to his surprise, a line of people lined up, all Channel Awesome members: Yomarz, Megami33, Calluna, Malcolm Ray, Tamara Chambers, the Shark Jumping couple, ToddInTheShadows, and the Nostalgia Critic. They look up to see Linkara)
Linkara: I'm not doing cameos in this one. You guys get out of here!
(Everyone all groans at once)
Calluna: Wait, I'm confused: why do we hate each other exactly?
Linkara: What do you mean?
Calluna: (exasperated) I don't get it! Why is this a constant thing that everyone gets so irritated about being in other people's videos like cameos and stuff? I just don't understand! Are we all supposed to be friends?
(Linkara, realizing what she's trying to say, strokes his chin, trying to think. Then we cut back inside the hotel room, where everyone is all crowded around his bed with him)
Linkara: Hello, (NC rolls his eyes) and welcome to Atop the Fourth–
NC: (interrupting) No, no, no, I should start. (looks into camera) Hello, I'm the Nostalgia–
Linkara: Wait, wait, wait, wait, wait! Why?
NC: I'm the more popular one!
Linkara: But it's my show!
Beth E.: Actually, we think your show could use some improvements.
Tim Sampson: We've outlined a few suggestions for fixing the–
Linkara: (sharply) No! My show is fine!
Todd: Yeah, just keep telling yourself that.
Linkara: It's my video, I'm starting it off!
Yomarz: And this is why I don't do comic book reviews.
Megami33: I don't know anybody here. I'm just here for those street passes.
Linkara: Look, this is getting maybe a little bit too chaotic here!
Malcolm: Wait, who has the Batman costume I'm supposed to wear?
Tamara: Am I dressing as Poison Ivy for this one?
Linkara: Nobody's dressing as anything! (NC nods and points to Linkara) There aren't any skits in my videos!
Tamara: (relieved) Oh, thank God.
NC: Wait, what?!
Malcolm: Can we work for your show instead?
Linkara: I don't really know what I would have you guys do.
Calluna: Uh, I can be some help.
Linkara: (exasperated) Look, I just don't want–
(Suddenly, he is interrupted as everyone all start arguing in audibly at once, with Linkara joining in as he protests their arguments. At one point, NC takes off his hat and grabs Linkara's hat and switches them, with NC putting his hat on Linkara's head while NC wears Linkara's hat, after he imitates Linkara's voice in a mocking tone (not that it's all that audible over everyone shouting). Linkara tries to grab his hat back from NC, leading to a fight between them. After a few seconds, we cut to some time later as everyone else is gone, leaving Linkara alone in his room, frowning at the camera, his vest unbuttoned)
Linkara: And that's why.
(AT4W title sequence plays, and the title card has "Everybody Must Get Stoned" by Bob Dylan playing in the background. Cut back to Linkara as he rebuttons his vest, sighing)
Linkara: I think one of them took the comic with them. All right, uh, so, anyway, welcome to "PSA Hell"!
(The "PSA Hell" title starts up, but Linkara cuts it off, waving dismissively)
Linkara: Yeah, yeah, yeah, skip it, we've already wasted enough time.
(Cut to black)
Linkara (v/o): (dramatically) Previously on "Batman: Shadow of the Bat"...
(A montage of shots of "Batman: Shadow of the Bat #56" is shown, as Linkara gives a recap of it)
Linkara (v/o): A massive influx of genetically-enhanced marijuana has come to Gotham City, being spread by new drug dealers for pennies compared to what the cartels are selling at and causing a drug war. Tim Drake is busy fighting off the excessive amount of people in this school who smoke pot out in the open like idiots. And Poison Ivy is freed from prison by two scantily-clad assassins and brought to a disused subway system. Lots of moralizing, lots of drugs, lots of killing.
Linkara: So... yeah, a typical PSA. Let's dig into "Batman: Shadow of the Bat #57" and see where they go with this.
(Cut to a closeup of the comic's cover)
Linkara (v/o): The cover is great and gets the idea across easily: tons and tons of vines, with marijuana leaves, wrapping around Batman and ripping up his clothes. Hell, Batman's almost doing an Escher Girl-style boobs-and-butt pose, where a person twists their upper body around almost 180 degrees. (reads text dramatically) "VENGEANCE OF POISON IVY"!
Linkara: Or, based on the type of leaves shown on the cover: "Vengeance of Poison Hemp".
Linkara (v/o): We open where we sort of left off in the last issue, with vines emerging from the darkness to grab Poison Ivy after she failed to kill the two assassin ladies. However, this issue shows a little more: that the vines belong to none other than Jason Woodrue, the Floronic Man. From the looks of him, he's apparently entered his goth phase, since he's ditched his...
(Cut to a shot of the Floronic Man from an issue of "New Guardians")
Linkara (v/o): ...yellow and orange coral look for...
(Cut back to the Batman comic)
Linkara (v/o): ...old and kind of rotting.
Text: "Leaves of Grass, Part 2: REEFER MADNESS".
(Cut to a clip of Reefer Madness as seen on RiffTrax)
Bill Corbett: Invisi-joint!
(Cut to a shot of "Catwoman: Guardian of Gotham")
Linkara (v/o): Oh, hey, remember how in "Catwoman: Guardian of Gotham", Jim Balent was incapable of drawing women if they weren't in high heels, to the point where they were always on their tippy-toes?
(Cut back to the "Batman" comic, showing Poison Ivy also standing on her tiptoes, also showing the comic's credits, including Dave Taylor as the penciller)
Linkara (v/o): Yeah, that's not a problem exclusive to him, as you can see with Ivy's elevated arches there.
Poison Ivy: Jason Woodrue--the maniac who made me what I am today!
Jason: What way is that to greet your old teacher, Ivy?
Linkara: (as Jason) What new spore of madness is this? (normal) Wow, that's the first time in years I've actually been able to use that joke in relation to the guy who first said it.
Jason: And you can call me Floro now.
Linkara: (as Jason) It's part of my new rebranding strategy. The test markets love it!
Linkara (v/o): Poison Ivy snaps his vines to make him let her go, then asks why the hell he had her freed.
Jason: Hmm. Good question. Why did I break you out of Arkham?
Linkara: (as Jason, looking around) Hang on, I've got the script around here somewhere. That should tell us why.
Linkara (v/o): He says that "it" affects his short-term memory, so he's having trouble remembering why he wanted her kidnapped and brought underground. Ivy manages to make him remember with a stray word, and he says she'll approve of what he's doing when she sees, even offering her ten million dollars.
Linkara: You'd think that's a lot of money, but he's actually offering her ten million dollars' worth of plastic plants.
Linkara (v/o): We cut over to Arkham Asylum, where Harvey Bullock and another detective are investigating Ivy's escape.
Harvey: I seen better security in a sieve than Arkham Asylum!
Second Detective: How do you guard against a giant ivy, Harv?
Linkara: (looking up in thought) Hmm... Set up an enormous wall of fire around the place? Why not? It'd be incentive for the criminals not to escape, too.
Linkara (v/o): When they leave to get some coffee... leaving no one behind to take evidence, because the Gotham Police Force is just about as effective as Arkham security... Batman comes in and picks up an apple that Bullock appeared to be eating earlier, placing it in an evidence bag.
Linkara: (as Batman, wearing his mask) There aren't enough vegetables in Bullock's diet, and now I can prove it!
Linkara (v/o): He also takes some samples from the giant ivy and grass.
Linkara: (dramatically) Batman, world's greatest gardener!
Linkara (v/o): As Floro lays Ivy down into the abandoned subway, she realizes there are other people in the tunnel.
Floro: These are some of my molemen...
(Cut to a clip of an episode of The Simpsons)
Hans Moleman: Hello, this is Moleman in the morning. Good Moleman to you.
(Back to the comic again)
Floro: ...the social misfits who act as my subterranean employees.
Linkara: (as Floro) They used to work for some other Moleman, but then they quit when he teamed up with a space knight.
Floro: They keep the tunnels clean, ferry my wares.
Linkara: (as Floro) And their union is terrible, so I can exploit the hell out of them!
Linkara (v/o): Ivy wants to know what's going on, so Floro starts a flashback. He says that Swamp Thing had decided to destroy the world and start all over again with lifeforms he deemed worthy. He had turned into a massive organic structure to hold all the ones he planned to survive...
Linkara: Swamp Thing's greatest achievement in comics: becoming a living silo.
Linkara (v/o): ...and Floro was sent in to try to distract Swamp Thing... The two have a history together; see the Longbox of the Damned review of Swamp Thing if you want a few more details. ...while other heroes tried another plan.
Ivy: Not like you to ever help a human being, Floro!
Linkara: (as Floro) Well, there was that one time I was part of a superhero team whose goal was to usher in the next evolution of humanity by having lots and lots of sex, but for some reason, no one ever wants to talk about that.
Linkara (v/o): The world did indeed end up saved, but in the ensuing battle, Floro got his head chopped off. But this is comics, where that kind of thing just usually means you end up in a jar controlling a robot body. In his case, he was taken to S.T.A.R. Labs and fed nutrients to keep him alive. However, the technician assigned to take care of him loooved to smoke himself a bunch of marijuana, even to the point of using the lab to grow himself more pot. The nutrients from it made their way into Floro's head as he regrew.
Ivy: You regrew... under the influence of dope?
Linkara: Damn! Now he's unstoppable! Hemp makes such a great rope! We'll never break him!
Linkara (v/o): But yeah, he grew into his new body, completely stoned off his plant ass. And while normally this would just mean he was craving snack foods along with plants, it instead gave him...
Floro: ...a certain... resonance, you might say. A vision.
Linkara: (as Floro) So, what if, like, Batman wasn't really a bat, man?
Floro: A preference for a certain type of plant.
Linkara: (as Floro) Rhododendrons.
Linkara (v/o): And indeed, inside the tunnels are massive marijuana plants.
Floro: Swamp Thing identified the problem correctly--Planet Earth is going down the toilet! But he got the solution wrong. I will make no such error. This is how I'm going to save the world, Ivy. Marijuana!
Linkara: I don't know if this is one of the dumbest evil plans in the world... or one of the most brilliant.
Floro: Unlike most villains, I don't want to rule the world-- I only want to get it STONED!
Linkara: I see a flaw in this plan already: if everybody is stoned, who will be making the Doritos that everybody will be craving?
Linkara (v/o): He's the one who's responsible for the drug war, driving prices down to make it so easy for people to purchase it, as well as making it so the criminals can't compete.
Floro: Hemp can save us, you know! It provides fiber for clothes, oil, pulp for paper...it has medical uses stretching back 5,000 years... the true wonder plant!
Linkara: (as Floro) It cures venereal diseases, it powers the Internet, it can write and direct major motion pictures! There's nothing that hemp can't do!
Linkara (v/o): And because of the high demand, he's already made a killing selling it and offers the millions to Poison Ivy... who looks like this when the money rains down on her. (...with her looking up, with her mouth open and her arms up)
Linkara: This is always the problem of comics capturing (holds up index finger) a single frame of motion, since when you think about it, Poison Ivy is just doing this. (imitates her pose)
Linkara (v/o): Ivy is curious what Floro wants from her for this cash.
Floro: Twenty-four hours of your time...
Linkara: (as Floro) The greatest timeshare presentation you will ever see! Don't worry, (holds up index finger and thumb close together, as though holding a joint) smoking this joint will help the time pass much quicker.
Floro: ...and then we'll have a BABY!
Linkara: Can I borrow it? Ever since the "Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines" review, people have been requesting more adorable babies in the show.
Linkara (v/o): We cut over to... wherever the hell Tim Drake goes to school, where he's walking out with his friend Norris. Norris asks him if he's doing anything that night.
Tim: Um, I have a sort of extracurricular class to take!
Linkara: Poor kid doesn't want to admit he's on speech team.
Norris: Pity. I thought we might get together. I have a couple of tickets for the new movie!
Linkara: Yes, go to new movie at theater. Perhaps buy snack and soda, too.
Linkara (v/o): The druggie kid with a pencil-thin mustache from the last issue [Mason] arrives and snatches the tickets out of his hand.
Mason: Yo, nervous! Takin' me to the show? I could bring a little weed...!
Linkara: I doubt it would make a difference, man. They're tickets to Rocky Horror.
Linkara (v/o): However, Tim suddenly has the tickets in his hand now.
Tim: I guess I can make it after all!
Linkara (v/o): And thus Pencil-Thin Mustache walks away, utterly foiled in his efforts to make Norris smoke weed. Who could have ever foreseen Tim's brilliant maneuver of just saying, "Sure, I'll go." A cunning strategy!
(Cut to the obligatory clip of Patton)
Patton: (looking out through a pair of binoculars) You magnificent bastard, I read your BOOK!
(Cut back to the comic)
Linkara (v/o): We cut over to the Batcave, where Batman is talking to Tim about what he found at Arkham: a footprint belonging to a woman other than Ivy.
Batman: Certain scrapings from the print adhered to this apple core. Chemical analysis and electron microscope* revealed them to be-- bat droppings!
- NOTE: Batman mistakenly says "microscopy" instead of "microscope".
Linkara: Eww! Who was eating the apple with bat poop on it?
Linkara (v/o): Further analysis found remnants of sandstone that can be found in parts of Gotham's underground as well as traces of marijuana.
Batman: So-- what does that tell you? And don't worry if you get it wrong. There's no penalty for failure.
Linkara: (as Batman, wearing his mask) This time anyway. I'm still having the bat toothbrush cleaned for the next time I have you scrub the floors! (clenches fist)
Linkara (v/o): Tim deduces that it probably came from an abandoned subway station near where they found the abandoned getaway car for Ivy. He also asks to sit out the mission for "something personal"... which Batman agrees to. I've got to admit, I actually prefer this Batman. Too often in comics, they think that "brooding" and "dark" equals "jackass". Tim doesn't have to explain beyond "something personal", and Batman's all (as Batman) "It's all good, I got this one." We then cut back to Ivy and Floro. Turns out what Floro meant about having a baby was that he'd extract blood samples from Ivy to genetically engineer a lifeform from her DNA that's a true mixture of plant and human.
Linkara: Plant... Human... Pluman... Pluman Onion.
Ivy: All that grass has addled your brain.
Floro: They laughed at Einstein! They laughed at Galileo!
Linkara: Yeah, but their scientific aspirations didn't involve taking over the world by getting everyone really high.
Linkara (v/o): Batman arrives in the subway tunnel and starts looking around, but is immediately set upon by the molemen. At the same time, Tim arrives ten minutes late to his meeting with Norris, assuming he's already gone to the theater without him.
Tim: (thinking) I could have gone with Batman after all! (narrating) Only hope my not being there doesn't put him in danger!
Linkara: (as Batman, wearing his mask) Just for this, when I've digitized my brain to be used by superheroes in the future, I'm not gonna let Tim do it, too!
Linkara (v/o): He manages to fight off the goons, but is taken down by the two scantily-clad henchwomen.
Linkara: Maybe there's some rule in fiction where the less practical clothes you wear, the better fighter you are.
Linkara (v/o): We cut over to Norris, where he has unfortunately been swept up into the dark side. He's with a group of people around a statue and he has a joint in his hand!
Mason: Suit yourself, man. Nobody's forcing you. But at least you ought to give it a chance. It's wicked.
Linkara: But is it radical? It isn't worth it if it isn't radical, or at the very least, bodacious.
Linkara (v/o): And thus, Norris inhales, waits a moment upon instruction, and then blows it all out. And as he continues to puff...
Narrator: Then it hits him, like a bolt of electricity shooting up his spine and bursting into his skull!
Linkara: Well, this is what happens when you try to use pot without a surge protector.
Linkara (v/o): Norris starts freaking out and screaming, and much as I make jokes about the marijuana use, it is important to remember that, yeah, this kind of thing can happen. It's still a drug, and people aren't gonna respond to this stuff the exact same way. It's just like how people can smoke a regular cigarette and their body reacts violently against it. And so, our comic ends with Floro asking Ivy if she'll stick around and watch him continue, but she says he's nuttier than an Almond Joy.
Floro: One day the entire world economy will run on hemp--and our offspring will control it!
Linkara: Because nothing guarantees that you aren't crazy than talking about how your genetically-engineered plant-human hybrids will one day rule the world with pot.
Linkara (v/o): Before Ivy can leave, however, the two henchwomen arrive with the unconscious Batman. (a dramatic sting is heard)
Linkara: Truly, there has never been a more nail-biting cliffhanger than "How will Batman escape from the stoned megalomaniac?" Anyway, this comic is enjoyably stupid.
Linkara (v/o): The artwork is serviceable, but the story has gone into "so bad, it's good" territory. Whenever your evil plan consists of "get everybody really high and then I shall rule", you know that the creators are probably the ones smoking something weird. The stuff with Tim and Norris feels a bit heavy-handed, especially when Norris has already been subsumed into the drug peer pressure stuff just from having Tim be ten minutes late.
Linkara: But when it comes to stuff like (makes "air quotes") "take over the world with pot", that's how you justify an issue titled (makes "air quotes" again) "Reefer Madness". (gets up and leaves)
(End credits roll)
Now I'm just curious if the other members of the New Guardians ended up being reformed by drugs.
It's probably not a good idea for your world domination scheme to rely on your enemies being completely baked out of their skulls.
(Stinger: Brad Jones flings open the door to Linkara's room and comes in, looking rather annoyed)
Brad: Hey, can I get my fucking cameo out of the way? I'm on my way to a panel! (suddenly laughs) I know...
Lewis: That was fine. The problem was actually that you started talking before the door had cleared, so...
Lewis: They're silent, like, "Who's talking at first?"
Brad: Okay. (goes back out, closes door)
Lewis: Okay, I got it.
(Cut to Brad again standing in the doorway)
Brad: Really? (looks behind him) 'Cause there's, like, a line of people waiting to do theirs.
Lewis: All right, one more?
Brad: I thought I would break in to tell you. (laughs) We're all really hungry.
(Cut to Calluna standing in the crowd)
Calluna: I don't get it! Why is everyone so irritated about this? Aren't we all supposed to be friends?
Lewis: Well, we are, but then...
Calluna: (jumping up and down) Son of a bitch!