Batman/ Superman: World’s Finest
Issue 1 By RoninReviews
Gotham Docks, 22:45. Few cargo ships dropping off the latest Wayne Tech from the South Korean factories. The factories give Batman INC a stronger foothold in some of the LDCs of the world. Also the workers are cheap. I’ve got one of the biggest agencies in the world working for me and I’m still snooping round these docks after my bed time. No fear suit tonight, only the bare essentials. Light utility belt. Face mask. Dark grey swim suit. No bats. Not tonight. Not this night, the night the bat came to me. The night my parents died. Bert Taliono is the owner of Dinosaur Industries, a powerful company that sells construction vehicles like Diggers and Steam Rollers, family man with his adopted children, but is really not all that nice. He killed 5 people in the 2 days and he’s only been here 3 since he got back from a family vacation to Miami. Mostly bums but a few prostitutes. Which switch has flipped Mr. Taliono? Maybe the death of your wife 3 months ago in that freak accident at the construction yard hm? Although he’s got that new actress girlfriend, she was very intelligent, won a Nobel prize the year you were married, obviously she was too high brow for you, you sick freak!
This isn’t usually my thing, but tonight I don’t feel like tearing down monsters, only weasels like Taliono. He’s got 8 Yachts docked at this bay. I’ve still got him beat 1:2 but he’s got some beauties. I pad along to the boat that he’s after his latest adopted kid ‘Gemini.’ I open the gas tank to find a face floating in a crude oil. I drop a tracer in the water. Some more body parts float to the surface. The poor bastards are white out. Here he comes. His fat legs carry his frumpy body towards the boat. He’s got a silenced 45. In the back of his running track suit. I creep around the side and back on to the dock. I hide behind some lobster boxes. He walks up the plank and unties the docking rope. He throws it over where I’m hidden. I’m still. He lights a cigar and starts up the engines and the boat leaves the shore. I race along behind it and dive into the water when the concrete stops. I have to get this bastard and find out where the other bodies are.
I love Nigeria. Nigeria is one of the poorer countries on Earth with corruption tearing the country to its core. Poverty running rampant and that most of its inhabitants pray for their next meal. It is where I come to relax. The kids always like to see me. The looks on their little faces when I float from the sky, it’s so... ‘It’s why god has put us here Clark.’ as Ma would say. Lois would probably say something extravagant and meaningful (with a hint of cynicism), but Ma always puts things into perspective. If I’ve had a bad day or got the snot beaten out of me by a giant alien cucumber I can always get a welcome greeting here in Nigeria. Right now it’s 3:45 but these kids are up already with the sun slowly rising. A patter of tiny hands jostles me awake not that I’m particularly tired or need to sleep. It’s just a habit. The kids want me to come and see something. I pull my S-shirt on over my jeans. I like coming here because I don’t have to wear the full suit but I can still be big blue. I follow them through a valley of craggy rocks.
I hear a whining growl as we approach a clearing. A battered Lioness snarls us. Her hind legs are trapped under a large boulder. She hates this. They want me to help it. I approach her but Nilo grabs my cape and hands me a tribal spear. She says something enthusiastically that I don’t understand and points at the Lioness. When I hold the spear the children cheer. Oh no...
Batman Narration: I hit the water. My body straightens like a spear and I’m gone. I push a breather in my mouth and press on. My legs are stiff with the cold. My joins yells, but my blood tells it to shut up and take it. The boat comes to a haut about half a mile of the city. I’m almost there just c’mon! I’m a humanoid goose bump now, and I’m still nowhere near Taliono’s death cruise. Knew I shouldn’t have eaten that Steak at the Mayor’s fundraiser. Catching up I grab the rudder of the boat. Toliono is working on something in the tank, a hacking movement, hm. Is he a cannibal? That why you’re so fat Bert? Hungry for people you sick...
Taliono retrieves a hand from the tank and walks over to the side of the boat. He leans over and hums softly to the water.
Batman Narration: Right. Now what?
After a few seconds a zombified woman comes to the surface. She is covered in black ooze with her arms and legs mangled and out of proportion. She has giant fangs and her eyes are completely black.
Batman Narration: That’s his wife! Francesca Taliono. What the hell happened to her?
She grabs the hand Bert has torn off the corpse and begins to savagely devour it.
Bert: There you go my lovely, is that good? Excellent! I’ve got more where that came from my darling.
Batman: He’s breaking down. Sobbing to himself.
Bert: It will be alright my dear. I’ll find a cure, but no one must know. They’ll lock you away for good. I can’t have that for my darling. No no-no. You can eat fish here and be free from the...
Batman Narration: I’ve heard enough.
Batman creeps over to him and smashes his head against the side of the boat.
Batman: I want a damn explanation now. What is this sickness?!
Taliono: Bah I- I- don’t know. I got back home, and she was there waiting for me. I grabbed her before anyone c-could see her and threw her in my car boot and took her out here. She’d only eat human flesh. I couldn’t feed her any meat so I- I killed people. I ‘sob’ can’t let her go. C-can’t...
Superman Narration: Well this is a difficult situation. I try to tell Nilo that I can’t kill the lioness, and she just explains more enthusiastically than before. Oh boy. Ok Kent. You’ve gotten out of more difficult situations before. You can do it this time. I breathe and walk towards the boulder.
Clark: Run. Go back to the village.
The children run back a few meters and then watch from a clearing. Clark looks as they go and sighs. Clark then uses the spear to lift the boulder from the lioness whilst grasping the cuff of her neck. In one smooth gesture he flips the stone and takes the snarling lioness out from under it. He flies straight up with the lioness snarling and clawing at him. He flies out 3 miles away. He gently lets the lioness go.
Back at the village
Superman stands in front of almost the entire village. A tiny old woman wearing tribal quilt made of animal skins. She is blind and holds a staff covered with marking and feathers. Men and Woman stand around her whilst the children hang around behind Superman some holding his cape. All eyes are on either Superman or the Village elder.
Village Elder (Broken English): You take... our food from us. That feed us you... American boy, you think you do a right thing? We no eat now you ... fool.
She hits Superman around the head with her staff.
Village Elder: I ... you no welcome here again American fool. They say you fly... like bird but I hope you fall like... rock. We no need your help no more American boy.
Superman: I’m... I’m sorry.
Village Elder: You still here? Leave village!
Superman takes off. He waves good-bye to the children before he leaves and then with a boom he’s off.
Ok. That... uh that could have gone better.
Batman: I need more. How did this happen to her?
Bert: I- I don’t know. She was in her lab for months. She fired all her employees but still went to work every day, locked in her lab not leaving. She was so distant all the time and then I was picking up the kids from school one day and found her in that state.
Batman lets Bert go, he rushes away from Batman, tears streaming down his face. As he stumbles back he bumps into the side of the boat and falls over board. Batman rushes over and tries to help him out, but his wife gets to him first, she extends her jet black fangs and tears into him ripping chunks off of his flesh and all Batman can do is watch as the dark water fills with blood. After about 15 minutes of chomping Batman helps the creature out of the water and on to the boat, he opens the hatch with the dead body parts in it and leaves. On his swim back to the shore all he can feel is guilt.
Batman Narration: I make my way back to the cave, Alfred greets me with his regular does of British cynicism, but I don’t go with the usual light banter. I take an early night which for me is any sleep at all, but all I can think about is the chomping. Stay up late cataloguing the files. I eventually gain the courage to research Dr. Maureen Taliono’s work. Turns out her lab worked on Theoretical Physics (An area that I am currently fascinated with.) Roughly around the time her assistants were fired she was working on something called the Anti-Life equation, an equation that apparently negates life, through accessing an alternate frame of our reality. How she got the way she was is still a mystery. I visit her lab, a haven for a super genius; technology that I’ve had trouble getting my hands on in the past is littered around the room. This garden of modern technological Eden is empty, unused. I’ll have Alfred see if I can have my lawyers weasel it out of police custody by lunch time. I sieve through the folders filled with scientific breakthroughs and Nobel Prize winners till I find the ominously named Anti-Life equation papers. And that’s all I remember.
Bruce raises his head and looks at Alfred. Bruce has a shocked/ afraid look in his face. Bruce is leaned over a 18th century couch in the Bat cave, classic furniture among the endless caverns filled with machinery and weaponry, Alfred has brought Bruce tea.
Alfred: My... so you stumbled your way through the streets of Gotham, and managed to get yourself back here. Sir... whatever lies within this folder, there is an ungodly force behind it.
Russia, Power plant
The huge fusion towers crumble as massive explosions tear the surrounding buildings apart. Workers pour from the buildings as fire trucks arrive and frantically work to diffuse the flames. Superman is being pressed against one of the falling walls of the fusion tower trying to keep it from falling on a group of workers. His muscles grip as the 100 + tons of sheer stone presses down on him. His small palms against the inanimate goliath, a bead of sweat slowly forms on his forehead and falls to the ground, Clark watches the sweat for a second and catastrophe reigns supreme for that second without his attention. The wall screeches forward, Clark regained his attention, and as he applies more force to the wall it was too much as a huge crack forms from his hand and streaks up the side of the wall, the structure begins to break apart and crumble.
Superman Narration: No, no, no, no. People still in the way, don’t think about the lives, heat vision got to break down the molecules of the chunks before they hit the ground. Come crank it out.
A sound like a thread being put through the eye of a needle echoes from Clarks eyes. The huge chunks of rock smash into a fine powder as the white-hot intense heat strikes them. As he concentrates on the rocks falling towards the people a huge on takes him out of nowhere, and he’s slammed into the ground. He pushes the stone off him momentarily drained from the use of his heat vision at such a calibre. He looks up to see the workers applauding his efforts.
Superman N: See, this is what makes it worthwhile.
Half an hour later, inside the Power plant
Walking through the empty corridors, Superman clears a path of destruction caused by the explosions.
Superman N: The explosions first took place within the core labs of the facility where apparently black hole looking energy portals were seen causing machinery to malfunction, and its effect on people was devastating. They turned completely black, like human silhouettes and screamed a distorted warped noise as their atoms were replaced by a strange type of energy. They attacked their co-workers before dissipating to nothing within a few seconds of being exposed to the black holes.
Superman reaches a room with a large column smashed through the ceiling. The lab is in ruins with equipment, machinery and furniture tipped all over the floor. Superman turns to see the machine. It is causing all the surfaces around it to become completely black with a large trail across the floor of black energy and causes the objects to float around very slowly. Superman approaches it with caution; as he nears the black hole the dark energy infused objects start to float nearer to him. He uses his super vision on it, but all he can see is the darkness. He slowly begins to reach out but suddenly a dark energy human arm launches out of the portal and grabs his hand. Superman jerks it off him and backs away.
Superman: Umm... hello? I don’t mean any harm. I’m Superman.
The arm grabs the side of the portal and pulls itself out, the dark creature is has liquefied dark matter dropping from itself. The creature pulls itself completely out of the portal and slowly gets to its feet. The dark energy is flicking off of the creature’s long flowing cape and as it looks up it resembles Batman.
Dark Energy Batman: S----- suuupppper---- mm-mmmann---nnnnannnn..... H-h-elllppp..... mm-m-m-eeee....
Next: What is the anti-life equation? What is causing people around the world to become Anti-Life equation creatures? Also: Space!