Comedian Patton Oswalt's penned Batman and the Justice League before, but not all of his superheroic stories were accepted by DC Comics. Oswalt recently posted two rejected Batman pitches from a few years back on his blog.
The first one focuses on some of Gotham's less esteemed (and consonant-sharing) malefactors...
The Joker once again breaks out of Arkham Asylum, and Batman - along with the Justice League - tears apart Gotham to find him.
And who feels the heat the worst when the League is cracking down hard? Gotham's criminals.
And because Batman works his way up from minor street thug, higher and higher on the chain, it's the "C" list criminals who suffer first.
Barely escaping a beatdown and capture, The Cluemaster (who I'm going to make a much younger, inexperienced criminal) gathers a literal "C"-list of other, frightened criminals - Crazyquilt, Crime Doctor, Calendar Man and Copperhead - to hunt the "J".
What follows is a desperate night search through Gotham's underworld, during which our protagonist - The Cluemaster - sees firsthand the effects of crime (Calendar Man's failed, broken life; The Crime Doctor's past victims and wasted potential; Crazyquilt's petty "goals" and Copperhead's pointless savagery). It all comes to a head when they confront The Joker - who personifies every awful quality of his teammates. He stops them from killing "J" - they each have their reasons for wanting The Joker dead - and then leaves the "team". The last page shows him leaving one last clue for The Batman - the location of the loot he stole earlier that night.
Cheese on toast, DC Comics, you turned down a story in which Crazy Quilt was a marquee player? You break my heart. As for Oswalt's other pitch, it had a distinctly Elseworlds vibe...
WORLD WAR II. The entire planet's fate hangs on the outcomes of massive and not-so-massive skirmishes. Guadacanal. Messina. Iwo Jima...
…and skirmishes left moldering in classified files, even today.
One such story is uncovered by an Army researcher, hunting the whereabouts of several MIA "dis-honorables", who seemingly fell off the face of the Earth in the mid-40's.
The 12 - known to Eyes Only researchers as "Arkham's Arsenal" - allegedly completed a joint US/British mission deep into Germany, where they killed a number of high-ranking officials at a top-secret meeting, prior to D-Day.
These 12 were:
"John Doe", a special forces operative gassed by the Germans with an experimental compound which killed his entire platoon. He managed to get a gas mask on, but ended up with bleached skin a permanent rictus. Since his unit was required to undergo missions without dog tags or service flashes, no one now knows his identity. It's said that "John Doe" took on the other 15 personalities of his dead platoon, all of them trained killers, all of them slightly psychotic.
Sgt. Dent, half of his face blown off by a grenade.
Pvt. Nigma, an encryption expert, caught selling codes to the Nazis
Cpl. "Killer" Crockowski
Cpl. Floyd "Deadshot" Lawton
Pvt. Jonathan Crane
Pvt. Maxie "Maggot" Zeus
Pvt. Victor Zsasz
Pvt. Aaron Helzinger (Amygdala)
Pvt. Joseph Rigger (Firebug)
Pvt. Dick Grayson
Col. Bruce Wayne breaks the 12, and turns them into a fighting force.
The War Game, against Wayne's rival in the Allied alliance - Col. Henri Ducard. Arkham's Arsenal comes out on top, defeating Ducard's forces (which will contain some cool cameos of other DC heroes and villains)
The Mission - killing the gathered VIPs at the Chateau al Ghul. Some of the visitors - all of them contributing to the Nazi death regime - will include Dr. Hugo Strange, Deacon Blackfire, Dr. Victor Fries, Professor Milo, etc.
In the end, only Col. Wayne and Pvt. Grayson survive.
Well…"Jon Doe" goes missing - but he'll turn up somewhere else. You'll see…
Again, fricking Maxie Zeus — the criminal who's a one-man toga party, unless he's leading his own stupid superteam — could have been a disgraced World War II private. Drat and bother, I always like seeing Gotham City's gimmick bad guys get their due.
[Via Bleeding Cool]