The DCFutures FanFiction Group recognizes that Batman and all related characters are property of DC Comics. These stories are written for no profit, but rather a strong desire to peer into the future of the DCU. The stories and concepts presented herein, however, are property of the author. So there.
BATMAN created by Bob Kane and Bill Finger
BATMAN: DCF created by Erik Burnham
"Alucard. I know that name," Tim said, holding the dark-haired man in his sights. "It's a pun, right? 'Blah, blah, I vant to suck your blood?' Get out of my house." "YOUR house, Tim? Wayne Manor, Timothy Drake? Do we have some sort of identity crisis brewing?" "Hey, I just own the place; the name stuck. Now enough with the small talk, pal. Get goin'." "Tim, you have no idea how pleased I am that you are taking charge in such a manner. It really speaks wonders for the program." Program? Tim thought. The avenues his mind was taking in relation to Holmes' statement did not please Tim at all. It brought Wight's theory back to the forefront of his mind. Dammit, he wasn't programmed, hypnotized, or cobbled. He was a human being, not a computer. "Holmes, I understand you have this cloak and dagger thing going on, and I can appreciate that in some warped way. But I've had a rough day. I'm tired. You're trespassing. Get your goons and go. Now. Do we have an understanding?" "Faithful to your nature to the very end, Timothy! Beautiful. You are in this to see your will done, no matter what. But what if my 'goons' are preparing to slaughter your pregnant love interest, what then? Or what if we decide to leak to the world what the League already knows about Batman? Many independent parties would surely love you stuffed above their mantle, as it were... just as a keepsake. What are your options here, Tim? Think carefully before you answer. Believe me, rushing in where angels fear to tread is not always the best course of action." Tim Drake did consider Holmes' words, for several eternal moments. What could this man offer him that no one else could? Answers. What did Tim have to lose by seeking these answers? ...Hopefully much less than he had to lose by denying them. But first: one very important question. "Where's Shannon?" Tim asked. A smile spread over Alucard's lips. It looked unnatural on that face, to be sure. But it remained for more of those eternal moments Tim had come to hate. "Why, right in here, young Drake." Alucard grinned, motioning into the study and bowing ever-so-slightly. "Right in here."
NEXT ISSUE: Batman, Batman, where for art thou, Batman?
Ennis Hobbs is not an easy man to reach for an interview. He declined two previous
attempts, saying he felt an interview with this publication would not reflect well upon
his company's image. Finally, however, he agreed to a phone interview while visiting New
York City on business, under the condition that he could address the reasons for his
previous reluctance. Playboy agreed to this condition. Playboy: Mr. Hobbs, we
had an easier time getting the UN to allow an interview with Hourman. Why the reluctance?
Ennis Hobbs: Well, Mr. Slovak, to be honest, there are many reasons. (pauses) First, I felt -- and still do -- that an interview with a publication which, let's be honest, exists to sell naked photos of women reflected poorly on Drake Industries' image. You have some talented political analysts and arts reporters, but let's call a spade a spade, if I may use the term without irony. Secondly, two African-descended Playmates a year, with an Asian or Hispanic thrown in every once in a while, does not constitute the society I see around myself.
PB: So why did you choose to do this interview?
EH: My boss told me to. (Drake Industries CEO) Tim (Drake) found out from you, at a party for Ms. Mitchells, that I'd been ducking your phone calls. He threatened to fire me.
EH: Yes. (chuckles) But he was joking. Tim jokes a lot.
PB: About Mr. Drake and Ms. Mitchells, there were rumors that she was spotted
coming from a medical clinic. The term "pregnancy" has been tossed around.
EH: My answer to that is, no comment. (pauses, then his voice gets slightly louder) And if you persist in that line of questioning, you will also be getting tossed around.
PB: You said that Mr. Drake jokes a lot. So you're saying that his public
persona of the easy-going, wise-cracking social animal is accurate? That, say, his making
a job offer to Liam Concord's personal secretary is an example of this, and that even in
the office, he's a cut-up?
EH: Sometimes it feels like the hardest part of my job is getting Tim to be serious. I mean, he's brilliant. One need only look at his academic credentials for proof of that. But there's a time and a place for everything. Recently, we met with (LexCorp CEO and rumored rival Alexi) Luthor, and I don't think Tim would mind my saying, I had to coach him a little bit on not being quite so flip. (chuckles) Of course, having Leandra (Luthor, Alexi Luthor's daughter) in the room had him showing out a little. There's a bit of the peacock in him, but he's a good kid.
PB: So you're saying that he and Ms. Mitchells are not an exclusive--
EH: (interrupts) That's my finger hovering over the 'Off' switch, Mr. Slovak. Nothing about Tim's personal life.
PB: Okay, so, do you have any theories about the identity of the Batman? Surely
someone in as high a station as yours would know.
EH: I disagree that I'm in a "high station." A lot of money passes through my hands, and I sign a lot of papers, but I'm not the police commissioner or the mayor or a UN overseer. A few months back, Geraldo Chung asked me if I was Batman. (laughs)
PB: Are you Batman?
EH: Watch his holovision to find out. And before you ask me if Tim is Batman, which is about the silliest thing I've ever heard, the holovision has proof of that, too. Tim Drake and Batman have been seen in the same place at the same time. Next question?
PB: What do you think is Batman's motivation?
EH:> What's the motivation of anyone who puts on a suit and then goes out and puts his life on the line? Batman's motivation is the same as most rank-and-file Justice Leaguers, but he does it solo; and it's the same motivation as our police officers, firefighters, doctors, soldiers. The Batman, whoever he is, has talents and skills that can be used to help other people. So he does it, because he knows that sitting on his ass -- I assume I can say that word in a publication that shows off women's bodies like pieces of meat -- that sitting on his ass and complaining about the state of the world won't accomplish a damned thing! (pauses, then speaks again, more quietly) Batman's motivation reminds me of what Robert Kennedy once said about you don't save the world by looking at what the situation is and asking, "Why?", but rather by looking at what it could be and asking "Why not?"
PB: So, what do you do to help save the world?
EH: (pauses) I sit in a high position of a company that makes a profit but strives to do so without creating anything too destructive. There are, perhaps, things that could be done above and beyond the current level of commitment, but I challenge you to find a major corporation that is not a work in progress.
PB: Well, that's a nice statement of what Drake Industries is all about. But
what about you personally?
EH: (laughs) I was afraid you'd trap me there. Alright, personally... Personally, I help out the best I can. I didn't grow up in the best of neighborhoods, and I try to give something back. I've been a member of the Habitat for Humanity board in Gotham for five years. I oversee some grants programs for children of African descent trying to attend college. And I'd rather not say more than that, because, frankly, I don't do it for attention. (chuckles) I doubt many people buy this magazine for the articles, anyway.
PB: What's it like being a black man in the heights of the corporate arena?
You're one of a very few, still.
EH: I know, and that troubles me. Things are improving though, year by year. Maybe not as fast as I'd like, but the attitudes are considerably different now than they were when I first took this position. On a recent trip to New York City, someone mistook me for a bellhop, and that angered me. (laughs) But then one of Tim's friends, (Warriors owner) Guy Gardner, taped a "Kick Me" sign to the man's back later when we ran into the same man at Warriors, so it balanced out.
PB: So you don't feel race, by and large, plays a role in job advancement,
salaries, and so forth, in the year 2112?
EH: It depends on where you are. (pauses) As we all know, the Ku Klux Klan has returned to some extent further South, hanging homosexuals and killing underground abortion doctors -- even alleged abortion doctors, because a few of them were, from what investigation has revealed, innocent. I suspect that I would not have risen to this level in a corporation based in Atlanta, or Jackson, or Nashville. Maybe Memphis, possibly. But I'm no starry-eyed fool, either; I realize how lucky I am to be with a firm as historically progressive as Drake Industries, and its semi-predecessor, Wayne Enterprises. (Wayne Enterprises founder) Bruce Wayne had a black man in a prominent leadership role back in the Twentieth, a man named Lucius Fox.
PB: You attended college under the Lucius Fox Memorial Scholarship, didn't you?
EH: Yes and no. I was the last person to receive that scholarship, because the companies in which the trustees were investing took a nosedive. However, that is also the name of the scholarship I help oversee today. Hopefully we can avoid similar mistakes.
PB: Sorry about the mix-up.
EH: That's okay. Just do your homework next time! (laughs)
PB: How do you want people to remember you?
EH: (chuckles) Do you know something about my health that I don't? My age isn't as old as it used to be! (pauses) I don't know... being remembered at all is an honor in and of itself. Hopefully, all in all, the people I will have angered will be people who deserved it; and the people I help will be people who went on to help others. When you get down to it, that's the best legacy possible; anything more is vanity, I think. I'm too busy to be vain.
PB: You're sure you can't answer any questions about Tim Drake and Shannon
EH: My, look at the time...
PB: Come on, just one question?
EH: Each time you ask that is one question closer to twenty. This made #18.
PB: How do you get that?
EH: I counted your apology earlier. You sounded as if you were asking a question, looking for approval. If so, I apologize, but you have one left.
PB: Come on, are you serious?
EH: Yes. That made #20.
PB: My boss is going to kill me...
EH: Good. Then you can go work for a real newspaper; I know someone at World's Finest. (laughs)
PB: Oh, well, thank you for your time.
EH: Thank you.
(Mortimer Claudius Slovak VI is the author of, among other works, Hiding Behind the Mask: When Secret Identities Lead to Infidelity and Hero Worship: How Costumed Adventurers Damage Self-Esteem in Adolescents. His web site is www.mortmortmortmortmortmortandcounting.com)
(For more of Boone Duncan and Rane.. and some of their.. companions. Stay tuned to the DCF for the debut of REAL MEN:DCF.. coming eventually, we swear!!)
Letters! Here we go! (Keep 'em coming!)
From:"R. B. Sizemore"
To:"Erik Burnham" firstname.lastname@example.org
Subject: Batman: DCF #24
Date:Sat, 5 Dec 1998 12:41:52 -0500
Another day, another great Batman:DCF issue. I realize they don't REALLY come out that often, but it sure feels like it sometimes. I have a feeling, though, that it's gonna feel like forever before the next issue comes out. There're too many cliffhangers here for the anticipation not to kill a person. Is Alfred alive? If his body dies, is that the end of Alfred? Or does he have a back-up consciousness somewhere? Will Clark get to meet 'Superman'? Is Shannon's baby Tim's? If it is, will she use that fact just to make more money? What are Alucard's plans for 'his' Batman? ARGH!!!
My only complaint about this issue -- it was too short...
****Thanks a bunch, pallie. Before I go into anything else, let me extend my condolences to you and yours... on to your questions, Yes, yes, sort of, no, and you should have just found out! Sorry the issue was too short... heh heh heh...****
Date:Sat, 5 Dec 1998 15:48:33 EST
Subject:Comments of Batman DCF #24
Wow! This was a very shocking issue. That's bad news the Justice League know in fact who Batman is. I wonder how Tim will get out of this one. I'm also suprised to see that Tim may have had some programming done at an early age, very much like Azrael and pretty cool! I'll be looking forward to the Next issue and I also wanted to thank you for the help you've given me with a submission I'm working on.
Hopeful Future DCF Writer
****Who says Tim gets outta this?****
Date:Tue, 08 Dec 1998 23:11:38 -0500
I once again enjoyed this issue. I look forward to #25 and Timequake. Clark is Superman
and Superman is someone else, of this I am sure, I have long held that the Superman is the
Martian Manhunter but I guess we will have to see. I think bat girl is bat mite and that
we are all in for a big surprise.
The baby is going to be baby doomsday. And all of the past 12 issues have been a dream of Tim's making. Just idle speculation.
PS if we send in tshirts will the characters where them?
****What have you been smoking? And Alfred wears a large, thank you. He's partial to loose fit.****
Date:Sun, 13 Dec 1998 17:10:04 -0500
Hello. I just wanted to let you know that I really enjoy the work you have done on DCF: Batman. I recently went back and read all the previous issues. They were better the 2nd and 3rd time! One question though. When will Justice's identity be revealed? I think it is Bruce Wayne or Hal Jordan. I haven't made up my mind yet. Any hints you could give me? I'd love to know who it is.
****I really appreciate the letter, Brandon! Getting some completely unexpected note always makes one feel good... and it's nice to know the work stands up after one read. Justice's identity will be revealed eventually, yes. And your guesses are good - very logical. I'd make the same guesses myself if I didn't know for sure! As for hints, Justice likes cocoa puffs and believes that 'tastes great' outweighs 'less filling.'****
Date:Tue, 12 Dec 2000 14:32:37 -0500
I'll keep this short... Wow. This was an awesome issue... the Shannon pregant thing was
wonderful... Batman, going to the Joker for help? Not exactly original, but beautifully
handled. I look forward to next issue!
****Batman's gone to the Joker for a psychiatric evaluation before? Drat.****
Subject:about Batman DCF and Clark Kent
Date:Fri, 18 Dec 1998 16:42:53 GMT
I'm a fan of Batman DCF and was wondering if I could get a few answers to some questions.
1. Will Clark ever regain his full powers in time to come?
2. Since Tim has some kind of mental programming, will he be able to break, and become the Batman he could be?
3. Does the First Batman (Bruce Wayne) have any kids before he passed away?
4. Will Tim's skills be ever tested like Bruce Wayne's skills when certains happened he had to go to the ultmate of his skills in issues in the regular comic series?
Please e-mail me back the answers to my questions.
I thought that Tim Drake II was not the right person to fill in as the shoes as Batman, but I kinda figured he was meant to fill it. He is a great character who was just given the mantle and he learning very well about being Batman. Thanks and continue on this great saga about the Batman of the 22nd Century.
****I just got your email, Kao - sorry for the delay! Looking at your questions: 1 - yes, albeit slowly. 2 - His programming is part of what makes him Batman... it's a part of him that he'll never be able to completely shake... not to say he's not going to try. 3 - Not that we know of. 4 - Yep. In short, I'm glad you're liking the series and hope you keep on enjoying!****
Date:Fri, 18 Dec 1998 14:35:53 +0000
From:Alex Cook email@example.com
Subject:Bats #25 letter...
Batman:DCF has received my glowing praise on the DCF posting board many times. You write Tim Drake in such an interesting manner, layering different personalities on each other to create this vibrant hero of the night. Plus I laugh my ass off at some of your jokes. As always Erik, great work!
****Blush. He likes the jokes. 'Ray!****
Date:Thu, 17 Dec 1998 22:43:04 -0500
From:DANIEL BEN-ZVI firstname.lastname@example.org
Subject:Letter for Batman #25
Geez, has it really been 25 issues already? It doesn't seem like all that long ago when I first stumbled across the DCF and decided to try my luck at joining up with you guys (and Carrie, of course). And I know it's gonna sound like a terrible cliche, but Batman was a big part of that decision. Batman let me know that this wasn't going to be a group of people who were slavishly reliant on the past, who allowed their writers the freedom to explore new avenues and new possibilities. And the writing.... geez, Erik, you almost scared me off. I didn't think I was good enough to be in the DCF when they had people like you around. There are times I still don't. :) Well, enough of my wibbling. Time to raise a glass and make a toast. To Tim Drake and all of the wonderful supporting cast he's had so far (yeah, even MB)....... Here's to the future!
****Well geez, boy - I'm glad I didn't scare you off! But thanks for the sentiments, Dan. As you well know by now, we never let the DCU versions of characters dictate how we portray ours. I mean, look at Guy Gardner, f'r cryin' out loud! The first time he met Batman - he cried! But still, I'm just happy Bats has lasted this long. And just you wait until you get issue #26 in your mailbox, Dan. That's a threat. Heh.****
Ladies and Gentlemen, I thank you for continuing to read my meager scribblings. I thank you for reading the works of other DCF writers. I thank you for helping our site thrive and survive for over a year. And yes, I also thank you for the checks you're surely sending.
One more thing, and I hope it's not out of place - in light of the season, I'd like to thank God. He's given me a modicum of talent, the time to use it, and the avenues to express it. May your Christmas be merry, everyone, and your New Year phenomenal. (Not that I won't have a new issue out by then.)