The Return of the Brunei Superhero Story

Back in 2012, I started writing a Brunei superhero story titled ‘Guardians of Darussalam’ and published it online.

I’ve published several chapters sporadically between 2012 and 2014 in my spare time. I stopped because of several reasons (writer’s block, lost of interest, day job workload, etc). I said that I’ll return to it someday.

dotzauer-parliament-brunei-03

It has been three years and now I am re-editing and re-publishing the chapters I’ve written back then.

I am hoping to re-publish the chapters every week (one chapter per week).

https://guardiansofdarussalam.wordpress.com/chapters/

I’m open to any constructive comments/suggestions.

Hope you all enjoy!

GUARDIANS OF DARUSSALAM is a homage to the superhero genre with a local flavour.

Set in a heightened reality / fictional / alternate version of Brunei, it is a story of an ordinary boy named ADAM who gained super strength after an encounter with a magical giant archer fish – just like the legend of Brunei’s mythical hero, Awang Semaun. Initially reluctant, Adam soon finds the hero within him and set out to become a superhero for Brunei.

When dark forces rises and threatens the peace in Brunei, it is up to Adam and his allies to stop it and uphold the country as a DARUSSALAM – an Abode of Peace.

Click the links below to the read the chapters so far:

CHAPTER 1
6 Jan 2017
Adam encounters a magical giant archer fish that granted him extraordinary strength – the same ability as the legendary Bruneian folk hero Awang Semaun.

CHAPTER 2
15 Jan 2017
Liza helps a victim of physical abuse. Adam gets involved in a car accident.

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The Batman – Backstory of Ben Affleck’s Batman

Ever since I saw Batman v Superman, I’ve wondered about what kind of stuff this older (angrier and more hardcore) version of Batman went through in his 20 years career.

So I took the Grant Morrison-like approach to Ben Affleck’s Batman by assuming that every live action Batman films happened, in some form or another, to the Bruce Wayne that we met in BvS.

I pieced together some stuff from the Batman films and edited this video. What you end up with is a somewhat logical ‘biography’. All the stress, trauma, violence and the tragedies…it all led up to this darker and more brutal Batman.

I tried to create a logical story through the movies:

We start with the first two Nolan films where Batman wanted to get rid of crime in Gotham City and then retire as Batman. Then he met the Joker and he realized that the war against crime in Gotham is harder than he thought.

Gotham got darker and crazier after the fall of the ‘White Knight’ Harvey Dent and we move into the Tim Burton era. Bruce Wayne became more socially awkward and reclusive. Batman and his colourful villains affected the art and fashion trend of Gotham – gothic with neon lights. Robin and Batgirl added colour to Bruce’s life until tragedy strikes – Batgirl got shot and Robin got killed by the Joker.

Batman couldn’t deal with the loss and he got reckless – almost cost his life when his back got broken by Bane. Batman recovered, regained focus and defeated Bane.

Then Superman battled Zod in Metropolis and we know the rest…

In short: DCEU Batman’s 20 year career is a alternate version of Batman Begins, The Dark Knight, Batman 1989, Batman Returns, Batman Forever, Batman & Robin and The Dark Knight Rises.

The Batman – a possible TV Series

One of the things I loved about Chris Nolan’s Dark Knight Trilogy was that it had that sense of a definitive beginning and ending to the story of Bruce Wayne and Batman. I’ve also been recently delving into Grant Morrison’s Batman saga and I think his ‘metanarrative’ approach to Batman (almost every story in the last 75 years of Batman comics actually happened in his 15 years career) was a really great idea.

So I thought, what if you try to make a TV series (could either be animated or live action) that tries to tell a clear ultimate story arc for Batman and his allies – taking inspirations from all the popular storylines in comics and movies.

It’s not meant as direct adaptations of any story arcs but a mish-mash of things plus little stuff I made up (eg. ‘Thomas Elliot” is a mix of Hush, Dr. Simon Hurt of Black Glove and Lincoln March of the Court of Owls) . And I did not try to include everything (No Damian Wayne here, sorry).

So without further ado, here is what I came up with for a Batman series – 5 seasons, bookend by two Miniseries.

T H E   B A T M A N

ORIGINS MINISERIES

inspired by: Year One (comic), Gotham (TV Series), The Man Who Falls (Comic), Batman Begins (Film), The Dark Knight Rises (Film)

Batman_year_one

We begin with a three part Miniseries that details Bruce Wayne’s pre-Batman days.

Young Bruce Wayne sees his parents gunned down in an alley. First part revolves around the investigation of the Wayne murders by a young James Gordon. It introduces us to the corruption in Gotham City and the fragile balance between the Falcone and the Maroni mob families. Meanwhile, young Bruce Wayne, with the reluctant help from his friend Thomas Elliot, who recently also lost his dad, does his own investigation and is convinced that his parents’ death was part of a conspiracy involving a shadowy group called the Court of Owls, believed to be an urban myth by everyone. Bruce’s investigation leads him nowhere.

Second part shows Bruce Wayne fleeing Gotham and travelling around the world to train and learn about ways to fight crime. He learns how to be an illusionist from the great magician Zatara, detective skills from Henri Ducard, survivalist techniques from Willie Doggett.

ras training

The third part finds Bruce being picked up by the League of Assasins and trained by Ra’s Al Ghul. Here he meets with Talia Al Ghul and they developed a relationship. Bruce also has a rivalry with another of Ra’s students, the man later known (and feared) as BANE.

Talia_Al_Ghul_batman_and_ra

The League’s mission is to bring balance to the human societies through violent means. Gotham is seen as an irredeemably corrupt city and must be destroyed to restore balance. Bruce Wayne disagrees with the League’s methods and betrays them. He manages to blow up their base and severely injures Bane. Bruce tries to convince Talia to come with him but she refuses. Bruce fights Ra’s Al Ghul but Bruce manages to barely escape with his life.

batman-begins-2005-33-g

SEASON 1

inspired by Zero Year (comic), Year One (comic), Batman Begins (film), The Man Who Laughs (comic), Prey (comic), The Man Who Laughs (comic), The Dark Knight (film).

Batsuit: ‘Zero Year’ Costume – Black and Grey biker outfit with purple gloves

Bruce Wayne returns to Gotham and starts out as a masked vigilante fighting criminals.

There is a new gang in town, the Red Hood Gang, that’s more violent than the Falcone and Maroni mobs. Bruce tries to fight them and gets beaten up. One night, while Bruce was recuperating in Wayne Manor, a bat crashes through the window. He finds the batcave and decides to take on the identity of Batman to instill fear into the hearts of criminals.

bat004

Batman stops the Red Hood Gang at the ACE Chemical factory and the Red Hood Gang leader accidentally drops into a vat of chemicals.

batman red hood vat

The rest of the season involves Scarecrow’s plan to release the Fear Toxin all over Gotham and Dr. Hugo Strange’s unhealthy fascination with Batman. Batman also finds allies such as James Gordon, Harvey Dent, Lucius Fox and Selina Kyle/Catwoman. Sadly, Bruce’s childhood friend, Thomas Eliot has disappeared since the death of his mother.

Joker the Man who laughs

The multi-part season finale sees the return of the Red Hood Gang leader as the Joker. This is ‘The Man Who Laughs/The Dark Knight’ story.

The season ends with Batman, Gordon and Dent meeting on the rooftop and vowing to clean up the city.

The Night is Darkest just before the Dawn. Dawn is coming to Gotham!

SEASON 2

inspired by The Long Halloween (comic), Dark Victory (comic), The Dark Knight (film)

Batsuit: traditional Black and Grey suit with Bat symbol.

This is the Mob war season.

The status quo of the mobs is under threat following the emergence of Batman. Things get messy when a mysterious serial killer known as the ‘Holiday Killer’ starts killing gang members creating a gang war between the Falcone and the Maroni family. The mobs starts to break out/recruit crazy villains such as the Joker, Scarecrow, the Penguin,  the Riddler and Poison Ivy.

twoface_acid

Two major casualties occur in the mid-season finale – the scarring of Harvey Dent and the death of the circus family, the Graysons. Dent becomes Two-Face and goes on his own violent twisted brand of vigilanteism against the mobs while Bruce Wayne adopts the only surviving member of the Graysons, young Dick Grayson. Batman also develops a relationship with Catwoman and the two make an unlikely team for most of the season.

robin flying Grayson

Season 2 ends with the Joker and Two Face on the loose, both mob families pretty much destroyed, Catwoman ends her relationship with Batman and leaves Gotham to find more about her past, Dick recites an oath to Batman and becomes Robin. The Caped Crusader and the Boy Wonder.

DetectiveComic38

SEASON 3

inspired by Robin Year One (comic), Batgirl Year One (comic), Nightwing Year One (comic), Death in the Family (comic), The Killing Joke (comic).

Batsuit: Dark Blue and Grey with Yellow Oval Bat symbol

The season takes place over the course of few years detailing the rise and fall of the Bat-Family.

After the fall of  both the Falcone and Maroni mob families, the Penguin rises to fill the void in the criminal underworld but he has to deal with the surge of crazy and colourful villains.

Batman and Robin establishes themselves as the Dynamic Duo when they defeat the Mad Hatter. Meanwhile, the young and idealistic Barbara Gordon is inspired by them and she starts dressing herself up as Batgirl, much to annoyance of Batman. She later proves her worth when she helps Batman and Robin defeat Killer Moth and Firefly.

batgirl_yearone

The ‘Bat Family’ faces the return of Two Face while cracks between Batman and Robin begins to appear over the course of their mission. Dick Grayson leaves Batman mid-season and becomes Nightwing.

Batman Fire Robin

Nightwing does his solo crime fighting while Batman takes the hot headed Jason Todd as the new Robin. Dick begins a romantic relationship with Barbara who is still a crime fighting partner to Bruce who Dick is not on speaking terms with. And Jason is a bit pain in the ass. But things doesn’t work out between Dick and Barbara so they agree to break it off.

Nightwing Year One Jason-Todd-First-Time-As-Robin

But enough with the soap opera stuff because the Joker re-appears and is more sadistic than ever in the season 3 finale. Everything quickly goes wrong! Joker traps Jason and tortures him before blowing him up.

Jason Todd Joker The_Death_of_Jason_Todd

He then shoots Barbara! Leaving her paralyze from waist down. The Joker kidnaps James Gordon and straps him on a roller coaster while forcing him to watch pictures of his bloodied and naked daughter to drive him insane. Batman rescues Gordon and defeats the Joker.

Killing Joke Barbara Gordon

But that’s not the end yet. The climax of the season is Nightwing confronting Batman and blaming him for Barbara’s predicament. Batman, feeling guilty about Jason and Barbara, lashes out at Nightwing for abandoning the ‘Bat Family’. All the bottled up emotions exploded as Bruce and Dick brutally fight and almost kills each other in Wayne Manor. The fight causes a fire and Wayne Manor gets burned down.

Dick leaves Bruce and visits Barbara at the hospital while Bruce is in his Gotham city penthouse all alone.

The ‘Bat Family’ was no more.

Christian-Bale-as-Bruce-Wayne-in-Dark-Knight

SEASON 4

inspired by A Lonely Place of Dying (comic), War Games (comic), Arkham Origins (videogame)

Batsuit: Back to Black and Grey with bigger pouches on belt and bigger Bat Symbol ala Dark Knight Returns/Batfleck

Batman is going solo again and rougher on the criminals. But he’s also losing focus and is occasionally reckless. With Penguin’s empire weakening, a new gang war erupts with Black Mask seemingly climbing on top the Gotham criminal food chain. He wants to destroy the Batman and place a bounty on Batman which led to the arrival of assassins like DeadshotDeathstroke, David Cain and Lady Shiva to Gotham.

Despite his rocky relationship with Bruce, Dick Grayson couldn’t stand by and watch his reckless former mentor getting hunted by a bunch of skilled assassins. He crosses path with Deathstroke and they form a rivalry. Dick also meets with a young assassin named Cassandra Cain who is on a journey of redemption. She is in Gotham to track down her estranged father David Cain and settle some score with Lady Shiva.

cassandra cain

Meanwhile, Barbara struggles to adjust to her new wheelchair bound life. To make her feel useful, she begins to provide technical support for Nightwing and adopts the alias Oracle. She, Dick and Cassandra makes a good team. Batman works with them from time to time but he mostly prefers to be work alone now.

Oracle_Barbara_Gordon

Two people from Bruce’s past return to Gotham: childhood friend Thomas Elliot and Selina Kyle/Catwoman. Thomas left Gotham when his mother passed away while Bruce Wayne was traveling around the world training. Bruce feels guilty that he wasn’t there for him so he helps him resettle in Gotham. Thomas also tells Bruce of his political ambition to make the city better. More on Thomas Elliot later.

Meanwhile, Catwoman returns to Gotham after hearing the bounty on Batman. She heard about what happened to Jason Todd and how it affected Batman psychologically. Batman and Catwoman rekindle their romantic relationship.

batcatkiss

They track down a villain that call himself the Cluemaster while following clues left behind by daughter Stephanie Brown who wants to ‘spoil’ his father’s criminal activities because he was an abusive father. Stephanie, taking the name ‘The Spoiler’, continues to spoil her father criminal activities. Oracle tracks her down and warns her that her actions could provoke the gangs and create unintended escalations. But Stephanie proves her worth and becomes Oracle’s agent.

Stephanie Brown Spoiler

Nightwing meets the bright and idealistic Tim Drake who deduces the identity of Batman and Nightwing. Tim pleads to Dick to reunite the ‘Dynamic Duo’ for the sake of Batman’s sanity.

Tim Dick Robin Nightwing

Of course, in the end, Batman gets his focus back and defeat Black Mask with the help of the new and expanded Bat Family. Batman outsmarts Deadshot but struggles in his battle with Deathstroke, only to be saved by Nightwing. Deathstroke vs Nightwing! Cassandra defeats Lady Shiva but finds out that she is her biological mother.

Bruce reconciles with Dick and they both agree to train Tim as the new Robin and Stephanie as the Spoiler. Cassandra is left disillusioned by the revelation that Lady Shiva was her biological mother and join the Bat Family as the new Batgirl.

Blackbat

The season ends with Bruce, Dick, Barbara and Alfred overseeing the rebuilding of Wayne Manor.

The Bat Family is back!

SEASON 5

inspired by Knightfall (comic), No Man’s Land (comic), Hush (comic), Battle for the Cowl (comic), Court of Owls (comic), Batman R.I.P. (comic), The Dark Knight Rises (film).

Batsuit: Black and Grey and no trunks on the outside ala New 52

It is a relatively peaceful time in Gotham. Batman and his Bat Family have mostly defeated all the supervillains in Gotham. But Bruce can’t shake the feeling that something terribly big is going to happen. He tries to find connections between random minor crimes that recently happened.

Dick and the others dismiss Bruce as being too paranoid and not used to the relatively quiet times in Gotham. Bruce somewhat agrees and decides that it’s time to minimize Batman’s role.

Meanwhile, Bruce’s childhood friend and Mayoral candidate Thomas Elliot convince Bruce to look into the future of Gotham now that major crimes have been eradicated. So Wayne Enterprise publicly announces its plan for the future of Gotham.

But an owl suit assassin known as Talon kills Thomas Elliot in the name of the Court of Owls – a shadowy group supposedly controlling Gotham behind the scenes. Bruce gets paranoid again and recalls the urban myth from his childhood (see Miniseries). No, it can’t be.

An injured Commissioner Gordon is discovered at the sewers. Gordon tells Batman that they were chasing a group of thugs into the sewers but they were ambushed by a more powerful gang and he got to hear the name of their leader before he escape – his name is BANE. A ghost from Bruce’s past with the League of Assasins.

The-Dark-Knight-Rises-Fight

Batman eventually comes face to face with Bane – now disfigured and wears a mask but a behemoth of a villain – in the midseason. He recalls how Bruce betrayed the League of Assassins and left him disfigured (see Miniseries). Batman and Bane fights while the Court of Owls watch. Bane overpowers Batman and breaks his back.

Bane_0020

With Batman gone, Bane and his mercenaries makes their public debut and activates an underground weapon that causes tremors all over Gotham. They blow up bridges and cut off Gotham from the rest of the country. Bane leads an uprising targeting the rich and powerful with the help of the Talons.

Bane holds the city hostage and releases the Black Gate prisoners and Arkham inmates. The Joker refuses to leave Arkham because it is not fun without the Batman.

Cassandra Cain as Batgirl happens to be the closest to Black Gate prison. She disregards Dick Grayson’s advice to wait for back up and goes to deal with the Black Gate prisoners alone. She puts on a good fight but the rogue gallery traps her in the prison and set off an explosive, destroying the prison and seemingly killing her.

Meanwhile, a broken Bruce Wayne wakes up in an underground prison with Bane telling him of his alliance with the Court to take Gotham back from the Batman. Bane keeps him alive so that he can see – through the tv monitors – the fall of Gotham. Bane wants Bruce to realize that all his work to save Gotham was for nothing.

Batman Maze Court of Owls

Bruce was treated by a fellow inmate – an old doctor – who helped re-align Bruce’s spine. Outside Bruce’s cell is a seemingly inescapable labyrinth.

battle-for-the-cowl_picture

Back in Gotham, Nightwing and the Bat Family together with the Gotham Police struggle to control the city for months. In order to boost morale of the city, Dick Grayson agrees to take the mantle of Batman while Stephanie Brown, with Barbara’s blessing, becomes the new Batgirl in honour of Cassandra Cain.

Stephanie Brown Batgirl

The Joker briefly return to the public only to be disappointed because he soon realize that he wasn’t ‘his Batman’. Two-Face forges an uneasy alliance with Gordon against the League.

The Bat Family finds out that Bane and the remnants of the League made a deal with the Court of Owls to takeover Gotham. The League gets their revenge on Bruce while the Court can use this as way to cleanse Gotham back to how it was before Batman.

Dick Grayson also finds out that the Court of Owls have a history with Haley’s Circus and the Flying Graysons. It turns out the circus was a secret training ground for Court’s assassins – Dick was supposed to be groomed to be a Talon!

Meanwhile, Bruce Wayne wakes up to find the old doctor gone along with any evidence that he ever existed. Bruce tries to escape the labryinth and begins to hallucinate. He sees his dead parents, Jason Todd and the Bat Family all bloodied up. Bruce is losing his mind.

Batman Court of Owls Maze Crazy

The Court also leaves clues in a form of portraits all over the Labryinth revealing that they have been manipulating events in Bruce’s life.

They were responsible for the Wayne murders…

…they were the one who recovered the Red Hood leader after he fell into a vat of chemicals and let loose as the Joker to test Batman….

…they helped the mob break out the Arkham inmates in season 2….

…they manipulated events that led to the hot headed Jason Todd being the new Robin anticipating that Bruce will fail to redeem him and get him killed.

But Batman persevered against all odds to rise from a symbol of fear to a symbol of hope for Gotham. They found an opportunity to do away everything Batman have fought for when Bane and the League showed up with an offer.

A Talon strikes Bruce when he was at his lowest point psychologically. The Court of Owls shows up led by none other than Thomas Elliot! It was revealed that Thomas actually killed his parents because he despised them. Bruce was his only friend and they were supposed to rule Gotham together after their parents’ death. But Bruce left Gotham and abandoned him only to later return in a silly Bat costume.

The_Court_of_Owls

Thomas later joined the Court and they have watched and manipulated Batman ever since. Thomas sentence Bruce to be beaten up to death. Bruce gains his strength and fights back. He escapes through the sewers.

The Talons chase Bruce through the sewers and cave system. Just when it looks like he’s trapped and outnumbered, Cassandra Cain (who actually survived the explosion at Blackgate Prison) shows up to fend off the Talons and rescue Bruce.

Back in Gotham, Dick Grayson (as Batman) leads our heroes to successfully take over half of the city. They are almost there, they can take back the city! But Gordon gets betrayed by Two-Face and gets captured along with Barbara!

Bruce and Cassandra reunite with the Bat Family. They update Bruce on what happened to Gordon and Barbara. Dick offers to give back the mantle of Batman to Bruce but Bruce says he can keep it. He tells Dick that he earned it.

That night, Bruce returns as the black/grey Batman while Dick dons the blue/Grey Batman suit. They will completely take back this city even if it means having two Batmen.

FINALE MINISERIES

inspired by Knightfall (comic), No Man’s Land (comic), Court of Owls (comic), Batman R.I.P. (comic), Endgame (comic), The Dark Knight Returns (comic), The Dark Knight Rises (film).

Three part Finale!

Part One: The Bat Family mount a rescue operation to free Gordon from the League. Batman, Gordon and Two-Face have one last confrontation on the roof of GCPD (like old times). Two-Face eventually falls to his death. Gordon informs them that they have taken Barbara to Arkham.

Part Two: The Joker returns to the public when he heard that ‘his Batman’ is back. He goes on a killing spree (even killing League members). The Court of Owls cautiously makes an offer to give whatever the Joker wants. The Joker wants only one thing: The Batman. The Court allowed the Joker to takeover Arkham Asylum from the League of Assassins – where Barbara is being held and where Batman will surely strike.

The Batfamily fights through the villains from the past seasons. Meanwhile, the Joker knows that the Court of Owls just want Joker and Batman to be  in one place so that they can kill both by detonating explosives rigged all over Arkham – killing two birds with one stone. The Joker kills most of the Court of Owls. The Talons arrive to kill the Joker and rescue Thomas Elliot. But the Joker detonates the explosives in Arkham anyway and the whole building is on fire and collapsing. The Joker kills Thomas Elliot.

Batman battle Joker Endgame

Batman vs Joker Endgame

Batman engages in a brutal fight with the Joker, made worse by the release of the Scarecrow’s fear toxin. Joker manages to pin down a bloodied and heavily injured Batman. Barbara crawls and shoots the Joker her father’s gun, paralysing the Joker (sweet payback!). Gordon and Dick help Batman get on his feet and escape the collapsing building. Joker is left behind laughing maniacally as the whole of Arkham Asylum falls on him.

Part Three: Dick leads the final assault at City Hall as the ‘Blue’ Batman and has one final showdown with Deathstroke.

Batman Gotham Battle TDKR

Despite being badly injured, Bruce still wants to settle the score with Bane but he knows that he is not currently physically up to the task. So, he hastily assemble a ‘suit’ made up of mechanical leg braces that enhances his leg strength, Power Gauntlets, a prototype armor and a technologically advanced helmet. They’re all prototypes so he doesn’t know how much they can withstand in a fight with a behemoth like Bane. One way to find out.

Batman Incorporated Armor

Armored Batman glides into City Hall and confronts Bane. An epic fight ensues with Batman finally breaking Bane in different places and beats him up. Batman wins but at the cost of his armor. Then he gets stabbed by Talia Al Ghul who was behind everything. Talia manipulated both Bane/League and the Court of Owls. She is here to fulfill her father’s mission of destroying Gotham once and for all.

Talia lectures how Batman tried to save Gotham but he only made it worse. She made Bruce look outside and see what he has done – people fighting on the streets…criminals ‘businessmen’ replaced by murderous psychopathic freaks….and the Court of Owls, a group that has survived behind the shadows and keeping ‘balance’ in the city was forced to come out – all because of what the Batman had done.

Talia wants Bruce to know that he failed and reveals a nuclear bomb on top of City Hall that will destroy Gotham. Bruce will die as a failure along with the rest of the city.

NEVER!

A heavily injured and exhausted Bruce Wayne just had a marathon of fights in the past few days – escaping the Court of Owls, fight with Two Face, storming Arkham, fighting Joker, fighting Bane, stabbed by Talia – but that is not an excuse to fail his city. Not today, not ever.

Bruce fights Talia on top of City Hall. She trips and Bruce grabs her. Talia slices Bruce’s hand so he can let go of Talia. She falls from the roof with a smile on her face and throws an explosive on the ground below her. BOOM!! When the smoke clears, Talia was nowhere to be found.

The countdown is ticking and there is no time to disarm it.

A heavily injured Bruce says goodbye to the Bat Family and takes the bomb away from Gotham with the Batplane.

The bomb detonates, Gotham is saved but Bruce Wayne seems to perish.

Batsignal endgame

As a memorial, the Gotham citizens shine the Bat signal into the night sky.

Dick, Alfred, Barbara, Tim, Stephanie and Cassandra mourn at Bruce Wayne’s grave. Dick gives a moving eulogy about what Bruce/Batman has meant to all of their lives.

As they all leave the grave, Alfred stays to mourn for Bruce alone. But once everyone is gone, Alfred smiles….

Meanwhile in Congo, a former child soldier and disillusioned cop David Zavimbe is approached by none other than Bruce Wayne! – still alive and traveling around the world training new Batman everywhere. Bruce tells him that he can teach him how to be a symbol to fight injustice and save his town from corruption.

Bruce Wayne is spreading his crime fighting philosophy around the world.

Batman Batwing

In a flashback, we see Bruce telling Alfred about his worldwide mission and ask him to keep it a secret. Bruce also tells Alfred to keep an eye on ‘their family’ while he’s gone.

Meanwhile back in Gotham, a group of criminal sees the Bat signal and scoffs at the idea that Batman will ever show up again. Then Dick Grayson (as Batman) and Tim Drake (as Robin) storms in!

Batman and Robin will never die!

Batman Robin Never Die

It never dies. It never ends. It probably never will.

T H E   B A T M A N

And that is how I see an ultimate Batman Series play out. Hope you enjoyed it!

New chapter to my Brunei superhero saga

A bit overdue but the NEW CHAPTER to my superhero story is here!

Set in a heightened reality/fictional/alternate version of Brunei, GUARDIANS OF DARUSSALAM is a story of an ordinary boy named ADAM who gained super strength after an encounter with a magical giant archer fish – just like the legend of Brunei’s mythical hero, Awang Semaun. Initially reluctant, Adam soon finds the hero within him and set out to become a superhero known as CAPTAIN BRUNEI.

Together with his allies, they plan to stop criminal forces and uphold DARUSSALAM – the Abode of Peace

This latest chapter is the sixth entry in a still on-going story.

Guardiansofdarussalamnisa

Titled ‘NISA‘, it is set four months after the previous chapter.

A rape case involving a young girl sets off a chain of events that led our heroes – the two local superheroes (Captain Brunei & Balau Man), the police and others – to uncover an underground criminal operation.

Rated Mature for violence, profanities and theme

You can read the chapter by clicking HERE or the image above.

***

NOTE: This is the Sixth Chapter of an ongoing story with many characters and events. It would be useful to read the previous chapters. Don’t worry, the first four chapters are really short.

You can find more on the Guardians of Darussalam site.

My Top 10 Movies – 2012

For those of you who’ve seen my previous lists, you would probably know it’s mostly made up ‘blockbusters’/action type of movies.

Here’s my previous lists:

2011 – 1) Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows 2) Warrior 3) Super 8 4) Kung Fu Panda 2 5) X-Men First Class 6) Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol 7) 50/50 8) Rise of the Planet of The Apes 9) Captain America 10) Fast Five

2010 – 1) Inception 2) Toy Story 3  3) Social Network 4) Scott Pilgrim vs the World 5) Tron Legacy 6) Kick Ass 7) The Karate Kid 8) RED 9) The Expendables 10) The A-Team

2009 – 1) Avatar 2) District 9 3) Star Trek 4) Up 5) 500 Days of Summer 6) Inglourious Basterds 7) Watchmen 8) Hangover 9) GI Joe: Rise of the Cobra 10) Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen

2008 – 1) The Dark Knight 2) Kung Fu Panda 3) Wall-E 4) Hellboy II: The Golden Army 5) Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of Crystal Skull 6) Wanted 7) Iron Man 8) Rambo 9) JCVD 10) Tropic Thunder

Now on to the list!

Continue reading

Guardians of Darussalam

WHAT IF SUPERMAN AND BATMAN WERE BRUNEIANS?

dotzauer-parliament-brunei-03

That was the question that I’ve asked myself when I was a kid and I’ve pondered with the possible answers ever since.

So I have decided to try to write a SUPERHERO STORY SET IN BRUNEI.

guardiansofdarussalam.wordpress.com/chapters/

The aim is to take elements of the classic superhero myth – whether it be the Superman or Batman mythos – and try to fit it in a Bruneian setting. To me, a story about a Bruneian superhero should have elements from major superheroes such as Spiderman, Batman, Superman while tackling social themes relevant to Brunei (eg. sense of community, the power of media, social harmony vs individualism)

brunei superhero

Set in a heightened reality/fictional/alternate version of Brunei, GUARDIANS OF DARUSSALAM is a story of an ordinary boy named ADAM who gained super strength after an encounter with a magical giant archer fish – just like the legend of Brunei’s mythical hero, Awang Semaun. Initially reluctant, Adam soon finds the hero within him and set out to become a superhero known as CAPTAIN BRUNEI.

However, an ancient evil spirit and his forces rises and threatens the peace in Brunei. It is up to Adam and his allies – including RIDZUAN, son of wealthy family turned crime fighter; AKMAL, a young detective; the tough police officer RAHMAN and his daughter LIZA; VIVIAN, the journalist; ALI, the comic book geek – to stop it and uphold DARUSSALAM – the Abode of Peace

I’ve only written 5 Chapters and a prologue so far….I am planning on doing more (The whole story is probably 40% planned out…60% made up as I go along but that’s part of the fun).

3391811517_e41a73871e

Aside from the chapters, you can find written commentaries about the chapters on the main page:  guardiansofdarussalam.wordpress.com/

And a ‘database/reference’ page where I dumped few background info regarding the world and mythology of the story: guardiansofdarussalam.wordpress.com/database/

guardiansofdarussalam.wordpress.com/chapters/

Hope you’ll enjoy it and feel free to share it if you liked it. I accept any feedback or suggestions

The Brave and the Bold

Three years ago, I wrote about my opinions on several planned movies featuring DC superheroes. A lot have changed since then and I’m now going write another overview of the projects featuring DC superheroes and my opinions of it. With all the attention on Marvel’s Thor, Captain America and the Avengers next year, I think this is a good time to take a look at our folks in DC.

Superman


After the ‘not-so-satisfying-enough’ reception of Bryan Singer’s Superman Returns (a quasi sequel to Superman II), Warner decided to reboot it and aimed for a darker take on the character ala Batman Begins. I was opposed to the idea because making Superman darker is not necessarily the best way to make a good movie. A more accurate word would be ‘mature’ or ‘character driven’. Brandon Routh’s Superman did have angst in him but the movie was sadly let down by the lack of a formidable threat (I like Lex Luthor but creating a continent for real estate??? seriously??).

The story has it that director Christopher Nolan and writer David Goyer were taking a break from writing the third Batman movie and talked about Superman. Goyer told Nolan of the way he would approach a Superman movie to make him more relevant to modern times and go into what he is as a man. Nolan loved his idea and helped him pitch it to Warner Bros. They accepted it and the rest was history. Set to be released in 2012, the tentatively titled ‘Man of Steel‘ is a movie project produced by Nolan, written by Goyer and directed by Watchmen’s Zack Snyder. It features a cast of Henry Cavill as Superman, Amy Adams as Lois Lane, Kevin Costner and Diane Lane as Jonathan and Martha Kent with Michael Shannon as villain General Zod.

Many have complained about Zod being the villain again but come on! – 1) Joker and Two Face was in more than one Batman movie 2) General Zod could provide some Kryptonian mythology which is an opportunity to explore Superman’s origin without making this movie a straightforward origin story.

Speaking of origin story, there have been various rumored plot over the internet but the one that I really liked the most involved “Clark Kent as a journalist travelling around the world, including getting caught in the middle of a West African civil war, contemplating whether he should become Superman or not. He then traveled back to Smallville and comes face to face with his secret destiny.”

Batman


The Dark Knight Rises is the final part of the Batman saga that director Christopher Nolan wants to tell. Nolan’s Batman story is basically a one long origin story so expect the end of TDKR to be about Bruce Wayne transforming himself into the Batman we all know and love. Christian Bale will return as Batman and is now hunted both by the Gotham police and his past with the League of Shadows from the first movie. This is hinted by the casting of Josh Pence as the young Ra’s Al Ghul in a flashback and Marion Cotilllard who, despite the recent story of her playing a Wayne enterprise board member, I think will be revealed as Talia Al Ghul towards the end of the movie and double crosses him.

Another adversary that Batman will face is Bane, played by Tom Hardy. We still don’t know whether he is related to the League of Shadows but expect him to beat the living shit out of Batman. In the comic, Bane is infamous for breaking Batman’s back and put him on a temporary retirement. Although I don’t think Batman’s back would be broken in this movie, I do think he would get some kind major ass whooping from Bane. This would probably have an impact on Batman’s ability to save Gotham on his own. With the Gotham police against him (except for Commissioner Gordon), Batman probably will have to form an uneasy alliance with someone outside the law – a thief called Catwoman played by Anne Hathaway.

So what happens after Nolan finishes his Batman saga? A Reboot.

I predicted this three years ago because I saw it as the only way they could incorporate a version of Batman that is compatible with a Justice League universe. So it seems that Warner/DC stole read my mind read my blog post logically had the same idea. So should they make a rebooted Batman movie so soon? Hell no! But should they instead reboot Batman through a Justice League movie? Sure!

But like what Marvel is doing with the Avengers, I think Warner/DC should do the same and start building the DC universe to prepare themselves for an eventual Justice League movie. And they should start with the Green Lantern movie…

Green Lantern

Three years ago, I was highly anticipating this movie because of the things I heard about the script which described it as an epic space opera superhero movie. Although I supported Bradley Cooper as the Green Lantern, I wasn’t dissatisfied with the eventual casting of Ryan Reynolds. I remember calling Green Lantern DC’s answer to Iron Man and when the first trailer came, I was right…..in a bad way. I was disappointed because of the poor attempt at humour, chick flick type banter between the leads and special effects – basically a poor attempt of an Iron Man type of movie. 

And then the much longer trailer showed up and blew me away. NOW THIS IS WHAT I WAS PROMISED ABOUT YEARS AGO! An epic Space Opera Superhero movie!

It’s clear that they are now selling on the otherworldly premise of the movie and I think this movie should be the building block to an eventual Justice League movie. The world of Green Lantern is vast and fantastical so it would be really easy to incorporate the rest of the Justice League heroes into the universe laid out in this movie. I’m not expecting a Justice League reference in this movie (it’s too late for that) but drop it in the sequel (yes, a sequel is already in development). OR they can start laying down the Justice League foundation with….

The Flash

A movie starring the Flash is currently in development by the same people who wrote the Green Lantern movie (Greg Berlanti, Michael Green & Marc Guggenheim). So fingers crossed that they’ll set this movie in the same universe as the Green Lantern movie (IF they’re not planning it…then I suggest you buy tickets to Green Lantern movie so the it can make lots of money which will convince Warner/DC to ride the Green Lantern bandwagon by making Flash associated with Green Lantern).

The Flash will focus on Barry Allen, a police forensic scientist who got exposed to a bunch of ‘lightning striked chemicals’ and now has super speed ability. The writer has described the upcoming movie as a balance between a crime movie and a superhero movie. There was also a hint of elements of alternate universe which is a reference to the famous storyline of Barry Allen meeting an alternate version the Flash (Jay Garrick) that set up the whole multiverse thing going on at DC.

As for the casting? I say Bradley Cooper because I wanted him to be the Green Lantern. Since Ryan Reynolds (who I REALLY wanted to be Flash) got that gig, I suggest giving Flash to Cooper. Him being the Flash was a popular internet rumour and even Ryan Reynolds recently said that he wanted Bradley Cooper as the Flash. But sadly, Bradley Cooper is a bit reluctant to take on the role.

Justice League

And finally, the big daddy! A Justice League movie is in development but how should they approach this big movie?!! Here’s my opininon:

Christopher Nolan as a producer

No, I’m not saying that the Justice League movie should be dark and realistic. I just think that Christopher Nolan could be sort of act as a quality control to the project. I think Warner would be happy to have Nolan be on top of things because of the huge success of The Dark Knight and Inception. It also adds some credibility to the project.

 Rebooted Batman introduced in this film

Rather than make another standalone film, a rebooted Batman would be introduced in the Justice League movie. Just like how Wolverine was the anchor in the first X-men film, the Justice League film could be anchored by a storyline following Batman’s introduction to other superheroes like him and his eventual realization on the benefit of working together. As for casting….why not give another shot at Armie Hammer (the Winklevoss twins in Social Network) because he was close to playing Batman in the previously scrapped Justice League project.

Henry Cavill as Superman

As much as I liked Christian Bale as Batman, I don’t want him to play Batman in the Justice League movie. It would be wrong to see him in a fantastical Justice League movie after being used to seeing him in three realistic Batman movies. However, I do want to see Henry Cavill as Superman in a JL movie. Despite what Zack Snyder said about his Superman being its own thing, I want them to stick with Henry Cavill for Justice League. I didn’t like how they wanted to recast Brandon Routh and I certainly don’t want them to recast Cavill.

Green Lantern and the Flash

Use the world introduced in Green Lantern as a starting point, then build it up with Green Lantern 2 and The Flash movie.

Wonder Woman

It wouldn’t be Justice League without Wonder Woman. I’m not sure if they have time to slot in a Wonder Woman movie before Justice League so I think they should introduce her in there.

So what do we have?

There is a big threat to earth that not one superhero can handle. Batman is investigating something in Gotham that led to this big global threat. Batman’s investigation led him to meet other superheroes such as Superman, Green Lantern and the Flash. Martian Manhunter is introduced as someone related to this big threat. Wonder Woman’s Amazon land is under threat and is forced to unite with the superheroes from the world of men. Superman tries to unite everyone, Wonder Woman doesn’t trust men, Green Lantern prefers to do things with Green Lantern corp, Martian Manhunter is unfamiliar with human customs, the Flash is…well…confused by all this shit AND Batman doesn’t want to be associated with these idiots. They all unite eventually and save the day. Justice League is born. Batman says he’ll just be a part time member but he respects them nonetheless.

Of course, all of this depends heavily on the success of the upcoming Green Lantern movie. I hope that 1) It’s a damn enjoyable good movie 2) Makes lots of money. Then have other things fall into place such as Flash, Superman and Green Lantern sequel to set up the Justice League movie.

IF they could make this work and do it right, I’ll assure you that a Justice League movie will totally be bigger than the Avengers. I love Marvel and they have more cooler characters but I always see DC as having more prestige and much more iconic. There is something about Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman that taps into a universally recognized archetype.

You might enjoy my previous post on DC films back in 2008: https://trylobyte.wordpress.com/2008/08/29/worlds-finest/

PS: Whatever happened to that Green Arrow movie?? and no love for Aquaman??

World’s Finest

Warner Bros. is relaunching/rebooting/reintroducing the Superman franchise that will be much more darker than the previous movies. “We’re going to try to go dark to the extent that the characters allow it,” says Jeff Robinov, the president of Warner Bros. Pictures Group, who has definitely been inspired by how The Dark Knight, a dark take on Batman, has been making lots of money. I don’t think a dark Superman movie would guarantee a successful movie. I think the right word is ‘mature’ but I guess that’s what the Warner guys meant by ‘dark’ anyway…I hope 😛 . Relaunching the Superman franchise is just part of a larger plan involving the adaptation of other DC superheroes.

What Marvel is doing with their superheroes is giving Warner Bros. & DC a wake up call. Marvel has a great long term plan for their superhero franchise: Iron Man & Incredible Hulk (2008), Iron Man 2 (2010), Thor (2010), Captain America (2011) and finally The Avengers (2011), where the aforementioned superheroes unite (as hinted at the end of Iron Man and Incredible Hulk).

Meanwhile Warner/DC has been busy developing projects like…’Batman vs Superman’ or ‘Justice League’ 🙄 I like Justice League but the project was simply rushed. Thankfully, they scrapped that and is now planning to follow the Marvel way; introducing individual characters in each movie, let them have their 2 hours of fame and then hopefully team them up for a Justice League movie.

Click ‘More’ to read about some of the superheroes that Warner/DC will probably adapt in the next three years:

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HOLY F*** BATMAN! Dark Knight New Posters!

Just as I was hyped up about Iron Man, these posters got released in the internet which reminded me that there is only one superhero that will dominate this summer, THE BATMAN!!

There are more posters in Omelete

(Click posters to enlarge)

Courtesy of Omelete

And I heard there is a new trailer coming up after their viral campaign is over. Will update this later when it shows up (I hope it does)