Fight Your Rival! – The Batman VS The Doctor
I remember when I wrote our very first Fight Your Rival. It was last year and I was super excited for this series on Infinite Ammo. I thought to myself, “There are so many possibilities for fights out there! : D I’m going to write another one next month!”
Cut to… now. And this—Fight Your Rival part deux. Only took a year. The question immediately becomes, “What happened?”
I’ll tell you what happened.
The Batman happened.
Right after the first FYR, I got it in my head that the second one had to feature Batman. The problem with that is, who can honestly fight the Batman? That is, who can have an actual fight with Batman instead of just waking up one morning, putting on their best coat with the intent to find and fight Batman, and stopping when they find a bat shaped note in their coat pocket that says, “I win”?
As an objective mind on the matter (I love Batman but anyone who knows me knows I’m ridiculously far away from being a fanboy), I honestly couldn’t find anyone who would actually put up a fair fight much less take him down. And part of that is just because of how Batman’s written; Batman wins because no matter how improbable the odds, Batman always has a plan and always sees every obstacle coming. He just won’t be defeated because he refuses to be.
So that was my basis. Who else could I honestly just not imagine losing? Who else wouldn’t give up and always has impossible solutions when facing insurmountable odds? Who else recruits young people to help him and then immediately starts fearing for their lives and ultimately pushes them away? Who else is a super intelligent genius who lost his family but still has the weight of it on his shoulders, at all times? Who else is the benefactor of extremely romantic “I already thought of that” moments possibly because of decades’ worth of history?
Why They’d Fight
Might seem like there’s totally not a legitimate reason, but there is. In Justice League: Apocalypse, Batman saved the day by threatening to destroy the planet Apokolips. Whether or not it was an idle threat, Darkseid looked right into the unyielding, unemotional plastic of Batman’s mask and decided that he thought Batman capable of making that decision. He thought Batman was capable of mass genocide.
And guess who really hates mass genocide?
Not that he hasn’t been forced to commit it from time to time, but there’s something about the Doctor that keeps him from ultimately destroying threats to the galaxy—compassion. Tons of it—maybe too much even. Compassion that often results in him asking whatever villain he’s facing to simply leave and go home directly before he defeats them. Compassion that, at one point, had him working with the Daleks, his mortal foes, to help them repopulate their race.
So how does this all fall into place? The TARDIS takes the Doctor to the middle of some new Crisis. Batman saves the day by threatening another planet of psychos with a giant doomsday device. Maybe he’s bluffing, maybe Darkseid was right and he’s totally not. Either way, it works, everyone goes home, and Batman, unwilling to entrust the doomsday device with anyone, takes it back to the cave to lock it away for eternity… or until he needs it again. I know—I probably took a big liberty there, but this is all a “What If…?” anyway.
The thing is, the Doctor, somehow involved, would see this and not approve at all. In the end, this FYR would be the final ten minutes of a Doctor Who / Justice League crossover.
And now that I’ve exposed juuuust how much I’ve thought about this, let’s get to the actual contest itself.
The Main Event
It’s a late night at the cave. The Crisis has just ended and Batman is already prepared for the Doctor to be there when he arrives. But he’s not. Even so, Batman remains poised, watching bio-scanners he placed throughout the cave years ago (all set up to scan for the particular anomaly of multiple heartbeats).
The Doctor shows up after Batman has settled in. The Doctor exits the TARDIS in plain sight.
Batman and the Doctor talk and it’s something I’m not going to endeavor to write here. The Doctor tries to reason with him, but Batman is cold and serious, deflecting the Doctor’s pleas to give up the doomsday device with solid Batlogic (“There’s nowhere safer than here for the device,” for example). In the end, Batman would make the point that there’s nowhere else in the galaxy where the device is less safe than in the hands of the Doctor. The Doctor and his TARDIS, always at the center of whatever cataclysmic event.
The Doctor says he’s going to go toss the device into a black hole—somewhere where it truly won’t fall into the wrong hands.
Batman says that he won’t give it to the Doctor and have him get caught by the Daleks or any of his other enemies along the way. He just won’t take that chance.
The Doctor won’t take the chance of it staying here until the day when Batman decides he’ll actually use it.
Batman says that that’s too bad.
A quick aside: If you’re wondering how the hell Batman possibly got such tech or mimicked it, I believe the answer can be as simple as “He’s Batman.”
The chamber wouldn’t kill the Doctor but would keep him locked down and in pain while Batman tries to decide what to do with him.
In the meantime, after the Doctor eventually passes out, Batman puts him in a massive containment facility (now with 50% less ape gene purification pain) to question him.
The Doctor awakens later. Tim is about to go on a night out. Alfred is attending in the cave.
The Doctor and Batman go back and forth about the genocide Batman isn’t planning but keeping up his sleeve, like a playing card. The Doctor, naturally, hates genocide.
They end on the note that it’s a stalemate.
But the Doctor corrects him—it’s more of a paradox, really.
This gives Batman pause.
To make matters worse, the Doctor says to Batman, “Let me help.”
Batman is taken aback because he knows what the Doctor means but he doesn’t want to even consider it. This is a quest. This is his life, as it happened. He can’t let anyone change it. Especially not if it means creating a paradox.
He stares at the Doctor for a moment and then walks out, wishing the Doctor a good night.
The Doctor calls after him, and when Batman stops to listen, the Doctor gives a good ol’ “I’m sorry… I’m so sorry.”
Batman decides that he definitely does not like the Doctor.
Alfred is outside, asking Bruce what the Doctor meant about helping.
Distracted, Batman says that he’s talking about his parents—that the Doctor could go back and save them, despite its possibly being a fixed point in time. Changing it would create a paradox that—
Batman tells Alfred to contact Robin and then goes back into the containment chamber only to find that the Doctor has been freed by…
Batman: “Clever. A paradox. I didn’t think you’d resort to one at first. But I let you out. I’ve always known I would eventually. And the moment I do, you come back here to create a paradox. To free yourself and change the past… so that in the future, you can come back and set yourself free and change the past.”
The second Doctor, lets say this Doctor is David Tennant (just trust me on this) says, “Well… Something like that.”
Batman: “Of course, that doesn’t mean either of you are escaping.”
The Doctor (David Tennant [DT]) goes on sonicing the restraints on the Doctor (Matt Smith [MS]).
The first Doctor (MS), gets punchy: “Are you daft? You can’t stop both of us from reaching that doomsday device.”
Batman: “I don’t need to stop both of you.”
Robin arrives and beats down the second Doctor (DT) while Batman beats down the first (MS). Because, really… I mean, really.
Batman secures the first Doctor (MS).
Batman: “Robin, secure him.”
Robin: “Right.” <to the Doctor, mocking> “I’m sorry, mate.”
Batman: “I’m going to call Superman. See what he knows about—”
Robin: “I’m so sorry.”
Batman turns around, but not before Robin’s bolas wrap around him.
Only then does Batman actually look at him. All dressed up for his party.
A tweed suit.
2nd Doctor (DT): “Oh yes.”
1st Doctor (MS): “You forced our hand.”
Batman doesn’t struggle against his bonds but starts getting up as he again, emotional, says, “No.”
1st Doctor (MS): “I’m sorry. But you have to understand—we haven’t done anything to him.”
Robin: “We are him… Well, I am… him?… I am we?”
2nd Doctor (DT): “That sentence got away from you there.”
1st Doctor (MS): “Yeah, I suppose it did.”
2nd Doctor (DT): “How? Well,” ::tosses the first Doctor (MS) a pocket watch:: “It’s… complicated.”
1st Doctor (MS): “A ‘chameleon arch’ [Series 3, “Human Nature”]. They come standard in every TARDIS, you know? Makes it terribly simple to put everything I am right in this watch.” <tosses it to Robin>
Robin: <catches the watch> “Two hearts and all.”
2nd Doctor (DT): “And throw in a little Lazarus anti-aging technology, refined without all of that mutation nonsense getting in the way, of course, pack it into a Sonic Screwdriver, and you have a one way trip back to youth.”
Batman: “But… Robin… He…”
Robin kneels down in front of Batman and offers a very emotional, very honest, “I’m sorry, Bruce.”
Batman, glances up, and then, having freed himself, head butts Robin, making sure to knock him out in one blow.
The second Doctor (DT) runs.
Batman stands up and faces the first Doctor (MS), saying, “You know this can’t go on. I was content to let you free, but all of this, what you do… No one should have this power.”
1st Doctor (MS): “I use it responsibly.”
Batman: “It’s impossible to use that power responsibly.”
1st Doctor (MS): “And yet you’re keeping a doomsday device… just in case.”
Batman has no reply for that. He starts to walk forward.
1st Doctor (MS): “You won’t stop him.”
Batman: “I don’t need to stop him. Just you. I stop you and he never exists.”
1st Doctor (MS): “Right… Unless he’s a younger version of me.”
Batman’s eyes narrow.
1st Doctor (MS): “See, that’s the thing about me and this… time travel business. It gets rather confusing. Which is bad most of the times… But not this time. See, it’s entirely possible that my friend… well, me, was just doing what I asked him to. In a note. Perhaps… a letter. Probably something more complicated but left for him somewhere where I knew he’d be. Just that extra little bit of misdirection.”
Batman: “I can still stop him.”
1st Doctor (MS): “By getting past me.”
Batman tries to leave the room, but the Doctor catches his arm.
1st Doctor (MS): “Aren’t you curious… what Robin will look like when he grows up?”
Batman’s eyes narrow and the extent of all of this finally comes home. The Doctor (MS) didn’t come here right after the event. Not right away. He prepared first. He trained.
He looks from the Doctor to Robin and realizes for the first time that this Doctor is an older version of his Robin.
And what ensues is a fight that I refuse to actually imagine. Because not even I can dork out so hard that I devote any time to plotting it out. Suffice it to say that the two fight, Batman VS The Doctor as trained by Batman.
Meanwhile, the 2nd Doctor (DT) encounters Alfred.
Alfred moves to stop him.
But the 2nd Doctor is David Tennant. David… Tennant. And how does he get past Alfred? By being the Doctor as played by David Tennant. He shows the doomsday device to Alfred. He shows Alfred what Batman has become. But more importantly than anything, he tells Alfred that he can end this. That he can do the one thing Batman never could. The one thing he could never bring himself to do.
Alfred protests. All of those villains…
But all of those villains are reactions. They’re all answers to Batman—to the man in the mask.
If Alfred loves Bruce, he’ll let the Doctor help. Let him save Bruce from what he’s become. Let him save Bruce from what he has to be.
Alfred is uncertain.
Meanwhile, Batman naturally wins his physical altercation with the Doctor. He hurries to a console.
1st Doctor (MS): “You’re not going to catch him.”
Batman ignores him and works on the keypad.
They both pause when they hear a TARDIS firing up—going through time.
1st Doctor (MS): “Bruce…”
Batman picks up a com to call someone from the Justice League.
1st Doctor (MS): “Bruce… It’s too—”
Batman ignores the Doctor and calls for a transport through time. Even then, still fighting. But the sound of the TARDIS fades.
Batman looks at the Doctor.
And the Doctor says, “I’m so sorry.”
Batman says something in reply, but suddenly, he jumps out of bed, having had another nightmare. His mother rushes in, asking if it’s another nightmare about the night when they saw The Mark of Zorro. He says no—that it was something else, but he can’t remember.
Time passes. Super heroes still come to Metropolis. In reply to those heroes, super villains still rise in Gotham. Perhaps someone else takes up the fight against them, but more likely than not, it’s still Bruce Wayne. Although it may be a Bruce Wayne who follows in his father’s footsteps and fights corruption with public service. Or perhaps he still becomes Batman, only a heavily tech-based Batman who relies far more on science, like an odd blend between Batman and Tony Stark.
Either way, he doesn’t become the man who threatened a planet with genocide. That Batman, now erased from time (again) was bested by the Doctor.
Don’t agree? Of course you don’t. Feel free to comment below but please keep your comments intelligent and calm; we’re not going to post anything offensive or base.