An interesting aspect in the reading and long-term appreciation of superhero-comics, one of few nearly unique to the genre-medium, is the impact that a single image of a single character can have. Few sights are more potent and electric than the basic dramatis-persona mugshot of the steroidal spandexophile (popular in the early Image-era which took the dynamic far beyond the realms of mere absurdity), poised four square to the camera, and his name. Plot, narrative, dialogue even, can all to a greater or lesser degree be shed, and the key meaning of the superhero, the immortal appeal, remains undiminished. All that is required is a strong image and a strong name.

The enduring popularity of the A-Z Handbook of the X?X Universe books are a testament to this – the costume, the name, the paraphernalia, the ‘vital statistics’ (so porno), and the stripped-back plot recaps that the Handbook-style entries offer are the pure flavour, the total hot- drug effect, of the strongman funnybook. The superhero, a figure without a background, exists perfectly well, separate to the superfluous storytelling and other dimensions the comicbook medium affords. After all, if it’s all about wish fulfilment and fantasy-projection, the other stuff just gets in the way – just show me, in crazy colours and moody lighting, the bare (oo-er) image of the proud superthing, standing erect, and let me do the rest of the work myself (stop!) All that you need is a cool, tight image and a few terse syllables of context (of which the name, both descriptive and directive in its ideal form, is the concentrate). and you  can have that uncanny charge the trueborn superhero fanman is always chasing.

michaelhacker_cover2_front

Which is to say…

In honour of the Dark Knight Detective’s visit to our fair isle, and directly inspired by the following line from this interview -

a bunch of new British villains we haven’t seen before, all with ridiculous regional dialects

These words are basically manna to us Mindless Ones, and so we thought that we would have a competition in celebration of #7, the most spunkworthy Batman & Robin comic yet dreamt (I haven’t read it yet, btw, but y’know, I have faith.)

The way to play is so easy even an X-Men fan could understand it. Simply write in, either via the comments below, or to mindlessones@hotmail.co.uk you’re the private type, with your idea for a new British Batman villain we haven’t seen before, with a ridiculous regional accent. Points will be awarded for originality, silliness, scariness and humour, and extra magick bonus points if your villain somehow ends up bearing a passing resemblance to one of the ones that actually appears in B&R issues 7, 8 or 9. Provide a visual reference if you can, along with a name, catchphrase, a neat summation of the character’s powers anbd high-concept. Try to supply some dialogue, written in phonetic accent-ish. Reach deep into those stereotypes. Make us believe in them. Make us want to read stories of them punching, and in turn being punched, through a drystone wall.

We were bored and excited earlier, so we came up with a few of our own, to give you an idea of the special kind of nonsense that we’re looking for, and because it pleased us greatly so to do:

The Wurzel
He’s from round my way. That’s all you need to know.

worzel the-wurzels-freshly-cut-425507

Harridan
Like the Scots-Man’s wife from Samurai Jack. Deadlier than a deep-fried Mars bar addiction, her poisonous ways incurable even by the marvellous restorative powers of Buckfast’s famnous Tonic Wine.

scotsmans_wife-char amy_winehouse_4_wenn1832955

The Dobber, and his sidekicks, Jakey and Ned
More above-the-border maniacs. Ever wondered what’s slowing Quitely down? This says it all:

Hessian
Clad in jute, the most terrifying person on earth. Impossibly ancient, she claims to be responsible for the Jack the Ripper murders and the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand.

hessian

Tea Leaf
The bad boy of Bow. The real John Constantine.

del-boy benkingsleyasfagin

Scallywag
Liam Gallagher gone Killer Croc.

liam_gallagher killer_croc_tv

We’ve shown you ours – now show us yours!

Oh yeah, THE PRIZE! We’re not quite sure about this to be honest, though we do know that it will be two-fold: 1) We will send you a Grant Morrison bit of tat rarity that only the very hippest nerdotrons would have in their collections; and 2) Our very own Zom will, based on no more than your prompt, bang out a few-hundred word Rogue’s Review of your new pet, detailing just why your brilliant idea is quite so awesome, how he fits into the Bat mythos, and why we are so lucky to have this new addition to the greatest Rogue’s Gallery in all comicdom.

Is that it?  Oh yeah, closing date – get your entries to us by the Sunday after the Wednesday that Batman & Robin #9 comes out. Though bear in mind that earlier entries successfully predicting the stereotypes that will appear in the story arc will, of course, stand a better chance of winning.

Good luck, and when you are bad, may you be very, very bad.

52 Responses to “Batman & Robin competition time: Call in the Lads”

  1. It Burns Says:

    Names: Fish & Chip
    Visual Reference (couldn’t figure how to post images. I am a cunt) Fish: Tim Curry; Chip: Chris Farley from SNL’s Hedley & Wyche British Tooth Paste commercial.

    A dandy and a ruffian, Fish and Chip control all fare and commerce on the Thames (that was their boat Dickie Grayson used for momentum in issue 7). They operate out of a swordfish-shaped submarine (shameless rip from the 50s Batman Movie).

    If you cross them, are captured and brought on board the Spam Javelin, you’ll find yourself in front of Fish seated in a throne made of pornographic images. Chip will then enter from the shadows, whereupon Fish would ask him, “mmm . . . What shall we do with him/her Chip ol’ salt?”

    Chip replies, “Heh . . . hehe . . . heHaha ha . . . oy fink ee’s a filfy rotta, Fish.”

    Chip pulls out a pruning knife . . . two days later your body washes up on shore, gutted like a cleaned out cod.

  2. bobsy Says:

    I think it’s fair to say that proceedings have opened up, surprisingly, with an incredibly high standard.

    Fucking Ace.

    Come on the rest of you, what can you do?

    (No B&R spoilers before Saturday please.)

  3. plok Says:

    How about “Cousin Jack”? Headquartered in abandoned tin mines under St. Agnes, Cornwall (“the Mousehole”?), by day he’s the genteel operator of the hotel for tourists called Stippy-Stappy — inherited from his great-granduncle who went away to South Africa or something and was never heard from again. Secretly, of course, he’s that selfsame great-granduncle, but really much older, having been rendered immortal or at least very long-lived by Plot Excuse A…a sort of cultural ecoterrorist, he’s the man who sank the HMS Hanover, has an old prejudice against “the Germans” (as the Cornish call the English)…a sort of old-timey, reactionary local Batman, who destroys wind farms and scares people off major commercial-pastiche development, gastropubs with “cute” names and good food fall into the earth or burn up whenever he’s around.

    His chilling catchphrase: “Proper ‘Andsome”.

  4. plok Says:

    A rural Jack The Ripper!

  5. Zom Says:

    No Jack the Rippers!

    BOOOORRRRIIIINNNGG

  6. plok Says:

    NOT Jack the Ripper. Just like “Jack The Ripper”, if you see what I mean. A spooky name, for a maker of mayhem no one sees.

  7. bobsy Says:

    Zom, be nice.

    That’s another great one – I had half an idea about an angry Welsh separatist, but making him Cornish is much better.

    A high standard so far, this could get very interesting…

  8. plok Says:

    The “Cousin Jack” thing, that’s just what they call the guys who go off to other countries to be mining engineers, and never come home.

  9. plok Says:

    I could’ve made that clearer.

  10. Kieron Gillen Says:

    This is totally irrelevant to the actual post, but you Mindlessers are the only people who I think will give a toss about it in the whole comics blogosphere:

    The new IDW Transformers mini. *HAS IMPACTOR IN IT*.

    KG

  11. bobsy Says:

    Come on Gillen, everybody knows Impactor is dead (nice one Ultra Magnus). And was resurrected as a zombie Transformer, and then done dead again (Furman is so far ahead of Johns it’s not even funny).

    I just thought of something – Impactor was of course Springer’s long-term squeeze, and died due to Ultra Magnus being off on Earth, scrumbling in the mud with Galvatron when the Wreckers really needed him to be on Cybertron, filling the tunnel (behave!) and blocking the Decepticon reinforcements during Operation Volcano (please correct these poor addled memory circuits of mine if they have things wrong).

    The history quite neatly explains the weird robosexual frisson between Springer and UM that is so evident throughout Transformers: The Movie. Huh.

  12. Zom Says:

    Nojkthrprs

    None

    Thank you, Kieron. It’s important to get the latest news on Impactor

  13. sean witzke Says:

    KEITH MOON.

  14. Zom Says:

    That would work

  15. The Beast Must Die Says:

    He could be called ‘The Who?’

  16. Bizunth Says:

    Name: The Narrowboat Theatre Players

    Cruising the dangerously shopping-trollied canals of the UK, the NTP will stop a while in your local area, wide gaudily painted cannons showering the streets with leaflets and coupons. People assemble expecting a show of wonder and amusement but the doors creak open to reveal, lurking and rattling within the dark confines of the Narrowboat, a nightmarish selection of twisted wooden-masked killer-puppets based on the 80s and 90s content of popular children’s television production company Ragdoll, changed just enough to avoid litigation.
    Except for Pob, who has to remain exactly as he is…

  17. bobsy Says:

    Uurrh, yeah, that one’s really scary. I had a German teacher who looked like Pob.

    That’s right.

    German teacher. Pob. Fear.

    (She wasn’t German, she just taught German.)

  18. It Burns Says:

    Oops, sorry Bobsy. Forgot you hadn’t read the issue yet.

  19. bobsy Says:

    Sfine, that wasn’t a spoiler. Just wanted to cut off any follow ups

  20. Linkblogging For 30/01/10 « Sci-Ence! Justice Leak! Says:

    [...] The Mindless Ones have a competition to see who can come up with the best British-stereotype supervillain. [...]

  21. Nick Whitman Says:

    Wow, I LOVE “Fish & Chip.”

  22. Todd Says:

    Name: Mars Barmy

    Born in Paisley, Scotland. The victim of a hideous accident in which he was flung into a container designed to deep fry the world’s largest Mars bar. He now hunts the thin, injecting them with specially made super cholesterol, clogging their arteries in a matter of seconds.

  23. plok Says:

    Oooooh, these are all really nice.

    How about a Welsh magician whose nonense words create new time and space? Batman can’t reach him to punch him out, because whenever he talks the distance between them grows at a colossal rate: Batman just falls into all that new space. He can put space between things too: Batman and Robin could be separated by a continent as soon as it occurs to our man that’s a good idea.

    Gwydion; has a lady-love who isn’t “real” named, oh let me look it up…Blofeld? Guinevere? Bloudeuwedd.

  24. plok Says:

    Lotta oomph in these old myths.

  25. Botswana Beast Says:

    Gwydion was in Seven Soldiers, plok.

  26. Mindless Ones » Blog Archive » Batman & Robin #7: the annocommentations Says:

    [...] The Beefeater’s roll call of British villainy is exactly the kind of thing we’re really after. Don’t forget to enter the competition! [...]

  27. RetroWarbird Says:

    I came up with a few for kicks at ComicBookResources.

    Earl Grey – A Two-Face-like villain whose crimes all coincide with 4:00 PM tea time, whose face was burnt by scalding hot tea, and who dresses and talks like someone in a Jane Austen novel.

    Lion & Unicorn – An Englishman & Scotsman duo of cat-burglars, one brawny, the other lean. One the strong-man, the other a contortionist. One wears tan, the other wears white. And they bicker all the time and get in fistfights.

    Cornish Game Hen – A mean old “house madam” type, who has a trio of heavenly henchwomen – known as “Chicks”, who are really a sorority den mother and some college girls.

    And lastly … just in the name of good Batman comics …

    Bring back classic 70′s one-timer Anthony Romulus, who has moved to London, thereby becoming “An American Werewolf in London” and being way more overt than Morrison’s playful “Man-Bats of London”.

  28. bobsy Says:

    We’ll consider those entered for the comp. if you like Warbird.

    Lion & Unicorn have already been used in Zenith phase 3 though (as LLoigor-possessed sadistic, stuck-up, homicidal knights in chain mail), so we’ll have to leave those out…

    Romulus did have a one-panel sort-of return in the second issue of the Final Crisis/Batman crossover.

  29. Jonathan Burns Says:

    At last the Dodo said, ‘everybody has won, and all must have prizes.’

    ‘But who is to give the prizes?’ quite a chorus of voices asked.

    ‘Why, she, of course,’ said the Dodo, pointing to Alice with one finger; and the whole party at once crowded round her, calling out in a confused way, ‘Prizes! Prizes!’

    Still, the Python casts their shadow over all:

    http://www.llapgoch.org.uk/

  30. Anton Binder Says:

    Here’s my suggestions for British Batman villains -

    The Berk – A gentle giant type, well meaning but slow witted. Not particularly evil but you wouldn’t let him operate heavy machinery. played as Bernard Breslaw in old B&W British movies. (not to mention an Ice Warrior in Classic Troughton WHO.) Could be the British version of Solomon Grundy/Blockbuster.

    The Office Joker – Comedy glasses, Novelty tie, endless supply of crap tricks and puzzles. always speaks in cliche and innuendo. Would it be a cliche in itself or post modern to have him played by Gervais?

    PC Gone Mad – A Rogue Copper, bent on his beat. Drawn in DC Thompson stylee as a cross between PC 49 and Teavcher from the Bash St, Kids as the spirit of No Fun incarnate. The distilled essence of every Parky, Teacher, Traffic Warden, car park attendant etc. Played as Blakey in On The Buses.

    Road Rage – A White Van Man Transformer with mutant Sat Nav and Local Radio reception.

    The Glitter. A Glam Rock Paedophile Serial Killer.

    The Sleb. A glamourous female Villian famous for being a famous villain, gets away with her crimes cos no-one can quite remember what she’s done.

    Red Top The Tabloid – A bionic mutant publicity machine, physically incapable of telling the truth.

  31. RetroWarbird Says:

    Yeah, I’d love for Earl Grey, and Cornish Game Hen & Her Chicks to be entries.

    Not surprised Lion & Unicorn have been used elsewhere, of course. And Romulus on the first page of the “latter half”/”darker half” of the Last Rites two-parter was in good company. It was him, Man-Bat, and hairy-chested love god Bruce making sweet love to Talia. Carnal and animalistic, those 70′s.

  32. tymbus Says:

    The Time Taff used to be an endearing Sixties welsh villain who dedicated his life to the prompt theft of luxury watches and other time related paraphanalia. In today’s darker times, he burns down City bankers’ homes in the south of England, giving the occupants only a three second warning, his attacks carefully timed to prevent escape.

    As a young boy, Time Taff (aka David ‘Tick Tock’ Jones -son of Pontypridd watch repairer ‘Jones the Cog’) was sent to Millfield boarding school where he was ruthlessly bullied by English lads chanting the old rhyme “Taffy was a Weshman, Taffy was a thief!”

    Tick Tock was also framed for stealing the school silver by teen criminal, English Toff and Ken Dod Diddyman Posonby Smallpiece. With the logic of a self fulfilling prophecy, Jones turned to crime.

    Reliving the regiment school day (8.00 prayers, 9.00 Assembly, 9.30 English Lit, 10.30 Maths, 11.00 Break etc.), Time Taff plans his crimes with the precision of a time and motion expert. In lesser hands, Time Taff would remain a petty thief turned pettier killer. However, in the pages of ‘Batman & Robin’, Tick Tock Jones will plant a tachyon bomb in the heart of London moving the capitol foward in time to a point in the future where the sun will explode frying the population alive.

    “Call me a mass murderer ay Butt? Come down by here and say that Bat boyo”

    Only his blonde moll “Daffy” Dill fails to wind him up.

  33. bobsy Says:

    Extra points for the silver age legacy aspect, instant disqualification for being illegible to enter in the first place.

    Back in your cell you.

  34. Botswana Beast Says:

    It’s ironic, I think, given 22 or 23 years retrospect, that the Wreckers’ “Operation: Volcano” was to begin a causal chain of events that would lead to their captain, Ultra Magnus, being trapped in one.

    The first two are still the best two, Tymbus non-entry aside, I think; cummon Mindless Lads! Step up.

  35. jacob munford Says:

    The White Horse, a long lanky figure clad entirely in a ghostly, etherial white and an elongated mask. Mostly seen only from a distance but a close look the slow creep of moss is peeking across the costume. Speaks largely in hushed whispers and gutteral grunts (actually Old English, of course).

    Batman is investigating murders in the countryside for whatever reason, dead bodies piling up across old ruined castles and the like. Clean murder scenes, except for the white horse symbol. Soon, he’s seeing police and tavern walls and street lamps with the same symbol. History and symbols as paranoia. He sees the figure of the White Horse around every corner, but can’t get close. Can’t track a ghost man, but the figure, idea, symbol is his only lead. He starts to research and finds that there’s been a White Horse since before the Normans.

    The White Horse is to rural fields and countryside as Batman is to Gotham. But Gotham is rooted in the last century, while the countryside is riddled with ancient ruins, sigils, hushed stories and rocks. The Uffington Horse as a ancient, mysterious, perhaps sinister Batsignal/tribute/sigil. Hard to put a finger on which it is. Hard to tell what it is all about. Which is the ultimate enemy of Batman, right? The inability to pin something down? Until he does, of course.

  36. Zom Says:

    Love the Horse

  37. Botswana Beast Says:

    If you wanna ride, don’t ride the White Horse

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I8j2ej5jqQw

  38. Botswana Beast Says:

    I have a very special dance for that song.

  39. plok Says:

    My God, that’s a beautiful idea.

  40. Shiny Jim Says:

    Jacob Stuart

    Ex-SAS officer, MI5 agent, and now pretender to the throne, Stuart is a ruthless terrorist who claims to be a direct descendant of James II. While his claims are spurious, his cunning, skills and personal charism are nothing of the sort. While his attempts to destroy the royal familiy and parliament have so far been foiled, he continues to evade basement 101. His video releases show him in a large powdered wig, with an elegant, embroidered jacket.

  41. plok Says:

    Oh, I have one..

  42. plok Says:

    At the touch of Nisyen’s slender, spectral, androgynous hand, the affected person is convinced that they’ve become famous and universally beloved…and they recognize all the others who’ve been touched by Nisyen as famous and beloved too, their peers. All their past personal problems melt away, as they encounter catharsis in every person they meet — they can’t tell the difference between people anymore, to them a cop, a doctor, a bum, a grocer, their mother, are just all fans.

    Nisyen’s an underground DJ. And his message is spreading.

    The “glamour” of his/her touch comes from psychedelic formulae developed by British pharmaceutical companies in the Sixties: when the Holy Grail was a non-narcotic pain pill, anti-nausea pill, antidepressant weight-loss drug, stop-smoking, buckle down, better concentration, better relationships, anti-criminal brainwashing drug, PMS “remedy”. Most BritPharms were messing around with THC, some were messing around with mescaline, others with LSD…the whole deal. Trying to make wonderdrugs without serious addictive side-effects. It all got shut down, of course, when none of them could figure out how to strip the “high” out of their drugs. And in the Sixties the idea that such pills might be used recreationally was enough to retire R+D divisions, and indeed whole companies on occasion. All the studies, all the formulae, have been sitting there for forty years, untouched. Novel psychedelics created by the attempt to “break” chemicals to a less socially-threatening mix — it never worked. They’d always get you high, somehow, some way.

    Somehow, DJ Nisyen got hold of them, and created something new out of them — a pharmacological “mixtape”, if you will. Which isn’t illegal because these drugs have never been heard of, much less classified, and the “glamour” cocktail was never even imagined by the various drugs’ creators. Instant fame, or at least what it feels like. There’s no law against it, and that’s why the cops are paralyzed until new legislation can go through the HoC. And it isn’t even bad, exactly…I mean what will even happen to society if everyone just feels like they’re famous?

    No one even knows!

    Eventually, Batman will play the part of Evnisyen, the dark half of the twin from Welsh mythology, who puts himself into the Cauldron of Rebirth and busts it apart from the inside, and by so doing saves his people. But that’s just a metaphor, and I leave it to you Mindless to elaborate…?

    Because I was very drunk when I wrote this. No idea if it’s any good, or if it’s even on the right post.

  43. plok Says:

    Sort of a British “Scarecrow”, I guess. Perhaps not that good after all.

  44. Mindless Ones » Blog Archive » Competition roundup Says:

    [...] Compo 1 British supervillains with ridiculous regional accents [...]

  45. Marc Says:

    Delinquent Rex could have been a poet, a prophet, perhaps even a psychotronic messiah if only those posh London boys and girls and girlyboys hadn’t mocked his off-the-rack shirts and his thick West Midlands accent when he first arrived in the Big Smoke. Turned away from their clubs and cliques, Rex gathered the rejected youth of the cruel metropolis to his subterranean squat and forged them into a citywide criminal organization, the inevitable and, he would argue, necessary shadow cast by the glittering solar celebrations above.

    Attracting, in short order, the attention of the police, the media, and England’s superhero community, Rex soon gained a reputation as a space-age Fagin in platform boots. His notoriety went stratospheric after Peter Wyngarde portrayed him as one of the recurring villains in the short-lived ITV “Knight and Squire” series, although Wyngarde’s decision to deliver Rex’s lines in Received Pronunciation provoked a near-homicidal reprisal that was only averted by the timely arrival of the real Knight and Squire during a live broadcast, the series’ last.

    That episode, aired the same night as the Death of Glitter concert, marked the end of Rex’s brush with stardom. Too effective at melting into the warren of abandoned tunnels, lost rivers, and wartime bunkers that honeycomb the undercity for his own good, Delinquent Rex has been forgotten even by those who once followed his every whim. Remembered, at most, during a few bars of an old song overheard on the radio at the gym or the oncologist’s.

    His velvet coat is worn bare and the diamondstar halos on the hubcaps of his underground sedan have long since been pried loose and pawned off. Attended only by his last and most loyal underling, the fearsome Ted “Yam Yam” Slade, Rex has come to resent the public that has forgotten him. After insisting in 1972 and every year since that planet Earth only had five years left to live, Delinquent Rex has decided that it’s time to rebuild his empire and vindicate his prophecies before the last of his overcoiffed hair is lost. He still uses three cans of hairspray a day; five years may be too generous…

  46. Zom Says:

    A glam rock Fagin. Love it

  47. BadBeast Says:

    I was thinking, Mikey the Pikey, Big lad, early 30′s, Ethnicity, Irish Traveller.
    Accent, well, Pikey, (of varying speeds) similar to Oirish, but with that clipped, Cornishy edge to it. Frequents Travellers sites, under flyovers, Caravans with woodburners in, and little holes in the roof for chimney to poke out of. Has an evil looking scarred up Bandog, called Wadworth, of dubious parentage. Often seen with a can of Carlsberg Special Brew in his hand. Specialises in stolen driving licences, dodgy MOT’s and documents for stolen vehicles, also, the production of top quality illicit Amphetamine based designer drugs (which are often knocked up in an old bathtub in a lock up Laboratory somewhere) He has been the Pikey Bareknuckle “Boxing” champion more times than he can remember, and is as hard as coffin nails. Taken into Local Authority Care when he was 12, took himself right back out 6 weeks later when his Foster Father tried to touch him up, in the bath. (After stabbing him in both eyes, with a stiffened forefinger leaving him blinded) Makes his way back to his people, to find out his Father, (Danny) has been killed whilst attempting to protect his Sister, Jen, from being gang raped by a Yardy Gang she had been selling weed for. Started on his BKB Career, gaining a reputation, by age 23, as the “Hardest Fighter in Britain”.
    Tracks down, and kills all of the Yardies responsible for the death of Danny, and the rape of Jen (who is left in a permanent catatonic state after the rape) Is known throughout the Travelling “Community” as a “good boy” but not one you would want, dating your sister. The rest is up to you guys.

  48. Zom Says:

    Seen Snatch recently, Bad B?

    Probably won’t be going for pikey stereotypes. Don’t really approve of that sort of thing.

  49. bobsy Says:

    Yeah, thanks for entering and everything BadBeast, but that’s the only one on this list that’s definitely not going to win.

    Mindless Ones: political correctness gone mad gone sane.

  50. amypoodle Says:

    i’m not sure i want that bloke in my superhero comic, dude. what was all that rape stuff about? jen? yardies? catatonic? was that an origin story?

    grim. and a bit scary weird. and not in a healthy lynch way.

  51. The Beast Must Die Says:

    Yes, very lovely.

    Jesus.

  52. Mindless Ones » Blog Archive » Ridiculous regional accents: The result Says:

    [...] Read all about it. [...]

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