The Great Wayne (you’d watch this movie)

In honor of Bruce Wayne’s censored penis, I’m dusting off another old “You’d Watch This Movie” post. It’s the Great Gatsby/Batman mashup you never knew you wanted. (And no. Great Batsby is not acceptable.)

Detective Comics #27


Our story opens on the outskirts of Gotham City, in the summer of 1922. Enter Nick Isley Carraway, a World War I veteran and graduate from the prestigious Gotham College.

Nick has just taken a new job in Gotham City as a bond salesman, and he rents a small house in the upscale neighborhood of West Germ, next door to the enormous and stately Wayne Manor…

The lavish mansion is home to Bruce Wayne, a mysterious millionaire who frequently hosts extravagant parties. Nick hears the noise one night and walks out to the hedge separating the two properties to observe a lawn party in full swing. There’s a jazz band and lots of dancing, champagne, liveried servants hurrying about with trays of drinks: the swinging ’20s in full force. Nick marvels at the extravagance and the expense of it all.

The next day, Nick visits his cousin, Pamela “Daisy” Lillian Isley, who has recently married one of Nick’s college buddies named Tom. Tom and Daisy live in the less fashionable East Germ, on the other side of the Bay in close proximity to Arkham Asylum. Daisy seems much changed since the last time Nick saw her, and she spends an inordinate amount of time in a greenhouse in the back yard, out by the water.

Tom and Daisy introduce Nick to Selina Jordan Baker, an attractive if cynical blonde and an avid golfer. She also reveals to Nick that she has a passion for gymnastics and is extremely flexible. The two begin a torrid sort of romance that gets Nick all kinds of hot and bothered. He discovers that she is, indeed, extremely flexible.

In the aftermath of their lovemaking, Selina reveals to Nick that Tom has taken a mistress. Myrtle H. Quinn lives in the shitty part of Gotham with her husband, George. However, Tom keeps an apartment in the city where he and Myrtle carry on their tryst.

Now Nick understands why his cousin spends so much time in that greenhouse out back…

Soon after, Tom invites Nick into the city. When he comes to pick up Nick, Myrtle is in the car. They go to the apartment in the city and have many drinks. The party turns weird, with Tom becoming excited and frenetic. He torments Myrtle, asking her nonsensical questions in the form of riddles.

Myrtle, who is an amateur psychiatrist, makes some cutting observations about Tom’s mental state so he breaks her nose and begins asking riddles like “how do you turn a fox into an elephant?” (marry it) and “how is a woman different from a battery?” (the battery has a positive side.)

Myrtle becomes very upset and Tom declares the party ruined.

Nick returns home, somewhat disturbed by Tom’s boorish and inexplicable behavior in the city. He is still brooding over it when a distinguished English gentleman knocks on his door and identifies himself as Alfred. The butler has brought an invitation for Nick to the night’s fesitvities at Wayne Manor…

At the party, Nick runs into Selina Baker. He is surprised to find her there, but she claims to go to all Wayne’s parties. Nick suspects she is lying, and notices that beneath her flapper dress she seems to be wearing some kind of skin-tight leotard. Before he can ask her about that, Bruce Wayne himself approaches the couple and introduces himself.

“I’ve been looking for you,” Nick tells Wayne, to which the eccentric and reclusive millionaire replies, “I’m afraid I’m not a very good host. I don’t care much for parties…”

Nick proceeds to introduce Wayne to Selina Baker, but the blonde seems to have vanished. Nick looks everywhere for her, but the party is in full swing and he gets caught up in a drunken conga line.

Meanwhile, Selina is inside the house. She has ditched her flapper dress and prowls the halls in a black catsuit. She is, in fact, one of Gotham’s most accomplished burglars and now she has finally managed to get inside Wayne Manor. She searches the house for riches to steal, but most of what she finds is too large to carry away – like sets of Japanese samurai armor on display. In one locked room, she discovers a life-sized oil portrait of Nick’s cousin Daisy. Selina ponders the portrait for some time.

The party begins winding down in the wee hours. A very drunk Nick Carraway stumbles back to his own house as the sun peeks over the horizon. He finds Selina waiting for him on his front porch, and she reveals that Wayne must know Daisy somehow. She speculates that Bruce Wayne is in love with Nick’s cousin.

The next day, Nick visits Wayne Manor again. The lawn is strewn with debris from the party – discarded champagne flutes, noise-makers, items of clothing. Alfred lets Nick into the house and explains that “Mr. Wayne has been hoping you would visit.”

Alfred leads Nick out back, where he finds Bruce Wayne standing on the edge of an enormous veranda that overlooks the bay. Nick is surprised to discover that Tom and Daisy’s property is plainly visible across the bay. In particular, Daisy’s greenhouse is in clear view.

Wayne admits that he knew Daisy, once, and that he often stands here late at night and watches the lights of her greenhouse. He has loved her from afar for many years. He explains that he throws the wild parties in the hopes that she’ll be drawn to him. It hasn’t worked, though, and now Wayne entreats upon Nick to help him rekindle things between him and Daisy.

Nick arranges a tea party at his own house, and invites his cousin. Wayne attends as well, and is seriously awkward and stiff. Even so, Daisy seems glad to see him again and soon enough the two begin a secret love affair.

Tom eventually figures it out. Despite his own affair with Myrtle, he is outraged. He orchestrates an elaborate scheme to lure Wayne and Daisy to the Gotham Plaza Hotel, where he plans to kill Wayne after a battle of wits.

At the hotel, Tom reveals Bruce Wayne’s terrible secret – that he is nouveau riche. Wayne’s vast fortune comes from occasionally questionable business dealings, and was not inherited as Wayne would have everyone believe. Tom proceeds to pose a number of riddles to Wayne, riddles that he claims can only be solved by someone born into old money.

Things are going pretty badly for Bruce Wayne. Tom lifts a glass in smirking triumph, downing the champagne in one gulp. But a moment later, he drops the glass and clutches at his throat. He’s been poisoned!

While Nick tries to find the police, Wayne and Daisy flee the scene in Bruce Wayne’s souped up roadster (which he laughingly insists on calling his “Waynemobile”). They’re on their way back to Wayne Manor, with Daisy at the wheel, when they pass the home of Tom’s mistress Myrtle and her husband George.

Myrtle Quinn saw the group going the other way earlier, and she thinks its Tom in the Waynemobile. She’s had a serious mental breakdown since the episode in the apartment, and now she’s seriously crazy. She runs out into the street and we see that her face is bizarrely made up like a horrific circus clown. She throws herself in the path of the speeding car and is run down and killed.

The Waynemobile slews out of control and nearly crashes, but Daisy regains control and she and Wayne escape. Mrytle’s husband George comes out of the house and stands over his wife’s body for a long time looking down at her.

Then he smiles. Then he begins to laugh hysterically…

Later, George arrives unannounced at Wayne Manor. He has painted his face garish white and wears his wife’s red lipstick smeared over his lips. He grins maniacally as he explains that everything has gone according to his plan….

His cheating wife is dead, and so is her lover – poisoned, of course, by Daisy Isley. “Don’t you see?” he cries, clearly mad. “Don’t you get it? Isn’t it the greatest joke you’ve ever heard?!?”

Bruce and Daisy are horrified by this. So are Bruce Wayne’s parents, who have only just arrived. Wayne had them brought here by Alfred on his private plane, hoping to introduce his new girlfriend to his parents. They’re standing there, marveling at their son’s newfound wealth, when all this goes down.

Nick arrives just in time to witness George pull a gun and shoot Thomas and Martha Wayne, and then shoot Bruce Wayne himself in the chest. Wayne staggers back and everyone is sure he is fatally wounded. But then we notice that his shirt is torn where the bullet struck him, revealing some kind of armored undergarment. The bulletproof undershirt is a dark gray in color with some kind of stylized symbol in black…

Wayne, looking pretty pissed off, tears open his ruined shirt to reveal the costume of the Bat Man. Leveling his finger at the laughing George, he tells everyone present that they should leave – “None of you were invited here! I told you before, I don’t much care for parties… because I’m BATMAN!”

Batman and Joker George fight in the main hall of Wayne Manor. Nick and Daisy flee, and as they run across the lawn Nick notices his lover Selina Baker is crouched atop the roof of the mansion. She’s wearing a black catsuit and a mask, and it seems she has a bomb in her hands….

As Nick and Daisy run from the property, a massive explosion destroys Wayne Manor. In the aftermath, Nick arranges a funeral for Wayne at Daisy’s insistence. Nobody comes, but Daisy plants some roses – a hybrid species she created in her greenhouse – on Wayne’s grave.

Nick decides to quit his job and get the hell away from Gotham City, because clearly everyone who lives there is completely insane.

In the final scene, we see the grave of Bruce Wayne. A shadow falls over the headstone. A gloved hand reaches down, to pluck one of the roses growing there. As the music rises, the camera pulls back and we see the Batman in full costume. He holds the rose up to his cowled face and smells it briefly before turning away with a flapping of his cape.

Fade to black.

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