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16+ Language Violence

Gotham v. Joker, 1894 (Chapter One)

by MeherazulAzim16


Warning: This work has been rated 16+ for language and violence.

Joker wakes up in his cell to hear shouting coming from the direction of the guards’ room. In a matter of seconds the shouting turns into screams of agony. As soon as he gets on his feet, a guard’s body comes flying and bangs into the bars of his cell — it does more to amuse Joker than to startle. The guard is not dead yet, as he extends an arm to Joker through the bars — a look of desperation in his face — and says, “Help us!”

Joker laughs at the guard’s plea but receives his reaching arm anyway. He reads the name on the guard’s tag and then says, “Anthony, right? Well, I’m behind bars, you dumb piece of shit! I can’t help you.”

Another guard runs in on them, pulls Anthony, away from Joker, and immediately bashes his head back into the bars — Anthony continues to plead and swings his arms wildly trying to get the other guard off him. The other guard repeats the violent action a few more times. Some of the blood splatters onto Joker’s white uniform and face, making him laugh more intensely. Soon Anthony stops struggling.

The second guard stands triumphantly over the numb and silent body of his prey. “Go to hell, demon!” he yells and then looks away as if repulsed by it.

Seeing this, Joker stops laughing and puts on a serious face. “What do you think you just killed?” he asks, pressing his face against the bars.

The guard only just realizes that there has been another person in his vicinity the whole time. He sizes Joker up and takes some steps back.

“What are you afraid of?” Joker continues. “My horns or my teeth?” He gestures around where his horns and saber-tooth would be.

The guard scampers, leaving Joker more amused than before. More shouting comes from the direction he ran to.

As Joker is about to go back to bed, having filled more than his quota of madness for the day, another figure approaches his cell but in stable and heavy steps. It’s a tall man dressed in black formal attire with a bowler hat.

“And who are you supposed to be?” Joker asks, annoyed.

The man reaches into his inner pocket, pulling out a playing card. With a flick of his wrist, he sends it dashing through the bars — Joker catches it effortlessly. He looks at the card — a Joker — and starts giggling.

“I’d like to offer you a gig,” the mysterious man says.


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Thu Sep 03, 2020 5:43 pm
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LadyGemstone says...



oooooooooo




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Thu Sep 03, 2020 5:19 pm
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Gravitem wrote a review...



Hey Azim! I'm Myth and I'll be reviewing your chapter. It's going to be quite a short review because there's so little to review or critique in the first chapter.

Firstly, I got to say that there's too less here for me to start talking about plot development or character development. However, you nailed that introduction like it was killing joke. (Okay I suck at references) But I've got to say, you introduced the Joker really well. I could get some really toxic laughter feels from all his laughter.

Joker laughs at the guard’s plea but receives his reaching arm anyway. He reads the name on the guard’s tag and then says, “Anthony, right? Well, I’m behind bars, you dumb piece of shit! I can’t help you.”

Another guard runs in on them, pulls Anthony, away from Joker, and immediately bashes his head back into the bars — Anthony continues to plead and swings his arms wildly trying to get the other guard off him. The other guard repeats the violent action a few more times. Some of the blood splatters onto Joker’s white uniform and face, making him laugh more intensely. Soon Anthony stops struggling.


I've got to say. These two paragraphs capture the Joker's character really well even though he's not a very easy character to fully understand. From the straight forward replies to the maniacal laughter, an image of the Joker slowly forms and it's almost stunning how much this resembles the comic book and the Arkham Asylum Joker.

That's all I've got to say for now. I really like this series you've started here and I can't wait to read the next few.

Keep writing!

Yours sincerely,
Myth

__|_|__

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Sat Aug 15, 2020 7:54 am
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Nyla wrote a review...



Hello again, MAS!
I guess it was inevitable that I’d show up to review this. I got super excited when I saw it and I wanted to read it immediately, but I figured I should wait until I was in the mood to review—which I think is now, so here we go.

First off, I echo what the previous reviews said about the pace of this chapter. I think it’s a bit of a double-edged sword because, on the one hand, the quickness does capture the frenzy of the action, but there were many times when I wanted you to linger on a specific moment or describe the events/settings with more detail and color. I agree with Tuckster’s comments about the setting—I definitely would’ve appreciated a clearer picture of how it looks, though, to be fair, jail settings are kinda brutal to describe because they’re not exactly the most lush or distinctive, personality-filled places. There are ways to go about it though. You can emphasize the place’s drabness and find something colorful to say about its… well, complete lack of color (figurative and literal). For example, you could open this chapter with Joker contemplating some scribblings/etchings on the walls of his cell. You could describe the smell of the place—maybe it’s damp and swampy, maybe it smells of blood from a few too many prisoner fistfights, maybe the jail is rotting and the air is polluted by mold. I just want to get a sense of what the characters are seeing, a picture in my head that goes beyond “jail cell.” It’s not an easy thing to describe, but at least you could use it as an opportunity to get creative with your imagery. Avoiding descriptions altogether, as you did throughout most of this chapter, only makes the blandness of the setting more glaring.

I also would’ve liked more descriptions of the guards. With a story like this, of course it can be tempting to not waste time on a couple of throwaway guard characters, but I think painting a picture of them would’ve made their drama feel more real. I also think stretching out the interactions between Anthony and Joker, and Anthony and his murderer, would’ve helped with that too. I liked the brief glimpses of Joker’s personality we see in this, but I wanted more. (Though I’m sure you’ll remedy that in future installments.) What’s happening in this chapter—a guard being killed by another while the Clown Prince of Crime watches—is pretty chilling and interesting, but I don’t feel like you fully leaned into the tension of it all. I want to see this confrontation happen—I want all the details, and I want to witness every juicy and shocking moment firsthand. I like that you used present tense, I think it makes total sense here, but I also don’t think you totally took advantage of what present tense allows: the feeling that the reader is right there, in the middle of the action, watching everything from a front-row seat. I should feel like I’m standing next to the Joker as this is happening, seeing all the madness he’s seeing. But it felt more like I was getting a secondhand account of the chaos, not observing it.

I use the word “chaos” deliberately because this did feel chaotic, and I don’t mean that as a criticism. The chaotic vibe is good—it fits the action, it fits Joker, and it was the only aspect of this chapter that made me feel like I was in the room. The present tense helped capture that chaos, and admittedly so did the wonky pacing (though I do think the cons ultimately outweighed the pros of the latter). So I liked the vibe, and I liked your Joker—or, at least, what little we see of him. I liked his brief interactions with the guards. I even liked some tiny, throwaway moments, like when you mentioned him pressing his face against the bars as he talked to the murderer guard. That image—of Joker’s face peering at the guard, getting as close to the man as he could from inside his cell, right before asking him a dark question—struck me as appropriately creepy. I would’ve liked more moments like that, and longer descriptions of the ones we did get (like, for instance, how did Joker’s face look while pressed against the bars? Was it impish? Was his expression inquisitive? Was he smirking? Things like that).

I also liked the ending. I’m curious to see where you'll go from here, and I suspect, if the trajectory of this series is anything like ASiG, you’ll find your groove as things progress. I would caution you to add more imagery and take your time, not rush through action sequences (because you might as well squeeze as much excitement from those scenes as you can), and not to shy away from quieter moments of dialogue or character reflection either. Also: show don’t tell! Remember this. Show us how your characters feel and/or what they think as much as possible—I want to see all of that stuff, not just hear about it. Don’t make me take your word for what’s happening, let me watch it and draw my own conclusions. That’s my big critique, I suppose. If this whole review was boiled down to one sentence, it would be: show me more—of everything.

All that being said, I’ll get to my specific comments.

a guard’s body comes flying and bangs into the bars of his cell — it does more to amuse Joker than to startle.

Maybe instead of telling us that Joker wasn’t startled, you could say something like, “…a guard’s body comes flying and bangs into the bars of his cell—Joker doesn’t flinch.” I think that conveys his lack of surprise/fear in a more natural, showing-rather-than-telling kind of way. And you don’t need to mention he’s amused because you show us the evidence of that almost immediately after this bit, when he laughs at the guard’s plea for help.

Joker laughs at the guard’s plea but receives the guard’s reaching arm anyway. He reads the name on the guard’s tag

“Guard” is repetitive. You can get rid of the second one and say instead, “Joker laughs at the guard’s plea but receives the man’s reaching arm anyway.”

Anthony, right?

I don’t think you need to phrase this as a question since he just read the guard’s name tag.

pulls Anthony, the injured guard

No need to clarify who Anthony is.

Anthony continues to plead and swings his arms wildly trying to get the other guard off him. The other guard repeats the violent action a few more times. Some of the blood splatters onto Joker’s white uniform and face, making him laugh more intensely. Soon Anthony stops struggling.

So, this is a prime example of what I was griping about before. This is juicy action and you have the opportunity to stretch it into a thrilling scene, something with descriptions that leap off the page and assault your reader. Like I said, I should feel like I’m in the room watching this happen, like I’m seeing everything you describe here and recoiling in shock and horror at each new development. But I don’t feel that way reading this. Instead, it feels more like a summary of action. You know how movie plots are described on Wikipedia? This kinda reads like that. I don’t want to hear “Anthony tried to get the guard off him, the other guard continued his assault, Joker laughed, Anthony stopped struggling.” I want to hear Joker’s laugh—does it echo off the walls of his cell? Is it scratchy, maniacal?—and I want to see Anthony’s pain (is his face twisted in anguish? Is his skin rapidly turning red and blotchy, or bruised and purple? Is he crying or screaming or both?). I like the bit about the blood splatter and Joker laughing—that’s more evocative than the rest of this section, and it’s some nicely sinister imagery—but even that could be elaborated on (like with my previous suggestion, re: describing Joker’s laugh in a more in-depth way).

”Go to hell, demon!” He yells

The H in “he” should be lowercase.

The guard only just realizes that there has been another person in his vicinity the whole time.

This is kinda wordy. Maybe try: “The guard notices Joker for the first time.” That’s more succinct.

leaving Joker more amused than before.

Show don’t tell. You could just have Joker laugh again here—I think that gets the point across.

Joker asks, annoyed.

Show don’t tell.

The man reaches into his inner pocket, pulling out a playing card, then with a flick of his wrist, sends it dashing through the bars

I’d separate this bit into two sentences: “The man reaches into his inner pocket, pulling out a playing card. With a flick of his wrist, he sends it dashing through the bars.”

Okay, now for my final thoughts: I think you have the seeds for a cool and compelling series with this. I definitely want more descriptions, more Joker, more detailed and pulse-quickening action rather than rushed and summarized sequences, et cetera, but there’s a lot of potential here—and I know, from reading previous pieces of yours, that you can write some very smooth, polished stuff, so I feel confident this one’s gonna get better as things go on, and I’m really interested in seeing what you do with Joker.

I look forward to reading the other installments! It may take me a while, because I’m a shamefully slow reviewer, but you can expect more reviews in the near(-ish) future. ;)






Thanks for the review, Kassiani!! Really happy to hear from you again :D



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Mon Aug 10, 2020 12:50 am
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Tuckster wrote a review...



Hi there Meherazul! Tuck here with a review for you today.

So, I am only vaguely familiar with the character of Joker, which could be both a help and a hindrance to you. On the one hand, I get to approach this character with a fresh perspective, but on the other hand, I don't have something to really compare it to. Either way, I'll do my best to give you some fair and honest feedback.

Overall, I liked the way you had a very directed and action-packed first chapter. You also did a good job of establishing the Joker's personality in his limited interactions with the guards. I also enjoyed the pacing and writing style of this first installment, in general. There were a few spots where I felt that you went a little too fast, but overall I was a fan of the fast-paced set-up. Let's jump into a few areas you could improve!

First, I'd encourage you to establish the setting a bit more before you leap into the action. It's hard to get sucked into action when you don't know where it's taking place and have no connection to the characters. Establishing the jail setting would help the reader get a better sense of what's happening, especially since you jump right into some breakneck action.

Second, there were places where it felt that you rushed the action a bit. Don't be afraid to take your time and really establish the scene. Consider some important details of the scene and then work them in there. Right now, you're erring on the side of too much too fast, which can be a turnoff for some readers, especially in a first chapter. Correcting yourself slightly and working in a bit more description, not only of the setting but also of the characters and the action, would be beneficial to you right now.

Finally, I would have liked for you to establish a bit more motive behind the killing of the guard. There was some definite implications there, but as someone unfamiliar with the story of the Joker, it left me with a lot of questions that should have been answered. If you're going to begin the story in such a violent and shocking way, which seems like the best choice given your MC, you need to provide a little bit more context for what's happening, where, and why.

And as a final note, I did adjust the rating of this work from to 16+ because of your one use of the s- word. I did this so that our members who prefer to avoid works with strong language have that option. No big deal, just wanted to let you know so you know why it looks a little different next time you view it.

I hope this review was helpful to you and gave you some ideas of how you can improve this! If you have any questions about this please feel free to let me know, I'd be happy to answer!






Thank you for the review, Tuckster!

Also, I appreciate you explaining the rating adjustment. I only just noticed it.



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Sun Aug 09, 2020 8:03 pm
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starlitmind wrote a review...



Hey there! I'm not quite familiar with Joker stuff, but I decided to stop by and leave a review :D This will be rather short as this chapter is.

I like how you portray the crazy or maniacal behaviour of Joker by making him laugh in situations that probably would have frightened or startled others. It's a good way to characterize him, especially for readers who aren't very familiar with him. It's also interesting how you wrote this in present tense, so it's like it's happening right now for the reader. You do a pretty good job of sticking to one tense throughout the chapter. Your grammar is also pretty impeccable. I only have a few things that I'd like to point out!

Joker laughs at the guard’s plea but receives the guard’s reaching arm anyway.


This might be nitpicky, but I don't know if "receive" is the right word. It's kind of a weird thing to say someone received his arm, or to me at least.

Another guard runs in on them, pulls Anthony, the injured guard, away from Joker


I feel that "the injured guard" is a bit unnecessary since we know Anthony is the injured guard. If you want to make it clear to the reader that Anthony is injured, how about something like "pulls Anthony's injured body/limb away from Joker" or something along those lines? Thus is just a suggestion though!

The second guard stands triumphantly over the numb and silent body of his prey. “Go to hell, demon!” He yells and then looks away as if repulsed by it.


I like how Anthony is referred to as "prey" by the guard. It's also clever to use "repulsed by it" to show how the guard sees him as less than human. You don't need to capitalize the "he" after the quote though.

And that's it! Sorry for a short review, but this was on the shorter side and pretty well written. Overall, it's a great start. I like how you didn't reveal too much about the mysterious man at the end to make the reader come back for more. I hope this helped! :D






Thanks for the review! I appreciate the suggestions. :D



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Sun Aug 09, 2020 4:34 pm
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Beautifulsparkle wrote a review...



Hello. I am here to review the fanfic. I believe it is a very interesting chapter and Joker is in character too, he just enjoys the crazyness and everyone's misery. I find myself intrigued by the second guard and his psyche, how could he turn so violent and attack a fellow guard? I thought at first that he must have been doused by Scarecrow's gas or something like it, but it must have been the mystery men. The first guard is asking imploringly for a madman's help, knowing he is very good at eliminating threats. The fact that he is asking joker to do away with their threat kind of shows how desperate or delusional the guy is. It's the Joker, he only does things for himself and for the giggles, even thought his definition of giggles involves blood and gore. The part when Joker asks what the second guard is afraid of, his teeth or his horns is intriguing. Why does it create such a reaction concerning the second guard? Did the mystery man use demonic powers orperhaps he fought them like one. Maybe he has some mind-control abilities since he was able to make thesecond guard believe one of his own was theme guilty party or maybe he creates fear andspecializes in it similarly to Scarecraw. I loved the Joker's reactionsl, especially when he was about to go to bed after all the madness, not a care in the world. And the mystery man is offering him a gig. Interesting. I wonder what it could be. Batman is going to have his hands full with his new opponent and the Joker of they collaborate. But the Joker ddoesn't seem like a nice team player, he'd mostly go along with it as long as it benefited him. So I don't know where this is heading, but it's exciting and I want to find out.






Thanks for the review!




I will not condemn you for what you did yesterday, if you do it right today.
— Sheldon S. Maye