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A Scandal in Gotham #1

by MeherazulAzim16


1895

Gotham City

“Alfred? I need you back in Gotham.” Batman states over the Batwave.

There is a knock at the wooden door. Alfred likes to say that door is the only civil way into the cave.

“Mister Wayne, are you inside?” Batman hears a stranger's voice. There is a second knock. 

How did he find the Batcave? Nobody but I, Alfred and Richard are aware of the subtle entrances. Whoever they be, they must be acquainted with Bruce Wayne.

Batman’s left hand hovers over a Batarang in his belt. 

“Is anybody inside?” 

Batman drops his hand past the weapon. The intruder will attempt to break the door. He smirks and strolls to a steel cabinet adjacent to the Batwave station. He opens it.

Hm, let’s see.

It is filled with lethal and non-lethal weaponries—top to bottom, left to right. His hand reaches for the katana. He hesitates to unpin it. His hand floats over to the left over a pocket knife with an alluring green tip, and further to the left over a set of ropes.

This will do.

He picks up an ordinary looking rope and walks back toward the door. He stops around ten feet away from it.

“Okay, I’m coming in!” There is a thud. Another one. It gets louder by the second. The loudest thud yet is followed by broken wood pieces falling centimeters away from Batman’s feet. The door bangs open revealing a man well balanced on his left leg—still in the follow-through of his attempt to break in. He lands his right foot just beyond the door frame. Batman studies him. Male. Forties. Above-average physic. Mustache. Brown mustache. Panting but quickly recovering. Bowler hat.

Batman sighs. “The sidekick.”

“Pardon me?” Dr Watson takes two steps toward Batman. The ground beneath him shakes. Dr Watson looks down—there is a slit in the ground between his feet. “What in the dev—” The slit expands into a massive square of void that sucks the doctor in. 

Free-falling. Splash

Dr Watson is pushed a few feet under the surface of water. He swims to the surface and looks upward—panting heavily. He finds it difficult to stay afloat by the second. He sniffs. “This can’t be water,” he mutters. He notices a silhouette. 

Batman gets hold of one end of the rope and releases it unto the well. Dr Watson warily holds the other end, still panting. The rope begins to glow. “What do you know about Moriarty?” Batman's deep voice resonates inside the well.   


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Wed Jan 22, 2020 6:52 pm
LadyMysterio wrote a review...



Hello, Lady Mysterio here to review!
I am more of a Marvel fan, but I like DC too. AND I am a big fan of Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson. So I had to review this.
@Lucrezia has made some pretty good points so there isn't much to review but I will do my best.
I like your use of descriptive words in this story, like batman's hand hovering over his Batarang. or hesitating to unpin another weapon. You could have used the same word, hovering, in both the sentences but didn't. Whether it was on purpose or not it is nice when the same word isn't used multiple time or it becomes stale.

Now one thing I noticed with Dr. Watson, since he is, how do I put this nicely, larger than the average male, width wise. He would float better than most due to his, pardon me, fat.
Unless it is something about the "water" I would change that sentence, or take it out completely.
I assume batman and Sherlock holme will get along well, considering they are both master detectives and are rather blunt.

I am also assuming that batman has the lasso of truth?
I can't wait to read the rest fo this!
I love you avatr by the way! RIP Stan Lee. :(

-The Lady of Mystery.






Thanks for the review! I tried to work on description in the later chapters. This Batman has been around for a while, so he has a bunch of mementos or ahem, trophies in the cabinet, that includes the lasso. If you're expecting more Sherlock and Watson, the next couple chapters deal with some different things. But there's a lot of stories yet to be told. Happy reading and happy reviewing!





RIP Stan Lee :'D



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Sun Jan 05, 2020 1:18 am
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Kassiani wrote a review...



Hi there!

I haven’t reviewed in a while and I’ve been waiting for some inspiration to strike. Seeing this story finally gave me that inspo, because I am SO INTO THIS. A Victorian-era version of Batman that also functions as a DC/Sherlock Holmes crossover? YES PLEASE. I need this in my life.

Anyway, that’s a long way of saying that I love the concept. Also: you seem well-versed on your source material and I get the sense you have a clear idea of where this is headed, based on your responses to the reviewers before me. Those are important prerequisites.

This chapter was a little bit hard to get into it, and I have to echo a lot of the previous reviewers’ critiques, especially the stuff Messenger said. There was definitely a jerkiness to the writing, a side effect of those short, choppy sentences. (Admittedly, I’m biased: I love long sentences, as you can probably tell.) I’d like for the action to be easier to follow, and a little more drawn out so that there’s some suspense. More imagery. More of everything, pretty much.

Of course, this is just the first chapter, and sometimes beginnings can be rough. I already glanced at the next chapter and there’s a big improvement between the two, so I’ll chalk up some of the issues with this piece to the difficulties of acquainting readers with a new story—especially one as ambitious as this.

Now for some specific comments:

“Alfred? I need you back in Gotham.” Batman states over the Batwave.

I don’t love this as a first sentence. While it isn’t a requirement, the first sentence of a story should, ideally, be attention-grabbing—enough to lure the reader in and keep them glued to the page (or computer screen, in this case). This sentence doesn’t do that.

There is a knock at the wooden door—it is the only civil way into the Batcave, as Alfred prefers to explain.

This is a better way to open the story: starting immediately with some action, some intrigue. You could get rid of the first line altogether and start here instead. My only issue is that this sentence is worded in a way that’s kinda clunky, so maybe during your edit, you can try to smooth it out a bit.

Batman hears a stranger voice.

Try “stranger’s voice” or “strange voice.”

The loudest yet thud

Try “the loudest thud yet.”

Above-average physic.

Physique.

My only other big note, which Messenger already mentioned, is to make sure you break up the dialogue. Don’t have one character speak and then a different character say something within the same paragraph—it’s too confusing.

Otherwise, I think you’re off to an interesting start with this. It needs some editing, but the bones are good. I’d recommend adding in some more description. Don’t rush through the action so much, and try to make what’s happening a little clearer. It would be great if you could better establish the world this is taking place in—some exposition wouldn't hurt. But you have time for that in later segments. The premise is great and I’m interested in seeing what happens next.

Nice work! :)






Points taken and thanks for the review!



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Tue Dec 31, 2019 7:44 pm
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EternalRain wrote a review...



Hey hey! Here as requested.

I’m not familiar with the Batman universe whatsoever, so I was a bit nervous going into this but I feel not so confused, Batman-wise. There are terms I don’t know but it’s nothing too extreme and I understand based on the context - Batcave, some secret hideout. Which is definitely good for a fan fiction because with fan fiction, I love it when the author writes as if the reader doesn’t know the world.

However, I was confused writing wise. It took me a second re-read to understand what was going on with Watson- perhaps I wasn’t super focused the first read, but it did take me a lot of focus and thought about what was actually happening. I would love to see a bit more description - I noticed some things were a bit vague. For example: “The slit explodes into a rectangle, the rectangle into a massive square of void that sucks the doctor in. Free-falling. Splash.” I can’t conjure up a clear image of what exactly is happening because I’m not sure what “square of void” is or where exactly Watson is.

One other thing I noticed was that the sentences were a little choppy - no big deal, but I think it would read smoother if you broke the structure every once in a while. Many of the sentences are like this: Batman sighed. Batman ran to the corner. He picked up the phone. Many are [noun] [verb] structures which are totally okay! But it does get a little repetitive and choppy after a while.

I think that’s all I have to say! This was a fun little piece to read and I’m also very interested in the time - throwing Batman back in time to a historical era certainly mixes things up a lot (or was Batman set around then??? I don’t think so but I could be wrong lol).

I hope this helps!

Peace,
~ EternalRain






Thanks for the review! Glad you found it fun to read. I'll have to work on description I think.



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Mon Dec 30, 2019 10:48 pm
Messenger wrote a review...



Hey, Messy here
There isn't a lot of material that you've written here, and so I won't try to drag this review on, but I did have a couple of observations and thoughts on this short piece.

1. The title: it's interesting. I immediately clicked on it when I saw Gotham in the title as I'm a big Batman fan. Couple that with the word scandal and it's a great grabbing title that offers intrigue. But I must say that I don't see how it reflects the piece you've written here. You say that it's probably a one-and-done type piece, so where in this is a scandal? Just seemed like a peculiar choice to me.

2. Dialogue: this isn't a must, but I prefer to start every new quotation on a new line unless it's a continuation of the same person who has spoken. i.e. "It's not her fault," Darius blurted out, "it's mine!" With that in mind, this whole bit, while mostly clear in what is happening, felt muddled and messy

“Pardon me?” Dr Watson takes two steps toward Batman. The ground beneath him shakes. Dr Watson looks down—there is a slit in the ground between his feet. “What in the dev—” The slit explodes into a rectangle, the rectangle into a massive square of void that sucks the doctor in. Free-falling. Splash. Dr Watson is pushed a few feet under the surface of water. He swims to the surface and looks upward—panting heavily. He finds it difficult to stay afloat by the second. He sniffs. “This can’t be water,” he mutters. He notices a silhouette.

It also strikes me as odd that Watson is breaking in (assuming he's looking for Batman) but Batman doesn't seem to know who he is, or why he is there. THat's all well and good until Batman somehow throws him through some dimension, lassos him (with the lasso of Truth perhaps?) and asks Watson about Moriarty. That seemed odd to me. I don't understand the dynamic.
3. Description: it's not terrible. I think you would do well to slow down a bit though. I have no clue the sense of the scale of the Batcave, or if it's more of a room (wooden door) or what. You also switch your POV which makes it hard to know how we are supposed to be viewing this. Originally it's Batman but when Watson falls we jump to his POV which adds some confusion.
4. The actual writing: I would ask you to re-read this and see how many of your sentences are varied in length. They mostly felt very short and rigid, making the reading feel unnatural. Batman did this. Then Batman did this. Then Watson said this. It's very jerky to read and feels like I'm just reading a list of actions someone performed without engrossing me in them.

There's more I could say, and I hope this wasn't too aggressive or mean. I like the idea of a Batman and Sherlock crossover. Those two minds together could make for some great scenarios and situations, and the banter between them and their sidekicks respectively would be great. It's just that if this is to simply be a short story, there isn't much for me to learn or remember from it.
Hope this Helps
Messy






Hi Messy,

I wasn't mean. I actually appreciate the thorough and honest approach.

I'm starting to notice there's so much that I haven't actually written, so much that's just in my head. I guess the title did end up being clickbait but it was meant to allure to 'A Scandal in Bohemia.'

Everything is happening in split seconds in the paragraph you quoted. I took an approach to only describe what can be perceived instead of explaining. I see how it might have ended up being confusing but it was was the intention for it to feel like it's happening in a flash.

Well, Batman did figure out who Watson is. The part where he calls Watson the sidekick. The story is primarily in Bats' POV. I showed his thoughts in italic, almost like the way you'd have it in captions/thought bubbles in comics. Watson fell into a well filled 'not with water'. Whatever it is, it's making it difficult to stay afloat (indicates that it could be oil, in that case Batman could also threaten to burn the perpetrator alive). Obviously one of Batman's contingencies in case there's a break in. And so Watson has to grab the lasso of truth to survive. But since it's the lasso of truth, he can't but reveal everything about Moriarty and Sherlock too cause Bats would obviously be interested. Just the kind of brutal interrogation method the caped crusader would use. Perhaps all the need to explain only proves your third point.

I like the questions you ask in the second point. They're also the questions the story begs. I guess I'll try to work on those if I revisit this concept/setting.

Thanks a lot for reading it and for reviewing it!





it wasn't* :'3



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Mon Dec 30, 2019 9:59 pm
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Elinor wrote a review...



Hey MeherazulAzim16!

I'm Elinor, and I thought I'd drop by to give you a quick review. This was a fun piece, as I love Sherlock Holmes and I also love Batman and I think the two of them make for an interesting crossover considering that Batman does a lot of detective work.

I understand this short has to be humorous and fun, but I found it a little bit difficult to follow, especially considering that both belong to distinct time periods. The first Sherlock Holmes story was written in 1887, and as such he's a figure of the 19th century Victorian era. While modern adaptions have been successful, he's still very much shaped these origins, and I'd be hard pressed to find someone who didn't think of the Victorian era when I thought of Sherlock Holmes. Batman is a little more malleable, but he's been around for 80 years and pretty much works at any time in the 20th century. I'm having a really hard time picturing him in the 19th century, though. That could be an interesting elseworlds tale, though.

You say it's 1895 in Gotham City, and I was super confused on whether or not there'd been time travel, and who traveled to what time and where, or if Batman had ended up on Baker Street. While these characters are all iconic and the reader will have a base level of familiarity with them, the best thing you can do in fanfiction is to make them your own. But your own spin on these characters while keeping them true to who they are.

I'd love to see this expanded. Good luck! Keep writing, and don't hesitate to reach out if you have any questions.

Best,
Ellie






Thanks for reading it and for the review!

There's no time travel involved. Unless I retcon it :'p. It's just a Gotham City that exists somewhere around London. So Bruce must have been born at around 1850. Superman is still an American (he exists in this universe, thus the Kryptonite knife 'so much to prep for, so little time'). I got a lot of lore about this universe in my head. 'Gotham by Gaslight' is a DC one-shot that made Batman work in an early 20th century setting. There's a Sherlock easter egg in that story. A quote. But they never meet or interact. I thought I just needed to pull the setting back a few decades and 1895 is a big year for Sherlock and Moriarty, so that seemed appropriate. Batsy lacked a Batcave in 'Gotham by Gaslight' though. Didn't seem like a big stretch to give him one. Also, a mysterious figure asks Sherlock for help in A Scandal in Bohemia. What if it was Alfred who went to Baker Street and that's where Batman needs Alfred to come back from. I think some more chapters would open and clear the story up.




But even the worst decisions we make don't necessarily remove us from the circle of humanity.
— Wes Moore, The Other Wes Moore