Reviews for The Knight and the Prince
4ofCups chapter 50 . 8/17/2009
What a great coincidence that the title of this chapter corresponds to your hideous Tarantino-like blood donation experience! Good grief, I can only imagine what that geyser must have looked like.

Props right off the bat for use of "exsanguination". Such an awesome word! The Joker poking fun at his own lack of hygiene was a great injection of wit at a rather somber time, considering how bad-off Jonny is. I also like how you've detailed Bruce's deductions about Jonny's predicament, in that he has precisely concluded - without knowing it - that this whole health scare could conceivably be an escape attempt on the Joker's part, without looking like he was running off with his tail between his legs.

I also liked how the Joker saw the shape of a duck in the blood stains. Heh heh. :) And this: "Maybe he could take a news crew hostage at the same time, and do the whole thing in What Not to Wear style. But with more blood." Loved it!

The description of what Jonny saw happen to the back of his hand was absolutely chilling... and very Tarantino! I wouldn't have envisioned so graphic an attack, but it was wonderful, and certainly gave some perspective to the degree of terrors that Jonny is subjected to. Poor guy. And being held by someone so very, very purple... oh, to be cursed. ;)
4ofCups chapter 49 . 8/17/2009
Once again, you've done a great job of building suspense in not providing explicit details as to what horrible vision is haunting Jonny. Just the fact that there are birds in it is enough to make my skin crawl, as scenes from Alfred Hitchcock's classic go through my mind. I read that Tippy Hendren (sp?) actually had a bit of a breakdown from shooting the final scene, where stage hands were throwing birds at her head. Imagining them clawing or tearing with their beaks... I can see why Jonny would be so terrified. It's actually sweet, in a way, that the Joker is trying so hard to dispell his fears by telling him that the birds are afraid of him, and that's why they attack.

This quote was wonderful: "So not a sadist, then, just a magnificent bastard." At a glance, one could assume that it described the Joker... but reading that these are the Joker's thoughts about Batman, well, the irony is simply delicious. :)
4ofCups chapter 48 . 8/16/2009
When I read this chapter, and realized that for all the torment Jonny was enduring, the Joker's plan of returning to Arkham would NOT materialize, I just felt so badly for Jonny. However, the fact that you masterfully have built in references to a fleeting unease in the Joker's constitution - one of actual guilt - that tempered my distaste for the willingness he's shown to put Jonny through terrible situations. For as electric of a man as the Joker is... at the end of the day, he's still a sociopath who would damage whoever he could to get what he wanted.

The serene look on Jonny's face after he dug the electrical plug into his arm was very eerie and well described in such an economy of words. FINALLY the Joker gets to see a snapshot of what his manipulative actions have culminated in. The fact that he's finally seeing something happening to his friend that disturbs him give me hope that he's not a complete monster after all. (Jeez, what an enabler I am.)
4ofCups chapter 47 . 8/16/2009
"Especially that thing with the food processor, that sounded like hours of entertainment, no matter whom or what he used it on. Probably not Bats, anyway, he got the feeling Bats would respond better to psychological types of torture. Plus, he wouldn’t be nearly so gorgeous if the Joker tried that." I like how you don't spell out exactly what the Joker has in mind... instead just dangling the concept of a food processor out there for the readers' minds to run rampant with. Just thinking about those high-speed swirling blades... yikes!

The idea of the Joker willfully trying to destroy whoever he'd been fascinates me. Was it a willful act born of guilt? Trying to hide from something outside of himself? The static he struggles with... boy, would it be something to be able decipher the noise inside of his head.

I giggled when I read that the Joker found the pins and needles feeling of a reawakening limb hideous. For all the brutality he can endure, a prickling sensation like that drives him to distraction. Perhaps it's a metaphor for something else being awakened (memories) that he doesn't want to acknowledge.

Jonny's breakdown is so well illustrated. And your final two words of this chapter were superlative: "Fix this". Absolutely something the Joker would command regarding his broken friend. Perfect!
4ofCups chapter 46 . 8/4/2009
I completely agree with your assumption that the Joker would not take any type of drugs. Anything fostering dependence or addiction would run counter to who he is. He needs to stay free of ties to anything. His mind would definitely operate in a fashion far different than what anyone else would be used to, and the awareness he would harbor thereof would propel his narcissism.

You write the symptoms of withdrawal extremely well. I don't know what all the stages are that an addict goes through as the drugs draw out of his system, but it sounds like a dreadful experience. I would think the only thing worse than uncontrollable shaking, fever and vomiting is knowing that you're rendered completely helpless with the Joker around. Good grief, that's a prescription for a nightmare!
4ofCups chapter 45 . 8/4/2009
Wow. Talk about being between a rock and a hard place. The Joker absolutely has Jonny over a barrel, and they both know it. I can only imagine the terror and dread that must be coursing through him, knowing the awful effects of the toxin as intimately as he does. Yet if he stays... to endure a fate worse than the Joker? There's probably not a name for that kind of hell.

Poor, poor Jonny. The guy just can't catch a break... and when he does, it doesn't last for long. He needs a Joker-free holiday! ;)
4ofCups chapter 44 . 8/4/2009
"...and ya didn’t bother to get one in color?” And how terribly annoying that was. The world was black and white enough without the television making it more so.

That was a fantastic observation from the point of view of the Joker!

“Land shark.” LOL! Ha! Loved this. :) All of your references were top notch. I loved the play Oliver. The joker would have made an excellent Bill Sykes.
4ofCups chapter 43 . 8/4/2009
I had never heard of that Italian version of Sleeping Beauty before. At the end of the story, I was thinking, "Really? She married the king who raped her? Obviously a man wrote that story." But when you drew the parallels to your own story, it all came into focus and it was brilliant! Jonny went out on a dangerous limb, to assert that the Joker was the queen in the story instead of the king; however, I laughed aloud when I read his "Well, fuck that" conclusion, knowing that Jonny was going to say what he wanted.

Hmm... I wonder just how much Jonny's acumen will get under the Joker's skin. Great chapter!

(And yes, I'd love to be in Jonny's "position" while hearing the story. I'm such a sap.)
4ofCups chapter 42 . 7/28/2009
"The Joker stood with all the breakneck speed of a quadriplegic sloth." If I'd had a beverage in my mouth it would have soaked my keyboard as I spewed it laughing. :)

I am definitely going to have to check out Danse Macabe on YouTube. I've heard of it, but never actually heard it. A very dark theme to have the Joker pound out... but so perfect. As was that incredibly disturbing poem. Yikes! I do have to confess that the Joker knowing French somehow makes him... (dare I say this)... hotter? Yeah, I need therapy.
4ofCups chapter 41 . 7/26/2009
"Their current situation had all the security of an open box of matches sitting on a pile of gasoline-soaked rags." What a fantastic metaphor! As was this: "...Jonny’s villainous endeavors worked about as well as Wile E. Coyote’s attempts to catch the Road Runner. Only without the amusing cartoon physics. " Ah, amusing cartoon physics. Life would be so much better with them.

I don't know where you come up with these ideas, but they're brilliant! Further evidence, as Jonny called the Joker a "masochistic attention whore". Could there be a better description?

And it doesn't stop there: "...I’d guess that you don’t know much math beyond explosive material plus spark equals boom..." Okay, I need to stop or I'm going to end up quoting the entire chapter back to you. :)

I LOVE the idea of a pillow fight with the Joker... up until the part where he starts to warn you to stop. That's one line better left uncrossed.

I could absolutely see Arkham turning patients into "lightning bugs" for kicks. Just awful.

Another wonderful chapter! Joker pillow fights rule! :)
4ofCups chapter 40 . 7/19/2009
Can I tell you how much I *LOVED* the opening of this chapter? The snapshot into the Joker's m.o. for hyper-vigilance was perfect. He's definitely not the best fighter, but he can be scrappy and crafty when he needs to be... and you have managed to make me terrified of him, now that I know he actually *was* faking the entire catatonic state. That's as scary as when he was just hanging out in the shower, so he could jump out at Jonny when he tried to escape! Ack - ninja Joker!

I chuckled at the revelation that Jonny, you know - being a *villain* and all - should have been able to handle Alfred. Yet the Joker knew better.

I used to use green food dye when I'd make my own "Shamrock Shakes", once McDonald's stopped making them. Now they're Joker Shakes.

Henchclown. Fantastic word. :)

I also liked all the different emotions you detailed that the Joker was capable of inspiring-very clever, and also humorous.

But less “How dare you invade the sanctity of this home” and more a sort of ‘why are you eating cookies, I said dinner was in an hour’ kind of look. - This was wonderful!

More greatness:

“Master Wayne’s butler.”

Ah, he was British. Maybe that was the explanation for the lack of expression. Stiff upper lip and all that. Bats imports the hired help. Why does that not surprise me? “That’s, uh, not a name.”

“Neither is ‘the Joker.’” He didn’t say it as an insult; just a statement of fact. His eyes left the Joker’s—an incredibly reckless thing to do, but the Joker found himself too preoccupied with figuring the man out to take advantage of the moment—and focused on Jonny. “And you’re Dr. Crane?”

Another gem: "but definitely a Brucey as opposed to a Batsy."

You are so gifted at writing dry, subtle humor, while infusing some daunting moments at the same time. Honestly, there were too many savory bits in this chapter to enumerate. :)
4ofCups chapter 39 . 7/12/2009
“See Jonny, the wonderful thing about Jokers…” Loved this! I could just see him springing around with the manic energy of Tigger. :) Adorable! The "glacially-paced" inch reference was fantastic. Very visual.

Poor Jonny. All the care he gave the Joker... and yet he still comes up short in comparison to the Batman. And that laundry-list rant of endured pain... sad, but also kind of funny.

“This stuff is in alphabetical order, Jonny. Alphabetical order. He needs to get laid. Badly.” HA!

In fact, I'm loving all of Jonny's rants, even if they make the Joker want to sew/staple his mouth shut.

“There’s artfully chaotic, and then there’s just stupid.” Another great Joker line! I love the banter you create between these two. It really is fun!
4ofCups chapter 38 . 7/9/2009
Charlie the Unicorn rocks. I think the Joker is probably behind that video, in some way.

This was a great line: "It was impressive, really, how deep and intimidating the doctor’s voice could get in comparison to his slight stature." It's a salient reminder that one does not need to be physically imposing to have a presence that can intimidate, and Jonny is definitely will to do so, seeing his Joker man-handle the Bat.

I also liked how you varied the emphasis of "Batman had punched him", to illustrate the logic flowing through the Joker's mind, as he's marinating in his own delight.

Great nod to Stephen King with the "Carrie" reference!

I thought this was absolutely adorable... and as awful as the Joker can be, I hope he remains in the dark for a while longer, since he seems to have forgotten the Bruce/Batman connection.

What a fun chapter! (And where can I sign up to have the Joker plant one on me like he did with Batman, after tackling me to the floor?)
4ofCups chapter 37 . 7/5/2009
One of the things that's so fantastic about your writing style is your attention to every detail, and for illuminating the importance of such details - however small - so that the reader can appreciate how every nuance plays into plot and character construction. Your explanation of Bruce's light sleeping patterns was brilliant.

I absolutely *loved* the ending of this chapter, with the Joker springing back to life and tackling the Batman in glee. :) I was smiling as I read it. Fantastic!
4ofCups chapter 36 . 7/5/2009
"Excuse me for not caring if the guy who played Whack-a-Mole with your ribs wakes up or not." Awesome. :) This also made me smile: "And he was without a doubt the most competent psychiatrist Arkham had ever seen, if one ignored his experiments." Yeah, if it just hadn't have been for those inhumane experiments... that Dr. Crane, I tell ya, he woulda been tops. Aces. ;)

I know it's completely illogical, but I couldn't help but think how nice it would be, to be on the receiving end of the Joker's attention when he decided he wanted contact. (sigh) I don't think I'd mind too much. As long as I didn't get maimed afterwards.

You really delve into the psychological quagmire of the situation well: is the Joker truly broken, or does he possess a control of his faculties great enough to challenge the perception of someone as brilliant as Jonny? Poor Jonny... I can completely understand how torn he is over the Joker's current state, sacrificing his own freedom to stand by him.
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