Reviews for The Knight and the Prince
4ofCups chapter 35 . 6/27/2009
I can't help but feel so sorry for Bruce in this scenario, knowing that what seemed a simple provocation of the Joker would unravel the man so. Likewise, he has to be torn between knowing that the Joker's current state is his own doing, yet the gratification at being able to exact revenge - albeit unwittingly - is there nonetheless. Having Jonny get his digs in about Bruce viewing villains as "less" than the "Gotham innocents" must be like a kick in the stomach.

Both Bruce and the Joker need a hug. Hmm, that would make a bat-clown sandwich, wouldn't it?
4ofCups chapter 34 . 6/27/2009
The sense of urgency in this chapter is palpable. I like how Bruce muses that his bringing both criminals into Wayne Manor had been a bad decision born of panic, nothing more. I can only imagine the myriad scenarios going through his mind, as he tries to foresee every possible way this can go wrong, with both men unshackled and in a spare bedroom.

LOL at Jonny's "shooing" Bruce away to help the Joker. :) Why do I find it adorable that the Joker would only eat sandwiches that were cut into triangles?

The compassion that Jonny showed the Joker was quite touching, and I'm wondering how this will affect Bruce's assessment of Jonny later on...
4ofCups chapter 33 . 6/27/2009
Wow. WOW. "He knew he’d be lost to one or the other if he didn’t take action, so he did the only thing he could do. Found the one area of his mind that remained calm and blank, and ran for it."

This chapter was simply AMAZING. The frailty he shows is staggering, because it runs counter to all the bravado and showmanship he's founded his image on. Your detail of the inner struggle was magnificent, as was the way you crafted Bruce's reasoning for why the Joker *is* just a mere man.

What a brilliant cliffhanger!
4ofCups chapter 32 . 6/27/2009
"He wondered if this was how the people he’d fucked with felt, and almost retched at the revelation that he even cared." I like how you make the dark truly affect the Joker, the fear that seeps in allowing scenarios to enter his mind that otherwise never would.

This chapter was brilliantly written! You did not in any way deviate from his character in showing this weakness. The way you describe the "static" hitting him was very chilling, and I was definitely on the edge of my seat reading this. I like how you describe his trying to assign meaning, or assuming identities, to the faces that are coming through the static; as if he's trying to lay the foundation for what could have created what he became, so he could "thank" them in his own signature style. I was not at all worried that you would reveal too much about what made him. To the contrary, if anyone could come up with a plausible explanation for how he came to be, you could. You've got such extraordinary insight into the fears and weaknesses that make each of us so very human. Even the Joker.

I was very sorry to read that the description of his situation was based on your own panic attacks. I've been there myself, and I wouldn't wish one of those on anyone. It's a true claustrophobic, suffocating hell on earth. Your description was so vivid, it managed to conjure something that I very, VERY rarely feel: genuine pity for the Joker.

Extremely well-crafted chapter!
4ofCups chapter 31 . 6/27/2009
I love how with such a simple stance, Alfred can still hold such sway over Bruce and his actions. Where can I get an Alfred for my life? He's so great.

Bruce's reflection that Batman defined him more than his own identity spoke volumes, particularly in how naked he must now feel in the eyes of his most dangerous nemesis.

Jonny's game of "I Spy" was an excellent infusion of dark humor. :) As was the following line by Scarecrow, delineating when Jonny would show signs of losing his mind: "I’ll say you’re getting there when you start seeing pink elephants, or hearing voices in your head or something." I also loved his inquiry about the Batman's reaction to calling the tumbler a Batmobile. Ha!

This was a fantastic line by the Joker: “You call me a monster like it’s something to be ashamed of. We’re all monsters, Bats. Humanity’s the myth, and I’m the only one bright enough to see it.” And yet, I loved it that Bruce, for once, got in the last word... and that the Joker was metaphorically and literally left in the dark. Score one for the Batman!
4ofCups chapter 30 . 6/27/2009
“’Cause I imagine those arm spikes must be hell on the upholstery.” This question was a great way to start out the chapter! I could see the Joker asking something like that out of curiosity, adding his own snarky twist at the end. Ha ha! :)

You do a great job of keeping the tension between both men so tight, by giving the Joker just the right dialog with which to burrow under the skin. And why doesn't it surprise me that he would actually try to eat Nair? The visual of the Joker's self-suggested chastity belt is also pretty funny. I can just see the padlock dangling over his how-do-you-do...

Bruce's reaction with the bucket of water was priceless!

Your comparison between the two men at the end of the chapter was not only very poignant, but very chilling... especially as told by the Joker with an air of almost gentle trust. When he runs Bruce's hand down his own scar, it was both erotic and very frightening.

“The only difference is, when you take off the mask at the end of day, you think what’s underneath is human, that the darkness comes off with the cowl. But being a monster?” He tapped the scar he’d put Batman’s hand on. “It doesn’t come off.” *Awesome*!
4ofCups chapter 29 . 6/21/2009
What a fantastic observation - that Crane and Alfred both had the same biting sarcasm. I had never thought to draw that parallel before, but you are right on the money with that one!

I'm trying to put myself in Jonny's shoes, and imagine how freaked out I would be if I had to sponge bathe in front of someone who moved like lightning and could do tremendous bodily harm. I was cringing for Crane as I read this, imagining how modest he is anyway, to be so painfully aware of the moment not only being filmed, but being witnessed first-hand by the Batman.

I can just imagine how much the Joker would *love* to have the Batman as an audience while he bathed. Yikes. I'm sure many issues would arise, if you'll pardon the pun. Ahem.

Another great observation about wasted potential. I agree with the age approximation you've assigned to Jonny, based on his portrayal by Cilian in the movie. He has such a youthful face anyhow, that to be wearing clothes too large would only underscore how innocent he's capable of appearing.

I wonder if I'd feel more awkward sponge-bathing in front of Batman or the Joker... ;)
4ofCups chapter 28 . 6/21/2009
I'm trying to appreciate how humiliating it must be for Crane - a certified genius - to be told in unison by both the Joker and Batman that he's incapable of being trusted to clean his own wounds with rubbing alcohol. This chapter was appropriately titled. Poor Jonny, just one of the Joker's toys.

Is it completely nuts to wonder what that would be like, and to think about trading places with Jonny for just an hour? Probably so. I'm sure it would end with lots of pain. Maybe something fun, but lots and lots of pain.
heartnut chapter 55 . 6/21/2009
Wow, what a remarkable story. Thank you for writing it. I liked the Joker-he really was a star.
4ofCups chapter 27 . 6/21/2009
"It was moments like these that he loved having a pet scarecrow; he was so fun, both to irritate and pull the stuffing out of." I know that I shouldn't laugh, for Jonny's sake, but this is pretty funny. :)

I love the detail you offer surrounding Alfred, both in the brief but cogent reference to his past service with weapons experience, and to the deadpan humor and jabs he manages to deliver in the face of a debacle as big as the Batman's identity being exposed. I love the gentleness of spirit, yet firmness of virtue with which Alfred always addresses Bruce. He's such a fantastic father figure, a lot like Gordon.

And poor Batman. From what it looks like, his opening sentiment seems to be the right one: he's fucked.
4ofCups chapter 26 . 6/21/2009
"It was like putting together a jigsaw puzzle that formed an abstract work of art; the pieces all fit, but the finished product made no sense." This was a great metaphor for the logical dissonance Jonny must be struggling with.

"At least you seem to be using commas now.” Another great humorous moment... for someone as dangerous as the Joker to be concerned with grammatical execution is pretty darned funny. :)

Poor Jonny, still trapped, as ever, between a choice of being beaten by the Joker for insubordination, or possibly beaten to death by the Batman, for the betrayal of the secret he's now privy to. Someone needs to take Jonny to Disneyworld when this is all over; buy him a Tinkerbell shirt and a baseball cap made to look like Goofy's head, with the two felt teeth hanging down from the bill.
4ofCups chapter 25 . 6/21/2009
LOL on establishing a safe word! Ha ha! Leave it to the Joker to turn the interplay between himself and the Batman into something more than a battle between rivals, but something sexual. It's also funny how the Joker actually ascribes scarecrow attributes to Jonny, like thinking about how blood would rot straw.

Very clever of the Joker to slip back into his terms of endearment to subdue Jonny. I also liked the casual reference to the Joker's noticing the nail gun wound in Jonny's hand, which only the hallucinated Joker was around to "witness" originally." Jonny's answering to the Joker by mimicking his own cadence of speech was a nice twist: "Not. Going. To. Work."

The Joker's reference to Batman's "dirty little secret" got me thinking of the All-American Rejects' song of the same title... which is fitting, since the lead singer looks like he could be the the Scarecrow's offspring (as played by Cilian Murphy).

"There was an elephant in the room again, but unlike the full salute in the skirt from the other day, this one wasn’t amusing." HA! :)

Poor Joker... just trying to do Batman a favor by keeping the man's secret, and his efforts go unappreciated. This is an awkward situation... and I like how you've built it up, and let the suspense dangle at the end, leaving the reader to wonder how it will resolve. Your chapters end with the reader always wanting a bit more - which is a great skill and a mark of a well-told story!
heartnut chapter 9 . 6/20/2009
*falls off the chair laughing*

Oh, my.

I got on here to try and find a fic that was worthy to be filmed as a sequel to Dark Knight, and look what I found. This is a sick, depraved, and intelligent fic, and I applaud you. What a great harnessing of the Joker, wow! I'm addicted.

You are a very talented writer. Thank you for writing an intelligent story!

*clicks the favorite box*
shann1 chapter 10 . 6/14/2009
There have been many moments that I loved in this story so far, but referencing 'The Joy of Painting'? There's gotta be a special place in Heaven for all those who know the glory of Bob Ross.
4ofCups chapter 24 . 6/14/2009
Lauralot, this chapter was a tour de force!

I liked the Joker's perception of reciprocated karma, that he "unmasks" Bruce, as a returned favor for what was done to him. Very fitting from the Joker's perspective.

On the theory of the Joker deducing the Batman's true identity - I agree with you 100%! The Joker would definitely NOT want to know that Bruce Wayne is the man underneath. The way you offer the Joker's almost pitiful recounting of how he accidentally pieced the epiphany together was a fantastic illustration of the Joker's paradigm of his rival. The Joker desperately needs to maintain the illusion of his connection with the Batman as something greater than just man against man, but symbol against symbol. His wanting to inflict enough self-harm for the purpose of erasing the conclusion is precisely what he would have done. Too much knowledge sours the "game" in his head, unravels his illusions and bleeds the ugliness of normalcy into his world.

And oh... when the Joker pushed the "Rachel button" by calling her a bitch... wow, the fury that unleashed was great. For someone as in control of his faculties as the Batman is, to completely lose sight of restraint by hurting the Joker the way he did (pulling the chains from the walls) was a sobering reminder of how dangerous the Batman could be.

And throughout the beating, the Joker laughs... truly chilling. When he suggested that he was going to dig up Bruce's parents... WOW, that was a shocking thing to read, but certainly the type of comment he'd have in his arsenal. Now that he has no paint to hide behind, his words probably have to hit even harder.

Thanks for the reminder in the notes about Jonny's line coming from BTTF. It would have driven me crazy, because it sounded familiar, but I couldn't quite place it. It drew a great parallel... as the idea of George McFly going up against Biff was an apt comparison of Jonny trying to take on the Batman. (The idea of his holding onto one of the Bat-Ears was pretty funny.)

And holy cow - I had no idea that Crane would *literally* unmask the man! This is quite a fine kettle of fish that Bruce finds himself in now.

Thank you *so* much for the generous nod in your notes at the end of the chapter! I am incredibly flattered that a detail from my story would inspire something in your own. :)
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