Characters Beware The Batman Discussion

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04:11:38 AM May 8th 2014
Should Metamorpho, Manhunter (The original), Oracle, and Man-bat count as heroes? Maybe just the first two?
04:11:38 AM May 8th 2014
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Double post
08:33:33 PM Jul 31st 2013
Word of God images seems to indicate they based Magpie's new look directly on Lady Gaga.
09:18:00 PM Jul 27th 2013
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Eagal and I seem to be having a disagreement about Anarky. Let's talk it out.

First, Big Bad Wannabe. At this point, Anarky is the Big Bad (if only through Word of God). As far as we know there isn't any villain tougher then him at the moment. So he logically can't be a wannabe because he is what he wants to be, though he could do a better job at it.

Second, Chessmaster. That trope applies to any character who manipulates events and people towards his favor, regardless of competency level. So far, Anarky proves that he can do that. And there are the blatant chess motifs.

Finally, I Meant to Do That (which wasn't one of the tropes we were edit-warring over, but I had a problem with it and I didn't want to go through this all over again once the other two were cleared up). I'm not sure what you're talking about. I went back and re-watched that scene, and when Anarky says that, Batman hadn't beaten him yet. He had just gotten close enough to convince Anarky that Batman was his rival. When Batman actually wins, Anarky's too busy going through the standard "this cannot be!" routine and leaving. He never tries to cover his own ass.

I get what you're trying to say: that Anarky isn't as smart as he presents himself. But that makes him a Smug Snake. Those guys can still be a chessmaster, and again, Anarky is currently the toughest villain in the setting, so he can't be a Big Bad Wannabe.
10:58:41 AM Jul 28th 2013
"The Big Bad Wannabe is a villain who is seen as a significant threat but can't back it up when it comes to the crunch."

This doesn't suggest to me that the two tropes are mutually exclusive, but I'm fine with switching to Smug Snake.

As for Chess Master, how about a modification of my entry; "He clearly believes himself to be one, going out of hid way to set up Chess Motifs, but he is not nearly as good at it as he thinks he is."

If you wanna remove I Meant to Do That I have no objections.
01:52:38 PM Jul 28th 2013
I don't quite agree with your chessmaster entry, but I can live with it.
02:45:01 PM Jul 28th 2013
Of the Chess Master page: " Chessmasters also tend to be overconfident and usually panic when their "perfect" plans fail." He "believes" himself to be one?
03:06:11 PM Jul 28th 2013
Wow, I feel dumb for having not noticed that.

OK, so let's just put Chessmaster back up as it was before Eagal's edit.
05:02:41 PM Jul 28th 2013
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Chess Master trope goes with A, B and optionally C. If he fits A easily panics when his plan fails and C (chess motif) but not B (subtly manipulating Unwitting Pawns into seemingly innocuous positions) can he really be considered a Chess Master? If he lacks the actual chessmaster manipulations then he's just a guy who panics if things don't go his way.

Even accepting that he qualifies, attention really needs to be drawn to the fact that he sucks hairy donkey balls (pardon my French) at it, because attention is drawn to how incompetent he is, with Batman barely treating him as an actual threat.

Which is why my previously suggested edit should be used IMO:

"He clearly believes himself to be one, going out of his way to set up Chess Motifs, but he is not nearly as good at it as he thinks he is."
06:40:48 PM Jul 28th 2013
I don't get why you feel it's necessary to call special attention to Anarky's failings. I think that just having Smug Snake in his entry says everything you need to. Anything more just feels like unneeded dumping on the character.

Anyway: let's review Anarky's plan. His goal: test Batman to see if he's a worthy rival. Secondary goal: spread anarchy and destruction.

First, recruit Daedalus and Junkyard, two stupid thugs with a grudge against Batman and a love for pointless mayhem. He gives them special equipment and extensive support.

Daedalus and Junkyard's resulting rampage fulfills Anarky's secondary goal. Batman beats them a second time, proving that he can take those two regardless of their better equipment.

Anarky breaks Daedalus and Junkyard out again, so he can use them as muscle and a distraction. He sends them to an area within walking distance of the wheelhouse, which is where he intends to give Batman his final test.

It's at this point that Anarky has his first real hiccup in the plan. Batman reaches the wheelhouse well before Anarky planned. note  Anarky only reacts with mild surprise, then praises Batman for performing above expectations.

After the fistfight, Anarky gets the plan back on track by revealing the bomb plot. Bombs will destroy two nearby gondolas when they pass each other. Batman only has time to stop one bomb. If Batman tries to stop them manually or attack Anarky, he'll activate a dead man's switch. He also improvises by ordering the thugs to slow Batman further. (Given that he clearly wanted Batman at the wheelhouse, I'm guessing that his original plan was that Batman would beat the thugs again, then be lured to the wheelhouse by the first explosion, which is explicitly noted as harmless and only meant to get Batman's attention.)

Batman figures out how to stop both bombs, but Anarky anticipates this and cuts him off. At this point, Anarky declares Batman a Worthy Opponent. He has completed his main goal of testing Batman and is about to complete his secondary goal. Batman manages to stop the bombs anyway, but only by doing something he himself noted was insane. (Attacking Anarky and disabling the dead man's switch before it can trigger. This leaves him free to beat up Anarky and stop the bombs.)

So let's recap: how does Anarky fit the requirements for a Chessmaster, as you yourself provide?

He's manipulating three people here: Daedalus, Junkyard, and Batman. Daedalus and Junkyard are mere pawns that act as muscle and help him lure Batman. Batman is his opponent, but Anarky is still manipulating him: he wants Batman to prove himself "worthy" of fighting him, so he pushes Batman to come up with creative solutions to his plots. He also demonstrates a great amount of forethought with the gondola plan and his anticipation of Batman's moves.

Also, while it's true that Anarky is overconfident and immature, I think you could view the scene where Batman dismisses Anarky as a way of riling him up into making a mistake. Keep in mind: Anarky had shown he was a bit sensitive in regards to his plans being criticized ("Not such an obvious move now, is it?") and Batman was about to try something he noted as extremely risky.
07:20:42 PM Jul 28th 2013
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If anything, Smug Snake doesn't say enough. All it says is that he gives himself too much credit, while failing the mention how he reacts when the reality of his plan fails to meet the expectations.

You say unnecessary, I say thorough. Saying he's just overconfident isn't saying anything at all.

I'll buy that he's The Chess Master, but by the current phrasing isn't enough. The excessiveness of his invocation of the Chess Motif isn't the only thing about his Chess Master-ness, because it's also a significant part of it that the degree to which he's a Chess Master and the degree to which he believes himself to be one are wildly divergent.
08:28:34 PM Jul 28th 2013
Sometimes you say plenty by saying very little. Adding Chessmaster shows that Anarky is a planner. Smug Snake to the page shows that Anarky is very smug, but is not entirely deserving of it. The reader comes to the conclusion "Anarky is very smart and a good planner, but he is not as smart as he thinks he is, and that is his downfall."

Here's the thing. The only thing your proposal seems to accomplish is dumping on Anarky's character. And we can't do that. We are a wiki. We try to present information in a neutral fashion, regardless of how we personally feel about a subject. We're more informal then most wikis, but that hasn't changed.

I've been looking at some other character sheets that have similar arrangements to what I am proposing. (Jafar from Aladdin and Slade from the Teen Titans cartoon come first to mind.) No one seems to have a problem with it there. I'm not seeing why Anarky needs such attention drawn to his flaws, unless you want to dump on him. Which we can't do.

Also...there aren't any degrees. You are a Chessmaster or you aren't. I think you're thinking of the difference between Magnificient Bastard and Smug Snake. Anarky is the latter, no question. That doesn't exclude him from being a chessmaster, because he is a careful planner who approaches his strategies as if he is playing chess.