Places to Fight Batman

Little known fact: Lex Luthor is bald because he was in this barber shop when it burned to the ground.

I've said it before, and I'll say it again: I can take any fictional character. Mainly because they're fictional, and unable to put up any sort of fight, or physically affect the world in any way.

That said, there's plenty of places around Jackson in which one could fight Batman (if Batman were real). I suppose if someone wants to dress up like Batman, I could fight them in with these backdrops.

Take this scene for a bat-fight. It's an abandoned warehouse (classic!) that backs up to the Pearl River (okay, not so classic). I've used it in Walking Dead jokes before, as the pile of pallets succumbing to entropy is a far more realistic villain than the show gets. However, as a Batman fight scene, this has a lot to offer. Gymnastics on weird rusty railing thing. Freefall into the pile of pallets. *SCRUNCH!* Razor wire. Long shadows. There's a lot of little scrubby grass, though. You don't usually see that in Gotham City. Maybe a more Western feel, some sort of...

Batman: Unforgiven. If you work for DC Comics, I can have you a script by the weekend.

Old West Batman has not, historically, done that well.

Just picture it: Dusty streets of a frontier "not-quite-Gotham" city, the old mining street buildings dilapidated and falling down. Couple of gunslingers are about to face off. A tumbleweed would blow by, but it's currently tangled up in something.

Just as they draw - *whok whok* double-batarangs. The masked figure in the long duster comes sliding off the roof after it, a lasso gets one, he rolls in the dust - punches thrown. No gunslinging murder today, boys. The Batman is in town.

But say you want a little more class. Clearly, we're going to have to go Black and White for that.

Apologies for there not being any rain.

Jackson has a lot of mostly-intact modern architecture, the kind of stuff that Gotham City abounds with. Big arcs, squared curves, thick bricks. Art Deco, the kind of inspirational swoops and flourishes that give you both Batman and Bioshock.

It's still here, but falling apart. Slowly. Some of it, obviously, can be saved, like the backdrop of that struggling tree - the Standard Life building.

Lore holds it that Eudora Welty's father was one of the architects of this gothic tower.

But there are gothic flourishes worthy of Gotham City itself. Old churches. Towers like this that a caped crusader could scale. Strange statutes of horses and other things. Wild gargoyles to hang from, grapple, swing across.

They're laughing at us. Always.

They're laughing at us. Always.

Arkham Episcopalian.

Perhaps, in a less Gotham world, the city of Jackson would take all this sprawling, falling down chaos, and fix it. But some cannot be fixed, and the best plans to repair the inexorable march of entropy have oft come to spread the wasteland, rather than repair it.

It would be easy enough to blame the realtors hording the shells of buildings along capitol street, asking exorbitant prices for shattered and ramshackle ruins, unable to be torn down because of their history, unable to be rehabilitated because no commercial reason to own them yet exists.

But perhaps they are trapped by their own faulty psychology. Or, perhaps, they are out-of-town investors, taking advantage of the low price of local real estate by spending big city dollar bills.

For such people, there is no incentive not to wait. Without an aggressive vacancy tax, it is cheaper for them to sit on these buildings and let them decay, reducing the value and therefore the taxes they pay. The value is already at a bottom, the land is the selling point, not the structure on it.

Solutions that were seized upon in the past have not worked. Take Farish Street. (Please!) The ideal situation is not to have the city spend money and abuse Eminent Domain in order to gussy up some "ready to build" theme park, or Big New Thing. That Big New Thing will be the rotten playground for my children to take trash pictures in, and the finely crafted streets of Farish or the would-be pipe dream of a Lake Jackson? Those are present day ruins. Not future ones.

Wait, are we doing a zombies crossover? I thought that was Marvel...

So let's buck to the solution we know will work. It involves people having some input, a voice, in the way things work in this city. And not just people with big stacks of cash waiting to be spent.

Build the City, and let it fill. Don't plop down attractions and see if they're attractive.

Oh, and if you want an attraction in the form of a Batman fight - you DO have to wear the cape and full cowl, and outfit. It's really an unfair advantage on my part.

"Batman falls through an old roof, gets tangled in his cape, and tetanus" wasn't a popular storyline.