Doc Ock Vs. The Joker

A Marvel/DC crossover. Otto helps Batman. (Movieverse for Marvel, post-SM2.)


The Bat-signal came from here. I knew this now for sure: he had arrived, and he was talking to the Commissioner about the Joker.

"I've seen him," I said quietly. "He's planning something nasty–even worse than usual."

They both jumped–I'm good at being quiet when I want to be.

"Who are you?" the Commissioner asked.

"A man who wants to atone for my sins, Chief," I replied with a soft laugh. "But then again, that's all any of us are–now isn't it?"

"Do you know what his plan is?"

I laughed. "Not yet, but I will soon." I grinned. "He'll trust me. I was once as bad as he is now . . . well, maybe not quite so bad. He's a nasty one, isn't he? But I was in an accident not so different from his, and it did something similar to my mind, for a little while. I'll tell you what I find out, okay?"

"Do you swear?" asked Batman.

I nodded. "On Rosie's grave."

"Rosie?"

"My wife. She died in the accident." I winced. "See you later, you two."

And I walked off the edge of the roof. My children grabbed at the stones, taking me to the ground.

"Joker!"

A mad-looking fellow with a fixed grin walked up to me. "Who are you, and what do you want?"

I smiled, the same evil smile I had so often worn when I was working on the second fusion reaction. "I want to help you. I've heard of you, and I like the way you work."

He grinned. "Seriously?"

"Seriously."

He shot me in the chest.

I sighed. "That was stupid, Joker. I'll give you one more chance to let me work with you. And if not . . . well, you don't want to get me mad, boy."

Something moved under my coat. I slapped at it. "Stop that, you."

He gulped. "I thought . . ."

"That I was just a thug? Yeah, I get that a lot." I shook my head. "And me a theoretical physicist!"

"Well you were." He grinned even wider and held out his hand.

I shook it.

"So, what are you working on?"

"We're going to steal a super-weapon from the government, and ransom the city for a billion dollars!"

I rolled my eyes, but he didn't notice.

"So . . . how did you survive that gunshot?"

"My children protected me. Children?"

They tore out of my coat. Yes?

I chuckled. "I destroy more coats that way . . ."

He gaped. "Wow. W-what's your name?"

"Otto Octavius. But you can call me Dr. Octopus, if you want." I snorted. "Everyone does, unfortunately."

"I'm just the Joker," he replied sadly. "I've forgotten my old name." Then he cheered up again. "So, Otto . . . what can you do with those extra arms of yours?"

"Oh, lots of things. Want me to show you?"

"Sure." And he grinned a wicked grin. "Boys?"

"Yes?" said several scared-looking thugs.

"This is Dr. Octavius, my new friend. Come here and introduce yourselves."

I saw, of course, what he wanted. Children?

Yes?

These men are the price of this bastard's trust. But don't worry too much–they're all very evil people.

We hear and obey, Father.

"Show me, Doc."

I grinned at him, and my children lashed out.

Two of my children are delicate, while the other two are tough. They make a very powerful team.

"There," I said nastily. "You have six dead men. How does that help you, exactly?"

He laughed. "Well, now I have some idea as to what you can do."

"Not yet you don't," I replied with a laugh. "Not yet."

"Oh? What else can they do?"

"Climb buildings, download computer information, record everything that happens around me, see in the dark, outrun cars, rip open bank vaults, and light cigars." I laughed. "A lot of other things, too, but that's a start."

"You can open bank vaults?"

"Yeah. My children can lift . . . about two tons, maybe three. That's 6,000 pounds, you know."

He looked fascinated. "Wow."

"Yeah, that's the usual reaction." I shook my head. "See you tomorrow, then, Joker."

"Sure, fine, whatever."

"He's planning to steal some kind of superweapon," I said. "Isn't that just the most . . . well, clichéd cliché you ever heard?"

The Chief laughed. "Well, the Joker was never that original."

"He's a bastard, though. He wouldn't trust me until I'd committed a pointless crime." I grinned evilly. "Not that any of them were saints, but I've never been all that fond of blood."

"What?" asked Batman sharply.

"He had us kill some of his men." I shrugged. "I expected worse, though. It wasn't like they were innocent or anything."

"And you did it?"

"Well, he trusts me now." I grinned. "You needed someone on the inside–a double agent. Now you have one."

Batman just glared at me.

"What do you mean by 'us,' anyway?" Gordon asked.

"And I thought Batman here was supposed to be the detective!" I sighed. "I'm not the only one in my head. Children? You can come out now."

They slid out from under my coat for the second time that day. The lower right was still dripping blood.

They stared.

"Yes–we do look rather odd, don't we?"

"You killed for him!?"

"They weren't exactly good people, you know. Low-life thugs." I smiled slightly. "Since the accident, I've found that I can turn off my conscience if I need to. Become more like a machine, even as my children become human."

"They're becoming more human? Do they feel emotion, then?" asked Gordon.

I nodded. "They seem to be parts of my personality, but magnified. One is helpful, one is curious, one is a know-it-all, and one is a cynic."

"But . . . you killed them!" said Batman angrily.

"I'm well aware of that, but it was no more than he would've done to them. He's worse than Carnage, and Carnage is an actual Thuggee–a devote of chaos. Kali is an angry goddess, she is."

"What?"

"It's a reference to Hinduism, Gordon," Batman explained. "Kali is goddess of death. He's using metaphor."

"Bright fellow. I like you, Batman. You seem to have more than half a brain . . ."

"I learned on the streets," he said dourly.

"A fact which only increases my respect, if it's true," I returned.

And I walked back into the night.

". . . and once we have it, we're going to put it on the roof of the tallest building in town and set it off! What do you think?"

I grinned. "I love it."

After all, I can throw the idiot off the building this way.

My 'children' laughed.

He laughed, as well.

"Come on, then."

"That's it."

I looked at the weapon and grinned. "Heavy-looking." And I picked it up.

He raised an eyebrow, then grinned back at me.

"The tallest building in the city is . . . that one," he said, pointing out the window.

"Hold on tight," I replied–and, grabbing him as well, I shot outside and arrowed towards the skyscraper he'd referred to. On reaching it, I easily climbed to the top.

"Wow! Roller coaster!" the Joker cried. "Set it up for me, will you?"

"No."

"What?"

"I said, no!" And the upper left arm grabbed him by the throat. The upper right one threw the 'super-weapon' off the roof. "Strange, Joker, that you of all people would need to be told about judging by appearances. I'm no hero, but I'm not a villain either."

And I stepped to the edge, holding him in mid-air above a very steep drop.

"Stop that," said Batman.

I let go. "Oops–butterfingers." And I smirked.

Hey! Deja vu!

I laughed.

"Don't worry: he's managed to grab hold of something."

Batman soared down to catch him.

I shook my head. I wouldn't want to be Batman. I mean, come on–this city isn't large enough to have this many supervillains. This may be the age of the mutagenic accident, but still . . .

And we walked away . . .


THE END