The 'Batman vs. His Villains' Story You'll Never Read

What happens when a comic creator pitches a story where Batman slaughters his worst enemies to DC Comics? Sean Murphy found out.
Sean Murphy/DC Entertainment

Last week, there was the revelation that Batman maybe, possibly killed the Joker at the end of 1980s graphic novel The Killing Joke. This week, current DC Comics creator Sean Murphy -- who is illustrating The Wake for the publisher's Vertigo imprint --  shared the story of his failed attempt to have the Dark Knight just kill all his villains at once.

"To be clear, Batman: The Animated Series is a huge influence on me," Murphy wrote on Deviant Art, accompanying his rough sketches for an eight-page story in which Batman murders various bad guys -- climaxing in his blowing up Arkham Asylum. "I respect Batman A LOT. And I love the movies. But it's always so serious, and Batman is always so sad; I thought we could use some tongue and cheek."

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Murphy pitched the story to DC for their Batman: Black and White anthology series. "I was 90 percent sure it was going to be rejected," he admitted, "and you can see why." According to the creator, the editor's response to the story was "Brilliant, but you know I can never publish this. Also, what's the matter with you?"

Sadly, it appears that Bruce Wayne will have many, many sleepless nights ahead of him for some time. Let that be a lesson to any homicidal superhero out there: If you want to kill your arch-nemeses, do it ambiguously.