At the centre of the beating heart of the world of DC Comics is the multiverse, and trying to figure it out is about as easy as trying to figure out how towels work. Imagine the Earth is a blue marble. Now imagine you have lots of green marbles. Now scatter those marbles across and around the blue marble. That’s the multiverse. Lots of Earths in lots of fictional universes often interacting with one another and affecting one another in a way that makes one’s brain turn to mush. Some of them don’t even have names, in which case, I’ll step in and give them names, like Earth-Horatio. Anywho, today we’re taking a trip to Earth-494. This is a pirate world where Captain Leatherwing, basically, pirate Batman, fought alongside Capitana Felina in an epic battle against pirate Joker, otherwise known as the insane pirate, Laughing Man. A man whose abilities include being good with firearms, swordsmanship and seamanship. Yes, seamanship. Come on, we’re all adults here, that’s not funny at all. Seamanship. Tee, he, he…
We’re in the days of yore, when swashbuckling pirates rocketed around the high seas, pillaging and plundering whatever they could. And amongst it all, there was the almighty Leatherwing. A hardy soul feared amongst the villains of the pirate world.
Captain Leatherwing was the captain of The Flying Fox, employed by King James II of England to pillage rivalling countries ships, though he often kept a share for himself. Leatherwing wore a costume in a bid to protect his family’s name, fearing all of England would be appalled if they found out one of their own citizens was doing this in the name of the King. Ooh, intrigue.
Leatherwing spent his time pillaging ships and collecting gold in the hope that, one day, he would have enough to buy back the land of his parents, stolen from him when they were murdered. Yeah, his parents are dead in this version, too. Elsewhere, Princess Quext’chala, was captured by the Spaniards in Panama. Oh, hell yeah. Why is this not a movie! Do you want Pirates of the Caribbean 63 or do would you rather this?
Leatherwing set out to rescue Princess Unpronounceable. And he managed it. Leatherwing and his crew decided to pillage a Spanish galleon, convincing the captain to surrender the Princess being held captive in the ship, a ship bound for Spain. Leatherwing, being a badass, found this endeavour rather easy and so made off with the Princess and a bunch of loot. As a mark of gratitude, the good Princess wished to marry Leatherwing, but he was a bit of a commitment-phobe and wasn’t too keen on the idea. Well, I mean, who wants to change their surname to Leatherwing? Princess Quext’chala Leatherwing is just ridiculous…
Alongside Leatherwing was Alfredo, Leatherwing’s faithful servant and navigator. Always in a constant state of disagreement with Leatherwing regarding his trust in others, in particular, Capitana Felina and Robin Redblade. Redblade, in case you’re wondering, once described himself as, ‘Prince of the Urchins and bloody terror of the Kingston Docks.’ Ooh.
Redblade was an orphan living in Kingston, Jamaica, who robbed citizens of the town to feed himself and the urchins, the homeless children. WHY IS THIS NOT A MOVIE! His whole life he looked up to Captain Leatherwing, and dreamt of being just like him.
“You sons of a thousand fathers have come to your senses enough not to cross steel with me!” Redblade.
Then, of course, there was Capitana Felina, Catwoman, if you haven’t figured it out, yet. She was a countess of Spain, but abandoned her life on the shores for the adventures of the high seas. She called her ship The Cat’s Paw, which is real imaginative…
Whilst Leatherwing did give half the loot to the King, he hid the rest of it away in the Vespertilio Cay, a secret port, a sort of…cave for the bat like creature Leatherwing sort of, was. Ahem. Nobody desired the port more than the Laughing Man, Leatherwing’s arch nemesis. A sadistic, white faced grinning pirate. He ruled the seas with an iron fist and a diabolical laugh that curdled the blood of even the mightiest of villains. The most evil pirate ever known, devising the most brutal of torture for the poor crews of the ships he ravaged.
You bet he found the Bat Cave… sorry, the Vespertilio Cay, torturing one Don Vendugo for the information by, yes, you guessed correctly, pointing a huge cannon at his chest. Personally, I’d crap myself before I gave up the information, but either way, you get you came for…
“You’ve prayed to the virgin and every saint in the heavens. Now we see if your faith is real, dearest Don,” Laughing Man. “Please, Señor Joker. You have sunk my vessel. Sent my crew to the sharks. There is no need to murder me, as well,” Don Vendugo.
Whilst stationed at Kingston, Redblade sneaked aboard The Flying Fox and hid away whilst Leatherwing sailed to Panama to return the Princess to her family. In case you’re wondering, they did end up married, because she gave Leatherwing this bracelet, which, in her culture, effectively made them married. Leatherwing, as you’d imagine, was pissed off.
Capitana Felina was having a bit of a bargy with her crewmates when Laughing Man boarded her vessel and murdered her entire crew. It was a bad day. He offered Felina her life for her alliance, asking her to seduce and distract Leatherwing whilst he followed The Flying Fox to the secret port. Mwa, ha, ha, ha…
Inside The Flying Fox, which should actually be named The Sailing Fox, stowaway Redblade overheard some of Leatherwing’s crew talking of mutiny. He told Leatherwing at once and, in thanks for this information, made him a buccaneer. Sort of a pirate apprentice. Ha, I’d watch that TV show. Pirate Apprentice. “You’re fired… load the cannon!”
“Great Leatherwing, I humbly offer my services as bootblack or buccaneer. To serve on The Flying Fox as a loyal crewman,“ Redblade. “Perhaps when we’ve fattened you up. I’ll not have a crewman weighing less than a shiprat,” Leatherwing.
Whilst sailing merrily away, Leatherwing came across Felina, and saw her in distress. Why, he must rescue her! He’s Leatherwing, for heaven’s sake! Leatherwing bravely leapt into the ocean after Felina was thrown overboard her own ship. Sharks began to circle her, and Leatherwing punched the lights out of every single one of them. Imagine that board meeting. “How can we make Batman even cooler?” “What if… what if he punches a shark?” “I like it!” He fell for the trap. Leatherwing rescued Felina and, that night, showed her how to steer. Not a euphemism. Oh, wait… no, they totally did it. They totally spent all night engaged in intercourse. I mean, I know her aim was to trick him, but he really fell into that trap. Imagine the Laughing Man. “Bloody ‘ell, that worked a little too well…”
Felina, as you’d imagine, fell for Leatherwing. It’s not exactly a feminist masterpiece. She wanted to be Queen of the Pirates, and so decided to marry Leatherwing. This is a relationship moving incredibly quickly, must be said. Felina wasn’t overly pleased when she found out he was already married and really came to boil when she saw Leatherwing and the Princess, erm, a little busy. Okay, this Batman is a bit of a bastard. Felina, filled with rage, decided to flee The Sailing Fox hell bent on destroying Leatherwing. It was a bit of an up and down couple of days for her, really.
Redblade followed her but was captured whilst she was preparing an all out assault on Leatherwing with Laughing Man by her side. That treacherous cow. Probably thought Redblade. He denounced her for betraying the man that loved her, revealing to her that the Princess was a bit clingy and meant nothing to Leatherwing. Despite what she saw going on in the store cupboard. I think they should both wash their hands of him, but what do I know. Felina, for the fiftieth time, had a change of heart, and decided to alert Leatherwing to the danger coming right for him, the danger of Laughing Man.
“And if his words are true and we might plunder the stronghold of the grand Captain Leatherwing himself… then the riches of a hundred galleons will be mine. And a tide of blood will carry my enemies before me,” Laughing Man.
She did this by firing a cannon shot at him to get his attention. I would’ve called, but that’s just me. It’s a bit crazy, isn’t it? “What the bloody hell was that, Leatherwing!” “It’s that bloody Felina, Alfredo! She’s mental!” “WHAT WAS THAT, LEATHERWING!” “I SAID YOU’RE NOT RIGHT IN THE HEAD, LOVE!” Somehow, it worked. Leatherwing and Laughing Man met at the Cay, cannons were fired and they battled, and battled hard.
The two came to blows aboard the Pescador, the ship of Laughing Man. They were fairly evenly matched, until Laughing Man gained the upper hand. Inside his sword was a hidden gun. He fired at Leatherwing, and, in true Hollywood fashion, Redblade, seeing his idol in trouble, dived in front of Leatherwing and took the bullet. Bullets. Lots of bullets. I mean… bullets everywhere. Fuelled with rage, Leatherwing did the unthinkable, and killed Laughing Man. He picked him up and, somehow, impaled him on the ship’s mast. Certainly not a comic book for the kiddies…
Singlehandedly, Leatherwing defeated the Pescador. It was plundered and scuttled. Leatherwing ordered the crew to join him… or die. As for Redblade, Leatherwing was rather good at surgery and somehow managed to save his life. Leatherwing and Felina hooked up for realsies and set off on the high seas, plundering and pillaging every ship they found, for the rest of their lives…
I mean, there was that one time later on when they bumped into another mad pirate named Admiral Cobblepot, who took Felina and Redblade prisoner, who then found a carrier pigeon to get a message to Leatherwing to ask for help, who then turned up and defeated Cobblepot by tying him up, putting him on a longboat and sending him to the South Pole, never to be seen again, but really… it’s not that important to know.
Absolutely I would go to Earth-494! Are you kidding me! WHY WOULDN’T YOU! It’s awesome! There are pirates everywhere! And epic battles! And epic rivalries! And epic… epicness! It’s so good I want to go there now… please, send me there! Somebody do that for me. I love this genre, proper pirates, not Hollywood pirates. And I’ll say it again, DC really are missing a trick by not making a movie of this. It would sell… well, at least I’d buy ticket, and if that isn’t enough for this movie to get the green light, well, I don’t know what it would take…
But would you visit Earth-494, readers?
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