In which, instead of reviewing Batman: Arkham Origins, I tell the story of Steven, henchman #537.

Like a Batpunch™ to the Dick

1023 words about one-shot — 11:06 · 10th Nov 2013

My original plan for this—sort of—review was going to be a new fresh take on both Batman and the very idea of reviewing a game by ignoring the main character—that’s Batman—even the game itself and instead tell the compelling story of Alfred. The butler who has to put up with a PTSD-ridden and rich manboy who insists on dressing up like a bat to “fight” crime.

Read more to find out why I didn’t.

Here’s the thing. Alfred’s job pretty much consists of waking Bruce up, giving him his mail and making him tea. And the occasional stitching him up when he’s got broken ribs and other ailments that should really be cared for by a real doctor.

Sure some dramatisations bulk up his role with him being this Assistant-to-the-World’s Greatest Detective—sitting there at the Batputer™ researching various criminals—but really, he’s still just the butler. He’s the guy who washes Batman’s shit-stained tighty-whities and flushes down Batman’s forgotten floaters.

No, seriously. It’s not like he seems to employ anyone else so I have to assume that poor Alfred has to do everything.

And you know what? I don’t think I’m a good enough writer to make that interesting.

So instead, I want to tell you the compelling story of Steven, henchman #537.

Steven, much like every resident in Arkham Origins, had found himself in a life of crime. Working for Penguin might not be the safest employment—God knows the pension scheme was non-existent—but it was better than being a police officer, where you did pretty much the same things anyway but with less pay.

Steven had always considered himself something of a philosopher and always tried to make the time to ponder those of life’s greater questions. Such as “Why are we here? What is our purpose?”

“Because Cobblepot sent us here to get his latest shipment, Steve. You overthink things.”, his friend—in henchmenagerie?—Paul would say.

Or “Why does the sun never shine on Gotham City?” To which Paul would reply, “The what? Haha.”

And questions like: “Why does Batman keep posing us in offensive positions after he’s done kicking our asses?”

But for the most part Steven knew to keep his stupid mouth shut and to not ask so many questions. He had learned that asking questions was how you got on the wrong side of Cobblepot and getting on the wrong side of Cobblepot was usually an express ticket to “An untimely demise”, as Steven called it.

“Beats working for the Joker though, amiright? At least we don’t have to wear that stupid makeup, like Kenneth”, Paul would remind Steven of whenever either of them was having a very bad day.

Sadly, in Gotham, most days where bad days and this Christmas Eve would prove to be no different.

Along with Geoffrey, Ben, Simon, Martin and Patrick they were all stationed on Penguin’s ship Final Offer for the Yuletide season and everyone’s was a little on edge due to recent sightings of Batman.

Screenshot from the game Batman: Arkham Origins, with henchmen standing outside the ship Final Offer.
Wish you were here…

“Hey Martin, how’s the view from up there?”, Ben said as he made his repetitive rounds. The freezing weather and the harbour winds made it unbearable to stand still and Ben was happy to continuously move forward and backward on the same section of the deck.

“Fuck you Ben! Fuck you Bat-hard™ in the ass. I knew you were up to go no good when you said, ‘Ooh, pick Martin, he’s the best sniper of all of us’. I can’t feel my balls any more in these winds.”

“Oh, chill out. Get it? ‘Chill’? Because—”

“Fuck you too Simon! I’m seriously going to shoot you if you don’t shut up right this second.”, Martin gave Simon not just one, but both fingers.

“Hey guys. Just take it easy now. We don’t want to be fighting each other, should the Bat-Man show up.”, Geoffrey, being the oldest of all of them, would always try to mediate when tense conflicts arose, “Or what you think, Simon?”


“Can you hear me, Simon?”

“Fucking answer me Simon! Patrick, go check it out.”, Martin, who had the best view, took point and tried directing his henchfriends but it was too late.

“We’ve got a man down here. Oh man, oh man, I think the Bat got him.”, Patrick found Simon lying on the ground, his body contorted in ways a man’s body should never be contorted.

Patrick looked to his left, then to his right but couldn’t see anything, “I can’t see anyone? Can you see anyone from up there, Martin?”


“Oh sh—”

Faux postcard for Gotham with a picture of Batman punching a guy.
Welcome to Gotham!

It didn’t take long before only Paul and Steven were the only ones left standing.

Geoffrey was hanging upside down, unconscious and without pants. Ben’s gun was lying on the ground where they had last seen him but the man himself was gone. Simon and Martin were both lying, bodies contorted, with their asses to the sky. And Patrick, poor Patrick took three Batarangs™ to the face.

Walking back-to-back they tried make sure nothing or no one could sneak between them. Batman might have gotten all their henchfriends but he wasn’t going to get them no, not Paul and Steven, they would stick together forever.

“Remember Paul, as long as you’ve got my back, I’ve got yours.”, Steven said as they stopped so Steven could peak around a corner.

A split-second later Steven had his last thought for the night, “I wonder if Kenneth has to put up with this shit?”, before finding himself on the receiving end of an electrified Batpunch™ to the dick.

You’ve just read Like a Batpunch™ to the Dick .

In which, 6 years ago, I wrote 1023 words about one-shot and I covered topics, such as: batman, and video games.