In the Bronze Age of comics, it wasn’t unusual for a superhero to suddenly change everything about themselves and their universe to sell you a pie or teach you about smoke inhalation. They were stupid, disappointing, and infantalizing, but it’s kind of fun to look back on them. Which is what we’re doing today! We’re revisiting the ridiculous crossover where Batman teamed up with a group of real life video game players all the way back in two thousand and twenty tw– **RECORD SCRATCH** wait, this happened last week!?
I don’t know if this was Batman’s attempt to cash in on the huge popularity of whatever FaZe Clan is, or if this was esports’ attempt to cash in on the huge popularity of whatever the 17th monthly Batman spinoff is, but it seems to take place in Batman’s world which also contains the actual professional esport athletes so famous you’ll obviously know which of these I’m making up: B00tJeff, jeffmilker_8, JeffsUX, Depression_Jeff2, and xxFuckYouJeffxx.
Anyway, the Riddler’s video game is controlling the minds of Gotham City’s gamers. Robin wants to call his favorite gaming clan to help, but as they’ve discussed many times, Batman thinks it’s a bad idea to deputize children for a murder investigation. Which is not the first time in this comic where you’ll see Batman not act like Batman.
Batman drops through the ceiling of the Hollywood FaZe Clan HQ to tell them about all the Gotham people trapped in a video game. “My guys, Batman is here!” one of them announces. Another idly asks what the shit they’re supposed to do about it while continuing to lift weights. Another walks right up to Batman and says, “This is a gamer issue. Batman’s a dinosaur.” The point is, these are all very strange reactions to the Dark Knight suddenly appearing in your game room.
Not a single line of dialog seems to have anything to do with any of the others. It’s like seven deaf people on a phone call and they’re all dicks. The writing process seems to have been asking these gamers to say one mysterious thing about Batman and then putting them together in a random order. In one chaotic page, they greet Batman, insult Batman, tell him they’ll help him, tell him they can’t help him, ask him for help, give a recap, and ask for a recap. “You can suck my dick,” said language itself after it heard the plot. “I was not invented so you could use me to describe Batman teaming up with some Counter-Strike guild.”
“Sheesh!” says one of the gamers after he hears the plot explained for the third time. It is genuinely weird. The writer, Josh Trujillo, is a competent professional, so I don’t know what happened. If I had to guess, he has no idea what’s going on and he asked each of these guys, “What would you say here?” and then pasted in their terrible fucking answers verbatim.
Anyway, in comes everyone’s favorite, Rug.
Rug is drawn like someone found his 7th grade yearbook and has been trying to hurt his feelings ever since. He arrives like a real cyber influencer of today– carrying a stack of pizzas and pitching a vlog prank. You know old Rug, always making that classic group living mistake of not checking the room for Batman before pitching a vlog prank. And in a zany turn of events, Rug realizes his vlog prank isn’t important and leaves. Sorry Rug fans, that’s all we see of Rug.
Batman brings four of the gamers to Oracle’s secret hideout to plug them into the evil mind control video game and hope for the best. Robin is a huge FaZe Clan fan who totally knows who these guys are, and you can tell because when he meets one of them he calls him “FAZE CLAN!” It’s not like it matters. By this point the plot is complete gibberish. Robin could have walked up and said, “Thank you for Congo Bongo, Rug Doctors,” and it would have been exactly as reasonable and authentic.
Oracle gives everyone Bat-VR headsets and plugs them into the Riddler’s domain. They have done nothing to prepare for this other than be good at different video games. Their plan is “fuck it,” and their training is hearing “BE READY FOR ANYTHING!” after they’ve already been sent to their certain cyber death.
FaZe Clan looks around Riddler’s ultimate genius cyber realm, a lazy recreation of the Blade Runner set. They don’t see anyone, which seems strange to them, since as gamers they know players are supposed to spawn at the final objective. “ANYTHING? MORE LIKE NOTHING!” says one of them two word bubbles too late to make any goddamn sense. Like vlog prankster Rug might say, get your turbo cringe on, Congo Bongo!
Not everyone reacts to the empty streets the same way. Batwoman sees the lack of enemies and decides they’re going to need some serious firepower. One of the gamers says, “Have you seen my clips? We got this.” So to be clear, the survival of all of Gotham’s gamers lies in the hands of a man so delusional he assumes Batwoman has seen edited highlights of him playing video games. And he is using those unseen video game clips to leverage his side of the argument which is, “You’re wrong, Batwoman. We’ll be fine without weapons.” There is just no way these people could have ever predicted starring in their own Batman comic would make them look like such stupid goddamn assholes.
Oracle takes Batwoman’s side in the argument– she thinks they shouldn’t face off against Riddler’s super Matrix army with their bare hands and licensed FaZe Clan t-shirts and hats available now. She upgrades them, another important part of the plan she has kept secret for no reason, and they gain the powers of HEALER, TANK, ARCHER, and MAGE. Like the rest of this, it’s stupid and silly, but just wrong enough to sound inauthentic. In sports terms, this would be like assigning them the powers of a PITCHER, SHORTSTOP, LEFT HANDER, and DOMINICAN.
After getting character types for the wrong setting and genre, they all shout aggressively unrelated catchphrases. “MY FAMILY WOULD LOVE THIS!” says HEALER. It’s a deep cut reference for true FaZe Clan fans who know this is the one with a family. “DAMN, I LOOK GREAT!” says the one who got bitch ass level 0 starting robes.
The team splits up to attack the four quadrants of the cyberzone, each protected by a different Batman villain boss, and I finally have no criticism. What a perfect sentence I just typed.
The first quadrant they go to is Two-Face’s, which is just him and two bombs. He hits them with a brain teaser of a puzzle– one of them isn’t a real bomb!
“Okay, let me think carefully about this,” says the world’s greatest gamer as he tries to slow things down. “Fucking fuck it,” thinks the world’s greatest boy detective as he shakes the shit out of one of the bombs. Whichever one was real explodes, and I’d say this is probably the worst case scenario caused by attacking the problem in the dumbest possible way, but it works!
Cyber Two-Face has been obliterated and they acquire his token! “HUH?” says the world’s greatest gamer who is sort of right? Let’s go see how the next team is doing in Quadrant Two against the Mr. Freeze simulation.
Amidst all this sloppy insanity, “DID BATMAN REALLY THINK A GAMER COULD STOP ME?” is a pretty funny thing for a video game enemy to say. He’s saying it like it’s a racial slur, like Gamers are genetically predisposed to be bad at video games. Anyway, the FaZe Clan guy uses his l33t strats to walk directly into Mr. Freeze’s attack and one-shots him with a hammer. There’s a lot of talk about these being great players, but so far the villains have been defeated by stupidity and stupidity, respectively.
After Mr. Freeze dies, they win a snow globe of his nude wife, and I can’t stress this enough: it’s a snow globe of his nude wife.
I feel like we can skip the next one. Scarecrow is too scary for Batwing to fight, but not too scary for him to give an inspiring pep talk to the FaZe Clan guy…
… who closes his eyes and launches an arrow that bounces off everything until it one-shots the boss. This is trash. A human writer shouldn’t be capable of putting ideas together this poorly. If a gorilla said this to me in sign language I’d tell it, “Shut the fuck up, dumbest ape. Worst ape.”
Next up, Nightwing and the mage face off against The Joker in a “maze” of mirrors!
After smashing a few mirrors, there seems to be nothing they can do other than smash several more, but then they get an idea: a heartbeat scanner! Wait, no, what?
Okay, so this video game Joker simulation has a functioning heart, and it pumps loudly enough you can detect it with a phone. Fine, I buy it. But then the mage says, “YOU PLAYED YOURSELF,” and I have a real problem with this. Sure, it’s a turn of phrase appropriate to these people and their culture, but something about it rings false. Is it because maybe The Joker didn’t “play himself” by having a cardiovascular system? Do you think that could be it, FaZe Clan? This is like killing someone with a banana and telling them “You CAN haz cheezeburger.” In any other comic this dipshit would have been BLAMPHing into a death trap, but in this one he farts on The Joker’s head, posts the wrong meme, and takes us into the finale.
You probably didn’t expect a comic about hyper-competitive narcissists to climax with Giant Super Riddler underestimating the power of friendship, did you? Well, congratulations, you played yourself.
Look, I get how weird it would be if this comic was good. But to recap, Batman flew across the country and into the wrong universe to recruit the four best gamers for a special mission. They won by watching Robin knock over a suitcase nuke, one-shot three bosses who would be too easy for an Elmo Wheelchair Racing tutorial, and then throw the whole plot away to swarm the main bad guy with a bunch of ordinary non-gamers. You can’t write a shittier thing than this. Batman FaZe Clan was adapted from a woman asking her grandchildren what “Roblox” are. This is the non-Bruce Willis parts of something called More Dangerous Die 3000.
The only thing that could make it sadder would be if it ended with these useless fuckers sitting around eating Rug’s pizza and wondering if Batman liked them.
In the only shocking plot twist of the story, Batman does like them! He sends them a gamer Friend Request!
DarkKnight27 is accidentally the perfect joke Batman username. Twenty seven is not his age, and February 7th is not the day his parents got killed. He is the 27th player who named himself “DarkKnight.” On an average Gotham night, dozens of maniacs are escaping Arkham Asylum or pulling citizens into manholes, and Batman is in his cave cursing at a title screen that tells him, “Username DarkKnight is unavailable. Username DarkKnight1 is unavailable. Username Vengeance_Jeff is unavailable. Username SecretBruce is unavailable.” In any other Batman story he would already have the username TheBat and emerge from the shadows to say, “Hh. I camp on the coolest names on every online service. Not all crime is fought in the streets.” But after only thirty pages with these clowns Batman is reduced to, “hi rug! my name is DarkKnight27! plz add me lol! I main SHORTSTOP!”
This article was brought to you by our fine sponsor and Hot Dog Supreme: Rain Vargas, FaZe Clan’s official Jeff Wrangler.