Chillin’ Like a Villain

I got out of the business back in ’89, right before the bottom fell out. Nowadays there’s not much room for competition. It’s just like any business: once it gets going, and the big boys see that there’s money to be made, they start buying up the smaller competitors, and squeezing out the rest. I mean, you can’t even rob a liquor store in Gotham these days without Penguin Limited or Joker-Quinn Consolidated Holdings getting a piece of it.

When I started out, things were different. You had plenty of people who weren’t just in it for the money. Not to say that wasn’t a prime motivator, of course. I was trying to make a quick buck, sure. Who hasn’t dreamed about fleeing  a crime scene, carrying a medium-sized burlap sack full of hundreds and marked “LOOT” in his hands? But there was more to it than that. For me, it was frustration. The Manarajan the Magician gig wasn’t paying the bills, but more than that, I got to the point that if I had to do the interlocking rings for one more Nintendo-addicted eight-year-old, I was gonna kill someone. And back then, anyone with a dopey gimmick and a friend who was a seamstress could make a go of it. It wasn’t like now, when you have to have a huge amount of capital just to get into the game. You had guys who were in it for money, fame, career, sex, boredom, adventure, or the sheer psychopathic thrill of it. It was a great time to be a supervillain.

A lot of times, people ask me, “Julian, do you have any regrets?” Hell, no. First off, you understand, I was never one of the hardcore guys, like Clayface. So for me, it was always Gotham State. And, you know, it’s not like Gotham State was a frat house or anything, but it was better than that hole up in Arkham. I took some accounting classes with Killer Croc, and he said that place was a fucking pit. Also, I went straight pretty early in the game, before things got crazy-weird. I met my beautiful wife Melodie when she was on staff at the public defender’s office, which was a lucky break for me, and since I was mostly a baffle-grab guy (as we used to call it — that was a guy who spent his time confusing the other side and then took the money while they were trying to figure out what the fuck you were doing), Bats never wailed on me like he did some guys. So I mostly had a pretty good run.

Now I have a decent small business. I came up with a breakfast cereal based on mathematical symbols that ended up being a big hit, and I market it and run the company out of my home. That’s doing well. My wife went into private practice, and actually ended up defending a lot of the old guys who are still in the game, so I keep in touch. Bats even sends me a calendar once a year on Christmas, ha ha. It’s a pretty good gag.

I guess some people would be angry. I didn’t make any money in the long run, and there was all that time I spent in the joint. I guess I was kind of a laughing stock, you know, the whole “Calendar Man” gig being considered pretty wimpy these days, in the wake of guys like Magog and Deathbringer. My costume was totally lame. That dopey hood and the big paper pages on the shoulders, Christ. But, hey! What do I know? Show me one guy who isn’t embarrassed at his high school photo. And at least my Who’s Who entry got drawn by Pat Broderick instead of some hack. Really, I have nothing to feel angry about. I mean, look at the Calculator. 54 years old, still themed as a piece of technology no one’s used since the days of Texas Instruments, and getting his ass whipped on a regular basis by every schmuck in a mask, left toothless and muttering “It’s all part of the master plan”. What an idiot. I can’t believe I invited him to my wedding.

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