Tragedy struck on the set of Dark Knight Legacy this week when four actors involved with the production, which bills itself as the Ultimate Batman Fan Series, fell ill and had to be rushed to a local hospital. Doctors immediately recognized the intense vomiting, loss of consciousness, violent seizures, and possible brain damage as symptoms of Toxic Character Poisoning, a serious ailment that affects those exposed to so-called toxic characters, such as former Batgirls Stephanie Brown or Cassandra Cain, or former Flash Wally West. The actors, Daniel Vincent Gordh (Nightwing), Maury Sterling (The Red Hood), Craig Frank (Romeo Sionis), and Brian Kimmet (Oswald Cobblecot), are in critical condition after actress Chloe Dykstra (Brown) appeared in a seven minute video promoting the show's IndieGogo campaign.
"We just wanted to make a web series inspired by Christopher Nolan's Dark Knight trilogy that picks up where the movies left off," said a remorseful Woody Tondorf, reportedly. Along with Chris Landa, Torndorf is the co-creator of the series. "We thought that maybe if we included a character that fans have been starved for, since DC Comics refuses to put her in a book in their post-reboot Nu52 Universe, we would be doing something nice for the fans and people might contribute to our $30,000 funding goal on IndieGogo."
They couldn't have been more wrong.
The fact is, the team would have been better off using the project's rewards, such as a digital download of the series a month before it's released on YouTube for $15 or a walk-on role in the show for $3000. Unfortunately, Torndorf and Landa thought they knew better than DC Comics, and they paid the price for their arrogance, in the form of a condition that many people doubted was even a real thing.
But here at The Outhouse, we ask the experts.
"Oh yes, Toxic Character Poisoning is very real," said Professor Thadeus T. Puffinbottoms, dean of the Comic Book Medical School at the prestigious University of Phoenix. "Characters like Stephanie Brown are extremely hazardous to human beings, even in small doses."
"Because they are," Puffinbottoms insisted. "Do you think that professionals like Dan Didio, Geoff Johns, Jim Lee, and Bob Harras would prevent these characters, beloved by their readership and asked about at every convention, to languish in publishing limbo just to tease the fans? Do you think that they felt that the dedication the characters inspired in readers was detrimental to the company's ability to do what's best for business: making bland comic books that promote cross-branding synergy at the expense of creative ideas or quality storytelling? Would DC Comics make unintelligent editorial or public relations decisions based on such idiotic motivations?"
"Clearly, DC Comics had only the best interest of fans in mind when they decided to erase these characters from existence," Puffinbottoms concluded. "I think some people might owe them an apology."
"Ahem," Puffinbottoms coughed, glaring at us accusingly.
Hopefully, the comic book community hasn't learned its lesson too late to save the lives of the innocent actors needlessly exposed to harmful and toxic characters because they didn't believe the editorial mandates of the benevolent DC overlords. While we beg DC for forgiveness, check out the IndieGogo page for Dark Knight Legacy. If you contribute, maybe the funds could be used to pay for a promising new medical treatment where superstar writer Gail Simone freestyles one-true-Batgirl Barbara Gordon stories directly to the patients in a room made entirely of lenticular 3D material until the toxic elements are purged from their system.
Here's the video. Please watch it at your own risk.