Well, another November is wrapped up. As has the October before it, and the September before that. Those were probably the longest three months of my life that didn't have a final exam in them... but now it's over, and I'm able to talk about Batman.
You see, this summer, I finished the latest revision of "Pile O' Bones", my novel about a Saskatchewan vampire hunter. I've sent copies out to those who asked about it, and one or two people were even polite enough to inquire about a sequel. I proposed that in Book Two, our hero would venture to Alberta, where a dark and foul force is preying upon Newfoundlanders in the oil patch. And then, the hero follows this villain to Newfoundland, where he has to confront this evil before he corrupts the very spirit of St. John's itself.
I liked the idea for a little while, but then I realised the horrible truth: One backdrop the first time (the best one), and two for the second, to make up for the first's absence. I was following the same pattern as the Batman movies!
But maybe that's not a bad thing. Let's take a look, shall we? Behold, then: The Adventures of Norton Swift, Paranormal Investigator!
1. "Batman". Villain: The Joker.
Book One takes place in Saskatchewan. Why does Saskatchewan resemble the Joker? For no reason at all. That's why it's funny! (But seriously, this decision was already made for me, in a way.)
2. "Batman Returns". Villains: Penguin, Catwoman
I already planned that I'd feature Newfoundland and Alberta in this novel, and it's and easier match than I thought. For the Penguin, you have the sea, birds, umbrellas, and strange mannerisms. And Alberta as Catwoman? Well, Alberta is a lady's name. Catwoman is something of a Wild Rose herself. And unlike most other Batman villains, she's in it for the money.
3. "Batman Forever". Villains: Two-Face and the Riddler
After two books of adventures, it makes sense that Ron would eventually be called into the heart of the country: Ontario and Quebec. The beautiful part here is that both villains describes both provinces equally well.
4. "Batman and Robin". Villains: Mr. Freeze, Poison Ivy, and Bane
These matches are all blindingly obvious: the Northwest Territories, B.C., and PEI. Also, there's the added bonus that this book would take our hero from "Coast to Coast to Coast". In fact, that would probably be the title of this one.
5. "Batman Begins". Villains: Scarecrow, Ra's Al Ghul
The Scarecrow isn't quite a perfect match for the Yukon, but we'll accept it out of respect for Sam McGee. And Ra's Al Ghul is an powerful immortal, who controls a distant empire, who sees Batman as a potential ally as well as a rival. That's not a province - that's the good ol' United States of America. It looks like Ron's finally stamping his passport in Book 5.
6. "The Dark Knight". Villains: Joker, Two-Face
And here, a return to the two provinces that most need a second appearance: Saskatchewan because it's his home, and Ontario because Toronto will remain absent from the third novel, but feature prominently here.
There you have it! A map of all future adventures! So, we still have to travel to Nunavut, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Manitoba. I think I know two of those analogues already:
The Ventriloquist = New Brunswick. That most bilingual of provinces, long knows for being able to speak with two voices. Not only that, but they have a mild public image that somehow co-exists with their fiery Maritime spirit.
The Mad Hatter = Manitoba. Chiefly because of the Metis trappers and the Northwest Rebellion, but I'm sure it wouldn't be too hard to find other examples of crazy Winnipeggers.
So, all we have left to find are Bat-villains for Nunavut and Nova Scotia. Any suggestions?