the pearl

The Image And The Asylum

He's walked these halls so many times, he begins to think he should reside here just as much as the people he's put here.

Turn left, walk down three cells, reach the next crossroads, turn right, go down the stairs, turn right again, and you walk past the three cells of people you always seem to be sending back here. Poison Ivy glares at you behind her pruning shears. The Mad Hatter carefully darns a ribbon on a simple top hat, and determinedly ignores you.

The final cell in this row holds someone that no one expected to be here. He was known around the world, his face plastered on billboards, posterboards, tv screens, building the image over and over and over until, finally, he became the image.

When the image faded, he fought back. And instead of being a former popstar occasionally seen on VH1 and in Gotham clubs, he became The Image.

And thirty people died for it.

He caught him, of course, as he always does. The lone crusader against the rising tide of evil in the world, but this one...

The walls were papered with old teen magazine pinups of himself. He was staring at them, his fingers tracing over his lips, his eyebrows, his chin, but then paused as the shadow of the bat crawled over him.

He whirled around, his face in a snarl, the scars illuminated by the cheap fluorescent lighting. "You..." Justin Timberlake, formerly The Image, snarled at the man — the Batman — who ruined him forever.

This Batman/Real Person story was written by Kate Bolin. If you liked it, there's plenty more at And you can feedback her at