[Editor's Note: This story by our member Ann Price is a bit of a departure for the DC2; as will be quickly obvious, it is presented in a different format, in the form of a comic book script. This is the way the story presented itself to the writer, and how she would like us to view it as well. I hope everyone will enjoy this interesting take on Batman lore.]
The Riddler Riddler’s henchmen (3) Batman/Bruce Wayne Robin/Tim Drake Couple: Michael Goodwin (NEW) a dark haired man, Caucasian mid to late 30’s. Could be early 40’s. and Cathy Goodwin (NEW), a blond woman about the same age as her husband) Alfred Pennyworth Stacy, the receptionist for the Gotham City PD. Captain Maggie Sawyer of the GCPD Detective Cop James Goodwin (NEW) the son of the couple above. 4 or 5 years old, black hair, blue eyes.
1 Splash Page: Titles at the top, credits at the bottom. The Riddler stands in the center of a crowded room, a gun in one hand, a bag of loot in the other. People around him are looking on in fear. A banner in the background says St. Mary’s orphanage fundraiser. (Banner can go off the end of the panel.)
Riddler: I love charity fundraisers. Especially when I’m the charity.
Clean ‘em out, boys!
Page 2 Panels 1, 2 and 3 split the top ¼ page. Panel 4 gets the middle half. Panels 5 and 6 split the bottom ¼.
1 The Riddler’s henchmen are going through the crowd. They are armed with guns. A woman is handing over her purse to one.
Henchman 1: Be in charity with your neighbors.
2 A continuation of Panel 1, A man is taking off his watch for a second henchman.
Henchman 2: A time to every purpose
3 A continuation of panels 1 and 2, a woman wearing a magnificent necklace, double strand of sapphires set in gold has her hand over it, as though vainly trying to hide it from a third henchmen robbing her husband. It is the necklace from Son of the Demon.
Henchman 2: It’s good for the soul.
Voice off panel: I know something that’s better for the soul.
4 Batman is standing there, ominous and threatening.
5 Henchman 3 turns to take a swing at Batman, who is dropping into a crouch.
6 Batman sweeps the leg of henchman 3 who is going down
SOUND EFFECT (the kick): Whap.
Page 3 Panels 1 and 2 split the top 1/3 of the page. Panel 3 (about ½ page long, all the way across) is skewed unevenly over the center of the page. Panel 4 is small in the left hand corner of the page. Panel 5 is even smaller on the far right corner of the page
1 Henchmen 1 and 2 have turned to point their guns at Batman. They are firing. SOUND EFFECT (Guns): Blam Blam
2 A continuation of the previous panel, Batman is rolling between the shots, out of the line of fire. The crowd is starting to panic.
SOUND EFFECT (Crowd): Aaaaahhhhhhh
3 Batman has thrown a batarang disarming the first (gun is flying free) and is in the process of throwing a second at the second henchman. The third henchman is struggling to get back to his feet.
SOUND EFFECT (Batarang striking the 1st henchman’s gun): Chik.
4 The third henchman, back on his feet now has made a grab for the lady’s sapphire necklace. It breaks, coming off her neck in a scene not unlike the famous pearls coming off Martha Wayne’s neck. Her husband is vainly trying to intervene.
Husband: Leave her alone, you!
5 Batman’s head is snapping around, looking at the couple.
Page 4 Page can be laid out as a montage or 3 separate panels.
1 Batman is being struck on the back of the head by a heavy bag (the loot bag the Riddler was holding on page 1).
SOUND EFFECT: Whap
2 The Riddler is standing over Batman’s prone body.
Riddler: Money. It flies so freely yet weighs so much. There’s a riddle for you.
3 The Riddler is heading for the door. His henchmen are following.
Riddler: Come boys. We shouldn’t be greedy. That’s a sin too.
Page 5 Panels 1 and 2 each take ½ page horizontally and 1/3 page vertically, but are slightly stairstepped going down. Panel 3 gets the rest of the page.
1 The Riddler has reached the door, he looks taken aback. Robin is standing there, bo staff out, blocking the exit.
2 The Riddler and his men turn around. Batman is right behind them.
3 Montage panel of the fight that ensues. Batman has grabbed the Riddler by the shirt collar and is throwing him down while the third henchman is making a grab for Batman’s back. Robin is striking the first two henchmen with his staff, knocking them cold. Batman has flipped the third henchman over his shoulder to the ground.
1 Batman is kneeling, his knee on the third henchman’s chest. He is twisting the stolen necklace out of the henchman’s hand.
2 Closeup of Batman’s hand. In his open palm is the necklace.
3 Robin is gesturing towards the door. Batman is still on the floor, pinning the guy down, staring at the necklace in his hand.
Robin: OK, cops are on their way.
Batman, you ok?
4 Batman looks up at the couple from whom the necklace was taken. The man is standing protectively in front of his wife. He is staring down Batman. She is looking desperately at the necklace in Batman’s hand. (It’s clearly important to her).
5 Batman drops the necklace on the floor and leaves with Robin.
6 A closeup of the necklace lying on the floor.
Page 7 Panel 1 takes up the top half of the page. Panels 2, 3 and 4 each take up a 1/3 page horizontally and ½ page vertically, filling the rest of the page.
1 In the cave, Batman is sitting in front of the main computer console. His mask is off, his shoulders tense, starting intently at the monitor. On the screen in front of him are three windows, two on the left, one on the right. In the first window on the left is a security camera photo of the robbery, with the woman wearing the necklace. Below that is a blow-up of the same photo, focusing in on the necklace. In the right hand window is a photo of the necklace displayed on a jewelry pillow – like the ones taken for insurance purposes.
Voice off panel: Master Bruce?
2 Bruce turns around quickly, one hand shutting off the monitor as he does so. Alfred is standing nearby with a tray of food.
Alfred: Sorry to disturb you, sir, but you’ve not eaten all day.
Bruce: I’m working.
3 Bruce has turned back to the computer, but has not turned back on the monitor. Alfred continues to stand there behind him.
4 Bruce storms out of the cave, leaving Alfred there with his tray. Alfred’s eyebrow is raised.
Page 8 Panels 1 and 2 each take ½ page across (splitting the page) and 2/3 of the page down. Panels 3 gets the bottom 1/3.
1 In the lobby of the GCPD HQ. Bruce Wayne is leaning on the counter. The receptionist, Stacy, is looking at him starry-eyed. Maggie Sawyer is holding her hand out to shake hands with him.
CAPTION: Gotham City Police Department.
Sawyer: Good afternoon, Mr. Wayne. I understand you had a request?
Bruce: Yes, there was a sapphire and gold necklace that was taken in last night’s robbery. I would very much like to see it.
2 Closeup of Capt. Sawyer. Though she’s still smiling, it’s clear she’s not happy about this.
Sawyer: I’m sorry Mr. Wayne, the owners of the necklace have already been identified, unless you are planning on filing a counter claim…
3 Bruce’s hands are open is a friendly, disarming manner. Sawyer is still being cautious despite his attempts to charm her.
Bruce: No, no. It’s just that my mother used to own one very much like it and I would like to see if it’s the same piece.
Sawyer: Are you saying the necklace was stolen?
Bruce: Not that I’m aware of. I believe it was given away.
Page 9 Panel 1 gets the top left quarter of the page. Panels 2 and 3 split the top right quarter of the page; ½ page horizontally, slightly over ¼ page vertically each so they descend a little beyond the half way mark. Panel 4 gets the bottom left quarter page. Panel 5 gets the remainder of the page.
1 She’s walking away, dismissing him. Sawyer: Mr. Wayne, we can’t just pass around other people’s property. I’m sure you understand that. Good Afternoon.
2 Bruce, still in the lobby, is punching in numbers into his cell phone.
3 Sawyer’s heading back into her office. One of the detectives is quasi-smiling.
Detective: Mayor’s on the phone for you.
4 In her office, Sawyer’s on the phone.
Sawyer: Yes, of course I know how much he gives to this city.
…and to this police department
But it’s not his property.
5 Sawyer, back in the lobby, is gritting her teeth
Sawyer: Mr. Wayne? It appears that just this once we can dispense with normal procedures.
Page 10 Panels 1 and 2 split the top ¼ page. Panel 3 gets half the remaining space vertically, the whole width horizontally. Panels 4, 5 and 6 split the bottom of the page.
1 Bruce is in a back room with a cop. The necklace is on the table in front of them. Bruce’s hand is tracing lightly across it.
Cop: Jeweler says it’s worth over a hundred grand.
Bruce (small letters): $135,000 at last appraisal fifteen years ago.
Cop: Guy’d have to really love a woman to give her something like that.
2 Bruce has turned towards the door. He’s finished.
3 Bruce is passing through the lobby on his way out, the couple has come in. Swinging on the woman’s hand is a young boy, 4 or 5 years old with black hair, blue eyes and fair skin. He’s obviously a handful, but the parents are smiling. Bruce is looking at them as the man approaches the front desk.
Man (Michael): Hello. We’re the Goodwins, we’re here to pick up a necklace that was recovered.
Stacy: Yes sir. If you could fill out these forms…
Kid (James): See mommy, I told you it would bring you good luck.
Mother (Cathy): We were robbed last night, James. I don’t know that that counts as lucky.
James: No one got hurt. Plus you got to see the Batman. That’s cool.
Mother: It’s not as cool as you think.
James: Yes it is.
4 Bruce is smiling at the little boy.
Bruce: And what would you say to Batman is you saw him?
James: I don’t know.
5 Bruce is now looking up at the mother. The father is turning around with alacrity.
Bruce: You must’ve been at the fiasco last night.
As one of the sponsors, I feel really bad about what happened.
Can I buy you lunch?
Mother: That’s really not necessary, Mr…?
Father: Bruce Wayne? As in the Wayne Foundation?
6 Bruce is looking a little sheepish. The father is looking eager and pleased, as he shakes Bruce’s hand. The mother is looking at her husband, annoyed.
Bruce: Sometimes I wonder if that’s a plus or a minus.
Father: No, you do wonderful things! We’d love to have lunch with you.
Father: Dr. Michael Goodwin. Pleased to meet you.
Kid (Interrupting): Do you know Batman?
Bruce: I’ve never seen him, but some of my friends have.
1 At the restaurant, seated at a table, the wife is next to Bruce, the husband across the table from Bruce, the kid is on Bruce’s other side. The kid is utterly bored. Focus is on the kid. He’s sort of playing with a sugar packet.
Father: I don’t know if you’ve seen our grant proposal, we were hoping to set up…
2 The kid has put the sugar packet on the handle of his fork. His finger is poised over the tines. He’s going to use the fork as a catapult.
Bruce: …sounds like quite the endeavor you’re involved in…
3 The kid’s finger is now pressed down on the tines. The sugar packet is a bit over halfway through its arc.
SOUND EFFECT (fork): toink
4 The kid is now assembling a tower (a la house of cards) out of sugar packets. On the handle of the fork are stacked four sugar packets waiting to bring down the tower. The kid no longer looks bored.
Bruce: I must say, Mrs. Goodwin, that is quite an extraordinary necklace you have.
5 Finger is again down on the fork, the sugar packets have struck the tower sending sugar packets all over the table and onto Bruce’s lap.
1 The father is looking at the kid, annoyed. The kid is looking abashed, but not really repentant. The father is pouring milk from the coffee creamer into a stemmed iced tea glass that already has something in it (just a little at the bottom, the kind of thing an adult would overlook).
Father: Forks are for eating, not playing. Here, drink your milk.
Kid: But there’s already [small letters] tea in there. (small letters) Yuck.
2 The adults are resuming their conversation. The kid looks bored again.
Bruce: So how did you acquire the piece?
3 The kid has picked up a lemon wedge and is looking at it speculatively.
Bruce: It once belonged to my mother and I would like to have it back. I’d be willing to pay…
4 The kid is squeezing the lemon into his glass. The milk is curdling. He looks interested again.
Page 13 Panels 1, 2 and 3 take a little less than ½ the page vertically, each taking 1/3 page horizontally. Panel 4 gets the rest of the page.
1 Bruce’s attention is now focused on the mother, he has accidentally picked up the kid’s glass instead of his own. There are lemon peels from the lemon wedges all over the place. The contents of the glass look evolting. The kid is wide eyed with horror, but unsure of what to do.
Mother: The thing is, it’s not our necklace to sell. It actually belongs to little James here…
2 Bruce has taken a drink has a gagging look on his face and trying unsuccessfully not to spray it across the table. He is still holding the glass in one hand, visible to the viewer. Conversation bubbles are placed overlapping, all at once.
Mother: Oh Mr. Wayne, I’m sorry…
Kid: It’s not my fault, he took my glass!
Father: I should have warned you to keep an eye out, especially since you don’t have any children.
3 Bruce is quite deliberately putting the glass down and pushing it away. The kid, next to him, looks excited.
Bruce: I do, actually. They were just a little older when I adopted them
Kid: Really? I was adopted too!
4 Bruce is looking at the kid with sudden intensity, the kind of look one usually only gets from Batman. The pieces have all fallen into place.
Bruce: Were you really?
1 The mother is leaning over towards Bruce.
Mother: Mr. Wayne, James was a foundling at the orphanage. If he ever wants to find his birth parents when he’s older, the only clue we’ve got to go on is that necklace.
You understand why we can’t possibly sell it.
2 Outside the restaurant. The father is pulling a business card from inside his coat, the kid is trying to get a squirrel on the steps to come over to him. The mother is talking to Bruce, who is in turn watching the kid.
Bruce: Give me your business card. I’ll see that it gets to the right people at the Foundation.
Mother: You couldn’t tell us where the necklace went after your mother gave it away?
3 Closeup of the boy, who has found a lizard and is about to pick it up.
Bruce (off panel): It was given to a lady named Talia Bintras. Anything after that would be conjecture on my part.
4 The boy has returned with the lizard in his hand. He is gazing at it fondly.
Kid: Look, I caught a lizard!
Do you want to come to my birthday party?
5 The mother is trying to temporize. The kid is smiling, waiting for an answer. Bruce is ruffling the kid’s hair with his left hand.
Mother: Honey, we live sixty miles from here. I’m sure Mr. Wayne will be far too busy to drive all that way…
Bruce: I might at that. But I do need to go now.
6 Walking off, Bruce is looking at his left hand.
7 Closeup of his left hand – there are two or three hairs that he pulled loose from the boy’s head when he ruffled the boy’s hair.
Panel 1 takes ½ page horizontally and ¼ page vertically. Panel 2 is the same size right beneath it. Panel 3 takes the right ½ page horizontally and the top ½ page vertically. Panel 4 is the same size as panel 3, taking up the bottom left ¼ page. Panels 5 and 6 split the lower right ¼ page (same proportions as 1 and 2).
1 Tim is riding up to the cave on his bike.
2 Closeup of Tim’s face. Head has snapped up, his eyes are wide with surprise.
3 He has skidded the bike sideways to avoid running into the closed (and locked) gates of the cave.
4 Tim has walked into the foyer of Wayne Manor. Alfred is there taking Tim’s helmet.
Tim: What gives? Bruce’s got the cave in full lockdown mode.
Alfred: He’s had it that way for hours.
5 Alfred sort of cocks his head, considering if he should broach the subject.
Alfred: Master Timothy? In any of your recent outings, have you run across a double stranded sapphire necklace?
Tim: Yeah, I think so. Last night. Why?
Alfred: Because until this morning, I wasn’t even aware it was missing.
6 Tim is rubbing his chin, trying to make the connection between Bruce’s behavior in the last 24 hours and this.
Tim: You think the Manor was burglarized?
Alfred: With only the one item missing? I highly doubt it.
Page 16 Panels 1, 2 and 3 split the top ¼ page. Panel 4 gets a half page, right in the middle. Panels 5, 6 and 7 split the bottom ¼ page.
1 Bruce is in the lab, dressed in lab coat with safety glass on, scientific equipment all around him. He is transferring a sample from one tube into another.
CAPTION: James Thomas.
CAPTION: I probably would have reversed the names, but I can live with it.
2 Bruce is placing a sample tube into the machine.
CAPTION: James … Jim
CAPTION: It’s a name I can respect.
3 Soft focus on the panel. Bruce’s remembering the kid, whose face is alight as he shows Bruce the lizard.
CAPTION: He’ll have everything: education, connections, secure future.
CAPTION: He’ll be the happiest little boy in the world.
4 A table nearby. There’s photos of the couple and the kid playing together, in a formal family portrait, birthday photos, newspaper articles mostly about the father, the adoption/birth announcement from the newspaper compete with baby photo, a preschool report card/evaluation form.
CAPTION: The parents will be disappointed.
CAPTION: Dr. Michael Goodwin left a successful practice here in Gotham because the city was no place to raise a family.
CAPTION: After three miscarriages, it became apparent that Mrs. Cathy Goodwin could not carry a child to term. So they adopted.
CAPTION: They came back for a visit – to take him to the symphony, the museums, the zoo.
CAPTION: He’s bright, inquisitive, already shows an aptitude for math and music.
5 Bruce is sitting in a chair, rubbing his chin as he waits for the computer to finish processing.
CAPTION: They’ve done a good job. I am uncertain what would be appropriate compensation.
SOUND EFFECT (Computer): Beep
6 Closeup of the computer screen A table of alleles is displayed (goes off the top of the screen, so the visible screen looks like:
Summary of Matching Alleles con’t: SLI604/D4S163 2.08 2.08 TBQ7/D10628 4.09 4.09 Pac415/D7S467 4.85 4.85 Pac425/D1S339 2.78 2.78 Markers tested: 18 Probability of Paternity: 99.99982%
7 Bruce is sitting, hands clenched together so tense they are almost shaking. There’s a ghost of a smile on his face as he looks at the computer screen.
CAPTION: The happiest little boy in the world.
Page 17 Similar layout to page 14, with panels 1 and 2 filling the top quarter, 3 in the middle half, 4 and 5 splitting the bottom quarter.
1 Alfred is walking down an upstairs hall, carrying a duster, and perhaps other cleaning supplies. He is walking past an open door.
2 He stops, looking over his shoulder in a double take.
3 Bruce is sitting alone in the nursery, looking a little lost. He is surrounded by toys from his own childhood: A magnificently carved rocking horse, various stuffed animals, a train set, blocks, etc. Alfred is standing at the doorway, looking in curiously.
Alfred: Master Bruce?
Bruce: It’s been years since I’ve been in here.
Alfred: That’s because it’s been years since there’s been a child in this house.
Thinking about rectifying the situation?
Bruce: If I decide to get married, you’ll be duly notified.
Alfred: The consideration will be appreciated.
4 Bruce is alone in the room again.
CAPTION: What do kids play with these days?
5 The panel is framed on one side and across the bottom by a cutout of Bruce pulling out the copy of “Alice in Wonderland” his own mother used to read him. Behind him in the soft colors of memory is his mother sitting in the window seat reading to him.
1 In the cave, Bruce is putting on Batman’s shirt.
CAPTION: I’ll have to contact the lawyers tomorrow. Tell them to make this as fast and painless as possible.
2 Closeup of his hands as he’s putting on Batman’s gauntlets.
CAPTION: Arrange another paternity test. One that can stand up in court.
3 Closeup of his shoulders as he fastens the cape on.
CAPTION: Arrange a party for him. Dick. Tim. I wonder if James knows anybody in Gotham yet.
4 Still not wearing his mask yet, but otherwise garbed up as Batman, he’s on the phone.
Bruce: Dick? What was your favorite childhood memory?
Dick: Umm… I dunno. Probably jumping from the trapeze into my mother’s arms. Why?
Dick: Or did you mean with you?
Bruce (coldly) You answered the question.
5 He puts on the Batman mask.
1 Night. The Goodwins are walking out of a theater, their son between them, swinging on their hands. The scene is reminiscent of the famous last night Bruce had with his parents. Batman’s silhouette is visible on the roof of the theater.
CAPTION: I followed them from the theater to make sure they got home safely.
2 Seen through the window of the hotel, the mother is sitting next the boy with a storybook. He is tucked into bed.
CAPTION: Back at the hotel, she reads him a story and tucks him into bed.
3 Across the street, Batman has binoculars trained on the hotel and one of those sound amplification devices pointed at the hotel.
Round Caption: I didn’t get my daddy hug yet!
Rectangular Caption: Daddy hug? Who do you think you are? My little boy?
Round Caption: Yes!
Rectangular Caption: Oh.
In that case I better give you a hug.
Round Caption: <giggle>
Page 20 Page is divided evenly in quarters.
1 Daytime, at the zoo. Bruce, wearing sunglasses and a leather jacket is leaning on the corner of a building watching. The boy is standing in front of his parents, pointing with one hand, gesturing for them to catch up with the other.
2 The boy is leaning over the railing at the polar bear exhibit. Dad is grabbing him the by the collar, pulling him back, rolling his eyes in an amused sort of way. Put Bruce somewhere in the crowd.
3 Along a walkway, there’s a little cart selling ice cream. Mom is handing the boy an ice cream cone. Bruce is leaning on a rail some ways up, back is turned to them.
4 In the cat house, the boy is standing next to the glass, staring up with some trepidation. On the other side is a tiger looking down at him like the boy might make a good snack. Dad is taking a picture. Mom is laughing.
Page 21 Page is divided evenly in quarters.
1 On the monkey bars at the playground, the kid is executing a jump between bars that would make his brothers proud. Mom is waving at him.
2 Outside a fenced enclosure with trees and elephants, there’s a sign marked
Elephant Ride $3
The kid is begging; Dad is pulling out his wallet.
NO ADDITIONAL COPY
3 The kid is running through a flock of pigeons. They are taking flight all around him. He’s waving his arms, having a glorious time.
4 Walking out of the gift shop with a stuffed giraffe in his arms, parents on either side of him, heading for the exit. Everybody is smiling.
Kid: I love you Mommy and Daddy!
Dad: Are you now?
Page 22 Panel 1 takes up the entire page. Panel 2 is small and inset at the bottom right corner.
1 In the cave, the results of the paternity test are up on the screen. Bruce’s head is down, his shoulders slumped.
CAPTION (little boy from previous page): “ … I’m the happiest little boy in the world!”
2 Closeup of Bruce’s hand. The finger is poised over the “Delete” button.