The Death and Life of Bruce Wayne Issue 3 – Completed

I present to you the completed issue 3.

Page 1 (1 Panel) Exterior/Interior Arkham Asylum

Panel 1 Long distance aerial view of Arkham Asylum

CLAYFACE (Off Screen)

A visitor this time of night? Has to be the Batman.

Page 2 (3 Panels) Exterior Arkham Asylum

Panel 1 Half page panel of Arkham Asylum entrance and driveway with Batmobile parked outside.

CLAYFACE

So Bats, why are you interrupting my beauty sleep?

 

Panel 2 Quarter page panel interior Arkham Asylum guard station with gate. Guard is seated, watching the security monitors.

BATMAN

Five-and-a-half years ago you boosted a secure delivery package from a WayneTech facility at the loading dock and replaced it with a dummy package.

 

Panel 3 Quarter page panel interior Arkham Asylum visitation room.  Clayface is seated at a table.  Batman is in the foreground, approaching the table.

CLAYFACE

What work of fiction did you pick that up from? I’ve done lots of things, Batman, but I can’t recall doing that.

 

Page 3 (3 Panels) Interior Arkham Asylum visitation room.

Panel 1 Quarter Page shot from behind a seated Clayface, over his shoulder toward Batman who is taking the seat opposite Clayface across the table.

BATMAN

Save it, I have you on security camera. But I’m not here to bust you for that. I want to know who hired you.

 

Panel 2 Quarter Page shot from behind a seated Batman, over his shoulder towards Clayface across the table.

CLAYFACE

Supposing I do recall anything about such an event, what do I get for helping?

 

Panel 3 Half Page panel profile shot of Batman seated across the table from Clayface, Batman on the right.  Batman has his hand on top of a jewel case containing a disc.

BATMAN

This.  Opening night Gotham Repertory Company’s performance of Glengarry Glen Ross. Recorded live, two nights ago.

CLAYFACE

You’re playing dirty, Batman, appealing to my thespian side.

 

Page 4 (3 Panels) Interior Arkham Asylum visitation room, Exterior of Arkham Asylum.

Panel 1 Quarter-page tight shot of the disc, laying on the table surface with both Batman and Clayface’s hands on it.

CLAYFACE

I got the job from Cobblepot.  Penguin wasn’t forthcoming on the details. He just said it was a request from somebody not to be trifled with. Not my circus, not my monkeys, so I did the job for a quick buck and delivered the box to Cobblepot no further questions.

 

Panel 2 Quarter page closeup of Clayface looking through the clear jewel case of the disc at the camera.

CLAYFACE

Normally I’d say Oswald is down in 2a, his usual spot, since he got pinched a couple of days ago, but word is that he, Two-Face, and Scarecrow are in the hole up at Stryker’s Island.  Whoever’s moving in on your turf, Bats, isn’t interested in our mental health.

 

Panel 3 Half-page shot of Batmobile streaking towards the camera down the driveway of Arkham Asylum, the Asylum shrinking in the background.

BATMAN

Alfred, contact Warden Draper at Stryker’s Island Penitentiary and tell him to expect Bruce Wayne and his legal team.

 

Page 5 (3 Panels) Interior of Warden Draper’s office at Stryker’s Island.

Panel 1 Half-page shot of Batman as Bruce Wayne seated across the desk from Warden Stryker, flanked by two non-descript lawyers. One lawyer’s briefcase is open (on his lap if it’s a clamshell briefcase, on the floor next to him if it’s a satchel type.) Warden Draper is reading some sort of legal filing.

WARDEN DRAPER

I appreciate all your Institute for Criminal Justice Reform does for the mentally ill who end up in the system, Mr. Wayne, but my hands are tied now.  The D.A. has filed motions to have the mental competency of Cobblepot, Dent, and Dr. Crane handled at their arraignments in two days and was granted a stay by the court against having them moved to Arkham until after the arraignment.

BATMAN

These men clearly have mental problems, Warden, and need treatment.

 

Panel 2 Quarter page closeup of an exasperated Warden Draper who has put down the legal filing.

WARDEN DRAPER

For the most part, I agree, Mr. Wayne. I was arranging to have them transferred when the stay preemptively came into my office.  If you want them transferred before their hearing, you’ll need to convince the court, not me.

 

Panel 3 Quarter page shot of Batman as Bruce Wayne and his lawyers standing at the desk.

BATMAN

Since we’re filing on their behalf can my legal team and I meet with the prisoners?

WARDEN DRAPER (Off Screen)

Of course.

 

Page 6 (4 Panels) Interior of Stryker’s Island Penitentiary Visitor’s Room.

 

Panel 1 Quarter page panel of the lawyers and Batman as Bruce Wayne standing in the Visitor’s Room with a couple of guards.

 

BATMAN (To a guard)

Since there’s three of them and three of us, we’ll each meet with one of them so we can get out of here.

GUARD

Your call, Mr. Wayne.

Panel 2 Quarter page of Batman as Bruce Wayne is seated at a table in the Visitor’s Room across from Oswald Cobblepot, a.k.a. The Penguin.

PENGUIN

To what do I owe the distinct pleasure of a visitation by ‘do-gooder-in-chief’ Bruce Wayne?

BATMAN

I’m here on behalf of my criminal justice reform institute to inform you we’re filing amicus briefs with the court to bypass the stay that’s keeping you in here rather than receiving treatment at Arkham.

 

Panel 3 Same shot of the Visitor’s Room table as before but Penguin is laughing.

PENGUIN

Treatment? If you say so, Mr. Wayne. I’m ready and willing to accept any free legal representation from lawyers of the caliber you hire.

BATMAN

But that’s just part of it.

 

Panel 4 Closeup of Penguin, his eyes narrowed with a wicked grin on his face.

PENGUIN

Ah, here’s the catch.

 

Page 7 (4 Panels) Interior of Stryker’s Island Visitor’s Room.

Panel 1 Quarter page profile shot of Batman as Bruce Wayne with a grim look on his face.

BATMAN

I’ve been informed by Batman that a WayneTech semi-conductor chip we had written off as lost in a traffic accident was stolen, by you, under contract from somebody else. What I want to know is who hired you.

 

Panel 2 Quarter panel profile shot of a now equally grim Penguin.

PENGUIN

Do go on. I love hearing your flights of fancy.

 

Panel 3 Quarter page profile shot of Batman as Bruce Wayne leaning forward, a wry smile on his lips.

BATMAN

I’m not interested in going after you over the theft. I couldn’t care less about a middleman.  If a third party is interested enough in my projects to hire you to steal from me, it’s a serious security risk to me.  Tell me what you know of it and my institute will represent you through your whole trial on these latest charges to get you moved to Arkham.

 

Panel 4 Quarter page three-quarters closeup of Penguin, now leaning back in his chair, relaxed with a bemused look.

PENGUIN

I am listening with all the intensity of a hunting barn owl.

Page 8 (3 Panels) Interior of the Stryker’s Island Visitor’s Room

Panel 1 Half-page panel overhead shot of Batman as Bruce Wayne and Penguin seated at a visitor’s table.

BATMAN

You and I both know that of all of Batman’s Rogues Gallery of enemies, you are the one most likely to be found sane enough to stand trial and serve a term of hard time here, in the Pen. Your obsession with the avian is clinical, but neither crippling nor criminal.  For what you know I’m willing to work to get you moved to Arkham where the conditions are far better.

PENGUIN (feigned shock)

Why Mr. Wayne, you devious lout! I always knew there was more to you than the old playboy routine, otherwise you wouldn’t be as successful in business as you are.

 

Panel 2 Quarter page medium shot of Penguin.

PENGUIN

Doing my bid in here is a concern of mine.  The new cape in town didn’t drop me off at my preferred location, making business difficult to continue.  Very well, I’ll tell you what I know.

 

Panel 3 Quarter page medium shot of Penguin, leaning forward with a conspiratorial look.

PENGUIN

I was indirectly contacted about the chip by the League of Assassins via Black Mask. Most unusual.  Sionis had turned down the job because he wanted to know the why of it and they weren’t forthcoming.  I’m not too picky so I took it.

 

Page 9 (4 Panels) Interior of Iceberg Lounge.

Panel 1 Half-page tall, but only a quarter page wide closeup profile of Penguin fading right to left as if to indicate panel 2 will be a flashback.

Panel 2 Remaining three-quarters of the page width panel, interior of Iceberg Lounge at Penguin’s private booth. Talia is seated across from Penguin with a female Assassin standing near her.  Penguin has a large, well-dressed thug standing near him.  Talia is examining the contents of an open WayneTech case.  Another briefcase, full of stacked bills, is open on the table facing Penguin.

PENGUIN (Caption)

I invited Talia to the club to take delivery herself and to have a few drinks. You know, to celebrate a job well done. And surprise, surprise, she herself showed up.

TALIA AL-GHUL

You have indeed come through for me where Sionis refused. Your fee is well earned.

PENGUIN

A pleasure doing business with you. I hope you keep me in mind in the future for other ventures that may be necessary but beneath your direct involvement.

 

Panel 3 Quarter page panel of Talia handing the now closed case to her associate.

TALIA AL-GHUL

Says something in Arabic.  It is not translated so just put nonsense in the speech bubble.

PENGUIN (Caption)

She handed the box to her bodyguard and said something angrily in Arabic and the bodyguard left.

 

Panel 4 Quarter page panel of Talia, across from the Penguin, raising a martini glass and smiling.

TALIA AL-GHUL

And now I will take you up on that drink.

PENGUIN (Caption)

Betrayal abounds in my business, so I record all my meetings at the club. I’ve got so many layers of surveillance in there that nobody can find and neutralize it all.  It bugged me I couldn’t understand what she said so I had it translated.

 

Page 10 (3 Panels) Interior Stryker’s Island Visitor’s Room.

Panel 1 Quarter page medium shot of Penguin seated at the visitor’s table, looking bemused.

PENGUIN

Turns out she was speaking a very old and obscure dialect of Arabic, which made it very hard to translate.  It wasn’t exact, but the gist of it was, “Tell that man this is the last task I do for him, despite what he knows. He asks another at his own peril.”

 

Panel 2 Quarter page medium shot of Penguin, looking very serious.

PENGUIN

Mr. Wayne, the League of Assassins are some very scary people. People who’ve you never heard of and trust me, you’re better off that way. And you’re looking for somebody with the stones to not only blackmail them, but the brains to do it successfully.  A bird of a very different and very dangerous feather from your average cutthroat industrialist.

 

Panel 3 Half-page panel of Batman as Bruce Wayne walking away from the table with a guard standing behind Penguin.

BATMAN

We’ll be in touch soon, Mr. Cobblepot.

PENGUIN

I’d let this go if I were you.  Do be careful, Mr. Wayne. You need to be alive to honor our agreement.

 

Page 11 (3 Panels) Interior of the Batcave.

Panel 1 Half-page panel of Batman seated in front of the Batcomputer, Lucius Fox is on one of the side monitors, Oliver Queen (the Green Arrow) is on another.  The main monitor has Batman’s file on Talia Al-Ghul displayed.

BATMAN

So, Oliver, there seems to be a new major player in the background.  If Cobblepot can be trusted, someone developed enough leverage on Talia to force the League to do at least two difficult tasks for them, probably more.

BATMAN continues
They hit something very specific that was crucial to my work as Batman and used it against me in a very crippling manner. This indicates they are well informed with formidable intelligence capabilities.

 

Panel 2 Quarter-page panel of Green Arrow’s monitor

GREEN ARROW

Thanks for the heads up, Bruce.  I’ll keep a closer eye on Queen Industries skunkworks projects. Stands to reason whoever got to you would try to hit others.  You going to warn Lex as well?

 

Panel 3 Quarter-page panel of Lucius Fox’s monitor.

LUCIUS FOX

I’ve taken care of strategically leaking the information to Lex’s assets within WayneTech. If he doesn’t already know what we want him to, he’ll know before end-of-business today.

BATCOMPUTER VOICE (off screen)

Incoming transmission from The Watchtower.

 

Page 12 (1 Panel) Interior Batcave

Panel 1 Full-page shot from behind Batman, seated at the Batcomputer. Alfred is walking in from the left side, approaching Batman with a tray with a coffee mug and a coffee pot upon it.  The central monitor of the Batcomputer has the very worried face of Superman on it.

SUPERMAN

I just got your message, Bruce. The Batcomputer was hacked again?  The last time that happened the Justice League nearly died.

BATMAN

I was hacked, Clark, but since that first incident I added triple-encryption security to any of my files related to the League and its members.  Without having acquired three additional chip prototypes they cannot decode that information.

GREEN ARROW (angrily)

Hey! You didn’t tell me you were hacked!

LUCIUS FOX

Gentlemen, I can assure you that no information regarding the Justice League or its members was compromised.  I designed those chips myself; I physically verified the location of all copies of the chips, and all were not only present but fully functional.

 

Page 13 (4 Panels) Interior Batcave

Panel 1 Quarter page view of Batman from the front, seated at the Batcomputer console looking up, towards the camera.

BATMAN

Whoever did this only got my files relating to operations here in Gotham City, and the Rogues Gallery that normally operated within the city and county.

ALFRED (off screen)

We can be thankful for that at least.

 

Panel 2 Quarter page view of Superman’s monitor. Superman has a resigned look on his face.

SUPERMAN

I’ll take you and Lucius and your word, but I’m going to have Cyborg increase monitoring of The Watchtower’s network and J’onn keep an eye on the primary systems.

 

Panel 3 Quarter page view of Green Arrow’s monitor, Oliver glaring (at off screen Batman), his lips pursed.

SUPERMAN (continued from off screen)

Arrow, since you’re already aware of the situation, assemble a strike team and be on standby in case something comes up.

GREEN ARROW

You got it.

 

Panel 4 Quarter page view of Lucius Fox’s monitor.

LUCIUS FOX

Well, Bruce, that certainly could have gone better. Surprised it didn’t go worse.

 

Page 14 (4 Panels) Interior Batcave

Panel 1 Quarter page panel, front view of Batman looking up at the monitors.

BATMAN

Superman knows their information wasn’t compromised, and Oliver will forgive me.  The League is not the target of this, so he gets to cozy up to Dinah on The Watchtower for a couple of weeks.

 

Panel 2 Quarter page panel view of Alfred looking puzzled.

ALFRED

It seems like someone’s put in an awful lot of effort to do all this for anything less than some Earth-shattering grand design. How can you be so sure that the League isn’t caught up in this scheme?

 

Panel 3 Quarter page of Batman in his chair, his elbows on the arm rests with his fingers steepled in front of him.

BATMAN

Whoever is doing this is exceedingly powerful, well financed, and very connected. More than enough to be planning something very big, but…

 

Panel 4 Quarter page panel of Batman in his chair, leaning on one elbow, stroking his chin with that hand.

BATMAN

Everything that’s been done, that we know of, is almost painstakingly focused on me.  It all points to me as the target.

 

Page 15 (2 Panels) Interior of the Batcave

Panel 1 Half page panel wide shot of Batman seated at the Batcomputer with Alfred standing near Batman looking surprised. At the base of the stairs back up into Wayne Manor stands Nightwing, with Robin not far behind him.

NIGHTWING

I agree. It’s all almost laser focused on Batman, and that’s concerning. Hello Alfred.

ALFRED

Master Dick!

 

Panel 2 Half page panel, same wide shot as before but Alfred is now hugging Nightwing.

ALFRED

It’s been years! It’s so good to see you!

NIGHTWING

It’s good to be seen, Alfred!  I just wish it were under better circumstances.

 

Page 16 (4 Panels)

Panel 1 One third page wide panel closeup of Batman, his eyes narrowed, and his lips pursed.

BATMAN

What brings you out of Blüdhaven?

 

Panel 2 Two third page wide panel of Nightwing standing in front of seated Batman.

NIGHTWING

I started noticing a lot of the Gotham criminal element showing up in my town, trying to set up shop.

 

Panel 3 Quarter page closeup of Nightwing with a smirk on his face.

NIGHTWING

Seems something got them scared to do business in Gotham, and they said it wasn’t you.

 

Panel 4 Quarter page shot of Nightwing, now seated with one cheek on the Batcomputer console, facing the seated Batman.

NIGHTWING

I hit up Barbara and Kate about what’s going on and they told me about the new cape in town and how he’s really cleaning the place up.

 

Page 17 (4 Panels) Interior Batcave.

Panel 1 Two thirds page wide panel of Batman, now standing, facing Nightwing.

BATMAN

I’ve got it under control. It’s none of your concern.

 

Panel 2 One third page wide closeup of Nightwing, now scowling.

NIGHTWING

You made it my concern when you didn’t tell me about this new cape.  I was caught flat footed by the influx of criminals from Gotham. I’ve been calling in some favors to get a little backup until the situation settles.

 

Panel 3 Quarter page panel of Robin whose been standing quietly until this point.

ROBIN

The past couple of nights I haven’t been doing patrols here in Gotham, Bruce. It hasn’t been necessary.  I’ve been taking the Batcopter out to Blüdhaven and helping Dick out.

 

Panel 4 Quarter page panel of Batman looking shocked.

ROBIN (Off screen)

Barbara has cut down on her patrolling, and so has Kate. They’ve been alternating shifts for all night coverage but, apart from the petty crime we don’t have to get involved with, the streets have been quiet.

 

Page 18 (3 Panels) Interior Batcave

Panel 1 Quarter page panel of a medium shot of Alfred looking at his cell phone with a look of surprise as a notification sound goes off.

SFX

Beep!

 

Panel 2 Quarter page panel of a concerned Alfred looking up from his cell phone at the camera.

ALFRED

Master Bruce, pull up Channel 9 News

 

Panel 3 Half page panel wide shot from behind everyone now standing and looking up at the Batcomputer’s main monitor.  The screen features a generic news anchor with the typical chyron along the bottom with the text “Joker charged with terrorism!” and/or “Who is Shepherd?” Maybe have both phrases partially on screen to indicate the chyron is scrolling. Channel 9 News logo in the lower left corner.

BROADCASTER

… only moments ago.  I repeat, the criminal known as the Joker has been apprehended and is now in solitary confinement at Stryker’s Island awaiting arraignment on charges of making terroristic threats, conspiracy to commit terrorist acts, and possession of weapons of mass destruction.  But more importantly, a new protector of Gotham has revealed himself!  This footage was taken at GCPD Headquarters only minutes ago.

Page 19 (1 panel) Interior Batcave

Panel 1 Full page panel of the primary monitor of the Batcomputer.  Shepherd, flanked by Commissioner Gordon and a host of high-ranking police and District Attorneys, is standing in a sea of reporters and microphones.  The news chyron is still running.

SHEPHERD

I am known as Shepherd. I apprehended the Joker and brought him to the authorities, along with the evidence to back the charges that are now filed against him.  I am here, now, so that Batman can focus more on the wider issues around the globe that can benefit from his talent and expertise. For the other vigilantes in the city, put the word out if you want to contact me, I look forward to working with you. As for Batman, worry not, your flock will be well protected.

 

Page 20 (2 Panels)

Panel 1 Half page panel wide shot from behind everyone now standing and looking up at the Batcomputer’s main monitor.  The everyone is looking up, some pointing, others dropping things from their hands, papers, coffee, microphones, etc. The chyron is still running.

BROADCASTER

With that, Shepherd leapt into the air and simply vanished.

 

Panel 2 Half page panel wide shot from behind everyone now standing and looking up at the Batcomputer’s main monitor.  Incoming call notifications are filling the screen.

SFX (All over the Batcomputer screen)

Ding!

BATCOMPUTER (Computer voice balloons all over on either side of the Batcomputer monitor.

Incoming call from…

Incoming ca…

Incoming…

Inco…

 

Page 21 (4 Panels)

Panel 1 Quarter page closeup of Batman looking angry.

Panel 2 Quarter page panel of Robin looking impressed.

Panel 3 Quarter page panel of Nightwing looking surprised.

Panel 4 Quarter page panel shot of Alfred with the side of Batman’s head and shoulder in the foreground.

BATMAN (Off Screen)

Taking the call from The Watchtower.

 

Page 22 and 23 Interior Batcave

Panel 1 Two-page spread, wide angle, tilt shot from behind all the people in the Batcave looking at a stark angle at the main Batcomputer monitor. Use forced perspective to make all the members of the Justice League look incredibly imposing and everyone in the Batcave look small.  Superman is standing in the middle, arms crossed, looking VERY upset.  He is flanked by Wonder Woman, Aquaman, and Cyborg on his right and Martian Manhunter, Green Lantern (Jessica Cruz), and The Flash (Barry Allen) on his left.

SUPERMAN

Bruce…

 

END OF ISSUE 3

The Death and Life of Bruce Wayne Issue 3

Got the first half of issue 3 done.

Page 1 (1 Panel) Exterior/Interior Arkham Asylum

 

Panel 1 Long distance aerial view of Arkham Asylum

 

CLAYFACE (Off Screen)

A visitor this time of night? Has to be the Batman.

 

Page 2 (3 Panels) Exterior Arkham Asylum

 

Panel 1 Half page panel of Arkham Asylum entrance and driveway with Batmobile parked outside.

 

CLAYFACE

So Bats, why are you interrupting my beauty sleep?

 

Panel 2 Quarter page panel interior Arkham Asylum guard station with gate. Guard is seated, watching the security monitors.

 

BATMAN

Five-and-a-half years ago you boosted a secure delivery package from a WayneTech facility at the loading dock and replaced it with a dummy package.

 

Panel 3 Quarter page panel interior Arkham Asylum visitation room.  Clayface is seated at a table.  Batman is in the foreground, approaching the table.

 

CLAYFACE

What work of fiction did you pick that up from? I’ve done lots of things, Batman, but I can’t recall doing that.

 

Page 3 (3 Panels) Interior Arkham Asylum visitation room.

 

Panel 1 Quarter Page shot from behind a seated Clayface, over his shoulder toward Batman who is taking the seat opposite Clayface across the table.

 

BATMAN

Save it, I have you on security camera. But I’m not here to bust you for that. I want to know who hired you.

 

Panel 2 Quarter Page shot from behind a seated Batman, over his shoulder towards Clayface across the table.

 

CLAYFACE

Supposing I do recall anything about such an event, what do I get for helping?

 

Panel 3 Half Page panel profile shot of Batman seated across the table from Clayface, Batman on the right.  Batman has his hand on top of a jewel case containing a disc.

 

BATMAN

This.  Opening night Gotham Repertory Company’s performance of Glengarry Glen Ross. Recorded live, two nights ago.

 

CLAYFACE

You’re playing dirty, Batman, appealing to my thespian side.

 

Page 4 (3 Panels) Interior Arkham Asylum visitation room, Exterior of Arkham Asylum.

 

Panel 1 Quarter-page tight shot of the disc, laying on the table surface with both Batman and Clayface’s hands on it.

 

CLAYFACE

I got the job from Cobblepot.  Penguin said it was a request from Talia al Ghul, who wasn’t forthcoming on the details. Not my circus, not my monkeys, so I did the job for a quick buck and delivered the box to Cobblepot no further questions.

 

Panel 2 Quarter page closeup of Clayface looking through the clear jewel case of the disc at the camera.

 

CLAYFACE

Normally I’d say Oswald is down in 2a, his usual spot, since he got pinched a couple of days ago, but word is that he, Two-Face, and Scarecrow are in the hole up at Stryker’s Island.  Somebody seems to be moving in on your turf, Batman.

 

Panel 3 Half-page shot of Batmobile streaking towards the camera down the driveway of Arkham Asylum, the Asylum shrinking in the background.

 

BATMAN

Alfred, contact Warden Draper at Stryker’s Island Penitentiary and tell him to expect Bruce Wayne and his legal team.

 

Page 5 (3 Panels) Interior of Warden Draper’s office at Stryker’s Island.

 

Panel 1 Half-page shot of Batman as Bruce Wayne seated across the desk from Warden Stryker, flanked by two non-descript lawyers. One lawyer’s briefcase is open (on his lap if it’s a clamshell briefcase, on the floor next to him if it’s a satchel type.) Warden Draper is reading some sort of legal filing.

 

WARDEN DRAPER

I appreciate all your Institute for Criminal Justice Reform does for the mentally ill who end up in the system, Mr. Wayne, but my hands are tied at the moment.  The D.A. has filed motions to have the mental competency of Cobblepot, Dent, and Dr. Crane handled at their arraignments in two days and was granted a stay by the court against having them moved to Arkham until after the arraignment.

 

BATMAN

These men clearly have mental problems, Warden, and need treatment.

 

Panel 2 Quarter page closeup of an exasperated Warden Draper who has put down the legal filing.

 

WARDEN DRAPER

I agree, Mr. Wayne. I was making arrangements to have them transferred when the stay preemptively came into my office.  If you want them transferred before their hearing, you’ll need to convince the court, not me.

 

Panel 3 Quarter page shot of Batman as Bruce Wayne and his lawyers standing at the desk.

 

BATMAN

Since we’re filing on their behalf can my legal team and I meet with the prisoners?

 

WARDEN DRAPER (Off Screen)

Of course.

 

Page 6 (4 Panels) Interior of Stryker’s Island Penitentiary Visitor’s Room.

 

Panel 1 Quarter page panel of the lawyers and Batman as Bruce Wayne standing in the Visitor’s Room with a couple of guards.

 

BATMAN (To a guard)

Since there’s three of them and three of us, we’ll each meet with one of them so we can get out of here.

 

GUARD

Your call, Mr. Wayne.

 

Panel 2 Quarter page of Batman as Bruce Wayne is seated at a table in the Visitor’s Room across from Oswald Cobblepot, a.k.a. The Penguin.

 

PENGUIN

To what do I owe the distinct pleasure of a visitation by ‘do-gooder-in-chief’ Bruce Wayne.

 

BATMAN

I’m here on behalf of my criminal justice reform institute to inform you we’re filing amicus briefs with the court to bypass the stay that’s keeping you in here rather than receiving treatment at Arkham.

 

Panel 3 Same shot of the Visitor’s Room table as before but Penguin is laughing.

 

PENGUIN

Treatment? If you say so, Mr. Wayne. I’m ready and willing to accept any free legal representation from lawyers of the caliber you hire.

 

BATMAN

But that’s just part of it.

 

Panel 4 Closeup of Penguin, his eyes narrowed with a wicked grin on his face.

 

PENGUIN

Ah, here’s the catch.

 

Page 7 (4 Panels) Interior of Stryker’s Island Visitor’s Room.

 

Panel 1 Quarter page profile shot of Batman as Bruce Wayne with a grim look on his face.

 

BATMAN

I’ve been informed by Batman that a WayneTech semi-conductor chip we had written off as lost in a traffic accident was actually stolen, by you, under contract from Talia al-Ghul. What I want to know is why Ms. al-Ghul was interested in it.

 

Panel 2 Quarter panel profile shot of a now equally grim Penguin.

 

PENGUIN

Do go on. I love hearing your flights of fancy.

 

Panel 3 Quarter page profile shot of Batman as Bruce Wayne leaning forward, a wry smile on his lips.

 

BATMAN

I’m not interested in going after you over the theft. I couldn’t care less about a middleman.  If the League of Assassins is interested in projects my business is working on, it’s a serious security risk to me.  Tell me what you know of it and my institute will represent you through your whole trial on these latest charges to get you moved to Arkham where the conditions are better.

 

Panel 4 Quarter page three-quarters closeup of Penguin, now leaning back in his chair, relaxed with a bemused look.

 

PENGUIN

I am listening with all the intensity of a hunting barn owl.

 

Page 8 (3 Panels) Interior of the Stryker’s Island Visitor’s Room

 

Panel 1 Half-page panel overhead shot of Batman as Bruce Wayne and Penguin seated at a visitor’s table.

 

BATMAN

You and I both know that of all of Batman’s Rogues Gallery of enemies, you are the one most likely to be found sane enough to stand trial and serve a term of hard time here, in the Pen. Your obsession with the avian is clinical, but neither crippling nor criminal.  For what you know I’m willing to work to get you moved to Arkham where the conditions are far better.

 

PENGUIN (feigned shock)

Why Mr. Wayne, you devious lout! I always knew there was more to you than the old playboy routine, otherwise you wouldn’t be as successful in business as you are.

 

Panel 2 Quarter page medium shot of Penguin.

 

PENGUIN

Doing my bid in here is a concern of mine.  The new cape in town didn’t drop me off at my preferred location.  Very well, I’ll tell you what I know.

 

Panel 3 Quarter page medium shot of Penguin, leaning forward with a conspiratorial look.

 

PENGUIN

Talia contacted me about the chip through an unusual go between, Black Mask.  Sionis had turned down the job because he wanted to know the why of it too.  I’m not too picky so I took it.

 

Page 9 (4 Panels) Interior of Iceberg Lounge.

 

Panel 1 Half-page tall, but only a quarter page wide closeup profile of Penguin fading right to left as if to indicate panel 2 will be a flashback.

 

Panel 2 Remaining three-quarters of the page width panel, interior of Iceberg Lounge at Penguin’s private booth. Talia is seated across from Penguin with a female Assassin standing near her.  Penguin has a large, well-dressed thug standing near him.  Talia is examining the contents of an open WayneTech case.  Another briefcase, full of stacked bills, is open on the table facing Penguin.

 

PENGUIN (Caption)

I invited her to the club to take delivery and to have a few drinks. You know, to celebrate a job well done.

 

TALIA AL-GHUL

You have indeed come through for me where Sionis refused. Your fee is well earned.

 

PENGUIN

A pleasure doing business with you. I hope you keep me in mind in the future for other ventures that may be necessary but beneath your direct involvement.

 

Panel 3 Quarter page panel of Talia handing the now closed case to her associate.

 

TALIA AL-GHUL

Says something in Arabic.  It is not translated so just put nonsense in the speech bubble.

 

PENGUIN (Caption)

She handed the box to her bodyguard and said something angrily in Arabic and the bodyguard left.

 

Panel 4 Quarter page panel of Talia, across from the Penguin, raising a martini glass and smiling.

 

TALIA AL-GHUL

And now I will take you up on that drink.

 

PENGUIN (Caption)

Betrayal abounds in my business, so I record all my meetings at the club.  It bugged me I couldn’t understand what she said to I had it translated.

 

Page 10 (3 Panels) Interior Stryker’s Island Visitor’s Room.

 

Panel 1 Quarter page medium shot of Penguin seated at the visitor’s table, looking bemused.

 

PENGUIN

Turns out she was speaking a very old and obscure dialect of Arabic, which made it very hard to translate.  Couldn’t get an exact translation but the gist of it was, “Tell that man this is the last task I do for him, despite what he knows. He asks another at his own peril.”

 

Panel 2 Quarter page medium shot of Penguin, looking very serious.

 

PENGUIN

Mr. Wayne, you’re looking for somebody with the stones to blackmail the League of Assassins and the brains to do it successfully.  A bird of a very different and very dangerous feather from your average cutthroat industrialist.

 

Panel 3 Half-page panel of Batman as Bruce Wayne walking away from the table with a guard standing behind Penguin.

 

BATMAN

We’ll be in touch soon, Mr. Cobblepot.

 

PENGUIN

Do be careful, Mr. Wayne.

The Death and Life of Bruce Wayne Issue 2

Life has come at me pretty hard and I haven’t been able to do much work on this. Didn’t help that I hit a bit of writer’s block as well. But I finished the second issue.

Page 1 (1 Panel)

Panel 1 Exterior shot, high angle looking down, of a decrepit building in Old Gotham.


SFX

Random fight sounds and crashes.

Page 2 (4 Panels)

Panel 1 Quarter page panel, camera peering into the building through a broken window.

SFX

Random fight sounds and crashes.

Panel 2 Quarter page panel of an open doorway inside the building.

SFX

Random fight sounds and crashes.

Panel 3 Quarter page panel of the top of some stairs looking down into the stairwell.  There’s dilapidated sign on the wall saying, “Basement Access”.

SFX

Random fight sounds and crashes.

Panel 4 Quarter page panel of the wreckage of a door. Industrial gantry can be seen on the other side as well as pipes and ducting.

Page 3 (5 Panels) Interiors inside the machine room of the old building.

Panel 1 Batman throws a left jab the Shepherd has deflected, missing by millimeters.

SFX

Slap

Panel 2 Batman throws a straight right that Shepherd has sidestepped, missing again by millimeters.

SFX

Whoosh

Panel 3 Batman does a crouched leg sweep that Shepherd is jumping over.

SFX

Whoosh

Panel 4 Batman does a spinning backhand with his left that Shepherd has leaned back to avoid, missing by millimeters again.

SFX

Whoosh

Panel 5 Batman throws a big right hook that Shepherd has ducked under, but Shepherd is obviously prepared to counter.

SFX

Whoosh

Page 4 (3 Panels) Interior shot with more angles of the machine room.

Panel 1 Shepherd throws an uppercut that rocks Batman backwards.

SFX

Smack

Panel 2 Shepherd follows up with a side kick squarely in Batman’s bat symbol on his chest.

SFX

Crunch

Panel 3 Batman falls into a metal rack of some kind that spills a bunch of rusting lengths of pipe on top of him.

SFX

Crashes and clanging of pipes.

Page 5 (3 panels) Interior of the machine room.

Panel 1 Half page panel, low angle shot with Batman, half buried in pipes in foreground, looking up towards Shepherd in the background, who is disappearing into a thick smoke cloud.

SFX

Sssssss

SHEPHERD

Gotham has a new Shepherd, Batman. Don’t fight it.

Panel 2 Quarter page panel of Batman’s grapnel gun firing through the smoke.

SFX

Grapnel gun shot.

Panel 3 Quarter page panel of Batman bursting forth from the pile of pipes and flying upwards towards the gantry on the second floor of the machine room through the dissipating smoke.

Page 6 (4 panels) Interior of the machine room.

Panel 1 One-third page tall, full page width panel of Batman all alone on the gantry, the wispy remnants of the smoke dissipating.

BATMAN

Hmm…

Panel 2 Two-thirds tall, one-third page wide panel close-up showing Batman touching his temple right above his eye.  The upper half of his eye should be a green or red color (artist choice) indicating a filter is sliding into place.

Panel 3 Two-thirds tall, one-third page wide panel showing the gantry area from Batman’s point-of-view.  The whole panel should be shades of whatever color selected for the filter in the previous panel.  Various gauges, readouts, and displays should be visible around the periphery of the panel, including a compass heading display across the top.

Panel 4 Two-thirds tall, one-third page wide panel showing Batman kneeling next to the technical looking box with the antenna on it that Shepherd was standing next to at the start of their encounter.

Page 7 (6 panels) Interior of the machine room.

Panel 1 Tight shot of Batman handling the box.

BATMAN

Lucius, I’m transmitting data to you on the box the new vigilante was using when I arrived.

LUCIUS FOX (Off screen)

I’m on it.  Transmission is clear.

Panel 2 Close-up of the box.

BATMAN

No logos or other markings. Casing is made of a highly durable polymer material.  Not a lot of companies will manufacture items using it because it’s expensive and difficult to work with.

Panel 3 Batman uses a knife to scrape some of the housing material into a small vial.

Panel 4 Batman inserts the vial into a device with a screen on it.

BATMAN

Running a spectrum analysis of the material.  Run the chemical fingerprint of it through the database of known polymer patents.

LUCIUS FOX

Got it.  The database search will take a few hours.  I’ll send you the findings as soon as they’re available.

Panel 5 Standing up from the box putting away his knife.

BATMAN

I can already tell the box is shielded well enough that my field scanners won’t be able to penetrate.  I’ll be bringing it to the Batcave for further analysis.  Now let’s see what this junction box is.

Panel 6 Batman shifts his attention to the junction box on the wall.

BATMAN

Similar polymer material construction as the box. There is venting on the side. I’ll slip in a fiber optic camera.

Page 8 Interior of the machine room.

Panel 1 Tight shot of Batman inserting a thin cable through a vent on the junction box.

BATMAN

Transmitting the video feed to you as well, Lucius.

Panel 2 Camera point-of-view with a vaguely fisheye effect around the edges.  Shows various chips, capacitors, diodes and resistors and a printed circuit-board.

LUCIUS FOX (Off Screen)

Hold up, Bruce.  On the left, can you get a better view of the top of that chip?

Panel 3 Oblique angle shot of the top of the microchip. The WayneTech logo is plain as day, as well as a serial number that begins with the letters RND and a “Confidential: Property of Wayne Enterprises” stamp.

LUCIUS FOX (Off Screen)

Looking up that serial number now.

SFX

Hum (make it small)

Panel 4 Medium shot of Batman kneeling next to the junction box.

SFX

Hum (larger, more pronounced)

Panel 5 Inset of Panel 4. Batmans eyes narrow.

Page 9 (3 panels) Interior of machine room.

Panel 1 Medium shot of the junction box exploding. Batman, his back turned to the explosion, is shielding his face with his cape.

Panel 2 Shot of Batman, now standing, surveying the smoking ruin of the junction box.

BATMAN

Rigged to blow out the circuitry.  Hopefully we have enough.  I’ll put the transmitter box in a blast resistant container for transport, just in case.

Panel 3 Half page panel exterior high angle shot of Batman loading a very sturdy looking container into a compartment on the back of the Batmobile.

LUCIUS FOX (Off screen)

I’ve traced the serial number of that chip to a “failed” RND project from WayneTech skunk works.

BATMAN

Which project?

LUCIUS FOX (Off screen)

It’s one of your special projects, Bruce. the one we used to cover the development of the encryption and masking of the Batcomputer’s data files and transmissions.

Page 10 (3 panels) Changing exteriors.

Panel 1 Third height, page width panel of the Batmobile tearing across a bridge, the Gotham skyline in the background.

BATMAN

This had to be an inside job.  You and I are both too careful with the special projects for anybody to know what it was for, much less get a physical hold of a chip.

LUCIUS FOX (Off screen)

I’ve ordered an inventory of the skunk works prototypes archives as a precaution.

BATMAN

Keep me posted.

Panel 2 Third height, page width panel of the Batmobile speeding down a wooded road.

BATMAN

Batman to Alfred.

ALFRED PENNYWORTH (Off screen)

Master Bruce?

BATMAN

Have the blast resistant testing chamber in the Batcave prepped and ready for me when I get there, and the bomb disposal suit at the Batmobile’s turntable.

ALFRED PENNYWORTH (Off screen)

Oh dear. Sounds most serious. It shall be done, and I’ll give the staff the night off tonight as a precaution.

Panel 3 Third height, page width panel of the Batmobile heading towards the waterfall and false wall entrance to the Batcave.

BATMAN

Make sure you and Damian are at a safe distance yourselves.  I’m coming in hot.

Page 11 (4 Panels) Interior Batcave

Panel 1 Third height, page width panel of the Batmobile coming to a stop on the turntable.  Just outside of the turntable is the bomb disposal suit.  The bomb disposal suit is more like power armor than a suit.  It is partially crouched, and the legs are opened in the front.  The chest plate is open, split down the middle with each half raised diagonally at the shoulder.

Panel 2 Two thirds height, third page width panel of Batman seating himself in the suit and slipping his arms into the “sleeves” of the bomb disposal suit.

BATMAN

Batman to Alfred, I’m suiting up now.  Is everyone evacuated?

Panel 3 Two thirds height, third page width panel of the suit closing and locking in Batman as he stands.

ALFRED PENNYWORTH (Off screen)

Indeed sir.  Damian and I are orbiting the Manor in the Batcopter to monitor the situation via the security cameras.

Panel 4 Two thirds height, third page width panel down angle shot of the cargo compartment of the Batmobile with the sturdy looking container in it.  Batman’s armored hands are reaching for it.

BATMAN

Acknowledged.  Keep this channel open.

Page 12 (4 Panels) Interior Batcave

Panel 1 Quarter page panel of Batman walking the container over to what appears to be a thick metal bank vault door opening into a plain, unadorned concrete room.

BATMAN

Setting down the package now.

Panel 2 Quarter page panel looking into the blast resistant room through the now closing door.  There are cameras and other equipment in the room.

SFX

Whirring machine noises.

BATMAN

Sealing the chamber and beginning the examination.

Panel 3 Interior Blast Resistant Chamber. Quarter page panel of Batman removing the lid of the container and the sides of the container lowering themselves.

Panel 4 Interior Blast Resistant Chamber. Quarter page panel of Batman moving some sort of camera-looking device mounted on an articulated arm, much like the x-ray machine in a dental office, pointing it at the now exposed transmitter box.

BATMAN

Beginning initial scans, running through visible light spectrum, ultraviolet, infrared, and x-ray.

Page 13 (4 Panels) Interior Blast Resistant Chamber

Panel 1 Quarter page panel of Batman readying a hand-held drill.

BATMAN

Scans indicate there are anti-tampering security measures built into the case but there is a small section I should be able to drill through to get a camera inside.

Panel 2 Quarter page panel of Batman feeding a flexible tube into the transmitter box with his left hand while staring at a screen mounted on his right forearm.  The camera tube is connected to the back of the suit’s hand.

BATMAN

I’m seeing several off the shelf parts from a half dozen companies so far.  Nothing unique enough to trace back through the manufacturer.  These chips and components are in thousands of consumer products.

Panel 3 Quarter page panel of the interior of the transmitter box showing a printed circuit board with several microchips, resistors, and capacitors attached to it.

NOTE to artist: Have fun putting DC references here and there on the components.  A WayneTech logo on one chip, a LexCorp logo on another, Amertek, Dayton Industries, Queen Industries, etc.

BATMAN

I’m seeing a couple of heat sinks that don’t appear to have a purpose.  They are wired into the circuit board and there are 4 batteries connected to the board, keeping some current running through it at all times.

Panel 4 Quarter page panel of Batman attaching a cannister to the armor on his right forearm.

BATMAN

I’m going to fill the transmitter with a binary component freezing gas. It should freeze the whole board at once, stopping the current flow across the board.

SFX

Ssssssssssh

Page 14 (4 Panels) Interior Blast Resistant Chamber

Panel 1 Half page panel of Batman, who has cut a square hole on the side of the transmitter box, kneeling next to it. Waldos and graspers extend from the gauntlet of his bomb disposal suit into the hole.

BATMAN

I still can’t trace what the heat sinks are for, but the batteries have been removed.

Panel 2 Quarter page panel of the interior of the transmitter box.  Graspers have attached to a heat sink and it is in the process of being lifted off the circuit board.

Panel 3 Inset. Closeup of a vial of liquid that was hidden beneath the heat sink. It begins to smoke.

Panel 4 Quarter page panel closeup of the transmitter box. Smoke is roiling out of the hole Batman has cut and the bottom of the box appears to be melting with drops of liquid pouring out.

Page 15 (4 Panels) Interior Blast Resistant Chamber

Panel 1 Half page panel of Batman spraying some kind of liquid into the hole on transmitter box.  The smoke is dissipating, and liquid is pouring out several holes on the bottom of the box.

SFX

Fsssss

BATMAN

There was a secondary acid-based booby trap.  Stupid! I should have suspected. Whatever chips were beneath the heat sinks are beyond analysis now.

Panel 2 Quarter page panel of Batman carrying a tray with the heatsinks he removed and the melted remnants of the circuit board from inside the transmitter box.

BATMAN

I’m going to analyze the heat sinks now that I have them.  I’ll scan what’s left of the circuit board and send that on to Lucius to see if anything can be gleaned from what’s left.

Panel 3 Quarter page panel of Batman dropping a piece of a heatsink that he’s snipped off into a test tube. There are snips on the tray, one of the heat sinks should have a discernably missing piece (one of the corners of a fin cut off on the diagonal.) Batman is holding tweezers.

Panel 4 Quarter page panel closeup of the piece of heatsink reacting to the chemicals in the vial.  Batman, with eyes narrowed, can be seen through the test tube.

BATMAN

Alfred?

ALFRED PENNYWORTH (Off Screen)

Yes sir?

BATMAN

You should be clear to return.  The heatsinks are made of an explosive material but it’s currently inert and stable and not enough to do anything more than just destroy the insides of the box.

ALFRED PENNYWORTH (Off Screen)

Very good, sir.

Page 16 (3 Panels) Interior of Batcave.

Panel 1 Half page panel of Batman sitting in front of the Batcomputer, the various smaller side screens showing different angles of the heat sink or the ruined circuit board.  The main screen is showing a complex chemical formula and molecular model. Alfred is coming towards Batman with a tray holding a covered plate and a cup of steaming coffee.

ALFRED PENNYWORTH

Burnt all the midnight oil, it would seem, Master Bruce?  I’ve brought you some breakfast and some double espresso to keep you alert.

Panel 2 Quarter page panel of Batman sipping the coffee, his face illuminated by the glow of the screens.

BATMAN

Thanks, Alfred.  This is just what I needed.  The explosive material these heat sinks are made of is based on my own spray gel explosives, but much more advanced.

Panel 3 Quarter page panel of Batman pointing at a portion of the molecular model on the Batcomputer’s main screen.

BATMAN

You can see the base portion of my gel explosive here, but these polymers here extend it, lending it the capability of hardening into a shapeable pseudo-metal.

Page 17 (4 Panels) Interior Batcave

Panel 1 Quarter page panel of Alfred Pennyworth holding a heat sink in his hand and regarding it quizzically.

BATMAN (Off Screen)

This can be cast into all sorts of forms and its composition would bypass traditional airport security or bomb sniffing dogs. Only an actual chemical analysis would give it away.

Panel 2 Quarter page panel of Alfred putting the heat sink down in the background as Batman returns to work on the Batcomputer in the foreground.

ALFRED

How did they get hold of your gel explosive formula, considering WayneTech holds the patents on the different parts of it that need to be combined to make it?

BATMAN

We have no idea how long the Batcomputer breach had been ongoing. Could have been years, according to Lucius.  More than enough time for them to have found the base formula.

Panel 3 Quarter page panel of Batman perusing a list of companies on a small monitor at the base of the Batcomputer.

BATMAN

The real trick is in the modifications and that would be difficult to develop, not to mention expensive.  Not many companies would finance it much less have access to a lab that can make it.

Panel 4 Quarter page panel of Alfred leaning over the seated Batman reading the list over his shoulder.

ALFRED

That’s a real “who’s who” of high-tech chemical corporations and defense contractors. You have your work cut out for you.  You sure you should be using the Batcomputer, considering it was breached?

Page 18 (3 Panels) Interior Batcave

Panel 1 Two-thirds page width, half page tall panel of Batman and Alfred, Batman seated in front of the Batcomputer and Alfred standing behind him.

BATMAN

Lucius closed the door on their connection as well as on all other security back doors he created for the system since they had access to his network schematics and designs.  That and the fact they destroyed their own decryption chip means the Batcomputer is reasonably secure again.

Panel 2 One-third width, half page tall panel closeup of a Batcomputer monitor displaying “Incoming Call” with a picture of Lucius Fox.

SFX

Beep beep!

BATMAN

Speaking of Lucius…

Panel 3 Half page panel wide shot of Batcomputer with Batman seated in front of it, with Alfred standing next to him and the image of Lucius Fox writ large across the large monitor of the Batcomputer.

LUCIUS FOX

Good morning Bruce.  I’ve done the analysis you requested.  The polymer the cases were made of is new and not currently patented. It appears to be an amalgamation of several different polymers that have patents held in full or jointly by a dozen companies.

Page 19 (4 Panels) Interior of Batcave

Panel 1 Quarter page panel of Batman looking at a list on a smaller sub-monitor of the Batcomputer.

BATMAN

These groups have no clear connections and a history of patent infringement litigation between them.  It’s not likely any one of them would work with any other to develop this material.  Getting hold of all the different formulae in the first place is industrial espionage beyond most governments.

Panel 2 Quarter page panel of Lucius Fox on the monitor.

LUCIUS FOX

Mostly a dead end there, and it gets worse.  The skunkworks inventory is completed, and all prototypes are accounted for.

Panel 3 Quarter page panel of Batcomputer sub monitor displaying news article about a truck crash involving a gasoline fire closing the highway for hours.

LUCIUS FOX (Off Screen)

The chip we saw them using was documented as having been destroyed over 5 years ago when the truck transporting it got in a wreck with a gas truck.  Nobody was injured but both trucks were completely destroyed.

Panel 4 Quarter page panel of Batcomputer sub monitor displaying image of a twisted, melted, charred hunk of metal.

LUCIUS FOX (Off Screen)

We recovered the remains of the transport case as part of our insurance claim on the losses and nothing could have survived.

Page 20 (4 Panels) Interior of Batcave

Panel 1 Half page Panel of Batman seated at Batcomputer with Lucius Fox clearly visible on one of the monitors.

BATMAN

The chip clearly wasn’t destroyed, it was stolen!  As a normal part of the insurance claim the driver of our truck was heavily investigated and nothing questionable came up.

BATMAN (Continued)

And according to the reports of that investigation, apart from a brief stop at a weigh in station, the truck had not made any stops since being loaded.

Panel 2 Inset of security cam footage of two men looking into the open trailer of a semi-truck.  This should be grainy and lacking in much detail.

LUCIUS FOX (Off Screen: bubble should originate from inset)

I’ve accessed the Commerce Department’s security footage for the weigh in station and nothing seems unusual.  They read the weight and opened the trailer long enough to glance at the contents.  Perfectly ordinary.

BATMAN (Bubble located on panel 1, positioned to be read after the inset.)

I agree.  Send the footage along anyway, I want to set up a deep scan of it to run overnight as a precaution.

Panel 3 Quarter Page panel shot of Batman over his shoulder looking at the primary monitor of the Batcomputer. Grainy security cam footage of a man carrying a case towards an open semi-trailer on a loading dock.  WayneTech Logo and a time code reading 14:47:58 are visible.

BATMAN

I’ve accessed the footage from the loading dock at the WayneTech warehouse the chip was being shipped from.

Panel 4 Quarter Page panel shot of Batman over his shoulder looking at the primary monitor of the Batcomputer. Grainy security cam footage of the man without the case leaving an open semi-trailer on a loading dock.  WayneTech Logo and a time code reading 14:50:18 are visible.

BATMAN

At time code 14:47:58 the case is being hand carried into the trailer.  From 14:48:34 to 14:50:17 both the worker and the case are out of line of sight of any of the cameras in the loading dock area.  That must be when the chip went missing.

Page 21 (3 Panels) Interior of Batcave

Panel 1 Quarter Page panel shot of Batcomputer monitor showing security camera footage of the man turning the corner of a in a hallway just beyond a clearly visible Men’s Restroom door.

Panel 2 Quarter Page panel shot of Batcomputer monitor showing security camera footage of the man who just turned the corner coming out of the Men’s Restroom.

LUCIUS FOX (Off Screen)

Bruce, did you just see what I saw?!

Panel 3 Half Page panel of Batman leaping into the open cockpit of the Batmobile, the Batcomputer in the background, its large monitor displaying the mugshots of Clayface.

BATMAN

Clayface…

Pages 22 and 23 (1 Panel)

Panel 1

Wide shot of the Batmobile tearing down a street through wooded hills towards Gotham City’s skyline in the distance.

LUCIUS FOX (Over Radio)

Clayface is currently residing in Arkham Asylum and has been for the past few months.

BATMAN

Time to pay him a visit…

The Death and Life of Bruce Wayne Issue 1

I’ve finally finished the first issue and have named my primary new character. You’ll meet him near the end. Onwards to issue 2.

Page 1 (3 Panels)

Panel 1 Full Page shot of Batman crouched on a building
gargoyle peering through a pair of high-tech night vision
binoculars.

Caption Gotham City after midnight, when the worst of
the worst crawl out of their holes…

BATMAN
(Thinking)
Looks like they’re almost done
unloading, but where is Two-Face?

Panel 2 Inset shot of startled men who were offloading an
armored car from the perspective of Batman’s optics.

SFX
(Sound Effect)
CRASH

BATMAN
(Thinking)
Unexpected.

Panel 3 Inset of Batman touching the right ear of his
cowl.

BATMAN
Batman to Robin, status report.

DAMIEN WAYNE
(Over Radio)
Still observing the side entrance,
but I know what this is about, and
no, I didn’t move prematurely.

Page 2 (4 Panels)

Panel 1 Quarter Page Closeup of Batman squinting over his
lowered binoculars.

BATMAN
I don’t like it, Robin. Sit tight
and observe. We need to figure out
what’s going on now, before we
move.

DAMIEN WAYNE
(Over Radio)
Sure thing, boss.

Panel 2 Quarter Page Over the shoulder shot of Batman
viewing the street below, with large numbers of GCPD squad
cars coming towards him.

BATMAN
Robin, GCPD inbound. They could be
heading into some kind of trap.
Intercept and stop them.

DAMIEN WAYNE
(Over Radio)
Batman, you better get over here…

Panel 3 Bottom Left Thin inset of the grappling gun
firing.

Panel 4 Remainder of bottom of page shot of Batman
swinging around the building.

Page 3 (3 panels)

Panel 1 Half page aerial shot of ground beneath Batman.
Two-Face is shackled and sitting on top of a military
grade weapons crate. Several more of Two-Face’s men are
shackled together in groups of 4, their backs to each
other. Robin is standing there, staring at Two-Face.

Panel 2 Quarter Page of Batman landing next to Robin

BATMAN
Robin, I told you to…

Panel 3 Quarter Page shot of Batman, Robin, and a battered
and bloody Two-Face together.

DAMIEN WAYNE
Save it. I didn’t do any of this.

TWO-FACE
He sure didn’t, Bats. At first, I
thought it was you, but couldn’t
have been. Moved too fast, like it
was you, 15 years ago.

Page 4 (5 Panels)

Panel 1 Quarter Page shot of Batman, Robin and Two-Face
from a different angle than before.

TWO-FACE
Faster than you, hit harder than
you, but shared your flair for
theatrics. Smoke bombs, guys
disappear into thin air, guys being
hung upside down by their ankles,
the works.

TWO-FACE
Hehe, looks like somebody’s
muscling in on your justice
business. Ain’t that rich.

Panel 2 Quarter Page shot of Batman and Robin

DAMIEN WAYNE
He’s not wrong. I got him on
camera. He dropped off the weapons
crate, and Dent and his boys before
grappling out.

DAMIEN WAYNE
His exit was exactly like yours in
every respect, but he’s certainly a
lot stronger than you. Look…

Panel 3 1/3rd width shot of a video display built into the
top of Robin’s binoculars showing a figure in all black,
no cape, with Dent slung over his shoulder, dragging the
weapons crate with his other arm, and a line strapped to
his back by which he’s dragging a cluster of 4 of Harvey’s
goons behind him.

Panel 4 1/3rd width shot of figure grappling away from a
now seated Two-Face.

Panel 5 1/3rd width shot looking up at Batman from Robin’s
screen’s perspective, Batman awash in the screen’s glow.

BATMAN
Hmm… possible unknown metahuman?

Page 5 (3 Panels)

Panel 1 Half page wide panel of GCPD showing up and
getting out of their squad cars.

Panel 2 Quarter page crane shot of Jim Gordon walking up
to Batman, Robin, and Two-Face.

JIM GORDON
Nice work as always, Batman. We can
take it from here.

Panel 3 Quarter page shot over Batman’s shoulder looking
at Commissioner Gordon.

BATMAN
I didn’t do this one, Jim.

JIM GORDON
What?!

BATMAN
We’ve gotta talk.

Page 6 (4 Panels)

Panel 1 Quarter page shot of Batman over Jim Gordon’s
shoulder. Second bubble can overlap into Panel 2.

BATMAN
Robin caught him on camera. He was
here before we arrived. Took out
Two-Face and his henchman by
himself faster than Robin and I
could have done it together.

BATMAN
Strong, too. Carried Harvey on one
shoulder, the weapons crate with
the other arm and dead dragged 4
full grown men before grappling
away.

Panel 2 Quarter page closeup of Gordon looking thoughtful.

JIM GORDON
You’re thinking metahuman? If it is
he’s an unknown.  Should we contact
Star Labs?

Panel 3 Quarter page closeup of Batman looking determined.

BATMAN
Hold off on involving them. We
don’t really know enough about this
guy right now. Give me some time
and I’ll track him down and figure
out what his game is.

Panel 4 Quarter page aerial shot of Batman grappling away
from Gordon.

JIM GORDON
Be careful, Batman.

Page 7 (2 panels)

Panel 1 Half page wide shot of the Bat Cave. Batmobile is
on the rotating platform far right foreground. Center is a
cowl-less Batman, in his handsome but graying Bruce Wayne
guise, sitting at the Bat Computer with the image of the
mystery figure’s display of strength up on screen. Upper
left we see Damian Wayne in civilian attire walking up the
stairs towards Wayne Manor. Far left, at the base of the
stairs we see Alfred carrying a tray with a domed cover
over a dish and a coffee pot and cup.

Panel 2 Half page wide shot, bracketing Alfred setting the
tray next to Batman on the Bat Computer console with Bruce
staring at the screen, lost in thought.

ALFRED PENNYWORTH
Who’s the chap who shares your
extreme Gothic fashion sense,
Master Bruce?

BATMAN
I don’t know, Alfred. This is the
first we’ve seen of him, and he
could have cost us the collar on
Two-Face.

Page 8 (4 panels)

Panel 1 Quarter page shot of Batman typing at the Bat
Computer.

BATMAN
I’m cross referencing the physical
attributes and estimated strength
levels of this person across all
metahumans cataloged over the last
year by Star Labs to see if he is
truly an unknown.

BATMAN
I’m also getting in touch with my
contacts in Asia and seeing if the
League of Assassins has trained any
new members recently possessing
great physical strength.

Panel 2 Quarter page shot looking up at Alfred from over
Batman’s shoulder. Alfred has removed the domed cover for
the dish, revealing club sandwich and fries.

ALFRED PENNYWORTH
Are you saying this person is an
Assassin?

BATMAN
He fights like me, and he would
have had to have years of very
specialized training. Training the
League could provide.

Panel 3 Quarter page shot of Alfred pouring coffee for
Batman.

ALFRED PENNYWORTH
Stronger than you and trained like
you. Sounds like this could be a
big problem for you.

BATMAN
(Off Screen)
I need to figure out his game
before I can stop it.

Panel 4 Quarter page shot of Batman sipping his coffee and
Alfred leaning up against the console of the Bat Computer

ALFRED PENNYWORTH
Stop it? I was merely insinuating
he would cut into your revenge
business. What makes you think he
has nefarious designs?

BATMAN
It’s justice, Alfred, not revenge.
And if you didn’t know me and I
suddenly showed up in your
neighborhood you’d be cautious too.

Page 9 (3 panels)

Panel 1 Quarter page shot of Alfred with the seated Batman
in the foreground.

ALFRED PENNYWORTH
Will there be anything else before
I retire, Master Bruce?

BATMAN
No thank you, Alfred. Goodnight.

Panel 2 Quarter page shot from over the seated Batman’s
shoulder as Alfred makes his way to the foot of the
stairs.

ALFRED PENNYWORTH
Leave the dishes, I’ll tidy up in
the morning.

Panel 3 Half page wide shot of the Bat Cave, Alfred is
dimly lit climbing the stairs back to Wayne Manor, the
rest of the Bat Cave is dark save a spotlight on Batman,
hard at work on the Bat Computer.

Page 10 (3 panels, two page spread)

Panel 1 Two page spread of the exterior of Wayne Manor,
with Batman as Bruce Wayne and Damien Wayne sitting down
for breakfast on the veranda at an umbrella covered table.
Alfred is placing plates on the table. Damien is busy with
a tablet device.

ALFRED PENNYWORTH
I found the dishes in the drying
rack, Master Bruce. Totally
unnecessary but thank you.

BATMAN
It’s only considerate.

DAMIEN WAYNE
Hey Bruce, looks like our friend
was busy last night. Check out this
article from the Gotham City
Gazette website.

Panel 2 Closeup Inset lower left of Damien’s tablet.
Headline reads “Mystery Vigilante Responsible for the
Arrests of Three of Batman’s ‘Rogue’s Gallery'”

DAMIEN WAYNE
(Off Screen)
After he grabbed Two-Face he
apparently nabbed Penguin and
Scarecrow exchanging Fear Toxin for
cash and weapons.

Panel 3 Closeup inset of Batman, in his Bruce guise, his
eyes narrowed in anger and frustration.

BATMAN
He does good work, I’ll give him
that, but that meeting wasn’t
supposed to go down until
tonight… when we were planning to
break it up.

Page 11 (Continuation of Panel 1 from previous page)

Page 12 (4 panels)

Panel 1 Quarter page shot of Batman standing up at the
table and handing a still seated Damien back his tablet
with Alfred pouring Damien some juice.

BATMAN
I have to go see Lucius. Get
opinion on this new vigilante and
his capabilities.

Panel 2 Quarter page shot of Alfred and Damian at the
table with Batman walking away in the background.

DAMIEN WAYNE
Guess that means normal patrol
tonight…

ALFRED PENNYWORTH
Speaking of normal, eat quickly.
You need to get moving or you’ll be
late for class.

Panel 3 Quarter page shot over the shoulder of Alfred
who’s peering down at the circular driveway of Wayne Manor
as a Lamborghini followed by a BMW sedan drive off.

Panel 4 Quarter page shot of a smiling Alfred outside of
Wayne Manor, climbing into a Bentley as a couple of members
of the Wayne Manor staff wave.

Page 13 (1 panel)

Panel 1 Tilt up shot from base of Wayne Tower up to the
penthouse office far in the distance.

LUCIUS FOX
(Off screen)
Good morning Bruce! I got your
e-mail this morning but I wasn’t
expecting to see you.

Page 14 (3 panels)

Panel 1 Half page wide shot of Lucius’ office. Lucius is
standing behind the desk as Bruce is walking across the
spacious office towards the guest chair in front of the
desk.

LUCIUS FOX
What brings you here this early?

BATMAN
This new vigilante has beat me to
the punch on two current cases. I
need to know how and why.

Panel 2 Quarter page medium shot of Lucius typing at his
computer terminal at his desk.

LUCIUS FOX
I already started digging into what
evidence the new guy provided to
GCPD to go with their arrest of
Harvey, like you asked. And kudos
to this guy, he’s as thorough as
you.

Panel 3 Quarter page medium shot of Lucius and Batman at
the desk, with Lucius having rotated his monitor so that
Batman could see it.

BATMAN
Do me a favor. Open the folder
labeled audio.

BATMAN
Hmm… the file sizes are the same.

Page 15 (4 panels)

Panel 1 Quarter page panel of Batman handing a small thumb
drive to Lucius.

BATMAN
Run a file compare with the audio
on this drive.

Panel 2 Closeup of Lucius, from desk height up, from
behind and to the side of his computer terminal. His face
looks puzzled.

LUCIUS FOX
Identical… even down to the
hidden watermark I built into the
save feature of the Bat Computer.

BATMAN
How could he get in?

Panel 3 Quarter page medium shot of Batman and Lucius at
the desk.

LUCIUS FOX
While the Bat Computer is one of
the most secure computers on the
planet, it’s not exactly foolproof.

BATMAN
Go on…

Panel 4 Quarter page medium shot of Batman and Lucius at
the desk from a different angle.

LUCIUS FOX
I built in a back door, in case
somebody unauthorized gained
control of the Bat Cave and somehow
directly hacked the Bat Computer.

LUCIUS FOX
It was a precaution against
disaster…

Page 16 (3 panels)

Panel 1 Quarter page medium shot of Lucius frantically
typing at the terminal.

LUCIUS FOX
I’m accessing the back door now.
There it is.  There’s a slow bleed
signal outbound from the backdoor
as we speak. Tracing the
connection.

Panel 2 Quarter page medium shot of Batman opening a
secret door in the wall of Lucius’ office.

BATMAN
I’m heading to the sub-level.

LUCIUS FOX
(Off screen)
When you get into the car, I’ll
beam the trace signal directly to
your nav unit.

Panel 3 Half page wide profile shot of Batman in full gear
in the Batmobile from inside the cockpit, his outfit awash
in myriad colored lights from all the displays, gauges,
and readouts.

LUCIUS FOX
(Over Radio)
I’ve narrowed the location of the
signal to somewhere in Old Gotham.

BATMAN
On my way.

Page 17 (2 Panels)

Panel 1 Half page wide shot of Old Gotham, it’s run down buildings piercing the gloomy gray sky like the bones of a long dead corpse, with the Batmobile tearing down the dirty streets.

LUCIUS FOX

(Over Radio)

The signal is coming from beneath the vacant building at 1347 East Racine Street.

Panel 2 Half page shot of Batmobile pulled to the curb with the canopy closing and Batman standing next to it touching his right ear.

BATMAN

I’m two blocks from there now. Proceeding on foot.

Page 18 (4 Panels)

Panel 1 Quarter page panel of Batman peering into the building through a broken window.

Panel 2 Quarter page panel of Batman in the shadows (with red eyes, indicating Night Vision is active) with his back to the wall standing next to an open doorway.

LUCIUS FOX

(Over Radio)

Signal has stopped. Whatever they were doing is finished.

Panel 3 Quarter page panel of Batman kneeling at the top of the stairs looking down into the stairwell.  There’s dilapidated sign on the wall saying, “Basement Access”.

Panel 4 Quarter page panel of Batman listening at a closed door that has light coming from beneath it.

Page 19

Panel 1 Thin panel, half page height, one quarter page width.

SFX

CRASH!

Panel 2 Remaining 3/4 of the half page panel. Wide shot of a two-level machine room with boiler, HVAC machinery, duct works, pipes, etc.. Narrow gantry all the way around the upper section with a dark figure standing at the far right in the foreground, holding a cable that appears to have just been unplugged from a socket in a very technical looking junction box the wall.  Other cables snake down from the junction box and run into a technical looking box with a collapsible antenna dish on the top.  BATMAN is on the far left in the background in a fighting stance in the darkened doorway, amid the smashed ruins of the basement door.

SHEPHERD

Hello Batman.

Panel 3 Quarter page panel shot from BATMAN’S point-of-view looking towards SHEPHERD who is in the opposite corner of the basement from him. SHEPHERD is facing the camera.

SHEPHERD

I’ve been expecting you.  I’m surprised it wasn’t sooner.

Panel 4 Quarter page panel shot from SHEPHERD’s point-of-view looking towards BATMAN in the doorway.

BATMAN

Whoever you are, your game ends… now!

Page 20 (4 Panels)

Panel 1 Half page wide shot of BATMAN hurling a flight of three batarangs across the basement towards SHEPHERD.

Panel 2 Inset, left-side of panel 1 shot.  Closeup of BATMAN’s snarling face.

Panel 3 Inset, right-side of panel 1 shot. Closeup of SHEPHERD’s eyes narrowing.

Panel 4 Half page wide shot with BATMAN in foreground on left with SHEPHERD in the background ducking beneath the stream of batarangs that have embedded in the wall above him while launching his own salvo of three plain chevron shaped shuriken, like batarangs but without any discernable motif.

Page 21 (3 Panels)

Panel 1 Half page wide shot of SHEPHERD in the foreground on the right, with BATMAN dodging to the left. Two of SHEPHERD’s three shuriken are embedded in the wall behind BATMAN. The last one is embedded in the wall with a shred of cloth hanging from it.  BATMAN’s cape is torn in one spot.

Panel 2 Inset tight shot of SHEPHERD’s shuriken ripping through BATMAN’s cape.

Panel 3 Half page wide shot of both BATMAN and SHEPHERD springing off the gantry railing, hurling themselves towards each other.

Page 22 and 23 (2 Panels)

Panel 1 Two page spread of the floor of the machine room/basement.  BATMAN on the right and SHEPHERD on left, facing each other in crouched fighting stances.

Panel 2 Inset closeup of BATMAN’s face.  The jaw is starting to bruise and blood seeps from the corner of his mouth.

END OF ISSUE 1

The Death and Life of Bruce Wayne

I’ve always wanted to write a Batman story and so I’ve started.  The central conceit of the story is that with my version of Batman, he suffers from split personality disorder and that the Batman personality has suppressed the Bruce Wayne personality for so long that Bruce Wayne is effectively dead. And now, Batman faces a new vigilante who has come to Gotham, one who is at least his equal in every way and superior in some. Is this new hero a villain in disguise, or an existential threat to Batman’s reason for being? With Bruce Wayne dead, will being without purpose finish the Batman? What will come out of the wreckage?

I present to you the script for roughly the first half of issue 1.

Page 1 (3 Panels)

Panel 1 Full Page shot of Batman crouched on a building
gargoyle peering through a pair of high tech night vision
binoculars.

Caption Gotham City after midnight, when the worst of
the worst crawl out of their holes…

BATMAN
(Thinking)
Looks like they’re almost done
unloading, but where is Two-Face?

Panel 2 Inset shot of startled men who were offloading an
armored car from the perspective of Batman’s optics.

SFX
(Sound Effect)
CRASH

BATMAN
(Thinking)
Unexpected.

Panel 3 Inset of Batman touching the right ear of his
cowl.

BATMAN
Batman to Robin, status report.

DAMIEN WAYNE
(Over Radio)
Still observing the side entrance,
but I know what this is about, and
no, I didn’t move prematurely.

Page 2 (4 Panels)

Panel 1 Quarter Page Closeup of Batman squinting over his
lowered binoculars.

BATMAN
I don’t like it, Robin. Sit tight
and observe. We need to figure out
what’s going on now, before we
move.

DAMIEN WAYNE
(Over Radio)
Sure thing, boss.

Panel 2 Quarter Page Over the shoulder shot of Batman
viewing the street below, with large numbers of GCPD squad
cars coming towards him.

BATMAN
Robin, GCPD inbound. They could be
heading into some kind of trap.
Intercept and stop them.

DAMIEN WAYNE
(Over Radio)
Batman, you better get over here…

Panel 3 Bottom Left Thin inset of the grappling gun
firing.

Panel 4 Remainder of bottom of page shot of Batman
swinging around the building.

Page 3 (3 panels)

Panel 1 Half page aerial shot of ground beneath Batman.
Two-Face is shackled and sitting on top of a military
grade weapons crate. Several more of Two-Face’s men are
shackled together in groups of 4, their backs to each
other. Robin is standing there, staring at Two-Face.

Panel 2 Quarter Page of Batman landing next to Robin

BATMAN
Robin, I told you to…

Panel 3 Quarter Page shot of Batman, Robin, and a battered
and bloody Two-Face together.

DAMIEN WAYNE
Save it. I didn’t do any of this.

TWO-FACE
He sure didn’t, Bats. At first I
thought it was you, but couldn’t
have been. Moved too fast, like it
was you, 15 years ago.

Page 4 (5 Panels)

Panel 1 Quarter Page shot of Batman, Robin and Two-Face
from a different angle than before.

TWO-FACE
Faster than you, hit harder than
you, but shared your flair for
theatrics. Smoke bombs, guys
disappear into thin air, guys being
hung upside down by their ankles,
the works.

TWO-FACE
Hehe, looks like somebody’s
muscling in on your justice
business. Ain’t that rich.

Panel 2 Quarter Page shot of Batman and Robin

DAMIEN WAYNE
He’s not wrong. I got him on
camera. He dropped off the weapons
crate, and Dent and his boys before
grappling out.

DAMIEN WAYNE
His exit was exactly like yours in
every respect, but he’s certainly a
lot stronger than you. Look…

Panel 3 1/3rd width shot of a video display built into the
top of Robin’s binoculars showing a figure in all black,
no cape, with Dent slung over his shoulder, dragging the
weapons crate with his other arm, and a line strapped to
his back by which he’s dragging a cluster of 4 of Harvey’s
goons behind him.

Panel 4 1/3rd width shot of figure grappling away from a
now seated Two-Face.

Panel 5 1/3rd width shot looking up at Batman from Robin’s
screen’s perspective, Batman awash in the screen’s glow.

BATMAN
Hmm… possible unknown metahuman?

Page 5 (3 Panels)

Panel 1 Half page wide panel of GCPD showing up and
getting out of their squad cars.

Panel 2 Quarter page crane shot of Jim Gordon walking up
to Batman, Robin, and Two-Face.

JIM GORDON
Nice work as always, Batman. We can
take it from here.

Panel 3 Quarter page shot over Batman’s shoulder looking
at Commissioner Gordon.

BATMAN
I didn’t do this one, Jim.

JIM GORDON
What?!

BATMAN
We’ve gotta talk.

Page 6 (4 Panels)

Panel 1 Quarter page shot of Batman over Jim Gordon’s
shoulder. Second bubble can overlap into Panel 2.

BATMAN
Robin caught him on camera. He was
here before we arrived. Took out
Two-Face and his henchman by
himself faster than Robin and I
could have done it together.

BATMAN
Strong, too. Carried Harvey on one
shoulder, the weapons crate with
the other arm and dead dragged 4
full grown men before grappling
away.

Panel 2 Quarter page closeup of Gordon looking thoughtful.

JIM GORDON
You’re thinking metahuman? If it is
he’s an unknown.  Should we contact
Star Labs?

Panel 3 Quarter page closeup of Batman looking determined.

BATMAN
Hold off on involving them. We
don’t really know enough about this
guy right now. Give me some time
and I’ll track him down and figure
out what his game is.

Panel 4 Quarter page aerial shot of Batman grappling away
from Gordon.

JIM GORDON
Be careful, Batman.

Page 7 (2 panels)

Panel 1 Half page wide shot of the Bat Cave. Batmobile is
on the rotating platform far right foreground. Center is a
cowl-less Batman, in his handsome but graying Bruce Wayne
guise, sitting at the Bat Computer with the image of the
mystery figure’s display of strength up on screen. Upper
left we see Damian Wayne in civilian attire walking up the
stairs towards Wayne Manor. Far left, at the base of the
stairs we see Alfred carrying a tray with a domed cover
over a dish and a coffee pot and cup.

Panel 2 Half page wide shot, bracketing Alfred setting the
tray next to Batman on the Bat Computer console with Bruce
staring at the screen, lost in thought.

ALFRED PENNYWORTH
Who’s the chap who shares your
extreme Gothic fashion sense,
Master Bruce?

BATMAN
I don’t know, Alfred. This is the
first we’ve seen of him, and he
could have cost us the collar on
Two-Face.

Page 8 (4 panels)

Panel 1 Quarter page shot of Batman typing at the Bat
Computer.

BATMAN
I’m cross referencing the physical
attributes and estimated strength
levels of this person across all
metahumans cataloged over the last
year by Star Labs to see if he is
really unknown.

BATMAN
I’m also getting in touch with my
contacts in Asia and seeing if the
League of Assassins has trained any
new members recently possessing
great physical strength.

Panel 2 Quarter page shot looking up at Alfred from over
Batman’s shoulder. Alfred has removed the domed cover for
the dish, revealing club sandwich and fries.

ALFRED PENNYWORTH
Are you saying this person is an
Assassin?

BATMAN
He fights like me, and he would
have had to have years of very
specialized training. Training the
League could provide.

Panel 3 Quarter page shot of Alfred pouring coffee for
Batman.

ALFRED PENNYWORTH
Stronger than you, and trained like
you. Sounds like this could be a
big problem for you.

BATMAN
(Off Screen)
I need to figure out his game
before I can stop it.

Panel 4 Quarter page shot of Batman sipping his coffee and
Alfred leaning up against the console of the Bat Computer

ALFRED PENNYWORTH
Stop it? I was merely insinuating
he would cut into your revenge
business. What makes you think he
has nefarious designs?

BATMAN
It’s justice, Alfred, not revenge.
And if you didn’t know me and I
suddenly showed up in your
neighborhood you’d be cautious too.

Page 9 (3 panels)

Panel 1 Quarter page shot of Alfred with the seated Batman
in the foreground.

ALFRED PENNYWORTH
Will there be anything else before
I retire, Master Bruce?

BATMAN
No thank you, Alfred. Goodnight.

Panel 2 Quarter page shot from over the seated Batman’s
shoulder as Alfred makes his way to the foot of the
stairs.

ALFRED PENNYWORTH
Leave the dishes, I’ll tidy up in
the morning.

Panel 3 Half page wide shot of the Bat Cave, Alfred is
dimly lit climbing the stairs back to Wayne Manor, the
rest of the Bat Cave is dark save a spotlight on Batman,
hard at work on the Bat Computer.

Page 10 (3 panels, two page spread)

Panel 1 Two page spread of the exterior of Wayne Manor,
with Batman as Bruce Wayne and Damien Wayne sitting down
for breakfast on the veranda at an umbrella covered table.
Alfred is placing plates on the table. Damien is busy with
a tablet device.

ALFRED PENNYWORTH
I found the dishes in the drying
rack, Master Bruce. Totally
unnecessary, but thank you.

BATMAN
It’s only considerate.

DAMIEN WAYNE
Hey Bruce, looks like our friend
was busy last night. Check out this
article from the Gotham City
Gazette website.

Panel 2 Closeup Inset lower left of Damien’s tablet.
Headline reads “Mystery Vigilante Responsible for the
Arrests of Three of Batman’s ‘Rogue’s Gallery'”

DAMIEN WAYNE
(Off Screen)
After he grabbed Two-Face he
apparently nabbed Penguin and
Scarecrow exchanging Fear Toxin for
cash and weapons.

Panel 3 Closeup inset of Batman, in his Bruce guise, his
eyes narrowed in anger and frustration.

BATMAN
He does good work, I’ll give him
that, but that meeting wasn’t
supposed to go down until
tonight… when we were planning to
break it up.

Page 11 (Continuation of Panel 1 from previous page)

Page 12 (4 panels)

Panel 1 Quarter page shot of Batman standing up at the
table and handing a still seated Damien back his tablet
with Alfred pouring Damien some juice.

BATMAN
I have to go see Lucius. Get
opinion on this new vigilante and
his capabilities.

Panel 2 Quarter page shot of Alfred and Damian at the
table with Batman walking away in the background.

DAMIEN WAYNE
Guess that means normal patrol
tonight…

ALFRED PENNYWORTH
Speaking of normal, eat quickly.
You need to get moving or you’ll be
late for class.

Panel 3 Quarter page shot over the shoulder of Alfred
who’s peering down at the circular driveway of Wayne Manor
as a Lamborghini followed by a BMW sedan drive off.

Panel 4 Quarter page shot of a smiling Alfred outside of
Wayne Manor, climbing into a Bentley as a couple of members
of the Wayne Manor staff wave.

Page 13 (1 panel)

Panel 1 Tilt up shot from base of Wayne Tower up to the
penthouse office far in the distance.

LUCIUS FOX
(Off screen)
Good morning Bruce! I got your
e-mail this morning but I wasn’t
expecting to see you.

Page 14 (3 panels)

Panel 1 Half page wide shot of Lucius’ office. Lucius is
standing behind the desk as Bruce is walking across the
spacious office towards the guest chair in front of the
desk.

LUCIUS FOX
What brings you here this early?

BATMAN
This new vigilante has beat me to
the punch on two current cases. I
need to know how and why.

Panel 2 Quarter page medium shot of Lucius typing at his
computer terminal at his desk.

LUCIUS FOX
I already started digging into what
evidence the new guy provided to
GCPD to go with their arrest of
Harvey, like you asked. And kudos
to this guy, he’s as thorough as
you.

Panel 3 Quarter page medium shot of Lucius and Batman at
the desk, with Lucius having rotated his monitor so that
Batman could see it.

BATMAN
Do me a favor. Open the folder
labeled audio.

BATMAN
Hmm… the file sizes are the same.

Page 15 (4 panels)

Panel 1 Quarter page panel of Batman handing a small thumb
drive to Lucius.

BATMAN
Run a file compare with the audio
on this drive.

Panel 2 Closeup of Lucius, from desk height up, from
behind and to the side of his computer terminal. His face
looks puzzled.

LUCIUS FOX
Identical… even down to the
hidden watermark I built into the
save feature of the Bat Computer.

BATMAN
How could he get in?

Panel 3 Quarter page medium shot of Batman and Lucius at
the desk.

LUCIUS FOX
While the Bat Computer is one of
the most secure computers on the
planet, it’s not exactly foolproof.

BATMAN
Go on…

Panel 4 Quarter page medium shot of Batman and Lucius at
the desk from a different angle.

LUCIUS FOX
I built in a back door, in case
somebody unauthorized gained
control of the Bat Cave and somehow
directly hacked the Bat Computer.

LUCIUS FOX
It was a precaution against
disaster…

Page 16 (3 panels)

Panel 1 Quarter page medium shot of Lucius frantically
typing at the terminal.

LUCIUS FOX
I’m accessing the back door now.
There it is.  There’s a slow bleed
signal outbound from the backdoor
as we speak. Tracing the
connection.

Panel 2 Quarter page medium shot of Batman opening a
secret door in the wall of Lucius’ office.

BATMAN
I’m heading to the sub-level.

LUCIUS FOX
(Off screen)
When you get into the car, I’ll
beam the trace signal directly to
your nav unit.

Panel 3 Half page wide profile shot of Batman in full gear
in the Batmobile from inside the cockpit, his outfit awash
in myriad colored lights from all the displays, gauges,
and readouts.

LUCIUS FOX
(Over Radio)
I’ve narrowed the location of the
signal to somewhere in Old Gotham.

BATMAN
On my way.

Concrete: A Writing Exercise

I had one hour with the prompt to “Write about walking down a sidewalk and what you see and experience.” This is the result.

I had to get out of there. The apartment was unnaturally warm and uncomfortable, the lingering heat from our latest argument.  As usual, she retreated to our bedroom and locked the door, shutting me out both literally and figuratively. With no recourse, I threw on my jacket and walked out into the cool November night.

I skipped the elevator and took the stairs down three flights to the courtyard of the complex and took out a smoke. Pausing beneath the No Smoking sign I flicked open my zippo, not even bothering to shield the flame from the breeze.  The flame brought an angry red hue to my face as I lit the cigarette. How fitting, I mused to myself. I took a long drag and shuffled across the courtyard and out the main gate.

Hitting the street, I had two options, left or right.  Habit told me to go right, but my gut told me otherwise. Heading north towards the boulevard I became acutely aware of the sound of my boots pounding the damp pavement. The crisp “clack” of the heel, followed by the sandpaper like scraping of the soles on the weathered concrete gave an odd, percussive rhythm to my strides. I focused on the beat of my own feet, trying to let the droning cadence drown out the conversations I was having with myself. It helped briefly but was soon overpowered by the sounds of my own mind.

I played that old, familiar game with myself; coulda, woulda, shoulda. I replayed the argument over and over again, like it was my own personal Zapruder film. “Back and to the left. Back and to the left,” my mind blandly repeated in sad parody of the movie JFK. I continued to torture myself with zingers, comebacks, and points I didn’t make that would surely have won the day had I said them.

I absently hung a left onto the boulevard, pausing only to light another smoke off the nearly burned out butt of my previous one. I put my old smoke out of its misery on the side of a nearby mailbox and flicked it out into the street before shuffling onward to… where? I had no plan, no destination, no ideas…

I was aimless, rudderless, adrift in the stormy sea of my own thoughts and emotions so I decided to let their current just carry me.  I lost track of how long I’d been walking, when I was jostled out of my reverie by someone drunkenly bumping into me. They turned to apologize when we recognized each other.

“Steve?” said the other man. “God damn, it is you! I haven’t seen you in months!”

I put up my social defenses immediately, forcing a smile. “What’s going down, Roger? It has been forever.”

“No kidding! So, how are things? You disappeared right about the time you started seeing Alexis. You two still on the honeymoon?”

It was an innocent question, and I couldn’t be mad at him for it. How was he to know. But it landed. Hard. I think I visibly winced, since his face went from happy to see an old friend to “I think I just fucked up” in a split second.

“’Fraid the honeymoon is long since over on that one, buddy,” I managed to utter finally.

“Sorry to hear it, pal. Didn’t mean to poke a pain point,” Steve said remorsefully.

“Nah, man, no need to apologize. You didn’t know. And judging from your friends here, you’re out for a good time so it’s me who should apologize for being such a downer.”

Steve suddenly became aware again that he had two young women with him. He chuckled a little. “Shit, man, let me introduce you.” He motioned to the brunette on his right, “This is my friend Lisa, from work.” I reached out instinctively to shake her hand. Dead fish. “And this is Rachel, one of the bartenders from Mickey’s on 4th.” I extended my hand again. Rachel had a grip like a vice, stepping in and kissing me on each cheek.

“It’s a pleasure,” she said, with a hint of an accent. It was difficult to place but definitely European. “Steve, is it?”

The surprise wore off quickly. “That’s me!” I said with a slight laugh.

A wry smile formed on Roger’s face. “Since you seem pretty down, Stevie, why not join us for drinks? We’re on our way to our last stop on a little bar crawl and you certainly look like you can use a drink or three.”

While I could do with a few cocktails, I’m not so sure about being with people. My inner demons were fighting to keep me wallowing in my emotions. My face must have betrayed my thoughts. I felt Rachel’s hand light upon my forearm.

“C’mon Steve, it’d be fun. And we could use a change of pace from Roger’s boring conversation.”

“Hey!” Roger said with feigned indignation.

“Sure, why the hell not?” I said.

A Simple Reminder

A simple reminder. A little “1” in a red circle over my Facebook notifications.  Such a small thing… and yet powerful. It was a birthday reminder for Elizabeth Ann Feldman, the late wife of my friend Ron Feldman. She’s been… elsewhere, for a little more than two-and-a-half years and I still think of her from time to time.  Today, October 2nd, 2017, has been rather rough and this reminder came at a time when introspection was inevitable.  That said, I dug through my archives and pulled up the eulogy I wrote for Annie and took comfort in that. Introspection achieved. Below I’ve posted the text of the eulogy.

When Ron asked me to write this, I must admit I was absolutely terrified.  I’ve never had to do something like this before, and I was sorely afraid I would not do Ann justice. But Ron is a friend and I promised him I’d give it some thought and see what I could do.

I thought hard about what I would say about Ann.  I started with a simple question.  What do I know about Elizabeth Ann Feldman? At first glance I was mortified by how little I knew about her.  I knew the basics, of course.  That she was a Floridian, married to my friend Ron, had a daughter named Morgan. I knew she loved games, ran a BBS, played World of Warcraft.  But this was all surface stuff.  Where was the real Ann?

In racking my brain about this I kept searching and searching for more and suddenly came to a realization.  What I was searching for came more from my own kind of jaded perspective. I was looking for what I thought was depth of meaning but it was more looking for ulterior motives.  In my search for more meaning I missed the obvious.  In life so many people we meet have an  agenda.  They’re looking for an advantage or an angle of some kind and I found myself unconsciously searching for one in Ann.  But you can’t find something that isn’t there.

Ann was truly a genuine human being, without pretense.  With her, what you saw is what you got; a caring, happy, loving individual. A lover of animals and a kind soul.  Most importantly, it was plain for all to see that she loved her daughter and her husband with all her heart.

Ann was always there with a smile and a kind word. And while I didn’t have the pleasure of knowing Ann when she was her most vibrant, you could still see she was a luminous being possessed of great goodness and a wonderful nature despite the circumstances of her health. And her light still lingers among all who she touched.

Ron asked me to be there at the end, and for his and Ann’s sake I was.  Many of us here today were there as well.  It was a testament to both Ron and Ann that so many would choose to be there at such a difficult time.  When it came time to enter Ann’s room and see her for the last time, it was tough.  She seemed so small and delicate in that hospital bed, and I couldn’t help but notice how dark it was in that room. When the hospital chaplain asked each of us to share  our thoughts after we prayed over Ann, I struggled at first. But Ann’s light shone through in the darkness and suddenly I knew what I was going to say.

“Ann, I’m not going to say goodbye because I know we will see you again.”

I’ve never been so sure of anything in my life.  When all is said and done, and this world is ended I know that Ann will be there and we will see her again.  Vibrant and vivacious as ever she was, shining brighter and clearer than ever.

I leave you all today with the words of J.R.R. Tolkien that came to me on the night of Ann’s passing. Ann was a big fan of fantasy, and I think she’d approve.

“End? No, the journey doesn’t end here. Death is just another path, one that we all must take. The grey rain-curtain of this world rolls back, and all turns to silver glass, and then you see it. White shores, and beyond, a far green country under a swift sunrise.”

Farewell, Elizabeth Ann Feldman. Rest now, good lady, in peace and quiet comfort.   We will see you again.

 

The Tholian Assembly: A Klingon Perspective

Another Klingon Academy website bit.

Very little is known of the Tholian Assembly, other that their government is known as the Assembly and that Tholians as a species are silicon-based life-forms preferring environments deadly to all known humanoid species. The Empire’s lack of information is not unique amongst the major galactic powers. The vaunted Romulan Tal’shiar and even the efficient and effective Federation Diplomatic Service are unable to uncover anything we do not already know. The Tholians are xenophobic, isolationists to the extent that they have refused all attempts at normalized diplomatic relations with any major government. Any incursions into their space are met with swift and violent retribution until all invaders are expelled or destroyed-more often the latter.

Despite their xenophobia and isolationism, they are also opportunistic. Occasional signs of political unrest can quite often veil an armed incursion. These incursions are never full?scale and are intended to seize a small amount of territory. Yet it is unclear what the Tholians do with the territory they seize or even why they seize choose system over another, as many of their targets have scant resources and of no strategic value. Once the Assembly annexes new territory, they are defended as zealously as any other system under Tholian control.

Long-range sensor probes confirm that the core area of Tholian space is a stellar nursery, a large nebula in which new stars are forming. Planetary systems we have identified are usually very young as well, with Class C, Class F, and Class H planets on the whole, all of which incapable of supporting humanoid life. Rare expeditions returning from Tholian space have reported planets rich in mineral resources, but located within a vast territory replete with an inordinate number of subspace anomalies discovered. Until a means is found to neutralize the considerable risks presented by these unpredictable anomolies, the costs of seizing their territory far outweigh the benefits.

Tholian vessels are constructed of hyper-lineated crystalline-lattice materials. This exotic materials technology affords them extremely durable hull structures, more so even than Gorn starships. They utilize phaser-like beam weapons, and have somehow managed to duplicate (either through theft, or, less likely, their own research) Klingon heavy disruptor technology. Despite the availability of such potent weapons systems, their most formidable weapon is the Tholian Web Cannon. This technology is uniquely Tholian, and scientists from both the Klingon and Romulan Empires have been unable to determine how it is created or what specific types of energy it utilizes. The affects, however, are well documented. The most effective tactic to be used against Tholian forces-specifically when encountering their web technology-is long-range slashing attacks designed to stay well out of range of the Web generators.

The Gorn Star Kingdom: A Klingon Perspective

Another blast from the Klingon Academy past.

The Gorn Star Kingdom is yet another civilization in decline. The fire that once drove them to explore and conquer the stars has gone out in their hearts, and their society has begun to atrophy as a result. This does not, however, make them easy opponents. Though they allow their territorial holdings to whither and eventually break away from their control, any overt attempts to seize their holdings by force will still result in the awakening of their military juggernaut.

The source of their degradation is a lack of strong leadership. The Gorn King is old, so old, in fact, that he has delegated the responsibilities of running the government to several vassals at odds with each other for supremacy. Well-meaning members of his own family keep the Gorn King sheltered from the political intrigues surrounding him, but this serves only to worsen the situation. Unless a strong leader emerges from their political mire, the Gorn Star Kingdom will continue its decline if it does not tear itself apart in a civil war.

Despite the Kingdom’s political weakness, the Gorn military machine is well maintained, well disciplined, and a worthy adversary. Gorn vessels are designed for speed and survivability. Though they tend to have weaker shields than Klingon or Federation vessels, their hulls are capable of withstanding enormous amounts of punishment. Gorn vessels are equipped with a variety of weapons, many of which are based on modulated gravimetric field technology, which is a science the Gorn appear to have perfected. Through independent research, the Gorn have created homing torpedoes extraordinarily similar to Romulan designs. Gorn plasma torpedoes have a slightly higher nominal yield than Romulan medium plasma torpedos, but are less stable over time so their effective range is less. The Gorn also use their mastery of gravity in such weapons as the Quantum Carrier-wave Beam, the Gravitic Harmonic Resonance Cannon, and their Graviton Density Distortion Sphere. All of these weapons are exceedingly short ranged, but the great speed of the Gorn vessels greatly mitigates this limitation.

Because the Empire has very little contact with the Gorn Star Kingdom and their internal political strife keeps them well removed from intra-galactic affairs, they are considered a secondary enemy. However, since they do have some political ties to the United Federation of Planets, it is conceivable that they may side with the Federation in the event of a major interstellar conflict. All commanders would best keep this possibility in mind in the event of a future war.

The Romulan Star Empire: A Klingon Perspective

This is a little something I wrote 17 years ago for the Klingon Academy website.

The Romulan Star Empire was first encountered by Klingon vessels in 1600 IR, an encounter that lead to the first of many battles. Up until 1643, little was known of the Romulans, other than they are treacherous and fight dishonorably from the shadows. That changed when we entered into an alliance and technical exchange program with the Romulans. The alliance-formed as a response to the ever-burgeoning political and economic strength of the Federation-ushered in an era of relative peace between our two Empires.

We learned much from our new allies, as did they, and that has become the source of political strain on the alliance. The Romulans are a proud people who are in the same situation as we. Sorely lacking resources, they must expand or perish. Often, their need to expand has resulted in armed incursions into Klingon space. This has led to many clashes even after the alliance was formed, yet the overriding threat of the Federation has prevented the escalation of hostilities and the alliance remains tenuously intact. Their need to expand, compounded by their devious, secretive, and dishonorable nature, has led to mistrust between our two governments. Agents of Klingon Imperial Intelligence monitoring the Romulans, have recently reported the Romulans are running dangerously low on dilithium. More ominous still, the Romulan Imperial Navy has conducted numerous secret research projects in violation of the technology exchange treaty between both Empires. Imperial Intelligence has yet to discover the exact nature of these projects, but efforts to do so continue.

As with all potential enemies, analysis has been done on Romulan technology and tactics. They have similar technology to our own, including warp drive, impulse engines, transporters, and the like. They perhaps have slightly inferior warp drive capability, but is an intended result of out-dated schematics and data given to them in the technological exchange.

Particular to the Romulans is plasma torpedo technology. A very powerful seeking weapon with the considerable drawback of degraded performance at medium and long ranges. This is principally due to the torpedo steadily degrading charge after initial launch. The exact cause of this charge degradation is not entirely understood by Klingon science, and obviously not by the Romulans, otherwise this limitation would have been ameliorated by this time.

This fundamental limitation in their main weapons system has actually guided the development of Romulan starships and the tactics they employ. Because these torpedoes take a long time to arm and they are most effective at close range, the Romulans use their cloaking devices for “hit-and-run” tactics. They approach as close to an enemy as possible under cloak, decloak, then launch a volley of all their weapons, cloak again to move away and recharge. This tactic has lead to the Romulans forsaking strong shields in favor of armored hull plating since the cloaking device negates the use of shields. They also favor a high degree of maneuverability to bring their weapons to bear quickly after decloaking.

Because of the design limitations of their weapons and warships, Romulans by necessity fight without honor, they constantly hide their face from their enemies. It is generally accepted among scholars that this fundamental flaw in their warrior’s code, combined with their rapidly increasing isolationism and lack of resources, is turning this once honorable and worthy race into a devious, deceitful, and disgraceful shadow of their former selves. There are those within the Empire who believe their decadence is not merely a sign of their cultural decline, but a social contagion. This belief has fostered a growing movement to dissolve our alliance with them lest their sickness spread across the border and start to decay the moral foundations of our own Empire.