|BATMAN: Gotham Knights #15
September 20, 2000
Prepared for Denny O’Neil And the Bat-squad
23 page script
|Devin Kalile Grayson
Story title: FAR FROM THE TREE
PAGE 1, panel one
Exterior establishing shot, Arkham
asylum. It’s early evening, maybe even sunset. (And Rog, I know there are
a lot of panels on this page, but I’d prefer they not be a grid if at all
possible. Six horizontal page-wides would be great. And if you absolutely
can’t get it all in, this is the panel to drop – it’s pretty obvious that
we’re in Arkham. Thanks!).
1 TAILLESS: Isley?
Page 1, panel two
In background, wandering out
of the panel, two guards are talking jovially to one another, ignoring
the inmates as they distribute dinner trays to the glass-wall set -- our
most famous rouges. (Frank, could you let Rog know who else is in
Arkham at that time, so he has his pick of baddies to draw? Not that there
will be much room, but… Thanks!). Note about the guards: they’re heavily
armed and physically threatening. Note about the trays: no knives, just
dull, plastic sporks.
Our main focus is on a guard
(let’s call him GEORGE) several feet behind the other two, pausing by Ivy’s
cell. George is a bit overweight and has a lot less attitude than the other
two guards – looks like the big and stupid weight-lifter-gone-to-pot type.
It seems to be his job to make sure the inmates aren’t making mischief
with their dinners, and now he’s looking in sadly at Ivy, who is sitting
on her bed, knees drawn up to her chest, staring dully at the wall, practically
catatonic. She looks pale, drawn, and thin. There are circles under her
eyes, and her mouth is pulled in a slight, tight frown. Maybe her
hair is up. She looks tired, defeated, and pissed. And she is completely
ignoring her dinner.
And one more impossible feat, Rog: I need a wall
clock by Ivy’s cell somewhere, just an old, ugly analog indicating that
it’s a little after six.
2 GEORGE: Isley, you’re not touchin’ your
Page 1, panel three
3 GEORGE: Is it ‘cause it’s MEAT and stuff? Are
you like a vege-whatchmacallit? ‘Cause I could try to get you somethin’
else, you know.
George now crouches outside the cell,
settling in. It should be clear that he’s been visiting her for several
meals now. She remains utterly impassive, eyes still fixed dully on the
wall (she can even be STAT if you want, Rog). The other two guards have
4 GEORGE: It’s just that you gotta eat,
Ivy. Please. Just a little, so’s that I don’t hafta WORRY about you?
Page 1, panel four
Getting no answer, George looks away, facing
brightening with a new idea. STAT Ivy (or at least keep her in the same
5 GEORGE: Oh, hey! I know what you might
Page 1, panel five
6 GEORGE: There’s this Save the Rain Forest benefit
thing showing live from Gotham tonight –
George has both of his hands pressed
to the glass now, as he continues to crouch. He’s genuinely excited about
his idea. Still no response from Ivy.
7 GEORGE: -- and if you’re GOOD, I mean,
if you EAT somethin’, maybe you could watch it. See all those money people
who like trees, y’know?
Page 1, panel six
8 GEORGE: I could wheel a t.v. in here – wouldn’t
even hafta tell nobody, it’s my watch tonight. Come on, whatdya say?
And to George’s great delight, Ivy turns her
head towards him, and smiles. Needless to say, it’s a dark, contemptuous
9 GEORGE: That’s great! That’s great,
we’re on then?
PAGES 2 & 3, spread
10 GEORGE: Great! You eat up now and I’ll be back
I want horror here, Rog! The
clock near Ivy’s cell now reads ten after eight, and poor George is quite
dead, hanging Christ-like from vines attached to the ceiling in Ivy’s open
cell, helpless and poisoned (or noosed by the veins if you prefer, Rog).
There’s a small t.v. on a wheel-cart just inside the cell, and the dinner
tray is empty.
Additionally, huge vines
cracking up through the foundation of the floor lead down the hall towards
the hallway entrance, and where the glass cells stop, the veins have grown
upwards, huge, until they’ve broken through the very wall, crumbling it
in a few places big enough to squeeze through, that clearly lead outside
into the night.
The other inmates are still in their
cells, and agitated now (if we can see Joker in his wheelchair, he’d be
cheering), but Ivy is long gone.
Title and credits here, please, maybe
in leaves blowing through the empty asylum hall.
BATMAN: GOTHAM KNIGHTS; Far from the
PAGE 4, panel one
Devin Grayson, writer
Roger Robinson, penciler
John Floyd, inker
Rob Schwager, color and seps
Bill Oakley, lettering
Dennis O’Neil, editor
BATMAN created by Bob Kane
Cut to an establishing night-time shot
of Tim Drake’s Gotham home.
1 TAILLESS: Nothing, Dad…
Page 4, panel two
Interior. We’re in Timmy’s bedroom
(which you can see in the recent Robin 80-page Giant, along with the other
Drake family references you’ll need, Rog), and Tim, in teen-appropriate
civvies, is sitting at a small desk facing a computer, the monitor of which
we can’t see, and talking on a wireless phone which he has tucked, secretary
style, between one ear and his shoulder as he types.
2 TIM: …Just writing an email. What’s
Page 4, panel three
Cut to Jack Drake, dressed to the nines
in a tux at – wow, who’d have guessed it!? – THE GOTHAM RAIN FOREST FUND
RAISER (with banners that say as much, please). He’s with his wife, Dana,
who’s trying to get his cell phone away from him as he playfully bats her
away and continues to talk into it.
The party is a full-out Gotham gala,
so this is a crowd scene, and swanky. Paper lanterns hang from the ceilings,
and the motif is “jungle,” with lots of exotic flowers (like orchids) and
plants – half of which are fake. Caterers walk around with trays full of
hors d’ouvers on little paper napkins, beautiful glass doors are open to
the evening air, and everyone’s drinking champagne. The assembly hall is
one of those flat, wide buildings, like a museum or the White House – two
stories high, tops, and when I say “stairs” and such later, I mean three
of four long, flat stone stairs leading to entrance verandas, mostly for
show. Rog – call if you have any questions, most of our action will be
Both Jack and Dana need a small
visual identifier. Maybe Dana has a unique upswept hairdo, or intricate
earrings on (not a necklace, though – her neck will be obscured), and Jack
has an oddly patterned tie and cummerbund or some such. Readers unfamiliar
with them will need to be able to instantly pick them out of a crowd later.
3 JACK: Dana says I shouldn’t bother you
with this, since you’re only home on spring break for a few more days –
Page 4, panel four
4 JACK: -- but Mrs. MacIlvenne has the night
off and we need a favor.
5 DANA: Jack, leave him alone! I’ll do it when we
Back at Drake Manor, Tim’s getting
up from his desk, phone still tucked between shoulder and ear, to do his
father’s bidding. Now we can just barely see his monitor, it’s open to
an email program, and he clearly is writing an email as he stated. The
following text is visible on the screen. There’s more, but it’s made illegible
by a glare or Tim’s balloon or something.
6 TEXT/computer font: Hey, Bruce –
I don’t really know how to say any of this, but it kinda seemed important
to at least check in about those files. I guess I feel like it’s
mostly not my business, but on the other hand [continued, indecipherable]
PAGE 5, panel one
7 TIM: It’s way not a problem. What’s up?
Back at the party, Dana has finally
snatched the phone away from Jack and speaks into it imploringly as Jack
becomes distracted by Bruce Wayne, who is wandering through, hands in pockets,
looking a tad lost, now staring at one of the banners with obvious confusion.
Since Dana is having a different conversation
than Bruce and Jack, please make sure she’s off to the right of this and
the proceeding panels.
1 BRUCE: Huh. I didn’t know there were rain
forests in Gotham.
Page 5, panel two
2 JACK: No, it’s – Oh, hi, Bruce, what’s new? –
they mean it’s Gotham’s fund raiser for the rain forest.
3 DANA: Tim, I’m SO sorry to ask you to do this,
but I really need my jogging shorts first thing in the morning and I forgot
to move the wash into the dryer…
Dana continues talking into the phone,
looking very embarrassed and grateful, as Jack turns his full attention
to the congenial dilettante Bruce.
4 BRUCE: Hey, Jack. Nothing much. So wait,
where is the rain forest, then?
Page 5, panel three
5 BRUCE: Oh, and hey, listen -- congratulations
on your recent nuptial bliss!
6 JACK: Oh, thanks, thanks. You oughta try it sometime,
Bruce. It’s got some definite perks.
7 DANA: Thing is, I need you take a few things OUT
first, or they’ll get ruined.
Jack puts a hand on Bruce’s shoulder
as Bruce grinds an expensive shoe-toe into the ground. Dana has a finger
in one ear now to block out the noise as she continues talking on the cell.
8 BRUCE: Oh, I don’t know. It seems
so COMPLICATED. Maybe she’d have kids, maybe I have kids….
Page 5, panel four
9 JACK: Bruce, I think you’d know whether
or not you have kids.
10 JACK: And anyway, it’s no big deal. My boy’s
adjusting just fine. Dana’s on the phone with him now.
11 DANA: Oh, that’d be great, Tim, thanks! I hope
this isn’t a bother….
Cut to Tim, in the Drake Manor laundry
room (which should be pretty upscale, as far as laundry rooms go), bending
over the open washing machine, cell phone still against one ear.
12 TIM: No, no, not at all….So, what am
I looking for?
Page 5, panel five
Tim now blushing, hugely embarrassed, as
he pulls out a wet, lacey bra (Dana’s). He’s holding it up between thumb
and index finger, as if it’s the hottest, or scariest, thing he’s ever
touched. And he’s still talking into the cell.
13 TIM: Oh, uh…uh, okay…um, yeah, it’s…uh….
PAGE 6, panel one
Bruce pats Jack on the shoulder as
he walks by, on his way out. Jack’s laughing, amused by his dopey neighbor.
Dana is still off to one side on the phone, now smiling into it, silently
laughing over her step-son’s apparent embarrassment.
And let’s really dazzle with the background,
Rog. I want lots of upper crust socialites moving around and drinking too
much and throwing a lot of paper napkins on the floor – rabid consumers
1 BRUCE: Well, I’m gonna take off. Too many
women in here looking at me like I forgot to return their calls.
Page 6, panel two
2 BRUCE: Tell Tim I said “hi.”
3 JACK: Will do. Golf Wednesday?
4 DANA: Don’t worry, Tim, they don’t have cooties!
Just lay them flat somewhere and throw the rest into the dryer.
Bruce wanders out, one hand in his
pocket, one up in a casual farewell wave (even though his back is now to
Jack is plucking a champagne glass
off a passing tray, and muttering to himself, as Dana continues talking
on the phone, now turning around to face the other way (towards the back
of the assembly hall – Bruce is leaving towards the front, which is where
Jack’s attention is).
5 BRUCE: Sure! Maybe in the rain forest….
Page 6, panel three
6 JACK/small: Don’t know WHY Tim thinks that guy
is so on the ball….
7 DANA: Thanks again. Your Dad’s always been able
to RELY on you, and I’m glad I can, TOO.
8 DANA: Okay, see you later tonight….Don’t wait
up, we –
Go in a little tighter as Dana, reacting
to something off screen in the direction she’s facing, drops the cell phone
in shock. Other party patrons facing the same direction also begin to gasp
and back away. With his back to the action, Jack can’t see anything yet
(and so idly continues drinking his champagne), and, except for the reactions,
neither can we.
9 DANA: JACK!
Page 6, panel four
Jack turns around now, dropping his
champagne glass, as more and more of the room begins to react in terror.
We still can’t quite see what’s going on, but maybe there’s a building
sense of, well, green, coming through the open back doors.
10 JACK: What the -- !?
PAGE 7, splash
11 SFX/glass: =kssssshhhh=
Pull way back. Poison Ivy stands, arms
outstretched, in one of the open back doorways, speaking softly (eyes glaring
angrily, and maybe she’s sweating slightly from her efforts) as all the
live plants in the room grow to enormous size, cutting off all the exits
(to emphasize this, have one or two people turning towards the exits and
finding themselves blocked). Needless to say, everyone is terrified.
1 IVY: HYPOCRITES!
Page 7, inset
2 IVY: What kind of forest RESCUE plans do you hope
to scribble on your PAPER cocktail napkins!?
Lower right hand corner, a small square
depicting Bruce, outside in the front of the building (because Ivy’s entering
through the back), handing a young valet a claim ticket for his car as
he looks over his shoulder at the building with a frown. He knows something’s
PAGE 8, panel one
Cut back to Tim’s house, where he’s
still talking into the phone as he walks back up the stairs (presumably
towards his room), obviously now looking alarmed.
1 TIM: Dana? What’s going on? I thought
I heard –
Page 8, panel two
Tim’s racing now, pushing the door
to his room open and heading frantically towards his computer as he continues
shouting into the phone.
2 TIM: Dana!? DAD!?
PAGE 8, panel three
Just a close-up on Tim’s hands and
computer now, as his left hand pauses tensely just above the keyboard and
his right hand works the mouse, pulling down a pop-up menu that highlights
the “B” in the text.
The email from page 4, panel four is
also still visible on the monitor – here’s what’s happening: Tim has an
unfinished email up, and is trying to pull down a web link to Bruce, but
in his haste is accidentally addressing the email to him rather than hooking
into his web. Got it? Call me if you’re confused. And remember, it should
look like there’s more text (but illegible) in both the pull down menu
and the email.
3 TEXT (pull down): WE
Page 8, panel four
O – pass req
4 TEXT (email): Hey, Bruce – I don’t really
know how to say any of this, but it kinda seemed important to at least
check in about those files. I guess I feel like it’s mostly not my
business, but on the other hand [continued, indecipherable]
5 OFF/TIM: Can you HEAR me? HELLO? Is BRUCE still
Tim has moved away from the computer,
on his hands and knees reaching urgently for something hidden under his
bed, still with the mobile phone tucked between shoulder and ear, but now
turning to squint over his shoulder at the computer.
If we can see his monitor, the email is gone.
6 ELECTRONIC/TAILLESS: Message sent.
Page 8, panel five
7 TIM: Wait, what? WHAT message? Just CONNECT me
to the Batcave!
Close on Tim, on his knees by his bed,
now holding a (Bat) head-set in one hand (close to his ear, although not
yet on his head) whispering to himself as he realizes, with horror, what
8 TIM/small: Oh, no. Not the e-mail…don’t
send that yet, I –
Page 8, panel six
His attention is now turned sharply
back to the head-set, which he scrambles to put on, as Batman responds
over the wires.
9 ELECTRONIC/HEADSET: Yes?
PAGE 9, panel one
10 TIM: Batman, it’s Robin! We’ve got a SITUATION….
Cut to a back alley behind the building
where the party’s taking place (already covered with vines), as the Red
Bird pulls up, obviously in haste.
And as a dear friend once said
in response to encompassing darkness, “it’s helluv night!”
1 SFX: =skreeeee=
Page 9, panel two
As Robin hops out, voice-activating
his com link, the car begins to transform back to its civvie form (which
you can see in the previously mentioned 80 Page Giant, Rog. And if the
car no longer has a non-civilian form, don’t worry about it, he still jumps
2 SFX: = deet deet=
Page 9, panel three
3 ROBIN: Batman, I’m in range. What’s going on?
4 TAILLESS/ELECTRONIC: IVY.
TAILLESS/ELECTRONIC: Go STEALTH. I’m – HNH! -- ENGAGED.
Robin scampers up to the roof of the
building, probably climbing one of Ivy’s vines up (or using his grappling
hook or a drain pipe if you prefer, Rog). Once again, this building is
wide, but only a few stories high. A party hall.
6 ROBIN: 10-4. Joining ACTION.
Page 9, panel four
7 TAILLESS/ELECTRONIC: NEGATIVE. STAND BY.
Biggest panel on page. Over Robin’s
shoulder as he peers down over the front of the building to see Batman
fighting ten or so men (who are actually dressed in tuxedos, but try not
to reveal that yet – it’s dark and so are most of their suits).
IMPORTANT: Batman’s moves are defensive.
He is not kicking nor punching anyone. Maybe rolling someone over his back,
or ducking a punch, or blocking a kick or some such. And unlike in the
movies, these guys aren’t approaching one at a time. As many as possible
are actively on him.
And note: behind the fight, the front
entry to the building is guarded by two giant Venus Flytraps. And by giant
I mean quite large enough to swallow up two or three men.
8 ROBIN: You sure? You LOOK like you
could use some help….
9 TAILLESS/ELECTRONIC: Clear ENTRY.
10 ROBIN: Right! En route!
PAGE 10, panel one
Robin leaps off of the roof (essentially
into the thick of the fight, since it’s pretty much unavoidable)….
Page 10, panel two
…lands in a crouch, head down….
Page 10, panel three
…and then looks up, just in time to
get a clear look at one of Batman’s attackers. And what d’ya know, it’s
his Dad, Jack Drake! And we can now tell that all of the attackers are
guys from the party.
Robin, of course, looks incredibly surprised.
Jack completely ignores Robin, intent, with the others, on stopping Batman
in a brain-washed kinda way.
1 ROBIN/whisper: Dad…!?
Page 10, panel four
Robin stands, hesitating, still staring
at his Dad. Batman, from under whichever six or seven men are on him at
the moment, notices this and calls out to him.
The humongoid Venus Flytraps still
guard the front doors.
2 BATMAN: They’re under Ivy’s CONTROL.
Page 10, panel five
3 BATMAN: If I IMMOBILIZE them too SOON, the full
IMPACT of the toxin can cause permanent BRAIN DAMAGE.
4 ROBIN: So, will it just run through their systems
if you keep them BUSY? Or do we need an ANTI-TOXIN!?
Extremely close on Batman, eyes glowering,
as he continues to carefully evade the attacks of the innocent men punching
and kicking at him while keeping them engaged in the fighting.
5 BATMAN: CLEAR THE ENTRY.
PAGE 11, panel one
Tim doesn’t need to be told again.
Turning his full, frowning attention on the giant Venus Flytraps, agile
and ready for anything, Robin fakes left (sort of Basketball hoop-blocking
position), with his right hand dipping into his utility belt. Though not
anthropomorphic, the Flytrap’s are noticeably tracking his movements (as
in, clearly, if you tried to get past them into the otherwise open doors
of the building, they’d strike).
Behind Robin (in the background, or
maybe extreme foreground depending on the angle of the shot), Batman continues
his defensive fight with the brain-washed party-goers.
1 ROBIN: Right!
Page 11, panel two
Again, but this time Robin fakes right,
grabbing something out of his utility belt with his left hand. Again, the
plants follow the movement not of his hand, but of his body.
2 ROBIN/small: Keep your eye on the birdie….
Page 11, panel three
This time Robin rushes forward with a sort
of leap, throwing two small pellets into the “mouths” of the Flytraps,
which indeed are open and starting to bear down on Robin.
3 ROBIN: ...and CATCH!
Page 11, panel four
BIG! The Flytraps, which have tried
to swallow Robin’s little thrown pellets, now burst into a sort of plant
equivalent of violent, smoke-filled coughing. Clearly the pellets were
smoke bombs, and the plants are now more or less gagging on them as they
release giant plumes of smoke.
Through all of this, Batman continues
to defensively fight the hypnotized party goers, so past panel one (where
we need to see it), you can show as much or as little of Batman’s fight
as you want.
Page 11, panel five
Robin now throws a Batarang across
the entranceway, finishing off the two giant plants (as the Batarang slices
4 ROBIN: CLEAR!
PAGE 12, panel one
Robin runs through the now-clear (though
smoky) entrance way, cape flowing out behind him, the hypno-goons, including
Jack, hot on his heels.
Batman has clearly fired off a grappling
line, and is swinging in, cape billowing, demonic, over Robin’s head.
Page 12, panel two
Inside, Batman lands in a crouch basically
right in front of Ivy, Batarang already out and ready to throw. Robin,
running in behind Batman, is now slowing down to take in the scene and
see what Batman does, and because of this, the hypno-goons are now grabbing
him from behind, to prevent him from getting to Ivy (some of them, including
Jack, also heading for Batman, but not yet caught up with him).
But here’s the problem: in addition
to the hundreds of terrified guests, most of whom immediately begin
running out the now unblocked front door (overwhelming the hypno-goons,
who have clearly decided to focus on Batman and Robin), Ivy has singled
out ten hostages, including Dana (who we need to be able to recognize instantly),
who are standing behind her, immobilized by giant vines that twist around
their bodies and throats like giant pythons.
She holds a hand out to Batman in a
“stop” gesture, and she looks pissed (no crazy smiling, please, she’s really
just full-out angry).
1 IVY: One more move and I STRANGLE them
Page 12, panel three
Batman rises, frowning, as the hypno-goons
grab him too (by the arms, probably). It’s fairly obvious he could shake
them off if he wanted to, but for now he’s content to growl at Ivy.
Robin is a few feet behind, still held
by the goons who caught up with him last panel, and he’s staring at Dana
Aside from the ten hostages and the
ten or so Ivy-hypnotized-goon-squad, the hall is rapidly emptying of civilians
as they run, literally for their lives, out of the building.
2 BATMAN: Don’t make it HARDER on yourself
than it already IS, Ivy.
Page 12, panel four
3 BATMAN: Release the HOSTAGES and give me the ANTI-TOXIN.
Extreme close-up on Batman, at his
4 BATMAN: NOW.
PAGE 13, panel one
Pull back to re-establish the whole
scene. Ivy stands in front of her ten vine-bound hostages (which include
Dana, and all of whom should look terrified and already a little short
of breath as the vines squeeze at their chests and throats), arguing angrily
with Batman, who stands before her, more or less held back by four or five
of the hypnotized, tuxedo-wearing party-goers (including Jack).
Robin is a few feet behind Batman,
also held back by Ivy’s hypno-goons (though neither Batman nor Robin are
struggling yet). Robin’s attention darts back and forth between Dana and
Most everyone else has fled by now,
and except for the front doors (which Robin cleared) all the exits are
still blocked by giant vines, most of the other plants in the room also
unusually large and thriving now in Ivy’s presence (though there are one
or two potted plants near her that look no different than before she entered).
1 IVY: You sound so RIGHTEOUS, Batman, but
you DON’T understand.
Page 13, panel two
2 IVY: I am not the ONLY one here guilty of MURDER.
Close on Ivy, pointing behind herself
to one of the vine-held captives (not Dana). She’s furious. Leave room
for her speech, please.
3 IVY: Pretending to serve NATURE in a room
FILLED with plastics, toxins, and DISPOSABLES makes these people IDIOTS.
Page 13, panel three
4 IVY: That many of them also head companies which
have KNOWINGLY participated in CLEARING the very land they claim to be
here tonight to PROTECT makes them LIARS and ASSASSINS!
Batman and Ivy continue their heated
argument as everyone else is momentarily forced to hold still and wait.
5 BATMAN: You are NOT in a position to JUDGE
Page 13, panel four
6 IVY: AREN’T I? We EXECUTE men for crimes of PASSION
they’re unlikely to REPEAT –
7 IVY: -- but the men who spend their LIVES actively
DESTROYING our only viable ENVIRONMENT are rewarded with RICHES and PROGENY
the planet can’t SUPPORT!
Close on Batman, glaring. He’s had
8 BATMAN: You have CAPTIVES.
Page 13, panel five
Batman suddenly breaks free of the
men holding him, shaking them off as if they were children, to lunge at
Ivy with an elbow strike to her forehead (remember, he has to be very careful
not to touch her flesh or let her touch him anywhere he isn’t armored).
It connects, knocking her back (but unfortunately, not out).
9 BATMAN: Everything else is IRRELEVANT.
I will NOT negotiate.
PAGE 14, panel one
10 IVY: ENH!
Action! All hell breaks loose. Ivy
is angrily pushing herself up from the floor, a slight cut on her forehead
and a murderous hiss on her lips.
Batman has whirled around to face the
hostages, releasing a Batarang as he does so – and use multiple images
to show the Batarang whizzing by all ten hostages, slicing at, if not actually
completely breaking, the vines that hold them.
Robin is rushing towards Dana with
another Batarang out, hoping to have enough time to finish cutting through
The hypnotized goon squad, including
Jack, race to regain control over Batman and Robin. (Rob and/or Bill: maybe
Ivy’s commands to the plants have green text balloon outlines instead of
1 IVY/plant: CRUSH them.
Page 14, panel two
The vines holding the ten hostages
begin crushing and asphyxiating their victims as Ivy gets the rest of the
way up, already beginning to flee towards the back, vines in the distance
parting to give her a way out.
Batman is now using a finger-laser to burn
the rest of the way through the vines that hold the first captive, intent
on freeing him or her, though some of the hypno-goons (not Jack, though
he’s in the second wave advancing on Batman) make the mistake of trying
to stop him. Unlike before, this time Batman is ruthless with them, kayoing
at least one of them as he kicks one painfully back and sprays knockout
gas at another as he continues using his laser to burn through the vine.
He’s out of time and patience.
Robin, sawing at Dana’s vine with his
Batarang, notices this with a look of concern (those guys are still innocent,
and his dad’s one of them), as hypno-goons descend on him.
Page 14, panel three
To clarify the point, Batman now flips
one of the men off of him with brutal efficiency as Robin, still working
on Dana’s vine, watches, wincing. Jack is coming up on Batman fast, which
means he’s about to get hurt.
Ivy is escaping out the back.
2 BATMAN: ROBIN –
Page 14, panel four
Ivy’s almost out of sight now as Batman
barks an order at Robin, who hesitates, not yet through Dana’s vine, and
worried, too, about Batman’s increased level of violence with the hypno-goons.
This is a key thematic moment between Batman and Robin, Rog – we really
need to see Timmy’s hesitation and Bruce’s certainty.
3 BATMAN: -- the ANTI-TOXIN.
PAGE 15, panel one
4 ROBIN: But –
Upper left corner inset. Super-tight
on Batman, maybe even just his eyes and mouth, and this is not a man you
want to fuck with or disobey.
1 BATMAN: GO.
Page 15, panel two
Three-quarters splash. In multiple
image shots, Robin bounds after Ivy; leaping and flipping over the vine-held
hostages in between him and her, and then running like hell towards her
rear exit, Batarang still in hand.
With his hands now on Jack’s shoulders
to hold back an attack, Batman watches over his shoulder to make sure Robin
Page 15, panel three
I’m imagining this as the bottom left
hand square of the page, panel four being the bottom right.
Robin runs out into the night, now
on the back steps of the building, Batarang poised to throw. Ivy is directly
ahead of him, running through a small, but open, grass field.
Page 15, panel four
Lip bit in concentration, Robin takes
his best shot with the Batarang.
PAGE 16, panel one
Ivy turns with a slight smirk, hair
flying to convey the speed of her movement, one hand coming up in a “rise”
gesture as the Batarang sails towards her.
Page 16, panel two
Ivy has already turned and resumed
running as a giant vine bursts from the grass, blocking the Batarang (which
slices through it but is knocked off course) seconds before it would otherwise
hit her. We can’t see Robin in either of these shots, he’s too far away.
Page 16, panel three
Reaction shot of Robin – he sure wasn’t
expecting that! She’s scarier than he thought – and Batman just sent him
out after her alone!
Page 16, panel four
Robin shakes off the shock and starts
out after her, running as fast as he can. He is now on the grass.
PAGE 17, panel one
Panels one through three are equally
sized small squares across the top of the page. In this first one, we see
a close-up of Robin’s legs, boots to knee, as he races across the grass.
Page 17, panel two
Same shot, except now the grass is
up to the middle of his calf.
Page 17, panel three
Again, and now the grass is as high
as where our view of his knees is cut off.
Page 17, panel four
Pull back as Robin stops running, suddenly
in grass literally up to his chin.
Page 17, panel five
He starts spinning around slowly, pushing
back on grass which is now literally over his head (though only just).
He’s obviously completely lost, mumbling to himself now, and it’s
clearly hard for him to move through stalks this tall. It’s like he’s suddenly
in a rabid wheat field. Maybe he can just make out the
lights from the party building in the distance.
1 ROBIN: Where’s that post-adolescent GROWTH
spurt when you NEED it?
Page 17, panel six
With a sudden look of sheer determination,
Robin turns back the way he was initially heading and starts hacking out
a path through the grass with his Batarang as best he can.
PAGE 18, panel one
Still hacking through the grass, Robin
is clearly getting frustrated. Ivy might be gone by now, he’s not ready
to give up, but he’s not sure how to deal with the odd situation he finds
1 ROBIN: IVY, can you HEAR me?
Page 18, panel two
He stops, and pulls out a concussion/blast
grenade (see sourcebook), turning slowly as he calls out to Ivy again,
where ever she may be. His expression is very grownup and serious.
2 ROBIN: I’ve got a HOSTAGE, too.
Page 18, panel three
Robin holds the grenade high up over
his head so that in case she’s looking, Ivy might be able to see it.
3 ROBIN: Give me the ANTI-TOXIN or the grass
Page 18, panel four
4 ROBIN: Big EXPLOSION. Lots of FIRE. Bad for PLANTS.
Ivy startles Robin by appearing directly
behind him, smiling slightly, intrigued. Still holding the grenade, he
whirls to face her.
5 IVY: But then YOU’D have to survive the
fire too, silly bird.
Page 18, panel five
6 ROBIN: That’s a RISK I’m willing to TAKE.
7 IVY: You’d risk DEATH to save STRANGERS?
8 ROBIN: Yes. They mean as much to ME as the plants
mean to YOU.
Ivy is vaguely surprised at his question
as Robin frowns at her, still holding the grenade.
9 ROBIN: What is it you WANT, Ivy?
PAGE 19, panel one
Ivy looks at Robin distrustfully, but
he holds still as small vines begin to force their way up from the earth
beneath his feet and wind around his boots.
1 IVY: You’ll NEGOTIATE with me?
Page 19, panel two
2 ROBIN: I’ll hear you OUT, anyway….
Ivy begins ranting again, angry every
time she thinks about it, as Robin plays for time, holding still and letting
her vines continue to climb and wind around him, now immobilizing his legs.
3 IVY: Several of the key SPONSORS in that
ROOM have signed CONTRACTS abetting in tropical DEFORESTATION.
Page 19, panel three
4 IVY: I want those contracts VOIDED, I want that
specific expanse of land PROTECTED, and I want those traitors KILLED.
Robin remains calm as Ivy tilts her
head to one side and smiles, warming to him. He’s still holding the grenade
5 ROBIN: How do you feel about TWO out of
Page 19, panel four
6 IVY: Tell me, little boy, what do YOU want?
On Robin, almost shyly stating his
7 ROBIN: I want the ANTI-TOXIN that will
snap those TUXEDO guys out of your MIND CONTROL voodoo, I want your VINES
to release the HOSTAGES –
Page 19, panel five
8 ROBIN: -- and I want you to go back to ARKHAM,
where you’ll be SAFE.
Robin, still holding the grenade up,
but otherwise now immobilized by Ivy’s vines, closes his eyes, grits his
teeth, and recoils as Ivy leans in for what could be a very deadly kiss.
Thing is, she doesn’t kiss him. Instead
she whispers seductively in his ear, mere centimeters away from touching
his skin, as she slips a small vial in-between his chest plate and the
vines that bind him.
9 IVY: How do YOU feel about two out of
PAGE 20, panel one
Robin opens his eyes, amazed, as Ivy
starts to walk away, both arms extended to feel the grass against her fingertips
as the long stalks part for her, speaking to Robin over her shoulder with
a slightly unsettling smile.
1 IVY: Go be a HERO, little sapling. SAVE
your human WEEDS.
Page 20, panel three
2 ROBIN: You – you’re SPARING me? Just ‘cause
I’m a KID?
Close-up on Ivy as she turns to face Robin,
looking very beautiful and serene and particularly non-human as she starts
to fade into the darkness and the grass.
3 IVY: No.
Page 20, panel four
4 IVY: I’m sparing you because in MANY ways, you’re
more of an ADULT than those you SERVE.
Robin starts to shake free of the vines
that bind him, now clutching the vial as he tries to stay focused, though
his head is spinning. Ivy is moving away, uttering one last comment as
much to herself as to Robin (her back is probably to him now).
5 IVY: Batman was clever to send YOU….
Page 20, panel five
Thought the action was over? Nah. Robin,
shaking off the last of the vines and still clutching the vial, looks up
sharply as a Batarang comes hurling out of nowhere and catches Ivy right
on the back of the head. She lurches forward, almost certainly kayoed.
(To be clear: Robin did not throw this Batarang).
PAGE 21, panel one
Ivy is indeed out cold, falling forward
into the high grass to prove it, as Batman appears behind Robin, getting
a pair of Batcuffs out as he moves towards Ivy, speaking to Robin although
he doesn’t look at him. Robin is momentarily a little dazed by all of this.
1 BATMAN: You HAVE it?
Page 21, panel two
2 ROBIN: Huh?
Robin shakes it off, putting away the
grenade and holding up the anti-toxin as Batman crouches down where Ivy
fell, all but disappearing into the tall grass for a moment.
3 ROBIN: Oh, the ANTI-TOXIN. Yes.
4 ROBIN: Um….are –
5 BATMAN/FROM GRASS: Yes.
Page 21, panel three
Batman rises from the grass, already
moving back towards the building, now without his cape, which is wrapped
around the toxic Ivy like a tarp. She’s unconscious, cuffed at both the
wrists and ankles, and hoisted over Batman’s shoulder in a fireman’s carry.
Robin follows, relieved and anxious at the same time.
6 BATMAN: They’re fine.
Page 21, panel four
Robin follows Batman hurriedly through
the tall grass, which doesn’t even seem to faze, much less slow down,
Batman himself. Batman still carries the unconscious, cape-wrapped Ivy
over his shoulder, and is expressionless as he marches quickly through
the dark field back to the building. He’s reaching back with one gloved
hand for the vial of anti-toxin, which Robin surrenders to him.
Page 21, panel five
As they approach the lights of the
building, coming out of the tall grass by the rear entrance, Robin lowers
his head an mumbles sadly to an impassive Batman.
If we can see the back stairs of the
building, there are odd, human sized lumpy shapes on the dark of the verandah.
7 ROBIN: Batman, I’m sorry.
PAGE 22, panel one
8 BATMAN: For WHAT?
Okay, here’s the scene. Batman is lowering
Ivy onto the back veranda. The vines have already begun to recline off
of the building, freeing up the exits again. It’s clear that inside, the
cops and the paramedics have now arrived, and are treating the former vine-hostages,
some of whom need oxygen masks at this point.
The Ivy-hypnotized tuxedo gang, however,
are in the dark on this back veranda (Batman needed the chance to give
them the anti-toxin before he let them be discovered by the authorities
inside, so he has carefully hidden them back here in the shadows). They
are all immobilized – one of them is double cuffed (wrist and ankles, like
Ivy), several of them have been immobilized with crime-foam, several of
them are unconscious (but not bruised or bloody), and Jack Drake, one of
several still conscious (though they’re all dazed), has been almost gently
tied up in the Bat-rope.
Robin is already moving up the stairs
towards his dad, but stops to look miserably over his shoulder as he addresses
Rob – really play with the light here.
Warm and bright inside the building, cold and dark out back.
1 ROBIN: I’m sorry you didn’t feel like
I was MATURE enough to handle seeing my FAMILY in that much DANGER.
Page 22, panel two
Now that Ivy’s settled by the rear
entrance where the cops will find her mere moments from now, Batman turns
his attention to the anti-toxin vial, inserting it in some cool Bat-injection
device (that shouldn’t look like a syringe – more like a pen). Remember
that he still doesn’t have his cape on. He doesn’t turn towards Tim
as he speaks to him…he’s too busy.
2 BATMAN: What gave you THAT impression?
Page 22, panel three
Batman begins injecting Ivy’s victims
with the anti-toxin. Robin watches, still addressing Batman, a little ashamed
of himself, rubbing the back of his own neck with one gloved hand. Once
again, Batman answers with his back to Robin.
3 ROBIN: Well, ‘cause you sent me out of
Page 22, panel four
4 BATMAN: I sent you after IVY.
Batman looks over his shoulder at Robin
as he retrieves his cape from Ivy’s still-unconscious figure. His expression
is unreadable, Robin’s is stunned.
5 BATMAN: My approach was not producing
the desired EFFECT.
Page 22, panel five
6 BATMAN: I knew you would try something UNIQUE.
Close on Robin, still amazed, eyes
wide, caught between feeling a hundred feet tall (Batman just gave him
a hell of a compliment!) and feeling the need to plead for clemency on
a separate issue (and there’s an email waiting in the Batcave that he doesn’t
want him to read!).
7 ROBIN: You – you mean you….?
PAGE 23, panel one
8 ROBIN: Could I, uh – could I ask you a FAVOR?
Cut to Batcave, interior. This is a
three-quarter splash -- a close-up of the Batcomputer monitor, Tim’s email
displayed, completely legible (though you can skimp on the post-content
techno-babble if room’s a problem).
Page 23, panel two
Subj: Personal Date: 03/21/00
20:14:44 PM EDT
From: [email protected]/confidential[address diverted]/Oracle.net
To: [email protected]/confidential[address diverted]/Oracle.net
Hey, Bruce –
I don’t really know how to say any of this, but
it kinda seemed important to at least check in about those files.
I guess I feel like it’s mostly not my business, but on the other hand,
you have so much information about everything – about us, about me, and
I don’t even always know day to day (night to night) what it is I’m doing
here, let alone whether I’m meeting your expectations.
I remember telling Dick that Batman needed a Robin,
and I still think that’s true. Not because you can’t handle 99% of what
we do alone, but because the mission is so dark, and it would be so easy
to give up, to lose heart. And I guess when I was talking to Dick that
first time I thought it was obvious. Batman doesn’t need Robin to get things
done, he needs Robin to help make sure he gets them done the right way.
But there’s Robin and then there’s Tim Drake. I’m
kinda more like Dick in that I try not to separate the two in my head too
much, except in terms of keeping the secrets. But the point is that no
matter what I’m wearing, I’m not like you. I’m not even like Dick or Barbara
or Batgirl or Jean Paul. I don’t think I want to do this forever, I’m not
always sure it’s good for me. And if you’re looking at us now as individuals,
then you know that. I mean, here I am with a new mom, and closer to my
dad then I’ve been in a long time and I’m just worried that I’m becoming
less like you by the minute. And I don’t see how that – how I – could
possibly do you any good.
Anyway, I don’t know. Just wanted to let you know
that I knew. And if you want to talk about it, or replace me or something,
I’ll understand. And maybe it’s not even important, I guess the last few
months have just been kinda…hard. In different ways than usual. And I don’t
want to let you down. That’s all.
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Pull way back to show Robin looking
up at it nervously, clearly in the Batcave. We can’t yet tell where Batman
is. Is he reading it?
Page 23, panel three
Robin, smiling up at the screen with
huge relief, presses something on the keyboard, and the message blips off,
a large, text DELETED across the monitor to clarify the point.
We’re now far enough back to see Batman,
in the cave, completely preoccupied with something else – let’s say analyzing
a frond of Ivy’s super-grass on a 3-D hologram reader, his back to the
computer. He hasn’t read it, is respecting Tim’s privacy..
2 TEXT/monitor: DELETED
3 BATMAN: All taken care of?
4 ROBIN: Yeah, thanks! You’ve got ENOUGH to do without
reading dumb emails from ME….
~ end transmission ~