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 dinner again.
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.
Page 1, panel three
   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 moved on. 
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 listless position).
5 GEORGE: Oh, hey! I know what you might like! 
6 GEORGE: There’s this Save the Rain Forest benefit thing showing live from Gotham tonight –
Page 1, panel five
   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? 
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? 
Page 1, panel six
 And to George’s great delight, Ivy turns her head towards him, and smiles. Needless to say, it’s a dark, contemptuous smile.
  9 GEORGE: That’s great! That’s great, we’re on then? 
10 GEORGE: Great! You eat up now and I’ll be back around eight….
PAGES 2 & 3, spread
    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 Tree
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

NO COPY.

PAGE 4, panel one
   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 up?
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 here.
    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. Thanks!
3 JACK: Dana says I shouldn’t bother you with this, since you’re only home on spring break for a few more days –
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 get home!
Page 4, panel four
   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]
7 TIM: It’s way not a problem. What’s up?
PAGE 5, panel one
   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. 
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…
Page 5, panel two
   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?
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. 
Page 5, panel three
   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….
 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….
Page 5, panel four
   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 all. 
1 BRUCE: Well, I’m gonna take off. Too many women in here looking at me like I forgot to return their calls. 
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. 
Page 6, panel two
   Bruce wanders out, one hand in his pocket, one up in a casual farewell wave (even though his back is now to Jack). 
   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…. 
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 –
Page 6, panel three
  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 -- !?
11 SFX/glass: =kssssshhhh=
PAGE 7, splash
   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!
2 IVY: What kind of forest RESCUE plans do you hope to scribble on your PAPER cocktail napkins!? 
Page 7, inset
   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 wrong. 
NO COPY 
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
                               O – pass req
                               _B_
                              DG
                              AP 
                              Steph
[continued, indecipherable]
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 there? 
Page 8, panel four
   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.
7 TIM: Wait, what? WHAT message? Just CONNECT me to the Batcave! 
Page 8, panel five
   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 just happened.
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?
10 TIM: Batman, it’s Robin! We’ve got a SITUATION…. 
PAGE 9, panel one
   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 out). 
2 SFX: = deet deet=
3 ROBIN: Batman, I’m in range. What’s going on?
4 TAILLESS/ELECTRONIC: IVY.
TAILLESS/ELECTRONIC: Go STEALTH. I’m – HNH! -- ENGAGED. 
Page 9, panel three
   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.
7 TAILLESS/ELECTRONIC: NEGATIVE. STAND BY.
Page 9, panel four
   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)….

NO COPY.
Page 10, panel two
  …lands in a crouch, head down….
NO COPY.
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.
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!?
Page 10, panel five
  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. 
NO COPY
Page 11, panel five
   Robin now throws a Batarang across the entranceway, finishing off the two giant plants (as the Batarang slices them down).
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. 
NO COPY
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 ALL.
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 with dismay. 
   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. 
3 BATMAN: Release the HOSTAGES and give me the ANTI-TOXIN.
Page 12, panel four
   Extreme close-up on Batman, at his most intimidating. 
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 Jack. 
   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. 
2 IVY: I am not the ONLY one here guilty of MURDER.
Page 13, panel two
   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.
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!
Page 13, panel three
   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 them. 
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!
Page 13, panel four
   Close on Batman, glaring. He’s had it. 
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.
10 IVY: ENH!
PAGE 14, panel one
   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 her vine. 
   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 black?)
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. 
 NO COPY
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. 
4 ROBIN: But – 
PAGE 15, panel one
   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 goes. 
NO COPY
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. 
NO COPY
Page 15, panel four
   Lip bit in concentration, Robin takes his best shot with the Batarang.
NO COPY
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. 
NO COPY
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. 
NO COPY
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!
NO COPY
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.
NO COPY
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.
NO COPY
Page 17, panel two
   Same shot, except now the grass is up to the middle of his calf. 
NO COPY
Page 17, panel three
   Again, and now the grass is as high as where our view of his knees is cut off. 
NO COPY
Page 17, panel four
   Pull back as Robin stops running, suddenly in grass literally up to his chin. 
NO COPY
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.
NO COPY.
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 himself in. 
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 GETS it. 
4 ROBIN: Big EXPLOSION. Lots of FIRE. Bad for PLANTS.
Page 18, panel four
   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. 
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.
Page 18, panel five
   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? 
2 ROBIN: I’ll hear you OUT, anyway….
Page 19, panel two
   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.
4 IVY: I want those contracts VOIDED, I want that specific expanse of land PROTECTED, and I want those traitors KILLED.
Page 19, panel three
   Robin remains calm as Ivy tilts her head to one side and smiles, warming to him. He’s still holding the grenade up.
5 ROBIN: How do you feel about TWO out of THREE?
6 IVY: Tell me, little boy, what do YOU want?
Page 19, panel four
   On Robin, almost shyly stating his demands.
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 – 
8 ROBIN: -- and I want you to go back to ARKHAM, where you’ll be SAFE. 
Page 19, panel five
   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 three? 
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.
2 ROBIN:  You – you’re SPARING me? Just ‘cause I’m a KID? 
Page 20, panel three
 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.
4 IVY: I’m sparing you because in MANY ways, you’re more of an ADULT than those you SERVE.
Page 20, panel four
   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).
NO COPY
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?
2 ROBIN: Huh?
Page 21, panel two 
   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. 
NO COPY.
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.
8 BATMAN: For WHAT?
PAGE 22, panel one
   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 Batman.
   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 the ROOM….
4 BATMAN: I sent you after IVY.
Page 22, panel four
   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. 
6 BATMAN: I knew you would try something UNIQUE. 
Page 22, panel five
   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….?
8 ROBIN: Could I, uh – could I ask you a FAVOR?
PAGE 23, panel one
   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). 
1 TEXT:
Subj: Personal    Date: 03/21/00 20:14:44 PM EDT
From: [email protected]/confidential[address diverted]/Oracle.net (Robin)
To: [email protected]/confidential[address diverted]/Oracle.net (Batman)
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.

Tim
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Page 23, panel two
   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? 
NO COPY
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 ~

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