I honestly never intended for any of you lot to read this guff.

However!

When Zom found out I’d been writing comic scripts in my lazy hours, he insisted I put them up here.

And then he said he thought it might make us look like a bunch of conceited wankers.

And then he decided I should do it anyway.

So, if anyone digs it – I’m not that sure how good any of it actually is  – then you can look forward to seeing more of the same over at our soon to be unleashed sister site for, err, em>creative work</em>. It’ll be called The Warehouse of Broken Dreams, or something. Anything to keep the lawyers away.

Just a few thoughts before we get into this, because I know you’d offer up the life of your sister to read this shit, and we’d better get moving…..

If anyone slogged through our mindless ramblings over on Pillock’s intensely wonderful A Trout in the Milk blog, then you may remember – HOW COULD YOU FORGET?!!?! – me banging on about how much fun it’d be to write a Damian 666 comic. An alternate Batman from the universe next door, but, more importantly, a next generation Batman, would allow for so much more wriggle room – in fact I’d argue he’d demand it! His writer would almost have a duty to extend all the wild bat-conceits, themes and tonalities far, far beyond anything that’d come before. The son of the batverse would necessarily incorporate and reiterate in a far more concentrated and conclusive fashion all the tatty, flailing elements that constitute the present day Batman’s superbody. You really could have it all. And nobody would give a shit, seeing as it could all be dismissed as a *possible future*.

Realistically I’m sure a great deal of fandom would hate the book, but, fuck it, they’d only go and buy it anyway. And weep.

I’m not sure how much to tell you about the strip before we get this show on the road – I don’t want to spoil anything (Oh, the vanity!) – but I figure there’re some things it’d be nice to know (not necessary, I hope you’ll note, but nice). To begin with I want to stress that my Damian, in an attempt to remain truthful to Morrison’s original vision for the character, is far less morally rigid and considerably more ethically and tactically improvisational than his Father. He inhabits the twilight world of a new century where all the old certainties have flown out the window. A shifting Gotham whose suburbs and superscrapers are bleeding into the netherworld (PLEASE DON’T UNDERSTAND ME TOO QUICKLY), and where heroism is a flickering, ephemeral concept in permanent revolution. This is Batman at dusk, metaphorically speaking. Or is it dawn? All the usual suspects will feature – there’s a Robin, a Batmobile, a Batcave and plenty of fighting (I count four fights in the first issue alone, all jammed into 23 pages), but, as Moore describes Miller’s reimagining for his introduction to Dark Knight, ‘it’s all completely different’ (you see! I’m comparing myself to Frank Miller now! My God….). This Batman has a different family set-up – in fact family is pretty much the theme underscoring the first story arc – and is much more at home with all the weird psychedelia and wacky magical shit than Bruce Wayne. There just isn’t the same air of denial surrounding Damian. He’s at home in the DCU, entrenched in ways his predecessor wasn’t, and maybe finds it all kinda fun.

batman6661

Anyway. Expect to be confused. It all moves pretty fast.

BATMAN 666 – ISSUE #1

PAGE 1

PANEL 1

Full page. Batman and Robin in the centre of the panel swooping towards the lense, but this isn’t your Daddy’s Dynamic Duo. This Batman is literally a fanged nightmare: a photo-negative black bat – all shadow, but with glaring white, blazing eyes and a vicious maw threatening to devour the reader’s fingers should they stray too close. For all his ferocity, however, there’s something toyetic about this beast. Spinning away to his left is his partner, a bejewelled christmas tree decoration of a bird, accelerating out of the frame, under orders. The tunnel they’re both flying down is all vivid pink and green vectors. luminous graffiti daubs the walls, blurred by velocity. Below them solid state, vivid aquamarine *water* is kicked up by the wind rushing beneath them – think of a computer generated, standing hokusai waves and you’ve got the idea. Pixellated spray is kicked up.

(Artist’s note: obviously this isn’t apparent in the story yet, but it’s useful to understand what it is you’re drawing – these are the sewers beneath Gotham via its new(ish) virtual reality ‘suburb’ patched into by a super-computing, breathable nanite-mist covering the city. A huge number of Gotham’s inhabitants have had the implant fitted that allows its citizens to *switch* from ‘The Surface’ to ‘The Underworld’, or ‘Toytown’ as it’s more commonly referred to, at will. Imagine the internet as a totally convincing, fully immersive VR environment, but one that can be jacked into anywhere and negotiated like a real space – that’s Toytown. Apart from other indications in the panel descriptions, inside Toytown everything has a matt, rotoscoped quality. That’s all you really need to know for now, other than Batman and Robin are enormously at home there, and we’re currently looking at their custom-made, state of the art bat-avatars.)

CAP: (in red) ONCE UPON A TIME, ONE YEAR LATER:

BATMAN: (black speech balloon, robotic white lettering) TO THE BATMOBILE!

(2): GO!

ROBIN: (Robin responds with a strange, alien bird-trill, signified by a red mutant, condensed, sigilized super-note, which I will represent here with wingdings but whose exact form I leave up to the letterer. It should somehow convey a kind of ‘YES, BOSS!’ ness) £$%^&!

[MINDLESS READERS NOTE: I CAME UP WITH ALL THE MUSIC STUFF IN THIS LONG, LONG BEFORE THE LAST EPISODE OF FC, OKAY? EARLY DECEMBER TO BE PRECISE. IT’S ONLY NOW THAT I REALISE JUST HOW CRIBBED SOME OF THE IDEAS HERE COULD APPEAR. GRANT! STOP RAIDING MY HEAD!)

PAGE 2

PANEL 1

Widescreen. The camera is now positioned on the bat’s back as the digital sewer rushes by. Robin is zooming ahead, like a baubled comet, towards a sharp bend in the tunnel somewhere in the distance. Maybe we can make out some of the graff up ahead: ‘Cheshire Cat’, ‘Jackanapes KILL!’, a spray painted image of a black Rabbit straight out of Watership Down.

CAP: IT’S TAKEN ME THE BEST PART OF A YEAR TO GET MY HEAD AROUND THE TRILLING, ELECTRIC BIRD LANGUAGE THE KIDS ARE SINGING THESE DAYS.

CAP: ROBIN’S ALREADY FLUENT IN IT.

PANEL 2

Match on shot. Batman, picking up speed and pulling away from the camera slightly so his whole *body* is now in view, crests the left hand plane of panel, while Robin veers out of the way of an invisible enemy. Gorgeous overlaid CG tracery, straight out of Donna Summer’s I Feel Love video, describes her sudden change in direction – a psychedelic speed line.

ROBIN: (this time I want a more symmetrical, stunned tone emmitting from her beak, perhaps bookended by explanation marks, like a word in !Kung! and this time in green) !%!

CAP: ONLY I DON’T NEED A TRANSLATOR TO TELL ME SHE’S IN TROUBLE.

CAP: SOMETHING NEARLY TOOK OFF HER HEAD.

PANEL 3

Robin disappears round the bend and we’re nearly on top of it too.

BATMAN: MOVE, GIRL!

CAP: THAT’S THE THING ABOUT THE SENSEI’S NINJAS….

PANEL 4

We flick into real space. The lights go off and any graffiti daubing the walls of Toytown has now disappeared. The walls are now slimy green and grey, slippery with moss and unspeakable fluids, and the water below is brown and fetid. The tunnel up ahead is black like the entrance to a ghost train. Batman, although matched on motion and position with the viuals in the last panel, is now a more familiar figure, dressed in his famous, hardboiled, trench-caped outfit and he’s dodging a sword whizzing through the air above his head, wielded by a ninja coming at him from the right of the panel. Another ninja is leaping out at him from the left, ball and chain raised, and there’s one attacking him head on, taking a vicious kick to the stomach as Batman ducks. I want the ninja’s edges to feel blurry, like their robes are weaved from the shadows surrounding them.

CAP: ….THEY DON’T CAST AVATARS.

PAGE 3

Panels 1, 2 & 3 are  essentially one panel, trisected, across the top of the page, detailing Batman taking out the ninjas in stop-motion.

PANEL 1

Batman takes out the Ninja to his left with an open palmed jab to the throat.

CAP: FIFTEEN MINUTES TILL THE LAST DEVICE GOES UP AND PULVERIZES GOTHAM’S FAULT LINE.

CAP: ONE…

PANEL 2

The middle ninja is finished off as Batman follows through into an uppercut – one that sees him and his enemy take off into the air – a move he stole from those retro Street Fighter games Robin likes so much.

CAP: ….TWO….

PANEL 3

He completes his lethal trajectory by stomping on the third ninja’s face as he descends.

CAP: ….THREE BOMBS NEUTRALISED.

PANEL 4

Batman stands panting, catching his breath. But now the walls are vibrating, and dust is falling from the roof of the tunnel……

CAP: FOUR IF YOU INCLUDE THE ONE SET TO OBLITERATE TOYTOWN.

SFX: RMMMMMBL

PANEL 5

Small, inset. close up on Batman’s face, suddenly alert.

BATMAN: OH, WHAT NOW….?

CAP: I HALF CONSIDERED LETTING THE THING DETONATE. STOPPER THE CRAZINESS FOR A LITTLE WHILE.

PAGE 4

PANEL 1

The tunnel is now collapsing. Chunks of masonry pummel the filthy water. Batman dodges a piece of ceiling.

CAP: BUT THEY’D ONLY HAVE THE PLACE ONLINE AGAIN IN A FEW WEEKS.

SFX: (huge this time) RRRRRRRRRMMMMMBL!

PANEL 2

A massive red fist smashes through the roof as Batman leaps to one side.

CAP: AND ANYWAY….

SFX: WHOOM!

PAGES 5 & 6

Low angle. From inside the now completely obliterated tunnel, a massive hole below the street, Batman stares up at the vast monster, ten stories high, leaning over him like a cat with a mouse. Although ostensibly the creature resembles an angel, the iconography that comprises it is of indeterminate ethnic origin. In its colouration and general appearance, the robot (for that is what it is, although of a hugely sophisticated kind) resembles one of the wrathful buddhas of Tibetan Buddhism, complete with snarling, befanged face, swirling blue hair, a necklace of skulls and lolling tongue, but there’s something Zoroastrian about it too, specifically two ornate wings, glittering with rubies, emeralds and diamonds, sprouting like a pair of shimmering crescent moons from its back, and a rocky, carved beard. It is completely naked apart from a loincloth the size of a house – again bedecked with skulls- and it brandishes an enormous green scimitar that screams Arabian Nights. Really go to town with the weapon – it will be a recurring motif throughout the first story arc and it needs to be pretty memorable. Upon the robot’s tongue we can make a out a figure robed in red, her get up somewhere between ninja couture, the garb of the faithful and a death shroud, with a burkha composed of golden threads ending in teardrops covering her entire face, except for her snarling, withered mouth. This is Agrat Bat Malhat, consort of the Sensei, named after one of the four Queens of Hell. This woman is terrifying at totally hardcore, but I’ll describe her in more detail later. She, echoing her steed, is packing a pretty mean pair of ancient arabic swords. Just as an incidental detail, I’d like the robot to be dripping with moisture from Gotham’s harbour, its route into the city.

And speaking of which, this is our introduction to New Gotham, a city on the brink of the abyss, collapsing all previous bat-aesthetics into its revised architecture. Superscrapers made of intelligent plastics whorl up into the heavens, holographic advertising hoarding for Wayne-Corp, taller than a house, jostle for space with neon-gothic buildings and office blocks in the shape of giant typewriters and telephones. The air above is no less colourful, seething with Aparo-pinks, flourescents and phosphoric yellows, causing the rain to glow like precious stones, and high above the trashed street, with cars overturned and citizens running for their lives, the Bat Signal burns a hole in the clouds. A hard light hologram beamed in via satellite, the new signal is a rotating sphere, white bat on black, the only black thing in the night sky.

CAP: …..THE CRAZINESS WILL ALWAYS FIND A WAY TO SEEP OUT THE PORES.

AGRAT BAT MALHAT: TAKE HIM!

PAGE 7

PANEL 1

Batman uses his grappling gun to swing out of the tunnel as the scimitar makes mincemeat out of the concrete. He speaks into the intercom in his wrist.

BATMAN: ROBIN, GET HERE NOW!

PANEL 2

The robot swipes for him as he scales a building. Chunks of synthetic plastic go flying.

ROBIN: (through intercom, so a tail-less balloon. A lengthly screed in bird-language) %$£”*&£$…

BATMAN: WHAT? STOP THAT BLASTED WARBLING!

ROBIN: SORRY, SIR.

PANEL 3

He lands on the roof.

BATMAN: THE READINGS ARE COMING FROM THE MONSTER.

(2): NO, NO, THE BOMB IS THE MONSTER!

(3): HURRY UP!

CAP: TEN MINUTES NOW. THE COMPUTER’S HONED IN ON ITS CO-ORDINATES. SHE BETTER BE FAST.

PANEL 4

Batman looks out over the city. He’s now level with the robot’s head, staring it and its rider down. Agrat can be made out more clearly, still perched on the thing’s tongue, its fanged teeth like a vicious golden portcullis behind her. The Sensei’s bride is death herself: A walking skeleton – a red ghost – her skin has the appearance of tissue paper pulled taut over sharp, jutting bone, her lips are corpse-blue, her rotting teeth filed to a point and her fingernails and toenails (her feet are bare) long and overgrown like talons. All the better to rend you with…. Other than the scabbards for her scimitars and her blood-red robe, she is completely unadorned. You don’t go into the great beyond with any possessions and there is a simplicity to her attire that reflects this – so no flashy jewellry please. Okay, we probably can’t make out Agrat that clearly yet – she’s at least a heroic bat-leap away – but this seems as good a place as any to provide you with a full description.

AGRAT BAT MALHAT: IT IS OVER, BATMAN!

PAGE 8

PANEL 1

Closer on her terrible face. If we could see beneath that veil, her eyes would turn us to stone. I want the reader to feel her fetid breath.

AGRAT BAT MALHAT: MY LOVER, THE OLD MAN, SENDS HIS REGARDS.

(2): HE BESTOWS UPON YOU AND YOUR CITY A GREAT HONOR. IN A FEW BRIEF MOMENTS, GOTHAM WILL BECOME THE GATEWAY TO THE CELESTIAL PALACE!

PANEL 2

Match on shot, but this time close in on Batman.

BATMAN: ISN’T THIS KIND OF THING A LITTLE LOUD FOR YOUR CROWD, AUNTIE? BLOODY GREAT ROBOT MONSTERS TEARING UP THE STREETS…

(2): HARDLY THE SILENT ASSASSIN’S WAY, IS IT?

CAP: 9 MINUTES. KEEP HER TALKING.

PANEL 3

Robin, back in a Toytown sky, not that disimilar from the normal one, streaking towards a HUGE dark shadow looming from inside a cartoon cloud. Two headlights – or are they eyes? – stare out at us from its misty depths.

CAP: AAH, BUT DETECTIVE IT IS THE END OF DAYS. DEATH NEED NO LONGER SKULK LIKE A THIEF IN THE SHADOWS.

(2): SHE IS NOW MADE RADIANT.

(3): AND WE HAVE COME TO TAKE YOU HOME.

ROBIN: ENGINES ON!

PANEL 4

Match on previous Bat-shot, only Batman’s flicked his consciousness back into Toytown to check out the robot’s defenses and he’s back in avatar mode. The building he’s standing on now resembles the peak of an orange mountain, the horizon a purple electronic bruise – what little we can see of it anyway – because the thing’s defenses are awesome. The view is completely blocked by the its hundreds of kaleidoscoping arms, each holding a flaming sword, and its equally numerous, bellowing faces.

BATMAN: WHY NOW, AGRAT?

CAP: I BLINK BACK INTO TOYTOWN TO CHECK THE THING’S SECURITY SYSTEMS.

THEY’RE IMPRESSIVE.

AGRAT BAT MALHAT: WHY?

PAGE 9

PANEL 1

Close up on Agrat’s mouth, spitting the words out.

AGRAT BAT MALHAT: BECAUSE GOTHAM HAS ALWAYS ENJOYED A CLOSENESS…HNN…TO THE OTHERWORLD, YES?

(2): BECAUSE THE SENSEI HAS LEARNT THE TRUTH ABOUT YOU, CHILD.

PANEL 2

Back in hard-copy again. Batman draws a glowing blue sword from inside his trenchcape, the bat-motif worked into it in whatever way you see fit, but the key words here are ‘elaborately’ and ‘intricately’ – a bat-excalibur appropriate to Gotham’s Dark Knight.

BATMAN: NO.

(2): THIS IS MY CITY. AND IF YOU’RE GOING TO CAST IT ALL INTO HELL….

Panels 3 & 4 are, again, in stop motion and should give the impression Batman’s jumping from one panel into another.

PANEL 3

He leaps at his foe, sword at the ready. Agrat moves into a defensive position. The robot reaches out for him, but is too late.

BATMAN:….THEN YOU CAN BE SURE IT’LL DRAG YOU DOWN WITH IT!

PANEL 4

Batman brings his weapon down with enormous force as their swords connect.

SFX: KLANG!

PANEL 5

Agrat lashes at his throat with her teeth. Batman dodges.

AGRAT BAT MALHAT: KSSSSS!

PAGE 10

PANEL 1

They square off in front of the robots mouth – a marbled archway framing the action.

AGRAT BAT MALHAT: THIS PRETTY FANTASY YOU’RE PLAYING OUT HERE…

(2): IT IS ALL A LIE! YOU ARE FALSE!

BATMAN: I DON’T BELONG TO YOUR LEAGUE, AGRAT. I LEFT ALL THAT BEHIND LONG AGO.

AGRAT BAT MALHAT: FOOL…

PANEL 2

Agrat barges him, sending them both sailing off the robot’s tongue and into the night.

AGRAT BAT MALHAT:…THAT IS NOT WHAT I MEAN!

PANEL 3

Batman is caught by the robot as Agrat uses her robe to sail to the ground.

PANEL 4

It prepares to take his head off.

ROBOT: (robotic, arabic font) PARADISE IS IMMANENT.

ROBIN: (off panel) IT’S NOT WARBLING, SIR….

PANEL 5

The robot’s jaws yawn wide, teeth glistening, but it pauses, looking off panel at something above Robin, who’s now floating serenely by a very relieved Batman clenched in the monster’s fist. This is our first glimpse of her in the flesh, and she’s nearly as alien as her avatar. This Robin is an upgraded Dollatron from the original Batman 666 episode, sporting the same Ragged Robin look we saw there, complete with the pale, vampiric skin, red dots and hair which billlows, like her ‘costume’, in the wind. Her clothes bear a closer family resemblance to a Japanese kimono than to the more practical super-hero action-suits worn by her predecessors. Gorgeous, golden robin symbols, reminiscent of Batman’s in its paired down simplicity, form an interlaced motif replicating itself across the floating black silk, and a frayed robin wing effect describes its hem. Her mask is an almost exact replica of the Kryptonian Nightwing’s, and is echoed by the buckle of her thin utility belt. I imagine it’s also probably repeated, in miniature, on her fingerless gloves and the little pixie boots she wears on her feet.

Apart from her physical appearance, it might be useful if I take some time out here to describe what kind of a person we’re dealing with here. Robin is no longer human in the strictest sense: although she’s not built for fighting (something her sartorial sense reflects) she’s super-strong, she can fly and her ‘brain’ is a self-perfecting bio-tech artificial intelligence, permanently patched into the bat-computer, which in turn is permanently patched into Toytown. In fact she spends more time in virtual space than physical and enjoys a great deal of celebrity there – and that’s why there’s always an otherworldly glint in her eye. She doesn’t ‘see’ things like normal people, she’s infinitely smarter, though perhaps at this present time less emotionally sophisticated (taking her cue from the Replicants in Bladerunner), and there’s always the feeling that, although she’s in the room, she’s also….elsewhere, like a ghost, caught between the spiritual and material planes. It’s probably also worth mentioning that because she spends so much of her time in robin form, her mannerisms have started to take on a bird-like quality – lots of darting movements and head cocking.

This Robin is the first Toy Wonder; the inspiration for all future models.

ROBIN:….ANY GRADE SCHOOL STUDENT CAN TELL YOU IT’S THE SECRET LANGUAGE OF SOLOMON.

SFX: GRRRRRRRRRRRRRR

PAGE 11

Full Page. The camera pulls way, way back as the latest incarnation of the Batmobile comes bombing out of the sky and into The Sensei’s robot, sending it reeling and Batman flying out of its hand (specifcs below – this is all general tone). Robin, still suspended in the air, watches the display impassively. Of course she and Batman are tiny here, providing a real sense of scale as the two behemoths crash into each other. I say ‘behemoths’, because, like everything else in this comic, this Batmobile owes very little to those that’ve gone before. It’s a lethal, roaring fusion of bat-winged robo-dinosaur and sports car, not unlike Grimlock of Dinobots fame, only slightly more organic looking: its two headlight eyes beam out of a visor-like cockpit perched above a slavering mouth and snout that could almost be a bonnet, it’s blue, scaly skin is armored here and there like a tank, and, speaking of Transformers, it has a deconstructed bat’s head, similar to the ramming device affixed to the front of batmobiles of yesteryear – or a decepticon symbol – rivetted into its forehead below two large bat-horns. Phew! I leave the rest of it up to you, but the creature should have a playfulness to its construction, reminding us that this Batman enjoys his work and hasn’t completely forsaken his inner child (Aaaaaw!).

Oh, and henceforth I’ll now longer be referring to him as ‘it’, but ‘Rover’.

Like so:

Rover’s karate kicks his enemy towards Gotham’s harbour, and a jagged word balloon, like an exploding fireball, should be used here to signify the terrifying roaring noise he uses to stun his opponent upon making his frontal attack.

CAP: FIVE MINUTES AND THIRTY TWO SECONDS.

CAP: MY LITTLE RAGGED ROBIN.

PAGE 12

PANEL 1

And to keep it on the defensive, Rover follows through with a fireball which ignites the robot’s head as he stumbles backwards towards the lapping water. We can just make out Batman landing safely in his claw.

CAP: I SUPPOSE SHE’S MY ATTEMPT TO ATONE FOR ALL PROFESSOR PYG’S DOLLATRONS I DEACTIVATED.

CAP: IT WASN’T UNTIL THE LAST ONE, UNTIL HE WAS MURDERED, THAT THE IDEA OF REHABILITATION EVEN CROSSED MY MIND.

CAP: SO I TOOK HER BROKEN LITTLE BODY BACK TO THE CAVE AND PATCHED HER UP.

PANEL 2

Rover places him in the cockpit embedded in his head, right where a brain should be.

CAP: SHE GUIDED ME THROUGH IT.

CAP: I WAS STUPID. I THOUGHT PYG WAS MAKING TOYS… SLAVES.

PANEL 3

The hatch closes behind him as Batman mans the controls. It’s your typical batmobile interior, all glowing displays and gadgetry, but there’s the odd strange readout on the interior of the window – one reading VITALITY with a series of coloured bars extending from red to yellow beneath it, and another labelled AGGRESSION. We can see out across the city now. The robot’s recovering.

CAP: OF COURSE WHAT HE DID TO THOSE CHILDREN WAS AWFUL, BUT IT WAS THE PRESS WHO COINED THE TERM ‘DOLLATRON’.

CAP: IN HIS NOTES HE REFERRED TO THEM AS HIS ‘PRETTY THINGS’, HIS NEW MODEL HUMANITY.

PANEL 4

Close on Batman’s eyes.

BATMAN: DEACTIVATE THAT THING, ACE.

(2): NOW.

PAGE 13

PANEL 1

The two monsters smash into each other as a mini-tidal wave comes crashing down the street, the harbour tipping into the city like an upset teacup.

ROVER: ROOOOOOOOOOOOOOAR!

PANEL 2

Robin darts out of the way as the robot’s sword slashes at Rover. A jet of pink blood dispersing into the wind.

ROBIN: (this time she’s swearing in birdspeak, so I was thinking maybe a red swastika made out of notes might be appropriate) £!

PANEL 3

Batman speaking through intercom while Robin continues to hang in the air outside, totally unruffled.

BATMAN: BLOODY AI’S MAKING THE BATMOBILE’S STEERING DIFFICULT.

(2): ROBIN, USE THE DOG WHISTLE. WE’VE GOT TO GET THIS THING INTO ORBIT BEFORE IT GOES OFF.

CAP: THEIR ONLY PROTOCOL WAS TO DEFEND THE PROFESSOR. ONCE HE WAS DEAD SHE WAS FREE TO DO AS SHE PLEASED.

PANEL 4

Robin shoots up into the air above the conflict.

ROBIN: SIR.

CAP: AND THAT’S WHAT SHE CALLS GOTHAM.

CAP: ‘DO AS YOU PLEASE’.

PAGE 14

PANEL 1

Silence. Robin’s reached altitude, a bed of clouds below her.

PANEL 2

She fires off a (quite literally) ear-splitting wolf whistle.

ROBIN: (the note is very simple compared to the others, but white and in 3D, extending, stretching out of the panel. Rather than a speech bubble, it travels down a kind of brilliant red, cylindrical flume) %%%%%%%!

PANEL 3

CAP: SHE’S SUPER SMART, SUPER STRONG.

PANEL 4

The cockpit explodes. Batman covers his eardrums and grits his teeth.

BATMAN: (empty jagged speech bubble expressing pain and drowned out cursing)

CAP: A SELF PERFECTING LIVING WEAPON THAT MAKES BRUCE’S BATCOMPUTER LOOK LIKE A POCKET CALCULATOR.

PANEL 5

Small, inset. Rover pauses in the middle of chowing down on the robot’s neck, one eye cocks up.

ROVER: ?

PAGE 15

PANEL 1

Rover rises into the heavens dragging the flailing robot with him. A vast blood moon has emerged from behind the clouds.

CAP: HER NAME’S ALICE.

CAP: LIKE IN THE STORY.

PANEL 2

Tiny, inset. Batman hits eject button.

CAP: ONE MINUTE.

PANEL 3

Batman shoots up towards the camera, ripping through the pink underlit clouds.

PANEL 4

The dinosaur and the robot dwindle into the sky as Bats descends via his trenchcape.

CAP: 51 SECONDS.

PAGE 16

This page is all sky.  I’m not sure there should be panel borders. I want a feeling of space.

PANEL 1

He approaches Robin who looks up at him quizically. A cocked head moment.

BATMAN: BETTER GET DOWN TO EARTH, GIRL. IT COULD BE A NUKE.

ROBIN: (says something indistinct) ~~~~

PANEL 2

He’s level with her now, although she’s still a fair distance away. Robin still looks puzzled.

CAP: 40.

BATMAN: I SAID, YOU’D BETTER GET OUT THE WAY!

PANEL 3

He passes by her.

BATMAN: ROBIN?

PANEL 4

Only bordered panel. Close up on Robin.

ROBIN: TTT!

(2): AND AS I TRIED TO TELL YOU EARLIER, SIR, THE BOMB’S NOT EMBEDDED IN THE ROBOT.

PAGE 17

PANEL 1

The robot, caught in a death-tussle with Rover, throws his scimitar towards the reader.

ROBIN: (Tail-less speech bubble) IT’S IN HIS SWORD.

PANEL 2

A thin, inset, sliver of a panel. The scimitar getting closer.

PANEL 3

The huge blade whizzes past Batman, scything through cloud and missing him by inches, the air-blast massively destabilising his descent.

CAP: 10.

PANEL 4

Gotham’s harbour laps quietly. Waiting.

PANEL 5

Matched shot. But this time with Robin in the frame, holding the scimitar by its tip – all that remains between the city and its destruction. The way she and it just appear should imply incredible speed.

PAGE 18

PANEL 1

Low angle. She chucks it into the sky like a javelin.

PANEL 2

It passes by Batman again. Same shot as before, only with the scimitar flying the other way.

BATMAN: $$%!”"£$!

PANEL 3

We see the explosion reflected in her eyes.

PANEL 4

She turns. Someone is addressing her from outside the frame.

VOICE: MOST IMPRESSIVE, YOUNG LADY.

PAGE 19

PANEL 1

Multicoloured fireworks over an unharmed Gotham.

PANEL 2

Batman landing, as fiery dinosaur flesh and plasti-flesh rains down around him. He’s speaking into his wrist.

BATMAN: GOOD SHOT, GIRL!

(2): NOW LET’S SEE IF WE CANT FIND A..

(3): ROBIN?

PANEL 3

Inset. Close up on his face staring out the panel in shock..

BATMAN: ROBIN!

PAGE 20

Large Panel. What remains of Robin is strewn across the jetty. It looks like she was hit by a truck. ‘Shattered’ would be the right word. Her decapitated head sparks and crackles. Her limbs leak blood and another mystery fluid.

And in the center of all this carnage stands The Sensei. I don’t want a new and improved Sensei – I don’t want him wizened, either – he is as he always is: an unchanging, gnarly murder machine. He’s leaning on a walking stick that doubles up as a scythe – something he’s been getting quite a bit of use out of…and the look in his eyes tells us he’s been enjoying himself.

This is where it all goes to shit.

THE SENSEI: GOOD EVENING, DAMIAN.

(2): IT SEEMS YOU’VE SAVED THE DAY AGAIN, HMMM?

PANEL 2

Batman lunges at him and misses, taking an elbow to the throat.

THE SENSEI: BOTHERSOME LITTLE CREATURE, WASN’T SHE?

PANEL 3

Batman is clutching his neck, gasping, squirming on the floor.

THE SENSEI: (Off panel) NO MATTER.

(2): WE GOT YOUR ATTENTION, AND THAT’S ALL THAT COUNTS.

PAGE 21

PANEL 1

The Sensei towers over Batman, who struggles to speak.

BATMAN: …SHE…HHH . ..SHE’LL ALREADY HAVE JETTISONED.. H…HER CONSCIOUSNESS INT… HHHK..

THE SENSEI: INTO ‘TOYTOWN’, YES?

(2): YES, THAT’S WHAT YOU CALL IT, I BELIEVE. THE ARTIFICAL WORLD YOU’VE BOLT-HOLED THIS CITY TO, CONJURED BY MACHINES.

PANEL 2

He slices Batman in half with his scythe.

THE SENSEI: I SAW YOU FLICK IN AND OUT OF IT EARLIER. IT WAS VERY BEAUTIFUL.

PANEL 3

Batman appears to be dying.

BATMAN: …WHU…WHAT DO YOU… HHHN.. WANT…?

PANEL 4

The Sensei leans over Batman so that he can’t miss any of the words.

THE SENSEI: WE’VE COME TO TAKE YOU HOME, DAMIAN.

(2): YOU SEE, YOUR TOYTOWN ISN’T REAL. YOUR CITY, ITS PEOPLE, NONE OF IT REAL.

(3): AND ON CLOSER INSPECTION….

PAGE 22

PANEL 1

Closer still.

THE SENSEI: ….NEITHER ARE YOU.

PANEL 2

He whispers something in Batman’s ear.

THE SENSEI: ~~~~~~~

PANEL 3

A blinding light…..

PAGE 23

….and suddenly The Sensei’s alone, holding an empty bat-suit, Batman’s corpse having completely disappeared. Agrat enters frame, snarling, from behind him.

TITLE: BATMAN 666 – AND WHAT ROUGH BEAST?



29 Responses to “Testing, testing…. Batman 666 fan-fic comic script alert!”

  1. Andrew Hickey Says:

    That’s great! Were that an actual new issue of Batman by an unknown new writer, I’d be thinking they were wearing their influences on their sleeves a bit, but still by far the most interesting new superhero comic writer in many years…

  2. amypoodle Says:

    I know, there’s quite a bit of Morrison about it, but, you know, I’ve read a lot of him. Another problem is that it’s based on stuff Morrison wrote, so initially it’s rather difficult to pull the focus away from his Batman work. I have, however, tried to expand on the ideas enough that it isn’t just continuity porn. Hopefully you’ll get a sense of my voice further down the line.

  3. amypoodle Says:

    One thing though: please let’s not confuse strangeness, psychedelia and experimentation with ‘Morrison’. That stuff belongs to all of us.

  4. Andrew Hickey Says:

    Oh absolutely – and I wasn’t just talking about the Morrison influence. I can see bits of Milligan and Moore in there too, and there’s the obvious Carrol and Yeats referencing and so on.

    (Which is *not* to say I thought it was ‘derivative’ or any of that crap either – it’s very clearly better and more imaginative than 99.99% of comics out there).

    I actually think showing your influences – so long as you’re not just pastiching them, which you’re clearly not – is a very good thing to do…

  5. Bucky Sinister Says:

    Very, very nice. It’s your panel descriptions that really make it sing, though, and you’d need a damn good artist to keep up with them. The transforming dino-bat-mobile would be an especially hard sell without your enthusiastic description. I love it here, understand. But I could see it going wrong in so many ways without inspired artwork.

    Still… I’d buy it. That was an exciting set-up, and I want to see more.

  6. Bucky Sinister Says:

    …And suddenly I realize that I spent my post intending to praise the work criticizing it instead. So let me fix that a bit. I very much liked this; it’s the proper sort of response, I think, to Morrison’s call to arms for crazier super hero funnybooks. I especially like the way you managed to take an icon of the Bat-Realist era like the Sensei and transport him so successfully into this crazy mangasized future you’re creating here. Agrat looks to have potential, as well.

    Even moreso than the 666 issue that inspired it, this script makes me want to see moremoremore of Damian Wayne’s futureworld. As I said, I’d buy it. And I’d love to read more, if you’d love to post it.

  7. Andrew Hickey Says:

    “And suddenly I realize that I spent my post intending to praise the work criticizing it instead. ”

    I know the feeling ;)

  8. amypoodle Says:

    As I said, I’ve got four more issues written. I’ll put the next one up midway through the new week.

    I have to say, a lot of the panel descriptions get sparser as the thing progresses.

  9. Zom Says:

    It’s completely fucked up, but I have to admit to loving this.

    Comic scripts are a funny beast in that they’re very much not the finished product, but frankly I’d rather read Poodle’s fan-fic than most superhero comics.

    Ah, the age of self-publishing…

  10. Papers Says:

    I very much loved Robin the Toy Wonder; it’s a nice dovetail into the ideas streaming from One Million. Very visual descriptions that would work great, scripting-wise, and it’s a lot of fun. I love Gotham as this sprawling super-morphopolis.

  11. pillock Says:

    Not fan-fic at all, but clearly a script with professional intent…I like that it starts with the Morrisoniana: right, that’s that out of the way then! Virtual reality, intelligent plastic skyscrapers, buildings in the shape of typewriters, day-glo skies CHECK. Understood! Ah, the British influence, I feel like I’ve been transported back to the Eighties. By all means let’s draw the lines out from there, and see what we get!

    For me the Grant-y bits are mostly in the way you move from panel to panel, I must confess…he has a nice peppy way of doing those transitions, and it’s damn hard not to draw on that style once you’ve read a bit of it. Nothing weird there. I’ve got no trouble anticipating you swinging your elbows a bit more as the story moves along…because clearly a story is just what this is: as a consequence you’ve got me very eager to read the next installment.

    Where was Damien brought up? He says “bloody” a lot…

    I like this!

  12. Zom Says:

    (I warned him about the bloody thing)

  13. amypoodle Says:

    WeEEEELL, he’s not american.

  14. Dave Says:

    That was fun. I wonder where you’re going with this…

    A minor technical note: assuming you’re writing this for a US-style comics pamphlet, a two-page spread has to start on an even page. Page one is on the right side, once you open the cover, and the first possible two-pager is pages two and three.

  15. Duncan Says:

    Dave, with the best will, that’s absolute rubbish – you can have a recap or ad page opening the book and then story pp.1-2 as a spread, and likewise throughout, with the ads. Working it out for trades is a bit more complex, but they do occasionally just drop in a blank, black page to prep a spread.

  16. pillock Says:

    I figured he wasn’t American…but not having yet read Morrison’s Batman, I don’t know where he’s from.

    I like the idea of a Batman who wasn’t raised in America.

  17. amypoodle Says:

    He’s the son of Talia and Batman – he grew up in the league of assassins – so he’s kind of, ummm, international. A child of the world.

  18. Duncan Says:

    Vaguely sort-of Arabian.

  19. pillock Says:

    So hang a lantern on it!

  20. pillock Says:

    Like I say, I like a non-American Batman.

    Of course, that’s easy to suggest — but since I have absolutely no idea what you’re going to do next, maybe I’d better just wait and see!

  21. Andy G Says:

    “Dave, with the best will, that’s absolute rubbish”

    It’s not that important, but as far as I’m aware DC doesn’t do recap pages, and opening with an ad is weird and wrong, isn’t it?

    But page 1 doesn’t need to be two-pages anyway.

  22. Zom Says:

    Opening with an ad is definitely weird and wrong

  23. Triplets Says:

    I thought this was, frankly, going to be so far up it’s arse it could taste itself.

    It weren’t though.

    Really enjoyed this, especially as a first ish. There’s a real sense of energy and, I’m not sure how to articulate it, the sense that this thing is a massive play session and you’ve started to use all the Bat-toys in your own way.

    Particularly loved the b&w 3D Bat-Sphere. Old school monochrome (appropriated by the future as a hologram) as a contrast against the garish psy-scape. A stable, solid anchor in the middle of a Joker’d sky. Which makes me wonder; in the psychedelic futureworld of Bat-Damian would the Joker be out of place at all? Is this the world he was meant to be in and just arrived early? ‘Ahead of the curve’ as he said in The Dark Knight.

  24. Triplets Says:

    Interesting choice of ‘Ragged Robin’ as Batman’s sidekick. At first I was worried tha she might be able (with her super-strength and intelligence) to overshadow the main character but after a bit of mulling find it a refreshing change of pace from the Uberbat / L-plate sidekick combination. Here was have an Uberrobin and a fly-by-the-pantseat cheating Batdevil which is a nice reversal.

  25. Zom Says:

    I thought this was, frankly, going to be so far up it’s arse it could taste itself.

    We were, and still are, terrified of folk getting that impression, hence our forthcoming sister site.

    More from Amy tonight, kids.

  26. amypoodle Says:

    would the Joker be out of place at all? Is this the world he was meant to be in and just arrived early? ‘Ahead of the curve’ as he said in The Dark Knight.

    Does that embolden it?

    I said as much in my Joker 666 post the other week.

    The Joker absolutely isn’t out of place.

    I think it’s great that Mindlessones is daring to give its readers its very own comic, even if I do say so myself. Fuck the shame! If I wasn’t doing it someone else would have to.

    Anyway, we’ve been writing fan-fic for aaaages. really.

  27. Batman 666 #2 « Mindless Ones Says:

    [...] Our hopes and fears for this fan-fic extravaganza captured by our good friend Triplets in the comments thread for part one. [...]

  28. Mindless Ones » Blog Archive » Batman and Robin 666 #6 Says:

    [...] the first story arc, Snake Charmer, the Sensei unleashed a reality virus programmed to destroy Toytown and cripple the city by plunging its users/inhabitants into an [...]

  29. avtoservis Says:

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