Batman & Robin 666 #9

May 25th, 2009

PREVIOUSLY IN BATMAN AND ROBIN 666….

In the aftermath of the Sensei’s attack on Gotham city and a near lethal , three pronged assault on their friends by super-assassins contracted by one of the shadowy forces vying for control of Nu-Gotham, Batman and Robin are forced to make some tough decisions.

With his secret identity compromised and Lucius Fox hospitalised by the dreadful killer Action Figure, Damian Wayne decides its time to go public and unmask.

It’s the morning after the last of the assassins was defeated and most of the team are shored up in Bat Mountain, Batman’s hidden fortress folded into the architecture of Wayne Tower.

PAGE 1

PANEL 1

Low angle. Early morning and the sun’s just starting to climb up Gotham’s skyscrapers, but the day’s young enough that the vast advertising hoardings are still firing on all cylinders and the commuters, office workers and tourists have yet to fill up every available space. The Japanese woman from the Coca Cola ad in Bladerunner’s up to her old tricks again (she should be a feature in as many panels as possible), and beneath her a fight rages.

Three Gorrillas (see above) are locked in combat with the weirdest superteam imaginable: Two twins who look something like this

(ra-ra skirts included), a demon, straight outta the M R James’s story Cannon Alberic’ s Scrapbook*, in a blood red, ragged velvet cape and domino mask and the lion Headed guy we saw last issue. Gorrilla 1 crouches by his pal (no 2) and blasts at the twins with a white rocket launcher, sending one flying backwards through a holo ad, her rainbow face trailing colours like blood, while the other dodges into the air out the way, poised to retaliate. The skeleton leaps, fangs bared, at Gorilla 3, and the lion man, well, he’s just resting on a car. He couldn’t give a shit. One thing: the only essential details in the panel descriptions are what occurs between Gorrilla 1 and the Lion chappy. The rest is just for fun.

* “At first you only saw a mass of coarse, matted black hair; presently it was seen that this covered a body of fearful thinness, almost a skeleton, but with the muscles standing out like wires. The hands were of a dusky pallor, covered, like the body, with long, coarse hairs, and hideously taloned. The eyes, touched in with a burning yellow, had intensely black pupils….. ……Imagine one of the awful bird-catching spiders of South America translated into human form, and endowed with intelligence just less than human, and you will have some faint conception of the terror inspired by this appalling effigy.”

PANEL 2

Gorilla 1 begins reloading. 2 dives into the air, covering him, and crashes into the uninjured twin. The skeleton takes a chunk out of Gorilla 3′s shoulder.

The Lion man gets up, dusting himself down….

PANEL 3

He strolls over to Gorilla 1. Gorilla 3 and the rainbow twin come crashing to the ground where the other twin lies twitching, rainbow seeping along the concrete all around her.

PANEL 4

Gorilla 1 manages to fire the rocket launcher just in time….

PAGE 2

PANEL 1

…but it just bounces off the lion man and goes careening across the square….

PANEL 2

…where it detonates, blowing up the skeleton and the Gorrilla 3 (hair and bones everywhere) . The Lion Man smirks at the cowering gorilla in front of him.

PANEL 3

He opens his mouth in a shit eating lion smile.

VOICE OFF PANEL: (through loud speaker) HOLD IT RIGHT THERE, YOU MUTHAF*****S

PANEL 4

Pull back. The combatants are surrounded by riot police and squad cars. All guns are trained on them. The riot gear should be pretty futuristic – I’m thinking Halo-style – but the GCPD SWAT badges should be clear. There’s a clear distinction between the more pedestrian, common or garden cops and the  futuristic SWAT guys.

PAGE 3

PANEL 1

The lion Man turns to the Bladerunner ad above and behind him. The Japanese woman pauses and looks down at him.

THE NEMEAN: KEIKO?

PANEL 2

Big Panel taking in the whole square. The woman in the advert comes roaring out of the screen, Sadako style. She hunches, half in and half out of the screen, bellowing at the police, her eyes and mouth bleeding red light. Really fucking scary. The squad car windows explode.

PANEL 3

The bat-signal lights up her face, blinding her.

PANEL 4

Reverse shot of Batman swooping in. The symbol on his chest is emmiting the signal.

PAGE 4

PANEL 1

Inset. He peers out from behind his fingers at his prey, exhausted. The light from the sun and the signal bleeds into the next panel.

BATMAN: (small) I JUST WANT TO GO HOME.

PANEL 2

Cut to….

And what could be more homely and domestic than Alfred the cat, curled up in a sunbeam? He sits on a plain blue surface, cleaning a paw.

SPEECH BUBBLE: ( Black with white writing, tail-less and transitioning from the Batman panel to this) WAKEY! WAAAKEY!

ZEPELLIN’S INTERCOMM … RNING LADIES AND GENTLEMEN!

(2): I TRUST THE VIEW FROM UP HERE IS STIMULATING ENOUGH TO CLEAR AWAY THE COBWEBS FROM EVEN THE SLEEPIEST EYES.

PANEL 3

We pull out a bit as he gets to his feet.

INTERCOMM: AND NOW, WITHOUT FURTHER ADO, ON BEHALF OF MYSELF AND THE PILOT I’D LIKE TO WELCOME YOU ALL ONBOARD. OUR BREAKFAST MENU IS NOW AVAILABLE…

(2): (between panels) ….AND FOR THOSE OF YOU WHO LIKE TO GET OFF TO AN EARLY START, WE’LL BE SERVING DRINKS AT THE BAR IN THE NEXT FIFTEEN MINUTES.

PANEL 4

And now behind him. He appears to be on a ledge of some kind. He faces the empty space in front of him, his fur blowing in the wind.

INTERCOMM: LET’S HOPE THAT’S NOT TOO MANY OF YOU!

SFX: (Laughter)

INTERCOMM: OKAY, TO KICK START OUR TOUR WITH – AND I HOPE YOU WON’T MIND ME SAYING THIS – ONE OF OUR HIGHLIGHTS.; IF YOU LOOK OUT THE WINDOW TO YOUR LEFT YOU’LL BE ABLE TO MAKE OUT THE MAGNIFICENT WAYNE INDUSTRIES TOWER.

PANEL 5

He dives headlong into it.

INTERCOMM: THE ORIGINAL STRUCTURE, ERECTED IN 1963,  WAS A SHADOW OF THE TOWER’S PRESENT DAY INCARNATION WHICH NOW CLOCKS IN AT A STAGGERING 3678 FEET, JUST UNDER TWICE THE SIZE OF LEX LUTHOR’S SPACE MOUNTAIN!

INTERCOMM: EVEN GOTHAM’S FAMOUS BAT PROBLEM CAN’T REACH THAT HIGH!

SFX: (More laughter)

PAGE 5

PANEL 1

Large panel. Aerial view. The penny drops. Alfred has leapt off one of the passenger compartments hanging off the side of a massive Wayne Industries tour zepellin, where he was taking a quick power nap after a good night’s hunt, and into the Gotham skyline. We can’t see the zepellin in this shot, but we can see the city spread out below him, like a luminous concrete, steel and plastic canyon, only slightly dulled by the coming of the new day’s sun (which has started to get peculiarly bright (post-club bright. painful)), and the GCPD helicopter he’s aiming for, which will serve as a useful stepping stone on his way to Wayne Tower on the far side of the panel.

INTERCOMM: OR SO WE… WHAT THE HELL!

PANEL 2

From below and in front of the copter. The pilots stare out the window, speechless, as Alfred leapfrogs off the copter, the zeppelin floating high above it, and…

PANEL 3

…lands on the ledge of an open window at the top of Wayne Tower. It’s almost as though someone left it open for him, but no, this is the half repaired Boardroom that was destroyed in issue #6.

BLUE SPEECH BUBBLE AGAIN (henceforth known as voice): OH DEAR, I KNEW THIS WOULD BE DIFICULT.

PANEL 3

He jumps off the ledge onto the floor. Most of the wreckage has been cleared away, but there’s still a pile of glass in the far corner and a few bloodstains the cleaners have been unable to remove from the carpet.

VOICE: RISE AND SHINE, SIR. YOU’VE A BUSY DAY AHEAD AND YOU NEED TO BE ON TOP FORM.

ALFRED: GROOKAN?

MAN’S VOICE FROM OFF PANEL: (Not to be confused with THE VOICE. low and mumbling) ——-

PANEL 4

Alfred nips through the door to the boardroom.

MAN’S VOICE: (from beyond the door) …ND THOSE GODDAMN CLEANERS HAVE LEFT THE DOOR TO THE BOARDROOM AJAR AG….

PANEL 5

Alfred stands frozen in the hallway (by the lifts), catching a young Wayne Industries hotshot and his secretary leaving the gents loo redhanded. They’re both slightly the worse for wear, and they stare, wide-eyed at Alfred, amazed to see him.

HOTSHOT: THE PHANTOM CAT OF WAYNE TOWER!

ALFRED: MWWRP!

PAGE 7

PANEL 1

The hotshot launches himself at Alfred who dodges out the way. The secretary grabs for him, obviously alarmed by his behaviour. It’s only a cat afterall.

HOTSHOT: (jagged and angry) BASTARD!

(2): I’LL TEACH YOU TO USE MY DESK AS A LITTER TRAY!

PANEL 2

Alfred dodges under the legs of the secretary as her boss flails around.

PANEL 3

Alfred darts into a cubicle.

HOTSHOT: (off panel) GODDAMN BRUNSSMAN AND SLORGE LAUGHING THEIR ASSES OFF AT ME, TELLING EVERYONE I P****D MY PANTS!

PANEL 4

He faces a tile just below the seat of the toilet.

HOTSHOT: AHA! CORNERED!

(2): I GOT YOU NOW BASTARD!

PANEL 5

The hotshot kicks the door open.

SFX: BAM!

PANEL 6

The hotshot and the secretary both peer in, dumbfounded.

SECRETARY: …MY GOD.

(2): WHERE DID HE GO?

PAGE 8

Splash. Alfred, knowing all the secret pathways through Wayne Tower, has just escaped through his equivalent of the rocky hologram outside Wayne Manor, but in this case it’s a tile in the boardroom’s loo. These two pages depict his passage from the cubicle, through the concrete, the plumbing, the electrics and eventually the solid rock of bat-mountain, and out and into the cave itself. Each strata of the tesseracted superstructure should dissolve like water into the other, just to make the weird direction Alfred’s travelling in sensible to the reader. By the time we turn the page he’s already probing at the cat-flap that leads to the batcave’s kitchen. Another weird thing about this panel – it’s upside down, Alfred strolling vertically down the page as opposed to left to right, just to underline the strangeness.

CAP: JEEZ, ED, I GUESS THE RUMOURS MUST BE TRUE AFTER ALL!

VOICE: I SUPPOSE IT’S TOO MUCH TO IMAGINE ANYONE WOULD DEIGN TO PAY ATTENTION TO ME.

TITLE BANNER: DAYFALL PART 1 of 5 – THE PHANTOM CAT OF WAYNE TOWER

PAGE 9

PANEL 1

From above. Alfred passes through the catflap and into the kitchen, freezing midstep, his hackles raised. The light is so much dimmer and more soothing here. The reader needs to feel that it’s early *evening* in the Batcave.

(A quick note on the decor. Last time we were in the cave’s living quarters we didn’t really get a look at the rooms. Damian’s taken a cue from his father in terms of interior design, and, apart from the central, connecting corridor which is all metal and glass (complete with the bat-holograms from issue 666), the rooms on the lower floor – the kitchen,  toilet, dining room and living room – could’ve been lifted straight out of Wayne Manor. This suggests that the kitchen would have something of the scullery about it. I leave the exact layout up to you.)

VOICE: OH MY!

PANEL 2

Reverse shot. Puppy lies curled up in Alfred’s basket – it’s quite a squeeze! -  between Alfred and his breakfast, one eye opened lazily (she’s wearing a nightie, so don’t get excited furry fans!).

ALFRED: HSSSSSSSS!

PANEL 3

Puppy snarls.

PUPPY: GRRRRRR!

JUDAH: (off panel) NICO!

PANEL 4

Puppy launches herself at Alfred, snapping and drooling as Judah races onto the scene in blue bat-pajamas, dropping his peanut butter on toast as he reaches for his young charge, trying to calm her. He’s barely slept because he’s been up with Puppy all night, so his eyes are all puffy and his rockabilly quiff is slightly wilted, however he’s decided he might as well get up and face the day and that means there’s a resigned quality about him too.

Alfred’s leapt up onto the work surface beating a hasty retreat.

PUPPY: GRAHHWARARAHW!

JUDAH: NICOLETTA, NO!

PAGE 10

PANEL 1

Alfred makes his way down the corridor. Damian’s getting out the lift in front of him.

BATMAN: (small) WHAT A NIGHT…

JUDAH: (off panel in background) CALM DOWN, GIRL. CALM….

PUPPY: (SFX if you want. low) rrrrrrrr

PANEL 2

Damian, looking  a little bedraggled, bends down to pet his cat.

DAMIAN: EVENING, I MEAN, MORNING, ALFRED. YOU’RE OFF TO SEE ROBIN, AREN’T YOU?

(2): DON’T FORGET TO SEND THE CAR OUT FIRST, IT’S NEARLY EIGHT ALREADY.

ALFRED: GRRRP LELLEP.

PANEL 3

Alfred strolls off down the corridor towards the entrance to the cave.

DAMIAN: (off panel. Calling after him) I’LL BE DOWN TO MEET IT IN HALF AN HOUR, I’VE JUST GOT TO GET READY.

PANEL 4

The bat-blast doors at the end of the corridor open for him and he passes through, into the cave.

DAMIAN: (calling to Alfred off panel) AND WE’RE HAVING PEOPLE OVER LATER, SO MAKE SURE THE CAVE’S SPICK AND SPAN AFTER YOU FINISH UP WITH ROBIN, WON’T YOU?

ALFRED: BLORB

DAMIAN: “BLORB”

PAGE 11

PANEL 1

In the cave. There’s a light in the distance, deep in the darkness – a campfire? – but the main focus of attention should be the bat-ufo and a small, ancient piano standing in front of it.

PANEL 2

Alfred leaps up and whacks a key.

SFX: TING!

THE VOICE: YOU TOLD ME TO GET YOU UP EARLY THIS MORNING. IT’S BEEN TWO WEEKS LAST TUESDAY, YOU ASS.

PANEL 3

He lands.

THE VOICE: I HAVE TO SAY, IT’S ALL RATHER HORRID. RATS AND WHATNOT.

SFX: (quietly) YEEEEEEEEEE

PANEL 4

The UFO turns pale green and fades as it rotates.

THE VOICE: THE FACT FINDING MISSIONS WERE A SUCCESS AND NOW ITS TIME TO….

ALFRED: (overlapping the other bubble) PWOLL YEEEW PLEEES STORB JOBBERIG FAW WEOOWN MINUTE, I CAN’T HEAR MYSELF THINK.

SFX: (large and scary. A haunted house font) EEEEAAAARRRRRAARRRAA

PANEL 5

Match on shot of Alfred watching the UFO as it spins faster and faster, fading almost entirely.

THE VOICE: AH.

(2): THERE YOU ARE.

SFX: (even bigger) AAAAAAAAAAAARRRRRRR

PAGE 12

PANEL 1

With a roar the UFO vanishes.

SFX: (HUGE!) RRRRRRRARGH!

PANEL 2

Alfred waits a beat.

ALFRED: (the dialogue is fractured, like a computer game crashing) xGRAWKASHANAHADx.

(2): FOOGLE.

PANEL 3

WHHOOOOMMM! A large, blue scaly foot lands in front of him.

SFX: WHHOOOOMMM!

PANEL 4

Alfred looks up.

PAGE 13

PANEL 1

Low angle. Maybe running down left hand side of page.  Ace towers above Alfred. He still looks a bit green around the gills.

ALFRED: AND HOW ARE WE THIS MORNING, ACE?

PANEL 2

Ace leans down into his tiny furry friend.

ACE: (green and wobbly text and speech bubble) NOB DOO WEB, I’B AFRAIB.

(2): UH ABE SUMBIG GUY SHOOBOB HAB.

ALFRED: OH DEAR, I’M SORRY. SHOULD YOU BE UP AND AB

VOICE: (interrupting) THAT’S MUCH BETTER.

PANEL 3

Alfred snaps round in a circle, trying to grasp the invisible pest.

ALFRED: MWEEEEEORW!

ACE: WOB ROG? WOB IB IB?

PANEL 4

Alfred’s left panting, exhausted and exasperated.

ALFRED: I DON’T KNOW <huff!>. IS THIS PLACE HAUNTED?

(2): MY <hoo!> MEMORY DOESN’T SEEM TO BE WORKING PROPERLY.

(3): IT COMES AS SOMETHING OF A SURPRISE THAT I’M SPEAKING THE QUEEN’S ENGLISH, FRANKLY.

PANEL 5

He looks at Ace, puzzled.

ALFRED: AND WITH A DINOSAUR NO LESS….

ACE: WEB UB CARNB HAM AROUMB. GOB HUMBIG POO BOO.

(2): CLIB BY HEB.

PAGE 14

PANEL 1

Alfred watches Ace flap off into the blackness.

ACE: GUBUH!

PANEL 2

He wanders towards the campfire passing the bat-starship, which he shoots the same curious look he shot Ace . Robin and the Black Rabbit are toasting marshmallows around the flames. She’s sat on the bat-dodgem. He’s on the floor, but now he looks considerably more humanoid. Bipedal. He’s been running at full power for ages now and, as a result, his normally vividly coloured skin has faded somewhat (mirrored, of course, by his dialogue). As for Robin, she’s still wearing the same togs from last episode, but she looks like she’s been dancing all night. They don’t have to be that clear in this panel but it’s all good to know for the rest of the scene.

The campfire is located in roughly the same area of the cave that the dodgem was parked last issue. We should feel we’re on the hinterland of the cave’s inhabited area here. Beyond lies the steep, steep drop into the mountain. At the moment  the lights fixed into the giant tunnel running through it are off and the fire is the only source of light.

VOICE: I SUPPOSE I MIGHT AS WELL LET ROBIN TAKE OVER FROM HERE.

ALFRED: I WISH YOU WOULD.

(2): (small) WHO’S ROBIN?

PANEL 3

Robin jumps up with glee when she sees the cat. The Rabbit turns.

ROBIN: ALF! IT’S ABOUT TIME!

ROBIN: HOW’S IT GOING, SWEETIE?

ALFRED: HMMM. I’M NOT QUITE SURE WHO I AM, I’M BEING PURSUED BY AN UNQUIET SPIRIT AND I’M HOLDING FORTH WITH DINOSAURS.

(2): YOU TELL ME.

PANEL 4

Alfred rubs up and down her legs, like a cat should.

ROBIN: AND YOU’RE STILL SPEAKING IN DINOSAUR, “OLD CHAP”.

ROBIN: NOT QUITE SHIP SHAPE YET, EH, WOT?

(2): MAYBE YOU’LL FEEL BETTER IF YOU GET ON MY LAP.

PANEL 5

He Leaps up as Robin pats her knees encouragingly.

ALFRED: HMMM. OKAY…

(2): BUT THIS IS VERY UNDIGNIFIED.

PAGE 15

PANEL 1

Robin gestures to the rabbit as Alfred settles into her lap

ROBIN: ALFIE, I’M NOT SURE YOU TWO HAVE BEEN PROPERLY INTRODUCED.

(2): I’D LIKE YOU TO MEET THE BLACK RABBIT.

(3): LAST TIME YOU MET HE WAS A PSYCHOTIC MARTIAN WARHEAD AND YOU WERE A DUMB LIDDLE PUDDY CAT.

PANEL 2

They nod to each other, somewhat icily.

THE BLACK RABBIT: CHARMED I’M SURE.

ALFRED: LIKEWISE, SIR.

PANEL 3

Robin’s clearly amused by their frostiness.

ROBIN: YOU ENGLISH BUTLER TYPES CAN SMELL EACH OTHER A MILE OFF, CAN’T YOU?

(3): THOUGH STRICTLY SPEAKING NEITHER OF YOU ARE REALLY ENGLISH…

THE BLACK RABBIT: I’M NOT SURE THAT I’M REALLY ANYTHING, MISS ROBIN, BUT MARAIN’S VOICE ALWAYS WAS THE LOUDEST, THE SUB-ROUTINE I IDENTIFIED WITH THE MOST.

PANEL 4

Robin pops a marshmallow in her mouth. Alfred’s ears prick up.

ROBIN: YOU’RE NOT GOING TO START RAVING ABOUT FINDING YOURSELF, ARE YOU? I GET ENOUGH OF THAT “ESSENTIAL NATURE” CRAP FROM THE BOSS.

ALFRED: SO YOU KNOW ABOUT DAMIAN’S VISIT TO DOCTOR FATE?

PANEL 5

Robin stops stroking Alfred, surprised. He scratches at her chest.

ROBIN: HAHA! LOOK WHOSE MEMORY’S KICKSTARTING!

(2): YOU’LL SOON BE NAGGING ME TO “WASH UP” AFTER MYSELF AGAIN.

ALFRED: WELL, YOU NEVER

(2): OH.

PAGE 16

PANEL 1

Robin kicks off a boot.

ROBIN: DON’T WORRY, IT’S QUITE NORMAL. AT THIS STAGE IN THE PROCESS IT’LL ALL BE RETURNING IN ERRATIC BURSTS.

ROBIN: JUST GO WITH IT.

PANEL 2

She rubs him under the chin.

ROBIN: WHAT DID ACE HAVE TO SAY FOR HIMSELF?

ALFRED: I DONT… SOMETHING ABOUT “HUMBIG”?

ROBIN PLAY NICE! I BET YOU’VE BEEN COMING OUT WITH SOME ODD OUTBURSTS YOURSELF. IT’S ALWAYS THIS WAY WHEN THE LANGUAGE CENTRES REACTIVATE.

PANEL 3

She kicks off the other boot.

ROBIN: AND HE MEANT ‘HUNTING’.

ROBIN: WHICH REMINDS ME.

PANEL 4

Robin leans back, warming her tootsies by the fire and facing the Black Rabbit again, nodding towards him.

(2): BEFORE YOU INTERRUPTED HIM, MR. WABBIT OVER THERE WAS JUST REGALING US WITH CAMPFIRE TALES OF DEATH AND DESTRUCTION ON A GLOBAL SCALE.

BLACK RABBIT: WOULD YOU KINDLY REFRAIN FROM THE MISTER WABBIT JOKES? I DON’T TAKE MY CUE FROM CHILDREN’S CARTOONS.

PANEL 5

Robin shrugs.

ROBIN: AS YOU SAID, YOU DON’T TAKE YOUR CUE FROM ANYWHERE YET. ONE PERSONALITY’S AS GOOD AS THE NEXT.

PAGE 17

PANEL 1

The Rabbit stares at her, trying to figure her out.

BLACK RABBIT: YOU GAVE UP ON YOUR HUMANITY A LONG TIME AGO DIDN’T YOU, MISS ROBIN?

PANEL 2

Robin looks at the fire wistfully.

BLACK RABBIT: (off panel) NOW WHERE WAS I?

(2): OH YES.

THE BLACK RABBIT: (transitioning between panels) INSPITE OF WHAT YOU MIGHT’VE HEARD, MOST SERVITOR MISSILES AREN’T NANOTECH, BUT SLAVED MARTIAN OMNI-FLESH.

PANEL 3

Space. A huge, cloaked (so translucent) battleship sits in the foreground (see the Dominator’s spaceships in the Invasion mini-series for reference) above a shiny, blue/green planet.

(2): IT’S PROVEN SO EFFECTIVE THAT MOST OMEGA LEVEL CULTURES HAVE BEEN RELYING ON IT TO FIGHT THEIR WARS FOR 10,000 YEARS.

PANEL 4

A row of servitor missiles, pre deployment. The missiles look fairly standard, except for their negative black *sheen* and a row of dreamy looking eyes travelling down the bulk of their, umm, bodies.

THE BLACK RABBIT: IN THE EARLY STAGES OF THEIR CAMPAIGN TO CONQUER THE GALAXY, THE DOMINATORS SET ABOUT ELIMINATING ANY ADVANCED CIVILIZATIONS THAT COULD HAVE STOOD IN THEIR WAY.

THE BLACK RABBIT: OUTRIGHT WAR WOULD HAVE DRAWN UNWANTED ATTENTION, SO THEY TEST RAN A STRATEGY THAT WOULD SERVE THEM WELL IN THE YEARS THAT FOLLOWED.

PAGE 18

PANEL 1

A missile is loaded into a firing bay by a yellow, taloned hand.

CAP: AND THE DREAMING MISSILES, KEPT IN STASIS BETWEEN MISSIONS, WERE A KEY COMPONENT IN ITS SUCCESS.

CAP: WE’RE TALKING ABOUT OUTER-SPACE, YES? STASIS… THAT’S INTERESTING…

CAP: SHHH, ALFRED! LISTEN!

CAP: (transitioning again) THE FIRST PLANET THEY CHOSE WAS NOT DISIMILAR TO EARTH.

PANEL 2

A missile landing in a field, the soil craterises, the grass kicked up by the impact.

THE BLACK RABBIT: TO BEGIN WITH THEY DEPOSITED BILLIONS OF THE GLOBAL CURRENCY IN VARIOUS BANK ACCOUNTS, THEN THEY TOOK CONTROL OF THE WORLD’S LARGEST MEDIA CONGLOMERATE.

(2): ONLY AFTER THAT DID THEY DEPLOY ME.

PANEL 3

A humanoid male, black, incredibly beautiful and dressed in a extremely well tailored suit, crawls from the crater, unharmed.

THE BLACK RABBIT: I WAS PROGRAMMED TO EMBODY ALL THEIR STRENGTHS. EVEN MY VOICE WAS MODULATED AT A PITCH THAT WOULD MAKE IT IMPOSSIBLE TO IGNORE.

(2): I WAS FITTED WITH AN INTELLECT AND ARTISTIC ABILITY FAR, FAR IN ADVANCE OF THEIR GREATEST MINDS AND MASTERS.

(3): (transitioning between panels) AND, OF COURSE, PHYSICALLY I WAS AS POWERFUL AS I EVER WAS.

PANEL 4

Reverse shot. The man strides towards a city on the horizon. Two children run to him to see if he’s okay.

THE BLACK RABBIT: IT WAS LIKE THIS, THE MOST POWERFUL MAN IN THE WORLD, THAT I MARCHED ON THE CAPITAL CITY TO FULFILL MY OBJECTIVE.

ALFRED: YOUR STORY, IT REMINDS ME…URK!

ROBIN: SHHHHH!

PANEL 5

He kneels down to greet them, smiling warmly.

THE BLACK RABBIT: TO DEPOSE THE INTER-CONTINENTAL PRESIDENCY AND INITIATE A NUCLEAR WAR THAT WOULD BRING THIS META-GENETICALLY ACTIVE, NEWLY SPACE-FARING RACE TO ITS KNEES.

PAGE 19

PANEL 1

Close on his eyes, red, alien writing replacing his pupils: Dominator for ‘ARMED’. Reflected flames burn around the word.

BLACK RABBIT: CONSERVATIVE ESTIMATES SAW ME COMPLETING MY MISSION IN TEN YEARS.

BLACK RABBIT: IT TOOK FIVE.

PANEL 2

The rabbit stares into the fire, remembering the flames.

THE BLACK RABBIT: AFTER THAT I WAS GIFTED WITH THE DREAM OF A THOUSAND ELECTRIC LOVERS. IT MAKES ME SICK TO TH…

ROBIN: (off panel) YEAH, YEAH, YEAH, YOU CAN SHUT UP ABOUT IT NOW. YOU’VE DONE YOUR JOB.

(2):THE CAT’S DEAD.

PANEL 3

Robin’s on her feet now, holding the dead cat at arms length and holding her nose.

THE BLACK RABBIT: (off panel) EXCUSE ME?

ROBIN: I SAID THE CAT’S DEAD.

(2): DON’T LOOK SO SHOCKED. ITS ONLY HIS BODY. HIS CONSCIOUSNESS IS UPLOADING INTO THE OLD MODEL AS WE SPEAK.

PANEL 4

Robin tosses the corpse into the flames.

ROBIN: MEGADEATH’S A HOOT, BUT I READ ALL ABOUT IT YESTERDAY WHEN I WAS REWIRING YOU AND UNINSTALLING THAT MARAIN CRAP.

(2): YOUR LITTLE BEDTIME STORY WASN’T FOR MY BENEFIT.

(3): IT WAS FOR ALFRED’S.

PANEL 5

The Rabbit looks shocked.

ROBIN: DON’T LOOK SO SURPRISED. WHY ELSE DO YOU THINK I KEPT THIS FIRE GOING?

(2): TO KEEP WARM?

PANEL 6

The cat burns.

ROBIN: BACK BEFORE HE GREW WHISKER’S TWO WEEKS AGO, ALFRED ENTRUSTED ME WITH PIECING HIM BACK TOGETHER, AND I KNEW YOU’D HIT ALL THE MAJOR BEATS.

ROBIN: THINK OF THEM AS A SERIES OF KEYS.

PAGE 20

PANEL 1

Close on the Bat-starship, lowered, it’s gangway open, stairs extended.

CAP: STARSHIPS.

PANEL 2

Inside. A carbon freeze bursts open, revealing a naked man, gasping. He’s a bit unclear at the moment.

PANEL 3

CAP: STASIS.

MAN: <GASP!>

PANEL 4

From behind. The man pulls on some black trousers.

CAP: THE RABBIT THAT TURNED INTO A MAN. OR IN HIS CASE, THE CAT.

CAP: SAME DIFFERENCE.

CAP: POOR GUY, HE WOULD’VE EXPERIENCED SOME MAJOR DISASSOCIATION TO BEGIN WITH, BUT THEN…YOU’RE AN EXPERT ON THAT AS WELL.

PAGE 21

PANEL 1

Batman waits by the piano, checking his bat-watch. He’s wearing the see-thru Batsuit we saw in issue six. On closer inspection, diaphonous would be a better way to describe it. The bare flesh on his face also appears sheathed by it, and it glows a pale green,

CAP: ANYONE ELSE WOULD’VE ALLOWED THEMSELVES A FEW DAYS TO COME ROUND. THE ONTOLOGICAL SHOCK CAN OFTEN PROVE FATAL.

CAP: BUT ALFRED HAS A LOT TO DO TODAY, AND HE ALWAYS DID LIKE TO BE PUNCTUAL.

VOICE: (off panel) MASTER DAMIAN?

PANEL 2

Alfred Pennyworth stands at his master’s side carrying a silver tray upon which are perched a bottle of expensive champagne and two fluted glasses. He arches an eyebrow. In the background the bat-ufo’s rotating back into our dimension.

ALFRED: CHAMPAGNE FOR THE LADY?

PANEL 3

Damian puts his hand on Alfred’s shoulder, smiling warmly as a hatch opens in the UFO behind them.

PAGE 22

PANEL 1

Alfred turns to face their new guest, with the same imperious look in his eyes he always had.

CAP: IT’LL BE GOOD TO HAVE  HIM BACK, EVEN IF HE IS A SNOOTY OLD BUZZARD.

CAP: DAMIAN NEEDS HIS FRIENDS AROUND HIM NOW.

PANEL 2

Green, translucent calves and feet, strapped into silver heels, descend stairs extending from the UFO

CAP: YES, MISS ROBIN, THE CAVE IS FILLING UP WITH PEOPLE….

CAP: AS I SAID TO JUDAH…. HE HAS HIS REASONS. EVERYTHING WILL BECOME CLEAR SOON.

PANEL 3

Cut to Judah and Puppy as the lift doors close. Judah’s fully dressed, but this time just in a plain vest and blue jeans, Puppy is wearing one of Robin’s dresses, a long laura ashley inspired, floral number and a long, chiffon scarf around her neck. She looks a little uncomfortable……

CAP: ANYWAY, IT’S GOING TO GET MUCH BUSIER.

CAP: MORE WILL BE COMING TONIGHT. WE MIGHT HAVE TO PLACE AN AD IN TOYTOWN FOR LAST MINUTE HELP!

PANEL 4

And a final cut of Ace flapping through the darkness of the mountain before…..

CAP: BUT RIGHT NOW WE HAVE HOURS TO KILL.

PAGE 23

PANEL 1

…we return to Robin who’s suddenly turned deadly serious.

ROBIN: HOURS AND HOURS UNTIL HE TEARS EVERYTHING DOWN.

PANEL 2

Close on her face. Real concern expressed.

ROBIN: BEFORE BATMAN UNDOES DECADES OF SECRECY AND REVEALS HIS IDENTITY TO THE WORLD.

PANEL 3

Pull out into the depths of the mountain. We can just make out the silhouettes of the Rabbit and Robin around the fire.

ROBIN: <SIGH!> IT’S GOING TO BE A LONG DAY, MR. WABBIT.

PANEL 4

Out even further.

PANEL 5

The fire’s now a gleaming speck.

ROBIN: ….DO YOU WANT TO HEAR MY SECRET ORIGIN?

END OF PART ONE.

55 Responses to “Batman & Robin 666 #9”

  1. Zom Says:

    Fuck me those monkeys are cool.

    Wonderful, understated issue with some great character moments

  2. amypoodle Says:

    In many ways it’s the one I’m most pleased with. I’ve been waiting to get to something like this for a very long time, and I’m so pleased I’ve arrived at a point in the narrative when it not only works but it’s necessary.

    I want to prove that you can have character based issues in superhero comics without doing a Bendis.

  3. Neon Snake Says:

    “A naked humanoid male, black, incredibly beautiful and dressed in a extremely well tailored suit, crawls from the crater, unharmed.”

    Bloody well dressed for a naked man…

    Meanwhile, though: Alfred, yay!

  4. amypoodle Says:

    Edit.

    Yeah, Alfred, great, but I hope you picked up on some of the subtler stuff too. There’s a lot going on in this issue. Not saying you’re being a dinny though, Snake. You can certainly enjoy the thing on that level. In fact I’d hope you do! Alfred’s the most timeless thing about the bat-mythos afterall.

  5. Zom Says:

    (that was the first edit I proposed!)

  6. Neon Snake Says:

    What I’m not getting, is who “the voice” is – should I be, at this point?

    Or have I just missed something obvious, somewhere, and am being daft?

  7. amypoodle Says:

    ‘Major disassociation….’ That’s your clue.

    I debated flagging that up to a greater extent, but decided it was better for readers to do some of the leg work themselves.

    And I think the voice’s colour scheme might cause some confusion, so I’ve changed it. It’s now just the inverse of a normal balloon. Another clue.

  8. Zom Says:

    I think I get who the voice belongs to, but there’s one line that I don’t really understand

    “THE VOICE: YOU TOLD ME TO GET YOU UP EARLY THIS MORNING. IT’S BEEN TWO WEEKS LAST TUESDAY, YOU ASS.”

    The first sentence is straightforward enough, the second is absolutely opaque to mee.

  9. amypoodle Says:

    He’s been a cat for two weeks. I’ve made another quick edit.

  10. Bucky Sinister Says:

    Nice, terribly dense writing once again. I think I got it all, but just barely; there were moments where I felt like I was trying to see through a brick wall. This is not a criticism, mind. It all came together in the end. I just needed to work a bit harder along the way than I was really prepared for this evening.

    I am struck sometimes, though, by how good an artist you’d need to pull off some of your ideas. Alfred passing through the bowels Wayne Tower in this issue is one of those sequences. I can almost, but not quite, wrap my head around what that would look like on the page.

    On to the actual story, though. Interesting how Damian is slowly building a “Batman Family” around himself. And how they’re all built around animal motifs. Judah the Mega-Dog, Puppy, Black Rabbit…

    Oh, and may I say that the image of Puppy in a nightie will fuel my nightmares for days to come. Kudos on the most disturbing supporting character since… Oh, god. I’m not sure she’s ever been topped.

  11. Zom Says:

    So is everyone else struggling with the owner of the voice?

  12. Zom Says:

    Also, I found this quite easy to understand. What did you find challenging, Bucky?

  13. Neon Snake Says:

    Is it Alfred himself? Having split his consciousness somehow?
    Best I can come up with, I think; on the basis of speech patterns, and the overlapping speech bubbles. But then, the “you ass” bit throws me off of that a bit.

  14. Zom Says:

    Yes, I think it’s supposed to be Alfred, not split into two personalities so much as dislocated: a self without a center, veering between cat and man.

    “You ass” doesn’t work very well for me either. I know Amy means ass as in silly ass, as in donkey, but ass also double as the American for arse, which creates an irritating tension.

  15. amypoodle Says:

    Oh, I see. The ‘ass’ thing. I thought it was obvious, because of the speech patterns, it’s is an englishism. Never assume, eh?

    #10 is dense, but by my lights fairly uncomplicated. It’s got nothing on #4 for example.

    Bucky, WRT Puppy, you do remember this bit don’t you?

    ‘Batman and Judah turn. A young blonde girl, naked and covered in sludge, stands shivering and terrified before them. She holds a tattered and torn Puppy-suit.’

    She’s not in the beaky costume anymore. Are you still scared of her? Maybe you should be….

  16. Neon Snake Says:

    Also, this bit:

    “I SUPPOSE IT’S TOO MUCH TO IMAGINE ANYONE WOULD DEIGN TO PAY ATTENTION TO ME.”

    …directly after someone has paid attention to him (or him in cat form) made me think that it’s someone other than the cat-Alfred.

    Other than that, though:

    The opening scene; it feels like Gotham is being attacked again by outsiders, and (similar to the Sensei’s apparent demise) Gotham simply isn’t having any of it. I’ve assumed that the Gorilla’s are rogues, tied in to Jackanapes, maybe. It doesn’t feel like an intra-Gotham turf war, it feels like the rogues are part of Gotham’s DNA, and are as much of a self-defense mechanism as Batman himself, repelling attacks from Outside.

    Reverse-Superman origin.

    And Alfred – having Alfred back in his classic form seems very important. So far, Damian and Alice have seemed to be a fair few steps away from “classic” Batman and Robin. Not that they’re unrecognisable, not that you can’t trace them back, but there are a number of steps to go through. Alfred is a good, solid link back to Batman And Robin. I don’t think we need anymore, I don’t think we need Tim or Dick or Batgirl, and the fact that it’s specifically Alfred does the job, I think.

  17. Neon Snake Says:

    It wasn’t so much that I read it as “arse” (knowing we’re both English, I read it as “stupid donkey”), it was more that the insult seemed unbecoming to Alfred, the consumate professional.

  18. Zom Says:

    Yes, that too. I’ve always thought of Alfred as having a sharp tongue, but a sharp tongue that works with subtlety rather than force. Ass is too forceful, too exasperated.

    The “deign” line is the Hotshot speaking. I’m not sure I suggested that Amy change it but its always bothered me because that word choice puts it too close to what we’d expect from Alfred, hence your confusion.

    Of course the coloured speech bubble would help you parse the text were you actually reading the comic. Deign also seems a little too proper for the Hotshot

  19. Neon Snake Says:

    Alfred, I feel, should be gently sarcastic, condescending, patronising; not so direct, maybe.

    The “deign” line is mean’t to be the Hotshot? It’s labelled as “The Voice” currently…?

  20. amypoodle Says:

    Yeah, I don’t know what the confusion was there.

    I wrestled with the strength of ‘ass’ myself, but I reasoned Alfred would be a harser critic and more plain speaking when it came to himself.

  21. Neon Snake Says:

    And I don’t think that’s unreasonable, once you know it’s Alfred. He probably would be direct; similarly, the “snooty” comment works fine, once you know it’s Alfred’s voice.

    Amy – when I’m pointing out the bits that confused me, remember that it’s entirely likely that it’s just me who didn’t get that it’s Alfred right off the bat, and not it’s not necessarily the case that the script is unclear.

  22. Zom Says:

    The “deign” line is mean’t to be the Hotshot? It’s labelled as “The Voice” currently…?

    Is it?

    Sort it out, Amy

    I think Alfred might be harder on himself, but in sometimes realism or specificity needs to sacrificed in the name of clarity

  23. Zom Says:

    Neon, I think you’ve done a good job of highlighting lots of nooks and crannies that I had a problem with, so it’s not just you

  24. Neon Snake Says:

    As long as it’s being viewed as constructive and helpful, and not just just “Wah, I didn’t get it. And now I’m going to poke holes to show why.”

    The “harder on himself” thing works fine, once re-reading it with the knowledge that it’s Alfred, I think. The issue is that on first read, if it hasn’t yet occurred to you that it might be Alfred, then it serves to push one further away from the notion that it’s Alfred.

  25. Zom Says:

    Exactly

  26. amypoodle Says:

    The deign line is a non issue. You were just confused, Zom.

    And, snake, it’s himself who’s not paying attention to himself. If you follow the dialogue, the voice’s mounting frustration is clear I think. It’s a man talking to a cat. Very annoying for the man.

    I take what you mean about specifity though, Zom. That’s why I wrestled with the word, but you can’t go on that much. You read through the script twice and you failed to point it out.

    Other than that, I really don’t see that there’s any big problems.

    Snake, the last script was fairly clear on the point that there is a turf war going on in Gotham, and the introduction of the Wonderlanders in #4 and the Jackanapes gang in #2 were certainly intended to point in that direction, as was the fight at the beginning of this one.

    You’re right though, the rogues are antibodies. They will defend their city, but that’s just it – whose city is it?

  27. Zom Says:

    I take what you mean about specifity though, Zom. That’s why I wrestled with the word, but you can’t go on that much. You read through the script twice and you failed to point it out.

    Eh, of course I can go on about it. It bothers me, it bothered Snake. We’ve thrashed out the reasons. They are solid.

  28. Neon Snake Says:

    In Gotham, or for Gotham, though?

    What I mean is, do you view the Wonderlanders/Jackanapes as part of Gotham? And the “new” villains (Lionman/Keiko etc)as not-Gotham?

  29. Zom Says:

    Nemean and Keiko are Wonderlanders, I think.

    Um… might be wrong on that score.

    I don’t think this is a question of outsiders vs insiders but rather a question of who constitutes an outsider or an insider. What is Gotham, who belongs to the city, what are it’s boundaries? This warfare is an attempt to thrash out the question of Nu-Gotham’s identity.

    The first two arcs were about Batman and his people (although interestingly the police dept hasn’t featured) – who they are, how they came to be – based on this I’d say that the third (and possibly the fourth) is about the city.

    Maybe.

  30. amypoodle Says:

    Well, this is the final one about the people really, although it starts to elide with the other stuff.

  31. amypoodle Says:

    And, no, Nemean and Keiko are not Wonderlanders. We’ve seen the Nemean before…..

  32. Zom Says:

    Yeah, we saw him at the end of issue 8. I just assumed those guys were wonderlanders.

    Interesting

  33. amypoodle Says:

    I think it’s already been established that Damian and the Wonderlanders have an understanding. A precarious one, but an understanding nevertheless.

  34. Zom Says:

    Well, to be fair that understanding was only ever very loosely implied – things could have changed. But yes, initially I rejected the idea that the chaps at the end of 8 were Wonderlanders, but their outlandish appearances, combined with my usual desire not to multiply entities without good reason led me to the conclusion that I was imposing my own faulty logic upon the text and that all things being equal they probably were from wonderland

  35. amypoodle Says:

    Well, I think it always stood to reason that it was never going to be just the Wonderlanders versus the Gorrillas.

  36. Zom Says:

    I’m not sure about the presence of additional forces standing to reason, as Batman and the more mundane factions of the city would represent sizable additional interests, but a bigger conflict certainly is more appealing.

  37. amypoodle Says:

    Yeah, I was thinking in terms of drama.

  38. Bucky Sinister Says:

    Amy – I had forgotten that bit about her taking off the “Puppy suit.” In my head, she’d become some kind of genetic abberation, and that impression overwhelmed what you actually wrote. I liked that impression, mind you; I genuinely admire it when somebody manages to creep me out. But still. My bad. In the future I’ll try to remember what’s really going on with her.

    Zom – I was able to follow the actual action of the issue with no trouble. It was the details that were throwing me. I always try to envision how these scripts would look on the comics page, and I had a hard time wrapping my head around a couple of scenes. Then Alfred the cat started talking, which also threw me, and like many others I wasn’t clear on the identity of “The Voice” either. I was enjoying it all, understand, and it all became clear by the end. But along the way I felt a bit thick-headed.

    I was a bit more tired than I thought I was when I sat down to read, as well. Which is probably the real reason this issue seemed so dense to me.

  39. Zom Says:

    I think the production of a couple of pages, the descent into the mountain being the most obvious one, would probably involve some chat with the artist.

  40. Triplets Says:

    I’ll admit, I found a fair bit of it hard to follow but that it got easier with re-reads.

    Stuff I found difficult:

    * The Voice
    * Puppy; at first I was confused because at the end of her last appearence she was human again but the animalistic actions described here still ring of DOG which coloured my inner imagino-comic. Drawn, however, I think this’d be a non-issue, although it speaks of the intended dissonance it’d have quite well :)

    Really like how Damian’s not yer mum and dad’s Batman. The guy’ll recruit whole teams in an afternoon and, this just struck, he fucking TRUSTS people. I mean, who the fuck are Judah, Puppy and the Black Rabbit really? The last two are former enemies and the first is a, too us, unknown quantity. This ain’t your Babel Protocol wielding Bat-Paranoid.

  41. Zom Says:

    What’s also interesting is how much faith he puts in Robin, after all she’s the one who recruited Judah and the Black Rabbit.

    Did you find it problematically confusing, Trips? Annoyingly so?

  42. amypoodle Says:

    Damian’s reasoning becomes clearer as things progress. He’s a clever bastard and a brilliant improviser. Bear in mind though that sometimes this stuff’ll be delivered in seemingly throwaway lines. I like it when the denseness doesn’t signpost itself too much.

    I do think a lot of the confusion would be cleared up if the thing was illustrated, but, like so much sci-fi, #9 was always going to be a bit head scratchy at the start. What I’m really curious about is whether or not the issue had the *atmosphere* I was shooting for.

    The scripts might slow down a bit over the next couple of weeks because I’m now fundraising again (1.30 till 9 at night. I won a bottle of wine today: yay!), and the weekends are getting busier as the summer party/barbeque season kicks in and the money starts to come in.

    Episode 10 is under way though (ten pages into the rough draft), and I’ll be starting on League annocommentations soon.

  43. Neon Snake Says:

    Without illustrations to guide me, I immediately grabbed hold (in my mind) of the Zatanna spread where the group from the sceance goes skipping through planes and universes when I came to the Alfred-into-mountain spread; I kind of automatically then overlaid the soft, nebulous anything-can-happen-in-your-mind atmosphere from Zatanna onto the rest of the issue. There was a bit of a (presumably deliberate and certainly effective) dislocate between crackly electric Ace plus the ufo, and the non-technological campfire-plus-storytelling which compounded this.

    Not sure how helpful that is.

  44. amypoodle Says:

    Right, ummm. I think my description of Alfred travelling through the wall might’ve confused some people too then. In my head it just looks like a cat passing through a watery geological diagram. I probably should’ve just said that. Although I don’t think what’s there’s that far off.

    The other stuff sounds far more interesting though.

    Re atmosphere: TBH, I’m never going to tell anyone what they SHOULD get from what I write, and I think the fact that the bat family’s playing on people’s minds means I’ve done my job….

  45. Zom Says:

    What you want to know is if people enjoyed it, right, Poodle?

  46. Triplets Says:

    “Did you find it problematically confusing, Trips? Annoyingly so?”

    No, but it’s one of those things that I left to faith and when it became clear it was Alfred at the end it slotted into place.

    I loved Ace’s great, big clumsy dino-speak. GUBUH! Too cute. Is that how Ace usually speaks or is it because he’s still unwell?

    Unsettled by Robin wringing the cat’s neck. Okay, it’s for Alfred’s own good and self-initialisation but still, she’s just killed a cat. A very anti-Morrison moment from a Morrison-esque and I think it’s a strong/good one.

    GUBUH!

  47. Triplets Says:

    And yes, this was the enjoy.

  48. Zom Says:

    I wanted Ace to talk in glowing sigils but that probably would have set up some distance between the reader and the character

  49. Neon Snake Says:

    Amy, it was the talk of weird directions, and the final part being upside down, combined with electrics and plumbing. The electrics and plumbing made me think of lots of turns and twists in the path, and the weird direction+upside down of the Zatanna spread. On re-reading more carefully, I’m seeing a more direct(ish) path from top of page to bottom, through horizontally depicted levels, with your watery effect in between them.

    The family thing is explicit, I think. This issue had a calm-before-storm effect, possibly because we have time for a campfire-story, but also because Damian is gathering his friends and family (because he’ll “need them”), typified by old-Alfred and Nu-Robin, and added to by Ace, Puppy and Judah.

  50. amypoodle Says:

    Yeah, I wanted the sense that the cave is a haven of sorts, busy with the warmth of bodies milling around, a haven that’s about to be seriously disrupted by the events that are set to take place that evening. The deep dark day before school and, guess what?, you haven’t done your homework. That’s what I set out to achieve.

    Robin didn’t actually kill the cat – it was the “ontological shock” – but that reading’s more fun actually.

  51. Zom Says:

    That reading is much more fun. It bounces nicely off Black Rabbit’s humanity comment

  52. amypoodle Says:

    That’s what happened then.

  53. Triplets Says:

    Interesting that Damian has gathered three canines under his wing, Ace (a rex), Puppy and Judah Runningdog (do you see!). Dude’s a dog person. No room for cats!

  54. amypoodle Says:

    Well, Alfred was a cat….

    Oh, and in answer to your question, that’s how Ace talks.

    I’m very pleased you picked up on the trust thing, Trips. Damian and Alice are bigger bastards than Bruce and Tim/Dick, but they’re good guys where it counts.

    Update: the next installment of Dayfall should be with you by Wed. Expect the unexpected. Another scene shift. I’m sure writers must occasionally wince when they see previews for their books. I know that I’d hate readers to have any idea what they’re getting next.

  55. plok Says:

    Aw, I wanted Alfred to stay a cat for a little while longer!

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