Batman and Robin 666 #10

June 14th, 2009

PREVIOUSLY IN BATMAN AND ROBIN 666….

In the aftermath of the Sensei’s attack on Nu-Gotham and a near lethal , three pronged assault on their friends by super-assassins contracted by one of the shadowy forces vying for control of the city, 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, but Nico the puppy-girl and new recruit Judah Runningdog are starting to get restless…..

PAGE 1

PANEL 1

We open on Judah kneeling down and directing his heat-vision at some old rags and a few logs. Puppy hangs off his thigh, her expression blank.

CAP: (all Judah’s captions, unless he’s talking to someone, should be in a computery font on a white field – this is his diary.) AT FIVE AM WE MADE A FIRE.

CAP: I WAS AFRAID IT WOULD FLIP NICO OUT, BUT SHE WAS SO INSISTENT I ALLOWED MYSELF TO HOPE IT MIGHT HAVE THE OPPOSITE EFFECT.

PANEL 2

From behind Judah and Puppy, who are now in silhouette. They recline in front of the fire, and we realise it’s the same one Robin and the Black Rabbit were sat around last issue. A black shape sits in the centre of the flames.

CAP: YOU CAN UNDERSTAND WHY I WAS A LITTLE TENSE, THOUGH.

CAP: IT’D BEEN EXACTLY TWO HOURS SINCE SHE’D TRIED TO TEAR MY FACE OFF.

CAP: SECONDS AFTER SHE’D TOLD ME HER NAME.

PANEL 3

Close on the fire. The black shape is the Puppy suit. Although flames are erupting from the mouth and eye-sockets and licking all around the material, it won’t burn.

CAP: THINKING ABOUT IT NOW, I SHOULD’VE KNOWN THE &*%$£NG THING WOULDN’T BURN.

PANEL 4

Close on it’s mouth beneath its horny nose.

CAP: THOUGH LATER SHE TOLD ME IT WAS SCREAMING.

PAGE 2

PANEL 1

Judah drags the suit out of the fire as Robin and The Black Rabbit appear out of the darkness, laughing and joking, not paying the slightest bit of attention to Judah or Puppy.

CAP: WE DECIDED TO GIVE UP SHORTLY AFTER THE OTHERS RETURNED FROM THEIR ADVENTURE AT THE MURDER FACTORY.

PANEL 2

Judah shoots Robin a look, but she gives no indication she’s noticed as she makes herself comfortable in front of the fire.

CAP: IT WAS TIME TO CALL IT A NIGHT.

PANEL 3

Close on a computer terminal. The holo-screen reads.

BUT YOU TRY AND SLEEP AFTER YOU’VE BEEN KIDNAPPED BY BATMAN AND MADE RESPONSIBLE FOR THE MENTAL WELL BEING OF A DERANGED DOG GIRL, WHO, LESS THAN 24 HOURS AGO, WAS TRYING HER HARDEST TO KILL YOU, AND DOING A VERY CONVINCING JOB OF IT TOO.

THE ADRENALINE DOESN’T LET UP THAT EASILY, I CAN TELL YOU.

ANYWAY, I’D BE CRAZY NOT TO KEEP A RECORD OF THE LAST COUPLE OF DAYS. I HOPE MY HOST DOESN’T MIND, THOUGH FRANKLY HE DOESN’T SEEM TO GIVE A DAMN WHAT WE GET UP TO, OR WHAT WE SE..

Judah flicks a minimized file open at the  bottom of the screen.

JUDAH: WELL, LOOKEE HERE. WHAT MIGHT YOU….

SFX: TKK

PANEL 4

He leans back in his swivel chair,his toast hanging out of his mouth, flabbergasted.  (Just some notes on the guest room: we’re in the upstairs section of the cave which is largely robin’s domain and she’s responsible for the interior decor, so it’s considerably more modern than Damian’s quarters below. The walls continue the same theme we saw in the swimming pool scene in ish 7 and there’s an enormous pop-art style print of batman and robin hanging in the background. the bed, though we can’t see it, is a dark blue futon covered in bat symbols)

JUDAH: GODDESS!

PAGE 3

PANEL 1

The screen has filled up with pictures of Judah. In his wolf form battling a supervillain, shopping, cooking in his apartment, on a bench chatting to a man in dark glasses, his 19th birthday party at a nightclub just a few days before….

JUDAH: …DID HE WANT ME TO SEE THIS THO..

PANEL 2

Close on Judah’s ear twitching.

TAIL-LESS BUBBLE BY HIS EAR: rrrrrr

JUDAH: OH S**T.

PANEL 3

An empty, spinning swivel chair.

PANEL 4

Cut to Judah timelapse bombing down the corridor leading to the kitchen, passing the holograms on the way. We notice Geo-Force and Katana are amongst them

JUDAH: NICO!

SPEECH BUBBLE: RRRRRRR

PANEL 5

He arrives in the kitchen just in time and grabs at Puppy (who henceforth will be reffered to as Nicoletta) as she lunges at Alfred the cat, dropping his toast.

JUDAH: NICOLETTA, NO!

NICOLETTA: RAHHAWRAWRAHAR!

PAGE 4

PANEL 1

He hugs Nicoletta, stroking her back.

JUDAH: CALM DOWN GIRL. CALM….

PANEL 2

Judah turns.

BATMAN: (off panel) MORNING, BAT-DOG.

PANEL 3

Batman stands in the doorway of the kitchen. He looks a little broken and apologetic. Judah just looks a bit weirded out.

JUDAH: MUH MU…

BATMAN: YOU LOOK AS WIPED AS ME. I HOPE SHE WASN’T TOO MUCH TROUBLE LAST NIGHT?

JUDAH: UM…

PANEL 4

Batman flicks the kettle on, his back to Judah. Judah doesn’t know where to put himself.

BATMAN: WELL, I’M SURE YOU’RE MAKING PROGRESS WITH HER, YOU DO SHARE SOME COMMON GROUND AFTERALL.

(2): HAVE YOU GOT ANY PLANS TODAY? ROBIN AND THE RABBIT ARE KEEPING EACH OTHER OCCUPIED AROUND THE CAMPFIRE, FEEL FREE TO…

PANEL 5

Close on Batman, who turns to look at him inscrutably.

BATMAN: …STICK AROUND.

PANEL 1

Judah stares at him.

JUDAH: ERRR.. TH..THAT’S OKAY, BATMAN.

PAGE 4

PANEL 1

Low angle. Puppy looks up at Judah eagerly. He meets her gaze.

JUDAH: NICO AND I THOUGHT WE MIGHT GO FOR A WALK.

PANEL 2

Nico and Judah are trying on clothes in Robin’s bedroom. Nico attacks the blouse Judah’s just put on her with her teeth, like a dog with a lead. Judah looks casual about the whole affair.

CAP: BUT FIRST WE HAD TO FIND SOMETHING FOR NICO TO WEAR, AND I DIDN’T THINK ROBIN WOULD MIND IF WE WENT THROUGH HER WARDROBE.

JUDAH: OKAY, I THINK IT’S TIME TO STOP NOW.

CAP: HEY, IT’S NOT LIKE SHE EMERGED FROM ACE’S MOUTH WITH A SUITCASE FULL OF CLOTHES.

PANEL 3

Judah stares at the tattered and torn clothes Nico’s been feasting on. He smirks.

CAP: THAT ROBIN HAD BEEN IGNORING ME SINCE I’D ARRIVED HAD NOTHING TO DO WITH THE PILE OF &*$£”$ED UP DRESSES WE LEFT BEHIND US.

CAP: IT’S JUST THAT NICO’S VERY HARD TO CONTROL ONCE SHE GETS GOING.

CAP: CROSS MY HEART.

PANEL 4

Nico and Judah stand in front of the mirror. They’re dressed in the same outfits we saw at the end of last issue (in her case, a floral dress and scarf. I can’t remember what he was wearing). He looks pleased. She looks confused.

CAP: ANYWAY, IN THE END SHE SCRUBBED UP VERY WELL.

CAP: FULLY CLOTHED, SHE COULD ALMOST PASS FOR A NORMAL TEENAGE GIRL.

PANEL 5

Judah hold’s out the Puppy suit – it looks like a shredded devil dog, legs broken, snout bent, tail frayed, ‘skin’ tattered and torn – and presents it to Nico before placing it in his rucksack.

NICO: KILL IT!

JUDAH: WE’RE GOING TO THROW IT IN THE HARBOUR, DO YOU UNDERSTAND?

(2): KILL IT DEAD.

CAP: ALMOST. THAT’S IF YOU IGNORED ALL THE DROOLING, HOWLING AND THE LITTLE PRESENT SHE LEFT ME IN THE CORNER OF THE KITCHEN.

PAGE 5

PANEL 1

Match on shot from previous episode. Judah and Nico in the lift.

CAP: HAVING SAID THAT, YOU CAN”T HOLD IT AGAINST HER.

CAP: SHE SPENT GODDESS KNOWS HOW LONG SEWN UP INSIDE A MAGIC SUIT THAT TURNED HER INTO THE HOUND OF THE BASKERVILLES ON PCP.

PANEL 2

From behind. Puppy takes Judah’s hand.

CAP: SLEEPING IN A KENNEL, FED HORSEMEAT TWICE A DAY IF SHE WAS LUCKY.

CAP: THE PERSONAL ATTACK DOG OF A PAMPERED, BIONIC RICH KID, KNOWN AS LADY MATILDA DEWITT. AND BETWEEN THE WHIMPERS OTHER NAMES, THE HOUSEKEEPER…  MR. FRIENDLY OR SOMETHING….

PANEL 3

She directs Judah to clasp the end of the scarf.

CAP: THE SUIT WE COULD DROWN, BUT THERE ARE NO QUICK FIXES FOR THE SYSTEMATIC ABUSE SHE SUFFERED AT THE HANDS OF THOSE EVIL BASTARDS.

NICO: FEEL SAFE.

PANEL 4

The lift tings open. Judah stares at the scarf realizing what she wants him to do. Nico’s getting undressed again….

JUDAH: UM, NO.

(2): NO. DON’T DO THAT.

(3): STOP IT…

CAP: LIKE I SAID, YOU CAN’T HOLD NICO’S BEHAVIOUR AGAINST HER….

PAGE 6

Splash. Judah and Nico are making their way through the bustling lobby of Wayne Tower, all metal, marble and glass. Office workers swarm around them, and they’re receiving their fair share of funny looks. you’d stare too if your day at the office started with a guy leaving the lift holding a leash tethered to a 19 year old girl, stripped down to her underwear and bounding across the floor on all fours like a dog after a bone.

Needless to say, Judah looks very uncomfortable.

CAP: … EVEN IF WHAT’S ACCEPTABLE IN THE BAT-CAVE ISN’T ACCEPTABLE

TITLE BANNER: DAYFALL PART 2 OF 5: OUTSIDE!

VOICE: (off panel) EXCUSE ME, SIR.

PAGE 7

PANEL 1

Two large security guards make their way over to them, spectacularly unimpressed. Judah massages his forehead with his hands.

JUDAH: OH, FOR THE LOVE OF….

GUARD 1: WOULD YOU MIND EXPLAINING EXACTLY WHAT IT IS YOU AND THE YOUNG LADY THINK YOU’RE DOING?

GUARD 2: THIS IS A PLACE OF BUSINESS. HAVE YOU GOT A PASS?

PANEL 2

Judah attempts to explain. The guards weigh up his story. One of them dials a number on his cell phone.

JUDAH: WE’RE SPECIAL GUESTS OF DAMIAN WAYNE. WE DON’T HAVE PASSES, BUT IF YOU CALL THE PENTHOUSE, I’M SURE HE’LL…

GUARD 1: OKAY, OKAY… SEE IF THEIR STORY CHECKS OUT, DON.

PANEL 3

Guard 1 eyes up Judah disgustedly while his colleague speaks to Alfred.

GUARD 1: IF IT WAS ANYONE ELSE YOU’D BE OUT THE DOOR HEADFIRST, BUT THE WAYNE’S HAVE A REPUTATION

JUDAH: (small. Through gritted teeth) I’M GOING TO MURDER YOU, NICO.

PANEL 4

The other guard strolls on over, the matter resolved.

GUARD 2: IT’S OKAY, STAN, YOU CAN LET THEM GO.

(2): THEY’RE PLAYBOY PERVERTS LIKE WE THOUGHT.

PANEL 5

Judah doesn’t like being called a pervert. One of the guards turns mid explanation…

JUDAH: WE’RE NOT PERVERTS, WE’RE SPECIAL GUESTS

GUARD 2: LOOK, SONNY, THE BUTLER SAID YOU WERE PERVERTS SO…

OFF PANEL VOICE: JESUS H CHRIST HE’S GOT A SWORD!

PAGE 8

PANEL 1

Office workers scatter as a raggedy dressed ninja (!) brandishing a large scimitar charges across the lobby towards Nico, Judah and the guards. On the other side of the lobby, another guard crouches and fires his gun at the ninja.

GUARD 3: EVERYBODY GET DOWN!

SFX: BLAM!

PANEL 2

The ninja leaps into the air above Judah (who at this point can do nothing but gawp) and does the splits, kicking both security guards in the face. The bullet splits in two off the edge of his blade which he holds behind him. He doesn’t turn to look at it, he intercepts the projectile instinctively.

SFX: SPRANNNNG!

PANEL 3

The ninja bowls past the hotshot and the secretary we saw earlier, crashing through a window, the security guards giving chase.

PANEL 4

From above. The secretary’s gaze follows the ninja down the road. The hotshot, facing the other way, just stares at Nico and Judah.

PANEL 5

They look at each other.

HOTSHOT: WHAT THE &*$£ IS GOING ON WITH THIS PLACE?

PAGE 9

PANEL 1

CAP: THE PROBLEM WITH GETTING ANGRY WITH SOMEONE WHO THINKS THEY’RE A DOG IS THAT YOU RUN THE RISK OF TREATING THEM LIKE A DOG AND REINFORCING THEIR BEHAVIOUR. YOU HAVE TO WATCH YOURSELF.

Judah and Nico stand outside the Tower’s main entrance. He helps her on with her dress. She pouts at him.

JUDAH: OKAY, I’LL HOLD THE SCARF, JUST DO ME A FAVOUR AND KEEP THE DRESS ON WILL YOU?

CAP: AFTER A COUPLE OF HOURS WITH NICO YOU’LL SOON SEE WHAT I MEAN.

PANEL 2

CAP: I’D KNOW BECAUSE, BEFORE I GOT MY INNER WOLF UNDER CONTROL, I SPENT THREE DAYS IN THE MONTH BEING TREATED THAT WAY MYSELF.

They wander down the sidewalk. Nico growls at a passerby. Judah pretends not to notice.

NICO: GRRR…

JUDAH: STOP THAT!

CAP: BATMAN WAS RIGHT TO PAIR US OFF. HE PLAYS AT BEING ABSENT MINDED – ALL THAT ‘BAT-DOG’ STUFF -  ONLY AFTER THIS MORNING I’M BEGINNING TO THINK WE’RE ALL PART OF SOME GRAND PLAN.

PANEL 3

And now through Cathedral Square where the police are clearing up after the trouble a few hours before. There’s yellow tape (featuring the repeated phrase ‘SUPER CRIME SCENE DO NOT CROSS’ ) cordoning of the square and police everywhere. Forensics in what look like space-suits are vacuuming up the rainbow blood from the pavement. Bones and Smashed glass litter the square too. Eyes blink and stare from out of the glass, a shattered mouth screams. One of the rainbow twins is in handcuffs being led away by a couple of police – a normal man and a green, scaly woman. Judah takes in the weird scene as he passes, putting two and two together. Nico’s just overwhelmed by the city generally.

CAP: THE CAVE’S HUGE, BUT WITH ALL THE FREAKY MEMORABILIA LIEING AROUND, IT FEELS LIKE WE’RE BEING SHUNTED ROUND A GIANT GAME-BOARD.

JUDAH: JESUS. HE GETS EVERYWHERE….

CAP: AND I’M NOT SURE I WANT TO PLAY.

CAP: NO WONDER I HAD TO GET OUT.

PANEL 4

They arrive at a boarded up brownstone in a rundown part of town. Judah turns to Puppy, calming her, as they ascend the steps leading to the front door.

NICO: KIIIILL IT?

JUDAH: WE’VE JUST GOT TO STOP OFF HERE FIRST.

CAP: BUT ASSUMING BATMAN KNOWS EVERYTHING ABOUT ME ALREADY, AND THAT HE WANTED ME TO SEE MY FACTFILE, IS THIS ALL PART OF THE PLAN TOO?

CAP: IS HE POSING THE QUESTION…

PAGE 10

PANEL 1

Close on a man opening the door. Another werewolf, although ragged and far nastier looking than Judah. His silver hair flows like a mane down his back, bare chest and his arms. Frayed trousers cover his lower regions, but otherwise he’s not making many concessions to humanity. The man’s face, while fur-less, is remarkable for two reasons. First of all his mouth travels along the side of his face like dog’s, his jaw swivelling at roughly the point where his vanished ears should be – vicious, cracked fangs gleaming yellow-gold in the dim light - and, secondly, his eyes are yellow slits, as thin and slanted as a racist’s depiction of an asian. He stares out at the reader like a hunting dog spying his prey, his mouth breaking out in a mockery of a smile.

CAP: “WHERE WILL YOU GO?”

KISS THE NIGHT: (Kiss-the-night’s speech is raggedy and unpractised- as is his font)  EEEEY, JEWDAR. I CUD SMELL YU A MILE OV.

(2): CUMMIN IN?

PANEL 2

Judah and Nico follow Kiss-the-night down what can only be described as the most fetid, filthy corridor imaginable. The walls are covered with dust, cobwebs, dirt, piss and excrement, as are the floors – a crack den on steroids. Nico sniffs at something unpleasant on the floor.

KISS THE NIGHT: WOT BRINS YU BACK DOWN THIS PARTS THEN? AVEN’T SIN YU FUH MUMV AT LEEST.

(2): THOT YU’D PAY THE OLD GURRRL A VIST, DID YU?

JUDAH: IT’S BEEN A LONG TIME SINCE YOU’VE USED THAT MOUTH FOR ANYTHING OTHER THAN BARKING ISN’T IT, KISS THE NIGHT?

(2): DAYS OR WEEKS?

PANEL 3

Having reached a rotting door at the end of the corridor, Kiss-the-night turns, smiling horribly, his tongue lolling.

PANEL 4

Cut to a strange, lunar surface, everything in black negative, but with a silvery sheen on the horizon and a slightly orangey tint which is slowly creeping in from the right hand side of the panel. something moves in the middle distance. Is that a wolf?

TAILESS BUBBLE: GODDESS! YOU’VE BEEN UNDER SINCE I LEFT HAVEN’T YOU?

(2): YOU NASTY BASTARD, WHAT ABOUT MY..

TAILESS BUBBLE: HhhH. OLD DAT FORT.

PANEL 5

Kiss-the-night opens the door. We can’t see the room yet, but we can see Judah’s reaction. He’s horrified.

KISS THE NIGHT: SEE FURRR YURSEL

JUDAH: MO…MOM?

CAP: (large capitals) WHERE WILL YOU GO?

PAGE 11

PANEL 1

The camera takes in the entire scene. A delipidated midden of a living room looks out onto a tiny kitchen and yard of comparable squalor. This must’ve been what Phillip K Dick’s front room looked like around the time he was eating dog food, only the inhabitants of this place really are dogs. And they’re not house-trained. The carpet is shredded and encrusted with god knows what, the glass slide-doors leading to the garden are smashed, as are all the windows, the book shelves have collapased and the books themselves are torn and tattered and covering the floor. Any technology, including a small holo-screen unit in the far corner, is busted up beyond repair, there are deep scratch marks on all the walls and yellow stains. Two large sofas are propped against the walls, their coverings ripped to pieces and leaking foam, and let’s not pay too close attention to the food bowls on the floor and what they contain. flies and maggots swarm over everything. And that includes the room’s inhabitants. Another strange element is that some of the room’s contents appear to be floating – only a few things mind. The reader could be forgiven for failing to notice.

So who lives here? Well, to begin with there’s Kiss-the-night, the most human of them, responsible for acquiring food and dealing moondust. Then there’s, Healthy for Life!, his brown and black pelt matted and thick with sweat and grime, lieing by the sliding doors, sleeping, and Bloodbitch, Kiss’s girlfriend, sniffing around the food bowl.  She’s a grisly, half-transformed man-beast, with a hairless, excrutiatingly thin, wolf frame, skeletal human face and red iris’s staring out of bottomless eyesockets. Two other wolves are screwing in the bedroom beyond the doorway to the side of the room, and their shadows will dance across the walls for the duration of this sequence, flickering from animal to humanoid to something inbetween.

The only *person* we’ve yet to mention is Judah’s half naked, emmaciated Mother, who lays sprawled on one of the sofas in the centre of the room. She looks totally smacked out, so that’s the analogy we’re working with, but she’s addicted to the moon, and that’s a slightly more colourful habit than smack. So….

Petra Runningdog’s shrunken frame is a rippling, shifting battleground of wolf and human. She will spend the entire scene partially morphing in and out of both forms, her consciousness dancing between earth and its celestial satellite. It would be quite beautiful to watch if she wasn’t such a wretch and so tragic.

Judah kneels in front of her, apoplectic. Nico cowers. The pheromones in this room are very strong. Kiss-the-night just watches it all expressionlessly.

JUDAH: MOM, WHAT HAVE THEY DONE TO YOU?

PANEL 2

KISS THE NIGHT: WE CALLZER LUNAR PARK NOW.

(2): DANSIN BITWIN ERE AND THERE. KWICKSILVA RUNNIN THROO ER VAYNS. MOONLIGHT IN ER AIR AND BEHIN’ THE EYES.

BLOOD BITCH: LOOK AT HER! SOOOO BEAUTIFUL.

JUDAH: SHE’S DEHYDRATED AND STARVING. PETRA COMES FROM A LONG LINE OF WEREWOLVES, SHE KNOWS THIS IS WRONG.

JUDAH: LOOK AT THIS PLACE!

PANEL 3

The moon again. The wolf is nearer the camera now, and although it’s largely srouded in darkness, we can now see that its fur is flecked with silver light. The warm orange glow is creeping across its coat and into the panel too. This sequence should be very dreamy – it has the feeling of slow motion.

JUDAH: MOM, IT’S JUDAH, COME BACK TO ME…

BLOOD BITCH: SHE’S LOST ON THE DARK SIDE, THOUSANDS OF MILES FROM THE WATCHTOWERS AND MOONBASES. SHE CAN’T HEAR YOU…

PANEL 4

Judah turns on Blood Bitch and Kiss-the-night, grabbing Kiss round the scruff of the neck. Blood Bitch makes her way over to Puppy, who lies curled on the sofa, trembling. More things are starting to float – books, papers, a pillow…

JUDAH: THE GODDESS DEVOURS THOSE WHO ABUSE OUR GIFT!

JUDAH: THE GRAVITATIONAL PRESSURE IN THIS ROOM ALONE….

BLOOD BITCH: IS THIS…THING ON THE SOFA YOURS THEN, JUDAH?

(2): WHAT ARE YOU, GIRL? NOT ONE OF US….

PAGE 12

PANEL 1

Judah drops Puppy, screaming at Blood Bitch who rears back from his open palm,. He’s starting to wolf out. The contents of the room are now obviously starting to set themselves free from their moorings, including the sofa.

JUDAH: LEAVE HER ALONE!

NICO: <whimper!>

BLOOD BITCH: HSSSSSK!

PANEL 2

Everyone’s starting to float. Judah, grabs his mother’s hand.

JUDAH: I’VE HAD ENOUGH OF THIS.

PANEL 3

His eyes blaze red like the sun.

JUDAH: MOM.

PANEL 4

Another moon cut. The wolf is now almost upon the camera, the orange light is swamping the scene, reflected in its eyes.

JUDAH: (fiery font. Tailess) WAKE UP!

WOLF: (silver on white. Directly below other balloon at bottom of page. Tailess) JUDAH?

PAGE 13

PANEL 1

Petra Runningdog sits bolt upright, exhaling silver breath, as the room, and everyone in it, collapses to the ground.

PANEL 2

She slumps back onto the couch, breathing heavily and rasping. Judah leaps up, brandishing the puppy-suit at Kiss-the-night, Blood Bitch and Healthy-for-Life!, whose eyes smoke silver, like Petra’s mouth. They cower and hiss.

JUDAH: BLOOD BITCH! GET BACK!

BLOOD BITCH: WEEEIIAAARGH!

PANEL 3

Blood Bitch holds out her paw, fending Judah off. Her friends look fearful.

BLOOD BITCH: THAT NOISE! HOWLING!

KISS THE NIGHT: IZZ BROKEN, DOG! KEEP IT AWAY!

JUDAH: STAY BACK ALL OF YOU. LET ME SPEAK TO MY MOTHER.

LUNAR PARK: (weakly) judaaah….

PANEL 4

Judah holds his mother, who tries to prop herself up…

LUNAR PARK: judah…..you came…. I knew you would…

(2): my boy…..

JUDAH: I’M NOT STAYING, MOM. I WANT YOU TO COME AWAY WITH ME. THESE PEOPLE

LUNAR PARK: ….’these people’?

PANEL 5

He helps support her head with a pillow.

LUNAR PARK: ….slow down… I’m tired…

(2): these people are my friends

JUDAH: THEY JUST CAN’T BEAR TO WATCH SOMEONE CLAMBERING OUT OF THIS DISGUSTING HOLE YOU’VE MADE FOR YOURSELVES.

(2): YOU SHOULD SEE WHAT’S GOING ON OUTSIDE. THE OTHERS ARE ORGANISING THEMSELVES, THE LEGION OF SUPER MONSTERS….

LUNAR PARK: ...judah

PAGE 14

PANEL 1

She settles back into the pillow.

LUNAR PARK: …when… when we came here, some of us played at being superheroes.. thought we’d be accepted… how i met your father

(2): ..in the end even they didn’t trust us… no one did…

JUDAH: THERE’S SCARIER THINGS THAN GHOSTS AND VAMPIRES, MOM.

(2): THE LEGION ARE MAKING REAL HEADWAY INTO THE GORRILLA GANG PROBLEM.

LUNAR PARK: none of it matters…

PANEL 2

Cut back to a close up of the rainbow twin being taken away by the scaly cop.

CAP: they’ll round us all up in the end. hell, we’ll be rounding up each other.

CAP: you know it’s true…..

CAP: I HAVE TO BELIEVE GOTHAM IS BIGGER THAN THAT.

PANEL 3

Cut to Judah, holding his Mum’s hand.

JUDAH: THE THINGS I’VE SEEN OVER THE LAST FEW DAYS.

(2): IF YOU COME WIT…

KISS THE NIGHT: U CARN.. U CARN TAKE ER FRUM UZ

PANEL 4

He turns angrily.

JUDAH: I CAN DO WHAT I LIKE. SHE’S NOT YOUR PRISONER!

(2): I’LL KI..

LUNAR PARK: (Trying to make herself heard) JUDAH.. JUDE. LISTEN, YOU DON’T UNDERSTAND….I’VE..

PANEL 5

Closer on the huddled werewolves. They seem much less creepy and fearsome now. Suddenly they’re vulnerable and afraid. We realise they’re victims, that they’re very ill.

LUNAR PARK: …spent too long in…low gravity environment… my bones…weeks to heal

(2): can’t even hunt… kiss goes out once a week for food.. sells moondust…

(3): we can’t leave.

PANEL 6

The truth sinks in. Judah stares at his Mum, tearful.

LUNAR PARK: we can’t… so weak

(2): oh, the tides. the tides are washing me awa…

JUDAH: MOM?

BLOOD BITCH: SHE’S DRIFTING ON THE ASTRAL WINDS…

PAGE 15

PANEL 1

Blood Bitch has a faraway look in her red eyes.

BLOOD BITCH: SO FAR AWAY. WAVE GOODBYE, JUDAH.

JUDAH: NO! I’M COMING WITH YOU, MOM, I’M..

PANEL 2

We return to the wolf on the moon. It’s now making it’s way back into the darkness…

JUDAH: (tail-less) DON’T LEAVE… DON’T GO WHERE I CAN’T FOLLOW..

PANEL 3

The wolf turns to look at the camera.

LUNAR PARK: YOU WILL COME BACK FOR ME.

LUNAR PARK: ALWAYS REMEMBER, YOU ARE AS MUCH A CHILD OF THE SUN AS THE MOON.

PANEL 4

She slumps in her son’s arms.

LUNAR PARK: (weakly) goodbye….

PANEL 5

He holds his head in his hands.

JUDAH: WE’RE LEAVING.

PAGE 16

The next sequence takes place in the Holland Gardens section of Robinson park where the remnant seedlings of the mutant flora left behind in the wake of the Swamp Thing’s attack on the city thirty years ago have been planted and flourish in Gotham’s very own garden of eden. This scene couldn’t be more different from the one preceding it. The panels should be full to the brim with wonderful, luminous flowers, some as big as a man, trees bearing golden apples, giant venus fly-traps, jeweled butterflys, rainbow coloured roots and vines, black flowers floating on gleaming ponds, rare birds and blazing bushes the colour of fire…. and so on and so forth. There’s also a huge amount of space, young lovers drifting through the sighing boughs, blah, and families, human, superhuman and a few aliens enjoying this amazing space and what’s turning into a beautiful day…

This is the scenic route to the harbour, which perhaps is visible in some panels in the distance. I know, I’ve been looking at the Gotham City map.

PANEL 1

Large panel. Aerial shot. Judah and Nico stand at the gate to the park. Its curved, trellised arch, smothered in flowers reads: ‘HOLLAND GARDENS a district of Robinson Park.’  The path winds into the fairytale garden. A child with dancing, golden hair tugs at his father’s hand, desperate to get through the turnstile and into the loveliness. A couple plays frisbee beyond the pay booth. A statue of the Swamp Thing guards the entrance.

PANEL 2

Judah pays, glancing all the while at the child. Nico doesn’t know where to look – it’s all too exciting. There’s a sign on the pay booth that we might be able to see explaining the history of the garden: ‘Holland Gardens – commemorating the summer of 1990 when Dr Alec Holland made Gotham bloom’.

JUDAH: TWO PLEASE.

PANEL 3

The child smiles at Judah. His eyes gold like his hair.

CHILD: HI.

PANEL 4

Judah smiles back, waving.

JUDAH:HI.

CAP: THE WALLS WERE CLOSING IN. I NEEDED SPACE.

PAGE 17

PANEL 1

They’re through the stile and Nico bounds off into the garden.

JUDAH: HEY… WAIT.

PANEL 2

He lets himself wolf out, grinning.

JUDAH: (SMALL) wait for me.

PANEL 3

Judah and Nico race each other, weaving in and out of the trees and weird shrubbery. Joyous. Outside.

CAP: FREEDOM.

CAP: SOMEWHERE NOBODY COULD TOUCH US.

PANEL 4

High above. They run. Off the leash.

CAP: WHERE I WAS PROVED RIGHT.

CAP: THIS CITY IS BIG ENOUGH FOR ALL OF US.

PANEL 5

She overtakes him, smiling. On all fours, but a young woman again.

PAGE 18

PANEL 1

They collapse beneath a tree, laughing into each others eyes. Silver blossoms shower down on them. One thing: Judah’s rucksack is hanging open…..

CAP: SO BRIGHT AND SO STRANGE.

PANEL 2

Closer. They pause. Are they going to kiss?

OFF PANEL VOICE: THE AFTERNOON’S DRAWING IN. THE BREEZE IS PICKING UP.

PANEL 3

They turn. Judah is puzzled. Nico is horrified.

VOICE: EXCUSE ME YOUNG LADY…

PANEL 4

Lady Matilda’s father stands over them, a look of complete earnestness and concern on his face, holding out the Puppy suit.

SIR PEREGRINE DEWITT: …BUT DID YOU DROP THIS?

NICO: NOOOOAAA….

PAGE 19

PANEL 1

Nico backs away into the tree, screaming. Sir Dewitt grabs Judah by the throat, throttling him.

JUDAH: WHOUK!

SIR PEREGRINE DEWITT: WHO AM I? IS THAT IT? IS THAT WHAT YOU WANTED TO KNOW, SIR?

NICO: …AAAAAIIIIIEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!

PANEL 2

Judah’s legs kick the air as he chokes.

SIR PEREGRINE DEWITT: I AM NOT SIR PEREGRINE ARCHIBALD DEWITT, MUCH AGGRIEVED FATHER OF THE BRUTALLY MAIMED DUCHESS OF ARGATHA, LADY MATILDA. NO INDEED, SIR.

(2): THIS IS JUST A RECORDING.

(3): HE WANTED TO DELIVER A MESSAGE.

JUDAH: Hhhhh…

PANEL 3

Sir Peregrine’s face swings open like a door, still talking. A hollow man.

SIR PEREGRINE DEWITT: AND IT IS THIS: WHATEVER YOU MAY THINK, MY PUPPY, YOU ARE THE PROPERTY OF THE DEWITT ESTATE.

(2): YOU WILL RETURN HOME WITH US WHERE WE WILL BEAT YOU AND STARVE YOU FOR ONE WEEK. YOUR WILL BE PUNISHMENT WILL BE SEVERE.

PANEL 4

The face flaps. Judah catches his breath. A hand curls over the empty window frame where Sir Pergrine’s face should be.

JUDAH: uh…us…?

SIR PEREGRINE DEWITT: YOU. ARE. A. DOG.

(2): AND, BITCH, YOU WILL BE TAMED.

LAUGHTER: (from inside the hollow suit) HEE HEE HEEEE!

PANEL 5

Close on Nico screaming silently.

OFF PANEL: (sing song) BENDY BONES, BENDY BONES, DO YOU REMEMBER….

PAGE 20

PANEL 1

Sir Peregrine crumples and two figures come darting out of him. One a nimble man, dressed in a ragged, grey servant’s suit, his hair and beard wild, his eyes red ringed and skin grey (something like this guy: crazy_harry) and a leathery doll, her face sewn together roughly, patchwork red and blue, buttons for eyes, like a humanoid puppy-suit, snatching the actual suit from the rubbery man’s hand.

OLD BENDY BONES: ….FRIENDLY, BENDY BENDY BONES?

PANEL 2

Judah is now on the floor, struggling with the suit’s hand which is still strangling him. Bendy Bones is perched on his chest, gargoyle like, beaming madly at Nico, who is cowering in the foetus position under the tree, the ragdoll woman waving the puppy-suit in front of her.

OLD BENDY BONES: DO YOU REMEMBER YOUR DREAMS OF LIFE IN THE BIG CITY, LITTLE PUPPY?

(2): THE CARRIAGE AWAITING YOU OUTSIDE THE AIRPORT?

THE SEAMSTRESS: (a patchwork font for a patchwork woman) PRETTY DRESS! PRETTY DRESS! OH WON’T YOU WEAR IT?

PANEL 3

Close on Bendy Bones smiling evilly at Nico.

OLD BENDY BONES: AND ME! YOU MUST REMEMBER OLD BENDY BONES CURLED UP BENEATH THE SEAT!

PANEL 4

We cut to an image of Nico’s legs sat on the wooden seat of a darkened carriage, with Bendy Bones curled up like a weasel beneath it, sniggering to himself.

OLD BENDY BONES: THE LOOK ON YOUR FACE WHEN YOU SAW ME!

PAGE 21

PANEL 1

Aerial shot. Nico is curled up even tighter now – like a stone – clutching at her ears and burying her head in her knees, while the Seamstress dances around above her, waving the puppy suit around. Bendy Bones leans into his prey.

THE SEAMSTRESS: PUT ON YOUR DRESS AND COME HOME.

NICO: NO, IT’S BROKENCRACKED AND PEELING!

BENDY BONES: COME HOME! COME HOME!

(2): BUT FIRST….

PANEL 2

POV shot. From Judah’s half closed eyes (in fact all the next panels are from his perspective). Bendy Bones leers down at him, his taloned hands raised as though he’s an evangelist.

BENDY BONES: ….YOU WATCH HIM DIE. THROTTLY THROT THROTTLED. CHOKEY CHOKE.

(2): YOU WATCH HIM DIE AND THEN THE SEAMSTRESS WILL DRESS YOU AND YOU WILL SLEEP ON HER LAP ALL THE WAY HOME.

PANEL 3

He leans in closer still, still smiling insanely. Things get darker.

BENDY BONES: DID SHE REALLY THINK SHE COULD ESCAPE LADY MATILDA? RUNNY RUN!

(2): THERE NOW. NEARLY DEAD.

JUDAH: (weakly) ….nic…nico….

THE SEAMSTRESS: MADE TO MEASURE! LIKE A MODEL!

PANEL 4

BENDY BONES: SHE ALWAYS WANTED TO BE A MODEL, YES?

(2): SHHHH! IT’LL ALL BE OVER SOON.

JUDAH: ..n….n…

NICO: (small) ..no…

PANEL 5

Darker still. Blurred movement in the background. Bendy Bones is right up in Judah’s face now.

THE SEAMSTRESS: PR..AAAIEEEEE

NICO: (HUGE!) JUDAH! NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

OLD BENDY BONES: BENDY….

PAGE 22

He turns. Something moving towards him in the background. Is that Nico. Are those feathers floating in the air?

OLD BENDY BONES: …BO…

NICO: IT’S BROKEN! YOU WEAR IT!

PANEL 2

We can make out Nico charging towards Bendy Bones clasping the dog-suit open. It looks like it wants to swallow him. He put his arms out….

PANELS 3, 4, 5, 6

(In a row – open panels) 3. She wraps the dog suit around him, a black blur.

NICO: YOU WEAR (BIG) IT!

4. Light bursts from it, illuminating the scene, as Bendy Bones’s bones crack and break, snapping at weird, painful angles.

SFX: SNAP! KRCH! KRK! RGCH!

5. More of the same.

6. Bendy Bones howls as everything gets darker still and Nico runs to Judah.

BENDY BONES: AWWWROOOOOOOOAAAARGH!

NICO: JUD…

PANEL 7

Wide angle. Bendy Bones, in the broken Puppy suit collapses onto Judah, his face in the lense as we fade to black.

NICO: …DAH….

CAP: WHERE WILL YOU GO?

PAGE 23

PANEL 1

The waves lap the harbour.

CAP: IT’S A GOOD QUESTION.

CAP: IN A CITY THIS BIG AND THIS STRANGE, WHERE DO YOU SLEEP AT NIGHT?

PANEL 2

Nico stands over the water, the broken Bendy Bones puppy suit at her feet. It looks dead. It’s time to say goodbye.

CAP: GOTHAM IS FIGHTING FOR ITS IDENTITY. TRYING TO FIGURE OUT WHO BELONGS AND WHO DOESN’T.

CAP: TODAY IT REJECTED US. OUR PASTS CHEWED US UP AND SPAT US OUT.

PANEL 3

She kicks it into the water.

CAP: SO WHERE DO WE GO?

CAP: AS IF IT WASN’T OBVIOUS.

PANEL 4

Nico hugs a crumpled Judah.

CAP: THE FUTURE, THAT’S WHERE.

JUDAH: DON’T WORRY. I’LL BE OKAY. I HEAL REALLY FAST.

PANEL 5

They make their way along the waterfront, Nico supporting him, as the puppy suit sinks….

A blue gloved finger presses the SAVE cap and it illuminates.

NICO: HOME NOW?

JUDAH: HOME.

CAP: AND WE GO TOGETHER.

CAP: SAVE

9 Responses to “Batman and Robin 666 #10”

  1. Triplets Says:

    No comments? Mindless shame on you all!

    Bendy Bones and The Seamstress were bloody weird. Not to harp on about the Morrisonisms but there’s a taste The Terrible Time Tailor in retrospect although overshadowed by some of the more nightmarish characters from the children’s telly of our youth, like Noseybonk and his horrible mates. Brr.

    Suprising that this Batcomic recently contains very little Bat. At least not directly. As Judah hints, is it all part of some grand Bat-plan?

    I’ve said before and I’ll say again about how much Future-Bats differs from Present-Bats. Bruce very rarely deals with truely magical properties but here, sign-posted by Dr. Fate etc and now with the magic suits et al we see that the occult is very much a part of life here in the future, if only on the fringe.

    Nico’s a very tragic figure and the treatment of her (feral, shitting in the kitchen, being led around) does, ungh, how to put this? I’m sure it’s not your intention (although it is, because you’re pointing out how horrible her years with the DeWitts were) but it could be read as incredibly misogynistic. Do you know what I’m getting at? You’re using it for a reason but you know, tread carefully. A slip in the writing and it could come across as nasty in a way you didn’t mean.

  2. amypoodle Says:

    Crazy Harry scared me so much as a child It wasn’t till my late teens that I could even look at a picture of him.

    Seriously.

    So nothing to do with Morrison then.

    And who says the suit’s really magic? I’m not that interested in making clear distinctions between magic and tech actually (and neither, I’m sure, would be the DCU – the only reason we have such clear distinctions at present is because of anally retentive *fact-file* culture. The children of Nu Gotham represent a new readership who would find the idea of a *magic* hero or an *atomic age* hero totally old fashioned and redundant). Or with providing explanations. It’s the ideas themselves that excite me.

    As for Batman… Well, he haunts the fringes of this one. As Judah points out, it all pans out the way he knew it would… Part of the inspiration for Dayfall was a desire I had to showcase/spotlight some of the supporting cast, so, yeah, this is all very conscious on my part. We won’t be returning to Batman till, errr… You’ll just have to see, but I think it’s kinda obvious.

    And did you miss him that much? I thought it was all rather refreshing.

    The issue is called ‘Outside’ afterall. First Batman comic since the 60s to be set during a sunny day?

    Yeah, I know Nico’s predicament could be read as misogynstic. It’s tricky. The trouble is, I really want a strong horror thread running through these scripts, but I can assure you, this is the last time we’ll see her seriously degraded as a result of her condition. Things are on the ups for Nico from now on.

    And she did kick that fucker Bendy Bones’ arse, right?

    Did you see it coming? Did it make sense? I really wanted the end to make sense. It was heavily flagged. And I thought the flagging was nice and creepy too.

    ‘BUT LATER SHE SAID IT WAS SCREAMING…’

    Urrgh.

  3. amypoodle Says:

    Actually, looking back over it, I think Nico’s fleshing out quite nicely.

  4. Zom Says:

    Don’t think Triplets was complaining about the bat-lack, just commenting.

  5. amypoodle Says:

    and i was just responding. i mean, it’s definitely one of those things that warrants talking about.

  6. plok Says:

    Damn good stuff. More comment later.

  7. Bucky Sinister Says:

    Getting to this issue horribly late, but good god what a great read it was. Very clear, very sharp, and incredibly engrossing. Quite probably my favorite issue thus far.

    I especially liked the sequence with Judah’s mother. The idea of being addicted to the moon is very pretty indeed. And by “pretty” I of course mean “ugly.” But that’s a good thing. I also quite liked Bendy Bones, and was almost sad when he expired. Of course, Crazy Harry was always my favorite thing on the Muppet Show, too.

    At any rate. This one kept me completely engrossed. I was reading it at lunch, barely noticed the waitress refilling my drink, and got back to work late because I had to finish it. Good work, sir.

  8. Bucky Sinister Says:

    Oh! I forgot to mention the non-controversy over the possibility that Puppy might be considered a misogynist character. I wouldn’t worry about that too much. You haven’t made her degradation titillating or sensationalistic, and her sex is inconsequential to the abuse; she could just as easily have been a boy dog. So it just plays as something sad, a horrible thing done by very bad people to a character that we’re encouraged to root for.

  9. amypoodle Says:

    just got back from holiday. very pleased you guys like this issue so much. i REALLY like it too. sad to say i might be reigning in these scripts a bit. i need to actually pitch something, and that’s going to take some work, and i need to do other things round here as well.

    won’t stop though. i’ve got the next five issues floating around in my head right now clamouring to get out.

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