Sunday, August 8, 2010

Why The Question?

Choice by James McNeill

We at Thoughtballoons tend to have a great love for the street heroes, the rough and gritty. The Question has definitely got that aspect covered, trawling the streets of Gotham City with no powers but the ability to conceal her face. And yes, I said "her" -- I'm talking about Renee Montoya, the second Question, originally of the Gotham City Police Department.

See, Renee's not just badass, she's good at her job. She worked with the GCPD for a long time, showing up in various Bat-comics long before she ever got her own comic. She was the only one who ever managed to get through to Two-Face (by means of Harvey Dent). She served a long time before the fateful day her partner in the force was killed, and then managed to rise from her despair (with a little help from Vic Sage, the original Question) to play an integral part in the events of 52, eventually taking up the mantle after Vic's death. She's got History with a capital H with Kate Kane, also known as Batwoman; though they're no longer involved, the sexual tension between them is all kinds of crazy. Renee's had as much of a struggle fighting her inner demons as the outer ones, but that's what makes her such an interesting character.

I know I've had a blast writing her, and I just hope the rest of you have as well.



  1. OK, so who is going to call their script "The Answer" I wonder? : P

  2. Don't joke, I was going to try to do a villain called the Answer, but then I didn't.

  3. I'm sorry to hear that, Ryan. I would've gotten a kick out of that.

  4. [Before I begin, I just wanted to mention that this was another character I'd never even heard of. However, when I started researching, I found I really liked them, so I hope this page does her at least some justice...]


    We see the interior of a large, empty factory. In the very middle are two people: One is tied to a chair and the other is standing in front, holding a gun at them. Neither’s identity can be made out.

    CAPTION: Humans are curious by nature.

    INTERROGATOR: Who do you work for?

    Close up on the man in the chair. His face is battered, bruised, and beaten. It is clear that his will has finally been broken.

    CAPTION: We have always questioned.

    CAPTIVE: OK, OK, I’ll tell you...
    CAPTIVE: Croc--I work for Croc.

    INTERROGATOR (O/P): What? Killer Croc? No one works for him. He’s just a thug. What could you possibly do for him?

    A closer shot of the man, his face looking solemn, aware that he’s been beaten.

    CAPTION: Our world is where it is today because great people like Newton asked the right questions.

    CAPTIVE: He needed me to get to places he couldn’t go.
    CAPTIVE: He’s not the most inconspicuous guy around.

    INTERROGATOR (O/P): Where were you heading when I caught you?

    We see a side-on shot of the man, his head slumped.

    CAPTION: But quite often, we get so caught up in the answers.

    CAPTIVE: There’s a drop-point in Central Gotham--a post-box...

    INTERROGATOR (O/P): When was the drop due?

    We see the captive from over the shoulder of the interrogator.

    CAPTION: That we forget...

    CAPTIVE: Five minutes ago.
    CAPTIVE: It doesn't matter though. He wouldn’t have made the drop without seeing me there.

    INTERROGATOR: How can I find the drop-man then?

    The captive is looking up now, worried.

    CAPTION: ... to ask ourselves the most important one...

    CAPTIVE: Trust me, you don’t want to find him.

    INTERROGATOR: Why not?

    We see a wide shot of the captive looking up at his interrogator, who is now revealed to be Renee Montoya--aka The Question.

    CAPTION: Should?

    CAPTIVE: Because it was Batman.

    QUESTION: ->gasp<-

    [Why is Batman making a secret drop-off to Killer Croc? We will never know. Just another in a long series of questions...]

  5. I like it Danial. The tone is great, although I will have to admit I had to read it a couple of times to differentiate between the CAPTION and CAPTIVE voices. But that's just me and nothign to do with your writing.

    On the previous topic, I was contemplating doing a showdown between The Question and an new hero, The Exclaimation Point. The whole script was The Question asking questions, and The Exclaimnation Point giving really excited answers.

    Needless to say, I didn;t go that way. Or did I..........

    No, I didn't.

  6. haha Thanks. Yeah, I found the CAPTION/CAPTIVE thing annoying myself, but I couldn't be bothered thinking of another name... GUY-TIED-TO-CHAIR perhaps?

  7. @Danial I've brought up the issue with keeping the identity of a character hidden in a script and the negative effect it has in relation to an editor or artist, so I won't repeat myself (see James' Question script for my feeble attempt at explaining it), so instead I'll say that it's pretty good for someone who doesn't know the character. I mean it's a little out of character, but only being a little is STILL an amazing feat. Well done

  8. Thanks. That makes sense and it's a pretty easy fix, so I'll remember it for the next time around.

  9. This is my first attempt at a comic book script. I'm used to writing in prose format, so the descriptions may be a little sparse.

    Mostly a one page mood piece -- contrasting Renee's past and present.


    PANEL 1. GCPD cops drinking coffee in the squad room

    NARRATION/RENEE MONTOYA: All cops have their little rituals.

    PANEL 2. Detective Crispus "Cris" Allen having breakfast with his family

    NARRATION/RENEE MONTOYA: Cris said he used to make sure he kissed Dore and said goodbye to his kids every morning.

    PANEL 3. Detective Renee Montoya getting ready in the morning, adjusting her pantsuit in front of the mirror. Her service piece and badge are on the table in the foreground.

    NARRATION/RENEE MONTOYA: Mine were always more mental. Check your badge and your weapon, but also make sure your head was in the game.

    PANEL 4. Split panel with the Bat Signal in the centerpiece. On the left, Montoya faces off against Harvey Dent and on the right, Montoya shooting at Corrigan.

    NARRATION/RENEE MONTOYA: Town like Gotham, you needed to stay grounded.

    NARRATION/RENEE MONTOYA: The job would drive you crazy otherwise.

    PANEL 5. Montoya drinking tea and reading a computer screen.

    NARRATION/RENEE MONTOYA: Not much has changed now.

    PANEL 6. Montoya performing some complex yoga position.

    NARRATION/RENEE MONTOYA: Oh, the surface stuff has changed. I wear a hat and a mask, but that inner strength still sees me through the bad times.

    PANEL 7. Dressed as Question in her mask, hat, and pantsuit in an attack position, Montoya is about to take on all comers.

    Narration/Renee Montoya: I'm my best weapon. Next question?

  10. For a first attempt, that was pretty damn cool : )

  11. Hey guys. Just dropping by to let ya know that I've been working my ass off lately on top of going through a personal hell, so that's why I haven't shown up recently. I intent to catch-up with the next character.

  12. @Danial - mate, your script was pretty good, I liked the shock at the end, pretty well played.

    @Julia - this is a very thoughtful page, I think it works extremely well to establish character and would work well to open an arc as it gives you the character quickly and simply. Very well done, pleasure to have you aboard for the ride.


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