Thursday, December 30, 2010

The Joker - Who's Laughing Now? - Sime McDonald

1. Maggie Sawyer is staring dead ahead towards us, the reader. Her expression is pained and her hand is bunched into a fist, pressed against the transparent wall of the prison cell she's looking into. We can't see the inmate from this angle. Batman - entirely cloaked in shadow, only his piercing white eyes visible - is behind her, looking in the same direction.

MAGGIE SAWYER (1)
Commissioner Gordon is alive.
We stopped the Joker from releasing his toxin into the water supply.
You got him back here, to Arkham.
Standard day for the GCPD, am I right?

MAGGIE SAWYER (2)
So what's brought this on?
What's changed?


2. Change of angle. We can now see the inmate. It's the Joker (?) - albeit a very muscled, broad-shouldered Joker, unlike any we've seen before. Because it's not him. It's not the Joker. It's Bruce Wayne. He's propped up against the far wall, drugged up to his eyeballs to keep him quiet. He's bruised and battered from his earlier confrontation. Standing over him is a squad, rotund fellow in a long trench coat. He's got a leather case open beside him. Meanwhile, Maggie Sawyer is still looking at him from outside.

MAGGIE SAWYER (1)
Herr Brauer comes with quite the reputation.
I read his file. Specializes in electrotherapy.
Instigates what many consider torturous methods to acquire questionable results.

MAGGIE SAWYER (2)
Why're we using him? Why now?

3. Inside the cell, Herr Brauer leans over the Joker, a syringe in his hand. The Joker is barely conscious. 

THE JOKER
Mmmnot... mmnot jokerrrrr...

HERR BRAUER
Hush, my friend.
I'm going to fix you.

4. Maggie Sawyer turns away from the cell, glaring at Batman, still in the shadows, non-responsive.

THE JOKER
(off panel)
AAAAAAAAAAH!!!

MAGGIE SAWYER
You're not going to answer me, are you?
Screw you.

5. She storms off, away from Batman.

MAGGIE SAWYER
Don't know why we put up with you crap...

6. And now, the big reveal. Tight on Batman, on his lips, on those scarred, horrible lips stretched into a recognizable grin. This isn't Batman - this is the Joker, dressed as Batman.

BATMAN / JOKER
(small)
Ha.






6 comments:

  1. Even though the twist was obvious from early on, this was really well executed Simon. I was trying to think of a similar swapsy story myself but couldn't get it to work - well done on pulling it off.

    Does Maggie Sawyer work in Gotham now? I thought she was a Metropolis gal.

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  2. Woah...Batman and Joker switching places? I want to know how that happened.

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  3. Very cool idea, Sime, and very well executed! Kudos.

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  4. Sime - a great example of something being telegraphed but still being gripping. The page drips down and I love it, and I certainly want to know how it happened. Nice work, man, as per.

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  5. Yeah, great work Sime. Don't know what else i can add that hasn't already been said.

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  6. Nice idea.

    The only thing I would do different is perhaps not make the "not joker" line so clear for the reader. Make it more garbled and gibberish. Well, I guess that would depend on whether the reader knew what had really happened at this point or not.

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