Monday, February 7, 2011

Batgirl - Doing It Wrong The Right Way - Max Barnard

The Premise: Stephanie Brown is still very much an amateur heroine. Sure, she's been Batgirl for a while now, and Spoiler for even longer, but she's prone to being overcome by her own flaws at times. Thankfully things always work out in the end, and the support of both Proxy (Wendy Harris) and THE GREY GHOST (Johnny C) (not that she really WANTS Johnny C to help out) certainly goes a way to help. Like here, for example.


Page 1

Dusk. Batgirl is chasing Riot (currently split into about 4 or 5 versions of himself) across a Gotham City rooftop, bo staff in one hand and her grappling gun in the other. She is slightly out of breath and looking VERY tired.

Batgirl: Hey! Give ->pant<- up already! I ->huff<- I've got things to do!

Riot: Wa-ha! That's a RIOT! You think I'm that stupid?!

Proxy(O/P via comms.): Did he just try to make a pun?

We see Proxy at her computers, viewing the scene on her monitors, with the many Riots now leaping off of the rooftop onto another off-screen roof on one, and on another monitor we can see Batgirl clutching her stomach as she continues to run after him.

Batgirl(O/P via comms.): Didn't ->huff<- listen. Need... air, not ->gasp<- jokes!

Proxy: Yeah, yeah. Enough talking, breathless wonder, he's getting away.

Back at the scene, Batgirl is standing at the edge of the roof, still panting, aiming her grappling hook high and firing at some presumed swingable object.

Batgirl: Okay, okay, I'm going!

Batgirl is swinging across to the other building.

Batgirl is mid-swing, several feet lower than before and veering wildly to the side, with a shocked expression on her face.

Batgirl: Oh--

We focus on Riot, all of him, still running, laughing to himself. In the background we can just about see Batgirl's arm, her grappling rope, and a broken metal pole falling out of sight.

Batgirl: --CRAAAAAAAAAAAaaaaaa-----

Riot: Kehahahahahahaha!

The main Riot is suddenly kicked in the face by Johnny C, dressed as the Grey Ghost, who has leapt into the panel from the side. The other Riots have disappeared into thin air from this strike, as they tend to do. In the background Batgirl is pulling herself up by the same arm we could just about see in the previous panel.

Johnny C: Surprise, villain!

SFX: Thwakk

Batgirl(small): Oh, God, why him?

Johnny C is continuing to rapidly kick the unconscious Riot on the ground, as Batgirl runs towards him.

Proxy(O/P via comms): I called him, you're totally too tired to keep going for the evening.

Batgirl: But he's a PSYCHO! I've gotta stop him!

Johnny C: Take that! And That! You best remember this, you lowly scum, for I, Jo-... THE GREY GHOST! AM! BATGIRL'S! GUARDIAN!

SFX: Kickakickakickakicka!

[From here the story continues to derail and get more complicated, with Batgirl and Proxy having to deal with Johnny C and his continued attempts to 'help' Batgirl as she tries to take Riot to the police station and get home to sleep (without Johnny figuring out who she is while she's at it)]


  1. Gretstuff Max. The humour fits right into the story you are telling here, and while I do not know the characters, you have made them likeable for me.

    My only little gripe may be that the page may be slightly busy, but that is only a minor thing.

  2. I'm not gonna disagree with that. I kinda aimed high and may have overshot. In an ideal world I would have made this a page and a half at the least. I need to find an efficient way of fitting ideas down into a lower panel count, else EXPLODE.

  3. Well, I'd never criticise a fellow thoughtballooner for trying to cram too much onto a page... I wouldn't have a leg to stand on.

    You write teen heroes (and heroines) extremely well, Max (as you've already demonstrated). I especially like your use of sfx here. "Kickakickakickakicka" is my favourite sound effect of the year so far.

  4. In a perfect world I'd only have to do thoughtballoons starring teen girls who punch and kick EVERYTHING

  5. Hmm... and what does your psychiatrist make of that?

  6. I'm fairly sure they'd go with that being gender issues and pent-up anger problems, or just that I'm more entertained by that stuff than the more standard grumpy superhero stuff.

    We'll never know until I'm inevitably taken by the men in white coats

  7. I have no idea who half the characters in this script are. I'm not reading the current Batgirl series, so that probably explains why.

  8. @Max I really like the use of the supporting characters in your script. The dialogue feels very true to the characters. As someone who's been following the ongoing, I would love to see an issue featuring the Grey Ghost as a huge pest.


Feedback is what every good writer wants and needs, so please provide it in the white box below
If you want to play along at home, feel free to put your scripts under the Why? post for the week.