Thursday, April 21, 2011

Martian Manhunter – Targets – Ryan K Lindsay

1. Two trick-or-treaters walk down a street in Anytown, USA holding hands. One is dressed as Martian Manhunter, the other is Darkseid.
Caption: People say they want to be different.
Caption: They say they celebrate difference.
Caption: But it’s a lie.

2. A car speeds down the street coming from behind these two fun-loving characters.
Caption: Anything outside the norm is an aberration.

3. A young redneck leans out the window, his rat-tail flapping in the wind, a brick in his hand.
Caption: That’s how nature works.

4. The redneck has thrown the brick and we see it colliding with the back of “Martian Manhunter’s” head.
Caption: While people want you to believe that difference is what makes us individuals.

5. “Martian Manhunter” is on the ground, blood pooling out, “Darkseid” is reacting in horror.

6. “Darkseid” has removed his mask, it's still in his hands. He weeps openly.
Caption: Difference is actually what makes us a target.

Yep, I've gone for something very different here. I understand that but you have to understand it is still allowed in the thoughtballoons Rules, as set out at the thoughtballoons Summit of 2010, and also realise that this script still plays well into how I think of Martian Manhunter. People of the DCU and readers of our own existence don't flock to MM as they do to Superman purely because of a visual difference. Superman is hunky and buff and mullet-strong. MM has a bulging head like a cantaloupe left on high in the microwave too long. It's easier to idolise and want to be Superman because we are already so close to him. We're never going to be MM so why bother imagining...? It's sad because I think MM has the possibility to yield so many better stories, which was proved by the outpouring of scripts this week that all impressed me.

If only I'd been able to live up to them. Ha. Oh, and Jeff Lemire totally needs to draw this page. 


  1. I did not expect to see anything like this for Martian Manhunter. That being said, it's an incredibly powerful piece. The brutality is striking and really grabs the reader's attention, which supports the overall message to the nth degree. Certainly it is a bit of a downer (to say the least), but it is effective.

    Far from a criticism, but I have been pondering the choice of the second trick-or-treater's costume. I think the hero / villain that child chooses to dress as has an enormous impact on the meaning of the script. Darkseid in itself has a lot of layers within it (such as the fact that the rednecks' inability to distinguish who is playing the role of the "good" versus "bad" super), but what if the other child dressed as someone else?

    Perhaps because of your addendum, I cannot help but think about what if the other kid was dressed as Superman. The meaning would certainly be slightly different, but it would be powerful because of those differences. At least, that's my thought on the matter.

    Well done.

  2. I agree with Grant pretty much 100%. I enjoyed the script and liked what it said about the character (in a way, it tackled a similar theme to my own) but the inclusion of Darkseid - rather than, as Grant suggests, and you yourself make the comparison to, Superman - had me a little perplexed. I can only think you went with him because a) there's a nice twist of the redneck attacking the good guy rather than the bad guy; and b) the final image, with Darkseid weeping, is powerful.
    Both good reasons... but it does seem to distract from your stated intent.

  3. Really liked this script Ryan. As for why Darkseid - if I may. You chose it to show the innocence of the kids, right? They don't know that Darkseid is some horrible uber villain, just that he's a bad character, and that would be cool. Dressing up as cool bad guys is what Halloween is all about. By having one of the kids as Darkseid, you are showing that the characters do not have a grasp of how this world works, hence showing their vulnerability and innocence.

    You also really have a thing against red heads, don't you?

    Great work.

  4. Fellas, very interesting thoughts and I thank you all for it. I love reading something and being able to read further into it so it's nice to see you all read into my work.

    I did not choose Superman as the other purposefully, I didn't want the comparison that obvious.

    I did choose Darkseid because I liked that representation of death in the scene. The kid in the MM outfit isn't going to make it. All because he's gay and rednecks are idiots. I want even death to stand there and weep at this action and consequence. I did, Rol, think it would make a striking visual for the kiss off.

    Thanks for the kind words, all. I really felt like this script was an effective experiment. Cheers!

  5. Wait, the two trick-or-treaters are gay? I thought they'd be holding hands because, you know, they are kids.

  6. Yes, these two teens holding hands are indeed gay. That was their difference and that was why they were targets. I guess I didn't specify their age in the script...shame on me...


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