Monday, May 30, 2011

Zatanna - Shake the Room - Ben Rosenthal

Premise - Zatanna wiped sompe people's minds a while back. You may have heard about it. This is what happens when one of those people realise it (you know, other than the ones we've already seen.)

1. Zatanna sits, bound and gagged to a chair. Even though it is dark, we can see that she is in a rundown apartment. Zatanna is looking at the person whom is speaking. We cannot see who it is, as they are off panel.

VOICE (off panel)

You see Zee, I’ve been thinking.

Well, I’ve been trying to think. But I noticed something. There are holes in my thoughts. Gaps, if you will.

Almost like it has been....erased.

2. A close up of Zatanna’s face, mouth bound with duct tape. Her eyes are squint shut in discomfort. The same look one would get on their face if they were pricked by a needle.

VOICE (off panel)

So the hundred dollar question is, Zee – why did you erase my memories...

But left the image of you doing it?

3. The same framing as Panel 2. Zatanna’s eyes are open, staring at our unseen individual. Her face shows a sternness. She is determined.

VOICE (off panel)

I can see your hands moving, Zee. I can assure you that you will not be able to get through those enchanted ropes.

4. A shot of Zatana’s back, arms tied behind her, and then tied to the chair. One of her fingers is bloody, having been cut open. On the back of the chair is the word ‘moob’ written crudely in her blood.

VOICE (off panel)



  1. Awesome, Ben. Simple, effective layout and great last panel. Top stuff.

  2. A nice short and snappy concept. I agree with Simon that the last panel is a doozy.

    Did you have anyone in mind character wise for the voice off panel?

  3. Damn, nice. This page is tense and dark and brutal. I love it. Love it. Great work, Ben. That's really all I need to say.

  4. Thanks guys. I wanted to do a bit of a darker tale for Zatanna - she strikes me as too boring and clean cut.

    @Dan - originally I wanted to do an alternate take on the confrontation Catwoman had with Zatanna re her mind wipe, but it became too convoluted. So I went for the whole 'mysterious person' angle. I have no idea who it is, however. I don't know the DC Universe well enough to give you a name.

    Finally, I'm finding it weird that my better scripts come from characters who I do not know much about, nor try to do much with. I think that is telling me something....

  5. When I first started reading this, I was worried this would turn into one of those scripts that involves beating up on/abusing the character in question, so it was a pleasant surprise to see how you ended it, instead making it a page bringing out some cleaver ingenuity on how Zatanna might make use of her powers when her mouth is unavailable to her.

  6. I'm really digging this creative use of Zatanna's powers. Nice build up to the reveal in the last panel. Solid piece.

  7. For some reason, I thought it must be the Joker. Nice work, Ben.


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.