Monday, September 5, 2011

DCnU Pitch - Batwoman/The Question - Ben Rosenthal

BATWOMAN/THE QUESTION monthly series, September 2011

Ben Rosenthal, writer
TBD, artist

The high concept:

College can be rough. For many it is the first years away from home. For most it shapes them into the type of person that they will become. For Kate Kane and Renee Montoya, it’s life or death. As fledging masked heroes, can the two roommates find time to train, study and discover their true feelings for each other?

The Cast:

KATE KANE: 19 year old student at Gotham University. Kate is currently studying Criminology as a major with her roommate Renee Montoya. Kate is cynical and snide, suffering fools lightly. With a sharp wit she is quick to fend off anyone who she feels is becoming emotionally too close. That is, everyone but her roommate.

RENEE MONTOYA: A studious girl determined to one day become Chief of Police. Her strong beliefs of right and wrong are often questioned by her Criminology Professor Vic Sage. Spending more time with her books than with people, she is not the most popular of people. Lacking in self confidence she revels in the attention shown to her by both her Criminology Professor and roommate, Kate Kane.

CHARLES VICTOR SZASZ (VIC SAGE): The Criminology professor at Gotham University, and also the night time vigilante known as The Question. He takes an interest in Renee Montoya and begins to train her to be his replacement when he retires.

NATHAN WEBB: Deceased lover of Kate Kane. Nathan fell from a rooftop while he and Kate were ‘training’ together to become superheroes after witnessing the illusive ‘Batman’ one night. Kate left his body to be found, with the media labelling his death a suicide. He appears and speaks to Kate as her conscious, and more often than not her guilt.

AGENT-33: A mysterious masked individual who saves Kate from a gang of thugs during one of her self-trainings, and offers to teach her how to become one of the illustrious masked heroes of Gotham.

COLONEL JACOB ‘JAKE’ KANE: Kate Kane’s estranged father. A very successful Colonel in the United States Armed Forced, Colonel Kane has never gotten over the death of his wife while giving birth to Kate. As such, he and Kate have never connected. He has just recently discovered that he has terminal cancer, and is currently trying to get to know his daughter before he passes. He has not told Kate of his condition.


Kate Kane and Renee Montoya are two early 20 college students studying Criminology at Gotham University. As roommates the two share study notes, but unbeknownst also share secret lives. Kate is currently training herself to become The Batwoman, after witnessing the mysterious Batman herself many years ago with her then rich boyfriend, Nathan Webb.

Renee Montoya is a bookish beauty, studying hard to realise her dream of one day becoming the Gotham Chief of Police. The Professor of Criminology, Vic Sage, takes an interest in his young pupil and begins private tutorage of Renee. However, these lessons are not filled with books. Vic reveals himself to Renee as being the masked vigilante known as The Question. He begins to train Renee to be his successor.

Meanwhile, Kate is saved from a brutal bashing by street thugs by a masked man known only as Agent-33. He informs Kate that he has been watching her, and is impressed with her progress. He also informs her that he is aware of how her ex-boyfriend Nathan Webb truly died – that he fell from a building top while he and Kate were ‘training’ themselves to become like Batman. He tells Kate of other costumed heroes which exist in not only Gotham, but throughout the world. Agent-33 offers to train Kate how to defend, attack and possibly kill people which she accepts. As their training progresses, and Kate becomes more skilled, Agent-33 gives her a costume – that of The Batwoman. Kate has become that which she has been training to become for years, a hero.

Throughout the trainings, the two roommates begin to grow closer. This surprises Kate as she does not become close to anyone. Nonetheless, the friendship between the two continues to grow.

Things become complicated when the two kiss one night while drinking at a party. Kate pulls away and runs to the rooftops, chased by the image of Nathan, which is the image she gives her conscious and guilt. After a talk with Nathan/consciousness, Kate returns to the party to seek out Renee. However, she has left.

Feeling embarrassed and rejected, Renee runs towards the room where her and Professor Sage train. On her arrival she hears two men arguing. Remaining unseen, Renee watches as her Professor’s alter-ego, The Question battles with another masked man. The Question is killed, with his murderer revealed to be Agent-33. Donning the costume of her mentor, Renee becomes The Question and follows the killer.

Meanwhile, Renee has donned her costume and has headed out to take her aggression on any thugs she may find. Instead she finds Ageant-33, who informs her that he has just witnessed a murder. He tells Kate that the killer is behind him, and killed the masked hero The Question in order to steal his identity.

Renee, dressed as The Question arrives on scene. Kate as Batwoman and Renee as The Question battle, each oblivious to who the other is, while Agent-33 watches. Eventually the two find out who the other person is, their fight ending in a passionate kiss. Agent-33 attacks, revealing that he works for the secret group of villains – The League of Assassins. He had been training Kate all this time to get her to join. After Renee falls from the edge of the rooftop on which they are fighting, Kate flies into a blind rage, beating Agent-33 to a pulp.

Fortunately, Renee’s training enables her to survive. The two decide what has to be done – Renee will dress as Agent-33 and infiltrate The League of Assassins while Kate pretends to have accepted the invitation to join. Together they will find out who the head of this criminal empire is, and bring them down.

This launches us into the second story arc, where Kate and Renee attempt to infiltrate the League, continue to attend Gotham University and enter into a relationship. Just to complicate things, Kate’s famous yet distant father returns to Gotham.


  1. I like the buildup that you bring to this pitch and its first arc. It seems like a nice slow burn arc to introduce your versions of these characters and build the world you are putting them into. Your secondary characters work well to throw some twists and intrigue into the mix. This all ends with your sneak peek into arc two which seems big fun comic fun. I would totally read this book dude.

  2. Ben, I really dig this one, mate. I just hope the artist isn't the one who delivers that *TERRIBLE* image up the top. Nasty.

    But your writing, not nasty, very well put together.

  3. Thanks guys. It feels very clunky, but I wanted to get the main points across without allowing it to become too wordy.

    As for the image - yeah, I need a pic of both Kate and Renee, this is all I could find on Deviantart that was...well..15+

  4. I like your interpretation of how Kate and Renee could first meet and how their relationship would develop (perhaps unsurprising based on how much I liked your Batwoman script last week). This feels like it remains true to the basic elements between the two without being beholden to previous continuity. Well done.


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