Sunday, March 2, 2014

Lex Luthor - Powerless - J.D. Coughlan

Lex and Superman have both been transported to a deserted alien planet. Superman's powers do not work on this world. The two grudgingly work together. Several days have passed...

Panel 1: Wide panel. Superman and Lex sit around a campfire, tiny figures in the vast, barren landscape.

SUPERMAN: Dammit, Luthor, look around you!

SUPERMAN: There's no audience here. No one for you to pander to. No one to use or manipulate. No one to sweet talk or lie to.

Panel 2: Close on Lex. He stares casually into the fire, aloof, as if not even listening.

SUPERMAN (O.P.): So why don't you just come out and admit it?

Panel 3: Close on Superman. He is angrier than we've ever seen him, at the end of his reason after the past few days, close to losing it altogether.

SUPERMAN: Because here I am, no powers, vulnerable as anyone else, and you haven't tried to kill me once! And we both know why!

Panel 4: Two-shot of both men, either side of the fire. Superman leans forward, Luthor remains nonchalant.

SUPERMAN: You need me.

SUPERMAN: Without me -- without a perceived "enemy" to defeat -- you have no inspiration.

Panel 5: Close on Luthor. He changes expression to mild annoyance.

LUTHOR: (small) The arrogance...

LUTHOR: It is not enough to kill you.

Panel 6: Closer on Superman. He is in shock at Luthor's hubris, even now. He is almost depressed by it.

LUTHOR (O.P.): You must be defeated, in every sense of the word. Your followers disillusioned, your allies broken, your enemies jubilant, your every "good deed" undone and laid bare as the deceptions they were, and your true nature exposed...

Panel 7: Very close on Luthor. There is now much anger in his face, almost like Superman's before. But a tiny, tiny hint of sadness too.

LUTHOR: Only then will you know what it is to be powerless, not as you are now...

LUTHOR: ...but as I am every day.



  1. I know we're constrained by our one-page limit, but I feel like this script would work better as a two-pager to allow both ideas (Superman's frustration and Lex's retort) sufficient room to breath. That being said, it still works well as is - particularly Lex's admission / frustration at the end.

  2. Can't help but love a well written speech from a villain, or well in Lex's eyes the hero. It's a dense page but never feels cramped. I do agree with Grant that giving this two pages would allow you to really explore your theme or defeat and what that truly means to Lex. But man as a one page its a belter!


  3. Have to admit, Luthor's speech is perfect, especially played off of what's going on behind. Well written and plotted all around, sir...


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