Sunday, March 9, 2014
Saturday, March 8, 2014
I, of course, run my own personal CCTV networks in all major cities.
Why Mr. Luthor, I do believe you must have a little bit of kryptonite for everyone.
There are times when it behooves you to let the other players think they have the upper hand.
Thursday, March 6, 2014
Wednesday, March 5, 2014
TITLE/ CAPTION across the top of the page: Ten years from now...
Panel 1 - Interior, a white hospital hallway. CLARK KENT is being led down the corridor by DR. WOLPER (the psychiatrist from Frank Miller's Dark Knight Returns). CLARK is wearing a simple light blue Oxford shirt and khakis, and he's shyly pushing his glasses up the bridge of his nose as he listens intently to DR. WOLPER. WOLPER is flipping through patient charts as he walks and talks.
DR. WOLPER: ...keeping in mind, Mr. Kent, the years spent in near-catatonia, what that does physically and psychologically to a human being...
DR. WOLPER: ...to be frank, we were doubtful of any progress whatsoever.
Panel 2 - Same POV in the hallway, DR. WOLPER pushes open a swinging panel door. CLARK looks about to follow him.
DR. WOLPER: But thanks to recent advances in psychopharmacology, as well as new research in creative media therapy, I would venture that Dr. Luthor's new schedule and program has been more successful than anticipated.
Panel 3 - Mid-shot, DR. WOLPER stands in the open door, gesturing CLARK to come in the room with his clipboard. CLARK looks apprehensive.
DR. WOLPER: As you can see, the patient is responsive to stimuli, and can feed himself with the smallest of difficulty.
Panel 4 - Background, CLARK and DR. WOLPER entering the hospital rec room. It is empty except for, midground, LEX LUTHOR. He is sitting on a couch, dressed in bathrobe and pajamas. His expression should be mildly vacant as he watches the cabinet TV in the foreground. He is feeding himself a pudding cup with a spoon with a thick masking-taped handle, gripped overhand tightly like a child would. On his forehead are two scarred burn points, side by side, a souvenir from his last encounter with his most hated enemy, a drop of drool at the corner of his mouth.
DR. WOLPER: A far cry from his previous vegetative state, you'd agree?
SoundFX (TV): KICK! SMACK! NARF! DEFENESTRATE!
Panel 5-7 are from the same POV: behind the couch with TV in view. CLARK and LEX should be silhouetted by the TV.
Panel 5: CLARK sits down next to LEX. On TV, Pinky and the Brain are facedown on the White House lawn, stars around their heads.
Panel 6: CLARK and LEX watch as Pinky and the Brain dust themselves off.
Panel 7: LEX seats his head on CLARK'S shoulder. CLARK lowers his head, unable to reciprocate. Pinky has put his arm around the Brain as they walk toward the Washington Monument at sunset.
LEX: (small text) poit.
Monday, March 3, 2014
Also, because I can, this verison of LexCorp Tower is filled with Greek and Roman antiquities (and imitation antiquities) - figures of mythology grace every corner and aspect of its interior.
1 - Lex and Superman walk up a large staircase flanked with roman columns. They are at the bottom of the stairs, the panel framed so they are walking away from the reader.
LEX LUTHOR: The moment you revealed yourself to the world, man became obsolete.
2 - Similar to panel 1. Lex is attaining the top of the stairs, with Superman just behind him.
LEX LUTHOR: No one can soar to the greatest heights when a god literally flies above their heads.
3 - Lex and Superman continue to walk. They pass by Bernini's David (of "and Goliath" fame), which casts a partial shadow on Lex. There can be other art, but this is the one that is important to the panel.
LEX LUTHOR: I spent years trying to find the chink in your armor that would allow me to destroy you. To rid the world of your impossible shadow.
4 - A large door that leads to a balcony lies ahead. Curtains obscure any view of the outside world. Superman finally takes some action, putting a hand on Lex's shoulder and forcing him to make eye contact. Superman looks worried. Lex looks tired.
SUPERMAN: Lex, what are you talking about?
LEX LUTHOR: You were right. You've always been right. I had set myself an impossible task.
5 - Lex pulls free and continues towards the balcony. Superman pauses for a moment, looking after him.
LEX LUTHOR: You will never be brought down to man's level.
6 - They are onto the balcony. We are outside. Lex looks out to the world around them (and towards the reader), smiling an evil, satisfied grin. He could even be partially obscured by shadow if you'd like. Superman, in the background, does likewise, finally realizing what Lex has been talking about. Superman is shocked and perhaps a little horrified by what he sees before him.
LEX LUTHOR: Fortunately...
7 - Pull back a good ways. Lex and Supes can still be visible on that balcony, but they are not the focus of this panel. No, the focus is the dozens and dozens of people who are flying about through the air. Regular citizens, they are demonstrating pretty much all the powers of Superman - flight, super strength (maybe breaking parts of buildings off), lazer vision, ice breath, and whatever else you can fit in. It's intense, it's everywhere, and it doesn't look to be going well thus far.
CAPTION (LEX LUTHOR): I've discovered how to raise him up to yours.
Sunday, March 2, 2014
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.
END OF PAGE
That's what it's like to be Lex Luthor, except that, for him, the tiny part is all-encompassing. As he sees it, he worked hard his whole life, building himself up from nothing with just his intellect, to bestow his greatness and benevolence on the rest of humanity, whereas Superman fell out of the sky with the powers of a god only to lord it over the world.
You see, Luthor might use his wealth, power and intelligence to benefit mankind, but he does not do so altruistically. He's like the kid who comes to school with the cool new toy and expects everyone to be his friend because of it. Luthor may see Superman as a god, but he's the one who demands worship. To Luthor, kindness without applause is meaningless. And that, more than anything else, is what makes him the opposite of Superman.
Scientist, businessman, politician -- Lex Luthor has been interpreted in many ways over the years, but truly these have merely been different weapons in the arsenal of one man with a twisted goal. A man who cannot admit, even to himself, that he may be wrong. A man who would rather be seen as a villain than share the title of hero. A man who would commit any atrocity just to gain the slightest advantage over his adversary.
And that's terrible.