The Dark Knight:
The Comedy and The Tragedy
Part One: “CURE”
Written by James Bell
I have not included in-depth descriptions of the character's physical appearances, as they are all modelled after the character's seen in Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight, and should appear exactly the same.
Page One, Panel One:
We open on a close up of the bat signal shining brightly. It is raining heavily and some of the rain drops that have fallen on the bat signal can been seen shining (forming a shining
border for the bat symbol – the significance of this will become apparent soon). It is night (obviously).
Page One, Panel Two:
We now see Commissioner Gordon standing in front of the bat signal wielding an axe. His back is hunched and his entire posture gives the impression of a man in great stress. Behind him stand various policemen and women, they are all standing in similarly depressed stances (Shoulders hunched, hands in pockets, looking at the ground, improvise a little).
Page One, Panel Three:
Close up of Gordon's axe hitting the bat signal, which smashes. The light behind the bat signal, alongside the light rim of water on the bat symbol should remain visible in this shot.
(This shows the good within Batman's nature.)
Page One, Panel Four:
Close up of the remains of the bat signal. The image should be dark and haunting, like a desecrated artefact, there should be no remaining light behind the bat symbol however the
rim of water around the symbol should still shimmer a little to show that there is still hope.
(Note: In effect the first four panels of the comic should accurately some of the closing shots from the closing scenes of The Dark Knight . However any symbolism expressed here is important for the rest of the comic.)
Page One, Panel Five:
We now see Batman standing atop of a skyscraper from the side. Behind him we can see Gotham city sprawling into the distance. Batman's posture is that of a broken and brooding man. His head is held in his hands and he is hunched over.
Even though Batman's posture should resemble that of a broken hero, he should still have some vaguely heroic features about him. His cape should billow out behind him and his posture should help to show his muscles.
Below Batman the text THE DARK KNIGHT: THE COMEDY AND THE TRAGEDY PART ONE: “CURE” should be written in bold text.
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Page Two, Panel One:
Batman (Caption Narration): Gotham has gone insane...
We see Batman collapse to his knees, his head still in his hands. The viewpoint should now be behind him, and we should see Gotham stretching out in front of him. The clouds in the sky should form an obvious smile (similar to that of the Joker's scar).
Page Two, Panel Two:
Batman (Caption Narration): I started this. Either my success, or my insanity drew him here.
We see a dead man with a Glasgow smile carved into his face (It's the same thing as a Joker smile,look it up) a hunched figure is standing over him. The figure is wearing a purple long coat, and holding a knife encrusted in blood.
Figure: [Laughs softly to himself]
Page Two, Panel Three:
Batman (Caption Narration): But either way, he came here, I stopped him, and now people copy us.
The figure turns and looks towards the reader, he is wearing one of the clown masks (a smiling one) often worn by the Joker's henchmen, however it is quite obviously not the Joker. (This is foreshadowing for the Joker's reveal)
Page Two, Panel Three:
The figure's head is shot open by something coming from the side of the panel. The image should be gruesome and brutal, yet fascinating. Try to bring out the fact that the mask is smiling in by using extremely bright contrasting colours.
Page Two, Panel Four:
We now see a Batman imitator (It should be obvious that he isn't Batman from his clothing. He should be wearing a hockey vest and other miss-matched pieces of clothing) step out of the shadows. He is cradling a smoking shotgun in his arms, and should be smirking slightly.
Page Two, Panel Five:
Batman (Caption Narration): Gotham is an asylum...
Other than the text the panel is completely black.
Page Two, Panel Six:
Batman (Caption Narration): My asylum.
We can now see an extreme close up of Batman's open eye. It is blood shot and very red. This image should show the stark reality of Batman's mental health, which is that of a hunted, exhausted and alone madman.
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The entire page should be covered by the image of Batman gliding over a rain drenched Gotham at night. The image should be inspirational and terrifying at the same time. Gotham city itself should have less of a physical presence on the page than Batman, most of it should merely provide a backdrop for Batman, however the occasional skyscraper should dwarf Batman in both terms of size (I know this seems obvious, but I mean size as it appears from a distance) and grandeur.
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The entire page should be covered in an image of the outside of Arkham Asylum (make it ` clear that this is Arkham with a sign). The building is massive, clean and slightly sinister due to it's imposing nature. The shadow cast by Arkham should cover all of the surrounding area.
Directly outside of Arkham an armoured van is unloading it's cargo - - a man in a purple long coat. Several heavily armed soldiers are stood around him, and his hands are bound. It is the Joker and this should be made quite obvious.
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Page Five, Panel One:
We can now see the complete length of a corridor in Arkham. The Joker is walking along it with the various guards etc. walking alongside him. The viewpoint of this panel should be behind the Joker so we can't see his face
From this viewpoint we should still be able to see some of the corridor which is very bright and clean (I know that this may be an odd way to present Arkham in a Gothic re-telling of Batman, however it is still a hospital, and hospital's are clean dammit. I'm sure that there was meant to be subtext here. Oh yeah, hope all that jazz, you know.) however it should still be entirely irrelevant when compared to the Joker's panel presence, the guards should also seem unimportant. Try to make the Joker's posture resemble that of the copycat mentioned on Page Two, Panel Three, however the Joker's hands are still bound so the stance cannot be exactly the same.
Joker: [Is laughing softly to himself]
Page Five, Panel Two:
Joker is led into a brightly lit room with white walls. The point of view in this shot should still be behind Joker so that we can't see his face. There is a single chair in the centre of the room. Joker's posture and panel presence should remain the same in this panel.
Joker: [Is still laughing softly to himself]
Page Five, Panel Three:
We now see a close up of the Joker's face. He is smirking slightly and looking directly at the reader. His scars should be far brighter than usual and the lighting in the room should accentuate his grotesque appearance. His hair should be plastered to his head by a mixture of rainwater and sweat. His make-up should be breaking apart, with black streaks falling down his face in a manner similar to how tears fall down someone's face (This is a foreshadowing for Harley-Quinn's first appearance).Other than the smirk upon his face Joker's expression should be a mixture of smugness, mild amusement, and boredom.
Page Five, Panel Four:
We zoom out to see that the image of Joker's face in the previous panel is now a photograph attached to a file, labelled “The Joker”, by a paper-clip. The file is exceptionally thick, and a woman's hand is gripping it. Her nails are painted blood red.
Page Five, Panel Five:
We now see the image of the woman's staff ID. The her name, Dr. H Quinzel, should be clearly visible on the badge, however the rest of the information, including the image of her face should be obscured somehow, either by the folds of her medical coat or shadows.
Page Five, Panel Six:
We now can see the full stretch of a corridor in Arkham. Dr. Quinzel is walking along the corridor, the POV of the panel should be the same as that from Page Five, Panel One (except with the camera behind Dr.Quinzel rather than Joker). Dr. Quinzel's posture should be upright, and give the impression of a well-ordered professional. She is wearing a medical coat and her hair should be held up in a bun. (This shot will be used several times throughout the comic, each time Dr. Quinzel's posture shall deteriorate until it is a mirror of that used by Joker in Page Five, Panel One. This is to show the decline in Dr. Quinzel's mental health.) There should also be a door at the end of the corridor which should be clearly visible. Written on the door in bold text should be the word Joker.
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An image of the Joker sitting in his cell should cover this page. The cell itself should be quite a small room with white walls, on which Joker has written the word “HA” repeatedly at haphazard angles, in red anrchaic text, until the entire room has been covered with the word.
Joker himself is sat on a bench attached the back wall of the room. His hands are clasped together and his back is hunched. He is looking directly at the camera, a dark smirk plastered across his face. He is wearing his trademark green waistcoat, blue shirt, blue tie and pinstriped trousers, however his purple long-coat and gloves are missing. His hair forms a grungy mess, however it is plastered behind his head so that his face is clearly visible and his make up should be immaculate.
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Page Seven, Panel One:
This panel should be a side view of Joker and Dr. Quinzel staring at each other in Joker's cell. The distance between them should be quite vast to show the lack of closeness in the relationship (as the plot progresses this shot will be repeated with the distance decreasing each time, I know it's a clichbut I couldn't think of anything more appropriate).
Dr. Quinzel: Mr. - urm... Joker? (Possibly add more ellipses or dashes to accentuate stuttering.)
Page Seven, Panel Two:
This panel should be a reaction shot of Joker's face. His eyebrows should be raised slightly and his posture should give the air of someone who is profoundly unimpressed.
Page Seven, Panel Three:
We cut back to the side shot of Joker and Dr. Quinzel standing in Joker's cell, the distance between them should remain the same however Dr.Quinzel's posture should show that she is about to take a step forward.
Dr. Quinzel: I'm Dr. Qu-
Joker: I know who you are.
Page Seven, Panel Four:
We cut back to Joker's face which still shows that he is completely dis-interested and unimpressed by Dr. Quinzel.
Joker:You're Dr. Harleen Quinzel, psychiatrist. You think you're good enough to diagnose me, probably with multiple personality disorder, that being the trend with diagnoses in Arkham. I wouldn't be a very well informed person if I didn't know who was treating me, especially if we take into consideration that she's a she, in a predominantly male profession. Everyone's heard of you. You work in Arkham. (Show this speech over three panel's [including this one] so that it remains legible and fits on the page. The images shown in these panels should be of Joker's face, which should remain permanently unimpressed, or the side shot of Joker and Dr. Quinzel standing in Joker's cell, Dr. Quinzel should be more withdrawn than before.)
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© Copyright 2016 James Robert Bell. All rights reserved.