The Big Waynowski, Act I

A few nights ago, my friend/roommate and i conversed for several hours, with the origin of the conversation lying in the realm of comic book characters.  Our relationship with comics in our lives is quite similar, as we both grew up devouring them regularly only to trail off in our teens before picking the habit back up seriously in our twenties, then selling our collections off to finance a European excursion.

These days, i’m a damn sight from the fervent collector that i’d been in years past.  The advent of digital comics has drawn me back though; a weak tractor beam that, once tethered, keeps me always just within reach of the wonderful world of superheroic adventure.  Not so much for my buddy, who still has a place in his heart for the capes-and-tights crowd but long ago forewent purchasing or reading comics.

However, the two of us quite often wax philosophical about our modern-day mythology.  Mostly this involves imagining our own What-If?! style stories, and also frequently pondering what these characters do when they’re not performing heroic deeds – which invariably leads us to question why they continue to do it at all after all this time (both in- or out-of-continuity).   Of course, the answer to that last one is because if too much realism were injected into comics, most of their enemies would likely be dead and the heroes along with them.

Anyway, the other night we were sitting in our customary places in the living room (upon the only furniture to be found therein – two leather recliners) and we began entertaining ourselves with a mash-up of our favorite lunatic superhero with a beloved film classic.  This went on for quite some time, to our great amusement.

And so i have decided to adapt it here for you on the Long Shot.  Maybe you will find this as thoroughly fun as we did.  Perhaps you’ll think i’ve lost my marbles.  Possibly a bit of both.

This is Act I of what is naturally three acts.  Let me know what you think!  i’ve got a couple of other ideas for movie-comic mash-ups so if you like this one, i’ll keep working on them.

bat lebowski

The Big Waynowski

We are floating up a rusty breaker wall from a bay.  We hear male voices gently singing “Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na” and a deep, calm, other-worldly voice – Kevin Conroy’s, perhaps:

VOICE-OVER

A way out east there was a fellow, fellow I want to tell you about, fellow by the name of Bruce Waynowski.  At least, that was the handle his loving parents gave him before they were murdered in Crime Alley, but he never had much use for it himself.  This Waynowski, he called himself the Bat.  Now, Bat, that’s a name no one would self-apply where I come from.  But then, there was a lot about the Bat that didn’t make a whole lot of sense to me.  And a lot about where he lived, like-wise.  But then again, maybe that’s why I found the place so darned interesting.

We top the breaker wall, adorned with art deco humanoid figures, and the grim vastness of Gotham City at twilight stretches out before us.

BTAS-Gotham_City

VOICE-OVER

They call Gotham City the most dangerous place in the world.  I didn’t find it to be that exactly, but I’ll allow as there are some deadly folks there.  Of course, I can’t say I’ve seen Gorilla City, and I’ve never been to Khandaq, and I’ve never seen a Themysciran in her battle regalia as the fellow says.  But I’ll tell you what, after seeing Gotham City and this here story I’m about to unfold – well, I guess I’ve seen something every bit as stupefying as you’d see in any of those other places, and in English too, so I battle mysterious and occult forces with a smile on my face without feeling like the good Lord gypped me.

INTERIOR – LABORATORY

It is early, and the laboratory is all but deserted.  We are tracking in on a fortyish man in a low-grade costume and cowl at the cold storage unit.  He is the Bat.  His rumpled costume and relaxed manner suggest a man in whom casualness runs deep.

He is feeling vials of serum for coldness and examining their expiration dates.

VOICE-OVER

Now this story I’m about to unfold took place back in the gritty nineties – just about the time of our conflict with Bane and the released Arkham Asylum inmates.  I only mention it because sometimes there’s a vigilante – I won’t say a superhero, because what’s a superhero?  But sometimes there’s a vigilante.

The Bat glances furtively about and then opens a vial of serum.  He sticks his nose in the spout and sniffs.

VOICE-OVER

And I’m talking about the Bat here – sometimes there’s a vigilante who, well, he’s the vigilante for his time and place, he fits right in there – and that’s the Bat, in Gotham City.

LAB ASSISTANT

She waits, arms folded.  A small black-and-white monitor next to her work station shows Mayor Armand Krol in front of Gotham’s City Hall with GCPD SWAT behind him.

MAYOR KROL

This contagion will not stand…This will not stand!

The Bat, peeking through his cowl, scribbles something at the little visitor’s lectern.  Serum beads the lip of his mask.

VOICE-OVER

…and even if he’s a paranoid vigilante, and the Bat was certainly that – quite possibly the most paranoid in Gotham County.

The Bat has his crime-fighter identification card to one side and is making out a payment stub to the lab for sixty-nine cents.

VOICE-OVER

…which would place him high in the running for most paranoid worldwide – but sometimes there’s a vigilante…sometimes there’s a vigilante.

EXTERIOR – LABORATORY

Long shot of the unassuming lab.  There are only two or three vehicles parked in the huge lot.

VOICE-OVER

Well, I lost my train of thought here.  But – aw, hell – I’ve introduced him enough.

The Bat is a small figure walking across the vast lot.  Next to him walks a lab assistant in a white coat carrying  a small brown bag holding the vial of serum.  The two men’s footsteps echo in the still of the night.

After a beat of walking the Bat offhandedly points.

BAT

It’s the Futura.

Batmobile

BAT’S HOME

The Bat is going up the fire escape of a small East End tenement building.  He holds the paper sack in one hand and a utility belt in the other.  He awkwardly hugs the grocery bag against his chest as he slides the window to his apartment up.

INSIDE

The Bat climbs through the window and flicks on a light.

His head is grabbed from behind and tucked into an armpit.  We track with him as he is rushed through the living room, his arm holding the utility belt flailing away from his body.  Going into the bedroom the outflung belt catches a piece of doorframe and wallboard and ruptures something in one of the pouches, ripping through the building materials and leaving a hole.

The Bat is propelled across the bedroom and on into a small bathroom, the belt’s volatile contents once again taking away a piece of doorframe.  His cowled head is plunged into the toilet.  The paper bag hugged to his chest explodes serum as it hits the toilet rim and another of the belt’s contents melts tile as it falls to the floor.

The Bat blows bubbles.

VOICE

We want that money, Waynowski.  Robin said you were good for it.

Hands haul the Bat out of the toilet.  The Bat blubbers and gasps for air.

VOICE

Where’s the money, Waynowski!

His head is plunged back into the toilet.

VOICE

Where’s the money, Waynowski!

The hands haul him out again, dripping and gasping.

VOICE

WHERE’S THE FUCKING MONEY, SHITHEAD!

BAT

It’s uh, it’s down there somewhere.  Lemme take another look.

His head in plunged back in.

VOICE

Don’t fuck with us.  If your ward owes money to Oswald Cobblepot, that means you owe money to Oswald Cobblepot.

The inquisitor hauls the Bat’s head out one last time and flops him over so that he sits on the floor, back against the toilet.

The Bat gropes back in the toilet with one hand.

Looming over him is a strapping blond man.

Beyond in the living room a bald Arab man unzips his fly and walks over to an over-sized coin on display.

ARAB MAN

Ever thus to crime-fighters, Waynowski.

He starts peeing on the coin.

The Bat’s hand comes out of the toilet bowl with his cowl.

BAT

Oh, man.  Don’t do –

BLOND MAN

You see what happens?  You see what happens, Waynowski?

The Bat pulls on his sopping cowl.

BAT

Look, nobody calls me Waynowski.  You got the wrong guy.  I’m the Bat, man.

BLOND MAN

Your name is Waynowski.  Your ward is Robin.

BAT

Robin?  Look, man.

He gestures towards the bedroom.

BAT

You see a twin bed?  Does this place look like I’m a fucking legal guardian?  The windows are unlocked!

The blond man stoops to open the utility belt.  He pulls out a rebreather and examines it in the manner of a superstitious native.

BLOND MAN

The fuck is this?

The Bat pats at his costume’s hidden pockets, takes out a Miraclo capsule and pops it in his mouth.

DUDE

Obviously you’re not a time traveler.

The blond man drops the utility belt which damages more tile.

BLOND MAN

Ubu?

The Arab man is zipping his fly.

UBU

Yeah?

BLOND MAN

Wasn’t this guy supposed to be a billionaire?

UBU

Uh?

They both look around.

UBU

Fuck.

BLOND MAN

What do you think?

UBU

He looks like a fuckin’ loser.

The Bat pulls his cowl up over his eyes and looks at them.

BAT

Hey.  At least I’m housebroken.

The two men look at each other.  They turn to leave.

UBU

Fuckin’ waste of time.

The blond man turns testily at the door.

BLOND MAN

Thanks a lot, asshole.

ON THE DOOR SLAM WE CUT TO:

A STREET THUG’S NOSE

Shattered by a punch.

Credits are shown over various crime-fighting shots – criminals getting defeated, vigilantes suiting up, cape gliding down alleyways, running feet, graceful kicks, criminals tied up in front of the police station, etc.

The credits end over a POW!

An young man with a black domino mask and red bodysuit and black cape with yellow interior turns from the punch to walk back to the shadows.

YOUNG MAN

Hot damn, I’m throwing down tonight.  Mark it, Bat.

We are tracking in on the shadowy alcove towards a man nursing a large vial of serum.  He has dark worried eyes and a red domino mask.  Black leather pants are tucked into knee high black leather boots.  He also wears a kevlar vest under a black leather jacket.  This is JASON TODD.  He squints through the smoke from his own cigarette as he addresses the Bat.

The Bat, also holding a large vial of serum, wears some of it’s glowing droplets on his mustache.

red_hood___jason_todd_no_mask__batman_arkham_city__by_enygma214-d600owu

JASON

This was a valued coin.

He elaborately clears his throat.

JASON

This was, uh –

BAT

Yeah man, it really tied the room together –

JASON

This was a valued, uh.

TIM DRAKE, the knockout-punch throwing vigilante, enters and crouches next to Jason Todd.

robin___tim_drake__batman_arkham_city__by_enygma214-d600o24

TIM

What tied the room together, Bat?

JASON

Were you listening to the story, Tim?

TIM

What —

JASON

Were you listening to the Bat’s story?

TIM

I was fighting crime –

JASON

So you have no frame of reference, Tim.  You’re like a guest cameo who wanders in in the middle of a team-up and wants to know –

BAT

What’s your point, Jason?

JASON

There’s no fucking reason – here’s my point, Bat – there’s no fucking reason –

TIM

Yeah Jason, what’s your point?

JASON

Huh?

BAT

What’s the point of – we all know who was at fault, so what the fuck are you talking about?

JASON

Huh?  No!  What the fuck are you talking – I’m not – we’re talking about unchecked aggression here –

TIM

What the fuck is he talking about?

BAT

My coin.

JASON

Forget it, Tim.  You’re out of your element.

BAT

This Arab who peed on my coin, I can’t go give him a bill so what the fuck are you talking about?

JASON

What the fuck are you talking about?!  This Arab is not the issue!  I’m talking about drawing a line in the sand, Bat.  Across this line you do not, uh – and also, Bat, Arab is not the preferred, uh…Middle Eastern-American.  Please.

BAT

Jason, this is not a guy who brewed the first pot of coffee, here, this is a guy who peed on my –

JASON

What the fuck are you –

BAT

Jason, he peed on my coin –

TIM

He peed on the Bat’s coin –

JASON

YOU’RE OUT OF YOUR ELEMENT!  This Arab is not the issue, Bat.

BAT

So who –

JASON

Bruce Waynowski.  Come on.  This other Bruce Waynowski.  The billionaire.  He’s gonna be easier to find anyway than these two, uh, these two…And he has the wealth, uh, the resources obviously, and there is no reason, no FUCKING reason, why his ward should go out and owe money and they pee on your coin.  Am I wrong?

BAT

No, but –

JASON

Am I wrong!

BAT

Yeah, but –

JASON

Okay.  That, uh.

He elaborately clears his throat.

That coin really tied the room together, did it not?

BAT

Fuckin’ A.

TIM

And this guy peed on it.

JASON

Tim!  Please!

BAT

Yeah, I could find this Waynowski guy –

TIM

His name is Waynowski?  That’s your name, Bat!

BAT

Yeah, this is the guy, this guy should compensate me for the fucking coin.  I mean his ward goes out and owes money and they pee on my coin.

JASON

Thaaat’s right Bat: they pee on your fucking coin.

CLOSE ON A PLAQUE

We pull back from the name BRUCE WAYNOWSKI engraved in silver to reveal that the plaque, from Gotham Club International, honors Waynowski as PHILANTHROPIST OF THE YEAR.

Reflected in the plaque we see the Bat entering the room with an OLD MAN.  We hear the two men talk:

OLD MAN

And this is the study of stately Waynowski Manor.  You can see the various commendations, honorary degrees, et cetera.

BAT

Yes, uh, very impressive.

OLD MAN

Please, feel free to inspect them.

BAT

I’m not really, uh.

OLD MAN

Please!  Please!

BAT

Uh-huh.

We are panning the walls, looking at various citations and certificates unrelated to the ones being discussed off-panel.

OLD MAN

That’s the key to the city of Gotham, which Master Waynowski was given two years ago in recognition of his various civic, uh.

BAT

Uh-huh.

OLD MAN

That’s a Gotham City Chamber of Commerce Business Achiever award, which is given – not necessarily given every year!  Given only when there’s a worthy, somebody especially –

BAT

Hey, is this him with Gordon?

OLD MAN

That is indeed Master Waynowski with the police commissioner, yes, taken when –

BAT
Waynowski on the right?

OLD MAN

Of course, Master Waynowski on the right, Commissioner Gordon on the left, taken when –

BAT

He’s handicapped, huh?

OLD MAN

Master Waynowski is disabled, yes.  And this picture was taken when Gordon was still a lieutenant, yes, yes?  Not the commissioner.

BAT
Far out.

OLD MAN

And in fact he met privately with the mayor, though unfortunately there wasn’t time for a photo opportunity.

BAT

Jim’s pretty good.

OLD MAN

Wonderful man.  We were very –

BAT

Are these.

OLD MAN

These are Master Waynowski’s children, so to speak –

BAT
Different mothers, huh?

OLD MAN

No, they –

BAT

I guess he’s pretty, uh, racially pretty cool –

OLD MAN

They’re not his, heh-heh, they’re not literally his children.  They’re the Little Waynowski Orphan Achievers, inner-city children of promise but without the –

BAT

I see.

OLD MAN

– without parents, so Master Waynowski is committed to sending all of them to therapy.

BAT

Jeez.  Think he’s got room for one more?

OLD MAN

One – oh!  Heh-heh.  You never went to therapy?

BAT

Well, yeah I did, but I spent most of my time training in various, uh, martial arts –

OLD MAN

Heh-heh –

BAT

– drinking super serums, learning detective skills –

OLD MAN

Yes, heh –

BAT

– and fighting crime.  I’ll tell you the truth, Alfred, I don’t remember most of it – Jeez!  Fuck me!

Our continuing track and pan brought us onto a framed Life Magazine cover with is headlined ARE YOU A WAYNOWSKI ACHIEVER?  Oddly, the Bat’s cowled face is on it.  We realize that, under the magazine’s logo and headline, the display is mirrored.

We hear the door open and the whine of a motor.  The Bat, wearing a worn costume, turns to look.

So does ALFRED PENNYWORTH, the old man we’ve been listening to.  He wears a tuxedo and has his white-gloved hands clasped in front of his groin.

Alfred_Pennyworth_by_javiperillas

Entering the room is an unusually athletic sixtyish man in a motorized wheelchair – Bruce Waynowski.

WAYNOWSKI

Okay sir, you’re a Waynowski, I’m a Waynowski, that’s terrific, I’m very busy so what can I do for you?

He wheels himself behind a desk.  The Bat sits facing him as Alfred withdraws.

Old Wayne

BAT

Well sir, it’s this coin I have, really tied the room together –

WAYNOWSKI

You told Alfred on the phone, he told me.  So where do I fit in?

BAT

Well they were looking for you, these two guys, they were trying to –

WAYNOWSKI

I’ll say it again, all right?  You told Alfred.  He told me.  I know what happened.  Yes?  Yes?

BAT

So you know they were trying to piss on your coin –

WAYNOWSKI

Did I urinate on your coin?

BAT

You mean, did you personally come and pee on my –

WAYNOWSKI

Hello!  Do you speak English?  Krypton Speak English?  I’ll say it again.  Did I urinate on your coin?

BAT

Well no, like I said, Ubu peed on the coin –

WAYNOWSKI

Hello!  Hello!  So every time – I just want to understand this, sir – every time a coin is micturated upon in this fair city, I have to compensate the –

BAT

Come on, man, I’m not trying to scam anybody here, I’m just –

WAYNOWSKI

You’re just looking for a handout like every other – are you a superhero, Mr. Waynowski?

BAT

Look, let me explain something.  I’m not Mr. Waynowski.  You’re Mr. Waynowski.  I’m the Bat.  So that’s what you call me.  That, or Bats.  His Batness.  Or El Batarango, if, you know, you’re not into the whole brevity thing –

WAYNOWSKI

Are you a superhero, sir?

BAT

A superhero?

WAYNOWSKI

You don’t go out and fight crime dressed like that in the middle of a weekday.

BAT

Is this a – what day is this?

WAYNOWSKI

Well I do fight crime, so if you don’t mind –

BAT

No, look.  I do mind.  The Bat minds.  This will not stand, ya know, this will not stand, man.  I mean, if your ward owes –

WAYNOWSKI

My ward is not the issue here.  I hope that my ward will someday learn to live on his allowance, which is ample, but if he doesn’t, sir, that will be his problem, not mine, just as your coin is your problem, just as every vigilante’s lot in life is his own responsibility regardless of whom he chooses to blame.  I didn’t blame anyone for the loss of my legs, some Latin American villain took them from me during Knightfall but I went out and acheived anyway.  I can’t solve your problems, sir, only you can.

The Bat rises.

BAT

Ah fuck it.

WAYNOWSKI

Sure!  Fuck it!  That’s your answer!  Tattoo it on your forehead!  Your answer to everything!

The Bat is heading for the door.

WAYNOWSKI

Your “revolution” is over, Mr. Waynowski.  Condolences!  The vigilantes lost!

As the Bat opens the door…

WAYNOWSKI

…My advice is, do what your counterpart in Metropolis did!  Get a normal civilian life, sir!  The vigilantes will always lose – do you hear me, Waynowski?  THE VIGILANTES WILL ALWAYS –

The Bat shuts the door on the old man’s bellowing to find himself –

IN A HIGH COFFERED HALLWAY

Alfred approaches the Bat.

ALFRED

How was your meeting, Master Waynowski?

BAT

Okay.  The old man told me to take any coin in the manor.

WALKWAY

A houseman rolls a giant penny along a stone walk that winds through the back lawn, past a swimming pool to a garage.  Alfred and the Bat follow.

giant penny

ALFRED

Manolo will load it into your car for you, uh, Bat.

BAT

It’s the Futura.

BAT’S POINT OF VIEW

Tracking toward the pool.  A boy sits facing it, his back to us, leaning forward to pull a pixie boot on.

Beyond him a chalk white form floats in an inflatable chair in the pool.

ALFRED

Well, enjoy, and perhaps we’ll see you again some time, Bat.

BAT

Yeah sure, if I’m ever in the neighborhood, need to use the john.

CLOSER TRACK

Arching around the boy’s foot as he struggles to pull the emerald green bootie on.

THE BAT

Looking.

WIDER

The boy looks up at him.  He is in his tweens.

He leans back and extends his leg toward the Bat.

BOY

Push it on.

The Bat pulls his cowl up and looks at the pixie boot.

BAT

Huh?

The boy waggles his foot and giggles.

BOY

G’ahead.  Push.

The Bat tentatively grabs hold of his extended foot.

BAT

You want me to push your bootie on?

BOY

Uh-huh…I can’t pull that hard.

The Bat looks over at the pool.

BAT

You sure he won’t mind?

The man bobbing in the inflatable chair is passed out.  He is thin, in his thirties, with stringy green hair and ruby red lips in a perpetual grin.  He wears purple pinstriped pants and a matching sport coat, open, shirtless, exposing chalk white skin.  One arm trails off into the water.  Next to it , an empty Smilex bottle bobs.

BOY

Joker doesn’t care about anything.  He’s a nihilist.

BAT

Practicing?

The boy smiles.

BOY

You’re not pushing.

Alfred nervously takes the Bat by the elbow.

ALFRED

Our guest has to be getting along, Master Grayson.

The Bat grudgingly allows himself to be led away, still looking at the young boy.

Dick Grayson Robin

BAT

You’re Dick?

DICK

I’ll be your sidekick for a thousand dollars.

Alfred releases a gale of forced laughter.

ALFRED

Ha-ha-ha-ha!  Wonderful boy.  Very free-spirited.  We’re all very fond of him.

DICK

Alfred can’t help though.  Or he has to pay a hundred.

ALFRED

Ha-ha-ha-ha-ha!  That’s marvelous.

He continues to lead away the Bat, who looks back over his

SHOULDER:

BAT

I’m just gonna find a cash machine.

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4 thoughts on “The Big Waynowski, Act I

  1. Absolutely awesome! Probably the best lunchtime reading i have done in a long time! I agree with Geoff, “MORE PLEASE”!!

  2. Pingback: Gen Con decompression, Part 1 (Day One) | The Long Shot

  3. Pingback: Gen Con recap, Day Two | The Long Shot

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