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End of Summer

Batman 5: A Movie Proposal

words and art by Kurt Belcher

Welcome to Brainstorm's Corner, a monthly springboard showcase. A springboard, basically a one-page prose summary of a comic book story, is the format used for submitting stories to companies such as DC Comics. In one page, a writer must describe the plot while also trying to make it as intriguing as possible. It's quite a challenge!

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Hugo Strange

I have an idea for a definitive BATMAN movie -- a dark, crime noir story with a real detective story at the center of it, and real psychological exploration overtones. I've named it BATMAN: MADNESS, and he's facing two major nemeses in it, PROFESSOR HUGO STRANGE and KILLER CROC.

Now, these villains aren't just thrown together for no good reason, as most villains in the BATMAN series are (MISTER FREEZE and POISON IVY, anyone? Ice is bad for plants, for God's sakes!!!"), but there's a real reason why these two will face down the Dark Knight together.

For one thing, PROFESSOR STRANGE is an unknown villain to BATMAN, who has made a long and determined study of the hero before his appearance.

Batman   PROFESSOR STRANGE decides to come to Gotham to match wits with the legendary urban hero called Batman, thinking that he may be the only match for his genius. STRANGE becomes a head psychologist at ARKHAM ASYLUM (where much of the action will take place, in the last forty or so minutes of the 2 1/2 hour movie), where he continues his studies, this time of BATMAN's major nemeses…he's looking for the perfect physical pawn to use in his campaign against BATMAN. He finds his pawn in KILLER CROC. Big, strong, easily manipulated -- and it will be hinted that BATMAN barely beat him in a physical match in their initial encounter.

STRANGE will begin releasing CROC to commit crimes and drive BATMAN to exhaustion, while STRANGE is arranging more psychological traps for Wayne. STRANGE deduces BATMAN's secret identity, and begins trying to drive him insane with visits from his parents' 'ghosts', etc. etc.

Alfred   Meanwhile, a radio personality named VESPER FAIRCHILD (who is obnoxious enough to rate up there with Howard Stern), begins her own little faux investigation into the CROC/BATMAN/STRANGE triangle, eventually becoming romantically involved with Bruce Wayne, but not his alter-ego. The twin character of Wayne/BATMAN will be portrayed as they should be, with BATMAN being the 'real' person, and Wayne being the mask Batman wears to move in polite society.

The cast (my dream cast) goes like this:
ALFRED PENNYWORTH -- Pete Postlethwaite
COMMISSIONER JAMES GORDON -- Adam West (I know what you're thinking-- but he's perfect for the role, given the chance to play it straight!)
VESPER FAIRCHILD -- Julianne Moore (A sensible love interest!)
KILLER CROC -- Ron Perlman

Killer CrocWriter:
David Goyer -- Writer of some excellent comics films, including BLADE and the NICK FURY TV-film. And his JSA is very good indeed…

Jean-Paul Jeunet -- Co-director of the fantasically moody and surrealistic CITY OF LOST CHILDREN, which is basically a Batman movie without Batman. I mean it, it had the dark, gothic city, weird villains and their cronies, a heroic main character (the aforementioned Ron Perlman as One)…

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