Monday, August 26, 2013

Fan-Casting DC's JUSTICE LEAGUE: Part 10

Click here to review Part 9.

So far:
John Corben stole a supply of kryptonite from S.T.A.R. Labs Gotham for Lex Luthor.  Batman tracked Corben to Metropolis.  The commander of an observation space station sabotaged the mission, crashing the station and seeding Earth with hundreds of Starro seeds aboard the escape pods.  The story of the space station, as reported by The Daily Planet's Lois Lane, has attracted the attention of the mysterious John Jones.

That night at the Middleton Space Center.  A security guard stands watch at the entrance to the hangar where Superman brought the space station's escape pods.  The guard hears something that draws his attention.  He looks off to is right, doesn't see anything, then looks left--

--to find John Jones (Giancarlo Esposito) standing right in front of him.  John identifies himself as Detective John Jones and holds up his badge… which is actually an empty wallet sans any form of ID.  The security guard glances down at the non-badge and back up at the man.  John's eyes flash a different color.  With a slightly vacant look, the guard says, "Go right in, Detective," and presses a security code into a keypad, opening the door.

Inside the hangar, John inspects the escape pods.  He singles out the pod with the scorched hole in the bottom.  He crouches down and runs his hand over the burnt metal of the pod.  In a bit of psychometry, John is bombarded by a mental image of a Starro--close up and fierce looking!  (This image flickers on screen quickly, like the Eye of Sauron when Gandalf touches that snow globe in Christopher Lee's castle.)  The sight of Starro hits John like a physical attack, knocking him down.  His face lightly ripples, changing color for the briefest second, telling us he's not human.

The security guard comes in with Doctor Erdel (Bob Gunton).  The guard explains to Erdel that the detective who came in had proper identification.  Erdel wants to know what a detective is doing there anyway.  They look around, finding no sign of anyone.  Erdel belittles the guard.

Erdel and the guard leave the hangar.  As they walk away, the camera holds on a shadow on the wall.  John Jones' face emerges from the shadow for a moment, watching them go, and then melting ghostlike back into the darkness.

Cut To: The Daily Planet.  A bit later that same night.

The Daily Planet lost $40 million in 2012, and that was
before buying a solid gold globe for the roof.
Lois Lane (Jennifer Carpenter) stands in the office of the Planet's Editor-in-Chief, Perry White (Tim Matheson).  Lois makes her case for sabotage of the space station crash.  She believes something was in the pods when they jettisoned and the total system failure suggests more than an accident or simple human error.

Jimmy Olsen (Kevin McHale) comes in with coffee and food.  He sits down across from Perry and the two eat dinner while Lois keeps talking.  Outside, in the staff bullpen, Clark Kent (Jon Hamm) sits at his desk staring at Perry's office.  He uses super-hearing to eavesdrop on the conversation.  Lois runs a monologue, talks about getting interviews with the station crew.  She doesn't give Perry much of a chance to respond until the end.

Lois leaves Perry's office and bumps into Clark, who has full biographical information on the space station crew.  (This would look better visually with a stack of papers and folders, but realistically, he would be holding a flash drive, assuming he didn't just email her the info.)  Clark says he anticipated that talking to the crew would be Lois' next move so he thought he'd save her time.  She's thankful.  She asks him about sharing a car ride with Bruce Wayne.  Clark almost mentions that he thought Bruce was a lot smarter than he comes across in the media.  He asks Lois if she wants to go to dinner; she turns him down so she can read the notes he gave her.  Clark disappointedly leaves by himself.

Cut To: The Batcave.

Alfred Pennyworth (Ian McElhinney) walks across the Batcave and sits at the computer.  He speaks into a microphone, says, "Yes, Master Bruce."

Back in Metropolis, Batman growls, "I hate this city."

Batman (Richard Armitage) stands on the roof of one of the highest buildings in Metropolis overlooking the city.  Unlike Gotham, Metropolis seems to glow even at night.  The traffic, the streetlights, the high-rises, everything is lit up much brighter.

Nighttime comparison: Metropolis (top), Gotham (bottom)
Batman leaps from the rooftop and glides with his cape or swings on a bat-line.  People on the street look up and point.  People in office buildings look out the window and gape.

"Sir," Alfred says, "you may not want to hear this, but… your presence in Metropolis has been noticed."  Batman asks if Alfred is sure.  "Yes, sir," Alfred says.  "You're trending."  The Bat-computer shows a social media site and #TheBatInMetropolis.

Later, Batman is on a different building, crouched on the fire escape, surveilling the building across the street.  He's holding some advanced-looking night vision goggles, spying on the apartment of John Corben (Michael Biehn).

Inside, Corben is soldering a three-inch sliver of kryptonite (that he didn't give to Lex Luthor) to a knife handle.  Yep, he's making a kryptonite shiv!  The TV is on in the background.  Suddenly, Corben is alerted to a helicopter hovering over his apartment and a searchlight shining down.  He changes the channel on the TV.  Local news is breaking the story that Batman has been spotted in the neighborhood.

In the Batcave, Alfred is watching the same news footage.  The news chopper camera is pointed down at the rooftop where Batman is hiding.

On the fire escape, Batman grinds his teeth as the searchlight circles around him.  "I really hate this city," he says.

Batman looks back at Corben's apartment across the street.  John Corben steps out onto the balcony and lifts a bazooka up on his shoulder.  He sights the corner of Batman's building and fires.  Batman leaps away as the rocket strikes the rooftop and explodes.

Batman glides away from the fiery rooftop, fires a grapple gun that hooks onto Corben's building.  He swings up and crashes through the window into Corben's apartment.  Corben fires a submachine gun, but Batman disarms him.  They fight.  Batman clearly has the physical advantage, but Corben's whole apartment is rigged.  Things start to explode, pushing Batman around, while Corben slips out.  The floor collapses under Batman, dropping him down to the room below.

Batman unburies himself from the wreckage and looks out the hole that used to be Corben's wall.  The room is lit up by the news chopper's searchlight.  And hovering right outside, silhouetted by the light, is Superman.

One of them is dark and edgy.
They're both startled to see each other.  Superman is as shocked to learn Batman is real as the other.  He drops down and grabs Batman, thinking he's the one blowing up buildings.

Superman uses his X-ray vision to see through Batman's cowl.  "Bruce Wayne?" he gasps, letting him go.  Batman snaps that Superman is letting the real criminal escape.  Superman uses the X-ray vision again to look down through the building's stairwell and sees Corben running down.

Downstairs, Corben rushes out of his building to find Superman standing in the street waiting for him.  Corben opens fire from a handgun.  Superman catches each bullet, crushes them together and drops the clump of metal on the street as he walks over to Corben.

Before Superman gets his hands on Corben, though, the other pulls the kryptonite shiv out of a lead-lined sheath.  Mere proximity to the kryptonite startles Superman.  He goes pale, begins to sweat, and looks disoriented.  Corben snickers and swings the k-shiv.  Superman attempts to block but it jabs right into his arm.  Corben backs Superman down, kicking him, punching him, stabbing him in the gut with the k-shiv.

Superman can't fight back.  He's on his knees, trying to crawl away.  He takes three or four direct stabbings into the stomach and a few defensive cuts on his arms and hands.  Traffic has stopped.  People are out of their cars staring in horror.  Camera phones are recording.  The news chopper is watching.  Corben is taunting the Man of Steel.  And Superman is spitting blood on the street.

Corben grabs Superman by the hair and lifts him up.  He holds the shiv to Superman's throat, about to cut him open in front of everyone.

Suddenly, Corben screams and drops the k-shiv.  There's a batarang embedded in his wrist.  He looks up in time to see Batman come down on him.  Batman wraps Corben up in his cape and brings him to the ground.  We don't see  exactly what happens, but when Batman stands up, Corben is unconscious.

Batman looks around.  The same crowd is watching and recording, plus now we can hear police and emergency sirens closing in.  On the ground, Superman looks barely alive.  Batman drops smoke pellets and a cloud covers them.  People back away, covering their eyes and mouths.

Police cars, fire trucks, and ambulances descend on the scene.  When the smoke clears, John Corben is tied up, still unconscious.  Batman and Superman are gone.

To Be Continued…

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