Yesterday, we gave you an exclusive behind-the-scenes first look at one of the first steps in the creation of ANIMAL MAN #1 by showing you selections of series writer Jeff Lemire’s original proposal. Today, take a sneak peek at select pages of the script for the series’ debut issue, in stores September 7th. This sequence sets up the series’ first story arc and demonstrates Jeff’s new take on the story of Animal Man: one that straddles the line between super-hero and horror story. Furthermore, Jeff’s notes also set up the outstanding creative partnership between himself and artist Travel Foreman. Without further ado, check out pages #9-12 of the script for ANIMAL MAN #1.
ANIMAL MAN #1 THE HUNT PART 1: WARNING FROM THE REDPAGE 9. 9.1 Closer on Buddy, he turns to Krenshaw. 1. BUDDY: Let me handle this. 2. KRENSHAW: I don’t know, A-Man…all those kids. 3. BUDDY: Trust me… 9.2 Cut inside the children’s ward of the hospital. Kids are huddled together in their beds, terrified. Nurses and doctors try to comfort him. Edwin is at the window, holding his gun to the Doctor. 4. (CAPTION) ANIMAL MAN: …let me talk to this guy. 5. EDWIN: Just back off! All I want is my little girl and we’ll get out of here and I’ll let the rest go! 9.3 The doors to the Children’s Ward swing open and ANIMAL MAN enters. Buddy holds his hands up as if to show he’s unarmed. Edwin swings around pointing the gun at him. 6. EDWIN: Who the hell are you!? 7. ANIMAL MAN: Just calm down. Why don’t you put the gun down and we’ll figure this out… 8. EDWIN: No way! Just get them to back off! 9.4 Closer on Animal Man. He pulls back his mask and goggles. 9. ANIMAL MAN: Look, man, I know you’re in pain…I know you lost your little girl. I have a daughter too… 9.5 Buddy approaches Edwin, cautiously, his hands still up. Edwin’s losing it, nervous and twitchy. 10. EDWIN: They got her here somewhere! I just want her back! 11. BUDDY: Mr. Edwin…Lyle, please…you must know that’s not true. I know it’s hard to accept. 9.6 Close on Edwin, he suddenly opens fire, interrupting Buddy’s speech half way through. 12. BUDDY (op): But putting the rest of these kids in danger isn’t going to bring her ba--! 13. EDWIN: I said stay back! 14. SFX: BLAM! BLAM! PAGE 10. Splash. Buddy is taken aback as the bullets hit him square on the chest, bouncing off. He has instinctually reached out with his powers trying to connect with any animal that might protect him from the blast. So the background fades away and Buddy is surrounded by images of animals of all kinds all around him. 1. (CAPTION) BUDDY: Instinctually, I reach out with my powers, desperately trying to connect with any animal that will protect me from the blast. 2. (CAPTION) BUDDY: My consciousness slips into The Life Web and darts around madly…searching… 3. (CAPTION) BUDDY: Rat, no…dog, no…fish no… 4. (CAPTION) BUDDY: Rhino….RHINO! PAGE 11. 11.1 Buddy leaps through the air towards Edwin, fists clenched and barking angrily. 1. (CAPTION) BUDDY: This man is troubled. He’s experienced loss that I can barely fathom. But now he’s also endangered all these innocent children…and I can’t allow that. 2. (CAPTION) BUDDY: I grab my favorite “action hero” cocktail of animal abilities… 3. (CAPTION) BUDDY: Strength of an elephant, reflexes of a fly, speed of a cheetah… 4. (CAPTION) BUDDY: And the bark of a dog. That one always freaks them out. 5. BUDDY: BARK! BARK! 11.2 Buddy hauls off and punches Edwin with the might of an elephant. Edwin flies back, slamming into the wall, his gun falls from his hand. 6. (CAPTION) BUDDY: Truth is, I hate violence. I wish I could help this man. If I ever lost Cliff or Maxine…I’d… 7. (CAPTION) BUDDY: No, don’t think about that. I can’t help him. Not now. So I just need to stop him. 8. SFX: THWAM! 11.3 Buddy crouches by Edwin, who holds his jaw, cowering and sobbing on the floor. We only see A-Man from behind here. 9. EDWIN: I’m sorry…I’m sorry…I just want her back. 10. BUDDY: I know…I know. It’s going to be okay. 11.4 We see Krenshaw enter the room behind Buddy with a Swat Team. Buddy turns to them, so that again we only see him from behind. Depending on the angle, maybe we see the first hint of blood coming from his ear, but it should be subtle not to tip our hand too soon. 11. KRENSHAW: A-Man! Is he -- 12. BUDDY: Everyone’s okay. 11.5 Buddy stands before Krenshaw, his back to us. Two cops haul Edwin away. The Doctors tend to the children, trying to calm them. Krenshaw’s face falls. He stares at A-Man in shock. 12. BUDDY: That man needs help, Detective. I hope you can -- 13. BUDDY: Detective Krenshaw? What’s wrong? 11.6 Close on Krenshaw, still shocked and dumbfounded he manages to point to his own eyes. 14. KRENSHAW: Animal Man…your eyes! PAGE 12. 12.1 Larger Panel: Reverse to Buddy. He reaches up, touching his cheek. Blood runs from his eyes and ears, down his face. Buddy freezes in shock. 1. KRENSHAW: A-Man? 2. KRENSHAW: You okay? 3. BUDDY: I—I don’t know… 12.2 Krenshaw puts his hand on Buddy’s shoulder, and yells to a doctor nearby. 4. KRENSHAW: (yelling) We need a doctor here!