Concluding the original script for the never-published Duela Dent / Harlequin series that would have run in THE VIXEN If you haven’t read the past two weeks’ columns, check them out before continuing with this one.
Panel 1: [Nice shot of Harlequin crashing through the window into the lit office. Two-Face, sitting at the desk, looks up, only mildly startled.]
HARLEQUIN: Hiya, Daddy – bet you never expected ME to come and visit your office!
Panel 2: [Two-Face is standing up as Harlequin reaches into her bag of tricks. We see his silver dollar on the desk.]
HARLEQUIN: Nice of you to remember who I am –
“#2: — but I must admit this isn’t a friendly visit…
Panel 3: [We see that Harlequin has pulled out a small “can” with a screw-top lid, which she is unscrewing.]
HARLEQUIN: …I’ve come to take you back to Arkham –
Panel 4: [The lid is off the can, and shooting out of it is a “snake” like in those gag peanut butter jars. The “snake” is flying right at Two-face, who stands still, doing nothing to avoid it.]
HARLEQUIN: — where they’ll try again to keep you WRAPPED up!
Panel 5: [The “snake” now wraps around Two-Face like a cocoon, making him virtually helpless.]
HARLEQUIN: Hey, are you sick or someting… not even putting up a fight?
TWO-FACE: No, Duela – I have every intention of returning to Arkham with you… after we TALK!
Panel 1: [Harlequin is puzzled. Two-Face continues to talk. He motions with his chin towards the silver dollar on the desk.]
TWO-FACE: I arranged my escape only so that YOU would track me down… I KNEW you would!
“#2: If you don’t believe I’m telling the truth, look at my lucky silver dollar!
Panel 2: [Harlequin is staring down at the silver dollar which lies on the desk, unscarred side up.(The date on it is 1922, by the way.)]
HARLEQUIN: The GOOD SIDE is up…which means –
TWO-FACE: — that what I’m about to tell you is reliable!
Panel 3: [Close on Two-Face, still wrapped up.]
TWO-FACE: Even in Arkham, the underworld news gets around… and I’ve heard something really BIG is cooking!
“#2: One of the ROOTS is growing out of Hudson University, where YOU got to school!
Panel 4: [Now focus on the puzzled Harlequin.]
HARLEQUIN: But why this elaborate scheme to let me know? Why not just write me a letter?
TWO-FACE: Would you have BELIEVED it?
HARLEQUIN: No…I guess not!
Panel 5: [Two-shot. Harlequin is starting to unwrap Two-Face.]
HARLEQUIN: Wouldn’t it be better to pass the info on to BATMAN… or maybe the JUSTICE LEAGUE?
TWO-FACE: Possibly, but YOU are my daughter…
Panel 6: [Tight shot of Two-Face with a bemused look on his face.]
TWO-FACE: …and at least HALF of me is proud of what you’ve done – and wants to help you to succeed!
Panel 7: [Blurb across the bottom of the page.]
BLURB: What information does Two-Face hold? And how will it affect The Harlequin? The answers will stun you… NEXT ISSUE! Be here!
I sure hope the answers would have stunned you, but twenty-plus years after I wrote that script, I have no idea where the plot was going. Since I was scripting the Robin, Batgirl, and Man-Bat series at the time, it’s a safe bet one or more of those characters would have ended up involved. (Two-Face’s comment about Hudson University, where Dick Grayson was also a student, makes the Teen Wonder’s part in it a virtual certainty.)
It’s quite possible that somewhere else in my files is a handwritten sheet of notes outlining plans for the Harlequin… and maybe some day I’ll find it. Till then, your guess is as good as mine.
[Duela Dent, Harlequin, Two-Face, and related material are TM and ? DC Comics.]
BOBRO’S TRIVIA QUIZ
1. Tritonis and Posiedonis survived what cataclysm?
2. Into the middle of World War II, a time warp hurled Valoric; what name was he known by?
3. Marco Polo received spaghetti from an unlikely source; name this Riverdale resident.
4. England’s invasion by William the Conqueror was aided by what immortal villain?
5. “Mad” was one way a Revolutionary War ancestor of Batman was described; name him.
6. Aided by Dan Hunter and the Rangers, who fought the British?
7. Remember the famous Civil War sea battle; what ship shared a name with a Crisis figure?
8. Champion of the red, white and blue, who told Americans, “I want YOU”?
9. Hans von Hammer ruled the lonely battle skies in what type of plane?
10. Even these guys weren’t invulnerable, as they discovered when Junior Juniper took a bullet; name them.
11. Students at Elmond U, their heroic identities reflected two sides of a controversy; what are they?
12. Once the Time Trapper “dropped” this, the Legionnaires were stuck; what is it?
13. No more fighting men will get this sobriquet, thanks to DNA typing.
BOBRO’S FUN FACTS TO KNOW & TELL:
1. Winston Churchill was born in a ladies’ room during a dance.
2. Leonardo DaVinci invented the scissors.
3. Only two people signed the Declaration of Independence on July 4th, John Hancock and Charles Thomson. Most of the rest signed on August 2, but the last signature wasn’t added until 5 years later.
SOME QUICK REVIEWS
I finally had a few minutes free to read some of the DC Elseworlds books that have been piling it. [I usually wait for the series to be complete before I even pick it up, so some of them have been there for awhile.] SPOILER WARNING: Plot points will be discussed in the reviews.
At the top of the pile and most recently released is WORLD’S FUNNEST by Evan Dorkin and Friends. This is one I’ve been looking forward to reading, but came away disappointed. The opening sequence, taking place on a Silver Age pre-Schwartz Batman Earth, is convincingly drawn by Dave Gibbons. It has some amusing bits, too… such as the Legion of Super-Heroes arrival and abrupt departure during Cosmic Boy’s speech about what they intend to do.
From there, however, the book becomes repetitive. Bat-Mite and Mr. Mxyzptlk travel from one corner of the DC multiverse to the other, taking time for a couple of gag lines or just wiping out the inhabitants. By the time they’ve gotten to Earth-S and the Shazam family, I’d had enough. Unfortunately, there were still plenty more worlds to conquer.
The art along the way is inconsistent. David Mazzucchelli does a creditable Jack Kirby… and the Frank Miller and Alex Ross versions of the two imps fit nicely into their universes.
Ultimately, though, the imps destroy everything and then we’re back to the beginning as they agree to meet next week to do it again. I guess that means I can read it again if I want to.
Next on the pile is the two-part DC 2000 by Tom Peyer, Val Semeiks, and Prentice Rollins. Interesting premise: In order to create the world of the year 2000 that he wants, T.O. Morrow starts introducing technology from today into the world of 1941. The Justice Society members investigate and discover that mysterious strangers from the future are stealing the technology back. The strangers, of course, are the member of the Justice League.
Following the same premise as the movie “Frequency,” as soon as something changes in the past, the future is altered to match. For example, the present-day Morrow cures himself of a cold by introducing a microwave oven in 1941. But when the changes become fast and furious, and a new genetically-spawned JSA appears in 2000, I found myself wondering how the JLA members remained unaffected, existing as it were, outside Morrow’s newly created world.
One amusing bit and an annoying proofreading error occur in the same sequence. While using a laptop computer, The Spectre causes a system error and the “bomb” icon appears on the screen, so he destroys it, thinking it is an explosive. Moments earlier, however, he sees a screen with the caption “Live Satellite Footage” and remarks, “Do you see the caption? ‘Live SATTELITE footage.’” [Not since I was DC’s proofreader and Gerry Conway was writing JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA have I seen the word spelled correctly and incorrectly on the same page.]
Overall, I’d rate DC 2000 as “better than most.” The art’s well done – though the T.O. Morrow of the present looks awfully good for a man who has to be 65 years old – and, unlike a lot of JLA material these days, the computer color isn’t overdone.
For next time, I’ve got SECRET SOCIETY OF SUPER-HEROES and THE DOOM THAT CAME TO GOTHAM to read. Meantime, that’ll do it for this week. See you in seven days!
It’s a march through history (real and imaginary) with this week’s trivia answers…
1. Sinking of Atlantis
2. Viking Commando
4. Vandal Savage
5. Anthony Wayne
8. Uncle Sam
9. Fokker DR-1 Triplane
10. Howling Commandos
11. Hawk & Dove
12. Iron Curtain of Time
13. Unknown Soldier
Do you need bits of comics history every day? Check out the daily Anything Goes Trivia at www.wfcomics.com/trivia
Copyright ? 2000 to 2003 by Bob Rozakis. All Rights Reserved.