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The Superman Trilogy, Part I: The Last Son of Krypton (A Screenplay)

Duragizer

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Suffice to say, Superman is my #1 favourite superhero, but none of the live-action films have succeeded in capturing what it is about the character that resonates with me, whether it be the Donner/Lester/Singer films — which are too "Earth-One" for my tastes — or the ultraviolent, angsty Snyderman junk. My ideal Superman film would be inspired by the early post-Crisis comics of the '80s and '90s, but would also incorporate ideas and concepts from the Golden Age comics, Superman: The Animated Series, and — to a far lesser degree — Smallville. Since the likelihood of Hollywood ever making that film are remote, I've decided to write the screenplay for it myself.

The Last Son of Krypton is the first part of what I've lazily named "The Superman Trilogy", and I've been working on it off-and-on since 2014, revising it constantly. It's a period piece set in 1913-1932, and it focuses on Clark's upbringing in Smallville, the discovery of his Kryptonian heritage, and his first encounters with Lex Luthor and Brainiac.
 
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FADE IN

On Krypton.

An extrasolar world in close orbit around a red dwarf star, Krypton is a black-&-blue terrestrial planet, roughly the same size as Earth.

EXT. KRYPTON — DAY — TRAVELLING

We travel over the Kryptonian landscape. On the ground below rises a forest. The flora much resembles the kind found on Earth — trees, bushes — though here, it is black rather than green. Canals cut through the forest, irrigating the pitch vegetation.

The forest soon gives way to grassland, and the grassland gives way as we clear the wilderness and emerge over Xan, a sprawling metropolis of chrome and crystal. Xan's towering citadels reach to touch the alice blue sky overhead.

A violent tremor reverberates through the city, shaking its very foundations. After several seconds, the tremor passes.

INT. LAUNCH COMPLEX/CONTROL CENTRE — DAY

Inside the horseshoe-shaped control centre we find sixteen semi-humanoid automatons at computer stations.

EXT. LAUNCH COMPLEX/LAUNCH PAD — DAY

At roughly 67 km2, the launch pad holds 144,000 stasis matrices. Prolate spheroids of black crystal affixed to hexagramal bases of solid chrome, the matrices resemble stylized rockets. They surround the Codex. It consists of a prolate spheroid of white crystal three times the size of a stasis matrix, connected via four mounting brackets to a tailfin section of equal length. The ten equally spaced fins each have the shape of a pointed quarter ellipse, with the tapered end extending slightly beyond the rear of the squat main cylindrical body tube.

EXT. XAN — DAY

The tremors return. The citadels tremble.

INT. LAUNCH COMPLEX/CONTROL CENTRE — DAY

One of the automatons manipulates a dial on their control panel.

EXT. LAUNCH COMPLEX/LAUNCH PAD — DAY

The Codex begins resonating a white luminescence.

EXT. XAN — DAY

The tremors intensify. The crystal-&-chrome facades of the citadels fracture and shatter.

INT. LAUNCH COMPLEX/CONTROL CENTRE — DAY

The interior lighting begins flickering erratically.

EXT. LAUNCH COMPLEX/LAUNCH PAD — DAY

The Codex and stasis matrices are launched. They ascend into the heavens as the earth below splits open, sending buildings toppling.

EXT. XAN — DAY

A great geyser of green energy blasts through the earth, annihilating several hundred buildings instantaneously. A great shockwave follows the blast; it plows through the surrounding buildings, pulverizing them.

INT. LAUNCH COMPLEX/CONTROL CENTRE — DAY

The chamber caves in, crushing the automations, burying them under kilometres of rubble.

EXT. KRYPTON — MONTAGE

Passing across the face of the planet, we see Xan isn't the only area succumbing to cataclysm. Great jets of radiation erupt everywhere, in every continent, in every ocean, irradiating everything.

EXT. KRYPTON — DAY

As the 144,001 Kryptonian starcraft make the climb to space, Krypton literally begins breaking apart below. Eruptions spring up all over the world, throwing radioactive debris into the dying sky. Though protected by particle shielding, a majority of the matrices are too close to the cataclysm; they are critically damaged or destroyed outright by the glowing fragments.

EXT. SPACE — KRYPTON

As the surviving craft leave the planet's gravity field, Krypton explodes. In an instant, the surface is boiled down and the atmosphere ignites. What was once an inhabited world is now a molten sphere of radioactive death.

Safe in the tranquil blackness of space, the Codex and twelve remaining stasis matrices set upon their voyage. Hyper-light drives engaging, they jump to hyperspace; they will reach their destination inside thirty-three years.

TITLE: THE LAST SON OF KRYPTON
 
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FADE TO

The grounds of a farm on a cold, overcast winter day.

Complete with a quaint, medium-sized house, a large barn, a silo, fields, and wide open pastures, the farm is nothing short of impressive.

SUPERIMPOSE: SMALLVILLE, KANSAS — FEBRUARY 1916

CUT TO

The front door of the house as it swings open, allowing a man out into the cold, brisk air.

JONATHAN KENT is a tall, ruggedly handsome 35-year-old man with dirty blond hair. Though clad in a heavy winter coat, a pair of thick black wool gloves, and a winter cap, Jonathan still feels the sharp winter chill stab into his bones. Wasting as little time as possible, he closes the door, then with hand crank in hand, leaves the porch for his blue pickup truck, a year-old Ford Model T.

As he gets to the vehicle and inserts the crank to prime the engine, the front door opens yet again, allowing his wife MARTHA out onto the porch. A lovely 28-year-old woman with long auburn hair, crystal blue eyes, and fair skin, she hugs her arms close to her as the winter breeze sweeps over her.

JONATHAN

(surprised) Martha! (beat) I thought you were asleep, honey.

MARTHA

I woke up. Now you mind telling me where on Earth you're going in this ungodly weather?

JONATHAN

Into town to get some supplies. I'll be back in two shakes of a lamb's tail.​

Nodding silently, Martha then looks to the sky. The gray clouds, thick and dark, are heavy with the promise of snow.

MARTHA

I think a storm's about to hit. We really should bring the cattle in before nightfall.

JONATHAN

We'll do it after I get back.

MARTHA

I think I'll come along with you. Let me get my coat.

JONATHAN

(frowns) What are you saying?

MARTHA

I'm coming along, silly. (frowns) Is there a reason you don't want me to?

JONATHAN

No ... no reason.

MARTHA

(cocks eyebrow) I'll be just a second.​

As Martha slips back inside, Jonathan remains standing by the side of his truck. Staring at his feet, he lazily kicks at the snow on the ground.

JONATHAN

Dammit….​

EXT. SMALLVILLE — STREET — DAY

Entering the urban centre of Smallville, the Kents' truck cuts through the snow and slush on the roads.

INT. TRUCK/CAB — DAY

Sitting in the cold cab on the passenger's side, Martha vigorously rubs her mittened hands together for warmth. Turning to her husband, she regards him with a suspicious gaze. Noticing her stare, Jonathan tries ignoring it, keeping his eyes focused on the road ahead.

EXT. SMALLVILLE — TOWN SQUARE — HEL'S BOUQUET — DAY

Nearing his destination, Jonathan slows down. Coming to a stop, he parks the truck and shuts the engine off.

INT. TRUCK/CAB — DAY

Martha looks out her window. Standing there, identified by the large sign set above the front door, is Hel's Bouquet, a flower shop.

MARTHA

This isn't the general store. (faces Jonathan)

JONATHAN

(averts gaze) There's ... Hel placed an order. I figured I'd stop here before going to Phineas'.

MARTHA

(perplexed) Placed an order...? (beat) Jonathan —​

Not waiting for her to complete her thought, Jonathan opens his door and climbs out, shutting it quickly to keep what little heat he can inside.

INT. HEL'S BOUQUET — DAY

Jonathan enters the flower shop, taking care to knock the snow off his boots before walking to the front counter. There, reading a fashion magazine by lamplight, is HELEN POTTER. An attractive brunette, she's closer in age to Jonathan than Martha.

JONATHAN

Afternoon, Hel.

HELEN

(looks up from magazine; smiles) Jonathan! What a surprise! (beat) What brings the reclusive Mr. Kent into town in this weather?

JONATHAN

Tulips. Red ones, if you have them. (beat) Martha's always had her heart set on tulips.

HELEN

(drops smile) Yes, well, they're a very uncomplicated flower.​

An uncomfortable silence develops between them. Saying no more, Helen goes to get Jonathan his tulips.

INT. TRUCK/CAB — DAY

Reading a magazine, Martha doesn't notice Jonathan return. Opening his door, he slips inside and then, with perhaps too much haste, presents her a bouquet of beautiful red tulips.

JONATHAN

Happy anniversary, sweetheart.

MARTHA

(eyes widen) Jonathan! (takes flowers) This is why you wanted to go into town alone.

JONATHAN

(smiles thinly) I was also going to pick up a bottle of wine. (beat) It was going to be a surprise.

MARTHA

Oh, darling, I'm sorry. (kisses Jonathan) Thank you.​

EXT. SPACE — MARS

After decades traversing the void between worlds, the Codex and nine matrices have finally arrived in the solar system. Having spent the last few hours passing through the outer planets, they are now making their way past the red planet and its twin moons.

EXT. KENT FARM — PASTURE — DAY

Having returned from town and traded the truck in for a pair of horses, the Kents now ride through the pasture, rounding up their cattle and herding them back towards the barn. The sky is now a deep, dark gray and snowfall has begun.

EXT. SPACE — EARTH

The starcraft enter the atmosphere. Buffeted by air and friction, they are pushed apart, entering trajectories which direct them to different areas of the globe.

EXT. KENT FARM — PASTURE — DAY

Just as the Kents finish directing the remaining wayward cows and steers into joining the rest of the herd, a large fireball comes streaking down from the sky above. Their jaws dropping, Jonathan and Martha watch as the spaceborne object passes overhead like a fallen angel, crashing with a resounding boom at the far end of an adjacent field.

MARTHA

(shocked) What in —‽​

Overcoming her initial shock, Martha digs her heels in her horse's sides; with a burst of speed, she begins galloping towards the crash site.

JONATHAN

(alarmed) Martha, what are you doing‽ Martha!​

Kicking his own horse into gear, Jonathan takes off after his wife.

EXT. KENT FARM — FIELD — DAY

Minutes later, the Kents arrive at the site. There before them, smoking and stinking of scorched earth, is a large crater. Climbing off their horses, they approach it and the object nestled inside.

JONATHAN

Oh my God….

MARTHA

Jonathan, what is it?​

Standing inside the crater, its surface unmarked and unscathed by either the entry or crash, is one of the stasis matrices.

JONATHAN

It looks like a ... an artillery shell.

MARTHA

(incredulous) Artillery shell?​

Martha steps into the crater.

JONATHAN

Martha! Stay clear!

MARTHA

(peers into matrix) But look, Jonathan! There's something inside! Something alive!​

Climbing down into the crater, Jonathan joins his wife by the stasis matrix. Looking into the murky crystal pod, he, too, can just barely make out something alive and moving within.

JONATHAN

(touches pod) That's funny — it's cool. With how it came in all afire, you'd think —​

Before Jonathan can finish his thought, the crystal under his touch liquefies, drawing away from him. Alarmed, he jumps back. A perfectly round hole opened in the pod's side, one can now see clearly the nature of the creature inside. Curled up in a ball, clad in a skintight black bodysuit hiding everything but his face, is an infant boy with swarthy skin and vibrant azure eyes.

MARTHA

(surprised) Oh, Jonathan — it's a baby!​

Reaching into the matrix, Martha takes hold of the child and lifts him out. Almost immediately, he starts crying. Holding the baby to her, Martha begins rubbing his back. In moments, the child's wailing begins to subside. Very soon he is calm and peaceful, asleep with his face nestled in her bosom.

JONATHAN

I — I'll ride back and bring the truck around.​

INT. TRUCK/CAB — DAY

Martha and Jonathan are now seated inside the truck, riding back to the homestead. With the baby asleep inside her arms, she smiles.

EXT. KENT FARM — KENT HOME — DAY

Pulling up beside the house, Jonathan and Martha climb out. The snow falling heavy now, the wind blowing fierce, it's all but apparent that a fierce blizzard's hit Smallville.

JONATHAN

Get inside the house, Martha. I'm going to make sure the animals are okay, then I'll join you inside.​

Bracing her and the child against the biting wind, Martha runs to the house while Jonathan shields his face and sprints over to the barn.

INT. KENT HOME/LIVING ROOM — DAY

Tossing a log into the blazing fireplace, Jonathan rubs his hands together for warmth before crossing over to his armchair. Sitting down, he looks across at Martha — who sits on the couch, the foundling child held close to her breast — a thousand thoughts all coursing through his mind.
 
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EXT. KENT FARM — KENT HOME — DAY

Night has passed and a new day has begun. With the blizzard over, Jonathan gets in his truck and begins moving up the long driveway which will get him onto the road into town. He only gets a fourth of the way up the driveway, however, before his wheels sink into the heavy sheet of fresh-fallen snow, refusing to go any further.

INT. TRUCK/CAB — DAY

JONATHAN

(frustrated) Sonuva— (shifts gears) Let's try that again.​

The engine roars and the tires spin, but the vehicle refuses to proceed any further through the fresh, glittering snow.

JONATHAN

(sighs) Wonderful.​

INT. KENT HOME/LIVING ROOM — DAY

Martha is sitting cross-legged on the floor, playing with the baby, when Jonathan walks in.

JONATHAN

The truck got stuck in the snow and I can't get it out. We won't be going into town for a while.

MARTHA

So we're in for the long haul.

JONATHAN

We're well stocked up. We'll keep 'til spring.​

As Martha looks upon the baby boy crawling about the carpeted floor, he looks up at her and gives her a big, toothless smile.

MARTHA

From your lips to God's ears, Jonathan.​

KENT FARM — MONTAGE

As February gives way to March with nary a thaw, Jonathan works to keep the animals fed and the firewood stocked while Martha attends to the needs of the boy. Day after day, week after week, both Martha and Jonathan find themselves growing evermore attached to the child.

EXT. KENT FARM — ROAD — DAY

It is now late March and the sky is a clear, sunny blue. Jonathan makes his way to the truck.

JONATHAN

(rests hand on truck) Well, girl, let's see how the elements' been to you.​

Turning the crank, he then slips inside and turns the key, automatically bringing the engine to life. Shifting gears, he backs up.

INT. KENT HOME/DINING ROOM — DAY

Martha is at the table, feeding the giggling baby boy, as Jonathan strides in. Putting the spoon in her hand down, Martha turns to her husband.

JONATHAN

The snow's receded, Martha. I'll be able to ... to take the child into town. Sheriff Miller'll know what to do for him there.​

Returning to the child, Martha takes a napkin and cleans his mouth.

MARTHA

You're right. After all, we can't keep him. It'd be irrational. Hell, it'd be insane. A baby boy fell from the sky; we just can't keep him. (beat) Even if it was monstrous for someone to put a child in a bombshell….

JONATHAN

Martha….

MARTHA

(cont'd) Even if the Birches are on their fourth and I ... (crying) and I can't keep a child.​

Overwhelmed by her emotions, Martha walks out of the room.

JONATHAN

Martha!​

INT. KENT HOME/LIVING ROOM — DAY

Collapsing onto the couch, Martha stares into space as tears stream down her face. Joining her, Jonathan places an arm around her shoulder.

JONATHAN

Good Lord, Martha, do you realize what you're asking that we do? We don't even know if he ... if he's from here. We don't know —

MARTHA

(faces him) No, we don't. We don't know where he came from or if anyone will come for him, but if there's anyone who might stand a chance to do right by that child, come what may, it's you and me. Don't ... don't you just know it? (beat) Don't we deserve a chance to try?​

Rising, Martha leaves Jonathan and walks over to a liquor cabinet. Opening it up, she takes a tall bottle of whiskey and a pair of glasses. Taking a seat in the armchair, she places the glasses and bottle down on a small table beside it.

JONATHAN

What's the whiskey for?

MARTHA

(fills a glass) If we decide to keep the child, I'm going to pour you a glass and we're going to celebrate. If we don't ... whiskey's more convenient and less painful than a log to the head. (beat) While you take him into town, I'll be doing everything in my power to forget the last several weeks ever happened.​

As Martha takes a sip of her whiskey, Jonathan sits there, looking on her with brow furrowed in thought. Moments pass, then he gets up. Crossing over to her, he takes up the bottle of whiskey and the empty glass.

JONATHAN

I don't want to be called "pop" — I'm not an old man. (fills glass) "Pa" has a nice ring to it.​

Her face lighting up with a full grin, Martha raises her glass. Returning her grin with a smile, he brings up his own glass, clinking it against hers in a toast to their new parenthood.

INT. HEL'S BOUQUET — DAY

A lean, balding man in thick glasses stands before the front counter as Helen wraps a bouquet of flowers for him. Once she has finished securing the wrapping paper in place, she brings the bundle of beautiful flowers to the front and presents them to her waiting customer.

HELEN

That'll be $1.30.​

As he hands her the money, she hands him the flowers.

DAN

You have a good day, Helen.

HELEN

You too, Dan.​

As Dan leaves the counter and walks out the door, another customer — a short woman with shoulder-length blond hair — walks in. With barely contained enthusiasm, she strides up to the counter.

HELEN

Hi, Rose. What can I do for you today?

ROSE GREER

(grins) Did you hear the news?

HELEN

What news?

ROSE GREER

The Kents came in today.

HELEN

The Kents? What about them?

ROSE GREER

Y'know that storm last month? The big one?

HELEN

The one that toppled the tree in my sister's backyard. What of it?

ROSE GREER

It snowed in the Kents' farm somethin' fierce — buried it beneath a quilt of snow. That's why they haven't been in town since it hit.

HELEN

And?

ROSE GREER

You won't believe what's happened.

HELEN

(loses patience) Well out with it!

ROSE GREER

They had a baby!

HELEN

(taken aback) A baby?

ROSE GREER

Uh-huh. Looks like Jon put the bun in her oven some months back. (beat) You remember the ugly business with the miscarriages and that stillbirth —

HELEN

Yes, of course.

ROSE GREER

(cont'd) Well, they decided to keep it hush-hush — you know, just in case it didn't keep. (beat) Anyway, Martha delivered a baby boy while cooped up in that there farm. He's got the most gorgeous blue eyes.

HELEN

You've seen him?

ROSE GREER

Well, no — that's why I came to see you. I thought you'd like to pay Jon and Martha a visit with me.

HELEN

Why, certainly. (smiles thinly) Why not?​

EXT. KENT FARM — KENT HOME/FRONT PORCH — DAY

Having arrived together, Helen and Rose walk up the porch steps to the front door. Rose brings up her closed fist, announcing their presence with three quick raps on the wood door. A moment passes, then Jonathan answers the door.

JONATHAN

(stoic) Hel. (happier) Rose!​

Leaning forward, he gives both women a hug. He doesn't linger too long with Helen.

JONATHAN

You came to see the baby?

ROSE GREER

(grins) But of course. Can we come in?

JONATHAN

Follow me into the living room.​

With no further need of persuasion on his part, the two women enter the Kent home.

INT. KENT HOME/LIVING ROOM — DAY

As Jonathan leads Helen and Rose inside, we find several family members and friends gathered around Martha, who sits on the armchair with the baby boy bundled up in her arms. As Rose and Helen approach the mother and child, their mouths fall agape.

HELEN

Martha ... the boy ...

ROSE GREER

He's beautiful.

MARTHA

(beams) Thank you.​

Standing at Martha's side, Jonathan rests a hand on her shoulder.

JONATHAN

Helen Potter, Rose Greer, meet Clark Joseph Kent.​

As the two women look down upon them. Clark meets their gaze and, smiling a wide, toothless smile, releases a giggle of delight.
 
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EXT. SMALLVILLE SCHOOL — DAY

We have jumped forward to 1921. Clark is now five years of age and today is his first day of kindergarten. Entering the school grounds, his hand in Martha's, the young boy takes in the sight of the low brick building and all the children of various ages milling about it.

MARTHA

Here we are, Clark — your first day at school. (looks down at Clark) How do you feel?

CLARK

(looks up at Martha) Why can't I stay home, Ma? Why can't you and Pa teach me?

MARTHA

Because all the work we have to do on the farm keeps us busy, dearheart; we don't have the time to teach you.

CLARK

Can't you stop working on the farm awhile?

MARTHA

That'd be nice, Clark, but no. If we don't work, we can't pay for food and clothing. Then you'd go cold and hungry.​

Taking his eyes off Martha, Clark looks out at all the children roaming about.

CLARK

There's so many boys and girls, Ma. What if they don't like me? (hugs Martha's leg) I'm scared. I don't wanna go to school.​

Kneeling down, Martha rests her hands on Clark's small shoulders.

MARTHA

I get scared, too, Clark. I get scared when your pa and I can't make enough money to pay all our bills; I get scared when it's dark and I can't find a light; and I get scared whenever you hurt yourself. But I don't let my fear control me, Clark; I fight it — fight it hard. I fight it until it goes away. (beat) That's what you have to do, Clark — fight the fear until it gets scared of you and lets you alone.​

Letting go of Martha's leg, the boy turns his attention back to the other children.

CLARK

I'll try, Ma.

MARTHA

That's my boy.​

The school bell tolls. Hearing the reverberations, the kids begin flocking into the school to start their first day of class.

MARTHA

That's the school bell, Clark. You remember what it means?

CLARK

To go inside and start class.

MARTHA

You remember where your classroom is?

CLARK

Yes.

MARTHA

That's good. You go now, Clark, and have a good first day. I'll be back later to pick you up after school's over.​

Tentative, Clark takes a step forward. Turning back, he waves goodbye to his mother. After she waves back, he turns away from her and resumes walking, crossing the grass all the way to the front entrance. Once he has slipped inside, Martha smiles. Turning around, she walks away.

INT. SMALLVILLE SCHOOL/CLARK'S CLASSROOM — DAY

All the children have gathered inside and are seated at their tables. Standing at the head of the class, dressed in a gray-brown suit and a pair of thick-framed, square glasses, is MISS MAGGIN, a forty-something woman with graying brown hair and an immovable rictus grin for a smile.

MISS MAGGIN

(unnaturally enthusiastic) Hello, everyone! I'm Miss Maggin, your kindergarten teacher! This is your first day in school, and I know you're not used to being away from home yet! I promise, though, that in time you'll get used to coming to class and you'll all learn to have fun while you're here! (beat) Does anyone have any questions?​

Had there been any crickets hiding in the classroom, they would've burst into song at that moment.

MISS MAGGIN

(cont'd) No questions? No questions at all? (beat) Alright — okay! That's just fine! It probably means you're all excited to get to know one another and start learning! (claps hands briskly) Everyone get up, move from your tables, and pair up with a friend or two! Find a place to get comfortable and tell each other your names, what your mamas and papas do, what your favourite colours are — whatever comes to mind! Share and learn! Share and learn!​

Under Miss Maggin's compulsion, the kids rise from their tables and begin pairing up. Clark, a little more reticent than his classmates, chooses to remain seated while the others spread out within the room. Noticing Clark just sitting there, PETER ROSS — a freckled boy with light blond hair — approaches him.

PETE

Hi, my name's Pete. What's yours?

CLARK

Clark.

PETE

My dad owns a creamed corn factory; he makes a lot of creamed corn and packs it up in hundreds of tin cans. What does your dad do?

CLARK

My pa's a farmer and so's my ma. We've got cows and chickens and wheat and tomatoes and beans and corn, too.

PETE

Maybe my dad gets his corn from your dad.

CLARK

Maybe.

PETE

What's your favourite colour, Clark? Mine's green.

CLARK

Red's my favourite. (beat) No, blue. (frowns) Maybe yellow?​

Pete just stands there, staring at Clark. Clark goes silent, freezing up. Then, from out of the blue, Pete begins laughing, guffawing uproariously. The tension broken, Clark laughs right alongside him. Laughing like a pair of hyenas, tears begin running down their faces as everyone else in the room turns to regard them as if they were the strangest two young boys on Earth.

EXT. SMALLVILLE SCHOOL — PLAYGROUND — DAY

Some time has passed and the kids of Miss Maggin's class have been let out for recess. Walking together, Clark and Pete make their way to the swing set. As they near the swings, they find BRAD WILSON, WHITNEY FORDMAN, and JASON TEAGUE — all in the first and second grade — surrounding and picking on KENNY BRAVERMAN, a small black boy from their class.

BRAD WILSON

How's your first day in school, boy? Learn anything yet?

WHITNEY FORDMAN

Yeah — you learn where your jungle is on the map, Sambo?

KENNY

(stammering) P-p-please — lemme alone! I didn't do anything to you!

JASON TEAGUE

You don't belong here. This is a normal school for normal kids.

BRAD WILSON

Get outta here!​

Lunging forward, Whitney shoves Kenny, knocking him to his stomach. Stooping down, he places a hand on the back of Kenny's head and begins pushing his face into the earth.

WHITNEY FORDMAN

Eat it, nigger! Eat the dirt you're made of!​

As the older kids heap abuse on Kenny, Clark and Pete stand there, frozen, unsure of what to do.

PETE

Maybe we should help him.

CLARK

I don't know….​

As the two five-year-olds ponder on what to do, LANA LANG — a cute girl with bright red hair who is also from their class — strides up to the bullies, an expression of angry indignation creasing her round face.

LANA

You let him alone, you meanies!​

Grabbing Whitney's collar, Lana pulls back, trying to yank him off Kenny. Grabbing her collar, Brad easily pulls Lana away from his friend. Flailing her clenched fists about in the air, Lana tries connecting with the punk's nasty face without success.

LANA

I'm telling on you!

BRAD WILSON

G'wan, carrot-top — beat it!​

Grabbing Lana by the face, Brad pushes her back. Sprawling, she falls to the earth. Finally deciding that enough is enough, Clark leaves Pete's side. Sweeping the fringe in his hair back, clenching his fists and holding his head high, he approaches the three bullies and their victim.

CLARK

Let him alone!​

Nearing Whitney, Clark shoves him, calling up all the strength available to his small body to knock the larger boy off the black boy. Unprepared for the attack, the bully is pushed over on his side.

WHITNEY FORDMAN

Hey!​

Offering his hand to Kenny, Clark helps him to his feet. Positioning himself in from of the smaller boy, he acts as a shield between Kenny and the three bullies.

CLARK

(points at Brad) If you don't let him alone, I'm going to tell Miss Maggin about you.

BRAD WILSON

(mocking) Ooh, you're gonna tell Miss Maggin about us! (sneers) Go ahead, nigger-lover — tell her.​

Brad violently grabs the front of Clark's shirt. Baring his teeth, Clark slaps the rude hand off him.

CLARK

Don't touch me again!​

As one, the three older boys crowd in on Clark, prepared to beat the living tar out of the defiant kindergartener. Before tensions can escalate that far, one of the school teachers appears on the scene.

TEACHER

(approaches children) What's going on here‽ What are you boys up to‽​

The trio backs away from Clark and Kenny.

JASON TEAGUE

(grins) Nothin'. We's just playin' with the new kids.

BRAD WILSON

Yeah, we's just playin'. (narrows eyes at Clark) Ain't that right?​

Clark stares bullets at the older boy, not speaking a word.

TEACHER

Play or no, there'll be no rough housing on this playground. Do I make myself understood?

BRAD WILSON

(eyes on Clark) Yes.​

Satisfied, the teacher departs. Once the instructor is out of earshot, the first boy looms menacingly over Clark.

BRAD WILSON

(pokes Clark in chest) You and your coon get a pass this time, runt. Next time, we'll pummel you both into ground chuck.​

At that, the three older boys move off. Once they're gone, Clark turns to Kenny.

CLARK

You okay?

KENNY

Yeah. Thanks.

CLARK

What's your name?

KENNY

Kenny — Kenny Braverman.​

Moving in, Pete and Lana join Clark and Kenny.

PETE

It's super how you stood up to them, Clark! I wish I was as brave as you!

LANA

(hugs Clark) I like you! You can be my boyfriend!​

The amount of attention and affection proving to be too much for him to handle, Clark blushes.

INT. TRUCK/CAB — DAY

Hours later, Clark sits in the passenger side of the family Model T as Martha drives them back home.

MARTHA

Did you have a good day at school today, Clark?

CLARK

Yeah.

MARTHA

Did you make any friends?

CLARK

Three. First was Pete Ross. His pa owns a creamed corn factory.

MARTHA

Uh-huh. Your pa and I have met Mr. Ross.

CLARK

(cont'd) Then there's Lana Lang. She's a girl. She has lovely red hair.

MARTHA

(smiles) She's Hel's niece. You remember Helen.

CLARK

Uh-huh. (beat) Then there's Kenny Braverman.

MARTHA

Braverman? His family must be new in town.

CLARK

Ma ...

MARTHA

Yes, Clark?

CLARK

What's "nigger" mean?

MARTHA

(faces Clark) It's what some people call Negroes.

CLARK

Is it a bad word?

MARTHA

Yes.

CLARK

Some big kids called Kenny that. They were picking on him, shoving his face in the dirt. Why were they doing that?

MARTHA

Well, Clark, some people don't like Negroes.

CLARK

Why don't they like them?

MARTHA

I suppose it's because they don't understand them. Too many people are afraid of what they don't understand.

CLARK

If they understood them...?

MARTHA

They'd see them as God's children, created in His image, just as they are.

CLARK

The boys who were being mean to Kenny — could they learn to understand Negroes?

MARTHA

It's hard for people to change, Clark, but not impossible. They'd have to want to change first.

CLARK

How can you make a person want to change?

MARTHA

The best you can do is provide a good example and hope they follow it. If you do good things for good reasons, those boys might think about why you're doing them. If they think long and think hard on them, they may come around to your point of view.

CLARK

So if I show those kids that Negroes are good, they'll learn they're good?

MARTHA

(smiles) Something like that, honey.​

INT. SMALLVILLE SCHOOL/CLARK'S CLASSROOM — DAY

A number of months later, Clark sits at his table in his classroom. Strangely enough, only about half of Miss Maggin's students are present today, with only one other child sharing Clark's table: Kenny.

CLARK

(to Kenny) Where is everybody? I haven't seen Pete or Lana in days.​

Kenny, his eyes red, looking as sick as the proverbial dog, coughs violently in Clark's face, spraying droplets of saliva in the other boy's eyes.

CLARK

(disgusted) Yuck!

KENNY

(runs hand across runny nose) Sorry, Clark.​

Hearing Kenny's coughing, Miss Maggin marches straight up to their table, an expression of concern worn across her face.

MISS MAGGIN

Kenny, are you feeling alright?

KENNY

Not very, ma'am.

MISS MAGGIN

(sighs) I'm sending you home. There's no sense in you being here sick as you are.

KENNY

(horrified) Oh, no, ma'am! Please! I'm not that sick — not really!

MISS MAGGIN

Nonsense! You've come down with measles, child, and I'll not have you stay in this class one minute longer than necessary!​

Despondent, Kenny lowers his head to the table, hiding his face in his arms.

CLARK

Oh, c'mon, Kenny. It's not that bad.

KENNY

You don't know my daddy, Clark.​

INT. KENT HOME/LIVING ROOM — DAY

Jonathan is seated in his armchair, feet propped up on a footstool, reading through a pulp magazine when Clark and Martha enter the room.

JONATHAN

(faces Clark) Have a good day in school today, son?

CLARK

It was okay, I guess. (beat) There weren't many kids in class today and Kenny got sent home early; he wasn't feeling very good. (grimaces) He coughed on me.

JONATHAN

(frowns) He coughed on you?

CLARK

Right in my face.

JONATHAN

Go wash up.

CLARK

I feel fine, Pa.

JONATHAN

Doesn't matter. Go wash your face and don't forget to use soap.​

Shrugging, Clark leaves the living room in search of a sink. Martha takes a seat across from her husband.

MARTHA

It's measles; most of the children have come down with it. (beat) I hope Clark doesn't get sick.​

A moment of silence passes between them.

JONATHAN

Has Clark ever been sick, Martha?

MARTHA

Hmm?

JONATHAN

Really, Martha, think. In the six years Clark's been with us, have you ever seen him come down with a fever, a cough, a single, solitary sniffle?

MARTHA

(frowns) Of course I have!

JONATHAN

Name a time.

MARTHA

Well, I … I ...

JONATHAN

Remember last November, when we were both struck down with the flu? We were so sick we couldn't care for Clark at all; we had to leave him with your brother, Kendall, 'til we got over it. Clark, though, he remained chipper as a jaybird. Then there was the March before, when Curt got chicken pox. He surely should have caught it from him; he didn't.

MARTHA

He's been lucky, that's all.

JONATHAN

(skeptical) Mayhap….

MARTHA

Jonathan Kent, what are you saying? That our boy can't ever get sick‽

JONATHAN

I'm not saying anything. (beat) It's just queer — damned queer.​
 
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hbenthow

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I'm a big fan of Superman, especially the Golden Age version. I've even studied Siegel and Shuster, and the more that I found out about them, the more I liked their vision for Superman. It turned out that my tastes and sensibilities when it comes to movies, literature, etc, are so similar to theirs that I practically grok* them on that particular level. They modeled Clark Kent after Harold Lloyd (my second-favorite silent comedian after Buster Keaton), named the city of Metropolis after the same-named Fritz Lang classic (my favorite movie), based Lois Lane on Glenda Farrell (my favorite actress), etc. 

* https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grok

I also like the simplicity of their early version of Superman. For example, I like that he never got to see Jor-El (even in holographic form) and didn't even know that he was from Krypton until he had been Superman for years, as that makes it so that his upbringing by the Kents was the sole reason that he came to have the values that made him Superman, and emphasized that he's 100% human/Earthling in all but planet of origin. And I also like the limited powers that he had in the beginning, especially the absence of heat vision (a power that I've never been a fan of).

Unsurprisingly (considering my fondness of the Golden Age Superman), I was intrigued when I saw that you were writing a Superman script that was going to use the original 1930s setting. So far, it's very interesting, and the way that you are using the period setting is creative.

Do you plan on using 1930s slang in your script (once you get to that point in the timeline)? I always find that slang helps to add period flavor to a story set during that era, especially when news reporters are involved.

I also thought that I'd let you know about some things regarding Superman that may interest you or possibly even inspire elements of your script.

There's a book by Tom de Haven called It's Superman! that may interest you. It's a novel that is based on the Golden Age Superman and takes place in the 1930s.

There's also a 1942 novel by George Lowther called The Adventures of Superman, which originated several elements of the Superman mythos, most notably Pa Kent's death. In that book, he entered an anvil-lifting contest that he had won when younger, hoping to win a large prize that could save his failing farm, but the strain was too much for him, causing his heart to go out.

A few years ago, I wrote an article about the creation, development, and proliferation of Superman. I went into detail about what inspired the various elements of the Superman mythos and how the character became the iconic figure that he is, and even included a bunch of links to various interesting Superman resources at the bottom of the page. Here's the link in case you're interested in reading it:

https://thoughtsandramblingsofhardwickebenthow.wordpress.com/superman-the-genesis-of-a-legend/

Also, in case you're interested in studying Glenda Farrell's Torchy Blane (Siegel and Shuster's original inspiration for Lois Lane, as I explained in more detail in my article) for inspiration for how to write Lois in your script, there's a playlist of short videos of Torchy Blane here:

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL3CDB3DEBA9E02D50

I also wrote a biographical article about Glenda Farrell, which can be found here: 

https://thoughtsandramblingsofhardwickebenthow.wordpress.com/glenda-farrell-her-life-and-legacy/

To this day, I still use Glenda Farrell's Torchy Blane as the gold standard to which I compare portrayals of Lois Lane and newspaper reporters in general.
 

Duragizer

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EXT. LANG HOME/FRONT YARD — DAY

We have jumped forward to 1923. Clark and Pete, now in the first grade, ride their bicycles down a gravel driveway to the home of Lana Lang and her parents. Clark has with him a catcher's mitt while Pete carries a sheathed baseball bat slung across his back. Pulling up to the front steps of the house, they climb off their bikes and go to the front door. Leaning forward, Pete gives the door six solid raps with his fist. A stocky man with receding blond hair and a pencil thin mustache answers the door.

PETE

Hi, Mr. Lang.

LEWIS LANG

Boys. What can I do for you?

CLARK

We're going to the school yard to play some baseball.

PETE

And we need a ball. Can Lana go grab hers and come play with us?

LEWIS LANG

Sorry, boys. Lana's not here.

CLARK

She isn't?

LEWIS LANG

She left with the Braverman boy fourteen-odd minutes ago.

PETE

You know where they were off to, Mr. Lang?​

Lana's father shakes his head.

CLARK

Dang….​

EXT. RURAL ROAD — DAY

Clark and Pete are making their way back from the Lang home along a long, empty stretch of open road when Lana, on her own bicycle, comes toward them from the opposite direction.

LANA

(raises arm) Guys!​

The boys hit the breaks as Lana pulls up alongside them.

PETE

(annoyed) We were supposed to play ball today!

LANA

Kenny found this swell place! You've gotta come see it!

CLARK

What place?

LANA

C'mon, follow me.​

Putting the pedal to the metal, Lana turns around and goes back the way she came. Exchanging short glances, Pete and Clark quickly follow along after her.

EXT. FOREST — TRAIL — DAY

The two boys and girl ride their bikes along a narrow dirt trail surrounded on both sides by tall trees. Lana soon comes to a stop. Hopping off her bike, she deposits it off to the side of the trail and heads into the trees.

LANA

It's not much farther now.​

EXT. FOREST — CLEARING — DAY

The three children soon emerge from the trees into a small clearing. In the centre of the clearing is a small decrepit shack and the rusting remnants of a moonshine operation. As Lana leads the two boys through this landscape toward the cabin, they take the sights around them in with awe.

PETE

Wow. What is this place?

LANA

Don't know, but ain't it the neatest? Kenny found it.

CLARK

Where's Kenny at, anyway?​

At that moment, the door on the shack swings forward on it's rusted, broken hinges with a large squeak. Kenny promptly steps out.

KENNY

(smiles) Hi, guys! Glad you could make it! (holds up jug) look what I found!​

As the others join Kenny, he hands the jug out to Clark. Taking it, Clark holds it up to the sunlight so as to get a better look at the contents nestled inside the brown glass.

KENNY

It's hooch. My grandpappy down in Tennessee made some just like it.

PETE

What do you use hooch for?

KENNY

You drink it, dummy.​

Uncorking the jug, Clark brings the spout up to his nose and takes a few short sniffs. As soon as the scent of the liquid hits his nostrils, he cringes.

CLARK

UGH! It smells real strange.

KENNY

That's what it's supposed to smell like. (beat) Let's taste it.​

Raising the jug to his lips, Clark takes a sip. He spits it out automatically.

CLARK

It tastes awful!​

Repulsed, Clark tilts the jug over to pour the moonshine out. Horrified, Kenny reaches out to snatch it from him.

KENNY

What the hell are you doing‽​

Wrestling with Clark, Kenny manages to pry the jug out of the other boy's hands. It's too late, though; the jug is completely empty.

KENNY

(angry) Goddammit!

LANA

(shocked) You took the Lord's name in vain!

KENNY

Oh, shut up. (hurls jug) That was the only one, too.​

A moment of tense silence passes between the four.

PETE

So … there's nobody using this place, is there?

KENNY

(grumpy) Nobody's been here in years.

PETE

Then we should make it our own place. Y'know, our own hangout. (beat) Yeah. All we need to do is clear out the junk, spruce the cabin up a bit, and it'll be good as gold.

LANA

Say, that's not a bad idea.​

Leaving the boys, Lana walks up to a tarnished green copper still lying on its side in the grass. Taking its handles, she begins pulling on it; with effort, she slowly begins dragging it to the edge of the clearing. Deciding to help her out, the boys join her, each adding their weight and strength to the endeavour to get it out of the way.

EXT. FOREST — CLEARING — MONTAGE

Over the next couple weeks, Clark, Lana, Pete, and Kenny return to the clearing to work on converting the disused hooch station into their own private hangout. Together, they work to clear out the old stills and other distilling equipment while trying — with limited effect — to shore up the sagging walls of the shack.

As the long days of work finally come to an end, Clark takes a sign that he has made and hammers it down in the earth in front of the cabin. Written on the front of the sign in big, bold, black painted letters is "FORTRESS OF SOLITUDE".

INT. SHACK — DAY

Clark, Pete, and Lana sit together in the shack, engaged in conversation.

LANA

(cont'd) Mama and Daddy actually took me to see a picture show while we were in Salina.

PETE

(amazed) You actually got to watch a picture show‽

CLARK

What was it about?

LANA

It's about this silly little man with a small mustache who finds an abandoned baby boy and adopts him. They go around town conning people — the boy breaks their windows and the man charges them for repairs, y'see — until the police catch up to them and separate them before they're finally reunited. They even meet the boy's mother at the end. (beat) It's the funniest thing I've ever seen in my life!

CLARK

I've always wanted Ma and Pa to take me to see a movie, but Salina's too far out of the way for us. (sighs) I wish Smallville had its own movie house.

LANA

We'll get one when Smallville gets 'lectrified — by 1978, therabouts.

PETE

We'll be old men by then!

LANA

(cocks eyebrow) Not me.

CLARK

"I".

LANA

Huh?

CLARK

The pronoun you're looking for is "I", not "me". You should've said "Not I".

LANA

Well hello, Mr. Fancy Pants English Professor! I bet you don't even know what "pronoun" means.

CLARK

(smirks) A pronoun is a word that substitutes for a noun.

LANA

You think you're so smart, don't you, Clark?​

Clark just shrugs, the hint of a smug smile worn at the corners of his mouth. Lana sticks her tongue out at him.

At that exact moment, the shack door creaks open and Kenny steps inside. Moving gingerly, he closes the door and crosses over to the opposite end of the shack, away from the others. Sitting down, we can see he wears a large bruise over the left side of his morose face.

LANA

(concerned) Gosh, Kenny — what happened to your face?

KENNY

(turns bruised side of face away from them) Just had an accident, that's all. It's nothin' to talk about.​

Though the three other children have a pretty good idea where Kenny's bruises came from — that they aren't just the result of an unfortunate accident — they choose to ignore the elephant in the room, at least for now.

Time passes.

Clark, Pete, and Lana are currently engaged in a game of strip poker. While Lana has lost only her shoes and socks, Clark has lost his shirt and Pete is down to his underpants. Kenny, having chosen not to play, sits off to the side watching them.

PETE

(frowns) Why did we agree to play this dumb game?​

The kids hear a commotion outside the shack.

PETE

There's somebody outside!​

Abandoning their game, the kids hurry to redress.

EXT. FOREST — CLEARING — DAY

There are indeed visitors to the kids' Fortress of Solitude: Brad Wilson, Whitney Fordman, and Jason Teague, older than when we saw them last. Taking no care to watch where he's going, Whitney trips over one of the old stills that was dragged away to the edge of the clearing and nearly topples over it.

WHITNEY FORDMAN

Son of a goddamn —!​

Grinning like the Cheshire Cat, Jason gives Whitney a solid kick in the ass. Enraged, Whitney turns on the other boy and shoves him hard to the ground. Before they can get into a committed scuffle, Brad breaks them up.

BRAD WILSON

Cut it out, dingbats.​

INT. SHACK — DAY

Having opened the door a crack, Pete peers out.

PETE

Aw, great — it's the Three Assketeers!​

Pete quickly shuts the door and leans his back up against it, bracing it shut.

PETE

(cont'd) What are we gonna do? They're gonna run us out of here! I just know it!

LANA

They can't do that!

PETE

Go ahead, tell 'em that. See how generous they are.

CLARK

This is our fortress; I'm not gonna let them just steal it from us.

KENNY

They're bigger and stronger than all of us put together, Clark. We can't beat them.

CLARK

C'mon, they're gonna find us in here sooner or later; may as well make it sooner.​

Pushing Pete out of the way, Clark pulls the door wide open and steps outside.

EXT. FOREST — CLEARING — DAY

As the Three Assketeers make their way into the centre of the clearing, Clark appears before them. Noticing the younger, smaller boy, they come to a halt.

JASON TEAGUE

Well, well, well — if it ain't liddle widdle Clarkie.

BRAD WILSON

You by your lonesome, Kent, or is the rest of the sissies with you?​

Slowly yet surely, the others step out of the shack, joining Clark.

JASON TEAGUE

(chuckles) Nice bruise you have there, Braverman. I hardly noticed it under your black skin!​

Kenny recoils, almost disappearing back inside the shed.

WHITNEY FORDMAN

G'wan, twerps, get out of here! This place is ours!

LANA

(angry) We were here first!

CLARK

We spent weeks cleaning this place up! It's ours by right!

BRAD WILSON

(to Whitney & Jason) Listen to the runts…. (to third graders) Listen, you clear out — and I mean right now — and I don't send you home in pine boxes, alright? Now go.​

Leaving his friends, Clark walks right up to Brad. Looking up at the taller boy, he locks gazes with him.

CLARK

Look, I know I can't fight you; you'd easily kick my can, okay? So how about we compromise?

JASON TEAGUE

(puzzled) Compromise?

CLARK

Yeah, we reach a middle ground — you get some of what you want, we get some of what we want. (beat) How about this: You guys can have the place on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, and we'll get it Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays.

WHITNEY FORDMAN

What about Sundays?

CLARK

Each Sunday, we'll flip for it. Best three out of four wins. (beat) So what do you think? Can we make that work?​

Looming in close, Brad seizes the front of Clark's shirt in his strong hands.

BRAD WILSON

What I think is I'm gonna enjoy feeding you my knuckles, you little turd.​

Brad then punches Clark in the gut — hard. Doubling over, Clark doesn't even have time to register the blow before the larger boy delivers another — this one right to the face. As teeth fly and blood sprays through the air, Clark goes down.

BRAD WILSON

(points at Lana, Pete, & Kenny) This shack is ours — Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday — got it? Now pick this ninety-pound weakling up and get the hell outta here before you get the same.​

Sitting up, Clark puts a hand up to his split lip and bleeding nose. Eyes aflame with hatred, he stares daggers at Brad.

INT. KENT HOME/LIVING ROOM — DAY

Jonathan and Martha are engaged in a game of chess when they hear the front door thrown open and Clark storm in. Turning their attention away from the board, they see Clark — lip swollen, cheek bruised, and frown as deep and dark as a moonless midnight — stomp off to his bedroom.

INT. KENT HOME/CLARK'S BEDROOM — DAY

Entering the bedroom, brimming with rage, Clark throws himself face-down atop his bed. Burying his face in his pillow, he finally allows himself to cry.
 
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Duragizer

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EXT. ROAD — PASTURE — DAY

Some number of weeks have passed and Jonathan is currently behind the wheel of the Model T, driving out into town alongside a large pasture. Just as he rounds a curve, he spies Clark — returning from one of his jaunts with his friends — crawl under the fence enclosing the pasture and take off into a run through the long grass. Hitting the brakes, Jonathan leans over and puts his head out the passenger side window.

JONATHAN

Clark!​

Running remarkably fast for a boy of his short stature, Clark is already out of earshot of Jonathan's cries. Returning to the wheel, he hits the gas and makes a U-turn.

JONATHAN

Clark!​

Hearing Jonathan for the first time, Clark halts in mid-stride and turns around.

JONATHAN

Clark, I've told you before — don't cut across old man McCulloch's pasture!

CLARK

But Pa —

JONATHAN

No "but pa's" from you, boy. McCulloch's prize bull is likely out and about this time of day. Now come here; I'll drive you home.​

Jonathan hits the breaks, waiting for Clark to obey him. Sighing loudly, Clark throws his arms up in resignation and begins making the trek over to the side of the road where Jonathan is waiting. Unfortunately, it is at that very moment McCulloch's prize bull makes its appearance. Noticing the small intruder in its pasture, the ornery ungulate breaks out into a full charge towards Clark.

JONATHAN

(mortified) Clark!​

Jumping out of the truck, Jonathan hops the fence in a mad dash to save his son, but he is too far away and too late. As the bull comes upon Clark, the boy can't even so much as turn around as the animal brings its hooves down on his small back, driving him hard into the ground before finally trampling him underfoot.

JONATHAN

(screaming) No!​

As the bull disappears into the distance, Jonathan runs up to Clark, tears streaming from his eyes. He is fully expecting to see Clark crushed and bloody, on his way to death's door if he isn't there already. Remarkably, Clark is alive, conscious, and completely unharmed. His hair is mussed, his skin dirty, his clothes torn, and an expression of absolute shock etched into the features of his face, but physically, there isn't a single scratch on him.

CLARK

(terrified) P-pa‽

JONATHAN

Cl-Clark? (beat) You're … you're alright?​

Dropping to his knees, Jonathan scoops Clark up into his arms. Hugging the boy close to him, he begins weeping with extreme joy.

JONATHAN

Oh God! Oh thank you, God!​

INT. TRUCK/CAB — DAY

Jonathan and Clark are now in the truck, headed back home.

JONATHAN

Son, what happened in McCulloch's pasture … we're gonna keep that between us right now, alright?

CLARK

We're not gonna tell Ma?

JONATHAN

I'll tell her, son … but only when the time's right. Right now … the time's just not right. You understand?

CLARK

No….​

Reaching over, Jonathan rests his hand on Clark's shoulder and gives it a short rub.

JONATHAN

(half-smiles) It's alright, son. It's alright….​

EXT. KENT FARM — KENT HOME — DAY

Pulling up beside the Kent home, Jonathan and Clark get out of the truck and head up the front steps. Martha, who has been sitting out on the front porch reading a novel, leaps up out of her seat when she sees the condition Clark's in.

MARTHA

(shocked) Land's sake, Clark! What happened to you‽​

Crossing over to her young son, she begins feeling him over for injuries.

JONATHAN

He just got into a little rough housing with the other children.

MARTHA

(nonplussed) A little rough housing‽

JONATHAN

(shrugs) Boys will be boys.

MARTHA

(to Clark) I don't see or feel any injuries. Do you hurt anywhere, Clark?

CLARK

I feel fine, Ma.

MARTHA

Alright. (beat) Head on inside. You need to get out of those clothes and into a bath right away.​

Obeying, Clark heads on inside the house. Exchanging one, short, questioning glance with Jonathan, she follows in after him.

INT. BARN/STORAGE AREA — DAY

The next day, Clark enters the barn. Pulling one of the big wooden doors open as far his small frame will allow, he slips inside. Taking one quick glance outside to see if anyone noticed him, he then pulls the door closed. Stepping deeper inside the barn, past the tractor and a pile of wooden boxes, Clark comes to the ladder which leads to the loft above. Looking up, he nervously wipes his sweaty hands off on his pants and takes hold of the rungs. Cautiously ascending the wooden ladder, he looks down upon reaching the midway point — and immediately regrets it.

CLARK

(closes eyes) Don't look down. Don't look down….​

Fighting his fear of heights, Clark resumes the climb and in short order reaches the top.

INT. BARN/LOFT — DAY

Stepping onto the loft, he looks down; the distance between him and the ground floor is great enough to make the boy swoon. Walking backward, Clark works his way to the back of the loft.

CLARK

I can do this. I can do this. I have to do this. I have to know.​

Tensing his muscles, gritting his teeth, young Clark takes off in a sprint. Crossing the length of the loft in seconds, the boy launches himself off.

INT. BARN/STORAGE AREA — DAY

Thrown clear into the air, gravity takes hold and Clark plummets — plummets straight down, hits the tractor, caroms off, and crashes hard into the pile of boxes. Completely unharmed, Clark picks himself up. Dusting his clothes off, he looks himself over.

That's when a fiendish grin comes to his face.
 
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EXT. STREAM — DAY

Lana, Pete, and Kenny sit by the edge of a stream. While Pete tries catching some fish using a piece of string tied to the end of a stick, Lana lazily tosses pebbles into the water while Kenny chews at his knuckles. All three are bored out of their ever-loving minds.

Riding on his bike, Clark pulls up beside his friends.

CLARK

Hey guys! How's tricks?

LANA

Tricks is bored. (tosses two pebbles in quick succession into stream) Very, very bored.

CLARK

I've found this place we can go. It's bound to be fun.

PETE

What place?

CLARK

I'll take you there. First, we need to collect some rocks.

LANA

What for?

CLARK

(grins) You'll see. (beat) C'mon.​

Shrugging, the three kids abandon their meagre activities and join Clark in his rock hunt.

EXT. FOREST — TRAIL — DAY

Clark and the others ride along the trail on their bikes, pant and shirt pockets laden with as many stones as they can carry.

LANA

(apprehensive) Where are we going, Clark?

CLARK

I told you — you'll know when we get there.

LANA

But this trail takes us —

CLARK

Hush up!​

Resigned, Lana hushes up. They continue along their route in silence.

EXT. FOREST — CLEARING — DAY

Reaching their destination, Clark hops off his bike. There before them stands the weathered shack they once called home away from home.

PETE

Why'd you take us here for?

KENNY

Yeah, what's the story?

CLARK

(frowns) We're here for compensation.

PETE

Compensation? What‽​

Guiding his bike alongside him, Clark approaches the shack with single-minded purpose, sweeping his hair back. Stopping some distance away from the decrepit building, he reaches into a pocket and pulls out some rocks. Pulling his arm back, he then hurls the rocks at the wooden shack, each one scoring a direct hit with a solid thwack.

CLARK

Hey, you in there — open up!​

Brad, Whitney, and Jason quickly come out.

JASON TEAGUE

(pulls blade of straw out of mouth) Well, well, well — if it ain't the Four Blind Mice.

BRAD WILSON

What are you stains doing back here? We told you never to come around no more.

CLARK

That's "anymore", you dunce!

BRAD WILSON

(sneers) What was that word you called me, pipsqueak?

CLARK

A dunce, Brad. It's not too big a word; it means the same as birdbrain, bimbo, oaf, and idiot.

BRAD WILSON

(points at Clark) I'm gonna feed you your tongue!

CLARK

Watch the birdie!​

Fishing out another rock, Clark lets it fly. Whistling through the air, it hits Brad hard in the face, right in the cheekbone.

BRAD WILSON

ARGH! (clutches face) I'll kill you! I'll kill you to death!

CLARK

(hops on bike) Let's blouse!​

Clark takes off on his bike and his friends follow suit. Crossing to their own bikes, the three bullies hop on and begin the chase.

EXT. RURAL ROAD — DAY

Emerging from the woods, the four youngsters come out onto the open road, pedalling as hard as they can to get away from the Three Assketeers. The three older bullies soon emerge from the trees behind them. Clark hits the brakes, skidding to a stop.

LANA

(mortified) Clark!

CLARK

(waves them away) Go! Keep pedalling!​

Bewildered, Lana, Kenny, and Pete take their friend's advice and keep on pedalling, leaving Clark behind to face the Assketeers alone.

Coming upon Clark, the three older boys surround him, trapping him in a circle.

CLARK

(waves at them; smiles) Hey there, gang!​

Jumping off their bikes, the three move in on Clark. Roughly taking Clark by the front of his shirt, Whitney pulls him from his bike.

BRAD WILSON

(enraged) Over there!​

As Jason goes to work on Clark's bike, stomping on, throwing, and kicking it, Whitney and Brad take the kid over to the side of the road.

BRAD WILSON

You're in for a world of hurt!​

As Whitney holds Clark firmly in place, Brad clenches his fists and drives a hard uppercut into Clark's gut. Clark doesn't even flinch from the blow.

CLARK

(smirks) I couldn't quite feel that. May I have another?​

Frowning, Brad punches Clark in the gut again.

CLARK

I'm sorry. One more ought to hit the spot.​

Uttering a low growl, Brad punches Clark in the face — a roundhouse punch from the left; then the right; then an uppercut into the chin. When none of those result in so much as a whimper, Brad finally goes and knees Clark in the groin.

CLARK

(grins) Is that the best you have?​

Clark throws his head back, bashing Whitney's nose in. Blood spurting from his broken nose, Whitney lets go of Clark and drops to his knees, crying out in agony. Turning on Brad, Clark leaps onto him, tackling the larger boy to the ground.

JASON TEAGUE

Hey!​

Leaving Clark's dented bicycle, Jason rushes to Brad's aid. Clark sees him coming and spins around just in time to deliver a solid kick to Jason's chin which sends him over backwards, knocked senseless.

BRAD WILSON

(horrified) What the hell are you‽

CLARK

(sneers) A ninety-pound weakling, remember?​

Clark then punches Brad in the face, knocking his head back.

CLARK

(cont'd) Remember that, Brad? Remember‽​

Clark punches him again.

CLARK

(enraged) Then remember this: You're not gonna bully me again; (punches Brad) you're not gonna bully my friends again; (punches Brad) you're not going to tease us; you're not going to taunt us; (punches Brad) you're not going to call us names like weakling or twerp or carrot-top or nigger; (punches Brad twice) you're not going to take our fortress, which we cleaned up, which we put together, and drive us out; (punches Brad) and you're not going to hurt us — never, ever, ever again!​

As Clark prepares to deliver the final blow, a large adult hand reaches out and seizes his arm in a tight grip, stopping him. Clark turns around. Standing over him, shock and disgust evident on his face, is Jonathan.

CLARK

(surprised) Pa!​

The assault at an end, Brad — face stained with his own bright red blood and running tears — gets the hell out of Dodge, bawling as he takes off in a dead run for somewhere — anywhere — where Clark won't find him.

Angry, Jonathan drags Clark over to the Model T. Flinging the side door open, he pushes his son inside.

INT. TRUCK/CAB — DAY

Jonathan sits behind the wheel, a deep frown fixed on his face as he drives along the rural road. Clark sits beside him, arms crossed over his chest, a deep scowl worn on his own face.

CLARK

I hate Brad Wilson.

JONATHAN

You must. Otherwise you wouldn't have turned his face into ground chuck.

CLARK

He threw the first punch, Pa! He took our fortress from us! He's big —!

JONATHAN

And you're invulnerable, Clark; you can't get hurt. You have to take responsibility for your power; you can't abuse it.

CLARK

You want me to be a loser and a wimp.

JONATHAN

No, son, I don't. I want you to use your head instead of your fists.

CLARK

A man stands up for himself.

JONATHAN

Know all about bein' a man, huh? Does a man hurt people weaker than himself? (beat) Well, boy, does he?​

Clark doesn't answer; his chance to is cut off when Rose Greer dashes out into the road, right in front of the truck.

JONATHAN

(surprised) Holy!​

EXT. RURAL ROAD — DAY

Jonathan hits the brakes just in time to avoid a collision. Rose wastes no time crossing over to Jonathan's side of the vehicle, panic clearly etched across her face.

ROSE GREER

(panicked) Oh God, Jonathan! You have to help me! Please — help!

JONATHAN

(climbs out of truck) Rose! What's wrong‽

ROSE GREER

The house, Jonathan! It's the house! The house is on fire and Bud's trapped! Bud's trapped inside and I can't get him out!​

Looking into the fields beside the road, Jonathan sees a two-storey house situated in the distance; it is ablaze, a trail of dark gray smoke billowing straight up from it into the clear sky.

JONATHAN

Jesus. (beat) Stay here, Rose. Watch Clark.​

Jonathan takes off in a dash for the burning house, leaving Rose and Clark by the truck.

INT. GREER HOME/ENTRANCE HALL — DAY

Bursting through the front door, Jonathan finds the air heavy with smoke. Instantly assaulted by the miasma, Jonathan pulls out a handkerchief and holds it over his mouth and nose.

JONATHAN

Bud! Bud, where the hell are you‽​

A wail of anguish comes down the stairs from the second storey, where the fire is burning its worst.

JONATHAN

Just hold on, Bud! I'm coming!​

Crossing to the stairs, Jonathan dashes up the steps.

INT. GREER HOME/BEDROOM — DAY

Passing through the licking orange flames and greasy smoke, Jonathan steps inside the Greer bedroom. Inside, struggling upon the floor, is Bud Greer. The inferno having compromised its structural integrity, the roof on this side of the house has caved in; a wooden beam lies across Bud's legs, pinning him to the floor.

BUD GREER

(panicked) Lord help me! AAAAHHH!!!​

Coming to Bud's aid, Jonathan lays his hands upon the beam and tries pulling it up and away from the trapped man.

JONATHAN

(groans) I can't budge her, Greer! (beat) I'm gonna reach under and pull your legs out!​

Jonathan reaches under the beam and takes hold of one of Bud's legs and begins working to pry it loose. At that very moment, fiery debris rains down in the hall outside the bedroom. In response, Bud grabs Jonathan, pulling him close in desperation.

BUD GREER

Oh, Jesus! Hurry, Kent! The flames! Please —!

JONATHAN

(grits teeth) Alright, Bud, you gotta let go….

BUD GREER

The flames are getting closer!

JONATHAN

(frustrated) Shut up, Greer!​

Pulling at Bud's legs, Jonathan finally manages to dislodge them. Pulling the man up onto his feet, Jonathan makes haste for the stairs.

EXT. GREER HOME/FRONT YARD — DAY

Rose and Clark have come down the driveway and now stand at a safe distance away from the house. Rose holds Clark's hand, both worried as the small building is consumed. Jonathan and Bud then finally emerge from the burning wreckage. Moving away from the intense heat, they drop down into the grass — coughing, exhausted, and dirty, but alive.

CLARK

(concerned) Pa?

JONATHAN

(coughs) I'm okay, son. (coughs) We're okay.​

Clark is amazed by his father's show of selfless heroism.

CLARK

Wow.​
 
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EXT. KENT FARM — KENT HOME — DAY

We have jumped forward three months. Jonathan and Clark are now in their front yard, working on repairs to the Model T. A farm jack precariously propping up the rear end of the vehicle, Jonathan lies beneath the vehicle's undercarriage, working away while Clark sits crouched down low with a toolbox beside him.

JONATHAN

Alright, hand me the wrench.​

Reaching into the toolbox, Clark fishes around until he finds the wrench and hands it to his father. Opening the front door, Martha steps out onto the porch.

MARTHA

Time to get yourselves inside and washed up, boys. Supper's on.

JONATHAN

(sighs) I guess we're calling it a night, Clark. (beat) It looks like rain. Pick the tools up and put the box in the cab.​

Collecting the loose tools, Clark takes up the toolbox, crosses to the right side of the truck, and opens the door. That action is enough to pop the jack loose. Registering the imminent danger, Clark reacts automatically; in a blur of motion, he dashes over to the back end of the truck, grabs the underside of the bed, and holds it there in place, preventing the vehicle from collapsing onto Jonathan and crushing him.

CLARK

Got it, Pa! (pained) Can't hold it….​

Jonathan scrambles out from beneath the truck, his small son straining to hold up a vehicle the elder Kent couldn't begin to lift under his own power. Once Jonathan is clear, Clark lets go, allowing the rear of the truck to slam down. Martha just stands there on the porch, flabbergasted.

INT. KENT HOME/LIVING ROOM — NIGHT

Jonathan sits on the couch while Martha paces about the room, restless and irate.

MARTHA

(cont'd) For three months you've known! Land's sakes alive! Three months!

JONATHAN

I was planning on telling you, Martha….

MARTHA

(stops in mid-stride; faces Jonathan) That date wouldn't have coincided with Clark's 18th birthday by any chance, now, would it?

JONATHAN

What should I have said, Martha? "Honey, a bull trampled our son into the earth this afternoon, but don't you worry, 'cause our boy's a modern age Achilles; he got right back up without so much as a scratch on him."? (beat) I wanted to give it some time, figure out a way to break the news to you gently, to … to avoid a reaction.

MARTHA

(taps foot impatiently) What type of reaction?

JONATHAN

(frowns) This type of reaction, exactly! (beat) I figured on telling you sooner, but I guess the time got away from me….​

Sighing, Martha lets her frustration go. She takes a seat beside her husband on the couch.

MARTHA

But this is the first time Clark … did this?

JONATHAN

He certainly wasn't a Hercules in miniature this April, I can tell you.​

Her features creased with worry, Martha takes Jonathan's hands in hers.

MARTHA

First invulnerability, then superhuman strength. By God, Jonathan, what if this is only the beginning? What if Clark develops more abilities? What if he becomes … what is our son going to become?

JONATHAN

He'll be our son, Martha, come what may. Trust in that.​

INT. KENT HOME/DINING ROOM — DAY

We have jumped forward to 1925. Martha sets a plate of scrambled eggs and crisp bacon down on the dining room table as Clark hurries past in single-minded purpose for the front door.

MARTHA

Where are you going, Clark?

CLARK

I'm running late, Ma.

MARTHA

(bemused) You surely have time enough to sit down and —​

In a blink of an eye, Clark is gone — along with the bacon and eggs which had moments before been resting upon the now-cleared plate.

MARTHA

(cont'd) eat your breakfast. (sighs)​

EXT. MAIN ROAD — DAY

A motorcyclist rides along the main road into Smallville. As a railway crossing appears ahead, he notices a locomotive bearing down on it, and so decides to put the pedal to the metal to beat it. As the motorcyclist zooms ahead, leaning into the artificial wind, Clark comes up alongside him. Noticing Clark out of the corner of his eye, he does a double take. Though Clark is only riding his mere bicycle, by pedalling at super speed, he's able to keep pace with the motorcyclist.

As the two riders close in upon the crossing, Clark puts on an extra bit of speed; like a shot from a gun, he leaves the motorcyclist eating his dust, clearing the track in an instant. By the time the locomotive comes barrelling down the track, forcing the motorcyclist to hit his breaks and wait out the train's passing, Clark's already one-eighth of a mile into the distance.

INT. KENT HOME/CLARK'S BEDROOM — DAY

We have jumped forward to 1927. Clark is seated at his desk, doing homework, when Jonathan appears in the door.

JONATHAN

Clark.

CLARK

(faces Jonathan) Hey, Pa. What is it?

JONATHAN

I was hoping you'd take some time out of your schedule to help your fool pop find his glasses again.

CLARK

Not a problem. (looks down & squints)​

CLARK'S P.O.V. — LIVING ROOM

The carpeted floor disappears beneath Clark, affording him a view of the floors on the storey underfoot. Zooming in, he focuses in on the living room couch. The couch cushions themselves grow transparent, revealing Jonathan's glasses wedged between them.

INT. KENT HOME/CLARK'S BEDROOM — DAY

CLARK

They're inside the couch.

JONATHAN

Glasses are more trouble than they're worth, son. Count your blessings you'll never have to wear the damned things.​

EXT. FOREST — DAY

We have jumped forward to 1929. Clark is running through the woods, blue-merled Shelby — his four-month-old puppy — tagging along beside him. As they emerge through the trees, they come to the edge of a large, deep ravine. Though Shelby stops in her tracks, Clark takes a running leap clear across the ravine.

CLARK

Yahoo!​

Landing on the other side, Clark turns to Shelby. The puppy begins barking, despondent that she can't follow her master.
 
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TV's Frink

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DE might be a good idea to use spoiler tags just to make the page easier to navigate.  Mostly for moderators. ;)
 

Duragizer

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TVs Frink said:
DE might be a good idea to use spoiler tags just to make the page easier to navigate.  Mostly for moderators. ;)

Done. :cool:
 
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