Wednesday, November 1, 2017
GREEN LANTERN: EMERALD KNIGHT #1
THE RAVENING PIT, PART 1 OF 4
The scene is an indoor amphitheater about 75 feet in diameter, the kind used in medical schools. The view is over the shoulders of two men who are looking down on the stage. The men are HECTOR HAMMOND and a scientist in a white coat named AARON GOINS. Hammond looks normal, like he did in his first appearance in the Silver Age. He’s wearing a suit. Goins is an older man, with gray hair, and is somewhat bent.
On the stage, which is better lit than the surrounding seats, stand TWO HUMANOIDS who look the way the Shark did in the Silver Age -- recognizably sharklike, rather than the monstrous way he’s been depicted in his recent appearances. They’re operating separate control panels of a device that’s modeled after a hyperbaric chamber.
Inside the chamber, submerged in a SLIGHTLY REDDISH liquid, floats another sharklike creature, this one less far along in the process of morphing into humanoid form. Its arms and legs are only partly erupted, and its head is still entirely that of a shark’s. Unlike the two creatures who are operating the controls, it is unclothed. It’s being kept submerged in the fluid by flat-bottomed prongs that extend from the top of the tank.
1. HAMMOND: They can carry out the entire process themselves now? They don’t need you to supervise them any longer?
CAPTION: On his private island off the coast of California, oil billionaire Hector Hammond receives a briefing from scientist Aaron Goins about the rapid metamorphosis of advanced life forms.
PANEL 1: At the bottom of the panel, in the foreground, the metamorphizing shark is floating in the chamber. At the top of the panel, in the background, Hammond and Goins are sitting in their seats.
1. GOINS: That’s right. The new mutant will learn the process while it’s being performed on him. They can now produce as many mutants as you can bring them sharks to mutate.
PANEL 2: On Hammond and Goins. Hammond is speaking into a walkie-talkie.
1. HAMMOND: Mr. Winston, please meet me and Dr. Goins at the front entrance of the theater.
2. GOINS: All you need to do is feed them.
PANEL 3: One of the mutants who is operating the chamber’s controls in the foreground. In the background, Hammond and Goins are climbing the steps, exiting the amphitheater.
3. HAMMOND: They eat an awful lot of meat though. If you could just mutate them so they’d be happy eating the weeds around here, they’d be perfect.
4. GOINS: Even you can’t have everything, Mr. Hammond.
PANEL 4: Closeup of Hammond.
5. HAMMOND: Don’t be so sure about that.
PANEL 5: Hammond and Goins are exiting through the theater door. Goins is holding the door open for Hammond.
6. HAMMOND: But besides being low-maintenance, it’s even more important for every employee to be expendable.
PANEL 6: Outside the theater, it’s night. WINSTON is approaching Hammond and Goins. He’s an armed, uniformed guard. His pistol is drawn.
7. HAMMOND: A good businessman makes sure he can lose anyone and not get hurt by it.
PANEL 1: Close enough on Winston that the logo on his shirt is visible. It reads, Hammond Oil Security. He’s pointing his pistol at Goins.
1. WINSTON: You’re to come with me, sir.
PANEL 2: Another view of the three men.
2. GOINS: What are you talking about?
3. HAMMOND: Just go along with him.
PANEL 3: On Goins, who is upset.
4. GOINS: Is this a joke?
PANEL 4: Favoring the pistol that’s pointed as Goins.
5. HAMMOND: Don’t make this any more difficult than it needs to be.
6. GOINS: Are you crazy? You’re going to kill me?
PANEL 5: Winston is gripping Goins by the shoulder and turning him around.
7. HAMMOND: You know too much. And you like to talk too much. That’s a bad combination.
PANEL 6: Hammond is in the foreground as Winston herds the distraught Goins away.
8. GOINS: You’re a fool, Hammond. You don’t know what you’re doing. You’ll regret this.
PANEL 1: The scene is the lawn of Hammond’s mansion. Hammond is being interviewed by a female TELEVISION REPORTER as a CAMERAMAN tapes the exchange. The reporter is the sort of attractive young woman who has become the norm in today’s television news.
1. REPORTER: We’re at the home of Hector Hammond, the founder of Hammond Oil. He’s planning to put his revolutionary new gasoline, H33, on the market in 23 countries within the next month. But not yet in the United States. Can you explain this unusual rollout process for us, Mr. Hammond?
PANEL 2: From the cameraman’s point of view. The reporter has extended the microphone to Hammond.
2. HAMMOND: We’re rapidly accelerating production and will have H33 on the market in the United States and most other industrialized nations within three years. We’re in talks with several convenience store chains in the United States about their carrying it. But it’s important to me to first give H33’s enormous financial and environmental benefits to the world’s poorest countries.
PANEL 3. A new view taking in all three of them. The reporter is looking into the camera now.
3. REPORTER: Mr. Hammond is referring to the fact that H33 is only one-third as expensive as ordinary gasoline, and it emits just one-third the pollutants. That’s because of an additive his researchers have developed and named Claritrex.
PANEL 4: On the reporter and Hammond. She’s now looking at Hammond.
4. REPORTER: What can you tell us about that?
5. HAMMOND: I can tell you that H33 consists of 21 percent refined petroleum and 79 percent Claritrex. We’re producing Claritrex at the same facility where we refine our oil. And unlike oil, Claritrex is made of very common and inexpensive materials. This is a breakthrough discovery that will satisfy the world’s demand for oil far into the future.
PANEL 5: HAL JORDAN is watching Hammond’s interview on television. He’s in his bedroom and is buttoning his shirt. The place looks lived-in and relaxed but not sloppy.
6. HAMMOND: I’m proud to have played a role in solving this enormous problem that the world has faced for so long. But I’m equally proud to give its first fruits to those nations that the world has left behind economically. I’m setting an example that all businesses should follow.
PANEL 6: Another view of the television screen, which excludes Hal.
7. REPORTER: You’ve described the formula for Claritrex as proprietary information. But won’t your competitors be able to analyze it and produce it themselves?
PANEL 1: Hal is sitting at the foot of his bed now and is putting on his shoes.
1. HAMMOND: They can figure out what Claritrex is made of. That won’t be hard to do. But they’ll never figure out our process for making it
PANEL 2: A new view of the interview in progress, taking in Hammond, the reporter and the cameraman.
2. REPORTER: You sound confident about that. But never is a long time.
3. HAMMOND: Trust me. They’ll never do it. Their only hope is to steal the secret from us somehow. But they’ll all be out of business long before they can accomplish that. And good riddance to them.
PANEL 3 Hal is standing up and combing his hair, watching the screen.
4. REPORTER: If you really do become the only producer of gasoline and fuel oils, won’t the world’s governments break up your company?
5. HAMMOND: I’ll worry about that when it happens. It’ll be a good problem for Hammond Oil and the world to have to face.
PANEL 4: From the cameraman’s viewpoint. The reporter is looking toward him.
6. REPORTER: This announcement has stunned the experts in the field and has made Hector Hammond the most talked about businessman in the world.
PANEL 5: Hal is holding his remote and has turned off his television.
7. HAL: Ring, can you suggest how Hammond Oil made such a breakthrough in the development of fuel?
8. HAL’S RING: I’d need to get within sensor range of the refinery. Then I might be able to analyze the process.
PANEL 6: Hal is leaving his house and approaching his car.
9. HAL (thinking): It sounds like a technology that shouldn’t even exist on Earth. Maybe it happened naturally, but I ought to check it out.
PANEL 1: Hal, CODGE KAMALKU and SNAPPER CARR are eating in the cafeteria of Ferris Racing. They’re sitting in that order, left to right, on one side of a table. Codge is a gray-haired Asian man of about 70 who is wearing a suit. A good model for him would be the late actor James Shigeta. Snapper looks about 18 and is wearing his usual windbreaker.
1. CODGE: So. That old Stalin-looking Carl Ferris has decided to grace us with his presence today.
2. HAL: Come on, Codge. The fact that he’s got a mustache doesn’t make him look like Stalin.
PANEL 2: Some distance away, CARL FERRIS is in the foreground, talking to a few EMPLOYEES. Carl still has dark hair, and a mustache. A good model for him would be the actor William Powell. A logo for Ferris Racing is affixed to one wall. It will need to be designed.
3. CODGE: He looks like Stalin and he acts like him. And when he talks, he always sounds like he’s about to burp. That gets on my nerves.
4. HAL: He does not.
PANEL 3: On Hal, Codge and Snapper.
5. SNAPPER: How many years have you been Carl’s purchasing manager, Mr. K?
6. CODGE: For thirty-one years, Snapper. It doesn’t seem like a day over sixty years though.
PANEL FOUR: Favoring Hal.
7. HAL: I bet Carl thinks you look like Mao Zedong. Maybe that’s why you two are such good pals.
8. CODGE: Show a little respect to me, Harold. I might become an in-law of yours soon. Look over there. Your sister Sophie is having lunch with Tom.
PANEL SIX: In the foreground, TOM KAMALKU and SOPHIE JORDAN are eating at a table. Codge, Hal and Snapper’s table is in the background. Sophie is wearing a sun dress. A good model for her would be the late actress Myrna Fahey.
9. HAL: Wow. She sure is.
PANEL 1: On Tom and Sophie.
1. TOM: Sophie, I can’t read your mind. You need to tell me these things.
2. SOPHIE: I did tell you. You need to pay better attention to what I say.
PANEL 2: A view of Tom and Sophie with Carl talking to the employees in the background.
3. TOM: You always think I’m talking to other women. I never do that.
4. SOPHIE: Go right ahead. It’s none of my business.
PANEL 3: On Hal and Snapper.
5. HAL: I didn’t know anything about this.
6. SNAPPER: That dress she’s wearing is nice. But I bet anything would look good on her.
PANEL 4: Codge snaps the fingers of one hand in Snapper’s face. This surprises Snapper and amuses Hal.
7. CODGE: Put your eyes back in your head, young man.
PANEL 5: On Tom and Sophie, favoring Tom.
8. SOPHIE: I’m so mad at you right now, I can’t see straight.
9. TOM: Everything you’re mad about is something you’ve imagined.
PANEL 6: Closeup of the fuming Sophie.
10. SOPHIE: And now you’re claiming I’m paranoid.
PANEL 1: On Hal and Snapper.
1. SNAPPER: Tom has good taste in women.
2. HAL: I agree with you, Snapper.
PANEL 2: On Codge.
3. CODGE: Sophie has good taste in men.
PANEL 3: On Snapper, who is smiling.
4. SNAPPER: It looks like they’re in their own world. They’re not even noticing anything else.
PANEL 4. On Tom and Sophie.
5. TOM: Just stop this, Sophie, I’ve never said you’re jealous hearted. I’ve never even thought it.
6. SOPHIE: It’s your own ego that makes you think I’d act that way over you.
PANEL 5: Carl Ferris is leaving the cafeteria, and is walking past Hal, Snapper and Codge.
7. HAL: Hi, Carl.
PANEL 6: Favoring Hal and Codge.
8. CODGE: Stop being a company stooge, Hal.
9. HAL: If you guys have finished your lunch, let’s go over there and talk to them.
PANEL 1: Hal, Codge and Snapper are in the background, approaching Tom and Sophie.
1. SOPHIE: You’re so full of yourself, Tom.
PANEL 2: Hal, Codge and Snapper are now standing beside Tom and Sophie’s table.
2. CODGE: So Tom, is this the lady you were telling me is so jealous? That’s cute.
PANEL 3: Sophie, who is grimacing, lifts a saucer that contains a slice of apple pie.
PANEL 4. She squishes the saucer and the pie into Tom’s face.
PANEL 5. Tom is using a napkin to wipe his face and is looking toward Codge, who is off-panel, as Sophie storms away.
3. TOM: Thanks, Pop.
PANEL 6: Hal, Snapper and Codge are gazing at Tom in astonishment.
PANEL 1: A long view of Hal and CAROL FERRIS, who are walking through the parking lot of Ferris Racing. Hal is wearing a racing suit and is carrying a helmet.
1. HAL: The car is running fine now. The repairs cost a lot less than I thought they would.
2. CAROL: That’s good. But dad is mad at you about that wreck.
PANEL 2: A closer view of them.
3. HAL: He’s mad at me because that fool Buddy Spillane took a turn too wide and hit me?
4. CAROL: He says Buddy swerves wide all the time. He says you should have anticipated that and been able to avoid it. He says you could have won that race.
PANEL 3: Still closer on them.
5. HAL: So now I’m responsible for the stupidity of our competitors?
6. CAROL: Dad says the more reckless a competitor is, the more proactive our drivers need to be about it. He says he’s disappointed in you.
PANEL 4: They’re nearing Ferris’s practice track.
5. HAL: Has Carl’s attitude about me spilled over into his daughter?
6. CAROL: I’m still thinking it over.
PANEL 5: Tom is about fifty feet away, approaching them.
7. HAL: While you’re deciding, may I put my arm around you?
8. CAROL: I guess.
PANEL 6: A rear view of Hal and Carol as Tom joins them. Hal and Carol each have an arm around the other.
9. TOM: Hi, Carol.
PANEL 1: Hal, Carol and Tom are standing beside the open driver’s window of a race car. Hal is putting on his helmet.
1. HAL: Hector Hammond is a good PR man. He knows how to present himself. But if you look back over his career, there are some signs that he’s quite ruthless. Keep that in mind when you’re talking to him.
PANEL 2: Hal’s helmet is on now, and he’s turned away from them and is moving toward the car.
2. TOM: Don’t worry. I won’t sign Ferris Racing over to him.
3. CAROL: That’s good to know.
PANEL 3: Hal is gripping the car’s roof and has stuck one foot into the driver’s window, and is looking back at them.
4. TOM: I’m just looking forward to seeing his house on that private island. But what will you be doing?
5. HAL: He owns another island. It’s in the Indian Ocean. His refinery is there. I’m going to pay it a visit and see what I can find out.
PANEL 4: Hal is entering the car through the window.
6. TOM: Did he invite you there?
7. HAL: I’m paying an unofficial call as a Green Lantern.
PANEL 5: Hal is inside the car now.
8. HAL: And Tom, I’m sorry about what happened with Sophie. I’ll talk to her about it.
9. TOM: Yeah, OK.
PANEL 6: Carol and Tom watch Hal as he drives away.
10. CAROL: You didn’t sound enthusiastic about Sophie.
11. TOM: I like her, but that was a pretty extreme thing she did.
PANEL 1: It’s night. Hal, wearing his Green Lantern uniform and flying low over the ocean, is approaching Hammond Oil’s island refinery. A tanker is docked at the facility.
1. HAL: Ring, burn out enough of the island’s wiring to knock out all the electricity. That includes any generators.
PANEL 2: A beam is shooting from Hal’s ring toward the refinery, which is closer now.
2. HAL: But make sure not to cause any fires.
PANEL 3: TWO CREWMAN on the deck of the tanker are looking toward the now-darkened refinery. The tanker’s electricity is still on.
3. FIRST CREWMAN: What could have caused that?
4. SECOND CREWMAN: I don’t know. That’s not supposed to happen.
PANEL 4: On the refinery grounds,, A SECURITY GUARD is addressing THREE OTHER GUARDS.
5. FIRST GUARD: This might be trouble. If you see anyone who shouldn’t be here, don’t take any chances with them. That’s why you’re carrying those rifles. To use them.
PANEL 5: Elsewhere on the grounds, TWO EMPLOYEES are conferring. Hal is flying low over the facility in the background, in silhouette.
6. FIRST EMPLOYEE: Check the generator. It should have come on.
PANEL 6: Hal is approaching a chain-link fence with coiled razor wire at the top. A sign on the fence reads, Only Authorized Personnel Allowed Beyond This Point. Use Of Force Authorized.
PANEL 1: Deep inside the refinery, Hal has landed on a roof and is peering down over the edge. There’s a roof structure behind Hal.
1. HAL (thinking): What could that be?
PANEL 2: A view over Hal’s shoulder of the grounds below. Four mutant sharks are standing in front of the darkened building.
PANEL 3: On Hal.
2. HAL: Ring, analyze those creatures as well as the process for making the fuel.
PANEL 4: A ground level view of a dozen more mutants coming out of the building. There are no humans among them.
PANEL 5: Hal is walking away from the roof’s edge and into an open area, looking at his ring.
3. HAL’S RING: This is a lot of information to process. It might take me a while.
PANEL 6: One of the mutant sharks is emerging from around the corner of the roof structure and is approaching Hal from behind.
PANEL 1: Tom and Hector Hammond are climbing a staircase in the grand foyer of Hammond’s mansion.
1. HAMMOND: By the way, you look young to be the chief engineer at Ferris Racing.
2. TOM: I’m 25. Just out of grad school. But I’ve been working at Ferris since I was 16.
PANEL 2: They’ve reached a door at the top, which Hammond is holding open for Tom.
3. HAMMOND: That’s impressive. You know my company is a lot bigger than Ferris. Maybe you’ll think about coming to work for me, if you ever get bored there. I have some very interesting things going on that would keep you busy.
4. TOM: I’m sure you do.
PANEL 3: Tom and Hammond are walking through the doorway and out onto a mezzanine. It surrounds a large plaza below that has many plants, two fountains and a shallow pool.
5. TOM: It looks like you’re living the American dream, Mr. Hammond.
6. HAMMOND: That dream is alive and well, sir. I assure you it is.
PANEL 4: The view is from the plaza floor. The pool is about a foot deep and contains large goldfish.
7. TOM: I was thinking about putting your logo on our cars. But if Carl Ferris and our drivers are as impressed by your fuel as those reporters were, maybe they’d do some testimonials.
PANEL 5: On Tom and Hammond.
8. HAMMOND: That sounds great to me.
9. TOM: I’m wondering how you made such a breakthrough in fuel technology. It seems incredible.
PANEL 6: The view is from the ground floor. An armed guard, MARTIN, is entering the ground floor, leading one of the mutant sharks into the plaza. Tom and Hammond haven’t yet noticed Martin and the mutant.
10. HAMMOND: It was mostly a matter of my being willing to try things that haven’t been tried.
PANEL 1: On Hammond.
1. HAMMOND: The fact that Hammond Oil is one of the smallest companies in the industry has made us hungrier than the big boys. And because I own the whole thing, I don’t have to get anyone’s permission to try some unusual approaches.
PANEL 2: On Tom.
2. TOM: But a technical leap like that is amazing. You must have some very smart people working for you.
3. HAMMOND: I’m not afraid of intelligence in my employees. In fact I demand it. That’s why I said you might be a good fit for us.
PANEL 3: Taking in Tom, Hammond, Martin and the mutant. Tom has noticed Martin and the mutant below, and is gazing with astonishment at them.
3. TOM: What is that?
PANEL 4: Tom has moved to the rail and is gripping it, looking down at Martin and the mutant.
4. TOM: That thing is real, isn’t it?
PANEL 5: A view from below. Martin is looking up with surprise at Tom and Hammond.
5. HAMMOND: I’ve told you to never bring them in here, Martin.
PANEL 6: On Hammond.
6. HAMMOND: I wish you hadn’t seen that, Mr. Kamalku.
PANEL 1: On Hal, who is still on the roof of the building in the refinery.
1. HAL’S RING: This technology appears to be based entirely on current Earth science, yet produced by intellects much greater than any that should exist on Earth.
PANEL 2: On Hal’s upper body. His ring is out of view.
2. HAL: So it probably didn’t come from another world or from the future. Could the same intelligence that created the fuel have also created these mutants?
3. HAL’S RING (off-panel): I’ll be unable to speculate until I complete my analysis of them. That might take a while.
PANEL 3: The mutant shark is right behind Hal now.
PANEL 4: On Hal’s face, excluding the creature.
4. HAL (thinking): Hector Hammond isn’t a scientist. He’s a businessman.
PANEL 5: The creature lashes out, striking Hal in the right side, the ring side.
PANEL 6: Hal has been hurled away by the blow. He’s on his hands and knees, and is firing a beam from his ring that’s hitting the creature.
PANEL 1. Another view, as Hal is now on his knees, and the creature is lying prone before him.
PANEL 2: Hal is standing now, but is bent over with his hands grasping his thighs, wincing.
1. HAL: Ring, I think I might have a cracked rib.
PANEL 3 On Hal’s ring.
2. HAL’S RING: You’ve suffered two broken ribs that are potentially dangerous. You need immediate medical attention. I’m still analyzing these organisms.
PANEL 4: A view from below that favors the prone mutant. Hal is standing straighter now, with an arm bent and pressed against his side.
3. HAL: Pull it with a tractor beam.
PANEL 5: Hal is flying away as his ring pulls the mutant behind him.
4. HAL: How strong is that thing?
5. HAL’S RING: It could have killed you if it had wanted to.
PANEL 6: Unseen by Hal, one of the mutant sharks is standing on the roof, watching him fly away with the other creature.
PANEL 1: Martin is in the foreground, climbing some steps up the mezzanine. Tom and Hammond are in the background.
1. TOM: You’re refusing to let me leave? Are you crazy? How are you going to stop me? Everybody knows I came here.
PANEL 2: On Tom and Hammond. Tom is getting out his cell phone.
2. HAMMOND: There’s no WiFi here. But I’m sure we can come to a financial arrangement you’d be happy with, in return for your keeping confidential some proprietary information that you shouldn’t have learned in the first place.
PANEL 3: Favoring Tom.
3. TOM: I don’t have a problem with keeping your business a secret, Mr. Hammond. I’d do that for free. But I don’t like the threatening tone you were using. You’re probably doing something illegal here. Or at least unethical enough that it could get you into trouble.
PANEL 4: Martin has now reached Hammond and Tom.
4. MARTIN: I’m sorry, Mr. Hammond.
5. HAMMOND: Nothing improper is going on here, Mr. Kamalku. But none of my employees will take you back, until I feel sure you’ll respect my privacy.
PANEL 5: Tom is walking away.
6. TOM: I know how to operate a boat. Or I’ll take one of your rowboats if I need to.
7. HAMMOND: That’s a long way to row, Mr. Kamalku.
PANEL 6: Tom is some distance away from Hammond and Martin now.
8. HAMMOND: Stop him.
PANEL 1: Hammond is now on the ground floor, leading the mutant toward the door that Martin had been approaching with it. A LOUD REPORT has rung out, and Hammond is looking back in the direction in which Tom and Hammond went.
PANEL 2: Hammond is opening a door and exiting the building onto a patio, where Martin is standing over Tom’s supine form. Martin has shot Tom in the chest.
PANEL 3: Hammond is now beside Martin and is looking down at Tom.
1. HAMMOND: You idiot. I didn’t tell you to kill him.
PANEL 4: Hammond snatches the pistol away from Martin.
PANEL 5: On Martin’s face.
2. MARTIN: No.
PANEL 6: Hammond fires the pistol toward the Martin, who is off panel.
SPLASH: TWO MORE SECURITY GUARDS are running up. Hammond is holding the pistol and looking down at the prone forms of Tom and Martin. A small rivulet of blood is running out across the concrete from each man.
CAPTION: To be continued...