So, I've got superheroes on the brain. They've set up shop and refuse to leave.
As such, I decided to write just one example of a scene between Superman and Lois Lane that I feel would have established some character motivations for Supes and some backstory for Batman. This has been hastily written, and I by no means am claiming that I could write a better movie than what we got. This was just a fun mental exercise for myself that I thought I'd share. Let me know what you think!
The smell of cheap chinese take out greeted Clark as he opened the front door.
"Smells delicious, Lo. Have you been cooking all day?"
Lois rounded the corner from the kitchen, shoving a cardboard container overflowing with chow mein and kung pao chicken into his hands. A smile tugged at the corners of her mouth. "If wanted a house wife, you should have stayed in Kansas, Kansas."
Clark laughed. "There are only so many stories about flat tractor tires and seasonal droughts a reporter can write."
"And only so many people to save," Lois mused, sitting on their living room couch and leaning over the notebook smattered coffee table, her own container of chinese food in hand.
"You know me so well," Clark teased, sitting at the small office desk tucked into the corner of the room and opening his laptop. The Daily Planet's homepage popped up, and Clarke scowled. Batman had killed another three alleged criminals last night, and branded a fourth. No due process. No court. No convictions. Just one man playing the role of judge, jury and executioner. And people loved him.
He snapped the laptop shut.
"Saw the headline?" Lois asked, looking up from her notes.
"I don't understand it, Lo. I saved the world, and people hate me. This guys murders people, and everyone treats him like a hero. How does that make any sense?"
"You have to think of it from their perspective. No one knows Superman grew up in Kansas. As far as the world is concerned, two aliens showed up and started a family fight in our back yard. It doesn't matter that the 'good alien' won, or that a lot more people would have died if you hadn't been there. To them, no one would have died if neither of you had come to Earth in the first place. Even now, they see you as an intruder, and they're afraid that if you attracted one genocidal alien to our little planet, you'll attract more. I know that none of this is your fault, and you know that, but they don't. Can you really blame them for having their doubts?"
Clark sighed, and rested his head in his hands. He did know that. He did understand. He also didn't accept it. This was his home. His only home. There had to be a way to convince people that he would protect them, and cause them no harm. "And the Batman?"
"You weren't here ten years ago, Clark. I'm sure you've heard stories, but things were bad. Really bad. The mob had a death grip on Gotham, and there were enough dirty cops and bribed officials that it looked like things would never change. People were scared. Business was suffering on both sides of the harbor. Metropolis and Gotham were dying, being choked out by the criminal elements, and no one willing or able to stop it.
"When Batman first burst onto the scene, it was such a relief. Here was this guy, this hero, who was risking his life to expose the criminals and the corruption. He did the leg work, the detective work, to build a case against murderers and rapists, and the bosses who propped them up, and then he delivered them to the police publicly. He shone a light on the crimes and the corruption at the same time.
"And things changed. Internal Affairs cracked down on the people accepting bribes, the criminal networks were fractured and disorganized. The mob focused its efforts on tracking down a phantom, loosening its grip on the throats of the working class.
"It was kind of impossible to hate Batman after all that."
"So what happened?" Clark pressed. "What changed?"
"I don't know. No one does. One day a report got out that Batman had broken some crook's arm while taking him down. Fair enough. The guys had probably been dangerous. The next time, Batman had fractured someone's jaw. Same thing. Easy to excuse. Easy to justify.
"The first body he left behind was a convicted serial rapist. No tears shed. People even cheered. The bastard deserved to die. We had been conditioned to accept that Batman did what was good and right and necessary. By the time the time dead bodies and bat brands were the norm, we were so complicit in Batman's crimes that it was easier to look the other way. It still is."
"Good Hero Gone Bad; that should be my next article. Maybe it's time to shake people out of their apathy and show them the monster they've created."
"He's not a monster, Clark. He's just lost his way."
"He's dangerous, and he probably needs professional help."
"Do you want to help him? Or do you want to take people's minds off of Superman for a news cycle?"
"Both. Superman can't stop Batman from trampling people's constitutional rights, because everyone is on Batman's side. Clark Kent can change that."
"Clark Kent has to get Perry White's approval."
"I will. If I can dig up some old articles and pinpoint when Batman first lost his path, then I can look at what was going on in the criminal world at the time, and get inside Batman's head. A story on how Batman thinks and why he went dark will be too tempting for Perry to pass up. Want to help me research?"
"Can't. Got an interview in twenty minutes. If I'm late, I'll lose my source for good."
"Give 'em hell, Lo."
"Always do! Love you, Clark! Oh, and before I forget, I saw a video of Superman rescuing a family from a flood on youtube today…"
"I know you're trying to prove that you're helping people, but descending from the clouds like a god is a bit much. At the very least, do it at normal speed."
Clark chuckled, and ran a hand through his hair. "I guess I did get a little carried away with the theatrics."
"Just be a good man. That will be enough."