From: "DOUGLAS C. ATKINSON" ,DATKINSON@LISP.PURDY.WAYNE.EDU>
Date: Wed, 15 Feb 1995 20:12:32 EST
Subject: Original plan for Watchmen
The premise: What if Alan Moore had written WATCHMEN for Archie
[Pan over the street in front of Riverdale High School, which
has a trail of dust in front of it. Lying in the middle is a
CAPTION: CAPTAIN HERO'S JOURNAL, OCTOBER 12TH, 1985: Mystery
meat in the cafeteria this morning, ketchup smear on
intestinal casings. This school is afraid of me. The
accumulated evil of all their poor school spirit and lack of
scholarship will destroy them...and my magic beanie and I
won't raise a finger to help.
[Pan up to Principal Weatherbee and Prof. Flutesnoot in the
locker room. It's a mess.]
WEATHERBEE: What happened here?
FLUTESNOOT: Well, the trail of dust shows that our perp
didn't waste any time. The call to security must have been
WEATHERBEE: You'd need a lightning-quick dialing finger to
handle it that quickly. Maybe it was two guys, dialing
FLUTESNOOT: Maybe. I'm surprised, though. From what I
remember, he was always fairly tough. Not one to be on the
receiving end of this sort of treatment.
[They begin leaving.]
WEATHERBEE: Whatever we do, let's be careful. Don't want any
superheroes or occultists cutting in.
FLUTESNOOT: I think you take that stuff too seriously. Ever
since the Code passed in '54, the only supers we've had
around have been faculty. They don't stick their noses in.
WEATHERBEE: You're forgetting that Satanic English teacher,
Flutesnoot. And what about Captain Hero? He never gave up.
He's nuts...and he scares me.
[As they finish this last speech, they're walking past
Jughead Jones, who's nonchalantly leaning against a wall and
eating a hamburger.]
[Cut to: Riverdale exterior, night. A shadowy figure with a
hat cut like a crown approaches the front of the school,
clutching an "E" cut from cloth with a streak of dust across
the front. He scales the gate and enters the locker room.
He comes up to a seemingly-innocuous locker, fiddles with it,
and gets it open. There, inside, is the costume of
Evilheart, minus the "E."]
[Cut to: Andrews residence, interior. Archie Andrews is
cautiously entering, because he's noticed someone is in the
house. He opens the door to find Captain Hero, with a ten-
course banquet laid out on the table. Captain Hero now wears
a full face mask, by the way, but there's a section that
removes for easy face stuffing.]
HERO: Hello, Archie. Got hungry and helped myself to a meal.
Hope you don't mind.
ARCHIE: Captain Hero? No, I don't mind. Um, where have you
been? How have you been keeping?
HERO: Out of detention, so far. Take a look at this.
[Throws the "E" on the table. Archie picks it up.]
ARCHIE: What is this? Is this...dirt?
HERO: From someone with more dirt than you imagine. Belonged
to Evilheart. Dust came from his exit. He's gone from
ARCHIE: Gone? What, the Evilheart? The Great?
HERO: Investigating routine truancy. Student leaving school
in shame after hazing. Opened locker of student Reggie
Mantle. Found Evilheart costume.
ARCHIE: Um, why don't we go through my secret headquarters?
I don't want my parents hearing this. It's been a while
since I cleaned up in here...
HERO: Like your bedroom. Or you. Hasn't seen use in long
ARCHIE: Yes, well, since the Comics Code put us out of
business I haven't done much down here. Listen, who'd have
the guts to pick on Evilheart?
HERO: No one normal. Everyone afraid of him.
ARCHIE: I don't know. After he became a hall monitor, he got
a reputation as the worst snitch in school. Maybe it was
HERO: Maybe. Or maybe someone doesn't like magic
superheroes. Tell me, how's Lodge doing these days?
ARCHIE: Wait a second, Hero. I don't know what you're
HERO: Evilheart implicated in nervous breakdown that sent
Lodge to sanitarium. Wealthy industrialist makes powerful
ARCHIE: You'd better not disturb him. He's not doing very
well right now.
HERO: No intention. Just a theory. Thought I'd let you know
someone was out to get magic superheroes. Better go.
ARCHIE: Uh, right. Look, you should come over more often.
What ever happened to the good old days?
HERO: Some of us grew up.
[Captain Hero leaves, as Archie sits and contemplates the
"E." On the wall behind him we see the costume of Pureheart
[Cut to: Captain Hero sitting near the Chock'lit Shop,
writing in his journal.]
CAPTION: CAPTAIN HERO'S JOURNAL, OCTOBER 13TH, 1985.
Interrogation of students in shop unfruitful. Once, could
command terror with simple mention of magic beanie.
Riverdale has fallen far. Scum in every malt shop, sipping
on chocolate shakes like leeches sucking the last drop of
decency from Riverdale's soul. Feel unclean; must have a
meal, then go visit someone of higher quality.
[Exterior, Lodge mansion.]
VERONICA: Evilheart gone from Riverdale? But why?
[Cut to: Interior of mansion. Veronica is in an immaculate
suit, and Captain Hero is sitting on her desk.]
HERO: Always were Riverdale's richest girl, Lodge. You try
buying the answer, then tell me.
VERONICA: I'm no one special, Captain Hero. I just happened
to inherit a fortune, that's all. Could it have been an
intramural hazing...Morse Science, perhaps?
HERO: Don't buy it. Like told Andrews...no one ordinary
could pick on an occult super hero.
VERONICA: You never know. Everyone hated him...the math
club, the football team, the cheerleaders. He was the
biggest bully in Riverdale.
HERO: He was always a loyal student. Sold band candy and
recited Pledge every morning. Never bought vast wardrobes
and left 'friends' out. Never lived high on hog from fortune
inherited from father. If that makes him a bully, you might
as well call me a bully, too.
[Veronica looks thoughtful, but says nothing.]
VERONICA: Hero, I know we never quite got along, but you're
being unfair. Daddy's breakdown came years before the Comics
HERO: Convenient timing. Came to warn you, make sure you
didn't wind up richest girl in detention. Suppose there are
worse ways of avoiding trouble, though. Adios. [Exits.]
[2/3 page panel of Veronica looking out at Riverdale. On her
desk are several hundred credit cards, and a newspaper with a
headline: "Homecoming Looks Bleak Experts Warn."]
[Cut to: A sign, reading: "Riverdale Institute for Very
Advanced Science." Captain Hero is entering
CAPTION: CAPTAIN HERO'S JOURNAL, OCTOBER 13TH, 1985. Meeting
with Lodge left bad taste not even five Big Macs could erase.
Never worked a day in her life. Doesn't understand needs of
working students. Possibly a tease? Must investigate
CAPTION: Why so many of us gone? Sabrina gained 50 pounds
and dropped out, works as bloated secretary in California
now. Private Strong, AWOL in 1970's. The Fly, the Comet,
Jaguar, Black Hood...all gone now. Only two others left.
Both pull long nights at VAS Institute.
[Cut to: Hero entering VAS HQ. Strange glow from within.]
DILTON: Hello, Captain Hero.
[2/3 page shot of Dilton, glowing green, dressed only in
glasses and red boxer shorts with E=MC2 logos on them. 30
feet tall. Betty sits below.]
CAPTAIN HERO: Good evening, Giant Science Guy.
BETTY: Last I heard you were up for permanent detention if
you ever showed your beanie in Riverdale High again, Hero.
What are you doing here?
HERO: Evening, Super Teen.
BETTY: Don't call me that! That was only some stupid
identity I dreamed up as a girl. You didn't answer me.
HERO: Apologies. Came to tell you bad news. Evilheart is
DILTON: As the sole remaining super hall monitors, we were
both informed at once. I understand the school blames
HERO: Doubt it. Don't think you're too worried.
DILTON: Weird science does not distinguish between student
and non-student, Hero. Why should I concern myself?
BETTY: I'm glad, frankly. Mantle was a jerk. Y'know he
almost got Sabrina expelled for that swimsuit calendar thing?
There's no excuse for that, Hero! Fake accusations aren't
something you can laugh off!
HERO: Wasn't laughing, Miss Cooper. Came to discuss theory
about magic hunter.
DILTON: Don't upset Betty. I'll have to do something if you
HERO: Not here to listen to threats. I believe you and your
squeeze are at risk.
[Betty looks annoyed at the term "squeeze." She gestures to
Dilton, who produces from his boxers a device labelled
"Captain Hero Teleporter" and points it at Hero, who
DILTON: Are you all right, Betty?
BETTY: Yeah, I'm okay. Hero's perpetual hamburger breath
drives me nuts, though. Look, I've gotta get outta here
tonight. Maybe I'll call up Archie...haven't seen him in a
while. If you don't mind.
DILTON: Go ahead. The oscillation overthruster is almost
finished, and my studies of the seventh dimension could be
perfected soon, with luck.
BETTY: Great. [Picks up phone.] Hi, Archie? It's Betty.
Betty Cooper. I'm fine. Look, how about we hit the
Chock'lit Shop tonight? Okay, seven is fine. Yeah, Dilton's
[Cut to: The Chock'lit Shop, interior. Archie and Betty are
finishing off sundaes.]
ARCHIE: Well, we'd better get going if we want to get back
BETTY: Oh, it's not a big deal. Dilton loses track of the
time a lot, anyway.
ARCHIE: Yeah...how's it working out, anyway? [Uncomfortable.]
BETTY: Oh, okay. He's into really bizarro science now,
though. Something about other dimensions. I have to get out
sometimes, y'know? Something more productive than
cheerleading or crimefighting? Gad, that costume was absurd.
Was I ever that young?
ARCHIE: Why did we ever do that, anyway? Probably just as
well that the Code abolished us. [Pulls out "E" and begins
toying with it.]
BETTY: Yeah, maybe.
ARCHIE: Hey, I heard a joke. Knock, knock.
BETTY: Who's there?
BETTY: Moose who?
ARCHIE: Okay, you're on jury duty.
BETTY: That's awful. [But begins laughing in spite of
herself. Archie joins in. After it dies down:] You know,
you're awfully cheerful tonight.
ARCHIE: What do you expect?
[Pan up to overhead shot of Riverdale, paralleling first
ARCHIE: Evilheart is gone.
[The text page is excerpted from _Forty Years at the Same
@!#?@! High School_, by Archie Andrews, reprinted with
permission of the author.]
My English teacher always said that the best way to tell
a story was, "Begin at the beginning. Keep going until you
reach the end. Then stop." It was only several years later
that I learned she swiped that from Lewis Carroll. By then,
my attitude towards Riverdale High School had changed
dramatically, and that bit of mini-plagiarism seemed
But it's about time I took her advice, since I'm trying
to tell my story. I can skip over all the years I spent in
Riverdale before I changed, because that's not really part of
the story. All the articles about Giant Science Guy explain
the time warp Riverdale was stuck in, and why we didn't
notice it, so I won't bore you by repeating it.
I remember the day Sabrina came to Riverdale. You
remember the strangest things when you're reminiscing, and I
remember that it was a sunny day in September, with the smell
of apple pie in the air and the first new-fallen leaves still
crisp underfoot. That's not a great feat of memory, though,
because every September was like that in Riverdale. I spent
my trip to the high school trying to remember what year I was
in...and then I noticed the new girl.
The modern reader may not understand what it was like
before the spells began flying fast and furious around our
little suburban town. All I knew was that she seemed
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