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The Last Son of Krypton (Season One)

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As I’m sort of stuck in the development of my Episode II rewrite at the moment, I felt it’d be good for me to take a break and focus on writing something else I’d been wanting to write for some time now: a screenplay for my own Superman movie.

Suffice it 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; pretty much everything made until recently has been based off of the lousy Silver/Bronze Age Superman – a version of the character I have absolutely no love for. I suppose that’s come to an end with the Man of Steel movie, but I have no interest in Zach Synder’s ultraviolent, angsty caricature of the character. So, in lieu of Hollywood taking its head out of its ass, I’m going to create the Superman I want to see myself.

While my version of Superman is largely inspired by the early post-Crisis Superman of the '80s and '90s, I have also incorporated some ideas and concepts from Superman: The Animated Series, Smallville, the Golden Age Superman stories, and – to a smaller degree – the Donner/Lester films, the Silver/Bronze Age stories, and Superman: Birthright.

Like pretty much every other screenplay I’ve worked on, this is a work in progress; the following post is literally going to consist of everything I’ve written thus far.

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THE LAST SON OF KRYPTON

“THE LAST SON”

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

Far above the surface, we find a PRISM-BIRD in flight. True to its name, the plumage of the extraterrestrial avian shimmers with iridescence as dim sunlight plays over the feathers. We stay with the prism-bird as it travels 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.

INT. GENESIS CHAMBER — DAY

The genesis chamber is immense. All sense of its height and depth lost in its vastness, a control hub rises through the centre of this vastness, systems monitored/maintained by semi-humanoid automatons. The walls, subdivided into tiers, house thousands of large ovoid crystal pods — birthing matrices.

The matrices are in the process of being removed. Extracted from their creches, the black orbs are carried off by automatons, supported on fields of antigravity.

A violent tremor reverberates through the building, 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 automatons at computer stations.

EXT. LAUNCH COMPLEX/LAUNCH PAD — DAY

The birthing matrices, now affixed to hexagramal bases of solid chrome, have been brought here. At roughly 67 km2, the launch pad has enough surface area to hold all 144,000 of them.

The pods surround the Codex. Resembling a stylized rocket, its top section is a prolate spheroid of white crystal three times the size of a birthing matrix. This is 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 birthing 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 birthing matrices set upon their voyage. Hyper-light drives engaging, they jump to hyperspace; they will reach their destination inside thirty-three years.

FADE OUT

BEGIN OPENING CREDITS

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END OPENING CREDITS

FADE IN

On 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. ANTARCTICA — DAY

Thousands of miles from Smallville, Kansas, USA, we find ourselves deep in the heart of the Antarctic continent itself. Long into its summer, the sky is a clear blue, though the yellow sun brings no warmth to this frozen wasteland.

With a burst of brilliant energy, the Codex strikes, punching straight through the snow, through the ice, and disappears.

Within minutes the ground begins trembling — slightly but palpably — and that trembling quickly evolves to rumbling. A great fissure opens in the ice with a tremendous crack, letting air into the underground depths for the first time in 15 million years.

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 starcraft.

JONATHAN

It looks like a … an artillery shell.

MARTHA

(incredulous) Artillery shell?

Stepping into the crater, Martha makes her way to the strange craft.

JONATHAN

Martha! Stay clear!

MARTHA

(peers into pod) But look, Jonathan! There’s something inside! Something alive!

Climbing down into the crater, Jonathan joins his wife by the vessel. 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 is a naked infant boy with swarthy skin and vibrant azure eyes.

MARTHA

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

Reaching into the pod, 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.

Divergent Universes
Dreams of a Randy Git-Fiend
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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 — BYRNE ELEMENTARY 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. BYRNE ELEMENTARY 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 — BYRNE ELEMENTARY 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. BYRNE ELEMENTARY 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.

Divergent Universes
Dreams of a Randy Git-Fiend
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DuracellEnergizer said:

Since reading Superman: Secret Identity, I’ve decided to depict Kryptonian abilities as mostly psionic in nature (heat vision as a form of pyrokinesis, x-ray vision and super hearing as forms of clairvoyance, etc.). To reflect this new direction, I’ve altered some of the descriptions of Clark & co’s powers.

I love Secret Identity!

Also, I guess it’s too late at this point to hope for a Legion appearance 😉. In seriousness, keep up the good work!

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