we hear the echoing, mechanical voice of DOOMBRINGER:
This world is ours.
EXT. EARTH ORBIT - DAY
We see the satellite headquarters of the JUSTICE LEGION – a huge, impossible golden sphere hanging in the darkness above the blue curvature of the Earth – as it lurches, driven by a series of EXPLOSIONS across its surface.
Your proud heroes are utterly defeated, broken, or dead.
As we watch, it tumbles silently into the Earth’s atmosphere and begins to CATCH FIRE as it falls.
DOOMBRINGER (V/O, cont’d)
No one is coming to save you.
INT. RUINED OVAL OFFICE – DAY
We see DOOMBRINGER – an imposing Dr. Doom-esque figure in matte-black power armour and a red cloak – standing in the midst of the Oval Office, which looks to have been the scene of a terrible fight. There are several dead MARINES around the room, clearly terribly burned by DB’s energy blasts, and several bloodied and cowering GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS. A small CAMERA CREW stands in the foreground, filming DB as he speaks.
Your military has been punished for its insolence and brought
A quick flash of a VIDEO SCREEN that shows THE PENTAGON from above, a flaming inferno. The entire building is a blackened, ruined shell.
Back to DOOMBRINGER.
...while the Society’s armies seized control of your pathetic
A quick flash of a VIDEO SCREEN that shows TIME SQUARE in Manhattan. We can see units of Doombringer-esque humanoid ROBOTS swarming the streets, fighting their way through the NYPD. There are bodies everywhere, and we see several overturned police cars on fire. A towering, lizard-like humanoid, CARNOSAUR, holds a battle-axe over his head and ROARS IN TRIUMPH as the police fall back...
Back to DOOMBRINGER, but this time we quickly cut from the MEDIUM SHOT of the room that we started with to the VIDEO FEED from the camera crew filming him. The shot of Doombringer is VERY CLOSE, head-and-shoulders only, and menacing.
You have a choice. Kneel and live...
He lifts something up in his right hand so that we can see it – it is THE PRESIDENT’S HEAD!
...or resist and die .
He throws the severed head at the camera, and the VIDEO FEED goes to STATIC, before we
CUT TO BLACK.
EXT. GRAFFITI WALL – DAY
We see a makeshift memorial that has been set up on a heavily-graffitied wall in a poor
neighbourhood. People have set up posters, photographs and hand-drawn images of
SUPERHEROES. There are hand-drawn notes and cards everywhere that say things like LEST WE FORGET and THE WORLD STILL NEEDS HEROES. The base of the wall is surrounded by small tea-light candles and bundles of flowers.
A WOMAN in a jet-black costume with spiky green hair – ACID RAIN – sneers at the memorial and makes a contemptuous gesture. A SPLASH OF NOXIOUS LIQUID seems to materialize from the tips of her fingers and splatters over everything, melting the whole memorial into a blackened smear against the wall. We hear a HISS as it dissolves...
EXT. ROOFTOP / LOS ANGELES – NIGHT
We see a man standing looking out over the lights of the city. There are lights in the sky –
SOCIETY SECURITY PATROLS – not too far away. The man is wearing a long coat, but
underneath we can see he is wearing a RED AND BLUE COSTUME. He reaches into his pocket and lifts out a mask. He is about to put it on, when A WOMAN seizes him from behind, spinning him around. She is angry, crying, hysterical.
WOMAN (slapping at him)
I won’t let you do this! I won’t! Do you really want to have
another St. Louis on your conscience?! DO YOU?
QUICK CUT TO
EXT. ST. LOUIS SKYLINE – DAY
...as a NUCLEAR FIREBALL blooms over the city in a blinding flash. Everything drops into SLOW MOTION as the buildings begin to fly apart into debris.
NEWSCASTER (voice/over, emotional)
...number of casualties in the hundreds of thousands. The
Society issued a statement that... “Resistance will not be
tolerated. Any defiance will be repaid in kind...”
FADE TO BLACK.
INT. SAFEHOUSE – NIGHT
We see a small circle of EX-HEROES in what looks like an old fallout shelter or dirty basement room. At the center of the room is a very young man – SKYLARK, wearing street clothes except for a UTILITY BELT that is obvious under his coat.
We’re all that’s left. The ones the Society thought weren’t
dangerous enough to bother assassinating, putting in a prison
camp, or rolling over with an army.
As he speaks, the camera searches the faces of the other people in the room. There are men and women, young and old – at least one very old – of every ethnicity. They all look worried and skeptical of what this kid is trying to sell them.
We’re the sidekicks, the has-beens, the never-weres. Nobody
ever sold a t-shirt or an action figure with our faces on ‘em.
Most of us probably never got a medal from the president or a
power ring or a fancy headquarters. And the chances are, we
aren’t coming back if we die doing this.
He begins to draw something – a piece of cloth – from inside his coat.
But I know one thing. If we let this happen – if we let these
monsters win, we’re not worthy of calling ourselves “heroes”.
I’m not willing to let that happen. I’m going to fight, right down
to my last breath. Because that’s what a hero does.
The camera searches the faces of Skylark’s audience again. Still fear, but some fight now, too. There are murmurs of approval.
We have to be ghosts. Cut all ties with our family and friends,
with our lives... anything that could be used against us. They
have to think we’re dead. And we have to be ready to do
whatever we have to, make any sacrifice necessary to win
this fight. This is war.
Skylark unfurls a tattered flag from the American Revolution. It is a RATTLESNAKE with the
motto DON’T TREAD ON ME. CUT TO BLACK.