FADE IN:

INT. BEN’S ROOM – DAY

BEN, 24, a recent college graduate sits on a couch,
shoulders are covered with blanket. The room lights are off.
The curtains are drawn, closing off the morning light. Ben
has a Playstation 4 controller in hand as he stares at TV
screen,the glow on his face.

Ben’s PHONE vibrates.

Ben, while still holding the controller, answers the phone
and presses it between his ear and shoulder. He continues to
play his video game.

BEN
(dismissively)
Hey, Mom.

Ben waits a beat as his mother speaks to him, unheard to us.

BEN
(still playing)
Yea, Yea… the it’s later
today…I’m getting ready for it
right now… I’ll be back for
dinner.

Ben wait another beat.

BEN
(barely paying attention to
his mom)
No…no they got downgraded to a
‘B’. Not from there. I’ll pick food
up from somewhere else.

Another beat.

Ben stops playing to listen intently to his mother.

BEN
Yea, I know. I’ll have dinner here
before he gets home.

Ben massages his jaw.

BEN (CONT’D)
(sincerely)
I know I won’t like him when he’s
angry.

A longer beat.

BEN (CONT’D)
Thanks Mom. I hope I get it too.
Bye.

Ben hangs up and continues playing.

FADE TO:

COMICSVERSE GRAPHIC

CUT TO:

INT. BEN’S ROOM – DAY

The room is clearly belongs to a comic book fanboy or twelve
year old. Full of superhero items and a bit messy.

Framed images of comic book characters are mounted on the
walls. Comic book issues sit on the couch and table. The
blanket has been folded and placed on the couch. Two SHIRTS
hang from the door, one blue and the other red.

MONTAGE

– Image of Jean Grey

– Ben looking

– Image of Wolverine

– Ben mimicking Wolverine

– Image of Storm

– Ben reading a Batman comic

– Image of Gambit

– Back to Ben reading the Batman comic on couch

– Ben on his laptop looking at ComicsVerse articles

– Ben watching the Flash on his laptop

END OF MONTAGE

INT. BEN’S ROOM – DAY

Ben sits on his couch and reads the Flash. His alarm blares,
starling him.

Ben grabs a notepad and writes “Interview Pitches” on top.
He then proceeds to write down a few ideas and doodles.

Ben plays with a RED RING and a BLUE RING on his notepad as
he contemplates the pitches.

INT. BATHROOM – DAY

Ben attempts to fix his hair while looking in the mirror. He
tries again, using product. He feigns cutting his unruly
cowlick.

Ben looks into the mirror and presses a blue shirt against
himself. Next, he does the same with a red shirt.

INT. BEN’S ROOM – DAY

Ben is dressed for his interview, checks the contents of his
backpack, and leaves the room.

DISSOLVE TO:

INT. SUBWAY PLATFORM – DAY

DAVID, 20, sits down on a bench next to a seated Ben, who
has headphones on and waiting for the subway. David turns to
looks at Ben and caresses Ben’s shoulder with his palm. Ben
gets up, grabs his backpack and waits for the subway
standing. Ben takes out hand sanitizer and applies a bit to
his hands and rubs them.

INT. SUBWAY – DAY

Ben sits alone on in the subway.

EXT. STREET – DAY

Ben walks up the street towards the office and avoids a
collision with another pedestrian. He gets to the door and
presses a button on the panel. He is buzzed in.

INT. LOBBY – DAY

Ben looks for an elevator. He sees VEE waiting for the
elevator. They stare at each other for an uncomfortable
time. Ben is frozen. She gets into the elevator.

Ben quickly walks towards the stairs, flinging the door
open.

INT. FIRST FLOOR STAIRS – DAY

Ben quickly runs up the stairs.

DISSOLVE TO:

INT. FIFTH FLOOR STAIRS – DAY

Ben is out of breath and looks up at the next flight of
stairs. He sits down and gather himself.

Ben opens the door.

INT. HALLWAY – DAY

Ben arrives at the door and knocks. The door opens and walks
out ABE, 25, wearing a ComicsVerse T-shirt. Abe closes the
door behind him.

ABE
(smiling)
Hey, man! Are you here for the
interview?

BEN
(nodding)
Yes. I’m Benjamin..uh..Ben.

ABE
Ben. Cool. I’m Abe.

Abe salutes with two fingers to his temple.

ABE (CONT’D)
So, tell me. Why do you want to
intern here?

BEN
(taken aback)
oh! Um…

Ben looks to the ground for an answer.

BEN (CONT’D)
I love the comic, superhero world
and would love to write about them.
I really like what you guys do.
With the focus on culture and
social justice.

Abe listens intently as Ben speaks, arms folded, continuing
to smile.

ABE
Cool, cool. Yea, that’s why I love
this site too. What are you
interested in writing about?

BEN
(a bit more confident)
Batman and Flash have always been
my favorites. But I’m more of a
movie and TV person. I grew up on
Batman the animated series. So…

ABE
(interrupting)
I haven’t watched that new Flash
show, but I heard it’s awesome.
Batman’s great! I watched that show
too! Would you write about for your
first article? I mean, if we hired
you. What would you write first?

BEN
(excited)
I have this idea for an article
about the show Gotham. The show
about young Batman, the city, Jim
Gordon. So you know how the Joker
doesn’t really have an origin story
in the comics?

Ben pauses. Abe nods.

BEN(CONT’D)
Well Gotham tries to give him one
with a character named Jerome. It’s
pretty interesting and they do the
whole faceless thing from the
comics…but anyway, I want to link
that to an idea about whether or
not we need backstories for
characters and people. Like, would
someone be more interesting if you
didn’t know their past.

ABE
Wow! I like it.

The apartment door opens. Jason, 28, Chinese, stands in the
doorway. Abe turns toward Jason. Ben looks towards both.

JASON
(unamused)
What’s up?

ABE
(pointing)
That’s the dude for the interview.

Abe gives jace a thumbs down, out of Ben’s view.

JASON
(to Ben)
You’re the one o’clock?

Abe turns to look at Ben.

Ben pauses. He stares at Jason, then to Abe. Back to Jason.

BEN
(confused)
Yes?

Jason looks down at his watch.

JASON
Well, you’re late.

BEN
(still ocnfused)
Uhhh…

Abe turns back to Jason.

ABE
(to Jason)
Hey!

Ben relaxes.

ABE (CONT’D)
I’ve got a great idea for this
week’s article. The Joker! He’s
never really had a backstory. So I
want to talk about the importance
of a character’s backstory and
whether they really need one!

Behind Abe, Ben is shocked and speechless.

Jason takes a beat to let the pitch sink in.

JASON
(to Abe)
I like it. Run it by an editor.

Jason motions for Abe to go back into the apartment. Abe
moves past Jason inside.

Jason points at Ben.

JASON
(to Ben)
Hey…

BEN
Ben.

JASON
Ben. Listen, I’m kinda short on
time now. Actually figured the
interview would be wrapping up by
now. I have you resume and cover
letter and application. How about
you pitch me something really
quick. It’ll give me a better idea
of who you are.

Ben looks to the ground, searching for a new pitch. He looks
back up at Jason and stares for a couple of seconds.

BEN
Superman!

A beat. Jason waits for Ben to continue.

BEN (CONT’D)
Yea. I’d love to write about New
Superman. The new Chinese one. And
how it’s important to have Asian
characters in the comic book
universe and…

JASON
Did you just come up with that
because I’m Asian?

An awkward silence between the two. A beat.

Jason moves back and slowly closes the door.

Ben stares at the door for a moment. He walks towards the
elevator. Once in front of the elevator, he moves to press a
button with the finger donning the blue ring. He stops and
goes back to the apartment door. He knocks.

Jason opens the door.

JASON
(confused)
Hey?

BEN
(confident)
Hope.

Ben raises the ring to show Jason.

BEN (CONT’D)
I want to write about hope. Its
what comics does for me. They give
me hope.

JASON
(smiling)
Okay Ben. Come in and tell me more.

FADE TO BLACK:

CREDITS

ComicsVerse Graphic.

 

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