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The Return Of The Black Mask
by Roman Monroe

Rated: R   Genre: Organized Crime   User Review: ****
A short story following the exploits of obscure Batman rogue, the Black Mask, over the course of one night. This screenplay was written to hone my skills and flesh out plot elements and ideas from my upcoming original work.

Copyright DC Comics, A division of Warner Bros.-A Time Warner Entertainment Company. Batman created by Bob Kane. The Black Mask created by Doug Moench. All new aspects of this screenplay are copyrighted to their author. All rights reserved. This screenplay may not be used or reproduced without the express written permission of the author. All other parts belong strictly to DC Comics and it's affiliates.

It's already well past noon, and the Sun still hasn't made
an appearance. Gotham's citizens are left with a ominous
grey sky that seems to already know what the remainder of
the day has in store.
A BLACK VAN rolls down the Gotham ghetto and parks in front
of the only presentable residence on the block. Out of the
van emerges the wheelman. A man ostensibly from a 1940's
gangster movie:
THE BLACK MASK, late 30's, wears nothing physical on his
face. His mask is a colossal scar fused onto his visage
from a past clash with the Batman. His face is his mask,
and his mask is his face.
The disfigured gangster saunters up to the front door of the
ghetto's only personable home and KNOCKS.
AXL BENNET, 30's, answers the front door, and smiles at the
sight of his former boss. Axl wears a scar from a
blade-wielder's fury across his nose - this is his mask.
Come in, come in, come in. I was
hoping you'd get here earlier.
The two old accomplices embrace each other with a familiar
handshake and a pat on the back.
                       BLACK MASK
I just got in. I wanted to drive
around a bit and have a look at
the city. Seems like it's been a
hundred years.
They advance into the residence.
Yeah, yeah. . . Hey, have a seat,
man. You hungry? I got some
stuff in the fridge, and --
                       BLACK MASK
-- No, no thanks.


The Black Mask takes a seat on Axl's gaudy furniture. Axl
moves to the kitchen and opens the refrigerator.
You sure? I got some beer, you
want some beer?
                       BLACK MASK
No. I just want to get to it.
The Black Mask shakes his head: “No.” Axl grabs a beer for
himself and pops it open.
Alright then, alright. I'm glad
to hear Metropolis hasn't changed
Axl moves into the living room and finds a seat on his
recliner; The Black Mask adjusts his fedora.
                       BLACK MASK
That city's underworld is like
Gotham's in slow motion. It was
the perfect place for me to lay
What the hell are talking about?
It's like one of the biggest
cities in the world.
                       BLACK MASK
Hide in plain sight.
Axl sets his beer on the coffee table in front of him, pulls
out a cigarette, and lights up.
I guess. . .
Axl motions, offering his guest a cigarette. They Smoke.


                       AXL (cont'd)
Anyway, let's get down to
business. I told you about my
coke, right?
                       BLACK MASK
Thorne grows it in Columbia and
gives it to you and some of the
boys to sell?
No, no, no. You're thinking about
the weed, and it's not him that
grows it. The cocaine that he
gets is from some Columbians
named. . . Ramirez or Rodriguez or
some shit. They're a big time
coke dealing set-up over there,
and they give Rupert tons of uncut
shit in exchange for American
citizenships and heavy artillery
and all kinds of other little
things that you can get here, but
not over there. Then, when Thorne
gets the coke, he passes it over
to me, and I spread it around the
city, and we make some crazy bank
off it, man.
                       BLACK MASK
And how long have you been working
for Rupert Thorne?
Oh, I started just a couple months
after you had it out with Catwoman
and jumped to Metropolis.
                       BLACK MASK
Yeah, yeah. Nicky was already
running numbers with him at that
point, so he got me a job easy.
But it's only been like a little
over six months that he's been
getting into the drug game.
                       BLACK MASK
So, what's going down tonight?


Well, a couple of Columbians are
bringing in a --
                       BLACK MASK
-- How many Columbians?
I think three. . . no more than
three. Anyway, they're bringing
Rupert a new shipment. Rupert
asked me to come with him like he
always does, and we're all going
to meet at this little old
warehouse that Thorne plans to
turn into a Meth lab.
The Black Mask lurches forward in surprise.
                       BLACK MASK
A Meth lab?!
Yeah, I told you man. He's gotten
real into pushin' weight. And
based off the money he's made from
the weed and coke already, I'm
surprised he doesn't have Meth
labs set up all around Gotham.
                       BLACK MASK
Damn. I suppose.
So, yeah, we're supposed to meet
up in the warehouse, pick up the
cocaine, and hang around and play
The Black Mask looks at Axl in bewilderment. Through the
hideous scarring on the Black Mask's face, Axl can see an
expression that seems to shout, “What the fuck?”
I know. Thorne and his Columbian
buddies love to gamble, man. Since
we've been working with them
Rupert has become real good
friends with them, and they're
even supposed to go to Vegas
together sometime soon.


                       BLACK MASK
Okay. . . so, the plan is to stick
'em up while they're playing
Axl blows a ring of smoke onto the air.
Exactly. I'll have a piece,
you'll have a piece; and I know
Thorne always keeps something
small on him, and I assume the
Columbians do, too. At least one
of them. But, the thing is, they
won't be armed to the teeth, since
they're all butt buddies with
Thorne now and all.
                       BLACK MASK
Right. Let's see what kind of
pieces we got, then.
Axl finishes his beer.
Alright. Follow me.
The Black Mask follows Axl toward a room at the very end of
the hallway.
Axl leads the Black Mask to a silk-sheet adorned bed with
three large attaché cases on it. Axl opens attaché case
number one:
Now, in here, we've got a bunch of
Berettas fitted with
brand-spankin'-new silencers. I'm
going to wear one on my belt when
we go in, and I suggest you do the
The Black Mask reaches for a Beretta and examines it,
                       BLACK MASK
Yeah. . . did you get my Tommy?


Axl rolls his eyes in mock irritation.
Yeah, I got your damn Tommy.
Axl pops open case number two, which contains a gorgeous
Tommy gun.
                       AXL (cont'd)
I don't know why the hell you
insist on using that damn thing,
when an AK-47 would be so much
more effective. And a hell of a
lot cooler, for that matter.
The Black Mask picks up the Tommy gun like it's a newborn
baby. He runs his fingers and eyes over the firearm. A
modest smile manages to creep across his lips.
                       BLACK MASK
I'm more comfortable with this.
Yeah, well, it was a pain in the
ass to find. And embarrassing.
It's like going to the office
superstore to get a new
typewriter. I couldn't get a
silencer for it, so it makes all
the trouble I went through to get
the Beretta ones worthless.
                       BLACK MASK
It was no trouble.
Well, if it wasn't trouble, then
it was a waste of money.
                       BLACK MASK
      (referring to the
       next case)
Just show me number three.
The Black Mask returns the Tommy gun to its attaché case.
Oh, yeah. . . check this out. This
is the one I really wanted you to


Axl pops open attaché case number three. The two veteran
criminals stare at its contents with eyes as wide as
                       BLACK MASK
And you're complaining about
wasting money.
Axl CHUCKLES at the Black Mask's remark. Inside suitcase
number three are tightly packed piles of various dollar
bills filling it to the brim.
Once we off that son-of-a-bitch
Thorne, this will all be ours. If
there's one thing that arrogant
bastard is good at it's moving
drugs through Gotham's underworld
smoothly. As long as we've been
doing this we've had not one
run-in with the Bat. And that's
saying something. But his empire
is ripe for the taking, and it's
the False Face Society's turn to
rule Gotham.
The Black Mask squeezes his gloved hands into fists,
prompting an audible STRAIN to emit from the black leather.
                       BLACK MASK
Amen. We'll put that fat sack o'
shit in his place tonight.
Fuckin'-A, we will. Alright. I
got the cases. You ready to go or
                       BLACK MASK
Let’s ride.
The Black Mask and Axl Bennet exit the home and march toward
the black van. They both wear silenced Berettas on their
hips, hidden beneath trench coats.
Axl opens the van's sliding door and loads in the cases with
the Tommy gun and the extra Berettas. The Black Mask hops
in the driver's seat.


Did you bring masks?
As Axl says this he notices a box of masks on the floor of
the van, and answers his own question.
                       AXL (cont'd)
Oh, here they go. Cool.
Axl hops in the passenger's seat and the two drive off.
Down the road a stretch.
                       BLACK MASK
So, he's really that bad?
Hell yeah. Thorne's just a
straight-up asshole. You can't do
anything right when you're working
for that guy. It's like I told
you, he's a two-faced prick. The
only reason any of us put up with
his ass is because the money is
too good to pass up.
                       BLACK MASK
Everybody will be willing to get
on board with us, right?
Well, I don't know about that.
There are a few guys who kiss his
ass a lot that we might have to
deal with. But I know for sure
that most of the boys will be
down. Serious as a heart attack.
                       BLACK MASK
Okay, we can handle that.
      (referring to the
Is it a right here?
No, no, it's down the road a
little more, I'll tell you when.
Hey, you want to hear a joke me


                       AXL (cont'd)
and the boys tell about Rupert
The Black Mask gives Axl a slight nod.
                       AXL (cont'd)
Alright, this is one Big T told
me. What's the difference between
Rupert Thorne and a bucket of
The bucket!
Axl LAUGHS; The Black Mask almost smirks.
Okay, here we go, make the right
The Black Mask takes note of his henchman's statement and
pulls the van up to:
A run-down billards club and bar.
It's closed today. Most of the
guys should be hanging out inside,
playing pool or whatever.
They both exit the car. They walk up to the front door and
Someone inside walks up to answer the door. This is one of
Rupert Thorne's henchmen, NICKY, late 20's.
Hey, Axl, where the hell you been?
      (referring to the
       Black Mask)
Who's this? He new?
Nah, just hold on.
Nicky looks around confused. The Black Mask says nothing
and doesn't even acknowledge Nicky as he enters the pool
hall behind Axl.


Alright. . .
(speaking to the room)
Hey, Axl's here!
Hey! Axl! Where you been? Have a
seat! What's up?
Besides the Black Mask, Axl, and Nick, there are four other
men in the room. They are all Rupert Thorne's henchmen.
Two are playing pool against each other, and the other two
are waiting to play the winner/eating/drinking. The men
playing pool are: BIG T, late 30's, and WARREN, 30's. The
men who are not are: MARK, 20's, and AARON, 20's.
When they all see the Black Mask, the room falls into a dead
                       BIG T
What's this?
This what we've all been waiting
for, Big T.
What are you talking about?
(referring to the Black Mask)
Who's he?
This is my old boss who's been out
of town for too long. He's back
now, and thank God, because
tonight I'm done working for
Rupert Fucking Thorne. With the
Black Mask at the controls, we're
ending Thorne's shit tonight when
he meets the Spics.
Have you lost your goddamned mind?
Get the fuck out of here with
that takeover bullshit.


Big T and Mark look noticeably intrigued by Axl's
proclamation of a takeover, Aaron looks somewhat frightened,
and Nicky is completely shocked. With Warren's last
outburst, the Black Mask has moved his hand to his hip. . .
What’s wrong with you, Warren? You
hate Thorne just like the rest of
So what? I mean where’s this
coming from? I can’t believe what
I’m hearing from you. We’re
talking about Rupert Thorne here,
not some fucking street thug. This
takeover bullshit is exactly that:
How about the rest of you? T?
Mark? Nick? Aaron?
                       BIG T
Oh, you know I’m down.
Me, too. This feels like fuckin’
                       BIG T
Hell yeah.
What?! You don’t just take over
Rupert Thorne whenever you feel
like it. You’re all retarded. You
assholes go ahead and get
yourselves killed tonight, I’ll
have no part in this shit.
Without missing a beat, the Black Mask relinquishes his
Beretta from it’s holster and sends a silent slug between
Warren’s eyes.


Oh shit! Fuck! Aww man! Ahh!
The Black Mask speaks to the henchmen for the first time:
                       BLACK MASK
Everybody be cool. Calm the fuck
down. Now:
(to Big T and Mark)
You guys are in.
(referring to Warren’s corpse)
Get something to wrap him up in.
They nod and do so.
                       BLACK MASK (cont'd.)
      (to Nicky and
Now, I know I didn’t hear from you
two. In or out?
                       BLACK MASK
In or out?!
                       BLACK MASK
      (to Aaron)
And you?!
Aaron stands in shock of his dead comrade as Big T and Mark
return with a black table cloth and begin to wrap Warren up
in it.

Fuck you!


Aaron whips out a hand cannon and points it directly at the
Black Mask. The two men are now in a deadly standoff, and
the four other men in the room EXPLODE.
Put that away! What the hell are
you thinking! Come on, now!
After the initial explosion, the room quiets a little, as
tension and intensity fill the air.
                       BLACK MASK
      (to Aaron)
You sure about that one?
Bastard. You killed him, you
piece of shit.
The Black Mask never takes his eyes off Aaron. He lets his
gaze burn a hole in him.
                       BLACK MASK
      (to Big T and Mark)
Finish wrapping him up!
(to Axl)
Go get the box in the van!
The three henchmen do as they’re told. Nicky watches from a
distance, still in shock. The two gunmen continue to stare
each other down. The Black Mask’s gaze is obviously more
piercing than Aaron‘s.
                       BLACK MASK
That’s about enough.
BLAM! The Black Mask pulls the trigger, burying a beauty of
a shot deep inside Aaron’s right shoulder. Aaron drops his
cannon and goes down like dominos from the pain. He SCREAMS
in agony.

The Black Mask walks over and plants a thunderous right hook
on Aaron’s jaw. Axl rushes back in with the box of masks
from the van.


                       BLACK MASK
      (to Axl)
Help me get him up!
Axl drops the box and does so. Nicky, Big T, and Mark stand
back and watch. Axl and the Black Mask move Aaron to the
pool table. Aaron continues to SCREAM.

The Black Mask SLAMS his head viciously on the table, and
bends him over it.
                       BLACK MASK
      (to Aaron)
Shut the fuck up!
The Black Mask spreads Aaron’s left hand down on the pool
table. Axl keeps control of Aaron’s right, wounded arm. The
other three henchmen look on in horror and amazement, both
terrified and impressed.

In one swift, shocking movement, the Black Mask whips a
switch-blade out of his pocket and plants it through the
center of Aaron’s waiting left hand, leaving it stuck in the
pool table.

Everyone in the room, except the Black Mask, REACTS. No one
can believe their eyes. TOTAL SHOCK. Axl lets go of
Aaron’s arm and steps back with the other henchmen.

The Black Mask punches Aaron again for good measure, then
yanks down his pants and boxers.
No! Don’t! Come on! Please!
                       BLACK MASK
Say goodnight, motherfucker.
No one can take their eyes off the disgusting scene in front
of them.

The Black Mask takes his silenced Beretta and slowly, but
forcefully, inserts it’s wide end deep into Aaron’s anus.


No one makes a sound except for Aaron.

The Black Mask pulls the trigger and fires a bullet straight
through Aaron's insides, from the inside, killing him

The Black Mask turns away from Aaron’s carcass to address
his stunned men.
                       BLACK MASK
      (calm and
Get something to wrap him up in.
The Black Mask’s three new henchmen stand in a horizontal
line like soldiers, all wearing masks from the box. Big T
wears a Jason/Hockey Goalie mask, Mark wears a Ski Mask, and
Nicky wears a folded bandana over his face.

The Black Mask stands in front of the three, barking like a
General commanding his squadron. Axl stands off to the side
as the Black Mask’s new Lieutenant. They both wear their
facial scars as masks.
                       BLACK MASK
      (pacing back and
. . . These masks will destroy who
you are. They will destroy who
you are now, and rebuild you into
a superior being. You’re very
nature will be altered, and your
true identity will rise to the
surface. When you are in my
presence you always wear these
masks. These masks are your true
faces. Rupert Thorne has no true
face. He is a two-faced con who
deserves none of what he has, and
all of what we‘re going to give
him. So, tonight we take what is
ours. Tonight we take Gotham
City. And, tonight the FALSE FACE
SOCIETY rises again!


                       BLACK MASK (cont'd)
The FALSE FACE SOCIETY'S black van sits one block from
Rupert Thorne’s warehouse.

The street is dark, quiet, and the False Face Society is
poised to fulfill the promise of mayhem made to Gotham City
by the grey skies this afternoon.
The False Face Society are having a conference in their van.
Two wrapped up bodies help keep them company in the back
. . . Okay, so I’ll walk from
here. You guys sit tight and wait
for Rupert and the Columbians to
get there. After they do, wait
about fifteen minutes. That
should be enough time to get all
the hello’s and shit out of the
way. Then they’ll be settled in,
and they’ll be all laid back, not
expecting shit. Park the van
outside the warehouse and creep
around back. I’ll make sure the
rear entrance is open--
                       BLACK MASK
--And, when I say, we’ll bust in
and hold ‘em up. Axl when we
enter pull your Beretta on Thorne,
the rest of you pick a Columbian
and keep your Beretta on him. I’ll
control the room with my Tommy. If
anyone of those bastards even
thinks about reaching for a
weapon, fill ‘em up with lead.
We’re going to kill ‘em all,
That’s the plan.


                       BIG T
Sounds good to me.
                       NICKY & MARK
Here we go boys. Rock N’ Roll.
Axl exit’s the van and walks down the street to the
warehouse. The False Face Society watches, eyes wide,
blood pumping, awaiting showtime.



The False Face Society still waiting in the van.
                       BLACK MASK
Okay, it’s about that time.
It’s time?
                       BIG T
                       BLACK MASK
Let’s move.
The False Face Society pulls up to the warehouse and parks
their black van in the nearest assemblage of shadows. Slowly
and quietly, the False Face Society creep around back, as
the night air seems to inexplicably turn grim.
The warehouse looks bigger on the inside than you’d think
it’d be from seeing it on the outside. The perimeter of the
room is surrounded by massive shadows. It is also very old
and three stories tall, with menacing rafters up above.

Down below, RUPERT THORNE, 60’s, MARCIANO VALDEZ, 60’s,


PASQUAL IBANEZ, late 40’s, and SAUL BARRON, late 30’s, sit
around a card table, laughing and gambling in their
expensive suits. Chomping on cigars in their overfed
mouths, the four gangsters almost seem to be covered with a
thin layer of grease.

Axl Bennet walks up to the table and rejoins the game.
Axl! Where’d you go off to, son?
. . . I had to piss.
Well, while you were busy with
your dick in your hand, I just
made a stack of green courtesy of
Marcy's shitty poker skills.
      (thick accent)
Oh yeah, you shit talker? Well
deal it again, I want to win my
fuckin’ money back.
Everyone at the table laughs until. . . CRASH! A window
SHATTERS in an unknown location. The gangsters look up in
Fuck was that?
What was that?
Saul! Pasqual!
Marciano orders his men to check out the eerie window in
Axl, go with them.


Axl rises from his seat and takes a step forward, but has no
intentions of following the Columbians. His orders were to
keep his gun on Thorne.

The Columbians advance to the general area of the noise only
a few paces before. . . The lights SHUT OFF. But, only for
half a second, as they quickly struggle to flicker back on.

All the men in the warehouse are now standing and mumbling
incoherently to each other in two different languages.
They’re all startled and confused, but no man more so than
Axl. This was not in the plans.

Marciano’s men draw their twin glock .40‘s. Seeing this,
Axl pulls out his Beretta and stays close to Thorne.

The men in the room begin to sweat as SOFT BILLOWING SOUNDS
sweep the room. Beads of sweat begin to form on AXL’s brow
as well, as everyone reacts to the EXOTIC HUMS brushing
through the room. A look of, “Oh shit, what the fuck”
overtakes everyone’s face.


The rear entrance door BURSTS open. The door is REDUCED TO
SPLINTERS as the False Face Society takes control of the
                       BLACK MASK
Nobody fuckin’ move!
The gangsters are shocked, momentarily frozen in their
stances as masked psychos point guns at them.

Nicky holds his silenced Beretta on Saul as Saul points his
glock at Nicky. Big T holds up Pasqual and vice versa. Mark
aims at Marciano, as the Columbian drug lord throws his
hands in the air. Axl spins around and presses his weapon
to Rupert Thorne’s temple.

The Black Mask simply runs around the room, waving his Tommy
Gun in everybody’s face, and screaming like a maniac at the
top of his lungs.

A cacophony of shouting and cursing fills the room, as
everyone urges their dueling partner to drop their weapon
What the fuck is this?!


                       BLACK MASK
Shut the fuck up, fat man! The
False Face Society is running
shit, now!
Oh, Jesus Christ, I can‘t fucking
believe this!
                       BLACK MASK
I said shut the fuc--
Before the Black Mask can finish, the LIGHT’S FLICKER once
more. Everybody uses one eye to examine the warehouse, and
one eye to watch whoever’s pointing a gun at them.
What’s going on?
                       BLACK MASK
      (to MARCIANO,
Shut up.
Eyes frantically examine every inch of the warehouse.
                       BIG T
Where’s Axl?
                       BLACK MASK
      (thoughts still on
       the warehouse)
                       BIG T
All at once, the room looks over with one eye to where Axl
was holding up Rupert Thorne, only to find Rupert standing
all alone. The Black Mask raises his Tommy Gun to Thorne.
                       BLACK MASK
Where’s Axl?


      (noticing no one
       has a gun to his
                       BLACK MASK
Where‘s Axl?!
I-I don't know!

Suddenly, apparently from the intimidating rafters above,
two small black balls bounce off the warehouse floor. SMOKE
BOMBS. Fast as lightning the room begins to fill with thick
black smoke as ALL HELL BREAKS LOOSE.

Everyone with a gun begins to shoot a mind-numbing number of
bullets wildly in every direction. LOUD SHOTS and SCREAMS
tear through the warehouse. Through the thick smoke we can
see airborne blood and bullets whizzing by. SOUNDS OF

After what seems like an eternity, but was actually only
seconds, the GUNFIRE ceases. The CRIES OF PAIN and
SUFFERING stop. We can hear a man PANTING FOR AIR. Maybe

The smoke clears.

The Black Mask has survived the massacre unscathed. He
stands near the shadowy perimeter of the warehouse sucking
in air. He did most of the firing with his Tommy Gun, and
probably killed most of the people in the warehouse.
Probably some of his own men.

Across the room, Rupert Thorne is alive on the floor, but
seriously wounded. Three bullets are lodged in his torso,
one in his right arm, and two in his left leg. Without
immediate medical attention, he will surely die.
                       BLACK MASK
      (out of breath, to
       the shadows, to
       the rafters)
Where are you. . . who are you!


The Black Mask slowly begins to backpedal toward the dark
perimeter of the room, so that he has the entire area in
front of him. He backpedals CLOSER, index finger fixed on
the trigger of his Tommy gun.
                       BLACK MASK (cont'd.)
Come out. . . come out!
He backpedals CLOSER.
                       BLACK MASK (cont'd.)
Come on!
(raises his weapon)
What the fuck do I have to be
afraid of?
As he backpedals CLOSER, a pair of sharp, glowing eyes open
up in the dark perimeter behind him. The haunting,
expressive eyes seem to think over the Black Mask’s query:
“What the fuck do I have to be afraid of?”

The VOICE from the shadows growls out an answer:
                       VOICE IN THE SHADOWS
In one rapid motion, a black gloved hand reaches out from
the perimeter shadows and violently snatches the Black Mask
by the face, enveloping him in the darkness.


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From Rosie Date 6/5/2008 ***1/2
Well done. Nice pacing and structure.

From greg Date 12/12/2006 ****
very good very well written cant wait to read the oringinal one keep it up

From Jason Shanahan Date 8/20/2006 ****
I really liked this one. The characters were great and I loved the angle for the story.

From Joey Pardue Date 8/11/2006 ****
Very very well written. You seem to know your characters very well. Characterization is usually the problem with comic book adaptations like this one. But you don't have that problem at all. I can't wait to see how your original work turns out! By the way, check out my work in progress, it's called Dying Days...

From Alexander Ramirez Date 8/8/2006 ****
Very well done. I loved it.

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