The 24-Hour Truce of Lex Luthor

What follows, here, is a script I wrote in 1982, one of a set of four sample scripts that led to me getting professional work at DC. I’d interviewed Dick Giordano (then DC’s editor in chief) for a college term paper, and when I told him I had ambitions to be a writer, he invited me to send him some samples. I did, and he wound up passing them out to the editors of the books they were written for.

This particular script didn’t exactly lead to me getting work—it was written for the then-running backup series, “Superman: The In-Between Years,” which told stories of Superman’s college life. The Superman editor at the time was Julie Schwartz, and he gave it to his associate, E. Nelson Bridwell, to read. Nelson pronounced it “perfectly publishable, but.” The “but,” in this case, was that the “In-Between Years” backup series had ended, so they had no use for scripts for it. Ah well.

[One of the other scripts, though, was a FLASH script that editor Ernie Colon liked enough that, while he couldn’t use it for FLASH (Cary Bates was the regular writer and there was no need whatsoever of any fill-ins), he did invite me to pitch him ideas for “Tales of the Green Lantern Corps” backups. I did, he bought one, and that’s how I broke in.]

So why am I running this here? Because I realized, a few years back, that if I added a framing story and changed the characters in the script (some of them considerably), I could turn this into an ASTRO CITY story. Which I just did, and as I write this post, it’s just been published as ASTRO CITY 16, “Wish I May…”

I thought people might be interested in seeing what got saved and what got changed, or maybe just might want to see what my sample scripts looked like, when I was about to start my career. In any case, here’s this one. Hope you enjoy it.

Pardon the lousy quality. It’s scanned from Xeroxes of 32-year-old originals, and I can’t swear they weren’t typed on corrasable bond paper in the first place. But clicking on the pages will enlarge them, which should help.

And hey, if you’re seeing this before you’ve read ASTRO CITY 16, go get that and read it first, okay?

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3 thoughts on “The 24-Hour Truce of Lex Luthor

  1. Wow that was a really interesting story. I was wondering, about your writing, it seems to give a realistic viewpoint from different character perceptions. But, the thing is, whenever I read any of your comics it all feels different and separate from each other, even some astro city issues. You always do Good job, your a great writer. Even when it’s bad, you can stilol see effort.

  2. Pingback: 'Astro City' gives an old 'Wish' new life - Robot 6 @ Comic Book ResourcesRobot 6 @ Comic Book Resources

  3. I’m so glad I came across this, several years later — I had Kurt Schaffenberger panels illustrating the action in my head as I read along. So well done, there! And I’m always happy to see process stuff like this, doing compare/contrast between the Superboy version and the Astro City issue that it spawned decades later; thanks very much for that.

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