Origin of Spider-Man: "Exhibition"
Writer: Bruce Norris (@BruceNorris)
PG. 1 (5 PANELS)
1/NEW YORK CITY - DUSK
SPIDER-MAN/PETER PARKER frantically swings under a building overhang.
2/ Hiding in the shadows and breathing heavy, he snatches off his mask. Soaked in sweat, he glances around, eyes carrying a look of fear/terror.
3/Steeling himself, he quickly examines a severe spear wound to his thigh. Blood seeps through a makeshift web bandage.
4/Hurriedly, he turns his attention to a second and more recent wound, his hand desperately applying pressure to it. It’s between his head and shoulder.
5/Removing his hand from his trapezius muscle, he reveals a savage bite mark. It’s human…and a chunk of his flesh is missing. Again fear grips him.
PETER: (whisper) Holy shit, that guy bit me!
PG. 2 (5 PANELS)
1/Peter squeezes his eyes shut, trying to focus through the pain and draw strength from the events of his past.
2/FLASHBACK: EIGHTEEN MONTHS EARLIER.
INT. SCIENCE EXHIBITION – DAY
3/High school students from around the country have come to attend the Midwest Science Exhibition in Dayton, Ohio. [NOTE: Among those present are students from Midtown High.]
4/Angle on Peter Parker and LIZ ALLAN, golden haired, raven eyed, “starlet”.
5/Peter looks pitiful and nervous, repeatedly glancing at their teacher and chaperones as they work their way towards them taking attendance.
LIZ: (whispering) …if they haven’t figured it out by now.
PG. 3 (5 PANELS)
1/Peter tries to look inconspicuous among the other students.
PETER: (whispering) My uncle laughed when I asked him to sign the permission slip.
LIZ: (whispering) Sloppy handwriting is a sign of intelligence. I thought he was smart. Here.
2/Liz places what appears to be a piece of candy in his hand.
LIZ: (cont.) Problem solved.
3/Palming it, Peter glances down, eyes growing big.
PETER: (whispering) What is - - -?!
4/Teacher walks up to them, pointing a pen. [NOTE: Peter’s ready for the “s#!t to hit the fan”.]
5/Mumbling to himself, he checks them off the list, then moves on.
PG. 4 (5 PANELS)
1/Liz gives Peter a playfully smug look.
LIZ: (whispering) See? Even if they knew, you think your uncle would fly all the way out here just to get you? Trust, you’re home free.
2/Peter’s fingers fidget with the piece of candy, as if to say, “What is this?!”
LIZ: (whispering) I thought you eccentric types were into expanding your consciousness.
PETER: (whispering) Wait, what?!..I never, I mean. I don’t.
3/ Smiling, Liz let’s out a tiny GIGGLE.
LIZ: (whispering) Relax, genius. Not that big a deal. I just thought we could have some fun together.
4/ Playfully, Liz pops the “candy” into her mouth, then walks off.
LIZ: Give it back…later.
5/Exasperated but intrigued, Peter takes a deep breath, exhales sharply, then takes a “leap of faith” and removes the wrapper.
PG. 5 (5 PANELS)
1-2/For the next few hours, Peter and Liz have a ball watching various experiments and exhibitions. Together, they experience awe, wonder and…hilarity. [NOTE: Think of any movie you’ve seen where the characters have a psychedelic experience and are enjoying themselves.]
3/CUT TO: SPIDER - AT THAT MOMENT
Angle on a SPIDER so hideous it looks like something out of a sci-fi horror film. [NOTE: This…creature looks like it might be a giant, mutant, tarantula of some sort.
PETER: (v.o.) Fun fact about nature, it always finds a way indoors. I’m still trying to run down the origins of that spider.
4/Spider mutates one more time as it bites down on something (Peter). [NOTE: Look of Spider should be crazy/alien.]
PETER: (cont.) It must have been all over that facility, getting into God knows what. I ran the math. Considering life cycle and number of births, who knows what generation of spider bit me or what the cumulative exposure was.
5/Pull back to show spider is rather small as it sits on Peter’s hand.
PG. 6 (5 PANELS)
1/MONEY SHOT OF PETER PARKER’S REACTION TO THE BITE. (In agonizing pain, he grasps his hand). [NOTE: If I had the space, I’d do it as a full page.]
2/Pete drops to the floor and does the most grotesque full body heave you could imagine, makes you think he “shat” himself.
3/Slobber and everything as a medic moves in to administer aid. [NOTE: In the end, camera would swirl us up and away from the scene, ascending as if his soul.]
PETER: (v.o) All I know is, I’m not dead. A lethal dose or exposure to anything has yet to be detected in my system.
4/CAPTION: ONE MONTH LATER
Peter wakes in a hospital bed with tubes and such hooked to him. Surrounding him are doctors and his AUNT MAY.
PETE: (v.o) Oh yeah, I was in a coma for a month. The doctors couldn’t figure out what happen to me. Frustrated, they just called it an overdose. They told my aunt…if…I woke up, there was a good chance I’d have brain damage…
5/INT. HOME OF AUNT MAY AND UNCLE BEN - SOME TIME LATER
Aunt May helps Peter(using a non-axillary crutch) into the house. He’s home for the first time since the “accident”. UNCLE BEN sits flipping channels on the television, a look of annoyance on his face.
PETE: (cont.) …Needless to say, my uncle was disappointed.
PG. 7 (5 PANELS)
EXT. CITY STREET - TWO DAYS LATER
1/Long shot of Peter(still walking with a crutch) and a friend, C.J. VOGEL, beside him on a skateboard. The two are engaged in conversation, Vogel the more animated of the two. [NOTE: Peter has a cellphone in his hand.]
PETER: She keeps avoiding me.
C.J. VOGEL: (jokingly) Forget Liz, man. You got your life back. Consider her practice…
2/C.J. gives Peter a playful nudge as he turns to skate away flamboyantly, having forgotten Peter’s fragility and lack of balance. Losing his grip on the phone, Peter stumbles toward the curb as he fumbles with it.
C.J. VOGEL: (cont.) …Plenty of fish in the sea.
3/HONK! HONK! Startled by a car horn, Vogel turns back toward the street.
4/His attention is drawn upward as a human form quickly scales a building across the street.
C.J VOGEL: Shit!
PETE: (v.o.) In hindsight, I figure almost getting hit by that car is what triggered my abilities.
5/Attempting to film it, Vogel pulls his phone. He’s too late as the figure scurries onto the roof and disappears.
PG. 8 (5 PANELS)
1/ROOFTOP - SIMULTANEOUS
Peter scurries onto the rooftop, accidentally crushing a steel pipe as he does so. [NOTE: This is a direct rip of the panel from “Amazing Fantasy” #15.]
PETER: (v.o) It didn’t take long for me to discover my powers…
2/Angle on Peter, feeling the energy surging through his body. [NOTE: This is also a direct rip of the panel from “Amazing Fantasy” #15.]
PETER: It’s the spider! It has to be!
3/Angle on Peter climbing down a cable. [NOTE: Again, a direct rip of panel from “Amazing Fantasy” #15.]
PETER: (v.o) …One power that was particularly gross was my body’s ability to create chains of amino acids and combine them to make various proteins…
4/Long shot of Peter, spider web in the foreground. [NOTE: Again, a direct rip of panel from “Amazing Fantasy” #15.]
PETER: (cont.) …That meant I could create the stuff to make webs, like a spider. I just didn’t have the “biological hardware” (spinnerets) to spin it.
5/INT. CLASS ROOM - SOME TIME LATER
Peter, eyeing the clock and “chomping at the bit”, waiting for class to end.
PG. 9 (5 PANELS)
Peter at his locker, covertly trying to decide whether to wear a mask or not.
Posted up beside his locker door is C.J. Vogel.
C.J. VOGEL: Should have seen the piece I saw on YouTube about the connection between secret societies and superhumans. Shit was frightening, dude.
2/Oblivious to C.J. and obviously agitated, Peter slams the locker shut. [NOTE: C.J.'s like, “Whoa”.]
PETER: He was hitting her. In front of everybody…and not even the teacher stopped him.
3/Angle on C.J., his expression turned serious.
C.J. VOGEL: I know it sucks, but Flash Thompson “owns” her. Just leave it alone.
4/EXT. LOCAL FAST FOOD RESTAURANT - DAY
Peter approaches FLASH THOMPSON & his CREW as they sit at an outdoor table.
5/Peter walks right up, takes Flash’s drink and throws it in his face.
PG. 10 (5 PANELS)
1/Peter turns and runs, Flash and crew on his heels. [NOTE: Peter’s expression and body language make it obvious he wants them to follow.]
2/Peter turns and, discreetly, shoots a web line across Flash’s path, causing him to trip.
PETER: (v.o) Remember I said I didn’t have the “biological hardware” to spin webs? I solved that problem by creating wrist-worn “web-shooters”,…kinda works like a water gun.
3/Peter gets cornered by three of Flash’s crew in the parking lot. [NOTE: Peter backs into the front bumper of a car parked close to the building.]
4/Peter does a backflip, vaulting up and over the car, landing at the trunk.
5/Adrenaline pumping, he shoves the car with his foot, sending it careening into the three boys.
PG. 11 (5 PANELS)
1/The three lie still, pinned between the car and the building wall.
2/ Peter turns to face Flash, who’s just arrived. [NOTE: He didn’t see what just happened.]
3/ Flash gets in his face. [NOTE: Shows ya how stupid he is.]
FLASH: You little - - -!
4-5/ Peter grabs his ear and yanks him to the ground. [NOTE: Peter does this casually, as if shooing a fly.]
PG. 12 (5 PANELS)
1/Flash lands hard(head bouncing off the pavement), as Liz comes running up.
2/Shoving Peter aside, Liz helps a dazed Flash up to a sitting position, as she gives Peter a look that could kill. Lips parting, she starts to say something.
LIZ: F#©k- - -!..
PETE: (v.o.) I think right then and there, my “Give a Shit” broke. Cuz, I didn’t hear and don’t remember anything she said once she started yelling at me.
3/Peter crumbles emotionally.
PETER: (cont.) Later, I found out Flash was a street level thug for some big time dealer called the CAMELEON. Soon after, the Cameleon would be the first supervillain I ever faced.
4/INT. PETER’S BEDROOM - SOME TIME LATER
Pete sneaks in through the window, “spider style”. [NOTE: Thing about sneaking out is, if ya do it right, everyone thinks your home.]
5/His body stiffens at the sound of his uncle’s voice.
BEN: (v.o.) Peter!
PG. 13 (5 PANELS)
1/Angle on Peter…(DAMN.)
Still, he’s able to modulate his response.
BEN: (v.o.) Come here. We need to talk.
Angle on Peter and Uncle Ben. Peter stands while Uncle Ben sits drinking a beer. [NOTE: AUNT MAY is in the background.] [NOTE: There’s also a set of stairs leading to the basement.]
BEN: (cont.) I hear school’s been rough, kids laying into you about what happened and all that. That don’t bother you?
PETE: It doesn’t bother me.
3/Angle on Ben, idly fondling the beer can.
BEN: Well, if it did, you could come to me. I’ll help you out, get them to lay off? You know, put some respect on your name.
4/ Pete struggles not to roll his eyes or chuckle.
PETE: I’m good.
5/Tight angle on Uncle Ben and Peter.
Uncle Ben: Didn’t like what he thought he just saw from Peter. Peter: “Spider-sensing” his uncle’s changing mood.
BEN: Something funny?! I’ve got experience. I know a few things.
PETE: I said, I’ll handle it.
P.G. 14 (5 PANELS)
1/Finished with his beer, Uncle Ben crushes the can, as if a show of force.
BEN: That so? Look at me when I’m talking to you! You’ve got your whole life ahead of you. Don’t squander your…TALENTS.
2/CUT TO: PRESENT DAY
Tight shot of Peter’s face. A look of shock. [NOTE: That “Oh shit! What does this guy know” look.]
[NOTE: From here on out, we’re gonna cut frantically from past to present. Be ready.]
3/CUT TO: PAST
Uncle Ben and Peter.
BEN: (cont.) That’s right, I’m not stupid. I see things. I knowing what you can do. You better start listening to me.
4/Aunt May chimes in.
AUNT MAY: Please stop. Peter’s been through enough. He’s doing well, especially for someone his age trying to adjust.
Poor Aunt May. She was just trying to help.
5/Uncle Ben gesturing aggressively at Aunt May.
PETER: (cont.) She didn’t say anything wrong.
P.G. 15 (5 PANELS)
1/Uncle Ben rushes Aunt May, intent on “putting her in her place”.
BEN: That’s right, you didn’t say nothing! Nothing at all!
2/Peter stops him.
3/CUT TO: PRESENT DAY
Peter with a look of rage.
4/CUT TO: PAST
Uncle Ben hurtling across the kitchen and slamming into the counter and cabinets.
5/Landing in a heap near the stairs, he attempts to stand.
P.G 16 (5 PANELS)
1/Uncle Ben’s leg gives way, causing him to stumble and fall down the stairs.
2/CUT TO: PRESENT DAY
Peter with tears running down his face.
3/CUT TO: PAST
Peter cradling his Uncle Ben in his arms at the bottom of the stairs as Aunt May calls 911.
PETE: I’m sorry.
UNCLE BEN: (whispering) …I never really knew what I was doing with you…Had other plans for my life…Your father was special. Don’t know if…you’re special…
4/CUT TO: PRESENT DAY
Peter wipes his face.
UNCLE BEN: (v.o.) …Only you’ll know if you are, and it ain’t gonna come till the time is right…
5/Pete pulls on his mask and swings out from hiding.
UNCLE BEN: (cont.) …You’re gonna get knocked down, get beat up, and ya gonna see if you got the right thing…
P.G. 17 (SPLASH PANEL)
Angle on Spider-Man as he steps out to face KRAVEN THE HUNTER.
UNCLE BEN: (cont.) …You, me, your father. We’re just alike. Don’t mess up like me…With great power comes great responsibility.