Here is the writers’ board for #118, Prisoner of Sinestro, along with a few apologies.
First of all, a apologize for the soft focus. Clearly, stalwart staffer Ernie Altbacker is a remarkably talented writer and a shockingly bad photographer. How the gifted Mark Hoffmeier turned that into a first draft is beyond me.
Secondly, about the profanity in Act II. I blurred it, but you still know it’s there. Sometimes time-pressed producers use salty language in the Writers’ Room to get their points across quickly. Sorry about that. I’m working on it.
Many of you have rightly pointed out that Giancarlo and I intended this to be a horror episode. It is also a “bottle episode,” a story that relies on intense character interaction in an existing confined space often for budgetary reasons (for example, if you’ve been creating entirely new and expensive worlds and species almost every week). The claustrophobia inherent in a bottle episode easily lends itself to horror. Look! There’s a gremlin on the wing of the plane! I’m sure you can rattle off a dozen without much effort. But I love them.
Perhaps not so surprisingly, to many, the most horrifying moment of the story was not when Neuroxis callously destroys thousands of Spider Guild nationals, nor when Hal’s BAMF idol cooly executes his own prisoner. It’s not even when Jason Spisak makes that astonishing noise as Razer’s body nearly chokes to death.
No, the most horrifying scene is when Neuroxis, in Razer’s body, toys with Aya before stealing the Spider Guild weapon. And, yes, it’s true. As The Blog of Oa conjectured, GC and I were rubbing our hands and laughing maniacally down in the secret GL Producers Bunker as the scene aired. We were essentially offering the exact opposite of the Razaya moment many of you thought you wanted.
It’s easily the most disturbing scene because it is the most real. Here’s my end of G.I. JOE psa/Prince Adam “In today’s story…”. Sometimes, even with people you love and trust, things do not go down the way you want them to. Maybe the guy is stoned or drunk. Or maybe he (or, heck… she) is not the awesome person you thought they were. In Aya’s case, he is literally not the guy she thinks he is. If you find yourself in a situation like this, GET THE HELL OUT OF THERE. Is the person you’re with acting weird? Is that incredibly creepy Freddie Wiedmann music playing in your head? Time to go! I realize the vast majority of you know this, but some of you are young and I want to make it absolutely clear that this scene is creepy and NOT sexy or romantic, so if you find yourself in it, you SKEDATTLE.
This incredibly creepy moment ends abruptly as Neuroxis gets the alien weapon he came for, leaving a very confused Aya. In retrospect, I wish we’d ended the scene differently, with Aya fleeing. It would’ve still been a very uncomfortable scene, but at least our heroine would’ve been modeling the correct response to a potentially dangerous moment. That was my mistake. Now you know.
And knowing is half the battle.
Jim aka Nerdmeister aka Saint Flawed
p.s. FYI, this story is our second crack at a Sinestro story. Giancarlo and I broke a completely different tale when under the impression that Thaal was off limits due to the live action movie. In a bold, executive producer move, Bruce told us to go for Sinestro. The first story is pretty awesome itself and, hopefully, if you’re very, very good, you’ll all get to see it someday. If not, well… Ernie took a picture of the board.
((For the record, I think that Aya staying was understandable? It fits her character in that when she is confused, she doesn’t exactly know what to do. But yeah, her leaving would probably have gotten the “DO NOT WANT” message across better, so either way works. Fantastic scene though. As uncomfortable as it makes me, I think it was the stand-out of the episode.))