Kevin Nowlan, one of Kelley's four biggest fans, cursed me for sharing this script with him—or, at least, he did once he discovered it was already in the process of being pencilled, as he said he'd have walked across broken glass for the chance to draw it, had he known it existed. (The great Pete Woods did an absolutely fantastic job with the art on this story.)
SUPERMAN CHRISTMAS STORY
This story is drawn in an old-school, 1950's-era style. We begin inside the bedroom of TYRONE, a red-haired, freckle-faced seven year-old straight out of a Norman Rockwell painting. His room's straight out of a Rockwell painting, too, and we start here with a close shot of his wall, showing baseball pennants (Matt – what's the Metropolis team's name?), baseball cards, a glove, a bat, a mitt. It's dark, with a faint glow coming from the right. We're reading the text of the letter Tyrone's writing.
LETTER TEXT CAPTION: Dear Daily Planet,
LETTER TEXT CAPTION: Is there a Santa Claus?
Pan over to the right as the glow grows stronger, still coming from off-right. We reach the edge of Tyrone's desk, on which sits a plate with a half-eaten piece of homemade apple pie, a glass of whole milk next to that. More stereotypical 1950's boy paraphernalia in the bg.
LETTER TEXT CAPTION: My friend Billy says there isn't. He says Santa Claus is for babies.
LETTER TEXT CAPTION: He says it's all made up and big kids know better.
Pan over some more and now we're behind Tyrone. He's sitting at his desk, writing a letter by lamplight in his pajamas.
LETTER TEXT CAPTION: That's not true, is it? Can reindeer really not fly? Is nobody checking if I'm good or bad?
LETTER TEXT CAPTION: Is it all a big lie?
Reverse for a front shot of Tyrone writing his letter by pencil, looking at the page, concentrating, his tongue sticking out. Fresh-faced, a tuft of hair that stands up at the back of his head, he's Opie.
LETTER TEXT CAPTION: I'm asking you because my Daddy says everything in your paper is true. Except the parts about the Mexicans.
LETTER TEXT CAPTION: Yours Truly,
ECU of his signature at the bottom of the letter with his hand in the shot as he finishes it.
LETTER TEXT: Tyrone Jenkins III
Cut to PERRY WHITE's office at the Daily Planet, daytime. We have Perry, CLARK, JIMMY and LOIS standing next to each other, facing us, the letter held out in front of them. They're all staring at it, shocked and alarmed at the loss of innocence. Something must be done! Everyone's drawn the way they would be in the '50's: Clark in a blue suit, Jimmy with bow tie, Lois in a business dress and Perry in white shirt and loose tie, sleeves rolled up. I say we give him a cigar. I have no idea if Perry White ever smoked cigars in the books, but I think it's funnier if he didn't. Put a large Daily Planet logo/sign/something in the bg somewhere so stupid people know where we are.
TITLE: Yes Tyrone, There Is a Santa Claus
CREDITS: if you dare
CU Perry reaction shot. Energized, practically shouting, a gleam in his eyes.
PERRY: Now this is what I call news!
From behind Perry with Clark in bg. Perry right fg, Clark left bg. Perry starts barking orders to the troops, pointing his left hand index finger out at Clark like a conductor. Everyone's dead serious. Clark's on the case.
PERRY: Kent! Gimme an editorial. I want it wise, I want it funny, I want it heartwarming.
PERRY: I want it to touch me, but not in a bad way. Got it?
Again behind Perry, this time left bg with Jimmy in right fg, Perry pointing his right hand finger at Jimmy.
PERRY: Olsen! Hit the streets. I want background on this kid – what he eats, where he sleeps.
PERRY: I want to know his next move before he makes it. Before he thinks it!
We continue over to our right for Perry left, Lois right, standing at the side of his desk. Perry looks down at his desk and gives Lois a right hand, thumb-up gesture, shaking it. Lois, hurt, protests.
PERRY: Be a peach and get me a cup of coffee, will you sweetheart?
LOIS: But...Perry, I'm your number one reporter!
Lois and Perry left bg, then Jimmy and Clark in right fg (going left to right). Perry picks up a piece of paper from his desk, engrossed in it and gives Lois a condescending smile. She's either still standing there, shocked, or storming off-left petulantly. Jimmy's holding the letter as he and Clark look down at it, walking towards us.
PERRY: You sure are, doll-face. Cream, two sugars.
JIMMY: You know who this looks like a job for...
CLARK: I think I do, Jimmy.
CU Clark as he turns away from Jimmy, brings his hand to his glasses and lowers them just enough for us to see his Superman eyes over the top of them, a private smile forming on his face.
CLARK: I think I do...
Cut to an est. shot of the Fortress of Solitude.
Close on a table full of wrapping paper, ribbons, etc. and SUPERMAN's hands as they blur back and forth, wrapping Christmas presents at super-speed. Don't show us the rest of him yet.
Shot of a red sleigh covered in Christmas trappings as several presents fly in from off-panel, one after the other in a perfect line, piling up perfectly in the sleigh.
CU of Superman's chest as he closes a red Santa coat over it. Only this one has a Superman-like “S” emblem on the front (red S on a white background).
ECU Superman's face as he looks right at us, explaining the S.
SUPERMAN: For “Santa”.
Cut to the big reveal of Superman in full Santa outfit (minus the beard), hovering above Tyrone's house in the night sky on Christmas Eve. There is, inexplicably, a red Superman cape coming out the back of the outfit, fluttering in the wind. He's hold the present-laden sleigh off to the side with one hand, looking down at Tyrone's house far below.
Three small panels across the bottom of the page. CU Superman, still looking down as he smiles, anticipating.
SUPERMAN: Magic time.
Same angle, but Superman senses something coming up behind him. His eyes dart to the side, but he doesn't turn his head.
Same, but now Superman closes his eyes and sighs with a pained, exasperated look.
Two-shot, Superman left with BATMAN right. Batman's hovering next to Superman, using one of those old astronaut jet-packs (with the big arms sticking out that you rest your elbows on). It is, of course, painted black with some kind of bat-emblem on it. He's in his normal 50's era outfit. He's looking at Superman with barely-concealed disgust, slowly shaking his head.
BATMAN: For God's sake, man. Look at yourself.
BATMAN: What are you doing out here?
Focus on Superman, Batman in right fg. Superman turns towards Batman, holding his hands up and shaking his head as if to say “Ever heard of any of this?”.
SUPERMAN: Restoring a child's sense of wonder? Teaching him that the world can be a magical place?
BATMAN: Yeah, well, my parents taught me a different lesson...
ECU Batman as he gets sidetracked, looking away, going off into his bad place...
BATMAN: ...lying in the alley...
The two of them again as Batman snaps out of it, back to business. Superman rolls his eyes with a slight sigh.
BATMAN: Sorry. Look...
Medium Batman, looking at us, making sense, persuasive.
BATMAN: ...my point is that you've got to take yourself seriously. You're the hero!
BATMAN: Any calamity, any disaster, any great wrong and people look to the sky. For you.
The two of them, Superman left, Batman right. Superman's facing us, looking down, thinking seriously about what Batman's saying. Batman's turned toward Superman, making his case.
BATMAN: The idea that you could take a night off playing dress-up for some kid?
BATMAN: It's patently ridiculous.
Zoom in for a CU Batman as he turns and looks us directly in the eye for a complete break in the fiction of the story, addressing us, the reader, directly.
BATMAN: It's like something out of a comic book.
Back in the story. The two of them, focus on Superman as he looks down at himself, frustrated.
SUPERMAN: I do feel a little silly in this outfit...
SUPERMAN: But that poor kid. I just wish I could...do something for him.
CU of the two of them as Batman puts a manly hand on Superman's shoulder and they share an affectionate manly look. It's not what you're thinking.
BATMAN: That just shows what a true hero you are.
Superman flying up, up and away towards us, looking down at Batman, waving as Batman pumps his fist in the air encouragingly.
BATMAN: Now get out there, tiger. Save the world!
SUPERMAN: You're right. Thanks, Batman.
Cut to Superman flying off through the night sky, Santa suit off, still holding that sleigh, thinking out loud. Maybe don't show the sleigh here, only when he thinks about it next panel.
SUPERMAN: I suppose I should do something about that whole Middle East thing...
Sleigh and presents in fg as Superman stops, looking at it, realizing he never gave the kid his presents.
SUPERMAN: Wait – the presents. I should at least leave him his presents...
Cut to the inside of Tyrone's house, an open window in the bg and Superman sneaking down the dark hallway, a pile of presents in his arms.
CU Superman as he rounds a corner, looking towards us, his face suddenly bathed in warm light. What's this?!
Big, big shot of the living room with Tyrone, his LITTLE SISTER, MOM and DAD all gathered around Batman in a Santa Claus outfit (but with the Bat-mask and gloves still on). Include or leave out the beard, whichever looks more ridiculous. Batman stands there, a roaring fire behind him, handing out presents left and right, laughing jollily. The place is completely decked out, the very picture of warm holiday cheer, the kids' faces alight with the glow of childlike wonder and glee.
TYRONE: Bat-Santa, you're the best!
LITTLE SISTER: I love you, Bat-Santa!
BATSANTA: Ho ho ho! Merry Christmas!
CU Superman as his jaw hits the ground.
CU Batman as he spots Superman and flashes him a wink and a Mentos smile. Gotcha, buddy!
Okay, this is my favorite shot of the story, but I have an alternate page ten if people deem it inappropriate. Superman, overcome with fury, plows into Bat-Santa at hyperspeed, a red and blue blur, demolishing the fireplace behind them and surely crushing every bone in Batman's body. The family looks on, horrified, the children traumatized for life.
TITLE: SEASON'S GREETINGS!