Shaquille O’Neal Wants to Join Marvel’s Avengers, Reboot DC’s Steel
Shaquille O’Neal Wants to Join Marvel’s Avengers, Reboot DC’s Steel
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The latest poster for Riverdale season two reminds you to keep your friends close, and your enemies closer.
The new poster for the show’s second season features the core cast — including K.J. Apa, Lili Reinhart, Camila Mendes and Cole Sprouse — at the show’s iconic Pop’s Chock’lit Shoppe location, but that’s not all. Behind them, the diner’s neon sign reads the word “die,” suggesting the series will carry forward the murder mystery aspect of its first season.
Back in March when The Disaster Artist debuted at SXSW, I lovingly declared it the most James Franco thing James Franco has ever done…
The return of Empowered deleted scenes! Here, we have an expanded take on Carl’s interactions with Mesmer on their first day of school, his first fight with Spore, and finding out Wing’s in his gym class, along with an alternate version of the Act 2 intro, which was aborted like a prom night baby. Here they are for you to (possibly) enjoy. Remember: Random notes in bold denote unfinished bits that I planned on getting back to before the section was scrapped.
Car with Mesmer:
Finally able to get her two youngest children in the car, Insight was bringing the two to their respective schools, Mesmer in the passenger seat and Carl sprawled out in the back.
“Excited for the first day of 8th grade, little man?”
“Oh yeah, I’m gonna charm all the girls in my grade in to going out with me.”
“With real charm or your powers.”
“Powers. Real charm is for chumps!”
“Don’t be a fool, Mesmer!” Insight scorned, “You know the they have a strict policy against that. And don’t even try it on your teachers. The mental shielding regimens they go through…”
“Yeah, ma, we know, we know. You tell him every year.”
“And yet he doesn’t seem to listen,” she said as she pulled in front of the junior high. “Okay, M, you got all your things?”
“Okay, give your mama a kiss good-bye.”
“Mom! My friends are watching!” he yelled, horrified. “I’ll just see you later!” Grabbing his bag, he hopped out of the car and slammed the door, not taking a moment to look back.
Gym Class Villains:
This seemed to not be completely integral to me, and it just dragged down the story of the first day. Plus, it felt too much of a rehash of the previous scenes with Wing (the dance and the mall), and making trying to show for a third time what the boy’s presence meant to Carl seemed redundant.
The rest of the day progressed as one would expect the first day to, super-powered high school or not: Names were called, seats were assigned, homework was given, and girls were mercilessly ogled.
Up until gym, the day had proceeded just fine. Now sitting on the bleachers in the gym, the same one that, just a few days before, had been converted to a makeshift dance hall, he saw about four dozen juniors and seniors, girls and guys alike, fill up the seating. No one he was really good friends with, unfortunately.
As Mr. Woods, who was also the gym teacher in addition to their homeroom monitor, called out names for attendance much liked he did earlier that morning. Carl did as he had been doing all day and waited for the ‘Fs.’
He then went back to thinking about nothing really at all.
CARL’S THOUGHTS, WHICH ARE THEN INTERRUPTED
Carl’s heart skipped a beat, and once again in that cold, metallic, diction, he heard: “Here.”
Like a goddamned robot, man.
Out of the corner of his eye, he peered at Wing, once again with Decibel at his side. He saw Wing finish a story, and without delay, give a pompous flick of his head, his shaggy-yet-styled black hair being flung back, and the student let out a disingenuous laugh at his own story.
Luckily, just because they had gym the same period didn’t mean they’d be in the same class; it all depended on what you picked for that term. Carl was relieved to find out a few days later that, he was free of Wing for at least the first half of the year, as he wasn’t in either his current gym class or health class in the corresponding off-days. He was free of that asshole until at least January.
Carl & Spore’s First Fight
And while things had been going well, today was a new first. It was there first fight.
“I don’t want to go to the art show,” Carl moaned on the phone. “It’s going to be so boring. Why can’t we just stay in and watch a movie instead?”
“We always stay in and watched a movie,” she said, annoyed. “There’s a whole world out there, you know.”
“I know, it’s just that…”
Carl paused, realizing he didn’t have a good excuse not to go.
“It’s just that it’s going to be so boring,” he repeated.
“It’s important to me.”
He let out a minor huff and stated, “Fine. I’ll go.”
“I’ll just go with my sister.”
“I just said I’d…”
“I’ll talk to you tomorrow.”
“I’m in trouble, aren’t I?” Carl murmured to himself. He then looked at his phone and struggled with whether or not he should text Spore. Although he knew a painfully tiny amount about women, the one thing he did know was to back off when.
Alternate Act 2 Intro
It was the end of January, and the bell had just rung, signaling the end of another school week. The week before had been midterms, making this one feel as if it were nothing.
The lab that they had just performed was somewhat significant; it was the last one before the choosing of new partners as the new semester started on Monday. Now grabbing their supplies, Carl, Spore, El, and Octane all began their exit out of the classroom.
“Thank God I won’t have to see you two making googly-eyes at each other from across your table anymore.”
“Aw, Carl, I think someone’s jealous.”
“Bro, bro, bro, bro, how could you be jealous when you have me?” Octane asked, pretending to be insulted. Then putting his hand under his chin, he put pressure on it and let out a series of pops with the sound of a firecracker being let off. He proceeded to do the same to the other side.
Letting out a shudder at the noise, El replied, “No. Not jealous at all.”
“Hey, I have to run to the computer lab to work on the yearbook layout. See you later tonight, right?” Spore asked.
“Okay,” she said, leaning in for another kiss, “see you later, babe.”
“Later,” El added.
“Peace,” Octane threw in with a slight wave of his hand.
Waiting until she was out of earshot, El, annoyed, turned to Carl and stated, “I thought we were going to the movies tonight, man.”
“Ah, shit, I meant to tell you. We’re having dinner at my house tonight.”
His annoyance growing, he responded, “I thought you were having dinner with her tomorrow.”
“Yeah, well…” Carl paused for a moment, knowing El wouldn’t like what he was about to hear, “that’s our anniversary dinner. My mom’s off today, and she just to do something for us.”
“Huh,” El replied, licking his gums and looking off to the side, partially vexed, partially hurt.
“If you wanna say something, man, just say it.”
Now outside and in the school parking lot, El responded, “It’s nothing.” Before taking off in his trademark *swish*, he added, “Have fun. Babe.”
“What was that about?” Carl asked to Octane once El was long gone.
“Are-are-are you a ‘tard?”
“What? He’s ditched me plenty of times to hang out with girls.”
“Like…” Carl then paused, thinking. “Well, I’m sure he has.”
“Dude, you gotta do wha-what-what you feel is right. I-I-I make time for both you guys and Blitz. It’s tough, but ya need to find that balance.”
“Yeah. Well after this weekend, I will. Promise.”
“I believe, ya, big C. I’m out, though. Have a good one.”
“You too, man.”
And with a *zip*, Octane was gone. Carl stood there and stewed in his thoughts. The more he thought about it, the less he felt that he was wrong. If El were his friend, he should want him to do what makes him happy.
Just that moment, Carl heard the sound of flapping above him, and looked up to see Wing soaring gracefully in the sky, the light radiating on him as the teen flew home.
Carl grimaced as he walked towards his second-hand mint green Saturn.
“Hey Carl,” a squeaky voice from behind him said fifteen seconds after he had entered his house.
Turning around to see Mesmer, Carl responded, “Yo, little man. What’s good?”
“Do you wanna go to the comic store with me?” Mesmer asked eagerly.
“Ah, I’d love to, bud, but Spore’s coming by later and I wanna get washed up.”
“You’ll understand in a few years when you start dating. But maybe next week? Next few days are probably gonna be busy.”
“See ya, little man,” Carl stated, rubbing his little brother on the head as he went to walk up the stairs.”
“See ya, Carl.”
Mesmer looked at the ground disappointed.
Having overheard the conversation, Insight sympathetically replied, “I can take you a little later, hon.”
“It’s okay, mom.”
“You sure, sweetie?”
“Yeah. Thanks, mom.”
Insight stared poignantly as her youngest disappeared from view to go up the stairs. With their father gone, Carl was the only male figure he has in the house; he should act like it.
It was a talk that would have to wait for another time, she thought. Let him enjoy the weekend.
At 6 PM, the doorbell rang, and Insight went to let Spore in.
“Hello, dear,” she said, giving Spore a hug.
“Hey, Mrs. Freeman. It smells great in here!”
“Oh, you already have my approval, hon. No need to lie.”
“Stop, you know you’re a great cook.”
“I do, but…” Insight then stopped herself as she felt an odd twinge radiating off of Spore.
“Is everything alright, hon?”
“Oh, yeah. Things are great! Why?”
Insight held a curious gaze on for only a moment and replied, “Just making conversation while we wait for my lazy son to get down here. Carl!” she yelled, turning to the stairs. “Spore’s here, and dinner’s almost ready!”
“I’ll be down in two seconds!”
“That son of a mine. You bring your appetite?”
“Always do! Do you need help setting up?”
“No, but thank you, dear. You can just sit and relax.”
Carl came barreling down the stairs and met Spore with a kiss, making sure his mom wasn’t in view to see.
DINNER. INSIGHT KEEPS GLANCING OVER AT SPORE. SHE REALIZES THAT SOMETHING’S WRONG
“Hey, so have you given any thought to what I talked to you about?”
“Ah, yeah. The trip? Some thought…”
“I don’t think I really have the money.”
“What about what you’ve made at work?”
“It’s not a whole lot. Plus, I wanted to save up for a BLANK anyway.”
“You always do this.”
“I’ve been thinking about this for a while. I think we should go on a break.”
So did I make the right call in cutting those out, or should they have been left in? It felt to me that Act 1 was beginning to drag, and it was best for the flow of the story to leave them out. Good idea? Bad idea? Let me know on Facebook or Twitter! I have one more post’s worth of deleted and alternate scenes, as well as commentary coming soon.
And if you’ve been reading my updates, you’ll know the A Wolf In Shepherd’s Clothing(#AWiSC) is underway! Outlining is more or less finished, and I’ve begun writing the opening section! Exciting stuff for sure, you guys. See you all soon!