Ok guys, here's my submission for the contest. I'm still a newbie when it comes to these forums, but I'm trying to get the hang of it. I'd appreciate any feedback you can give me...
Starlight - "Stand by Me"
This is a very somber emotion coming from this scene. We have a family missing their father, who is off fighting in a war.. Possibly never to return. Bring that out in these pages. I'm playing of off several scenes that take place in issue 1, so you can use that for a reference. Also, this story takes place during the 70's, so keep that in mind.
An alarm clock goes off. It's 6:59. A woman's hand turns it off.
Joanne sits up out of bed, dazed.
She stares at the empty spot next to her, where Duke would be sleeping. There's an indention where his body used to lay.
We see Joanne during the day, at a grocery store. She sees a newspaper headline "TEST PILOT STILL MISSING" at the checkout aisle.
She holds it together as she makes it to her car. Her whole body is clenched, even her face as she tries to be strong in front of everyone else.
Once inside the car, she breaks down with her hands over her face.
Later that night, she and the boys are eating dinner together. Duke's absence from the table is noticeable to everyone, & they look upset.
Larry - Mom, when's Dad coming home?
Joanne - ... Soon, Baby. Soon.
She looks at a picture of the family, as she wipes a tear from her eye.
DUKE CAPTION: Honey...
More than anything else, Duke is a family man. We are going to see in this page that is where his focus is – the thing that's driving him.
We see the picture of the family, but this one is not framed. It looks worn and discolored. It's been through a lot. It's also being held by a man's hand.
DUKE CAPTION: I look forward to nothing more than to see you and our boys again.
We see Duke's face, as he looks at the picture. It's full of pride, and longing at the same time. This picture is Duke's most precious possession.
He looks up at the dresser in his room, as he puts the picture in his pocket. There are multiple things on & around the dresser.
DUKE CAPTION: That's not to say there haven't been things trying to get in my way.
His eyes are drawn to a calendar. Pinned to it is a note left from the queen.
DUKE CAPTION: A lot of people really want me to stay.
We see a close up of the note: "DINNER, TONIGHT?" (Make this look flirtatious in tone). Duke moves the note to the side, not really giving it a thought.
DUKE CAPTION: But I can't. The Breach closes in a few days, and that's my only ticket home.
He marks out a date on the calendar. Five days from now, a date is circled.
Duke is startled by an unexpected visitor.
This page will show off Duke's bravery, & his willingness to jump in & help people. Him being a hero. Also, this dragon is taken from a single flashback panel in issue 1, again use for reference. I know there are many panels on this page, so make them small. It's action packed, & fast paced.
A servant is at Duke's doorway, standing straight, with the upmost respect.
SERVANT - –Excuse me sir, but Queen Attala would like to see y–
BOOM! Big explosion, as Duke races to the balcony in his room. I think it'd be cool if you have the BOOM! Be the panel, and have a silhouette of Duke running inside of it, but that's entirely up to you.
A red dragon can be seen from there, wildly causing destruction some nearby buildings just outside the window.
DUKE CAPTION: Until then, I'm going to do what I can to help these people.
Duke jumps out the window with a rope in hand.
DUKE - Hold that thought, Jeeves!
Duke lands on a hovercraft, & begins throwing a lasso over his head.
He throws the lasso into the dragon's mouth, and it snags on a bad tooth. As Duke swings from it.
Duke swings under & over, onto the monster's back, and gives the rope a pull, trying to steer it away from the buildings.
DUKE - Hope this works!
Both the dragon and Duke pause, looking confused as Duke holds a lasso with a tooth dangling from it.
Same shot as before, except the dragon looks happy, and Duke begins laughing.
He flies the dragon away from the city, into the sunset.
DUKE - Good boy...
This is important, because here Duke is litterally offered the world in exchange for his family. He cannot – WILL NOT cave in here. Be sure that, even though Duke rejects the Queen, he has the upmost respect for her. (Yes, I named the dragon Gordon, after Gordon Parlov... Also my cat...)
Duke flies the dragon back to the Queen's castle, clearly having complete control at this point - after several hours.
DUKE - Easy, now... Steady.
He lands it on the steps of the castle, dismounting, giving the reins to some servants who lead the dragon off panel, & Duke shouts to them:
DUKE - Take care of Gordon, now! Turns out, he likes his ears rubbed.
Queen Attala comes out to see Duke, excited to see him.
QUEEN ATTALA - Duke, my Darling! How wonderful it is to see you! And I see you've made a friend. Come, now. I have a proposition for you.
She stretches her arms out, in an attempt for embrace.
Duke bows to her instead, as the Queen's arms are still stretched out to him. She looks confused.
QUEEN ATTALA - ...?!
Have this panel looking over his shoulder. Duke walks away from her, as the Queen looks confused as to why he refuses to accept her advances.
QUEEN ATTALA - But...
DUKE - I told you Attala, I can't stay.
Duke walks toward his balcony – loosening his clothes, like you do after a hard day at work; kicking off shoes, untucking your shirt... Stuff like that – as he pulls the picture of his family out of his pocket, and looks down at it.
This is our big finish, so this panel & the next should take up most of the page. Joanne, & the two boys look up at a stary night sky from their backyard, looking up at their father.
Duke also looks up at a stary night on Tantalus, as if looking back at his family. He holds their picture in his hand. I had the idea of splitting these panels down the middle, so that it seems like they are all together, and yet not, because of the crazy backdrop Duke is looking at.
DUKE - I'm going home.