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Write Off 3. Unsolved Mystery. Pick a winner!

Hi folks,

Welcome to the Write Off. This month the subject is Unsolved Mystery.

Please read through and vote for the one they like most. Comments and critiques are welcome. I’ll leave this poll up for 2-3 weeks to give everyone plenty of time to read all the entries.

To the winner: if you end up with the most popular story you get two rewards. 1) the good feelings that people read your work and loved it and 2) you get to pick the subject for the next Write Off!!! And if you don’t win don’t be discouraged, this is just a bit of fun to help would be writers get some exercise. Stay tuned for the next one, it might be just right for you!

Ok folks, below are the entries. Vote here for your favorite.

[poll]

  • The Sweet First Christmas
  • Big Shoes to Fill
  • The Leaping Ghost
  • I never joke about my work
  • Man with the Plan
  • Spider-Man. A Gun.
  • Whatever happened to…?
  • What happened to Clark Kent after graduation?
  • Extreme Ways[/poll]
5 Likes

THE FIRST SWEET CHRISTMAS
(A POWER MAN AND IRON FIST TALE)
WRITTEN BY PATRICK BARB

PAGE 1 (4 PANELS)

NOTE: The top ½ of the page features one large center panel of Power Man with two panels of Iron Fist flanking either side.

PANEL 1: IRON FIST—putting that iron fist of his to good use—knocking a GENERIC HENCHMAN into the stratosphere (or at least up against the side of a brick-walled back alley). Energy crackles from his fist and a smile spreads across Iron Fist’s face as he does so.

1 IRON FIST: Luke, watch out there’s–

2 CAPTION: The Awakened Serpent Uppercut: Developed by the Asgardian Monks of the Yggradisil

PANEL 2: POWER MAN (aka Luke Cage) gets the BIG SPOTLIGHT PANEL here. He’s caught ANOTHER HENCHMAN mid-air and is bringing him crashing to the debris-littered ground in a POWER BOMB maneuver straight out of WWE Monday Night RAW.

3 POWER MAN: Got ‘im!

4 POWER MAN: Elevator–goin’ down!

5 ANOTHER HENCHMAN: Whoa, wait, I’m–!

6 CAPTION: Power Bomb: So, Power Man watches professional wrestling. You got a problem with that?

PANEL 3: Again, framing the BIG panel, Iron Fist takes out a THIRD HENCHMAN. This time with a HIGH KICK—once again sending its target FLYING into the air.

7 IRON FIST: --one comin’ atcha. Oh.

8 CAPTION: Winged High Kick of the Madripoor Clans: Developed by Winged Members of the Madripoor Clans.

PANEL 4: The panel here at the bottom of the page shows the results of Cage’s Power Bomb on the Henchman. The “Man” EXPLODES. No really. It’s like a toy dropped on a hardwood floor. Metallic pieces, gears, sparks, everywhere.

9 POWER MAN (OFF-PANEL): SWEET CHRISTMAS!

10 POWER MAN (OFF-PANEL): Dude’s a damn robot!

11 TITLE: The First Sweet Christmas

PAGE 2 (5 PANELS)

PANEL 1: The Henchman…uhh…HENCH-ROBOT…sits slumped against an alley wall. Just a torso and head at this point. Metal skin exposed under one ½ of its face Terminator-style…

1 HENCH-ROBOT: koff! Actually I’m only half-robot, the other half of me was forged in the…

2 IRON FIST AND POWER MAN (OFF-PANEL, SHARED BALOON, TWO TAILS): AHEM!

PANEL 2: Iron Fist and Power Man—standing side-by-side, looking down at Hench-Robot like, “Dude, no one cares where you came from.”

3 HENCH-ROBOT (OFF-PANEL): Right, I’ll shut up then…

PANEL 3: Close on Iron Fist. Hand raised like he’s asking a question in class.

4 IRON FIST: So anyway, I’ve been meaning to ask this for like forever but…

PANEL 4: Power Man has his tree trunk-sized arms folded across his chest and his eyes rolling in an overexaggerated expression of exasperation.

5 IRON FIST (OFF-PANEL): Sweet Christmas? Where did that even come from?!

6 POWER MAN: Aww, c’mon, Danny! You know I hate talkin’ about the past…

PANEL 5: Power Man’s still got his arms folded across his chest. Feet planted with a sharp frown on his face. Meanwhile Iron Fist is behind him, leaning over his shoulder. Mouth right to Power Man’s ear and hands folded as though begging.

7 IRON FIST: Please tell me, Luke. Please, please…

8 IRON FIST: PLEEEEEASSSE?!

9 POWER MAN: Man, I swear…

PAGE 3 (2 PANELS)

NOTE: Panel 1 is a tall narrow panel that fades away on its right-hand side, giving way to a larger Panel 2 covering about ⅔ of the page horizontally.

PANEL 1: Power Man in profile. Reluctantly starting his tale…

1 CAPTION (POWER MAN): You wanna know where “Sweet Christmas” came from?

2 CAPTION (POWER MAN): Ya gotta go back to before my Power Man days…

NOTE: For the purposes of distinguishing between past and present, the flashback Cage will be LUKE CAGE or just CAGE.

PANEL 2: Inside SEAGATE PRISON: All cold, gray concrete, agonizingly bright overhead lighting, and metal bars. Everywhere you look bars, bars, bars. We’re looking down at the prison common area—INMATES out for free time sit around watching TV, congregating in their prison gangs of choice, or just trying to keep a low profile if they’re not in one of the aforementioned prison gangs. There’s a large CHRISTMAS TREE—looking very much out of place—in the middle of this common area. LUKE CAGE in his gray prison jumpsuit sits off in some quiet corner of the panel, reading a copy of THE COUNT OF MONTE CRISTO…

3 CAPTION: CHRISTMAS EVE DAY. SEAGATE PRISON.

4 CAPTION: BPM (BEFORE POWER MAN)

5 CAPTION (POWER MAN): Prison wasn’t a particularly welcoming place for a guy like me.

6 CAPTION (POWER MAN): And not just cuz of my less than savory activities…

7 CAPTION (POWER MAN): Seagate? That was a NASTY place…

PAGE 4 (5 PANELS)

PANEL 1: Horizontal panel across the top of the page. From an elevated platform, a guard—let’s call him OFFICER ASSHOLE—stands in full body armor and aviator sunglasses—looking down at the inmates in the common area below.

1 CAPTION (POWER MAN): Even the guards were pieces of work, man.

2 CAPTION (POWER MAN): Hell, especially the guards.

3 SHITKICKER (soft): This oughta be good…

4 CAGE (OFF-PANEL): Hey! My book!

PANEL 2: A trio of prisoners dressed in RED, GREEN, and GOLD LUCHADOR MASKS and Run DMC-style BUCKET HATS have Cage cornered. Their LEADER in Gold holds up Luke’s book.

5 LEADER: Oh, whoa, looks like we got ourselves a reader here, fellas.

6 LEADER: All that readin’, not enough bleedin’, I say.

PANEL 3: Cage here is not the jacked-up Power Man, member of the Avengers, Netflix star we know and love. But that doesn’t stop him from holding his hands out in a “Come get some!” gesture to the bucket hat-wearing Luchadors.

7 CAGE: Bring it, then!

8 CAPTION (IRON FIST): C’mon, Luke. Luchador masks AND bucket hats?! Overkill much?

PANEL 4: The Leader and his Red and Green Luchadors have Luke down on the ground and are just beating the SHIT out of him.

9 CAPTION (POWER MAN): You tellin’ this story or me?

10 CAPTION (POWER MAN): Besides, it’s not like I’m painting myself in a good light here…

PANEL 5: Speaking of lights, Christmas tree lights go flying, as Cage goes crashing THROUGH the Christmas tree—snapping it in half, as he’s on his way to hitting the ground HARD.

11 SFX (TREE): KRSMASH!

12 CAGE: OOF!

PAGE 5 (6 PANELS)

PANEL 1: Close-up of present-day Power Man. Rubbing the back of his neck like he can still feel that Christmas Tree injury.

1 POWER MAN: Anyway, guess that Christmas tree was worth more to folk runnin’ things than me cuz…

PANEL 2: Back to the Flashback: SECURITY DOUBLE DOORs are FLUNG OPEN. PRISON GUARDS in full riot gear with BATONS and SHIELDS pour through.

2 GUARD #1: Break it up! Break it up!

3 GUARD #2: Back! Get back! NOW!

PANEL 3: Cage is on the ground, surrounded by Christmas tree debris. He holds a hand up, expecting to be helped up.

4 CAGE: Thanks, officers, I…

PANEL 4: Cage draws his hand back as one of the Prison Guard’s batons CRACKS his knuckles.

5 SFX (BATON): KRAAK!

6 CAGE: Yow!

PANEL 5: Cage helps himself up. Christmas tree lights caught in his hair.

7 CAGE: I swear give a man, a little power and…

8 CAPTION (IRON FIST): Oh, you did NOT say that!

PANEL 6: Officer Asshole stands in the open security doorway. He’s got a clipboard with some paperwork attached to it.

9 ASSHIOLE: Hate to break up the Feliz Navidads, but we got us a transfer comin’ to stay the night, boys.

PAGE 6 (5 PANELS)

PANEL 1: Horizontal panel across top ⅓ of page. Cage’s beating quickly forgotten, the Prisoners line up—licking lips and cracking knuckles—as a new prisoner (SWEET) is led in, sporting an orange prison jumpsuit. Sweet’s a bearded man in his late 50s, somewhat chubby, red-cheeked, and red-nosed.

1 PRISONER (NO TAIL): Oooh, don’t he look SWEET.

2 PRISONER (NO TAIL): Mmm, so Sweet.

3 CAPTION (POWER MAN): Give you three guesses what they called the new guy.

4 CAPTION (POWER MAN): Between his red cheeks and nose, I figured him for some sort of wino. Fit the profile…

PANEL 2: Close on Sweet’s face. Eyes darting to the side. Nervous as all hell.

5 CAPTION (POWER MAN): Yeah, yeah, the irony of me profilin’ somebody ain’t lost on me.

PANEL 3: The Luchador Gang’s Leader stands comfortably close to Sweet. He’s doing the ol’ “thumb across the neck” threat gesture. Sweet looks frozen with fear.

6 CAPTION (POWER MAN): Needless to say, guy like Sweet didn’t really make many friends…

PANEL 4: Back to the Present. Iron Fist holds his hands out palm up, in a “C’mon, man!” sort of gesture.

7 IRON FIST: But I mean, you helped him, right?

PANEL 5: Present and Past colliding. Power Man stands on the left side of the panel, gesturing over at the Cage of the past on the right side of the panel— who’s still picking Christmas tree out of his hair.

8 POWER MAN: You’re kidding, right? I just…

9 POWER MAN and CAGE (SHARED BALOON, TWO TAILS): …got thrown through a damn tree.

PAGE 7 (5 PANELS)

PANEL 1: Medium shot of Sweet in the PRISON MESS HALL. Carrying a tray with a plate and glass on it. The plate is stacked with COOKIES and there’s MILK in the glass. (I swear this isn’t telegraphing anything. No, really. Please believe me.)

1 LEADER (OFF-PANEL): Hey, old-timer! All those cookies…yer gonna give yerself the diabetes!

PANEL 2: The Leader brings his FIST down onto Sweet’s tray, sending its contents crashing to the floor.

2 SFX (FIST): WHUMP!

3 LEADER: ‘ere, let me help ya!

PANEL 3: As Sweet bends down to pick up the spilled contents of his food tray, he doesn’t realize that the Leader and his Luchadors now have him surrounded.

4 CAPTION (POWER MAN): It was the night before Christmas and the rats were sure as sh@! stirring…

PANEL 4: BOOM! Close on a BOOT—the Leader’s of course—as it comes smashing down on a pile of Sweet’s COOKIES.

5 SFX (BOOT): CRUUNCH!

PANEL 5: Worm’s eye view from Sweet’s POV, looking up at the Leader. He offers a malevolent smile, as he holds his boot up, cookie crumbs falling from its treads.

6 LEADER: You want cookies, huh? I got ya cookies here, holmes.

PAGE 8 (6 PANELS)

PANEL 1: WHAM! Cage comes out of nowhere to catch the Leader with a PUNCH right to the nose, sending the man rocking backward.

1 CAPTION (POWER MAN): So yeah I did step in eventually…

2 SFX (PUNCH): WHUMP!

3 LEADER: Oww, the he–!

PANEL 2: Cage stands with fists raised. Putting himself between the bad guys and Sweet (who’s still on the ground picking up cookie crumbs).

4 CAGE: Leave him alone! New guy’s with me.

PANEL 3: Flanked on either by his Luchador goons, the Leader smiles as blood drips from his nose down into his open mouth and on his no longer pearly white teeth.

5 LEADER: Izzat tho?

6 CAPTION (POWER MAN): Bet you can guess what happened next…

PANEL 4: Beaten, bruised, and bloodied, Cage and Sweet have to hold onto each other for balance, as they make their way down a prison corridor to their respective cells. Things OBVIOUSLY did not go well for either of them.

No dialogue.

PANEL 5: Sweet has his head tilted up to look at Cage’s bruised, swollen face. Taking it in. Considering. In response, Cage is not sure what to make of all this.

7 CAGE: Yo, you alright man?

PANEL 6: Sweet’s smiling. Reaching a hand up to pat Cage’s cheek. A gentle, paternal gesture.

8 SWEET: You’re not one of the naughty ones.

9 CAGE: Gee, thanks. I think…

PAGE 9 (5 PANELS)

PANEL 1: Double-height vertical panel. Cage lying on his top bunk prison mattress. Eyes closed. Dreaming…

1 CAPTION (POWER MAN): That night…

2 CAPTION (POWER MAN): I dreamt of sleigh bells.

PANEL 2: Close on Luke’s face. One eyelid snapped open. Alert.

No dialogue.

PANEL 3: Looking through the bars of the cell, out to the corridor. Sweet is out, walking around without a care in the world. Miraculously, all of his bruises and wounds from before—are GONE.

3 CAGE (OFF-PANEL): Psst, Sweet!

PANEL 4: Cage is crouched down on the floor of his cell . Face pressed against the bars, as he calls out to Sweet.

4 CAGE: Sweet, they’re gonna get you, man.

PANEL 5: Sweet’s nose and cheeks are a rosier red than we’ve seen. His smile is GLOWING, as he lays a finger to the side of his nose…

5 CAPTION (POWER MAN): I passed out after he did that. Woke up back on my bed the next day…

PAGE 10 (7 PANELS)

NOTE: These next 3 panels should be GROSS but not GORY.

PANEL 1: Close on the DEAD face of the Red Luchador, his mouth stuffed full of BLACK LUMPS OF COAL.

1 CAPTION (POWER MAN): But other folks in that cell block?

PANEL 2: The also quite dead face of the Green Luchador, he’s got TWO CANDY CANES shoved through the eyeholes of his mask. Red drips down to his prison uniform below—debateable whether it’s red dye #5 or blood (probably both).

2 CAPTION (POWER MAN): They weren’t so lucky.

PANEL 3: The Leader has had it the worst. The top of his head’s been scooped out and filled with MILK. His JAW open to an obscene degree with cookies spilling out.

No dialogue.

PANEL 4: Horizontal panel in the middle of the page. Cage standing in the middle of the prison common area, laughing his ass off. In complete shock and disbelief. Above him, SNOW falls down into the prison. Caused by the SLEIGH-SIZED HOLE that’s been busted in the ceiling. In the periphery, if space allows, GUARDS rush around in full-panic mode.

3 GUARD (NO TAIL): We got another one down here!

4 GUARD 2 (NO TAIL): It’s tinsel, sir! Tinsel!

5 SFX (CAGE LAUGH): Ho! Ho! HO! HO!

6 PAST-CAGE: Sweet…CHRISTMAS!

PANEL 5: And back to the present. Close on Iron Fist. Staring straight ahead. Mouth set. Stunned.

No dialogue.

PANEL 6: And then he EXPLODES—so emotional as he yells that it’s like his mask is about to fly off of his face.

7 IRON FIST: NEVER EVER tell your child that story!

PANEL 7: Present Day Power Man laughing his ass off also. A big smile across his face. Pointing back at Iron Fist like “Gotcha!”

8 CAGE: “Sweet Christmas!” Get it? Because he was Sant–

9 IRON FIST (OFF-PANEL): I hate you so much…

3 Likes

WRITER: Tony Laplume
TITLE: “Big Shoes to Fill”

PAGE ONE

Panel One
Wide shot of a boy in a park. He’s about ten years old, and he’s by himself, playing with a toy dinosaur, which he’s having fly through the air. The boy’s name is Hugo.

HUGO: Inspector Dinosaur, coming in for a landing! He’s about to make the most important discovery of his Jurassic life!

Panel Two
This is a closer shot. Hugo violently crashes the dinosaur into the grass.

HUGO: Oh no! The landing gear doesn’t work!

Panel Three
Hugo looks up from his playing and notices a “Government Property – No Trespassing” sign in front of him. It’s just in front of a thickly-wooded area that he can’t see past.

HUGO: Huh?

Panel Four
A close-up of Hugo’s face. He’s trying to think about what could be hidden behind that sign.

Panel Five
A second close-up of Hugo’s face. He’s decided what’s there.

HUGO: I bet they keep Bigfoot there.

PAGE TWO

Panel One
Pulling back to a long view of the park scene, we now see a jogging woman not far away from Hugo, who at this point is still playing blissfully with his dinosaur. This is Kate. She’s in her twenties, and has red hair tied in a ponytail.

Panel Two
Kate stops to look at Hugo, who we’re once again observing as he discovers the sign. She’s observing him shrewdly, and making a remark to herself.

KATE: I hope so, kid.

Panel Three
Kate jogs past the sign, as Hugo stares at her in wonder.

Panel Four
Hugo continues to stare in the direction of the sign, where he still can’t believe what he just saw happen.

Panel Five
Our final shot of Hugo, a close-up, as he decides what to make of what he’s just seen.

HUGO: Wow.

PAGE THREE

Panel One
Kate has now entered a facility somewhere beyond that sign. She’s met by a man approximately her own age, dressed far more formally than her jogging attire, which is to say, he’s suited up, like a good government official. Except Jack isn’t with the government. He’s with the Footmen. He wears a badge that says so, and is holding another one for Kate in his hand.

JACK: Great to see you, Kate. Glad you decided to join us after all.

KATE: I couldn’t know you guys existed and not try to be a part of it.

Panel Two
Kate is anxiously looking past Jack. She’s obviously expecting to see someone, or something, else. Jack has a bemused expression on his face. He’s obviously not used to a beautiful woman ignoring him.

JACK: Relax, Kate. He’s just beyond that door.

Panel Three
Kate has started walking toward the door Jack just indicated, and he’s trying to catch up with him.

JACK: Easy, Kate. He’s been here a long time, and he’s not going anywhere anytime soon.

Panel Four
Kate’s enthusiasm is obviously more than Jack expected. She’s still ahead of him, just at the door, and he’s still trying to catch up with her.

JACK: I mean, that’s the whole point!

PAGE FOUR

Panel One
Jack and Kate are now on the other side of the door, and Kate has come face-to-face (so to speak) with the object of her fascination: Charlie, a Bigfoot. He towers over her, obviously. In this panel, she hasn’t quite registered how tall he really is, and so isn’t managing to look into his face, but rather more his chest. Jack is smirking.

Panel Two
Kate has realized her mistake and is now craning her neck to look at Charlie’s face. Charlie is smiling down at her, a big toothy mouth.

JACK: Meet Charlie, Kate.

Panel Three
Kate feebly offers Charlie a hand to shake, at a complete loss as to what to do. Jack continues to look smug, but in a friendly way. He’s still hoping that somehow he’ll prove more interesting to Kate. Charlie offers his giant hand to her. He’s no longer smiling so toothily, but he’s glad to meet her.

JACK: Of course, Charlie’s just one of them, but he’s always been my favorite.

Panel Four
Kate has just as quickly withdrawn her hand, feeling embarrassed at how she’s been handling things so far. This is not the professional manner she hoped to conduct herself. She’s now trying to address Charlie in conversation, and has no idea where to start.

KATE: Right. So. Jack tells me you just want to go home?

PAGE FIVE

Panel One
Now it’s Charlie’s turn to shrug. Conversation is not his strong suit. He’s the one at a loss in this introduction. He’s looking at Jack, and kind of asking him to continuing talking for him. This is like Chewbacca speaking with Han Solo. That’s exactly what it’s like.

CHARLIE: Rah!

Panel Two
Kate’s looking at Jack for the first time since she entered the facility, and for once, Jack is playing it cool. He’s once again in control of the situation.

JACK: You’ll find that it’s hard to hold a direct conversation with him.

Panel Three
Charlie is gesturing toward Jack. He wants something.

CHARLIE: Rah!

Panel Four
Jack produces a notebook and pen.

Panel Five
Charlie scribbles something down.

PAGE SIX

Panel One
Charlie shows Kate what he’s written.

Panel Two
We see the notebook page directly. It reads, in pretty legible, elegant handwriting: “Because it’s fucking hard to vocalize your way.”

Panel Three
Jack, Charlie, and Kate are exchanging frank expressions. Well, now it just seems obvious.

JACK: Although they’ve still managed pretty well, here, all considered.

KATE: Obviously.

Panel Four
The three of them continue to stand around and talk. Exciting!

JACK: It’s our job, Kate, to see that they get to finish the job they started. With as little trouble as possible.

PAGE SEVEN

Panel One
Jack and Kate continue to discuss the Footmen’s work, as Charlie looks on. He’s obviously thinking. The two humans are in the background now.

Panel Two
Jack and Kate are walking away. Charlie continues to look on. We’re getting a sense of his loneliness.

Panel Three
Charlie starts walking through the facility. He’s alone now.

Panel Four
Charlie emerges into the night. No one is around.

Panel Five
Charlie sits down and stares into the sky, longingly.

CHARLIE: Sigh

THE LEAPING GHOST
Script by Craig Sawyer
craigsawyertalent@yahoo.com
Board Name: csawyer
Art by to be determined
12 pages

PAGE ONE:

A mysterious and supernatural figure called ‘The Leaping Ghost’ would sometimes frighten the inhabitants of a northern region of Czechoslovakia near the city of Prague in the late 1930’s, until the Nazis came and made real terror a daily occurrence, that’s when this mischievous ‘Ghost’ turned his red eyed gaze on a new target and became a legendary hero for the people of the war-torn country, but after the war he disappeared as mysteriously as he had appeared.

Who or what was the ‘Leaping Ghost’ of Prague?

PAGE ONE:

1/ Establishing shot of small Catholic Church in Northwestern Czechoslovakia during the winter.

CAPTION: CZECHOSLOVAKIA 1935

2/ The tip of the barrel from a Nazi Panzer II tank is slowly breaking out of the front wall of the church from the inside.

3/ The massive front of the tank comes ripping through the front of the tiny church from the inside.

4/ Near a grove of trees nearby we can see several Nazi infantry are taking a smoke break.

PAGE 2:

1/ Close in on two Nazi infantry soldiers RICHTER (20’s) BRAUN (30’s) who are chatting. They have their rifles slung over their shoulders.

BRAUN: New guy. You made a good impression with the carton of cigarettes.

BRAUN CONT’D: Now, if you know any good jokes…you will fit in just fine.

RICHTER: I know one.

2/ The soldier Richter is super animated telling his joke to the other more jaded soldier Braun.

RICHTER: Hitler visits a lunatic asylum. The patients give Hitler the salute. However, one refuses.

RICHTER CONT’D: Why aren’t you SALUTING like the others? Hitler growls…

BRAUN: …because Mein Fuhrer…I’m the NURSE and I’m not CRAZY.

BRAUN CONT’D: Old but good…just don’t let Lt. Hemreich hear you telling such jokes about the Fuhrer.

3/ Shot of the menacing looking LT. HEMREICH overseeing the capture of local rebels. He looks like a classic villain from the movies with jagged scar on face and a dead eye.

BRAUN (O.P.): He doesn’t have much of a sense of humor these days.

4/ Braun lights up a cigarette in front of Richter.

BRAUN: I have a story that will chill your blood even more than this forsaken winter.

RICHTER: I love scary stories.

5/ The more jaded soldier exhales a smoke cloud and within the cloud is a vision of a snarling red eyed demon leaping out with razor sharp claws.

BRAUN: Maybe you are unaware, but this unit wasn’t formed to just to stop the resistance.

BRAUN CONT’D: Listen close boy, this story may save your life one day.

PAGE THREE:

1/ Interrogation room of nearby Nazi camp. A bloodied and battered Catholic priest FATHER REZNIK is tied to a chair and surrounded by Nazi guards. LT. Hemreich (with no scar and two good eyes) is standing over him.

CAPTION: CITY OF PRAGUE. FIVE MONTHS EARLIER.

LT. HEMREICH: Who is this man that the villagers call THE SPRING MAN and the LEAPING GHOST OF PRAGUE?

FATHER REZNIK: He is no man…nor is he of this earth.

2/ Hemreich leans in just inches away from the Father.

LT. HEMREICH: Of course he is just a man.

3/ The Nazi officer takes an antique sword from a nearby wall.

LT. HEMREICH: The Fuhrer himself has tasked me with finding this bug and squashing him.

4/ The tip of the sword is pressed against the cheek of Father Rezink.

LT. HEMREICH (O.P.): You are a smart man Father. I am sure you get my point.

FATHER REZINK: Don’t worry Herr Hemreich…HE will find YOU.

5/ The lights suddenly go out in the room. Blacked out Panel.

LT. HEMREICH: What has happened?

NAZI #1: The generator must have ran out of gas.

LT. HEMREICH: Then FILL it! Why am I surrounded by IDIOTS?

PAGE FOUR:

First two panels are black with only the gun-blasts showing illuminated glimpses of soldiers faces. All around them are the red-eyes of a dark clad demon.

1/ Two gun-blasts.

SFX: BLAM! BLAM!

NAZI SOLDIER #2: There!

LT. HEMREICH: MY FACE!

NAZI SOLDIER #3: Oh…God!

2/ Three gun-blasts.

SFX: BLAM! BLAM! BLAM!

NAZI SOLDIER #2: You shot me!

NAZI SOLDIER #3: Something BIT ME!

3/ The lights are back on. The priest is gone and in his place is a terrified Nazi Soldier #2 tied to the chair with a two words crudely carved on his chest. Lt. Hemreich also has a bloody claw mark across his face and his eye has been taken.

4/ Close on the jagged bloody words in Czech: VITEJTE DO PEKLA.

5/ Two shot of Hemreich and Braun.

NAZI #2: What does it say?

BRAUN: Welcome to Hell.

PAGE FIVE:

1/ Shot of a Nazi patrol marching through a field of tall corn stalks on a moonlit night.

CAPTION: Our second encounter with The Leaping Ghost made us realize that we were as helpless to fight it as a field mice was to the claws of a cat.

2/ The Nazi’s search party walking toward reader with a determined Lt. Hemreich in the lead.

LT. HEMREICH: You are sure that he was seen running into the corn?

BRAUN: I saw it myself…just after I found Weber gutted.

LT. HEMREICH: Why didn’t you shoot him?

BRAUN: I did sir…twice.

3/ Hemreich gives Braun a perplexed look.

4/Braun points out at something.

BRAUN: Look…do you see…red eyes.

5/ POV of patrol as they see two red eyes through the dense corn.

6/ Close on Hemreich.

HEMREICH: Bring up the MG-42.

PAGE SIX:

1/ Soldiers are cutting out a space for the gun in the stalks with a machete.

2/ Another soldier has dropped in the small clearing with the MG-42 belt fed machine gun. It is pointed toward the red eyes in the distance.

3/ Hemreich is standing over them with a gleeful look.

HEMREICH: Now we will see a ghost bleed.

HEMREICH CONT’D: FIRE!

4/ Side shot of the machine being fired.

SFX: RATATATATATATA!

5/ POV of the corn being mowed done by machine gun fire.

SFX: SWISHKRAACK!

PAGE SEVEN:

1/ Close of hands feeding the ammo belt in the gun.

SFX: RATATATATATA!

2/ Two shot on a smiling Hemreich beside a frightened Braun.

3/ POV of a decimated field. The stalks have fallen like a tee-pee over the humanoid figure and the still glowing red eyes.

*The figure is actually a scarecrow that the Leaping Ghost has placed his mask on as a decoy.

4/ Close on a two-shot wide-eyed Braun and Hemreich.

HEMREICH: He is still standing…how?

BRAUN: I knew it wasn’t human.

5/ Hemreich takes out his pistol from his holster.

HEMREICH: ENOUGH of this superstitious NONSENSE!

6/ Hemreich walking toward the Ghost blasting away into the figure with his pistol.

SFX: BLAM! BLAM! BLAM! BLAM!

PAGE EIGHT:

1/ Hemreich is much closer now to the Red Eyes and still blasting away with his pistol.

SFX: BLAM! BLAM!

2/ The barrel of Hemreich’s gun is pressed to the forehead of the red-eyed creature.

SFX: CLICK! CLICK!

3/ Hemreich is moving the fallen corn stalks away from the red-eyed face.

4/ Hemreich’s POV of the fully uncovered gas mask with glowing red eyes that has been put over the face of a scarecrow that is hanging from a tall pole.

PAGE NINE:

1/ A smiling Hemreich lifts the gas mask from the scarecrow.

HEMREICH: The eyes are electric black lights…to see in the dark.

HEMREICH CONT’D: It is just a MASK!

2/ Behind the row of Nazi soldiers we see a low-shot of a talon, gloved hand carefully pushing the door up from inside the ground.

3/ The hand rolls out a thermite grenade between one of the soldier’s legs.

4/ The Nazi looks down at it with a confused look.

5/ He instantly looks up in panic.

NAZI #1: GRENADE!

PAGE TEN:

1/ The Ghost is leaping impossibly high over the heads of the terrified soldiers trying to shield their faces and ears from the blinding blast of the thermite grenade and a shrill, electronic, battle cry. The Ghost is wearing another identical mask and has special high-tech boots and advanced body armor for the time period.

SFX: SREEEECHHH!

2/ A cowering Lt. Hemreich is peaking over his arm that is partial shielding his face.

PAGE ELEVEN:

1/ We are back outside the Catholic Church were the story started. A nervous Braun is attempting to light another cigarette.

2/ Braun drops his match due to shaking hands. Richter is reaching into his pocket.

BRAUN: Damn…my hands are shaking. It must be the cold.

3/ Richter is lighting Braun’s cigarette.

RICHTER: You can’t stop the story there. What happened?

4/ Braun holds his lit cigarette close to his lips.

BRAUN: After the attack in the corn months went by without a sighting, until we recently spotted him on a rooftop and tracked him all night to this very church.

5/ All around Braun and Richter the other soldiers are grabbing their throats in agony.

PAGE TWELVE:

1/ Close on a confused Braun.

BRAUN: What’s wrong with them?

2/ Richter’s face has turned from doe eyed innocent to sinister.

RICHTER: They are dying an agonizing death from smoking cyanide laced cigarettes. I put slightly lower dose on yours to stretch out your suffering.

3/ A wide-eyed Braun is backing up from Richter while the cigarette falls from his lips.

BRAUN: You…WHY?

4/ Richter steps closer to a choking Braun.

RICHTER: I am apart of secret operation between the United States and Great Britain called Operation Mythos.

RICHTER CONT’D: We were trained to use psychological warfare by taking the guise of local myths and bringing them to life in order to give hope to the inhabitants of this country.

BRAUN: You are the leaping ghost?

RICHTER: There were TWO of us actually. The project was decommissioned shortly after my British partners death.

BRAUN: Why do you continue on this suicide mission?

5/ A memory of a beautiful and scrappy Zeta holding a gun.

CAPTION: I fell in love with a local resistance fighter named Zeta. Your Lt. Hemreich had her executed.

CAPTION: You were the one who put the bullet in her.

6/ Richter falls against the tree in spasms as Richter is walking away.

RICHTER: She was carrying our child.

I Never Joke about my Work

By Simon Jones

Based on characters created by Ian Fleming

PAGE 1

PANEL1

CAPTION: Location: Behind the Iron Curtain

We are in the courtyard of a castle in a Soviet controlled country.

Two uniformed Russian guards are walking by. One is carrying a rifle. The other guard has a rifle slung over his shoulder. He is smoking a cigarette.

Behind them is stone doorway, cast in darkness.

PANEL 2

Caption: The Cold War.

The Two guards step off. We see the doorway behind them again.

PANEL 3

Two black clad figures emerge in silhouette from the doorway.

PANEL 4

CAPTION: Agents 007 and 008 on Mission.

Both agents are peeling off their black outer clothes to reveal disguises underneath.

007 is wearing a tuxedo underneath. He is tall and well built. He has a square jaw and blond hair.

008 is wearing an officers uniform. He is also tall, but a little lankier. He isn’t unfit, but he is a runner rather than a boxer and has that sort of physique. He has a short back and sides.

PANEL 5

007 has a smile on his face. He turns to 008 and pats him on the shoulder. 008 isn’t nearly as comfortable looking.

007: Good luck old man. Once more unto the breach dear friends, once more.

PAGE2

PANEL1

007 is exiting to the left of panel. 008 is fixing his uniform cap.

008: And Cry ‘God for Harry, England and St. George.”

PANEL2

008 steels himself. He looks nervous.

008: Oh fuck.

PANEL 3

CAPTION – 3 Days before - Q Branch.

A large fat man is facing us. This is Q. He looks a bit like an aging Orson Welles. He has a long, well cared for and well-trimmed beard. He is wearing a white lab coat and horn rimmed glasses. Underneath that he is wearing a tweed suit with a V-neck jumper.

He is holding out a dart gun out to us.

Q: Press this trigger and a highly potent sedative is fired toward your target. Knocks any normal man out for 30 minutes.

PANEL 4

We see 007 and 008 standing opposite and we see their reactions. Neither is impressed.
007 is dressed in a grey three piece suit. He is every bit the dapper gentleman about town. He has a military bearing and is standing up straight. 008 is looking a bit more like a college professor. He is wearing a tweed blazer and slacks. He is slouching and has his hands in his pocket.

008: A Dart gun?

Q: (off panel) No. I explained it very clearly. A delivery mechanism for a highly potent sedative.

PANEL 5:

008 is not happy with what he’s been given. 007 has a slightly facetious smile on this face.

008: Untested in the field? Bloody marvellous.

007: Do you know what has been tested in the field? Guns. We’ve used them before and they worked brilliantly.

PANEL6

Q: I will remind you that your mission is to get in, photograph the contents of the safe and get out again unnoticed. You do not have permission to turn it into the bloody OK Corral.

PAGE 3

PANEL1

CAPTION: On Mission

008 walks through a door. There are more guards inside it. They are sitting around table playing cards. Their rifles are propped up beside them or lying on the floor at their feet, always within reach.
The men are paying no attention to him.

PANEL2
008 stops and coughs.

PANEL3
They all clamber to their feed to salute 008. He returns the salute.

PANEL 5
008 opens a door at the end of a corridor. Through the door we see that there is a opulent party going on on the far side.

There are women in large ballgowns. There are men in tuxedoes. There are waiters in bowties walking around with trays loaded with champagne flutes.

PANEL6
He enters the room. Handing his uniform hat to a passing servant.

PAGES4&5 - Double page splash

I want to do something a little different with these pages and I don’t want to be overly prescriptive about how it is shown on the page.

The whole idea here is to do a cool splash page, where 008 moves through the party, aided and abetted by 007, nabbing a set of keys before slipping past a guard and getting into the office where the safe is located. We can use some small inset panels to show small pieces of business where the action is small (like the handover of the keys).

This is all about old school trade craft and misdirection. It is getting to add a little bit of spy pizazz to the proceedings.

I am envisioning this as a something like a Snakes and ladders board with 008 moving from position 1 in the bottom left hand corner to position 9. However I am going to describe the room and what the various beats on the page and hopefully we can make that work on paper. This whole spread is an homage to Young Avengers (2013) issue 3.

The ballroom is large with a dancefloor at the centre. There is a balcony across the top of the page, overlooking the ballroom. The only access to that is gained by a staircase on the left hand side. There is a string quartet playing on one side of the dance floor.

008 picks up a glass of champagne and moves towards the middle of the page
007 is in the middle of the dancefloor, dancing with a woman in a ballgown.
007 leads his partner directly into another couple, causing a collision. The other couple are a lady in a ballgown and a KGB officer. He is a large stocky man. Not handsome, but formidable.
As he apologises to the KGB officer, 007 picks his pocket.
007 walks away.
As 007 walks by 008, he swaps the key for the champagne glass.
007 accidentally bumps into a guard at the foot of the staircase, covering him in champagne and dropping the glass – 008 uses this diversion to get up the stairs.
008 moves up the stairs.
008 is across the balcony and is opening the door with the stolen key.
PAGE6

PANEL1
(Small panel)

We see 008’s hand working on opening the combination safe.

PANEL 2
(small panel)

The safe door open

PANEL3
(small panel)

Blueprints for a new missile system.

PANEL 4

008 is leaving the room. He is walking out of the door and checking his tie. He has a satisfied smile on his face.

PANEL 5
We see 008’s reaction. We don’t see the soldiers but he is framed by the barrels of their rifles trained on him.

KGB officer (off panel): Good evening Mr Boothroyd. We have been expecting you.

PANEL 6
The KGB officer is holding up 007 by the scruff of the neck with his left hand. 007 has obviously been beaten up. His hands are bound. His face is cut and bruised. His white shirt is stained with blood. He is defeated and helpless.

With his right hand the KGB officer has a gun to 007’s head.

KGB Officer: Haven’t we 007? Now we are all here together.

PANEL7

008 pulls the dart gun and aims it.

008: Once more unto the breach.

PAGE7

PANEL 1

008 pulls the trigger. Instead of being propelled at a high velocity, the dart drops pathetically out of the end of the barrel.

008: Oh bollocking hell.

PANEL2:

The KGB Officer finds this hilarious and is laughing uproariously.

KGB Officer: You’re having trouble keeping it up, eh? Trouble with your equipment?

PANEL3

The KGB officer turns and perfunctorily shoots 007 in the head.

PANEL4

The KGB Officer lets 007’s body fall unceremoniously to the floor. His face and everyone else is spattered with brains and blood.

008: Do you expect me to talk?

PANEL5

KGB Officer is fully confident now. The blood is streaking across his face like war paint.

KGB Officer: I expect to send your head in a box to your nice Mr M back in Whitehall. What you know is of no consequence.

PANEL6

The KGB Officer inches towards 008 intimidatingly.

KGB Officer: You don’t know anything that we don’t know.

PAGE 8

PANEL1

008 throws away his useless dart gun. He’s got a thoughtful face.

008: If you know what we know, that means that this is a setup.

PANEL 2

008 smiles. He has pieced it all together now.

008: And we have a mole, the existence of whom you have confirmed. Thank you.

PANEL3
He’s looking frustrated. He would have expected 008 to be more rattled by all of this. He no longer has control of the situation. Perhaps he never did.

KGB OFFICER: Well this is all very interesting, but you will not live long enough to tell you anyone.

008: Ah, but you see that I know two things that you don’t.

PANEL4
008’s arm is extended. A Derringer pops out from a rig under 008’s right sleeve. It is pointing directly at the KGB Officers face.

008: One- Never let them see you bleed.

PANEL5

We see sticks of dynamite rigged to a timer. The timer is counting down to zero.

008: (off panel) Two – Always have an escape plan.

PANEL6

Huge explosion.

008: (off panel) Words I live by.

PAGE9

PANEL1

CAPTION: 10 Downing Street – Weeks later.

We’re in the Prime Minister’s office. M and the Prime Minister are meeting.
The office is well appointed and very much of another era and of another class. Everything is in a glossy wood. There is a painting of Lord Nelson on the wall and a whisky decanter on a shelf behind. I hasten to add that I have no idea what the PM’s would be like, but I am really imagining it being like M’s office from the early Bond movies if that helps.

PRIME MINISTER: This could have been a complete cock up M. What do you have to say for yourself?

M: Indeed PRIME MINISTER.

PANEL2

M: The loss was regrettable. However the mission was a success.

PRIME MINISTER: Your chap exceeded his authority though, didn’t he?

PANEL3

M: He did. He got out and rooted out a traitor in our midst. Respectfully sir, it was a bloody good job.

PANEL4

M: Spying is no longer a game for gentlemen. The enemy plays by different rules. Cold War demands ungentlemanly warfare.

PANEL5

PRIME MINISTER: Fine. Your Double O section will have discretion to use deadly force as needed.

M: A license to kill. Thank you sir.

PANEL 6

PRIME MINISTER: And 008? Major Boothroyd will retire?

M: No sir. Caught in his own explosion. No use in the field any more, but he’s far too useful to retire.

PANEL 7

Close up on M’s face.

M: I have a very different path in mind for him.

PAGE10

CAPTION- Ten years later.

PANEL 1

We see a young man opening a door. He is wearing a tailored, navy suit. He has short dark hair and a military bearing. We only see him from behind.

PANEL 2

The door is closed behind him. We see a handwritten sign on the Door. It says

“Q Branch.
Unauthorised personnel will be liquidised”

PANEL 3

The young man approaches Boothroyd.

We get to see the former 008, Major Boothroyd. He is of course the new Q. He is working at a standing desk. He is a little grey around the temples and is wearing hornrimmed glasses. He is wearing a tweed suit and a v neck jumper. For all intents and purposes he looks a bit like a boffin…or a geography teacher. He is imperiously holding up a finger. He will accept no interuption.

BOND: Good morning Q.

008/Boothroyd: Be with you in a moment.

PANEL 4

Boothroyd turns around. He doesn’t look Bond in the eye. He has a piece of paper and is reading from it.

008/BOOTHROYD: New 007 eh? Bond. Knew your predecessor. Solid chap.

PANEL5

He looks disdainfully at Bond.

008/Boothroyd: You on the other hand…

PANEL 6

He looks directly at Bond.

008/BOOTHROYD: Now pay attention 007. This won’t take more than a couple of hours.

PANEL 7
He fixes his glasses with finger.

008/BOOTHROYD: But first, I’m going to tell you two things which may save your life…

Title and Credits

The end.

Man With the Plan

By M. E. Nichols

Page one

1/ Exterior, nighttime shot depicting the front of Caesar’s Palace, Las Vegas, Nevada. Limos and taxis idle in front. Tourists, richly dressed and otherwise disembark, heading for the casino’s spectacularly lit entrance.

CAPTION (EMCEE/loud): Ladieeez and Gentlemen…! Caesar’s Palace is proud to present for a limited engagement on the first leg of his world tour, the man, the mind, the mystery… The greatest psychic of our time, the one, the only, the incomparable…

2/ Interior of the Caesar’s Palace Theater. The panel faces the audience, seated in tiered rows that slope upwards. Rear stage lights cast brightly behind their heads obscuring their identity in the glare. The audience claps enthusiastically in response to the emcee’s introduction. In the center of the panel sits a motionless, tall, blond, broad-shouldered male whose identity like those around him is hidden by the stage lights brilliant shine.

EMCEE (off-panel/loud): Uri Gellar!

SFX (applause): CLAP! CLAP! CLAP!

3-6/ Panels (absent of dialogue) showing the famed Israeli performing a variety of psychic maneuvers such as blindfolded card reading, making a coin move, a compass needle spin and bending a spoon all with the power his mind. Each panel should employ SFX of applause coming from the audience.

Page two

1/ Shot from behind the motionless, tall man in the crowd looking down on Uri as he bows for his finale.

URI: Thank you ladies and gentlemen. I hope you enjoyed the show. Actually, I’ll know if you did… Mind reader, remember?

AUDIENCE: HA! HA! HA!

URI: But seriously… Tell your friends, tell your family or better yet come back and visit us again… I’ll be appearing twice daily for the next two weeks.

URI: Thank you and goodnight.

2/ Viewed from theater balcony looking down. House lights have come up. The audience stands to depart. The tall man remains seated.

3/ Profile shot of Uri sitting in his dressing room in front of his makeup table’s mirror. Light bulbs encircle the frame of the mirror illuminating the psychic. His white tux jacket rests on his chair back and he applies stage powder to his face to dampen sweat. He smokes a cigarette.

4/ An associate approaches Uri, leaning down to whisper in his ear. Uri startles at the information.

URI: What? Here? Now…?

URI: Of course… Show him in.

5/ Uri hastily grinds his cigarette out in an ashtray sitting on the makeup table while rising from his chair.

URI: This is a rare honor.

6/ Uri stands just offside/diagonally to the appearance of his mysterious guest and extends his hand in greeting. The Mystery Man’s (MM) side and broad back angles towards the reader still with no clue to his identity.

MM: Please… The honor is mine entirely… I enjoyed your demonstration immensely. I’ve followed your career with much interest for sometime. It bolsters my faith in the limitlessness of the human condition.

MM: That you’ve accessed a level of mental ingress I myself fail to achieve, leaves me excited, challenged and if I may be honest, more than a little enviable.

URI: Coming from a man of your renown, I consider that extremely high praise.

Page three

1/ Uri turns from the MM towards the back of his dressing room and in the direction of a changing screen that has a spare dress shirt and white tux hanging from it.

URI: You’ll forgive me; I must change for my next performance but please… sit.

2/ Uri changes behind the folding screen in the rear of the panel. In the foreground the MM’s hands are witnessed tweezing the remnants of Uri’s cigarette from the tabletop ashtray and depositing it in a small, plastic bag.

URI (behind the screen): I would consider it a privilege sir, if you’d allow me to buy you dinner afterwards.

3/ The MM surreptitiously slips the bag and tweezers into his topcoat pocket.

MM: A generous offer… Unfortunately, I’m catching the red-eye back to New York tonight.

4/ Uri emerges from behind the screen fixing his tie around the collar of his clean shirt.

URI: Oh… Business meeting?

MM: No… Ironically enough,

Page four

1/ Exterior shot of a New York City street. A black, town car with tinted windows pulls up in front of an old, dilapidated movie theater called the Egyptian. The marquee is weathered with flecking paint and missing light bulbs. It is raining and a squat, grungy, cigar-chomping theater manager stands in front of the building, perched under its canopy.

CAPTION (MM): …another show

2/ The car’s driver opens the rear-passenger, curbside door and the arm and leg of the still unidentified MM appears as he steps out. He speaks to the shabbily dressed manager.

MM (off-panel): All is in preparation?

MANAGER: I threaded them reels like you asked… but I was thinkin’… If you went to the bother of rentin’ the whole place, why not watch somethin’ worthwhile?

MANAGER: I mean… I got girly flicks …even guy ones, if that’s your thing.

3/ The MM draws to full height with his back to reader. His chauffer holds an umbrella over his employer’s head.

MM: No… These pictures will suffice quite nicely.

4/ The theater manager follows in the foreground as the tall stranger walks past towards the theater entrance. The manager queries him.

MANAGER: I don’t get it… fella like you, could go anywhere… why this dump an’ why the old black-n-whites?

5/ MM’s perspective as he turns and responds to the question with a single word.

MM: Nostalgia…

Page five

1/ Interior of the movie theater. The MM sits alone in the center of the balcony seats, facing the movie screen with the back of his head to the reader. He eats popcorn from a small, rumpled bag. The projector’s light spills overhead displaying on the wide screen below an old 1950’s, black and white, alien-monster movie.

2/ The movie ends with the words “THE END” splayed across the screen. The MM, seen only in profile from the shoulders down, makes his way out of the aisle.

3/ He heads towards the theater lobby exit with his back to the reader while simultaneously handing the empty popcorn bag to the continually cigar-chomping manager.

MM: Thank you. It was… illuminating.

4/ He makes his way out of the theater. His chauffer holds the rear passenger door to his town car open.

5/ The town car stops in front of a sleek, hi-rise office building.

Page six

1/ The MM makes his way through the building’s posh lobby heading for the elevator.

2/ The lobby’s occupants nod in his direction and hurry to and fro carrying an assemblage of files, boxes and briefcases.

3/ Close-up shot of his hand pressing the penthouse floor button inside the elevator.

4/ The elevator doors open to a lavish office space populated only by large, shutterless windows and a single desk and chair sitting at a distance in the center of the room.

5/ Close-up on the MM’s hand as he toggles a switch on an intercom sitting on the corner of his desk.

MM (off-panel): Report…

Page seven

1/ Interior of a lab. A frazzled-looking professor sporting thick, dark goggles, a wispy comb-over and long lab coat holds a clipboard and stands in front of a protective, transparent shield. A burst of blue light appears from behind it. The professor speaks into his own intercom.

PROFESSOR: Oh… Welcome back sir.

PROFESSOR: Yes… Well, in your absence we ran through every permutation again, each ending negatively as before, bringing us to the same conclusion.

2/ View from behind the shield as something unseen bursts into blue light and smoke.

PROFESSOR (off-panel): Without an adequate method to decelerate and focus the tachyon stream, material continues to disintegrate or worse explode upon reemergence.

3/ Close-up on MM’s office intercom.

MM: Indeed?

4/ Interior of lab.

PROFESSOR: Yes sir. We’ve exhausted every potentiality… I’m afraid this experiment has been an abject failure.

INTERCOM (MM): Failure? Nonsense Professor…

Page eight

1/ The MM stands at the one of the large windows, his hands clasped behind his back, which is to the reader. He continues to speak to the Professor.

MM: We simply need to redefine our results.

MM: Redirect them in a way that under a new vector, error gives way to intention…

2/ The MM returns to his chair with its back to the reader.

MM: You see Professor; I’ve lived my entire life by two abiding principles;

3/ Close-up shot of the MM reaching into his inside coat pocket.

MM: Two incontrovertible truths;

4/ The MM reveals the plastic bag containing Uri Gellar’s cigarette.

MM: Every puzzle has a solution…

Page nine

Splash page/title page “Man with the Plan”. The Mystery Man is revealed as Adrian Veidt/Ozymandias. His desk’s surface is in full view. He leans forward while examining its contents. Placed atop it are four items; the plastic bag containing Uri’s DNA stained cigarette, a copy of the New York Gazette with the headline “U.S. - Soviet Peace Talks Stall”, a sci-fi magazine whose cover depicts his alien-monster movie titled “Target Earth” and a photo of Dr. Manhattan with an “X” drawn across his face.

ADRIAN: Every knot can be undone…

End

*In the pages of Watchmen Alan Moore alludes to the use of a “sensitive” whose brain is cloned, grown to an unimaginable degree and placed into the head of his giant, alien space squid. I thought it would be fun to consider where the mystery for the psychic’s source and the inspiration for the monster angle might’ve come from. Moore dots the pages of Watchmen with a twist on actual 20th century historical events. I tried to do the same. “Uri Gellar” was a famous, celebrity physic who performed globally in the 1970’s. The movie “Target Earth” was an actual popular alien invasion B-movie from 1954. Hope you liked my take.

SPIDER-MAN – A Gun
Script by patrick j. clarke
10 pages
First Draft: June 30, 2016
Final Draft: July 7, 2016

Page One

1/ Close-up of The Daily Bugle newspaper. Perhaps this is in newspaper vending machine, or a newsstand, it doesn’t really matter as long as the headline is legible. Headline on newspaper should read: The Gun Dropped from The Sky So I Shot Him!

NO CAPTION

2/ Interior of NY Police Station evidence room and we see SPIDER-MAN descending from air duct via his web, upside down.

SPIDEY CAPTION: With great power comes great responsibility.

3/ SPIDEY is holding a gun in his left hand and it should have an evidence tag hanging from it. With his right hand he is swabbing the gun with collection swab.

SPIDEY CAPTION: I often think of Uncle Ben’s words when things get really bad. Like Galactus showing up in Central Park, or maybe when everyone gets turned into spiders. But sometimes -

4/ SPIDEY has removed his mask, revealing Peter Parker with a very shocked look on his face. He should have the gun in his left hand and in his right is a Parker Industries handheld device with a large screen (think smart-phone sized). The screen should read: “100% Match” and below that should be a graphical display of a chemical structure with the words “Web Fluid” on it.

SPIDEY CAPTION: Sometimes I forget how everything I do has an impact, no matter how small.

Page Two

1/ Far shot and a bigger wider panel of a hand gun webbed against a brick building wall with space for the mast head: SPIDER-MAN: A Gun

NO CAPTION

2/ We are zoomed in closer (maybe these are vertical?), but we see that the webbing is dissolving around the gun. From below is a heated conversation.

MAN 1: Yeah, so I’m standing out here now. What did you say to me?

3/ We pan down and we see two men arguing in an alley. They are still standing kind of far apart.

MAN 2: I said, I saw what you did in there!

Page Three

1/ We are now in the alley with the two guys. They are closer, but not touching and it’s getting heated, but still all verbal.

MAN 1: What?
MAN 1: What the hell did you think you saw?

MAN 2: Oh, you know!
MAN 2: I saw you take it!

2/ Tighter shot, the men are still arguing, but now MAN 1 is pointing at MAN 2.

MAN 1: Whoa! Did you just accuse me of stealing?
MAN 1: You got a lotta #%* NERVE!

3/ MAN 1 is pressing his finger into the chest of MAN 2. MAN 2 is not pleased and is looking at the finger.
MAN 2: Hey $#%&, you better move that finger and step off!

MAN 1: Or what?
MAN 1: What’re you gonna do?

4/ MAN 2 is shoving MAN 1 away from him

MAN 2: STEP!
MAN 2: OFF!!

Page Four

1/ Looking over the back of MAN 2, we see that MAN 1 is now VERY angry and should have clenched fists looking ready to explode.

MAN 1: Oh, you’re gonna be sorry you did that!

2/ MAN 1 should be full-on-haymaker-style punching MAN 2. MAN 2 is flailing backwards.

SFX: POW!

3/ MAN 2 is on the ground, but kind of sitting up, hand to his jaw, looking dazed

4/ MAN 1 is coming at MAN 2 on the ground, ready to finish business. MAN 2 is slightly recovering and looks dazed, and kind of scared.

Page Five

1/ Big panel that takes up the page (the other panels could overlay in some sort of fashion, but the main panel should be the hero). We are in Times Square and in the center is some sort of crazy and kind of big device with a large countdown timer on it with 00:59:03. This is the WMD. The VULTURE AND HIS GANG are here and VULTURE should be atop the WMD and his gang surrounding it. News crews are on the scene and the billboards around Times Square should show different shots of the scene. SPIDEY is swinging into the scene.

CAPTION: 23 Hours Ago

VULTURE: If I don’t get those Stark Industries Stealth modules in the next hour, this bomb is going to go off and you’ll see the FULL power of THE VULTURE!

SPIDEY: C’mon, VULTURE! Stark Industries?
SPIDEY: Parker Industries has waaay better stealth tech than Stark!

2/ Close-up of SPIDEY

SPIDEY: Not that it matters, since you’re going to be behind bars where everybody can see you!

3/ Close-up of VULTURE, shaking his fist at SPIDER-MAN

VULTURE: SPIDER-MAN! You’re not going to stop me this time!

4/ VULTURE takes off towards SPIDEY and SPIDEY is swinging towards VULTURE

SPIDEY: Oh, Vulty, how many times do we have to play this game?
SPIDEY: You flap your wings, I capture you, it’s pretty simple! You’ll never win!

Page Six
1/ SPIDEY and VULTURE are in the sky now, VULTURE’s wings spread, and punching at SPIDEY. SPIDER-MAN’s SPIDEY Sense is going off and he is easily avoiding VULTURE’s punch. But in VULTURE’s other hand is a small round hi-tech grenade-like device. There should be some cool shots in the background of the big video screens that are in Times Square with different views of the battle and news reporters on the scene.

SPIDEY: Oh, come on, VULTURE, you think you can just punch me? When has that ever worked?

2/ SPIDEY is now on one of the large video screens. VULTURE throws the device in his left hand at SPIDER-MAN. We should see that it says “Stark Industries” on it.

VULTURE: HA! I never intended for it to work.
VULTURE: But now, you’ve played right into my hands!

3/ The device has exploded and it’s a metal net that has embedded into the video screen and is electrocuting SPIDER-MAN.

SPIDEY: YEAAARGH!
SPIDEY (thinking): Wait for it…

4/ Vulture is swooping at SPIDER-MAN, and SPIDEY has broken out of the net (he has an insulated suit as we’ll see in the dialog) and is connecting with a huge hit to VULTURE’S jaw.

SPIDEY: Oh, silly Vulty, don’t you think I’ve learned anything fighting Electro all these years?
SPIDEY: Your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man has been insulated since ’92!

Page Seven

1/ VULTURE lands hard on his back, his wings spread.

SFX: THUD!

VULTURE: UMPH!

2/ SPIDER-MAN standing over top of VULTURE. A few of VULTURES THUGS are in view as well. There should be one closer to the viewer and is pointing a gun at SPIDER-MAN.

SPIDEY: All right, Vulture, let’s disarm the bomb and get you back in a cage.
SPIDEY: See what I did there? Cage? Bird? Oh, I crack myself up!
SPIDEY: And you, over there with the gun -

3/ Combo shot of SPIDER-MAN web-shooting the gun and then flinging it away.

SPIDEY: Didn’t your mother ever tell you it’s not polite to point!

4/ The same kind of shot/panel as PAGE 2, PANEL 2. The gun is stuck to the wall with webbing.

Page Eight

1/ Back in the alley, and the gun, which is now literally hanging by thread

CAPTION: Present time, almost 24 hours later.

2/ The last piece of webbing snaps and the gun is dropping out of frame.

3/ We are back where we left off with MAN 1 and MAN 2 in the alley. This is the same basic panel as PAGE 4, PANEL 4, but just a second later, and the gun has dropped onto the ground, and both men are looking at the gun.

4/ MAN 1 and MAN 2 are reaching for the gun at the same time.

Page Nine

1/ PETER PARKER is in a lab, dressed in a lob coat and goggles, mixing chemicals. The newspaper should be in view with the headline.

PETER: I don’t know how many times I’ve taken a gun away from a criminal like that. Probably hundreds of times.
PETER: Everyone said it was a fluke, a one in million chance of that happening.

2/ PETER is now filling up a cartridge in his web-shooter.

PETER: But I won’t take that chance anymore.

3/ On a clamp is a hand gun and PETER is firing his webshooter at the gun.

PETER: From now on, anytime I web a gun away, things will be different.

4/ The gun in the clamp is melting.

Page Ten

1/ PETER is now in his SPIDER-MAN costume, but doesn’t have his mask on. He is inserting a new cartridge into his webshooter.

SPIDEY CAPTION: This new slow dissolving web-fluid will interact with gun oil, incapacitate it, and is another lesson learned…even after all these years.

2/ PETER puts on his mask.

SPIDEY CAPTION: I can never forget about any action that I do. No matter how small, it could have great impact on somebody else’s life.

3/ Big panel of SPIDER-MAN swinging into the night city-scape

SPIDEY CAPTION: People like me protect and save people.
SPIDEY CAPTION: Sometimes it’s protecting them from themselves, caught up in a moment they may never be able to forgive. Or forget.
SPIDEY CAPTION: What it comes down to is that I protect and save them to make up for the ones I couldn’t save. With great power comes great responsibility.

Whatever happened to…?
By Glenn Francis Faelnar (francisg)

PAGE ONE
1— Gas Girl sits alone in an empty room in their headquarters. There are empty tables and empty chairs. In the background, you can see millions of stars from outer space through a wide glass window. Gas Girl sits there holding a picture with both her hands.
Caption: The Heroes Satellite, headquarters of the Heroes of Lallor.
DUPLICATE BOY (OFF-PANEL): Hey, Gas Girl! What are you doing here all by yourself?
2—Gas Girl looks at Duplicate Boy who is walking toward her. She has a smile on her face.
GAS GIRL: Nothing, Duplicate Boy. I was just looking at an old photo of us.
3—Gas Girl hands the picture to Duplicate Boy who is now standing in front of her.
GAS GIRL: We took this picture when we were just starting out as a team. It was taken at our first headquarters. It’s hard to believe how far we’ve come.
4—Duplicate Boy takes the picture. He examines it with a smile on his face.
DUPLICATE BOY: Oh yeah, I remember this photo. It was just you, me, Life Lass, and—wait, who was this other one again? I can’t seem to remember his name.
GAS GIRL: That’s Arm-Fall-Off-Boy.
DUPLICATE BOY: Oh, that’s right. I remember him now. He didn’t stay with the team for very long. I guess I couldn’t blame him. We were just kids back then. We didn’t really know what we were doing.
5—Duplicate Boy hands the picture back to Gas Girl.
DUPLICATE BOY: Whatever happened to that guy?
GAS GIRL: I don’t know. I never heard from him again.

PAGE TWO
1— Detective Zenk from the Capitol Police Department is standing outside a building where a crime has just been committed. Zenk is a chubby man who wears a trench coat and a hat. In front of him is one of the forensic scientists of the police department. He’s waving his arm and calling out his partner.
Caption: Capitol, the Capital City of Planet Lallor.
ZENK: Hey Floyd, Over here.
2—Detective Floyd Belkin stands beside his partner Zenk. Both of them are talking to the forensic scientist about the victim.
FLOYD: So, what’ve you got for us?
FORENSIC SCIENTIST: Well, our scanners show that the victim’s time of death was around 6:00pm. The victim suffered severe loss of blood due to the decapitation of both his arms and legs. The cause of death however, was cardiac arrest. The victim probably went into shock when the killer was cutting both his arms and legs from his body.
ZENK: His arms and legs were missing when we found the body? Did you find them?
FORENSIC SCIENTIST: Yes sir. They were in a barrel in the closet. We already bagged them along with the fingers you found on the road that lead you to the crime scene. We’ll take it back to the crime lab for further analysis.
FLOYD: Okay. Thank you.
3—Floyd and Zenk walk back to their car.
FLOYD: This is the fifth victim we’ve had over the past month and we still haven’t gotten any new leads.
ZENK: Tell me about it. The commissioner is gonna be chewing us out again when we get to the station.
4—before they enter their car, Floyd looks at Zenk with a smile on his face.
FLOYD: We’ll be fine buddy. The commissioner’s in a good mood today. It’s his birthday after all. He’s not going to let anything ruin his day especially not us.
ZENK: I hope you’re right buddy. I hope you’re right.

PAGE THREE
1—back at the station, the commissioner is shouting at Floyd and Zenk in his office. He’s standing up with his arms up in the air.
Caption: Capitol Police Department
COMMISSIONER: WHAT DO YOU MEAN YOU HAVE NO NEW LEADS?!!
2—Both Floyd and Zenk are standing in front of the commissioner. Both of them are scared stiff. The commissioner’s table is the only thing that separates them from their angry boss.
ZENK (WHISPERS): Well sir, the killer is really good at hiding his tracks.
COMMISSIONER: WHAT WAS THAT ZENK? SPEAK UP YOU DUMBASS!!
ZENK: Sir, I was just saying that our killer is really good at covering his tracks.
FLOYD: Plus, the body we just found is still being analyzed by the forensic team. They might find new evidence that could bring us closer to finding the killer.
3—the commissioner turns his back on both of them and looks outside his office window.
COMMISSIONER: Shut up Belkin! We already know that the killer’s victims are people in costume who are pretending to be heroes. That’s the only lead you idiots have for the past month. Damn it! I gave this case to both of you because you said wanted to prove yourselves. You promised me results but so far, both of you have nothing! I’m beginning to regret my decision. I’m even thinking of turning this case over to Cax and Malek.
FLOYD: Sir, please don’t! I promise we will get you results and find this killer. Just give us another chance.
4—the commissioner turns to face both of them. He puts his arms down on his table.
COMMISSIONER: Fine. But this is your last chance. I want this killer caught by the end of the month, got it?
FLOYD AND ZENK: Yes. Thank you sir!
COMMISSIONER: NOW GET OUT OF MY OFFICE!
FLOYD AND ZENK: Yes sir!

PAGE FOUR
1—Floyd and Zenk walk out of the commissioner’s office. We get to see the desks and the other officers in the police station.
FLOYD: Well, that went better than expected.
ZENK: How was that “better than expected”?
OFFICER #1: HEY FLOYD, YOU WERE GETTING CHEWED OUT HARD IN THERE BY THE COMMISH. I HOPE YOUR ARMS DIDN’T FALL OFF.
ALL THE PEOPLE IN THE STATION: HAHAHAHAHAH!
2—Zenk looks at Floyd who keeps his head down. Zenk has a sad expression on his face when he looks at him.
ZENK: Don’t listen to them buddy. They’re just a bunch of a**holes.
3—both of them walk out of the station. We see police cars and pedestrians walking in the background. You can also see a big sign board that says “Capitol Police Department”. Floyd still has his head down. Zenk grabs Floyd’s shoulders.
ZENK: You alright buddy? Forget about what they said. Don’t let it get to you.
FLOYD: I’m fine buddy. I’ve learned to keep my head down whenever we’re at the station. I’m just glad they’re only insulting me. I don’t want them insulting my friend too.
ZENK: Thanks Floyd. You’re a good friend.
4—both of them stop and look up as they stand in front of the monuments dedicated to the Heroes of Lallor.
ZENK: Do you miss it?
FLOYD: Miss what?
ZENK: You know, being a superhero.
FLOYD: Honestly, I don’t. I tried being a superhero but that life just wasn’t for me. So, I quit and became a detective. I thought that I could be a hero in my own right as a detective. I guess I was wrong about that too.
5—Floyd is still looking up at the monument while Zenk looks at his friend. Even though Zenk can’t see his friend’s face, he feels his pain.
ZENK: You’re already a hero in my book buddy. I mean, you’re the reason we got this case in the first place. If you hadn’t stood up to the commissioner, we would’ve gotten another missing cat case.
FLOYD: You’re right. It does feel nice to actually try and solve a real case.
ZENK: Yeah and if we solve this case, we’re definitely going to become heroes of the city. Everyone at the station will be eating their words.
FLOYD: I would definitely love to see the look on their faces when we do.
ZENK: Me too. Hey, wanna grab a quick meal at Nix? It’s gonna be my treat.
FLOYD: Thanks but I’m gonna have to pass. I’ll see you tomorrow.
ZENK: Oh, okay. Sure. See you tomorrow.
6—Floyd walks away while Zenk is still standing there looking really worried. We can’t see the angry expression Floyd has on his face but we see him clench his fists.
ZENK: Are you gonna be alright buddy?
FLOYD: Don’t worry about me. I’ll be fine.

PAGE FIVE
1—Nix is a small restaurant located in the rougher areas in the city. There’s a big sign on top of the restaurant that says “Nix, the restaurants that makes you feel at home” with matching lights. Zenk is eating alone in one of the tables inside when his phone rings.
No dialogue.
SFX: RING! RING! RING!
2—Zenk taps his right ear where one of his headphones is located.
ZENK: Zenk here.
FORENSIC SCIENTIST: Sir, this is from the CPD crime lab.
ZENK: You guys found something?
FORENSIC SCIENTIST: Yes sir. We found a hair follicle in victim’s hand. We’re still processing it but there’s a chance that it belongs to our killer.
ZENK: That’s great news. I want you to run it on the city’s database and see if there’s any match.
FORENSIC SCIENTIST: Okay sir. Is Detective Belkin there with you?
ZENK: No, but I’ll inform him as soon as I can.
FORENSIC SCIENTIST: I’ll leave that to you then. That’s all the information we have for now. I will update you as soon as we have something.
ZENK: Okay. Thank you. Bye.
3—Zenk is about to call Floyd outside the restaurant when gets a call from his mother. In the background, we see a man dressed in a superhero costume passing by Zenk. The man wore a blue skin-tight leather costume with a matching yellow cape. He also had a mask on.
ZENK: Hey mom. Yes, I’m fine. There’s no need for you to worry.
4—Zenk then notices that someone grabs the costumed man in the distance.
ZENK: Oh $#@%. I’m sorry mom but I gotta go. I’ll call you later. Love you. Bye.

PAGE SIX
1—Zenk runs quickly to where the man in the costume was grabbed.
No dialogue.
2—It leads him to an abandoned bar. Zenk slowly opens the door.
No dialogue.
3—it’s dark and empty inside the bar. Zenk is scanning the area when someone grabs his shoulder.
ZENK: What the F—!
4—Zenk is startled and points his blaster to the man who turns out to be Floyd.
FLOYD (WHISPERS): Wait! It’s me! It’s me buddy. It’s Floyd.
5—Zenk sighs in relief and puts his blaster down. Floyd also feels relief after not being shot.
ZENK (WHISPERS): sigh don’t sneak up on me like that buddy. I could’ve shot you.
FLOYD (WHISPERS): I’m sorry.
ZENK (WHISPERS): How the hell did you know I was in here anyway?
FLOYD (WHISPERS): I was on my way home when I thought about your offer. I realized that I didn’t want to pass up on a free meal from you. So, I decided to go to Nix, hoping you’d still be there. When I got there, I saw you running so I followed you. What are you doing in a place like this?
ZENK (WHISPERS): I saw a man in a superhero costume get taken. I think our killer is upstairs. This might be our chance to catch him and end this.

PAGE SEVEN
1—both of them slowly make their way up the stairs. They have their blasters in hand, ready to fire if necessary.
FLOYD (WHISPERS): Okay, here’s the plan. We make no sudden moves when we confront the killer. It might endanger the victim. We’ll try to negotiate his surrender. If he tries to run, I’ll go after him while you take care of the victim. Are we clear on that?
ZENK (WHISPERS): Roger that.
2—they both get to the top of the stairs but the only one in there was the victim. The victim is tied up in a corner with his mouth gagged.
ZENK: Where’s the killer?
FLOYD: I don’t know. Maybe the killer noticed that we were downstairs and jumped out the window.
3— we shift over to the crime lab where one of the forensic scientists looking at one of the computer screens where they did the DNA matching for the hair follicle. The screen has a complete progress bar. On top of the progress bar reads “DNA Match: FOUND”.
No dialogue.
4— Zenk then gets a call from the crime lab. Before he could ask the result from the forensic scientist, someone hits him from the back.
ZENK: Zenk here. Oh, the results are in?
FLOYD: Who are you talking too?
ZENK: It’s the crime lab. They say they found a hair follicle from the victim’s hand. I had them run it through the city’s database to see if there were any DNA matches.
ZENK (SPEAKING ON THE PHONE): Did you find any—?
SFX: PAK
5—Zenk wakes up to find himself tied up to a chair. He sees the victim whose arms and legs are tied to a wall.
ZENK: What just happened?
6—Suddenly, Floyd is in front of him. Floyd is crouched down and has his hands on Zenk’s shoulder. Floyd has a big smile on his face.
FLOYD: I’m glad you’re awake, buddy. I was afraid I might’ve hit you too hard.
ZENK: Floyd? What the hell is going on?!
FLOYD: Let’s just say, I didn’t want you to know the truth from a forensic scientist.
ZENK: What do you mean?
FLOYD: The hair follicle that the forensic scientist was analyzing for you, it belonged to me. All the beautiful crime scenes we’ve found in the past month were my works of art.
ZENK: I don’t understand.
FLOYD: It was me Zenk. I am the killer.

PAGE EIGHT
1—Floyd turns his back on Zenk who is still tied to a chair.
ZENK: It was all you? You killed those five innocent people?
FLOYD: Yes, I did.
ZENK: Why? Why would you do such a thing? I thought you wanted to become a hero.
FLOYD: Oh, I do. I want to become a hero and this is the way for me to become a hero. You can be a hero too but only if you’ll agree to follow my plan. So, hear me out. I just need to kill a couple more people to heighten the terror and fear in the city. Then we find someone who we’ll frame as the “killer”. We apprehend him and we get locked in a heroic shootout. The killer is shot dead and the two detectives save the day. Think of all the headlines in the news, “Detectives Belkin and Zenk successfully captures Capitol killer”, “Heroic detectives put an end to terror in the city.”, and “Hero detectives honored by the city mayor with gold medals”. We can have all of that. And everyone at the station will eat their words.
ZENK: This is insane Floyd.
2—Floyd faces Zenk again but remains standing. Zenk is looking up at him with confusion in his eyes.
FLOYD: It’s a perfectly logical plan buddy. Heck, why don’t we frame Cax or Malek. Those two were always mean to us so it would be poetic justice. What do you say, partner? Are you in?
ZENK: No, I’m not. I’m not going to help commit more murders and frame an innocent cop.
FLOYD: So, that’s a no? That’s too bad. I gotta say I’m really disappointed in your lack of vision Zenk. I really thought we would be partners ‘til the end of this. Tsk! It’s such a shame. But on the bright side, you do get to watch me perform live as I cut off this man’s limbs.
ZENK: Don’t do this Floyd. You’re better than this.
FLOYD: You know what, I just thought of a great idea. Since you’re not going to help me with my plan, maybe I’ll just frame you as the killer instead. I’ll just make up a story of how I stopped you from claiming another victim. I’ll become a hero for sure. You’d probably be alright with that right?
3—Floyd turns his back again and paces towards his victim. He’s holding a knife in his hand. Then he hears someone from behind him.
CPD POLICE OFFICER (OFF-PANEL): FREEZE!
4—Floyd is now facing in front of 10 CCPD police officers with their guns pointed at him. Zenk still has a sad expression on his face.
ZENK: I’m sorry Floyd but I forgot to tell you that I called for backup before I entered the empty bar.
POLICE OFFICER #1: Drop the weapon and put your hands where I can see them.
5—Before Floyd is taken downstairs, he stops in front of Zenk. Floyd gives Zenk a mean stare. Zenk, on the other hand, just has this sad expression on his face.
FLOYD: You’re going to regret this Zenk. I will come back for you and when I do, I’ll cut off all of your limbs. And I’ll take my time doing it.
ZENK: Take him away boys.

PAGE NINE
1—we see Floyd being accompanied to his cell in the Capitol Penitentiary.
COMMISSIONER (VOICE OVER): “Congratulations Zenk, you manage to catch the killer and solve this case. You should be happy with this achievement. You’re a hero now.”
ZENK (VO): “Thank you sir. I just, I still can’t believe someone who I considered a friend, someone who was once a superhero could do such things”.
2—we see Zenk standing in front of the commissioner in his office. The Commissioner is sitting down on his chair. He has a cigarette tucked between his two fingers.
COMMISSIONER: I’m sorry about Belkin. I had high hopes for that kid. He was a good kid. But sometimes people hide their true nature. In the end, you find out that they’re not the people you thought they were. It’s just sad that your friend is one of those people. Have you talked to him yet?
ZENK: No sir. Not since his arrest. But I’m going there today. One of his old friends wants to see him.
COMMISSIONER: Okay. Take care of yourself out there kid.
ZENK: I will. Thank you sir!
3—we go back to Floyd who is sitting in his cell. The cell is surrounded by bullet proof glass which allows us to see the prisoner inside.
Caption: Capitol Penitentiary.
GUARD (OFF-PANEL): Hey Belkin, you have a visitor.
4—Zenk is now standing in front of Floyd. He’s looking at Floyd from outside the cell.
ZENK: Hey Floyd. How’ve you been?
FLOYD: Wouldn’t you like to know. So, to what do I owe the pleasure, hero? Did you miss me already?
ZENK: No, I miss my friend. You’re not him. There’s also someone here who wanted to see you.
5—From Floyd’s perspective inside the cell, we can see Gas Girl standing beside Zenk.
GAS GIRL: Hello Floyd. It’s been a long time since I last saw you. Do you still remember me? They call me Gas Girl. We were teammates before.
FLOYD: Why is that b*@%^ here?
ZENK: Show her some respect Floyd!
GAS GIRL: It’s okay detective.

PAGE TEN
1—we see all three of them in the panel having a conversation.
GAS GIRL: I was looking at our old picture from before. The first team picture we took and it got me wondering whatever happened to you. You left so suddenly. Then I saw you on the news as this killer and I couldn’t believe it. I knew I had to see you. What happened to you Floyd? Why did you do all those horrible things? I want to know.
ZENK: I also want to know Floyd. You were my best friend. We’ve been partners since the day we became detectives. Were you just lying to me the whole time? Did you even see me as your friend?
FLOYD: None of those things matter to me anymore. But since both of you came all this way to see me, I’ll tell you a story. There was once a kid who had the ability to detach his limbs and use it as a weapon. He marveled at his abilities and decided to become a superhero.
2—Floyd is now standing up and facing both Zenk and Gas Girl.
FLOYD: First, he tried to audition for the Legion of Superheroes. Unfortunately, they thought he was worthless and couldn’t see his potential. So, they rejected him. He was the first hero they ever rejected. Instead of feeling bad for himself, he decided to look on the bright side. Then the boy met other young heroes from his home planet and together they formed The Heroes of Lallor. It was great at first. But the boy soon realized that there was no future for him on the team, so he quit. He decided to strike out on his own. The boy will come to regret this decision. He tried to be a hero but he kept messing up. He failed to save people because he would get nervous and his limbs would suddenly detach from his body. He became a laughing stock to everyone. He didn’t get any support, not even from his family.
3—Floyd turns his back on both of them.
FLOYD: The boy decided to hang up his costume and quit being a superhero. When he grew older, he joined the police academy. He was better than anyone there, far better. He thought he would get his chance to shine as a hero when he became a detective. But he was wrong. He got assigned to do pathetic cases which involved missing cats. Then everyone that he worked with learned about his past as a loser superhero. He became the laughing stock of everyone again. The boy soon realized that there was only one way for him to be taken seriously and get real cases. So, he hatched a plan. He would commit a series of murders. Then he would make sure that the commissioner would give him that case. His plan was great.
4—Floyd faces them again but now, you see a smile on his face.
FLOYD: I’m sure you know how the story ends, am I right Zenk? After all, I did tell you what my plan was. Had you agreed to it, we both would’ve been heroes. The story would’ve had a happy ending.
ZENK: Why did you target people wearing costumes?
FLOYD: Because seeing them made me furious. Seeing how happy they were made my heart race in anger. I didn’t get any support from my parents so I was jealous. None of you know how it feels to be rejected. The depression I went through growing up. People laughed at me for being Arm-Fall-Off-Boy. I was a loser as a superhero and as a detective. We were losers Zenk. I thought you would’ve understood. You didn’t. But it doesn’t matter. I showed them. Now no one will ever be laughing at Arm-Fall-Off-Boy.
GAS GIRL: We never saw you as a loser Floyd. I never saw you as a loser. I’m sorry you felt that way.
FLOYD: Your apologies mean nothing to me. Every time I look at your statues in the middle of the city, I get angrier. I should’ve had a statue of my own. I should’ve been celebrated. It should’ve been me because I was better. But it wasn’t.
4—Floyd focuses on Zenk. He’s still has a smile on his face.
FLOYD: You should be thanking me Zenk. I’m sure you’re really happy now that you’re a hero. They probably gave you a medal. That medal should’ve been mine. I’m the real hero here.
ZENK: I’m so sorry for what you endured but it doesn’t justify what you did to those innocent people. I hope you can learn to forgive the people of this city and forgive yourself. I’ll be waiting for my friend to come back. Let’s go Gas Girl.
GAS GIRL: Goodbye Floyd.
5—While Zenk and Gas Girl are walking away, Floyd is banging on the cell walls made of glass while shouting at them.
FLOYD: DON’T WALK AWAY FROM ME YOU INGRATES! I MADE YOU WHAT YOU ARE. I MADE YOU A HERO! YOU’RE ALL GOING TO SCREW UP ONE DAY. AND WHEN YOU DO, I’M GOING TO BE HERE LAUGHING! YOU DON’T DESERVE THAT MEDAL!
6—Floyd is alone again, sitting in his cell. He has his head down. You can’t clearly see his face but there’s a sad expression in it hidden in the darkness.
FLOYD: I am the only hero here. I am the hero of this city. I am a hero.
END

“WHAT EVER HAPPENED TO CLARK KENT AFTER GRADUATION?”

1)Angel on a lone truck as it powers through the treacherous, snow covered roads of the Arctic.

NO DIALOGUE

2)Caked in ice and snow, the lumbering vehicle pulls into an isolated truck stop, visibility almost

NO DIALOGUE

3)TRUCK CABIN

The driver, BUCK, removes his hat and wipes his road weary face with a gloved hand before

turning to his passenger, CLARK KENT (18yr.).

BUCK:

“Well, despite that slip on the road, we’re here. You still wanna part ways, kid? This ain’t

Kansas and there ain’t no warm weather or corn fields. Mess around out here and you can

freeze to death real easy.”

4)Clark offers Buck some money.

CLARK:

“Thanks for the ride.”

5)Buck motions for him to put his cash away.

BUCK:

“Watch yourself out here. People act like this is the edge of the earth. They think there ain’t no

law and they can do whatever they want.”

1)Clark flashes a slight grin before pulling on the hood of his thick polar jacket. Gloves on, he

throws his pack over his shoulder.

CLARK:

“Thanks again.”

2­3)Follow Clark as he walks through the truck stop and into the frozen tundra, snow and fog

enveloping him as he moves off into the distance.

CLARK:

“…I understand.”

4)Climbing from the truck, Buck pauses.

BUCK:

“What the…?”

5)He moves to the trailer quarter panel for a better look.

NO DIALOGUE

6)Pressed, ever so gently, into the metal are a set of hand prints.

NO DIALOGUE

7)A look of confusion turns to an… epiphany?

NO DIALOGUE

Page three

1)Far enough from the truck stop, Clark pushes his hood back and scans his surroundings.

NO DIALOGUE

2­3)Satisfied no one is around, he removes his jacket, stripping down to his bare chest. The

last item removed is a black, “stocking like” top​.

CLARK:

“I know,…just need a minute. Cold.”

4)Clark holds the stocking shirt out in front of him, hands feeling the texture.

CLARK:

(voice over)

“I’ve worn this thing as long as I can remember. It cuts off my body’s ability to absorb the Sun’s

rays, effectively limiting my powers and allowing me to live a…normal life.

I don’t know how my parents could have raised me without it.”

5)Clark has suddenly grown 4­5 inches and gained considerably more muscle mass, the effects

of having absorbed more of the Sun rays.

NO DIALOGUE

1­2)Picking up an impressive sized piece of snow covered rock, he easily hurls it several miles

into the distance.

CLARK:

(voice over)

“My father would say that, for me, weakness was a virtue. I never really understood what he

meant until the day I didn’t make the varsity team. I was upset and wanted to show them what I

could really​do. Pa said to remember this feeling.

Fulfilling your destiny means the people around you will feel just like you do now​. No one​on

earth can match your gifts. Your ability to empathise, to have compassion, will become your

greatest strength.​”

3­4)Throwing his, now ill­fitting, jacket over his exposed flesh, Clark slides the stocking shirt into

his pack and hauls it over his shoulder.

CLARK:

“Much better.”

5)Picking up the pace, he moves deeper into the frozen wasteland.

CLARK:

(voice only)

“Most of us wouldn’t remember, but there was a time, as children, when we couldn’t speak or

understand language. As we grew, we learned. Our brains developed and at some point we

could speak and understand. That happened to me twice:​once with my parents and again with

the voices in my head​.

…I know what you’re thinking, dude’s crazy. Let me explain. The second language I learned

was Kryptonian, the language of my birth planet…Krypton. Around four or five was when I

started hearing the voices.

Once I understood the language, they told me who they were and what their purpose was.

The voices come from three satellites (A.I.) placed in deep orbit around our solar system by my

birth father years ago. Their purpose is to aid me, provide any knowledge or information I may

1)Clark steps over a ridge. He’s high in the mountains

CLARK:

“…What does it look like? Alright, alright, Stop. I’ll know it when I see it.”

2)From the interior pocket of his jacket, Clark removes a box the size of an eyeglass case,

markings on it show it’s Kryptonian in origin. Inside is a slender crystal.

CLARK:

(voice over)

“My parents found this in the ship that brought me here. Just like astronauts went to the moon,

Kryptonians have been to earth. And, like those astronauts, they left some items behind.”

3)The crystal in his hand begins to glow, growing stronger in intensity as he approaches a small,

“alien bunker”.

NO DIALOGUE

4)Once in range, unseen energies bring the structure to life.

NO DIALOGUE

5)Analyzing and confirming his DNA, a hatch on the side slides open. Clark enters the

CLARK:

(voice over)

“The satellites refer to this as ‘THE KEEP’. Over time, I will build upon it and it will become my

FORTRESS OF SOLITUDE.”

1)18 MONTHS LATER

2)Clark sits in a dark chamber several meters below ​The Keep. Something’s wrong. He’s

gaunt, pale and sweaty.

CLARK:

(voice only)

“With the help of the satellites, I’ve discovered the upper limits of my abilities,…even found

powers I didn’t know I had. Lately, my interest has turned to exploring the bottom of those

abilities. It’s why I’ve cut myself off from the Sun.”

3)Tapping the air, he brings up a holographic computer and expands the screen.

CLARK:

(cont.)

“Part of it’s because of something I found on the internet. Its got me questioning what I’d really

be willing to do if I didn’t have my advantage.”

4)He pulls up camera footage of a MASKED VIGILANTE​running the streets of GOTHAM.

CLARK:

(cont.)

“No one knows his motives, but he’s stopped more than one crime. The police call him a

menace. I’m not so sure.”

5)ANGLE ON CAMERA FOOTAGE

ROBBER has everyone stripped down to their skivvies. Waving two guns around, he uses them

to punctuate his threats.

NO DIALOGUE

Page seven

1­2)A canned food item hurled into frame smashes Robber’s nose. Before he can recover,

VIGILANTE is all over him.

NO DIALOGUE

3­4)Utilizing a very precise but brutal fighting style, Vigilante quickly disarms and incapacitates

NO DIALOGUE

6)Moments after it started, the video is over, ending with Vigilante making a hasty exit.

NO DIALOGUE

1)Clark’s eyes narrow in concentration.

CLARK:

(voice only)

“No powers, at least none I can perceive. I’m impressed by what I’ve seen.”

2)CUT TO: CLARK STANDING AT THE EDGE OF TOWN

Wearing two jackets to keep warm, he looks better than he did before. Still, there is a frailty to

CLARK:

(voice only)

“Years ago, when I was twelve, almost thirteen, I tried being a superhero. In two days I almost

exposed my secret identity and nearly got several people killed, not to mention the damage I

caused. I was scared.”

3)Clark starts into town.

CLARK:

(cont.)

“If it weren’t for my Pa’s status in the community, things would have been much worse. It was

decided that I would ‘lay low’ until graduation. From there, I would travel here. I needed a place

of isolation where I could test myself, truly educate myself as to my capabilities.”

4­5)INTERIOR­TOWN STORE

A robbery is in progress. Hands shaking, a YOUNG GUNMAN takes aim at several people in

GUNMAN:

“Nobody move. Blink wrong and you’re dead!”

1)OLDER ACCOMPLICE pops his head out from behind the drug counter.

ACCOMPLICE:

“Cool out, youngster! Keep waving that gun around and it’s bound to go off.”

2)As if on cue, Clark enters the store, preoccupied with eating an energy bar.

  1. Startled, Gunman pivots toward the door. BLAM!! The gun goes off.

4)In a selfless act, Clark extends his hand to intercept the bullet, protecting the lives of a mother

and her infant.

5)Wincing in pain, he looks down at the bullet that has partially pierced his hand, blood oozing

from the wound.

NO DIALOGUE

6)Clenching his injured hand, he stares down both assailants.

A slight grin curls the edges of his mouth.

CLARK:

(voice only)

“Given a choice, I would choose Hero over Vigilante. Any case, I’ve got a job to do.”

THE END

Extreme Ways
by
Ross Trapnell

PAGE 1
PANEL 1
Close-up on the back of a man’s head. He’s holding a mobile phone up to his ear. It’s ringing.

CAPT.
NOW.

SFX
BRIIING BRIIING

SFX
KLK

MAN WITH PHONE
Hello?

PANEL 2
We’ve zoomed out now, showing the man is inside a room and stood in front of a desk. There’s also a chair but he’s not sitting in it. The desk is full of stuff but we’re not at the correct angle to see it yet.

VOICE FROM PHONE
How did you get this number?

MAN WITH PHONE
That doesn’t matter.

MAN WITH PHONE
We need to meet. One hour, in front of the New Town Hall in the Marienplatz. Come alone.

Panel 3
We’re looking at the table now, and can see a real mix of stuff. There’s a newspaper dated “20, März 2009”. The headline reads “VEREITELTER ANSCHLANG! Mutanten Halten Extremisten in München!”. We also see a disassembled handgun, and a box of ammunition. Another notable item is a journal, open and with scrawls in it. Any visible writing in the journal would be in English. A pen is next to it, lid off.

VOICE FROM PHONE
You expect me to travel to Munich in an hour?

MAN WITH PHONE
It shouldn’t be too difficult. You’re already here.

VOICE FROM PHONE

VOICE FROM PHONE
How will I know who you are?

PANEL 4
For the first time, we see the man with the phone from the front. His expression is fairly neutral as he talks. He’s focused on the phone call.

MAN WITH PHONE
That’s easy. Just look for Jason Bourne.

PAGE 2
PANEL 1

CAPT.
THEN.

We’re looking at the same face, but it’s night now. There are night vision goggles atop his head, but he’s not using them. He seems to be dressed in black, and from what we can see of the background, there is heavy foliage.

PANEL 2
Bourne is walking through what appears to be a jungle, trees rise high either side of him. He’s dressed in tactical gear, looks to be armoured, and carrying an assault rifle, which has a strap that’s hung over his shoulder. There are holsters for other weapons (handguns and knives) spread about his person.
He’s headed to a clearing. Off in the distance, we might be able to catch the first light of dawn breaking over the horizon.

PANEL 3
Walking into the clearing, he can see the last burning embers of a fire, and a tent. He approaches carefully. His rifle is raised.

PANEL 4
Small. Close-up on his hand as he pulls a knife out of its sheath.

PANEL 5
He cuts the tent fabric in one smooth motion.

PANEL 6
Bourne steps inside the tent, weapon raised. We’re looking at him, wondering to see what he’ll find.

PAGE 3
PANEL 1
There is a sleeping bag, a radio, some mess and a light (turned off). But this isn’t right. There’s nobody there. Suddenly this mission has gone very wrong.

PANEL 2
Bourne looks surprised, shocked. We’re getting a good view of his expression, but also of of the makeshift doorway he cut for himself. More importantly for us is that we can see the bulky figure that’s now standing there. Silhouetted but still visible, he’s short and wide and well built, with crazy hair and no shirt on. If we can see his expression at this point, it would best be summed up as “not pleased”.

SILHOUETTED GUY
Rrrrrrrr.

PANEL 4
Bourne hears the noise and turns his head towards the source. His expression is determined but surprised. There’s no fear.

SILHOUETTED GUY
Rrrrrr.

PANEL 5
A black background, with no details. It’s blank apart from a single sound effect.

SFX
SNIKT

PAGE 4
PANEL 1
This is a big one. Wolverine is leaping at Bourne, who is stepping backwards and raising his rifle towards the oncoming attacker.

PANEL 2
Wolverine lands, slicing the barrel of the rifle with one cut.

PANEL 3
The barrel hits the floor and Wolverine is crouching low, arms held out at his sides with the claws almost touching the floor, ready to pounce.
Bourne is already dropping the now-useless rifle.

PANEL 4
Bourne is empty-handed as Wolverine charges at him, ready to take a big swipe at his chest with his claws. What-will-happen-next!? (Turn the page to find out)

PAGE 5
PANEL 1

CAPT.
NOW.

We’re looking (from above) at a busy street in Munich, in front of the New Town Hall in the Marienplatz. It’s a blur of faces, lots of movement, all are going about their day. Nobody stands out.

PANEL 2
Jason Bourne, looking down the scope of a high powered rifle at the scene we saw in the previous panel. He’s tense, not allowing himself to relax until he finds his target.

PANEL 3
Now we’re behind Jason, and so is somebody else. An arm hangs in the panel. It’s tensed and leads to a curled first. Jason is in the same position as before, still looking down the scope.

MYSTERIOUS STRANGER
You called, Jason. I’m here.

PANEL 4
Jason, in shock, grabs the rifle and turns to see the man speaking to him, aiming it at him. It’s Wolverine! Duh. He’s dressed in casual clothes (with a jacket of course) and standing in a manner that belies caution but not open aggression.

JASON BOURNE
Wolverine? You found me. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised.

WOLVERINE
I’ve read the files on you, I know that you went underground. Off-the-grid.

WOLVERINE
So why are you here? What do you want?

PANEL 5
Jason has put the rifle on the ground and is stood up. This panel is a close-up though, so readers might not be able to tell.

JASON BOURNE
To tell you the truth about Weapon X.

PAGE 6
PANEL 1
Wolverine keeps his body language the same, he’s heard b.s. like this before. But it gets his attention all the same.

WOLVERINE
Alright, I’m listening.

PANEL 2
Jason has begun disassembling his rifle as he talks.

JASON BOURNE
Do you know how similar we are? What we’ve been through? What they turned us both into?

WOLVERINE
You were an assassin for your government, but I’ll bet they never treated you like an animal.

PANEL 3
This is a big image. It’s Jason Bourne, naked and suspended in a tank a la Barry Windsor Smith’s iconic Weapon X imagery. This is a throwback, an homage, whatever you call it. It should be cold and raw and Jason should be more vulnerable than we have ever seen him.

JASON BOURNE
They made us into weapons, Wolverine.

JASON BOURNE
You think it ended with Weapon X but it didn’t.

PANEL 4
A different time now. Of Bourne being trained, pointing a gun at a prisoner’s head, while his handler observes.

JASON BOURNE
Treadstone took everything that they learned from you, and they advanced it.

JASON BOURNE
The brainwashing, the manipulation, it’s the same. The difference is that after you, they stuck to non-mutants.

WOLVERINE
Treadstone, Blackbriar. These programs, do they still run?

JASON BOURNE
No. I stopped them, but that’s not the point.

PANEL 5
Close-up on the gun that Bourne was holding in the previous panel. It fires.

JASON BOURNE
They can start again, build another. Make more weapons.

PAGE 7
PANEL 1
We’re back in the past now, showing the tent from outside as the two men fight within.

JASON BOURNE (CAPT.)
We’ve met before. Do you remember?

WOLVERINE (CAPT.)
No. But you do? I thought you’d lost your memories too?

JASON BOURNE (CAPT.)
They’ve been coming back, mixtures of events and emotion.

PANEL 2
Inside the tent. Wolverine has charged at Bourne and slashed across his chest, but there’s no visible damage. Bourne’s hand is reaching into a holster.

JASON BOURNE (CAPT.)
Look, after you’d gone rogue, they sent me. I tracked you down and we fought.

JASON BOURNE (CAPT.)
I’d been outfitted with some sort of prototype adamantium armour. They only had one.

PANEL 3
Bourne has pulled out a handgun, and fires four times.

SFX
BLAM BLAM BLAM BLAM

JASON BOURNE (CAPT.)
So I went in alone.

JASON BOURNE (CAPT.)
Which was how I worked best.

PANEL 4
We see the bullet impacts. Two for Logan’s eyes and two for his ears. Bourne is playing dirty to win.

WOLVERINE
AAAARGH!

PANEL 5
Wolverine, temporarily blinded and deafened, leaps forward in a berserker charge. He slices Bourne’s shoulder as he goes past but that’s all.

WOLVERINE
RRRARRGH!!!

PAGE 8
PANEL 1
As Wolverine has charged and passed Bourne, he does a quick turn and shoots Wolverine in the ankle, severing his Achilles tendon.

SFX
BLAM

PANEL 2
Wolverine drops to the floor, bleeding and still disoriented.
Bourne is walking over.

PANEL 3
Standing just out of range of any claw swipes from the downed Wolverine, Jason points his gun at his head.

PANEL 4
He fires three times.

SFX
BLAM BLAM BLAM

JASON BOURNE (CAPT.)
You lost that night.

PANEL 5
Bourne has exited the tent and is speaking on a radio.

JASON BOURNE (CAPT.)
I called in your location and they hauled you back to some awful place for reconditioning.

PAGE 9
PANEL 1
Back in the present day now. The scene on the rooftop. Jason is standing,his bag open on the floor. The sniper rifle has been disassembled and put away.

JASON BOURNE
After remembering all of that I just wanted to give you something.

PANEL 2
Reaching into his bag, Jason pulls out some files.

JASON BOURNE
So Here. These are for you.

Wolverine looking puzzled.

WOLVERINE
What’s this?

JASON BOURNE
Everything that I found about the Weapon X project. Your file is in here.

PANEL 3
Wolverine is stunned as he takes the files.

WOLVERINE
Thank you.

WOLVERINE
I’m not sure how I can pay you back for this.

PANEL 4
Jason is packing his bag.

JASON BOURNE
I hope it helps you to remember, Wolverine.

JASON BOURNE
I’m sorry for the pain.

PANEL 5
Wolverine is looking at the files.

WOLVERINE
Don’t worry about it, I always heal. Call me Logan.

WOLVERINE
If you need help, you know where to find me.

WOLVERINE
How about to start, you lemme get you a drink?

PAGE 10
PANEL 1
Wolverine looks up.

PANEL 2
Big panel showing the roof from above. It’s empty. Jason has gone.

PANEL 3
Wolverine smiles.

Titles and Credits - Extreme Ways

THE END

I have got through three so far. Well four actually (counting my own). Will get to the others in the next couple of days. Enjoying them immensely though.

1 Like

I just realized I didn’t sign my story as M. E. Nichols. It’s the one titled “Man with the Plan”. As always, any feedback is appreciated. Thanks folks.

Mike

1 Like

NICE! Been up since 3AM, had to fly this morning for work, but hopefully will get to some of these tonight before I crash.

Going to try something different and start from the bottom this time!

2 Likes

Thanks Jim, for tacking my name on my story; appreciate it.

Mike

Sorry I don’t list story names.
#1) I like how Santa “got down”. Truly…Sweet Christmas!

#2) This the new versions of “the crew”? Anyways, I like.

#3) Cage willing to slam someone so hard he could kill them? (I know, petty. Still, great story).

LUV THE WORK, by no means an attack : )

IMHO, as a “writer & artist”, my question is this…for all of us…How much do artists want us to tell them what to draw? When are we being too “overly” with description of page layout? I understand “the mind’s eye”. Just…what are the accepted/general compromises?

I’ve now read all of the stories and in the aims of fairness I thought I’d try to give feedback for all of them. Something positive and (hopefully) some constructive criticism. Since I’m putting them all in one post, I’ve decided to use spoiler tags I’ve chosen to do this to allow the authors to read their individual feedback without running the risk of having the other stories ruined for them. For those of you who don’t know, simply click on the blurred text to reveal it, but be warned that spoilers lurk beneath.

Here we go:

The First Sweet Christmas
It’s a nice little premise, and a fun story overall. The Luchadore masks are always a good idea as far as I’m concerned. I just wonder if you’re over-designing the pages? It doesn’t exactly matter for a Write Off (since the readers are your target audience), but if you were writing this for an artist I wonder if they would be a bit annoyed.

Big Shoes to Fill
I’m not sure that I really grasped this story. The opening sequence with the kid playing was probably favourite part. I also liked the dynamic between your two human adults, that was nice and gave them some character in a short space. But overall I’m left scratching my head a bit and wondering what this was about. Maybe I’m missing something.

The Leaping Ghost
I liked Lt. Heimreich. He seemed like a pulpy Nazi villain, a la Raiders, and his dialogue fit him well.
My favourite sequence was the pitch black fight, although I wonder if some of your descriptions need to be clearer. For example, I’m not sure what it means when you say “all around them are the red-eyes of a dark clad demon”. My interpretation is that there is only one set of eyes that moves around the room in the following panels. I’d be interested to know if you meant it any other way.

Man With the Plan
Overall I liked this, though I’m kicking myself for not figuring out that it was Ozymandias until they were talking about tachyons.
It’s interesting that you didn’t try to emulate the 9-panel grid. Why is that?
It was great that you worked in Nostalgia.

Spider-Man: A Gun
I liked the idea of this, and it was nice to see that Peter had learned something by the end of the story. It made for a good one-off, but I think if Marvel brought attention to this sort of thing in their stories it would break the rules of the MCU a little. That’s certainly not a criticism. Experimentation are what these Write Offs allow, but it’s just something that I couldn’t get out of my head while I read it.
Also, I wonder if the story would have been more exciting if you had told it in a linear fashion? As it stands, you pretty much know what is going to happen from the first page. It doesn’t make it any less interesting, but I think it robs it of the excitement.

Whatever Happened To…?
This story was a nice subversion of stories like Powers but I’m not sure that you really had the space here to do your story justice. I think this limitation led to you using too many words, and maybe you should try to cut some back. I think there is a rule of thumb that you generally shouldn’t put more than 23 words in a speech bubble, and I try to keep it down to about 19. In this story I counted a bubble with 46, another with 56, and even one with 123! Obviously you could just break them down into multiple speech bubbles but I think it shows that you might just be using too many words overall.
I did like the small comedic moments, such as the cut from them saying their Chief would be in a good mood, and then the next panel where he is furious. They were a lot of fun.

What Ever Happened To Clark Kent After Graduation?
My favourite thing about this was Clark being introspective after he has isolated himself. Those moments of him thinking, where we get to see some of that, is something I really like in Superman stories.
It’s also pretty cool to see him reassess himself in the wake of learning about Batman.
With this story you have done a new take on the mythos, which is fine (possibly even to be encouraged). But I was left confused by the way that his powers have been limited as he grew up. Has he always had to wear that special shirt? Where did it come from? Is it just a regular shirt and Clark always had to wear some form of clothing? Either way, how does he shower? I know that space is limited, but maybe you could have explained with just a couple more captions, because I found myself thinking about that more than I should.

1 Like

Hey there. Thanks for the kind comments. Don’t kick yourself. I was hoping people would be stumped up until the reveal. As part and parcel of the whole mystery theme I tried to litter clues through out the piece; some obvious like the “Nostalgia” bit and the movie theater name (btw… The “Egyptian” is an actual old movie house) and some less so (the psychic and the monster movie); even as far as the inclusion of the Gordian Knot tagline at the end.

The nine panel idea is a cool one. I hadn’t thought of constructing the story based on Gibbon’s original nine panel grid. I wonder if I had tried that; would it have tipped my hand too early with the more savvy readers?

Thanks again,

Mike

3 Likes

@KandorLives, THANK YOU so much for the story feedback! :smiley:

To be totally honest, this Spider-Man story is a veiled framework for more of what would ACTUALLY happen in the real world (that we pick apart in recent super-hero movies), and Peter is a great character to use when it comes to guns (same with Bruce Wayne).

I was worried about telling the story the way I did, because it isn’t a traditional mystery story the way I did it…but my thought (good or bad) was to make the user aware of what was going to happen to give the feeling of impending doom to come.

1 Like

Re: Patrick Barb’s "The First Sweet Christmas"
In high school I wrote a story explaining the origin of the phrase, “Good night!” It involved a princess and a wayward knight. The rest kind of explains itself. That’s what this reminds me about. The script is too long, and for my tastes, too goofy. I realize there are people who like that sort of thing (the goofiness, I mean), and as such this is the early vote-getter. But the concept itself is kind of weak and obvious (this coming from the “Good night!” guy), and while I can’t say I’ve read a ton of Heroes for Hire comics, the characterization doesn’t seem particularly spot-on (I have read Iron Fist stories; I doubt this character changes drastically around Luke Cage).

Re: Tony Laplume’s "Big Shoes to Fill"
This is mine. In the one response so far, there seems to be some confusion as to what’s going on. Big Foot/Sasquatch/Abominable Snowman/Yeti comes from space, and there are people dedicated to obscuring their activities as they try to make it back home. I tend to become critical of my stuff, too, once I see that it lands with a dud. I always think minimalism will work better than it does.

Re: Craig Sawyer’s "The Leaping Ghost"
This is probably the story to beat. Heck of a job, with this one, both in envisioning the story and execution. Does this even belong in a contest like this???

Re: Simon Jones’ "I Never Joke about My Work"
I’m not entirely sure what the secret was in this one. Is 008 a big thing in the books? Because he’s a complete nonentity in the movies. Is the secret that there has been more than one 007? Because that’s certainly one of those Internet theories (every actor depicts, in actually, a different James Bond/007). I don’t know. It just didn’t work for me, but then, I’d just read a script that wowed me, which was a tough act to follow, and this one just seemed fairly standard in comparison. Sorry, Simon. (Hopefully no hard feelings.)

Re: M.E. Nichols’ "Man with the Plan
The first thing you should know is that the artist shouldn’t be in the dark as to the identity of the Mystery Man. This part was written as if to a reader. And scripts aren’t written like that. I don’t think the identity of the main character even needs to be hidden. In fact, the script would be stronger if you introduce Adrian Veidt directly, when Uri Gellar meets him. The rest plays out as you intended it to well enough.

Re: Patrick J. Clarke’s "A Gun"
Like the other Marvel characters entry so far, this one takes a fairly goofy approach (although this time, because it’s Spider-Man, it works better). Still, it’s weird, the juxtaposition of the goofiness (how Spidey talks, Vulture shaking his fist angrily at Spidey), and the time jumps, and the serious nature of the story, ultimately, I don’t think it entirely gels, like a bunch of different instincts that don’t really belong together jammed into a single script. And I would know, but this reads like a writer working on his craft first-and-foremost.

Re: "Glenn Francis Faelnar’s "Whatever Happened to…?"
At the very least, this doesn’t read like a Legion of Super-Heroes story at all, and to my mind (I guess this is a recurring theme for me with these write-off entries) that’s a bad thing. The dialogue is completely overwritten, and I’m not sure this was properly envisioned as a comic book script. I mean, it’s written out like one, but the clear interest is the dialogue. Like the Spider-Man story above, too little effort is made to make the story cohesive, and instead we just have two separate stories jammed together, and it doesn’t seem like either was considered in relation to the other, other than the connective issue of who the missing hero was, and what happened to him. Then we jump to the unrelated investigation, and in a roundabout way link back, and then there’s a leap in logic where the original question now becomes about what that investigation revealed about how the hero died…Sorry, again, if this is seeming more antagonistic than helpful (no one likes to see their work taken apart like this), but the basic thrust of my reaction is, this script could have used a second or third look, and the dialogue in particular should be examined.

Re: "Whatever Happened to Clark Kent After Graduation?"
I would characterize this script as awkward. The big revelation of the garment that suppresses Clark’s ability to absorb sunlight (as far as I know, this has never been done in a Superman origin before) is lightly tossed aside, and then a secret origin and purpose for the Fortress of Solitude is equally tossed aside, and then the budding Batman is used as an example of what Clark doesn’t want to be…That and the inelegantly-placed narration, which if executed better could easily have been used throughout the script via classic captioning (the script probably intends this with Clark’s thoughts, but it isn’t clear, and anyway not split up and spread out well enough)…There’s a lot of thought tossed in but little of it thought out. That’s my summary of this one.

Re: Ross Trapnell’s "Extreme Ways"
I’m not hugely sure why Jason Bourne, someone outside Marvel canon, had to be brought in to help Wolverine find out who he used to be. I’m sure this sounded like a good idea, juxtaposing two similar fictional characters, but it doesn’t really sound necessary when you see it play out. We did find out Wolverine’s origin (the story was literally called Origin), so I’m not hugely sure why we needed to have someone bring him files. In recent Bloodshot comics (the character, at least in this iteration, is similar to Wolverine), he got access to files like this, and chose not to read them. It just seems too easy and obvious.

I apologize, as I’ve indicated in some of the reviews, if I come off insulting the writers who participated in this. This is why I don’t like giving feedback, because in amateur competitions like this, you can usually tell who the amateurs are, and who (Craig Sawyer) doesn’t read like one, and the differences are very telling. Hopefully the criticism will be taken in the light it is given, which is my attempt to point out weaknesses in the results of an amateur’s efforts. Some of this would look different when brought to life by an artist, but I suspect I would have the same reaction to the writing, no matter the presentation.