1. Establishing shot. We're in Pattaya, Thailand, midday, the sun shining down, looking at the rather uninspiring edifice of the go-go bar THE ARMORY. A man clad in a white suit - his back to us, his identity unknown - is stepping through the door.
This guy is going to be trouble.
2. Inside THE ARMORY. We're viewing this from behind DUANE CHERCOVER; he's standing to one side, allowing himself a nice outlook of the joint. From what we can see of the guy, he looks like your archetypal dumb-muscle - shaved head, bulging biceps - the kind of guy you don't want to mess with. His arms are folded and we can't see his right hand. THE ARMORY is your standard setup; a bar, a stage - where girls clad in bikini tops and hot pants are dancing - and a viewing area in front of the stage. What sets the joint apart from its competition is its theme - armor. Restorations of medieval knight armor, statues of Iron Man armor, even Dr. Doom's armor - pay homage to as many identifiable armors as you wish - they all adorn the walls. The place is half-full - a decent patronage for this time of day - and most of the patrons are dressed in t-shirts and shorts; which makes the mysterious fellow in the white suit all the more conspicuous, halfway between the entrance and the bar.
And trouble is something Mr. Albion likes to avoid.
It's my job to ensure that every gentleman who enters this establishment isn't going to cause trouble.
I size 'em up. Every guy who steps through that door .
And if he's too drunk - if he's too belligerent - if he's going to be a problem - I get rid of him.
3. Focus on the girls on the stage, in the midst of their routine. Men watch them, entranced by their movements, alcoholic beverages in hand.
You can watch Mr. Albion's girls.
You can buy 'em a drink.
You can chat to them out here or in one of the back rooms.
Hell, you can pay the fee and take them out for the night - for the week, if you've got that kind of cash.
4. Our first proper look at DUANE. He's glaring at White Suit, who is chatting to the bartender a couple of feet away, seated on a stool. Our earlier assessment is correct; DUANE'S a tough looking dude, but there's intelligence behind his eyes - he's not quite the dumb muscle we might've thought. His arms are still folded, right hand still hidden.
But if you hurt them - if they come back damaged - you'll have me to deal with.
And I'm bloody good at my job.
Got the SAS to thank for that.
And if those particular talents don't do the trick - -
5. DUANE unfolds his arms - and finally we see his right hand, on which he's got an Iron Man palm gauntlet, maybe not quite as streamlined as the real Iron Man's, but intimidating nonetheless.
- - there's always the more extreme method.
6. Pull back. DUANE heads for the bar, towards White Suit. His gauntlet glove is GLOWING, prepped to fire.
Mr. Albion, he cares for his girls. Likes to see 'em smiling. Enjoying their profession. Which is why he employs me. To keep the riffraff away.
7. DUANE places his left hand on White Suit's shoulder.
This man - this man could certainly not be classified as riffraff.
But he's trouble. I know he is.
Knew it from the moment he stepped through the door.
8. WHITE SUIT turns his head - revealing himself to be TONY STARK, smiling, at ease.
And for the first time ever - -
- - I've got no idea how I'm gonna deal with it.
Ah. Maybe you can help. I'm looking for a Mr. Albion.
And there we have it, ladies and gentlemen; a teaser to a done-in-one issue I plotted out entirely. Too many panels and too much text? Too much exposition? Critique away! All commentary is welcome here at thoughtballoons!