Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Iron Man - Autograph - Rol Hirst

Panel One.

Long shot. Interior. An exclusive Manhattan bar. Tony Stark sits alone drinking Ginger Ale. He's lost in a million thoughts. Off camera, a woman approaches... (Her shadow falls over Tony?)

Woman: Excuse me...?

Panel Two.

Tony turns to face the woman. A gorgeous brunette in a dress to die for. Vamp-central. Femme-extra-fatale.

Woman: Tony Stark?

Panel Three.

Close on Tony, smiling at the woman, raising an eyebrow Roger Moor-style... while his thoughts go into overdrive.

Tony (thinking - small letters jumbled together to represent Tony's superfast thought processes - certain words stand out in larger font): THREAT analysis? Unknown assailant. No visible weaponry. Does NOT appear HOSTILE. Then again, neither did WHITNEY FROST or KATHLEEN DARE... or WANDA. (BTW, must remember to get that waitress's phone number.) Projecting 4... no, 5 hand-to-hand combat scenarios even if she's Taskmaster-trained, can also be suited up in under 2.7 SECONDS if required.

Panel Four.

Tony's on charm offensive. The woman vamps and asks for his autograph. Tony reaches inside his jacket pocket.

Woman: Mr. Stark, I'm a huge fan. I wonder if I could have your autograph...

Tony: Tony, please. And of course. I always keep a few spare--

Panel Five.

He produces a signed photo from his pocket and offers it to the woman with a grin. A smarmy corporate mugshot, already signed.

Panel Six.

The woman smiles back politely, then starts to unbutton her blouse. Tony is shocked (in an amused way). He takes his pen and moves in to sign her boob.

Woman: Oh, but I'm sure there are millions of 8x10 glossies out there with your signature on, Tony... I was thinking of something a little more personal...

Tony: Well, when you put it like that...

Panel Seven.

Suddenly, the Iron Man armour forms itself around Tony, preventing him from signing the breast. As the mask is the last thing to move into place, we can still see his surprised expression. The woman steps backwards, surprised also.

Tony (more crammed, superfast thinking): Suit's remote CHEMICAL ANALYSIS reveals combination of ink on skin would lead to organic synthesis 2(CH3)3SiCN + H2O → (CH3)3SiOSi(CH3)3 + 2 HCN Product - HYDROGEN CYANIDE. Headache, nausea, vomiting, convulsions, loss of consciousness (pity, she's CUTE - sigh, the insane ones always are), respiratory failure, DEATH.

Panel Eight.

The woman freezes, knowing the game's up. Iron Man trains his repulsor on her like a gun.

Iron Man: I'm sorry, ma'am. Hammer, Stane, Osborn... Tell whoever you're working for - nice try.

Iron Man: Hazmat units are on their way, estimated response time 1 minute 13; satellites are tracking your position from 47 different angles... Can I trust you to wait here while they arrive?

Woman: Y-yes...

Panel Nine.

Exterior. Tony jets away from the bar (it's called Layton's), leaving the dazed woman standing in the doorway as police cars screech to a halt in the street outside.

SFX: (Sirens) Whoooeeeeeoooooowwwwww!

Tony: Sorry I can't stick around for the fight scene, but I've a board meeting in five, the Avengers need me in the Negative Zone at 6, then I'm on Letterman later, if I get back in time.

Tony: You have a nice day now.

Tony (thinking): Sigh. They always go for my WEAKNESSES...


  1. Rol, this is a pretty cool scene, you wrap it in one and it stands alone just fine. There's plenty to dig here (besides the overall idea of the assassination attempt), Laytons as the bar name, the timeline Stark gives at the end, and I absolutely love how you represented Stark's thought process. I got a lot of RDJ in this one, and I think that's awesome, everyone should be channeling him now.

    However (and that word was always going to come) I worry about this fitting on one page. Though, as I say that, I realise how much Watchmen put on each and every page. Nine panel grids and plenty of text constantly, so I don't think it would be impossible, but it would be packed. Some comics today only use 4 panels a page, but others still rock closer to ten, so live the dream, man, cos you certainly were packing some serious words into those panels.

    I'd probably merge the first two panels, and I hope the fifth panel is going to be a small one. And finally, be careful telling us what is about to be said before the character says it. It's redundant and an editor would get annoyed.

    And, hey, does that chemical formula add up? I'm too lazy to check, but it still sounded awesome to me. Good work, man, seems like every one of us is getting up good ideas, and I'm sure our scripting techniques will only get better.

  2. Another good script, albeit one that's again more of a hybrid between film and comic script, with some panels being beyond the scope of what could be done without motion. it's also quite packed, but could probably fit without being too much.

    So yeah, good, but not without flaws

  3. Nice script Rol, I agree with both Ryan and Max. Fitting all that you want to include on one page is a real challenge.

    I was curious though, the firs tthreat analysis - is that Tony thinking or the armour thinking? I only ask as to me Tony never struck me as a threat analysis person, rather he left that up to his mechanations.
    Having said that, the idea of Tony have a faster thought process is a fantastic idea!

    Overall, we have got some really strong talent here. Well done Rol!

  4. Well in my simple way, I just read it and enjoyed it. Thanks

  5. Squeezing that in on one page is a challenge, but could be done, think how many panels Perez packs in...

    Great character piece, which is really the only way to go with a one-pager...

  6. Good idea. The one thing that I would change is that when Tony is analyzing the threats, and he makes personal comments, those should go at the end of the speech/caption. I understand what you were trying to go for here, the jumbled thoughts, but stopping mid sentence to make a comment, and then resuming the interrupted sentence just doesn't make a smooth reading experience.

  7. Ryan - yeah, I knew there was too much going on, but I forced it. Had to be done. That said, I'd always refer a 6+ page panel count in my comics... I generally feel a little cheated when I get lots of 3 and 4 panel pages. Good for the artist to strut his stuff, but generally a sign of a lazy writer imho.

    I wasn't sure what you were referring to when you said "be careful telling us what is about to be said before the character says it" - which part of the script in particular?

    And yeah, the formula is as accurate as anything you can find via google!

    Ben - my take on Stark is that his mind works rather like a giant computer, but with human interjections. He's not robotic like the Vision, hence the distractions / memories / second-guessing that interrupt his thought processes... but a guy this smart, and one who spends his life being attacked, would analyse just about every situation for threat. If he's in the armour, he'd let that do the work for him, but he'd never rely on the armour completely because he'd always consider himself smarter than even a machine he built.

    Nige - thanks. If you thought you could fit it all on 1 page, that's god enough for me. I'd feel terribly guilty giving you that to draw though!

    Matt - gonna have to disagree about the interrupted sentences since that was exactly what I was going for. Isn't that how we all think? It's stream-of-consciousness, which as I said above, is what separates Tony (and the rest of us) from a computer. Sorry if you found it annoying, you'd probably have to skip my Iron Man in that case, because I reckon I'd be using that technique a lot... it makes me laugh.

  8. Hey Rol, in panel four you tell us she asks for an autograph, and then she asks for an autograph. It just jarred me a bit, but otherwise, as mentioned, love the script.

    Also, I just the Best of the Spirit over the weekend and Eisner always put together a page with at least 7 panels, and there was always plenty of dialogue, and still room for the art to rock and roll. I almost want to put a page up on this site to show us we are fool for sticking to 4 panels with only 3 lines of dialogue.


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