Thursday, May 27, 2010

Iron Man - A Religious Experience - Brandon Whaley

This page would be set up as seven panels: two rows of three and a larger seventh panel at the bottom of the page.


We see a savannah from a distance. The wind is blowing across the plains.

CAPTION 1: “Something like this could only happen to me.”

CAPTION 2: “It's happened to me several times.”


Another shot of the savannah, this time a bit closer up.

CAPTION 1: “Well, to be fair, its happened to Victor von Doom as well. I'm sure he's still around somewhere.”

CAPTION 2: “I no longer care.”


We see a shot of a cheetah taking down a gazelle. It rips its claws into the animal and shreds its flesh.

CAPTION 1: “The year is 1863. The British still rule India.”

CAPTION 2: “I left that place a few months ago.”


This time we see savannah again, and to the left a small grove of trees. Beyond them in the distance are what appear to be huts of some sort.

CAPTION: “I've been here about 11 months, give or take. I honestly don't count anymore.”


We see the same huts, but from a closer vantage, as if we are approaching them. They are obviously very primitive, being made of straw and mud.

CAPTION 1: “Back in the present time I was a drunk, a nobody. A very rich nobody, but that just enabled me.”

CAPTION 2: “But I'm something more.”


We zoom in close on the village. They huts are arranged vaguely in a circle. There seems to be an unnatural glow coming from the center.

CAPTION 1: “I've never been a religious man, but I've fought alongside Thor for years now. Never understood the significance.”

CAPTION 2: “But I understand how it feels...”


We see the center of the village and the source of the glow. Tony Stark, in full Iron Man armor, is floating a few feet off the ground. Surrounding him are 20-30 natives, all of which are bowing prostrate facing Tony.

CAPTION: “ be a god.”

Title across the bottom: A RELIGIOUS EXPERIENCE

OK, please keep in mind that I've never in my life written in anything other than prose form. This whole "script" format is fresh to me. That's the point of this site, though, to fine-tune the craft, eh?


  1. Not too bad for your first script. Not too strict, but enough direction for the artist to do what they do best. Also the story is fairly interesting and something I wouldn't mind seeing in a one-of Iron Man comic.

  2. Mate, this seems like the sort of thing we'd find in one of those Mighty Marvel B&W Mags, and you know coming from me what high praise that is.

    I dig that we don't know how Stark got there, or why exactly, but we get that one clear scene of a page. I imagine the issue then playing back to why and how he got there. Loved the references to Doom and the Thor one especially. Very bloody well done.

    I'll be honest, I saw 7 panels and thought we were all making the same mistakes but you really don't ask too much of the art except to establish the scene in those first 6 panels. Some might see that as a boring page but with words that interesting I think you'd be fine to get away with it. The page looks like it's meant to be a slow burn so it works perfectly fine for me.

    I just don't understand how Stark could think he was a nobody at any stage.

    For your very first script you've done exceptionally well.

  3. I like it, it's the kind of first page that makes it impossible for you not to flip and take a look at the second one, I know I would.

    At panel 6, when you describe the huts arranged in a circle and a strange glow from within I instantly tought: "OMG, he built a giant arc reactor out of sticks and stones", lol.

  4. Brandon, I like it! The ting that stood out for me - Tony Stark with a God complex. Has that ever been delved into before?

    Still, a great first script. Well done.

  5. "Tony Stark with a God complex. Has that ever been delved into before?"

    Yes. It's called Civil War. :P

  6. Good job, Brandon. Interesting idea, and I enjoyed the bit about Doctor Doom.

    A bit of logistics problem for me was figuring out that all the caption boxes were coming from the same person, since you labeled them "Caption 1" and "Caption 2".

    I also wanted to mention something: the first panels feel like holders for the caption box, and while they do establish the setting, I felt more could have been done with them. What I thought would have been a nice way to transition from the setting to Iron Man being surrounded by the natives. In the first 3 panels, instead of a cheetah taking down a gazelle, why not have a hunter with a bow and arrow do it? Then in panels 4-6, we see the hunter carrying the game he just killed, walking towards the huts, and finally, in the last panel, the same hunter is also there, setting down the dead gazelle in front of their "God". That way the panels are more dynamic, there's more in them besides background and setting, while also helping establish how these people see Iron Man.

    Sorry if I come off as mean, or "I could have done this better!" I'm just trying to give constructive criticism. The way I see it, it's all about economy of storytelling: How does each panel advance the story? Does the art tell a story without the captions? How can you pack the most amount of story into the least amount of space (without going overboard)?

  7. Matt, no apologies needed. This is why we are here, right? For the record, I like the idea. I had a really tough time trying to decide what should be in the panels, since they were mostly setting. The hunter would tie it all together nicely. Thanks for the advice.

  8. Yeah, I like Matt's idea for progressing the set-up... an alternative might just be to cut down the number of establishing panels and combine the captions into one or two.

    However, I really wouldn't have known this was your first comic script, Brandon, it was a strong piece of writing clearly laid out and an excellent opening. Like Ryan, I had a slight problem with Tony calling himself a nobody. Even at his lowest point, his ego always seems to shine through... even if it's streaked with self-loathing. An inferiority complex isn't something I've ever seen him exhibit.


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