Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Blonde Phantom - The Mousetrap - Rol Hirst

Panel One.

A 40s era Daily Bugle front page. The headline reads ‘Starlet Found Dead In Locked Dressing Room’. A stock photo of an attractive blonde starlet accompanies the story. We can read the first paragraph of the report, as follows…

Popular star of stage and screen, Camille Dahl, was found dead yesterday in her Broadway dressing room. Miss Dahl, 31, who famously fainted at last year’s Academy Awards ceremony when a small rodent scampered onto the stage, had been appearing in Cole Porter’s latest…


Panel Two.

Backstage at a Broadway theatre – inside the star’s dressing room. There is a taped police body outline on the floor marking where the actress was found dead. PI Mark Mason is questioning the theatre manager, a squat balding man in his 50s with milk bottle bottom spectacles. Mark’s assistant, Louise Grant, is standing to one side, examining the crime scene. The sole door to the room is shattered, having been kicked in.



Panel Three.

Flashback (wavy panel border). Sandra the understudy, a less glamorous version of the starlet, crouches beside the body. Camille wears a scarlet dress, slightly darker in colour than the one worn by the Blonde Phantom herself. Her body is lying on its side, facing away from the manager so he / we can only see it from behind. Sandra wears ordinary clothes and has a handbag hanging from her shoulder. She turns back to shriek at the stage manager, who's standing stunned by the broken door he’s just kicked in. There is no visible blood. In the top corner of the panel, the manager’s talking head continues his account.



Panel Four.

While Mason continues to listen to the manager (in the background / off-panel), Louise crouches down to examine something she’s noticed on the floor. Small black droppings. On one side of Louise’s face we see half of the Blonde Phantom’s Domino mask, reminding the reader of her secret identity.




Panel Five.

Later that night. A shadowy corridor backstage at the theatre. The Blonde Phantom holds Sandra at gunpoint. Sandra, realising the game is up, bursts into tears.




Panel Six.

Another wavy flashback panel, similar to panel three… except in this one the stage manager has turned away to fetch the police… while Sandra pulls a dagger from her handbag… and the mouse scurries across the floor towards the bag. We can see Camille from the front this time – she hasn’t been stabbed… yet.


Panel Seven.

The Blonde Phantom watches as police lead Sandra away in handcuffs. BP is holding the cute little mouse in the palm of her hand.




Blonde Phantom – Blonde Ambition – Ryan K Lindsay

1. A man is propped up in bed. He’s a well built man, good looking, ruffled sex-hair, the covers only up to his waist. There is a lamp on by the bedside, his gun in the shoulder holster hangs next to it off the bed post.
Caption: Ever since the cowboys it’s been a man’s need to ride.
Caption: We ride on planes to cross the nation to take down criminals.

2. The man’s hand is reaching out to his bedside table where we can see a glass one-third full of whiskey. Through that glass is a napkin with a message scrawled on it in lipstick: ‘The Alley. Now.’
Caption: We ride cross town in cabs to meet wives who hate us and kids who don’t know us.

3. The man is sipping from his glass as he watches a sexy and naked girl walk across the foreground of the panel. We don't see much of her, just a flash of skin.
Caption: We ride flunkies til we get what we need from them.

4. The lady is standing by the window of the room and slipping back into her fantastic red dress. We should see some of her in the reflection in the window, she’s gorgeous.
Caption: Then we ride ourselves for never being what we know no one could ever be.

5. The lady is holding up her hair and leaning over to kiss the man, or perhaps whisper something in his ear.
Caption: But it’s rare to be the one who’s taken for a ride.

6. The lady is walking away and putting on her black domino mask. She has a smile on her face and in the background the man is still in the same position, glass in his hand, though now his shoulder holster no longer has a gun in it.
Caption: And she didn’t even need a saddle, just a few words.
Blonde Phantom: Thanks.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Blonde Phantom - A Serving of Bad Luck - Simon McDonald

1. Night; atop a New York skyscraper. Felicia Hardy - THE BLACK CAT - is looking into her unzipped duffel bag; we see jewels glinting in the moonlight. There's a smug smile on her face; she's pulled off a big score and gotten away. Again.

(off panel)

2. Felicia, her head turned, sees THE BLONDE PHANTOM standing a few feet from her, arms crossed, her mouth a hard line. She's trying to full off an intimidating aura, but it's not quite succeeding. 

You have something I need.

3. Felicia, glancing at the jewels clenched tightly in her hands.


4. On The Blonde Phantom; still stoic, still unflinching.


5. On Felicia, slyly smiling, staring at Blonde Phantom. Her fingers are splayed, she's released the jewels; they're falling to the ground.

My services come as part of a two-for-one deal.

Oh, yeah?

Yeah. Every word of advice I offer - - 

6. A web - literally a web, shot by our friendly neighborhood Spider-man (off-panel) - traps both Black Cat and Blonde Phantom.


7. Felicia, rolling her eyes; she's used to this. It's probably a weekly / monthly routine. Blonde Phantom's reaction is a little stronger. Eyes wide, panicky.

 - - comes with a serving of bad luck.


Monday, June 28, 2010

Blonde Phantom – The Phantom’s Menace - Ben Rosenthal

This page is your basic three-rowed grid. The first four panels take place along the top of the page, but with Panel 3 joining Panels 2 and Panel 4 together. Panels 5 – 7 are all of the same size, taking up the second row of the grid. The last panel is a mini splash, taking up the width of the last line of the grid. Unless specified, the panels are all of the same size.

The following could take place in current continuity.

1. A mostly black panel, except for what appears to be a square window illuminated to the right hand side of the panel. It is back lit, with the letters “SDROCER” written on it.

TEXT BOX: “Here’s the problem with being framed”.

2. Same panel as before, but now a torch light is illuminating the words on the window of the door.

3. This is a much smaller panel, approx a quarter of the size of the other panels. Half of this panel is placed in the bottom right of Panel 2, with the other half in the bottom left of Panel 4. It shows a close up of the old fashioned rounded door knob shaking. The sound effect ‘CLICK’ is in the top left hand corner of this panel.

4. The door is open and light from the hallway floods into the room. We can now see slight outlines of many filing cabinets lining the wall the left. A desk on which a lamp sits is half visible from the left of the panel. Standing in the doorway is the silhouette of The Blonde Phantom.

TEXT BOX: “If you’re going down for something you didn’t do, you’re much more willing to break the law to prove you haven’t broken a law.”

5. A close up of an open filing cabinet. Fingers are flicking through the files, searching.

TEXT BOX: “Ironic, considering I earned my living working in a law firm.”

6. Same panel as above, but a file has been pulled out half way. We can see the start of a name written on the front of the folder – ‘Morr’. The rest of the name has not yet been revealed.

TEXT BOX: “But some things are bigger than the law. Love, life...”

7. The lamp on the table that we saw earlier has now been switched on, and light floods colour into the room. This panel shows The Blonde Phantom reading the open file. Her eyes are focused on the paper within.

TEXT BOX: “...and death.”

8. This panel takes up the width of the bottom of the page. It shows closer shot of The Blonde Phantom, with the file still open in her hands. We can see the full name on the folder – Morris Walters. We see her from her hip up, looking off into the distance deep in thought. In the background, a silhouette of a man stands in the illuminated doorway. The Phantom Blonde is not aware of his presence.

TEXT BOX: “I’ll find who did this to you, my love.”

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Blonde Phantom - The Best Dressed Detective - Max Barnard

The Premise: I love Blonde Phantom and tried to crack out a worthy script. Didn't have enough time, so here's a fun one-page story involving ANONYMOUS DRUGS where some boxes are labelled SOAP.


Page 1 - 7 Panels

1-- A Maggia family thug is in a doorway, yelling towards the reader. He should probably looks pretty plain, as I don't think crimelord lackeys would be conspicuous when smuggling [ANONYMOUS DRUG]. It's important to note now that everything in all these panels needs to look quite dark and very much 'noir' (however you quantify noir qualities in comic book form. I myself think of dark and serious looking art, but I'm not an artist so I won't directly define such a quality), unless stated otherwise.

SPEECH BUBBLE/MAGGIA THUG - How did YOU get in here?!

2-- We look out from his POV into the room, a poorly lit warehouse with crates in disarray on the floor. One is opened, with [ANONYMOUS DRUG] contained within. Standing next to the crate is a shadowy figure, of whom we can only see two things: her silhouette (which is holding a crowbar), and her iconic costume... It's Blonde Phantom, if that helps on the artistic side of things.

SPEECH BUBBLE/BLONDE PHANTOM - Oh, me? I'm a detective, I know how to find out things. Things like drug smuggling operations by that DASTARDLY Maggia family, where those drug smuggling operations take place, and how to stop the criminals in their tracks.

3-- We should probably switch to a view that suitably emphasises both characters here, like a nice 'Two-Shot' as the people in the film world would call it. Blonde Phantom should be on the left, with her Crowbar-less hand up to her head in dismay at the foolish words of the Maggia Thug. The Maggia Thug is laughing now, and pointing a sub-machine gun at the Blonde Phantom.

SPEECH BUBBLE/MAGGIA THUG - YOU?! Stop ME? HA! I'd like to see you manage that in your ridiculous outfit, you frail, pathetic little girl!

4-- Same sorta shot for consistency here. The Blonde Phantom has now leapt towards the Thug, and has swung her foot high into the air, stilleto first, straight up. Her dress should really be billowing now, to create an almost majestic image of a heroine flying towards her prey in action. The Maggia Thug has flung his weapon to the side in shock and is covering his face, flinching.


5-- We change view to POV again, as the Blonde Phantom looms over the Thug (presumably because he has fallen to the floor and is looking up at her. Her leg is now resting on top of one of the BOXES of [ANONYMOUS DRUG], delightfully labeled "SOAP". She has a smirk, a raised eyebrow and most importantly is now entirely visible in her full glory.

SPEECH BUBBLE/BLONDE PHANTOM - I may well be the best dressed detective-slash-masked heroine that anyone has just about ever heard of, but I'm also strong-willed, intelligent, and most importantly...

6-- A nice cartoony panel of Blonde Phantom, yelling, doing an exaggerated uppercut, absolutely destroying the mouth and teeth of the Maggia Thug. It'd be best if this was as goreless as possible, if only to avoid it making her seem ridiculously strong(er than how I perceive her in my heart). A multi-coloured explosion behind this thematically opposed action shot would probably be best-suited to the situation.


7-- The reader is now looking down at the warehouse floor, with the Maggia Thug sprawled out on the floor and the Blonde Phantom with her shoulders slumped, looking down.

SPEECH BUBBLE/BLONDE PHANTOM - Aw, sneezes, I can't interrogate a man with a broken jaw!

[Author's note: This is probably the worst of my script ideas so far. I've been incredibly busy and have only had time to throw out 5 basic scripts for this week (FIVE?!), 4 of which I've picked to take more time on and release as B-sides on my site. So look forward to those!]

Why The Blonde Phantom?

Honestly? Because she's my Golden Age gal, and one of the best characters in the history of comics. But YOU'VE never heard of her, so I'll throw in some actual information!

The Blonde Phantom is the result of Timely Comics (Marvel's predecessor, for those who don't know) moving away from their tales of super-heroics towards new and interesting things (In her case a movement to have some female-led comic books to appeal to young ladies. She was Louise Grant, a Detective's assistant by day, doing secretarial work for her boss, but by night she donned a domino mask and a kick-ass dress and fought crime! If that isn't the sort of concept YOU want to be involved with then clearly we need to start seeing other people!

After a fair while in that fine Golden Age spotlight she kinda just disappeared (along with a lot of Timely characters, but that's besides the point). She re-appeared in She-Hulk, but ignore all that. No, a great deal of the motivation for putting this character out there this week is in two recent releases.

The first was her 70th anniversary one-shot in All-Select Comics, where we got a tale of a classic hero in a pulpish, noirish setting, showing her fighting skills and detective acumen years after her adventures had ended. It's this dark-yet-fun styling that made me think this was well-suited to our group, seeing as more than one of the people on here are fond of stories like Ed Brubaker's Criminal & Incognito, and moreso Daredevil. That sort of angle on the character would be a joy to behold ,and indeed hopefully will be a reality in the coming week.

The second was a one-off story in Marvel Adventures Super Heroes 14, an all-ages tale of her and Hawkeye doing their share of ass-kickery and detective investigation. I cited this as a specific highlight to our cadre simply because it captures the essence of EVERYTHING positive in the character. Hopefully that recommendation has had a positive effect on everyone and we'll see a real grip on the character.

Anyway, I'm rambling (and probably not doing THAT good a job representing a favourite of mine), so I'll finish by saying this: I didn't JUST choose the Blonde Phantom because she's my favourite female in comics, or because her costume is the best, or those two recent appearances. No, I also chose her because we're on our FIFTH CHARACTER AND WE'VE ONLY HAD MEN. I mean I know we're exclusively a group of men at the moment (though I have my feminine moments), but geez... C'mon guys. Femme it up a little!

Read about The Blonde Phantom at:

The Marvel Database!!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Superman - Dual Steel - Brandon Whaley

I apologize in advance.

(There will be two different caption boxes used in this script. The first one needs to be easily related to Superman, perhaps red/blue/yellow in color, with the first one having a small s-shield at the bottom corner. The second needs to be green/black or green/gray and have a more formal font to it. These will be referred to as Caption A and Caption B.)

This is not the first page. On the page prior we saw from an aerial view a lovely countryside, with medieval-esque courtyards expanding in front of a majestic castle. There are green and gray flags flying everywhere.

This page would consist of four panels, one across the top, two in the middle, and one across the bottom.

Panel 1:

We see a much closer shot of the courtyards, with a loud THUD and a large cloud of dust coming from an impact point in the very middle of the yard.

Caption A (continued from previous page): “-not to mention how beautiful and pristine it is here. Hard to believe an area like this houses such evil.”

Panel 2:

This shot would be along the ground. We would see red boots striding along the path on the courtyard with the castle in the near distance. His red cape flaps in the breeze. The shot is from his right, with his legs to the left of the panel and the courtyard in the right. Various villagers would be standing about, their bartering and idle chatter put on halt by this stranger in their midst. Most of them are looking at him wide eyes and jaws agape.

Caption A: “I can't believe nothing has been done about this before. This...this MADMAN is allowed to run free and conduct his mad experiments, all in the name of diplomatic immunity.”

Caption A: “I'm all for leaving things be if possible, but there comes a time someone must make a stand. Someone has to stand up for those who can't stand up for themselves. If the heroes of this world won't do it...”

Panel 3:

This panel is the opposite of Panel 2. We have someone striding on the right side of the panel. We see his gray metal boots walking through the interior of the castle. A tattered green cloak waves behind him in his haste.

Caption B: “What's this? How DARE this mere man intrude on me and my people right in our own front YARD! This is MY land!”

Caption B: “I rule this country! Me! The guards all act like simpering cowards in his presence, but that will change soon. This UPSTART is going down. The guards want to whimper behind their shields in puddles of their own urine instead of doing their jobs. But if they won't stand up to this pup...”
Panel 4:

We see a side view of the door to the castle. In front of the door, striding purposefully towards the castle with a look of grim determination, we see Superman. Behind him are just part of a gaggle of peasants and townsfolk, all of which have a curious, and somewhat horrified, expression on their faces. When we look to the door of the castle we see why. Pounding through the heavy gates, tossing aside guards with reckless abandon, stands Doctor Doom, his fists crackling with magical energy. Doctor Doom's eyes have met those of Superman.

Caption A and B: “I WILL.”

Yes, I know this is terrible fanfiction, but I missed out on writing the Doctor Doom script and after much thought I thought he would make a formidable enemy for Superman. He's strong, incredibly smart, and he has mystical powers that COULD prove a problem for the Man of Steel. (This is assuming the magic in the Marvel universe affects him like the magic in the DCU.)

So yeah, sorry for this, but I really wanted to write it. :)

Superman - A Question of Superiority - James McNeill

One of my favourite aspects of large comic continuities like Marvel or DC is the endless capacity for crossover. So this takes place somewhere toward the beginning (though not at the very beginning) of a Superman/Question miniseries. And despite my great and abiding love for Renee Montoya -- this one's Vic Sage.

I rather wish I were continuing this, now that I've begun.

A Question of Superiority

1. Foreground: Superman starts walking forward (out of the alley). Background: Question stares straight ahead, ignoring Superman. They stand in an alley in Metropolis, so it'll be fairly clean -- relatively speaking. Question looks a bit out of place.

Just think about it.

2. Superman looks back, having detected somehow that he doesn't have Question's attention.

I want us to be able to work together.

That's never happening.

3. Question turns away, further into the alley. This should be a fairly symbolic panel, with Superman toward the end of the alley and in light, and Question in the foreground, in shadow.

He's asking the wrong question.

4. From below. Question looks up as Superman flies off, bracketed by the buildings on either side of the alley.

It's his style I don't like.

5. From above. Question still looks up. He's standing on a copy of the Daily Planet, hands in his pockets. Under his coat we can see his suit and tie, a little bit of his alter ego showing through.

His style of journalism.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Superman – Do Over – Ryan K Lindsay

This page is going to be chock full of panels, 10 in fact. There isn’t a lot of copy to be lettered so all of the images should fit.
- - - 
1. These first four panels should be small, a trio across the top of the page. Clark Kent sits at his desk. His shoulders are slumped as we see him in profile. His computer screen is illuminated but he doesn’t look engaged.
Caption: Friday morning.

2. On Clark’s breast pocket we see a red stain starting to spread out. His pen is leaking.

3. Lois walks past Clark, she’s in a hurry.
Lois: Clark, you’ve got red on you.

4. Clark throws his pen down with one hand while his other hand is raised in disgust as he looks at his shirt.

5. These next three panels should form the next row. Clark whistles while casually walking to the bathroom, hoping no one looks at his red stain.

6. We are looking at the Daily Planet from the outside and Superman has smashed out of a window and is flying straight up into the sky.

7. The world spins around fast with Superman zipping around it like he’s those arms that spin around an atom. We see him in three different places at once, he’s that fast.

8. These three panels should form the final row. Clark is back at his desk, though this time he’s standing as he takes a red pen from his breast pocket, his chair has been pushed back behind him.
Caption: Friday morning – do over.

9. Clark passes Lois as she’s walking to the left of the panel, he has the pen in his hand.

10. Clark hurls the pen out a window and into the sun.
Caption: Revenge is a dish best thrown into the sun.

Superman - Related - Max Barnard

Premise: Mon-El and Superman are flying across Kansas, having a good ole chat. There's not much more to it, other than the need to point out that when Mon-El first appeared he was thought to be Superman's brother, and that since the two have been through a lot, including Mon-El returning and becoming Jonathan Kent, Clark's cousin, in the wake of Pa Kent's death.


Page 1 - 6 Panels

1-- Mon-El and Superman are flying up above the clouds. A decent trajectory to get a good look at them in this panel would be if they were going towards the reader, so we can get a clear look at their faces.

SPEECH BUBBLE/MON-EL - Do you remember when we first met?

SPEECH BUBBLE/SUPERMAN - Mmm. Back when I thought you were my older brother. Ha, I even went as far as to name you!

2-- We focus on Mon-El looking at Superman now, with a large grin on his face.

SPEECH BUBBLE/MON-EL - Ahaha! And after a day of the week, no less. Not the most creative child, I must say!

SPEECH BUBBLE/SUPERMAN - Hey, YOU try coming up with a name for someone who fell from the sky. Although... Ah... My family managed that quite easily with me...

3-- Both supermen are now veering down through the clouds.

SPEECH BUBBLE/MON-EL - Works for you! They called me Bob Cobb. Still, I have your father's name now, so I shouldn't think back on that. And, erm, about that. I wanted to tell y-

4-- Below the clouds now, Superman has stopped and has his hand in front of Mon-El, instructing him to cease flying. Superman is craning his ear to hear something. I'd hazard that this would look best from a side view of the characters, but really as long as we can see Superman's action here it will work fine.

SPEECH BUBBLE/SUPERMAN - Hold on Jon, there's a volcano erupting in Iceland, we'll talk after dealing with that.

5-- Both are now flying full speed now, with their trademark colour schemes trailing behind them.

SPEECH BUBBLE/MON-EL - Okay, but I just wanted you to know...

6-- The two coloured blurs are now approaching the erupting icelandic volcano, with the fading trails of colour spiraling behind them. The reader is probably best seeing this from an isometric/bird's-eye view, the characters moving from the foreground into the background.

TEXT BOX/MON-EL - ...I'm glad to finally be related to you, cousin.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Superman - Writers' Block Is My Kryptonite - Rol Hirst

Panel One.

A backstreet bar; a crummy dive. A man, a writer, sits alone in a booth, head in his hands, an array of empty glasses on the table before him. He doesn’t look up when a tall stranger approaches. The stranger is wearing a dark coat with a large trilby hat pulled down over his brow. We can’t see his face; the writer doesn’t even look. The light is dim and there are blinds in the window which cast horizontal shadows across the faces of our protagonists. When we can see them.

Stranger: Is this seat taken?

Writer: No, go on, knock yourself out, pal…

Writer: Just don’t expect no joie de vivre or bonhomie or… none of that stuff, French or otherwise.

Writer: I’m all out.

Panel Two.

The stranger takes his seat. The writer doesn’t lift his head, he just stares down at the table in desperation, running his hands through his hair like he might be about to pull it out.

Stranger: What’s the problem?

Writer: I blew it - that’s the problem. All I ever wanted was to write comics. All my life, I’ve been waiting for someone at one of the big companies to give me a chance – just one… just to let me show them what I can do…

Writer: And when finally it happens… who do they want me to write? Superman!

Panel Three.

Close on the writer, head still down, feeling majorly sorry for himself.

Writer: It’s just not fair.

Stranger (off-panel): Why can’t you write Superman?

Panel Four.

The writer lifts his head and rolls his eyes, throwing his arms about and knocking over glasses as he rants.

Writer: Because he’s too powerful. With his super-hearing and his super-vision and his super-invulnerability and his super-barn-dancing and his super-shorthand-typing and…

Panel Five.

He continues to rant.

Writer: And he’s too good. Truth, justice and the American way! There’s no moral complexity. No self-doubt. No depth. Just smug, self-righteous, bleeding heart…decency! How do you write an interesting story about a character like that…?

Panel Six.

The stranger takes a pen and begins scribbling on a napkin. We see this from above, his head bowed forward over the table as he writes. The writer stares at him with suspicion.

Stranger: Well, you could try… I mean, how about if…? Just off the top of my head…

Panel Seven.

The stranger hands the napkin to the writer. The writer’s eyes widen as he reads it.

Writer: Wow – man, that’s brilliant. Genius! What an idea! I can’t believe nobody’s ever…

Writer: How did you even come up with that?

Stranger: Oh, I, guess you could call it… super-inspiration.

Panel Eight.

The writer clutches the napkin to him, not wanting to let it go… but the stranger reaches to take it back.

Writer: Say, do you mind if I use this? This could be just what I was looking for!

Stranger: Oh… no… I was merely trying to show you what could be accomplished if you really applied yourself. But I couldn’t let you use that idea. It just…

Panel Nine.

Close on the stranger’s face, still mostly in shadow… but a bar of light from the blinds now falls on his forehead, just below the brim of his hat. A familiar curl of dark hair drops down…

Stranger: Well, it just wouldn’t be ethical, would it? I’m sorry.

Stranger: Still, keep at it, eh? I’m sure you’ll come up with something…

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Superman - A Love Scorned - Simon McDonald

A couple of years into my comics-collecting career, Superman turned into a being of energy, split into two, a red version and a blue version - - and somewhere around that same time, the character of Scorn became a prominent member of the Superman supporting cast, along with Ashbury Armstrong, daughter of Daily Planet reporter Dirk Armstrong. Scorn and Ashbury formed a relationship, they were together for at least a year or two, from what I can remember... and then they vanished from the Superman books. I've no idea what happened to them; maybe I missed something. But for whatever reason, whenever I think of my earliest days of reading Superman, I think of Ashbury and Scorn - thus, it seems appropriate they play integral roles in my Superman script...

1. Ashbury Armstrong is standing on the edge of the Daily Planet rooftop. It's bucketing down with rain, and she's standing in it, soaked to the skin, seemingly oblivious, her mascara running. She's in a wedding dress that might've once been a thing of beauty, but is now smudged with grime - and, ominously, appears bloodstained.

Superman always keeps his promises.

The bastard.

2. Birds-eye perspective: looking down on Ashbury, still on the rooftop's edge. The street below is a scene of destruction; cars turned over, fires burning, debris strewn about. Nothing the good citizens of Metropolis aren't used to.

This is all his fault.

He brought the love of my life back to me.

3. Tight on Ashbury. Tears are streaming from her eyes. For those not familiar with the character - she's blind. She is not observing the scene of destruction below, but she knows it's happening. She can't see it - but she can sense it.

He unleashed the monster on Metropolis.

4. Cut to - - Superman, struggling to his feet. He's recovering from being punched through a building, looking a little worse for wear - cape in tatters, covered in dust. Debris is strewn around him, smoke is wafting about.  
Ceritak - -
Stop this, before I - -

5. Through the smoke we see the shadow / outline of Ceritak / Scorn. Check this out for reference, but he's a big, hulking creature. Kind of like the Hulk, I suppose - but blue, and with tusks.


6. The smoke clears - the monster reveals itself. It's Ceritak / Scorn, growling, furious, hate in his eyes.

You started this, Superman.
You brought me back.
Brought me to her.
Your mistake.

7. Superman, standing tall, looking - dare I say it? - super; determined; ready to take on this threat.

Then I'll have to rectify it.

Scorn first appeared in Superman (v2) 122, 1997
Ashbury Armstrong first appeared in Adventures of Superman 546, 1997

Monday, June 21, 2010

Superman - Envy - Ben Rosenthal

I must admit I have very little Superman knowledge. Having said that, the following could have taken place in Superman’s past, and could also contain the origin of one of his rouges. A ‘No-Prize’ goes to the first person to guess who it is.

This page has a single wide panel at the top, followed by two rows of three equal sized panels and finishing off with two panels down the bottom which are of the same size.

1. A wide panel. We are at street level looking up at the buildings. A small boy, dressed in a green jacket, looks up in amazement as people rush past him. He is looking at a giant robot (one that you may see in the old 1950’s sci-fi movies) smashing its arms into buildings, sending debris to the ground. What the boy cannot see, but the reader can, is that one of the robots arms has smashed the building directly above the boy, and debris is rapidly descending towards him.

2. We see a close up of the child’s face. It is half covered in the shadow of the rubble that is making its way down to him. The boy is looking up, mouth wide open and unsure as to what to do.

3. This is a side shot taking in the previous two panels. We are at street level, seeing the full body of the boy looking up, and the debris inches away from engulfing him.

4. The same panel, with the debris almost hitting the ground. However, the boy is not in the panel, and a blur of red and blue streaks from one side of the panel to the other, as if something very fast has just dashed by, and we are unable to see it.

5. A panel that mimics the previous panel of the close up on the boy’s face. It isn’t as tight, and we can see that the boy now stands on a roof top. His mouth is again open wide, this time in amazement. Off panel comes a speech balloon, simply saying “Are you ok?”

6. A full body shot of Superman, hovering in the air. His cape is blowing to the left and out of the boundaries of the panel. In the background to the right is the robot, which is tearing its way through Metropolis. It is obvious that Superman has dropped the boy on a roof top on the other side of the city.

I’ll be back for you.

7. This panel is the same as the previous, however Superman now has his back to us as he flies in the direction of the Robot. We see his cape, the ‘S’ symbol clearly visible.

8. We are in a darkened room, illuminated only by the thousands of television screens which plaster the only wall we can see. From behind we can see the full body of a man, standing watching the largest of the screens. The smaller screen show news channels from around the world. The large screen shows the panel we were just looking at. However, the image is coloured green and slightly pixelated. On Superman’s left shoulder, near the “S" logo, is a bright, shining green mark. The words “OBJECTIVE COMPLETE” are written across the top of the screen.

9. We have a tight short of the man’s face. It is Lex Luthor. He has a smirk on his face.

All too easy.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Superman - Mild Mannered Reporter - Matt Duarte

Superman in "Mild Mannered Reporter" by Matt Duarte

This page is to be set in four panels, a grid of two by two, with all being in the same size. It is set in a distant past, shortly after Superman made his initial appearances in Metropolis.

Panel 1

Description: Superman is sitting in a chair, looking rather uncomfortable, as if he was too big for the furniture around him. He is not putting his full weight on the chair, as if he was afraid to accidentally break it if he did. Behind him is an open glass door that leads to a balcony, with the curtains flowing because of the wind.

SUPERMAN (CAPTION): What does she know?

SUPERMAN: I'm truly sorry Miss Lane, but I don't think I fully understand that last question. What do you mean by "What do I do in my free time?"

LOIS LANE (off panel): I think it's a pretty straight forward question Superman...

LOIS LANE: You are not Superman ALL the time, so there must be something you do in your free time. I would even wager that you have a job, somewhere in Metropolis.

Panel 2

Description: We can see the back of Superman's head now, still sitting in the chair. In front of him sits Lois Lane, sitting in the same type of chair, but more comfortable, with her legs crossed and a note pad on top of them. She's looking at the note pads while she writes down the answers that Superman is giving.

SUPERMAN: And what leads you think that, Miss Lane?

LOIS LANE: It's quite simple, really. Ever since you showed up in Metropolis I have been collecting witnesses account, and there are certain times when you are never seen patrolling the skies. From nine in the morning to five in the afternoon, to be specific.

LOIS LANE: With your physique, most people would assume you are a firefighter, or a policeman, but looking at your "schedule", I can't help but think you are an office worker, a postman, or maybe even...

Panel 3

Description: A close up of Superman's face, he is smiling nervously.

LOIS LANE (off panel): A mild mannered newspaper reporter?


SUPERMAN: Umm, Miss Lane, I am terribly sorry but I hear sirens on.. uh.. the other side of the city. I am afraid I must cut this interview short. We shall finish it on another occasion, yes?

Panel 4

Description: Shot from behind Lois Lane's back, the door to the balcony is now open, with Superman flying into the distance. She is still sitting in the chair.

LOIS LANE: Whatever you say, Superman.

LOIS LANE (CAPTION): I knew it. Now I just have to find a way to prove it.

The End.

Why Superman?

It's a bird... It's a plane... It's Superman!

Our next character is none other than what is arguably the very first super hero ever, and one of the most popular and recognizable characters in all of not just comics, but fiction in general. Why did I pick him? Various reasons. He's not what I would call my favorite character, heck, I'm pretty sure he wouldn't even make my Top 5. One of the main reasons I chose him is that we needed a change of scenery. So far we've had mostly villains, and all Marvel characters. We were due for a DC character, and someone that was unequivocally a hero.

Above all, I wanted to pose a challenge. Superman is a really hard character to write, and a polarizing one among fans and writers, who see him as just a big blue boy scout. To write a compelling Superman story, one need to perform a balancing act of epic proportions. And judging by the emails I got after informing my fellow ThoughtBallooners, half of them loved my choice, and the other half now hate my guts. In any case, I think it will make for an interesting week.

Note from the author: We may still have a Doctor Doom entry coming in after this goes live. Damn you, Time Zones!

Superman is a character owned by DC Entertainment

Doctor Doom - The Fall of Doom - James McNeill

It's still Saturday here!

This is another end of an issue, or possibly even a series of issues. I love stories about Latveria, which we don't often see except from the perspective of Doom's castle -- but it is a nation of people who may not love Doom, but seem to respect him as their leader. This takes place after a battle between some superhero group and Doom, which the people living nearest Doom's castle have been observing.

The Fall of Doom

1. Doom's castle, as seen from the woods below. This should dominate the first third of the page. No flag flies in the ramparts; no guards are on the walls. It's a sunny day, and the woods are green.

And as for Doom?

2. Front of the castle. Second third of the page. The gates are open but the courtyard is empty; to the side and in the background, walking back toward the town, is a large procession, carrying banners and dressed to mourn.

He did terrible things in his time. But yet...

3. Inside the courtyard, a statue of Doom. He stands in a stately pose, cloak flowing majestically behind him. A multitude of flowers lie at his feet and on the ground around the statue's base.

CAPTION his own way, he did love his country.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Doctor Doom - Doomed Nations - Matt Duarte

Doctor Doom in "Doomed Nations" by Matt Duarte

This page is to be set in five panels. The first four are square, two columns by two rows, and the last one is a wide panel across the bottom of the page. This scene is not set in any specific time.

Panel 1

Description: Doctor Doom is entering a stage, while a man in a suit is announcing it. We are seeing it from the side of the stage, where we can see the outline of a man: Reed Richards. He is looking towards the stage, we can only see the side of his head.

PRESENTER: And without further ado, the United Nations welcomes a man that certainly needs no introduction: the leader of Latveria, Victor Von Doom.

REED RICHARDS (CAPTION): I do not know what's more unbelievable, that the United Nations would ask him to give a speech, or that Victor would accept their invitation.

Panel 2

Description: Doctor Doom is standing at the podium. We are seeing this from above the stage, where the Thing is standing in some of the buildings structures inside the big hall. He is covered in shadows, well above the eye sight of everyone else in there.

DOCTOR DOOM: Latveria is the utopia that all your pitiful nations wish to be. Completely independent and self sufficient, Latveria counts on no one to save or protect its border from any threat, whether they be ordinary or... fantastic...

THE THING (CAPTION): At least the eggheads at the U.N. came to their senses and agreed to let us watch over Doomsie. Too bad now I gotta sit and listen to the garbage comin' from his mouth.

Panel 3

Description: The Human Torch is flying over the United Nations building. He is wearing an earpiece, over which he is hearing Doom's speech. He is looking away from the building, at something in the street.

DOCTOR DOOM (coming through the earpiece): Latveria has also solved problems that even the most technologically advanced countries will continue to struggle for decades. There are no violent deaths within Latveria's borders...

HUMAN TORCH (CAPTION): Well, I guess if you don't count "Death-By-Doombot" as violent, then yeah he's right. Everyone's too afraid to even think...Oh, hot brunette at eleven o'clock!

Panel 4

Description: Sue Richards is sitting in chair in the auditorium where Doom is giving his speech, in one of the seats near the back. She is wearing a business attire looking somewhat bored. We can see Doom still giving the speech in the background.

DOCTOR DOOM: Above all, Latveria wishes to show the rest of the world that despite intrusions of a certain foursome, it is willing to cooperate with the rest of the world and share...

SUE RICHARDS (CAPTION): Doom sharing? Ha! This is certainly new. And he even mentioned us. Good thing he doesn't know we are here.

Panel 5

Description: A close up of Doctor Doom's face. Even behind the mask, we can see that he is smiling, and looking straight at the reader, and raising his hand menacingly.

DOCTOR DOOM: Share the technology that has allowed Latveria to protect itself. All that I require in return is what I ask of all the denizens of Latveria...

DOCTOR DOOM: Total obedience and complete devotion to DOOM!

SUE RICHARDS (CAPTION): ...did Doom just offer to share his Doombots with every two-bit dictator that swears allegiance to him? I think Ben would call this a revoltin' development...

NEXT: The United Nations of DOOM!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Dr Doom – Magnanimous – Ryan K Lindsay

1-- We come into the scene of a home birth in a cheap Latverian home. The mother is on the massive kitchen table, absolutely pummelled by the experience. The man is standing next to her cradling the new baby in his bloody arms.
Caption: This scene takes place somewhere in the Latverian Moors.
Man: ~You are the greatest thing in the world, little one.~
Caption: Around the time when I was working my way to the apex of the Tibetan idea of Nirvana.

2-- The man is bending over towards his wife, their foreheads touching in a sweet moment as they pause to enjoy the new life.
Man: ~You are so much more than I ever thought of.~
Caption: This moment would only come into my interest decades later.

3-- The man is smiling down at the child, he is possibly the happiest man alive at that moment.
Man: ~You will be everything to me and I will do my best to be, and do, everything for you.~
Caption: I would have to go back and make a correction.

4-- Dr Doom is appearing in the corner of the room. He’s still, a menacing look on his grilled up face.
Caption: I would have to take this child. The first Latverian with a power from within.
Caption: People might never understand why I have done this. But I do nothing for the common man.

5-- Doom is behind the man, who has dropped to his knees, and is choking him. It looks real, painful, nasty.
Caption: They would not be able to make such a choice. To train a child to become something better…

6-- Doom walks out the door of the hut, the baby swaddled in his robe, the mother screaming from her table and throwing a bloody rag while the man lies dead on the floor.
Caption: Or kill her before she becomes what we all fear.

Doctor Doom - Destiny Denied - Rol Hirst

Panel One.

Castle Latveria. Doctor Doom is working on a particularly fiendish device in his laboratory. Behind him, his time machine springs into life. A square of light lifts from the base revealing the beginnings of a figure dressed in Doom's own armour and robes.

Doom: Richards, Stark, the Odinson... Once this weapon is operational, all will bow before the might of...

Doom: Eh?

Panel Two.

Close on Doom's face, his eyes filled with anger.

Doom: Who dares trespass in the inner sanctum of Castle Latveria - dressed in gaudy imitation of Doom's own regal vestments?

Panel Three.

Another Doom steps from the time machine. Our Doom readies himself for attack.

Doom 2: No mockery this, Victor, I am entirely that which I appear to be. Your future, here with dire warning--

Panel Four.

Our Doom fires on time machine Doom with the full force of his gauntlet blaster. Time machine Doom tries to fire back, but our Doom's assault is sudden and vicious...

Doom: No. Doom does not listen to the whims of fancy or blurry, ill-divined "futures". Doom is the master of his own fate--

Doom 2: You're wrong, Victor... that is exactly what I came here to tell you...

Doom 2: You... are... wrong...

Panel Five.

The fight is over in seconds. Time machine Doom lies in a smouldering heap on the floor. Our Doom stands over him, victorious.

Doom 2: ...about this... and so much else... besides...

Doom: No...

Panel Six.

Doom throws the other Doom's body down a huge, stone-walled pit... where hundreds of other alternate future Dooms lie rotting.

Doom: Despite all your warnings...

Doom: Doom is never wrong.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Doctor Doom - Latveria's Street Magician - Max Barnard

Premise: Doctor Doom is reduced to the status of Street Magician in the slums of Latveria (Idea thanks to Laura!). The thing is, no matter how good his tricks are, NOBODY BELIEVES THEY'RE REAL! AHAHAHAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAA! I entertain myself too easily. If this were to continue we'd see more of his misadventures, but it's one page so here's a short story sans any actual magic.


Page One - 7 Panels

1-- A Latverian peasant is cowering beneath a GIANT SPIKEY SPEECH BUBBLE.


2-- Doctor Doom is standing on the streets of latveria pointing angrily at said wincing peasant. Doom is in his usual attire, save for the fact he is wearing a magician's hat atop his hood.

SPEECH BUBBLE/LATVERIAN PEASANT - I-It's just that your tricks don't feel real to me, oh great one.

3-- Doom is now looming over the peasant, brandishing his magician's hat in the air.


4-- Another peasant has come over, angrily pressing her finger into Doom's chest, like an angry old lady. In fact, she IS an angry old lady.

SPEECH BUBBLE/ANGRY OLD LADY - Now you see HERE, young man! You aren't our ruler anymore, you're just another peasant on our streets! Now take your criticism or GO HOME.

5-- Doom is now alone on the street, looking lonely. Yeah he's wearing a mask but I dunno put a thundercloud over his head and slump his shoulders, I haven't thought this through.

SPEECH BUBBLE[MEEK]/DOCTOR DOOM - Why did I even go along with this....

6-- Cloudy flashback panel. Doctor doom is trying to shoot Mr. Fantastic with his laser cannon, but Mr. Fantastic has stretched out of the way, with his face stretched right up to Doom's face.

SPEECH BUBBLE/MR. FANTASTIC - Hey Victor! I bet you can't relinquish your kingdom and be a street magician!


7-- Bird's-eye view. Doom is screaming towards the sky, as he tends to in any situation.


Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Dr Doom - Doom by Candlelight - Simon McDonald

1.  The scrawled writing from William 'Billy' Walter's notebook:

"Every reporter dreams of it.
The story that establishes their name amongst the elite journalists of history.
The story that wins them a Pulitzer; that get's them a book deal; appearances on television.
Maybe even a movie.
The story that sets them up for life, solidifies their credibility, and guarantees a future in the business."

* The next three panels are identically shaped and sized *

2. Ben Urich, typing at his desk. Behind him, faded, is Norman Osborn in his Green Goblin gear, mask off, eyes bulging psychotically, in the midst of one of his maniacal laughs.

(Billy Walter's handwriting, continued)
"For Ben Urich, it was his outing of Norman Osborn as the Green Goblin."

3. Betty Brant, typing at her desk. Behind her, faded, is Roderick Kingsley in his Hobgoblin gear, mask off.

"Betty Brant outed Roderick Kingsley as the Hobgoblin."

4. Jospeh Robinson, typing at his desk. Behind him, faded, is Tombstone, looking his typically menacing self.

"Joseph 'Robbie' Robertson got his job as Editor-in-Chief of the Bugle because of his history with Tombstone."

5. The scrawled writing from Billy Walter's notebook:

"This is going to be my big break."

6. Inside Doctor Doom's castle in Latveria. We're in the Great Hall, lavishly decorated, dominated by a long wooden table and two chairs on either end. Billy Walters, dressed immaculately, clean-shaven, and looking altogether professional, sits at one end of the table - and at the other end sits Doctor Doom, a goblet in his hand. Between them, centered on the table, is a candleholder, six candles providing ominous lighting.

"An exclusive one-on-one interview with Doctor Doom."

7. Billy Walters is sitting in a dimly-lit cell; his hair is long and untidy, he's unshaven, and his 'immaculate suit' is disheveled and dirty. He's sitting at a table, writing in his notebook.

"And as soon as he let's me out of here - -
- - this is what's going to get me my Pulitzer."

* William 'Billy' Walters first appeared in The Spectacular Spider-Man #235 and - based on my research (if you can call a Google search that) last appeared in The Sensational Spider-Man #31 (Vol. 1) *

Monday, June 14, 2010

Dr Doom - Control - Ben Rosenthal

1. We are looking down on a double bed in a bedroom. The room is coloured in shades of greys as it is the middle of the night. A man (on the left hand side of the bed) and a woman (on the right) are asleep. A clock on the left hand wall tells us it is 11:30, and a glass of half finished water sits on the bed side table next to the woman’s side of the bed. Close to the man’s side of the bed is a clearly visible door. It is closed. A single text box simply says “Latveria”.

2. The door has been kicked in and figures are rushing into the room. We can see that they are Dr Doom’s Servo-guards. The man has sat upright in his bed, clearly shocked at the sound of the door being broken in. His wife is still blissfully asleep.

3. Black panel.

4. This panel is shown from behind the man. We can see that he is sitting in a chair, hands tied behind his back and shirtless. He is looking around at the room. The room itself is white and completely blank, apart from a tv screen to the man’s right. The screen is showing images of the man in what appears to be a small protest rally. He is holding a sign that says “Down with Doom!” To the left side of the panel are two Servo-Guard standing at attention. A slight outline of a door can be seen between them.

5. Same view as before, but the door is open and Dr Doom towers above the man who is still tied to his chair. Doom all but fills out the panel, so all that we can see is a bit of white behind him, half of the monitor with the man protesting, and a small bit of the open door from which Dr Doom entered. Doom is staring down at the man.

6. A side shot of the panel we have just seen. Doom is towering over the seated man, who has his eyes clenched shut, with his head pointed at the ground. He is shaking, obviously terrified.

7. Black panel.

8. We are back in the bedroom. It is daytime with a lot more colour than when we first saw the room. We are looking at the man’s wife waking up in bed, but this time viewed at bed level. She is propping herself up on one arm as she rubs the sleep from an eye with her other hand. Her half glass of water has not moved, and the broken door visible in the background. Up on the wall behind her we can see the clock showing 2:30 in the afternoon.

9. We are now seeing the opposite side of the bed. The man is laying in his spot, with his wife leaning over him, presumably to tell him good morning. The man’s eyes are wide open, and he is sweating. He is clutching his bed sheets, holding near his clenched teeth. Fear is masking his face.

I have known for a while now that I tend to write over-wordy scripts. Even before I joined Thought Ballons, I knew it was something that I needed to work on. I set myself the challenge this week of not using any speech at all.

Victor Von Doom M.D.

He's a doctor, a sorcerer, an inventor, a supervillain, a polymath, a monarch, an archenemy, and possibly just a misunderstood little gypsy boy looking for a cuddle from the mother who will burn in hell for all eternity. He's the greatest enemy the Fantastic Four have ever faced and he's our character pick of the week.

He's Dr Doom, but we can't guarantee he won't just be a DoomBot in this week's scripts.

We hope you enjoy Dr Doom and we wish to thank Stan Lee and Jack Kirby because without them Dr Doom would not be around.
Dr Doom is a character owned by Marvel Entertainment.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Mephisto - Mephisto Makes a Deal - Brandon Whaley

The layout of this page would be six panels. The top of the page would have three vertical panels, below that would be two square panels, and the final panel would be a horizontal panel across the bottom of the page. It would need to be drawn in almost a classic 70s style to get the feel I'm going for.

Panel 1:

We see Mephisto, in all of his glory, sitting upon a throne surrounded by scantily-clad women, some of which are feeding him grapes and fanning him. All around debauchery basically.

Text Box: I can give you all that you desire...

Panel 2:

Mephisto standing on a cliff overlooking a vast and prosperous nation. His arms are outstretched to the city immediately below, and two of the girls from the previous panel are there with him, although much more properly dressed this time in robes and such.

Text Box: All this and more can be yours...

Panel 3:

The women are draping strings of precious gems upon Mephisto, and one is placing a crown inset with gems upon his head.

Text Box: Wealth, power, women...all of your pathetic heart's desires...

Panel 4:

Close-up on Mephisto's face.

Mephisto: "...if only you submit yourself and everything you believe me."

Mephisto: Useless, human desires! Mephisto has no use for such things! I desire only souls!

Panel 5:

We see Mephisto from behind, but something is different. He is standing in what looks to be a meeting room. He is not the haughty, proud Mephisto we know. He stands slumped, and his head is hung in what appears to be shame.

Mephisto: This is why I...begrudgingly come to you. You're known for making the impossible happen.

Panel 6:

We see the (classic) Avengers standing on the other side of the room. They all have shocked expressions on their faces, the most shocked of them belonging to Steve Rogers. Mephisto has taken a knee in front of Captain America and almost has a pleading look on his face.

Mephisto: Make them stop! They won't leave me be! I need your help, Avengers!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Mephisto - Ambrose Burnside - Max Barnard

Premise: Sideburns were inspired by Ambrose Everett Burnside's facial hair. Mephisto has bitchin' sideburns. That is all.


Page One - Eight Panels

1-- Ambrose Burnside, sitting in a dark room, with a circle of candles in front of him. He has a FULL BEARD, scraggly and long.

SPEECH BUBBLE/AMBROSE BURNSIDE - Gloria Satanas, et Belial et Spiritui maloso...*

TEXT BOX/EDITOR'S NOTE - "Glory Be To Satan And Belial, & To The Evil Spirits" - Don't Practice Satanism, kids! - Max "Mephistopheles" Barnard

2-- Mephisto appears in a puff of smoke before Burnside, in a dressing gown, toothbrush in mouth, small amount of foam dripping from the corner of said mouth. He also has bitchin' sideburns.

SPEECH BUBBLE/MEPHISTO - What do YOU want? It's very late and as you can see, I'm a VERY busy man.

3-- Close-up on Ambrose Burnside's face, looking towards the reader with an ar
ched eyebrow and a quizzical expression on his FULLY BEARDED face.

SPEECH BUBBLE/AMBROSE BURNSIDE - Ah... *Harumph* Yes... I would like to strike a deal with you. I wish to be President of the United Sta-... What ARE those devilishly handsome facial adornments?

4-- Mephisto is stroking his sideburns foppishly.

SPEECH BUBBLE/MEPHISTO - Oh, these old things? I don't have a name for them yet. Hey, I tell you what, you give me your soul, I'll give you political power AND these 'facial adornments'. Whaddaya say, pal? You can even name them after yourself!

5-- Ambrose Burnside is kneeling at Mephisto's feet, begging.


SPEECH BUBBLE/MEPHISTO - You want it, you got it!

6-- Mephisto has swiped down, removing only the elements of Burnside's facial hair necessary to produce his famed facial stylings. Burnside has a horrified look on his face.


7-- Mephisto is looming over Burnside, who is looking understandably confused over his incomplete sideburns.

SPEECH BUBBLE/AMBROSE BURNSIDE - This isn't right! I wanted what you had!

SPEECH BUBBLE/MEPHISTO - Now now, there are limits to my powers. You may only have that facial hair, for eternity. Also you're only the Governor of Rhode Island. Thanks for the soul though!

8-- Mephisto disappears in a plume of smoke, whilst Ambrose Burnside is still kneeling, shoulders slumped on the floor.



TEXT BOX/AFTERWORD - Sideburns still became popular thanks to Burnside, eventually adapting to Mephisto's style. But what Ambrose had to give up to release this trend into the world was something far beyond what any human should lose: his ETERNAL SOUL!


Friday, June 11, 2010

Mephisto - The Devil Doesn't Play Chess - Matt Duarte

Mephisto in "The Devil Doesn't Play Chess" by Matt Duarte

This page is to be set in six panels (the most infernal of numbers, of course), two columns and three rows. It is set in a very recent past, set after the events of Heaven's On Fire and Second Coming. The person narrating is Mephisto, and the caption should be in a red catpion box, with old scripture-type of font.

Panel 1

A close up of Mephisto, who is looking straight at the readers, with his stare deeply focused and his hands touching each other in front of his face, with his fingers touching only at the tips. Behind his hands, we can see a Machiavellian smile.

CAPTION (top of the panel): Some people have called chess the devil's past-time. I remember the man who invented chess, and the deal he made with me.

CAPTION (bottom of the panel): I prefer my games to be a little older. Backgammon, for example.

Panel 2

Mephisto is sitting in a round table, in one of the darkest corners of hell. Also sitting at the table are Loki, Hela, Pluto, Lucifer and Nightmare.

CAPTION (top of the panel): In chess, with enough practice and time, one can easily predict the adversaries movements and tactics.

CAPTION (bottom of the panel): In backgammon, luck is thrown into the mixture.

Panel 3

Mephisto is floating in the middle of a room, standing looking at Mary Jane and Peter Parker embracing, moments before they decide to make a deal with him.

CAPTION (top of the panel): Luck is totally impartial, it damns and benefits everyone on an equal basis.

CAPTION (bottom of the panel): Sometimes it gives you small rewards.

Panel 4

Zadkiel is battling the Ghost Riders, and moments away from being defeated.

CAPTION (top of the panel): Luck can raise the stakes considerably, and make the game all the more interesting.

CAPTION (bottom of the panel): Which makes it all the more spectacular when an adversary fails in their gamble.

Panel 5

Nightcrawler laying down in the ground, dead, with a robotic arm sticking out of his chest.

CAPTION (top of the panel): And, sometimes luck means that a tactically important piece is removed from the game.

CAPTION (bottom of the panel): It forces the players to realign and readjust strategies.

Panel 6

Mephisto is standing in front of a pentagram, though we can only see his outline with candles all around it, lit up. Inside it, we can see the same image as Panel 5, with Nightcrawler dying.

CAPTION (top of the panel): Well, well, well... the righteous wielder of the Soulsword has gotten himself killed in some insignificant mortal power struggle.

CAPTION (bottom of the panel): The plan to undo all of creation can finally move forward.

The End?

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Mephisto - 4th Wall - Rol Hirst

Panel One.

Classic John Buscema Mephisto sits on a red throne, surrounded by demons. He's staring directly at us over steepled fingers, a slight smile curling one corner of his mouth.

MEPHISTO: No introductions are necessary.

MEPHISTO: If you've been reading these stories as long as I think you have, you know my name.

Panel Two.

He changes to mad, tentacle-faced John Romita Jr. Mephisto, a huge face leaning into the panel with tiny chains of tortured demons burning in the background.

MEPHISTO: You'll believe me too, when I say... I know you. All you are in this world.. all your sins... all your desires.

MEPHISTO: I'm here today to offer you a trade - one for the other. But it's not the deal you think it is.

Panel Three.

Main panel. Suddenly he's a far more human Mephisto in a scarlet business suit, sitting at a desk with a briefcase open in front of him. He's Business-Mephisto... you thought the other two were bad! He's staring into the briefcase as he rearranges some papers, talking without looking at us. Behind him, everyday office furniture.

MEPHISTO: It's a little game I sometimes play, when there aren't any superheroes, gods or galactic heralds to torment.

MEPHISTO: The one you desire most in this world. I don't even care enough to ascertain whether it's your spouse, your lover, or some secret fancy you've never confessed to anyone.

MEPHISTO: On the stroke of midnight, they will know your mind. Every dark secret. Every grubby corner. Every shameful thought you've ever withheld. Unless...

Panel Four.

He pushes an airline ticket towards us across the desk. His smile now is almost benevolent. He's offering us an out, after all.

MEPHISTO: Unless you take this ticket. Pack a bag, catch a taxi to the airport, get on a plane to far, far away... where you'll never see them again.

Panel Five.

Having closed his briefcase, he stands to leave. This meeting is over. He smiles a genuine farewell.

MEPHISTO: It's a straightforward offer. A simple decision. I'll leave you to make up your mind. Till midnight, then...

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Mephisto - Deal Breaker - Simon McDonald

1. Establishing shot: we're looking at a dilapidated apartment block; a den of drugs and junkies, walls tainted with various gang tags.


Michael came to me with a problem.

2. Inside an apartment. It's a desolate abode, and like its exterior, shows signs of usage by none-too pleasant individuals. FRANK CASTLE - THE PUNISHER - is standing over the body of the man he has just executed; Michael Canter, a seventy-something year old fellow clad in a tweed jacket. The 9mm in Castle's hand is still smoking from the two shots.

I found a solution.

3. On Castle; emotionless.
Job done.

4. Castle's got one foot out the door, about to depart the scene of the crime.

I told you, Frank - -

5.  On Castle; he's turned around, eyes wide. We don't know what he's looking at - - but it takes a lot to ruffle The Punisher.

- - I told you - -
- - the gun won't work - -

6. Now we see what Frank's looking at; Michael Canter is standing, the two gunshot wounds to his chest seemingly causing him no discomfort. And he's smiling - an evil, chilling smile that doesn't belong on this old man's face. Standing behind him - faded, semi-invisible, replicating Canter's smile - is MEPHISTO.

He's not done with me, Frank.
It's only just begun.

Deal Breaker would take the form of a one-shot, focusing on this old bloke, Michael Canter, dealing with the consequences of a deal he made with Mephisto thirty years ago. In this page, Canter's come to Frank Castle for help after realizing the time has come to make good on his deal with the demon - - and he doesn't want to be a part of Mephisto's plans. He's already tried to kill himself – and he failed – so he's come to Frank, whose got quite an aptitude for it. The way I've plotted it in my little notebook, the key question that drives the story forward is: what deal did Canter make with Mephisto? And why's Mephisto even bothering with this guy, a nobody, a pensioner whose probably got a couple years left, max. Mephisto's taken on Thor, the X-Men - - where's old Mikey fit into the demon's plans?

Monday, June 7, 2010

Mephisto - One More Date - Ben Rosenthal

The following does not take place in any continuity, nor should it. Ever.

1. Mary Jane getting ready to head out on the town. Wearing an expensive flashy black dress, there is a knock at the door as Mary Jane is putting on her ear rings. She rises to answer it.

2. The panel is of the open door. We see the edging of the door frame, as well as the back of Mary Jane as she looks through the open door. Standing in the doorway is Mephisto. His hair is slicked back, holding a box of chocolates in one hand, wilted flowers in the other. Behind him is the long hallway of the apartment building in which Mary Jane lives. There is a shadowed figure walking up the hall in the distance.


Hellooooooooooooooooo Mary Jane.




I was just in the neighbourhood, and thought I would swing by and see if you were up for going out and painting the town ‘red’.


Ah, thanks for the offer Mephisto, but I already have a date for tonight.

3. Same framing as before in this panel, however poking his head from the left hand side of the door frame is Peter Parker. Mephisto’s mouth is open in shock, his shoulders slumped slightly forward and the flowers drooping a little lower.


Hey MJ!


What?! Him? No, you two broke up! I broke you up!

4. Same framing as the panel before, however Peter has stepped into the door frame so that he and Mephisto are standing side by side. It is here we can see that Peter too holds a box of chocolates and a small bunch of flowers, obviously picked from the roadside. Peter is looking at Mephisto with a puzzled look on his face. Mephisto’s flowers are now ablaze.


What are you talking about J.J?


No Peter I am not J. Jonah Jameson. I am Mephisto, The King of Darkness.




The Prince of Lies?




Collector of Souls?

5. A wider framing of the previous panel. MJ can now be fully seen in the panel, with Peter still looking at Mephisto confused.


I thought you collected marriages now?


Pft, yeah right. I only use that one when I want to have a crack at someone’s wife. So far you two are the only ones to have bought it.


Listen Mister, I don’t know why you’re collecting shoes but I’m here to take MJ out on a date!

6. Same panel, but Mephisto is looking at Peter. There is another shadowed figure in the distant hall. Mephisto’s flowers are again wilted, with a slight tinge of smoke coming from them.


Shouldn’t you be at home making out with your Aunt or something?


Sorry tiger, but as I said I already have a date for tonight.



7. Again, the same panel. However towering behind Mephisto and Peter is the slick looking Norman Osborn. He is wearing his token green suit and white shirt (purple tie optional), holding a massive and impressive bouquet of roses. Peter is glancing up sideways at Norman with a look of shock and disgust. Mephisto’s flowers are in full bloom.


Mary Jane. Parker. Mephisto.


Hey Norm.


What? HIM! You’re going on a date with the devil himself?


You really need to start wearing your glasses again.


Now, now Peter. All of my sins are in the past. Mary Jane, shall we?

8. We are looking from the doorway, but this time Peter and Mephisto, who are still standing side by side, have their backs to us. Between the two we can see the distant figures of MJ and Norman walking away, arms linked. It looks as if MJ is laughing in her airheaded way at something Norman has just said.


So what do we do now JJ?


God I hate you Peter.

In the bottom right hand corner of the panel one of Mephisto’s flowers has a face on it, and is winking at the reader. Underneath it says “The End”.