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?


  1. Another page-turner. Great work, Matt. This has got "event" written all over it.

  2. Matt - I love how you really think on the meta level with your scripts, 6 panels, that sort of thing.

    This is well done in that it ties so much together, or at least possibly promises to. I'd be interested to see what comes next, and if Marvel has already thought about this type of idea...

  3. I agree with both Ryan and Ivan. Great work that ties in very well with current continuity. Well done.

    Although, seeing "The End?" just makes me think of the alternate ending of Casablanca that Bart and Lisa found on The Simpsons.....before they sucked.

  4. Nothing much I can say that the others haven't. It's frankly brilliant and uses continuity as a tool, rather than something to be afraid of. To embrace it is to have that ideal trait of a comics writer.

    Just one issue comes to mind, and that's "caption". that's literally it.

  5. I rather enjoyed that, setting the tone for further mystery and interest. Not just to actually inform an audience about the character, but to deepen the mystery.

    When Ivan states that this is 'the event', I can imagine that it may very well happen with the way this page sets it up.

  6. Wait a minute... Nightcrawler is dead? Spoiler for those of us who only read our books in trade and... erm... never, ever go on the internet. ;-)

    I'm not sure how you tie all these stories together Matt, but I'm intrigued by the suggestion.


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