Thursday, June 3, 2010

Molecule Man - Limitless - Rol Hirst

Panel One.

A bowl of fruit. But not just any fruit... these are the Uncanny X-Fruit! A banana in a Wolverine costume (yellow and black version, obviously), a metal-ribbed pineapple (Colossus), a pair of cherries in scanty Emma Frost underwear, a ruby grapefruit with Cyclops lenses, a furry Beast of a peach... etc.

CAP (MM): I can turn the X-Men into a bowl of fruit...

Panel Two.

A bright green cushioned footstool, with raggedy purple trimming around the lower half and a shaggy, darker green cushion on top.

CAP (MM): The Hulk into an ottoman...

Panel Three.

A table lamp with a burning skull face. A switch cord hangs down to one side. A small human hand reaches for the cord.

CAP (MM): Ghost Rider into a lampshade...

Panel Four.

Main panel. Pull out to show the wider scene. We are in an average suburban living room... with some less average, superhumanly-themed decorations. All the items described so far are present, along with a fireplace made from orange rocks (The Thing) with a Human Torch-striped fire burning in the hearth and a blue rubber Mr. Fantastic poker set. There are blue and red webbed curtains hanging at the windows (Spidey), an Iron Man-style TV set, a ship-in-a-bottle Silver Surfer ornament, an Edvard Munch 'Scream' painting on the wall, with Thor in the place of the screamer. Etc, etc.

There are two people in the room. One is Owen Reece, the Molecule Man. He's switching off the Ghost Rider lampshade as he speaks. Very matter of fact. Not at all menacing, boastful or superior. He's just stating the obvious. If anything, he's a little bit sad.

The other person is Captain America (Steve Rogers). Or what's left of him. His costume is in tatters and his shield flops over his arm like it's made of blancmange. As always, he's the last to concede defeat, but even he realises this battle is unwinnable. Unless... unless he can appeal to Owen Reece's decent, human side.

MM: I don't understand how any of you think you can stop me.

CAP A: Owen... please... you're better than this. I know you are.

MM: And that's the worst thing of all, isn't it?

MM: I want to be. I really do...

Panel Five.

Close on Molecule Man. Now we see his sadness. He can do anything he wants, recreate the world in his own image if he so wishes... but what's the point?

MM: Which is why I'll put everything back the way you want. I'll even rearrange the molecules in your brains and wipe the trauma from your memory. Just like I always do.

MM: And even though you won't remember this, I'll have made my point. Every now and then, Captain, we all just need to be shown...

Panel Six.

Molecule Man is sitting now, on his Galactus-coloured sofa, head in his hands, full of remorse... and self-pity.

MM: Exactly what I'm capable of.


  1. Rol, we're two peas in a pod. Loving ourselves some MM in the living room, however mine is much more creepy whereas yours comes across as more sad, I found. He does it because he has to, but he doesn't seem to like it. I will say, I think you've knocked this one out of the park, an absolutely great concept, and the Galactus chair was just the icing on the cake.
    Great stuff!

  2. Huh... honestly thought I'd commented on this already...

    Great work, as always, Rol. I love the idea that potentially, MM has fought the Marvel Universe to destruction thousands of times - or possibly even an infinite number, as I guess he might experience time differently - but nobody else knows it.

    And that he has come to treat it as an exercise in self-flagellation.

    Also, the idea that the Marvel heroes we see everywhere else could have been made and remade and made again by Owen Reece is one of those notions that gets in your head and wobbles through it for ages.

  3. The Galactus chair is great. If I could ask, how would the heroes battle someone like Owen? How is Cap able to stand his own against a man who can reshape his entire sub-molecular structure?

    That aside, this was a great piece. After re-reading it, you can even look at it as Owen simply creating the heroes, and beating them while spending time in exile.

    Good stuff.

  4. Ryan - I think he's just more of a suburban sitting room kind of guy somehow. Weird how everybody liked the Galactus chair, that wasn't in there until right at the end when I just kinda threw it in for a laugh before hitting publish.

    Nick - I love how you always think about my stories in far more depth than I ever do. ;-)

    Ben - yeah, that was kind of my point I guess... but traditionally Cap is the one who's left standing in such a battle (perhaps through sheer will-power). I remembered a similar sequence where he's the last man standing (with a shattered shield) at the end of Secret Wars. Hence why I specified Steve Rogers rather than Bucky.

  5. Awesome, I liked it a lot, probably my favorite of the bunch. Puts MM in a serious position in the Marvel Universe.

  6. I really laughed at the Uncanny X-Fruit.

    Nothing to complain about, just all around great work.


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