Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Molecule Man - Potentiality - Simon McDonald

1. We're looking at LUKE CAGE, his index finger extended, pointing at us, the reader. His expression his intense.

It's a cycle.
You escape. You rampage. We find you. We defeat you.

2. Cage is pointing at OWEN REECE - THE MOLECULE MAN - locked behind the transparent, specially designed walls of his cell. This is THE RAFT - the prison for super-powered criminals - and Reece is secured in a straightjacket; he looks jaded, hair unkempt, but he's sitting calmly, propped up against the far wall, no obvious sign of hostility, seemingly content to hear Cage's spiel.

Here we are again. You, behind bars. Powerless. Helpless.
All that power. All that potential.
But you can change that.
With my help, you can be somebody.

3. On Cage, arms folded.

You've been assigned to the Thunderbolts
Help me help you help others.

4. On Reece, no reaction. Absorbing Cage's words.

5. On Reece; a hint of a smile.

An intriguing offer, Mr. Cage.
There is, however, one faulty element to your proposal.

6. On Cage, eyebrows raised, incredulous.

Oh yeah?
What's that?

And then you'd turn the page...

... to reveal a double-page spread of The Raft in a state of decay - literally melting - with guards fleeing, in a state of panic as the world around them morphs...

... and the Narration Caption: "I'm not as helpless as you might think."


  1. On the beggining your script had me thinking "he's under arrest? Well, they gotta be using some power dampener or something". But then he melts the Raft. That without context makes Luke and the government, or SHIELD or whatever seem very stupid. Have you thought beyond that?

    Otherwise, pretty good. I knew this wouldn't end well for Cage. AFAIK, the Molecule Man is not the kind of guy you can just chat with, behind bars or not.

  2. No doubt my lack of knowledge about the character shows. Never read anything with him in it - based my script off what I read on the Marvel Wiki.

    Regarding the openning - there's not enough room in a one page script to include the context of the scene. True, I possibly could have - and should have - specifically stated he was de-powered by some kind of power-dampner - but I figured readers would simply assume that to be the case. Lesson learned, though - gotta be specific.

    Appreciate your comments- truly. Can't wait to get my hands on some DC characters - then you'll *really* see what I'm capable of!!

  3. Just to add - the idea behind the script was that Cage and SHIELD believe Reece has been pacified. A full-length story would reveal an insider is responsible for shutting down the power-dampener and instigating Reece's attack / escape - - but again, limited to one page, it's impossible to elucidate that.

  4. @Ivan, I am assuming that would be the point. Cage thinks he's got Reece dampened, but he doesn't. That's the kick at the end.

    Simon, nice work man. I love Cage's tone, sounds pretty authentic for him, or so I think. I also like how creepy Molecule Man comes off. Very Lecter-ish, but without being a knock off. I like it and it's a good set up page for the start of an issue to then let the games begin.

  5. Don't worry, I did assume that and I think the set-up does a good job. :)

    Maybe someone who's even more unfamilian with the character then I would have trouble with the sequence, but it's really nothing that can't be explained in a caption's space in the next page.

    The Molecule Man is so powerful that most writers could think of a dozen convincing ways for him to get rid of some kind of power supressor. It's not really a problem.

  6. I was typing as you guys commented and yes Simon and Ryan - the context makes perfect sense and it wouldn't be hard for a seasoned comics buff to "get" it.

    Since you're itching for a DC character, may I suggest Brother Power the Geek? :P

    I never really read anything about him, but I found some internet articles that made me fascinated.

  7. @Ivan, did you read Straczynski's Brave & the Bold issue with Brother Power The Geek? I'd never head of the character before that - loved JMS's take, not sure I could better it - give me time, though. Just need inspiration to strike!

  8. @Ryan, cheers mate. Cage's tone was quite a concern for me - figured he's pretty much a straight-talker, a no BS kind of guy. Honestly, I just examined his dialogue in the latest Thunderbolts. Gotta say though, much preferred the direction of your script; mine reads like we're in for a typical hero v villain fight - yours could go in a number of directions; loved it.

  9. Unfortunately, B&tB is very haphazardly published in Brazil. This May is was the 'Batman/Dial H for Hero' issue, I'm not sure if we're getting Brother Power around here. =/

  10. Oh man, that sucks. Well worth a read in my opinion.

    If it's feasible, mate, I'd be more than happy to send you my copy. I do very little re-reading these days, would be happy to let someone else enjoy it.

  11. There's a character called Brother Power The Geek, I don't know if I can even bring myself to look him up. I just can't.

    But Sime, I did have one question, what made you choose that title? We really haven't looked at the titles, what was your inspiration?

  12. Ooh, I struggled coming up with a title, and I'm not sure I like 'Potentiality.' Usually the titles come easy - not so in this case.

    I just figured this guy has untapped potential. I mean, he's so powerful, if he wasn't insane he could be a villain in the same league as Doctor Doom (or maybe he already is - I dunno, i had to base this off stuff I read).

    *Or* if he could be turned - as Luke Cage is trying to do in my script - he'd be a damn powerful ally to have fighting by your side. Point is, he has this potential to be more than he is.

    I'm open to other suggestions..! :-)

  13. No, that reasoning makes sense in my mind. Not saying your title was no good, just wanted to see behind the curtain, if you will.

  14. I quite like this, gets a lot of character and story out of one (well, three) pages. Did have to sacrifice a bit of believability for that reveal, but it'd be fun to see nonetheless.

  15. Nice work, Simon. This taps into the core of the problem with a character like Molecule Man (which is the same thing I based my own script around - though I've made up my mind not to read anyone else's scripts until I've posted my own)... he's just too damned powerful. He's like Superman x 10. I think that's why he hasn't been used more as a villain, and why they wisely decided to use his weak personality as a way of limiting his power back in the 80s. I suppose his final lines here felt a little bit too classic supervillain for me, but I don't know how he's been presented in recent years - maybe that's the way Bendis took him in DA (will get round to reading that when the trade comes out).

  16. Hey Simon,

    Nice, simple and effective script. Like Ryan, I got the Hannibal vibe off Molecule Man, which is not a bad thing.

    Sure, there was not room to explain the ahappenings in the story, but isn't that how you get people wanting to read more? If the reader can see faults in a story, they will (hopefuly) read it to in order to see how it all adds up - such is the case with this script.

    After reading, I can easily see Owen being the Big Bad for this particular arc, with a conspiracy close in tow. It clearly sets Owen up as the power house that he is, and you know Cage is going to have one hell of a time bringing him in.

    Well done!

  17. Just out of curiosity, had you read the Thunderbolts issue that came out last week before writing this? Because it gels really well with what's on the page there.

    Anyway, good job.

  18. Hey Matt,

    Yeah - I kinda 'stole' the premise from there. Was struggling to come up with an idea, read Thunderbolts, and thus the idea was born!

    Hopefully my next script will havea touch more originality...!


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