Monday, August 9, 2010

The Question - Face Off - Rol Hirst

Panel One.

Close on a corpse lying in a grimy back alley somewhere in Gotham City. The corpse has no face. All its facial features are gone, leaving smooth skin. Like the mask The Question herself wears, the face has just the shape of a nose, mouth and eyes, but no actual features.

Off-panel, Harvey Bullock and Renee Montoya (as The Question) discuss the gruesome discovery.

BULLOCK: So you can see why I called you back from Hub… thought maybe this was one of yours.

Panel Two.

Pull out to reveal the full scene. The Question and Bullock standing over the body. Crime scene tape and CSI officers fill out the alley.

THE QUESTION: You know me better than that, Harvey.

BULLOCK: Hey, you supertypes, you’re always coming up with nutty new powers and $%*@ - whaddo I know?

Panel Three.

Close on The Question.

THE QUESTION: What do you know?

BULLOCK: (off-panel) Press has already dubbed him ‘The Identity Thief’. See, he doesn’t just take their faces and fingerprints...

Panel Four.

Close on Harvey, scratching his head.

BULLOCK: ...but it’s impossible for us to identify them from their DNA too.

BULLOCK: Official cause of death is suffocation, but there’s obviously way more to it than that.

Panel Five.

Renee crouches to examine the body. One faceless figure examining another.

THE QUESTION: What about the Bat?

BULLOCK: I guess he’s all over it – but I still thought maybe you’d be interested – in case this guy’s infringing your copyright or something.

Panel Six.

Change of scene. A Gotham City hotel room. Not too plush, but hardly a fleapit. Just the basics – a bed, a TV, a dressing table, a wardrobe - all Renee can afford. The Question enters through a window from the fire escape, reaching down to activate the device on her belt buckle which seals and unseals the mask to her face. A cloud of gas / smoke surrounds her.

CAPTION (RENEE): Not sure I’ve ever seen Harvey Bullock so freaked. He was hiding it… but this case is really getting to him.

Panel Seven.

The Question sits at the dressing table mirror, surrounded by the smoke from the belt device. She begins to peel away her mask.

CAPTION: To have your whole identity stripped away like that… that’s enough to frighten even someone who takes her face off every single…

Panel Eight.

As the mask comes away, Renee discovers with horror that underneath… her face is still completely blank. She stares at her faceless reflection as behind her a shadowy figure steps in from the fire escape.

CAPTION: …night!?


  1. That was amazing! If that was the first page of a comic, I'd be reading it for sure. Very fine work as usual, Rol.

  2. Tight on Harvey Bullock.

    BULLOCK: I guess he just wasn't feeling...

    Bullock puts his shades on.

    BULLOCK: ...himself.

    Queue the music, ha.

    I was waiting for some sort of CSI riff punchline but instead you did the unthinkable, you wrote a good CSI script, bravo.

    This is an intriguing set up, that's for sure. More questions asked than answered at the start and that's exactly what you want. I want to know more about this killer, but alals, only one page, perhaps we'll never know...sniff...

    Though, for a second there, I thought I read it as Harvey Dent, and I figured Two-Face and Montoya working together as CSI is a brilliant concept. But you went for the more believable route. And that's cool.

  3. Great stuff again, mate; I want to know more! I'm picturing that final panel in my mind ... creepy as hell. If only I could draw.


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