Monday, January 31, 2011

Batman Inc – Hostile Takeover - Ben Rosenthal

1. A close up of a pair of eyes. They look alert.

You really thought you could pull this off?

2. A large room which looks to be an office. We are looking down at Bruce Wayne, who is dressed in a business suit. His fists are raised. It was his eyes in the previous panel.

Honestly, did you think we wouldn’t find out?

3. Same as Panel 2, however pulled back to see that Bruce is surrounded by the costumed members of Batman Inc. Dick Grayson as Batman is the most visible.

Bruce, we need to talk.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Batman Inc. - Tilting at Windmills - Matt Duarte

Batman Inc. Presents “Tilting at Windmills” by Matt Duarte

This page is five panels, the first three are small and on their own column. The next two are tall, like 2/3rds of the page, and next to each other.

Panel 1

Description: Bruce Wayne sits in the bat cave in front of the computers, still wearing the Batman armor, though without the cowl. He has just gotten there, though he surely is planning to leave soon. Behind him, Alfred is walking into view.

ALFRED: Evening, master Bruce. I trust your trip to Spain was a productive one?

BRUCE WAYNE: Hidalgo has proven more than capable of handling his region.

Panel 2

Description: Bruce has turned around to face Alfred now. There is a smile on his face.

BRUCE: He’s young, idealistic, and impulsive but ready and eager to fight for the greater good. Does that remind you of anyone?

ALFRED: I could think of one or two men I have known that fit that archetype, yes.

Panel 3

Description: Bruce Wayne is now putting on his Batman mask. Walking away, with Alfred in the background.

ALFRED: I trust he is not going to start tilting at windmills when he grows bored, will he?

BRUCE: Funny you should say that...

Panel 4

Description: Here we have Hildago, who is a new character, riding a motorcycle (think The Guardian) with a shield on his back and a large jousting spear on his arm. He is wearing grey metallic armor from the 16th century (see reference) except it has a large Batman symbol on the chest. Behind him Batman is also riding a bike. It’s a relatively empty mountain road.

BRUCE (CAPTION): We had a situation while I was there. An old ghost coming back.

Panel 5

Description: Seen from the top of an industrial wind engine (see reference). There is a fat man on top of it, looking down at the two bikes approaching the place. All around him, there are explosives, and he is holding a detonator in his hand.

BRUCE (CAPTION): A former ally gone awry, actually.

Next: A quixotic quest featuring the Batman of Castilla-La Mancha!

Why Batman, Inc.?

Welcome to the newest franchise of Batman, Inc. The one stop for all your crime-fighting and innocent-protecting needs. 

In the coming week, you will be acquainted with all the most important aspects of our enterprise. You will get to meet some of the newest recruits and trainees from around the world, study from established heroes who have joined our cause under the umbrella of our company, and even gain insight into the complicated corporate structure of our organization. 

Your training begins now. Just remember the most important rule:

Absolutely no guns permitted.

Yours Truly
Bruce Wayne
C.E.O. of Batman, Inc.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Dr Strange – The Doctor With The Weapon In The Royal Throne Room – Ryan K Lindsay

1. Strange is yelling at us, this panel is wide and thin.
Strange: For heaven’s sake, man up!
Strange: Attack me with more might than you’ve ever dreamed!

2. This can look like a continuation of the first panel, if you like, the first being Strange’s head and shoulders, this panel simply being his hands on either side of the page. If you want to get all crazy with the layout and have the hands be the sides of the panel and have his speech bubble link to his face above and the caption come below, and in the middle, that could possibly look pretty cool.
Strange: Or die!
Caption: Months training, preparing, and I don’t even know if I’ll survive.

3. This panel is an insert panel within panel 4, it’s on the bottom left of it. Strange stands with his hands arcing back, fingers splayed, black magic summoned forth through his mystic ways. I would think, in a very David Aja way, the personification of the magic could be circled by another panel, and his speech bubble could be in yet another panel. Consider them panels 3.1 and 3.2 – the black magic could be rearing up like a vicious animal, or it could just be all spiky.
Strange: Be better than yourself! Become!

4. The bigger panel; Davos, the Steel Serpent is jumping through the air, wicked Iron Fist-style pose in action, and around him the purple chi of the Steel Serpent is spraying out like water. At the tip of each flick there is red energy, barbed, dangerous. Note – the reader has seen Strange training this man but does not know who he is.
Caption: Lithe Faerie Dagger of the Many Unseen
Caption: The mystical arts worked differently in this mystical city. Certain aspects modified, multiplied, amplified.

5. Strange holds his arms in front of his face, he’s blocking Davos’ manoeuvre which is whirling all around him.
Caption: We worked in secret, away from others in his hidden home. A perfect plan.

6. Strange stands opposite Davos, who now looks a foot taller than Strange, he stands proud.
Caption: A bastard student trained for a specific purpose.
Davos: Let the blood flow.

7. Davos walks away, toward us, and we mainly see the Steel Serpent tattoo on his chest. Reference. The tattoo can have a slight glow coming from it, maybe some Kirby dots around it.
Davos: You’ve charged the weapon. Now aim true.
Caption: Assassination, a coup, but Attilan would be mine.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Doctor Strange - Blood Magic - Matt Duarte

Doctor Strange in “Blood Magic” by Matt Duarte

This page is six panels, Panels 1 and 2 are square and of the same size, in the first row. Panels 3 and 4 are wide and across the page. Panel 5 and 6 are the same size and shape as the first two.

Panel 1

Description: Doctor Strange is sitting in the middle of a round table, with the New Avengers. He is talking, the center of attention, and looks very serious.

DR. STRANGE: Magic is governed by a set of rules, as old as the universe itself. To prevent exploitation, no mortal but the Sorcerer Supreme has full knowledge of them.

DR. STRANGE: The most paramount rule to all magical beings is this: to grant something, you must get something in return.

Panel 2

Description: Doctor Strange has stood up. He is gesturing with his hands, explaining the situation.

DR. STRANGE: Demons are the most likely to enter in such pacts. They like to play with mortals, offering magical deals to people in return of powerful and unique possessions.

Panel 3

Description: A round-the-table shot, where we can see Spider-Man, Luke Cage, Ms. Marvel, & Iron Fist. Doctor Strange is on the right of the panel, he has just walked behind them all, and the speech bubbles trail behind him on top of the characters.

DR. STRANGE (speech above Spider-Man): Demons might want the life of a loved one...

DR. STRANGE (speech above Luke Cage): A first borne child...

DR. STRANGE (speech above Ms. Marvel): Your hand in marriage...

DR. STRANGE (speech above Iron Fist): Perhaps something as simple as a physical challenge.

Panel 4

Description: Strange is now standing next to a window inside the mansion, looking outside. The group is looking in his direction, puzzled.

DR. STRANGE: The point is that they ask for something that exists in limited quantities, or else they would not bother with it. Even blood magic, which is a quite common, yet powerful, technique. People can only sacrifice so much blood before they die and the deal is null.

Panel 5

Description: Wolverine is sitting in another chair, separated from the rest. He is very grumpy, as if he had just woken up hungover.

WOLVERINE: Thanks for the lesson, Strange, but get to point, would ya? Why did you want us all here?

DR. STRANGE (off panel): Logan, trust me, you want to pay attention. This involves your son.

Panel 6

Description: A shot of Daken. He is sitting in a pool of blood, surrounded by candles. There is a clearly open wound in his chest, and he is opening another one with one of his blades. He is glowing slightly with a orange/red aura around him. There is al smirk in his face.

DR. STRANGE (caption) : It seems that Daken, thanks to his regenerative powers, has found a loophole with blood magic.

DR. STRANGE (caption): And in his quest for power, he has broken one of the fundamental rules of magic.

NEXT: Blood! Sex! Sugar! Magic!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Doctor Strange - Fabric Doesn't Crack - Rol Hirst

Panel One.

Close on Dr. Strange’s hand. He is falling and his hand is reaching upwards. A playing card peeks out of his sleeve. It is the Ace of Spades.

CAP (Strange): Tuesday night poker game with the Omnipotent Oshtur did not turn out well.

Panel Two.

Pull out to show Dr. Strange falling through space – crazy Ditko dimensions of space with whirling pathways, nowhere doorways and snaky tendrils of sinister all around.

CAP (Strange): I should have heeded the Ancient One when he warned me never to play five card stud with an all-seeing Elder of the Universe. But I’ve felt so lost lately, my every endeavour doomed to failure and bitter recrimination…

Panel Three.

Pull out even further to show the scale of the insane universe Strange is falling through. It's a whirling maelstrom of Ditko madness… but an end to his fall is in sight. Along the bottom of the panel we can see the horizon of a planet – a small town landscape with buildings and shopfronts in silhouette. Having seen the ground rapidly approaching, Strange begins to cast spells to slow and break his fall.

CAP (Strange): I thought perhaps Oshtur could show me why. I should have known better. With her, nothing comes without a price…

CAP (Strange): And once again my arrogance has been my downfall.

Panel Four.

Strange’s efforts to slow his fall are only partly successful. While mystic bands of spellcasting energy erupt in the air around him, he still crashes to the earth with a painful bump in the middle of a deserted small town high street. It’s early morning, the sun is rising, and the Ditko dimension absurdity is fading with the final stars of night.

Strange: By the Craven Cushions of Caramagglio, I command cottony comfort--


Panel Five.

Bruised and battered, but not completely crippled by his crash landing, Strange sits up and looks around. He attempts some spells to heal his injuries, but his fingers give out little more than insipid sparks.

Strange: B-by the... ragged runes of... ah...

CAP (Strange): From Oshtur’s palace, I fell through a crack in the fabric of reality… I should have known then that something was wrong.

Panel Six.

Struggling to his feet, Strange staggers towards the entrance of a nearby building. It is a Doctor’s Surgery. We can tell this because a sign on the wall reads ‘Ordinary Medical Practice’, and in smaller, almost unreadable letters, ‘S.O. Nothing-Strange MD’.

CAP (Strange): Fabric does not crack. It tears. Wherever I am now, nothing works the way it should…

Panel Seven.

Strange enters the surgery. A receptionist greets him from behind her desk. She has no face. She has no face, yet still she is scowling. (Hey, I like to give my artists a challenge.) Faceless townspeople sit around in the waiting room, nursing a variety of everyday ailments.

Receptionist: Can I help you, sir?

Strange: Yes. Yes, I’m injured. I… I had a fall… I can’t…

Receptionist: Well, Dr. Nothing-Strange is very busy today…

Panel Eight.

Close on Strange’s face. He is angry. Preparing himself for a fight.

Receptionist (off-panel): Perhaps you could make an appointment for later in the week?

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Doctor Strange - You Know You've Got (Casey's) Soul - Max Barnard

The Premise: Whoop whoop, that's the sound of a tease reminding the world about the events of Mark Waid and Emma Rios' Strange limited series (which is STILL, by the way, one of the most heartbreaking comics of all time) and the current situation poor Casey Kinmont is STILL stuck in.

Of interest script-wise, this is another instance where it occurs to me that outside of the constraints of a single page the final panel would totally be a one-page splash. Perhaps this occurring more than once for me is some sort of commentary on decompressed storytelling. Or I'm cheating and fitting it into a metaphysical SUPER-PAGE! Who knows.


Page 1 - 6 Panels

Stephen Strange (in his current 'costume' of... a suit) is in a darkened room, swirls of coloured magical mist surrounding him. He is in deep meditation, sweating slightly from focusing on a fiery orb in front of him, the orb itself being Casey Kinmont's soul.

Caption: It has been some time, and more effort than can possibly be known by lesser minds.

Stephen's eyes have snapped open, revealing them to be quite red and teary. Despite this, he has a slight smile on his face.

Caption: But I've finally found her.

Stephen waves his hand and summons Larry, the furry demonic beast, from the ether.

Stephen: Larry! Larry, my boy, I've found her! I know where she is!

Close-up on Larry as he folds his arms and raises what probably count as his eyebrows.

Larry: Casey? Where's she at, doc?

A close two-shot of Strange shaking Larry lightly in mad glee as he explains his discovery.

Stephen: Where else? Who else? Who would make sure to keep someone so important to me at a distance? It's simple...

We find ourselves in the surreal abyss that is the Dread Dormammu's realm, full of abstract shapes and mystical lights. Attached to a large parallelogram by some mystical chains is the beat-up and barely functioning body of Casey Kinmont, looking barely any different to when we last saw her in STRANGE, save for the lack of her glasses. Next to her on an ornate throne is the Dread Dormammu, drinking from a large goblet and laughing heartily to himself.

Caption: Dormammu has her!

Caption: ... to be continued

Monday, January 24, 2011

Dr Strange - Strange Days - Ben Rosenthal

1. Night in Central Park. Dr Strange is big, towering over a score of heroes who are in front of him. Spider-Man, Captain America, Thor and Iron Man are most noticble in the small pack, all looking up at the giant Doctor. Raw power crackles from Doctor Strange, his eyes flaming with magics. He looks evil/possessed, and is not is not dressed in his Sorcerer Supreme get up. The eye of Agamotto is nowhere to be seen.

Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” – Lord Acton, 1887.

2. Front shot from our point of view of Spider-Man, Captain America, Thor and Iron Man running towards the Doctor.

Unlimited power is apt to corrupt the minds of those who posses it.” – William Pitt, 1770.

3. Same as Panel 2, however the ground has engulfed Thor, encasing him up to his neck in rock. Only his head is visible. The other heroes look on, shocked.

4. Iron Man is turned into a statue of iron, Captain America into a toy robot and Spider-Man into Spider-Ham.

He who controls others may be powerful....

5. Doctor Strange is smirking sinisterly, the magic around him flowing almost out of control.

6. Wong is standing in front of the Doctor. A look of determination is on his face.

...but he who has mastered himself is mightier still.” – Lao Tzu, 534 BC.

7. Same as Panel 1, with Doctor Strange large and looking down. However, Wong is the only figure standing before him.

When the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will know peace.” – Jimi Hendrix, 1968.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Doctor Strange - Appearances Can Be Deceiving - Danial Carroll

(five panels)

PANEL 1. Close up of Namor, looking unimpressed as usual.

You called me here for that?

PANEL 2. Mid-shot of Reed Richards, Doctor Strange, and Tony Stark, all looking down at something in front of them.

You of all people should know that appearances can be deceiving.

PANEL 3. Namor, looking offended, is standing next to Medusa and Charles Xavier.

What is that supposed to mean?

I have utmost faith in Stephen's judgement, Namor. You should to.

But it's just... a book.

PANEL 4. Close up of a large, old, leather-bound book, sitting on a table.

This is not just a book, I'm afraid.

It is the legendary Necronomicon.

PANEL 5. From above, we see the group standing around the table. The book is sitting in the middle.

So if we possess the book...

Why is it a threat?

Because it's not the only copy.


Why Doctor Strange?

Have you ever travelled to the Dark Dimension and fought its demonic ruler, Dormammu, and won? Me neither, but Doctor Stephen Strange has... several times in fact. How can a mere doctor have achieved such a thing, I hear you ask. Well, you curious little scamp, it turned out that the skilled, yet arrogant, doctor was destined to become Sorcerer Supreme. Long story short, he's now lost that title--as well as the stylish medallion and cape that went with it--and is just a plain old sorcerer... and doctor.

So why does he deserve to grace the pixellated pages of Thoughtballoons? Why has it taken this long, is my question. It may just be me, but I sense a distinct lack of mysticism in its wordy portrayal of ones and zeros. This must surely be remedied, and quickly, lest the extradimensional forces of evil find a way to take advantage of weaknesses in any one of our scripts, and open a gateway to our world from within!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Ben Reilly - Steal My Kisses - Danial Carroll

[It should be noted that I have not read any Spider-Man, and know next to nothing about the Clone Saga, so if this does not fit anywhere within continuity, let's just pretend it's an alternate reality or something :P]

PAGE ONE (seven panels)

PANEL 1. Ben Reilly, wearing the standard Spider-Man costume, is perched atop a building, looking down at the street below.

Before you judge me for what I'm about to do, let me ask you a question...

PANEL 2. From down at street-level, Peter Parker and Mary Jane are walking happily along, arms wrapped around each other. In the background, we can see Ben atop the building.

PANEL 3. Close-up of Peter and MJ. Peter's spider-sense is flaring, to which he looks rather inconvenienced. MJ is rolling her eyes.

Let me guess...

PANEL 4. Peter is running into an adjacent alleyway, pulling his shirt open. MJ is just standing where she was.

Sorry, MJ.


PANEL 5. Spider-Man has lowered himself, upside-down, next to MJ. She is smiling.

One for the road?

PANEL 6. Close up of Spider-Man and MJ kissing.

PANEL 7. Same view as the previous panel, except the two have pulled apart. Between them, in the background, down the end of the alley, we see the real Spider-Man swinging up off the ground.

Could you ever just walk away from the one you love?

Friday, January 21, 2011

Ben Reilly - Most Valuable Clone - Matt Duarte

Ben Reilly in “Most Valuable Clone” by Matt Duarte

This page is laid out in six panels, two panels per each row, with three rows, all in same sizes. If you haven’t read Avengers: The Initiative, you might be slightly lost on this one. More info after the end of the script.

Panel 1

Description: A teenager boy, with medium length brown hair, notably big muscles, and a kind face sits in a empty bench in the middle of a desolate park. His bright blue t-shirt presents a stark contrast against the otherwise bleak background. This is Michael, and he is talking, though there doesn’t seem to be anyone around him. In his hand, he has a crumpled piece of paper.

MICHAEL: I just knew this “invitation” had something to do with you, Patrick. What do you want now?

Panel 2

Description: Behind Michael, a person has appeared. This is Patrick, and he has just gone out of his camouflage mode (which allows him to blend with the scenery around him). He is partially visible now, and he is wearing a shinning red and gold Iron Spider-Man suit. He too, is carrying a piece of paper in his hand.

PATRICK: I didn’t know you would be here. I got the same hand written invitation as you did.

Panel 3

Description: Patrick has now taken off his mask, and he is sitting next to Michael. Their faces look exactly alike, as does the shape of their bodies, but one is wearing normal clothes, and the other one the Spider-suit. They both have their heads halfway down, as if they hated each other.

PATRICK: Last time we talked, after the death of our brothers...

PATRICK: I promised I wouldn’t try to contact you again. I know you have your family to think about, and I wouldn’t break that promise.

Panel 4

Description: Michael is now furious, shouting at Patrick, who remains stoically calm.

MICHAEL: Why should I believe you? You are the only one that knew where I was! You are the only one that would think of the same places to hide!

PATRICK: Unless...

MICHAEL: Unless what?!

PATRICK: Unless there was another clone.

Panel 5

Description: Michael and Patrick have stopped arguing and they are sitting normally once again. They are looking straight ahead, directly at the reader, with a dumbfounded and quizzical face. A man is walking towards them, at the spot in the bench between them.

MAN: Clones! Aren’t they a pain in the back? You can’t even argue with them because they will think exactly like you!

MICHAEL & PATRICK (together): And who are you?

MAN: Me? Oh, just a friend of a friend of yours. I’m the one that invited you here, boys.

Panel 6

Description: The man is now sitting in between Michael and Patrick. He wears a faded black hoodie, which is covering part of his head, though we can still see some blond hair underneath it. He has his arms around both Michael and Patrick, in a friendly way, over their shoulders.

MAN: See, I know you can fight like Scarlet Spiders, but I’m here to teach you how to fight alongside each other. Like brothers should.

MAN: Name’s Ben: Your friendly neighborhood Scarlet Spider.

NEXT: The Scarlet Spiders will never die!

Note from the author: The idea for this page was based on the character MVP from Avengers: The Initiative. He too, was cloned. Several times, in fact. Now, the original is dead, with a clone sent in to replace him and one of the other clones wears a version of the Iron Spider suit. Complicated, yes, but so was The Clone Saga. 

Anyway, Peter Parker owes them one, and he thought it would be a good idea to send someone to train them both how to fight and how to deal with their peculiar lives, which is where Ben comes in (and this is something that he has experience dealing with). And how is Ben alive? I don't know, he just is, and that's all that matters.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Ben Reilly - My Spider-Man - Sime McDonald


We’re observing this scene from behind a panel of one-way glass, through the eyes of our mysterious foe. For the sake of dramatic tension – ruined by this sentence, really – I’m not going to reveal who until final panel of the page. Ben Reilly – alive, somehow - is sitting in a lavishly furnished room. It is a room that encompasses an aura of calm, of soulful deliberation. He’s sitting on a settee, relaxed, smiling, in the midst of genial conversation with the person seated opposite him. But we can’t see this person. Our view should be slightly obscured; maybe a piece of furniture at the forefront of the panel is blocking our view; maybe something else (never let it be said I don’t allow for artistic license!)

Heartbeat remains steady.
No sign of elevated sweat production.

We’ve come a long way since our first session.
Flashback! Reilly’s backhanded Norman Osborn across the room. The force of the flow makes it quite clear; Osborn’s dead. (What?!)

No instinctive defensive movements.
No emotional response.

(Good thing, too. I was running out of clones.)
Tight on our mysterious foe’s maniacal smile.

Back on Reilly. He’s talking animatedly. He’s loving it, this simple thing, talking, socialising, entertaining. He’s happy. He’s at peace. And that’s a big thing, because this guy, he’s experienced so few truly happy moments.

Years of conditioning, years of manipulating his psyche, years of gradually erasing his innate fear of me

Worth it.

And now we see Reilly’s compatriot, sitting across from him. It is Norman Osborn. Not at all menacing; he is – rather chillingly – smiling genially, very much playing the part of Reilly’s buddy.

Because now, once again, I have my very own Spider-Man.
As much my ally as Parker is my foe.
Our mysterious foe steps out from the hidden doorway. Osborn, still seated, doesn’t react. He expected this, knew this moment was coming. His job is done. Reilly does react; he’s shocked, eyes wide, pupils dilated. Because although we’re staring at the back of our foe’s head, his identity is obvious. Who else has hair like Norman Osborn?*

And now, my clone can rest.
It’s time for Daddy to get to work.


*Thanks go out to Rol who pointed out Harry Osborn has hair like his father. A feature the author conveniently forgot... **

**Sime is currently accepting applications to edit his work...

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Ben Reilly - A Clone Again, Naturally - Rol Hirst

Panel One.

Ben Reilly stares into a mirror. His hair is dark, not the blond he dyed it in later appearances: for all intents and purposes he is Peter Parker.

CAP (Ben): This is not my face.

Panel Two.

Ben’s face or profile fades into a montage of memories. Spider-Man defeating the burglar who killed his Uncle Ben… Peter getting shouted at by J. Jonah Jameson… dancing with Gwen and MJ… Spidey holding Gwen’s body on top of Brooklyn Bridge while the Green Goblin flies overhead…

CAP (Ben): These are not my memories.

Panel Three.

Ben stands in a loft apartment somewhere in downtown Manhattan. There is no furniture, except the mirror he’s still standing before, no carpets or décor. There is however a large amount of scientific equipment – including cloning chambers – lined up down one side of the room. The loft’s skylight windows are open and we can see the Empire State Building or some other prominent landmark in the distance. It’s late in the day and the light is fading… shadows are creeping across the loft. Ben is wearing civilian clothes… because, let’s face it, if Marvel did resurrect the character for the 21st Century, the least they could do would be to give him a new costume… and clenching his fists at his side.

Ben: This is not my life. It wasn’t the first time, it isn’t now – it won’t ever be, no matter how many times you scrape up my remains into a petri dish and programme these phony cells to grow again…

Panel Four.

Ben turns towards the shadows. The Jackal steps out of the gathering gloom, his body twisted in one of those kooky Jackal poses. He’s grinning… but I’m not sure he can do anything else, wearing that mask. (Yes, he’s wearing his original Jackal costume – not the 90s “I am a Jackal, this is no costume” look. Because he’s had to regrow his own body as a clone and transfer his consciousness into that… again. All this would be explained. If I had to.)

Ben: …Professor Warren.

Jackal: Ah, but Ben, my boy, this time the choice wasn’t mine. As they used to say in Nazi Germany… “I voz only obeyink orderz!”

Panel Five.

Close on Ben, glaring at the Jackal.

Ben: Really, Professor? Whose orders this time…? Norman’s?

Voice (off-panel): No. Mine.

Panel Six.

Looking over Ben’s shoulder (the lines of his Spider Sense are buzzing) we see a second figure step out of the shadows behind the Jackal. It’s Mary Jane Watson. She is Serious.

Mary Jane: I mean, to paraphrase a certain princess…

Mary Jane: Help me, Ben Reilly – you’re my only hope.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Ben Reilly – Slowly Losing My Fidelity – Ryan K Lindsay

1. Peter Parker stands above Ben Reilly’s grave, his shoulders are slumped. This angle will be kept for the next 6 panels.
Caption: There are so many things to be said.

2. Peter looks over his shoulder, at us, to the bushes behind him. He obviously sees nothing out of the ordinary.
Caption: Yet silence seems to say the most.

3. Peter walks past the gravestone, lays a hand on it as he goes.
Peter: Rest still…brother.

4. A man walks out from the bush, we only see the back of his head, with a hat like The Goon wears, Parker is further away in the distance.
Caption: I must talk to this man. My family.

5. The man has walked further out, we can see his body outline, nothing specific, a long coat, gloves.
Caption: But not yet. Not today.

6. The man has turned back around and we see his face, it’s almost like it’s melted, this guy isn’t alright at all, he’s a smudge of humanity.
Caption: Never today.
Caption: Fact – When copying from a master you can be assured of a percentage of quality. When copying from a copy you lose fidelity in each generation.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Ben Reilly - Return - Ben Rosenthal

1. We are looking down on a cell. Half of the cell is bathed in bright light, while half appears to be in darkness. We can see a faint outline of a bed, and a table. On the table is a large glass of water, with a glass. On the light side are some shabby rags in a pile. There is also a table with a large glass of water on it, however the water inside is visibly dirty. A single figure sits towards the back of the cell, knees pulled up to his chest. His arms are holding his legs, his head face down, resting on his knees. He is dressed in rags. An IV drip hangs from his arm, with enough length on it to surmise that this person could move around freely with it still attached. The IV drip goes into the wall.

REILLY (Caption)
A fight. Black. This cell.

REILLY (Caption)
Norman did it. Caught me by surprise. Replaced me with another clone, and killed it. Everyone thinks I’m dead. Peter...

2. A close up of the man, his head raised. It is a severely thin and malnourished Ben Reilly. His blonde hair has grown out and been hastily cut, with the original brown hair grown in its place. He once again looks identical to Peter (besides the severely thin and malnourished part).

REILLY (Caption)
May as well be...

REILLY (Caption)
I AM the clone. Norman told me that. Repeatedly.

3. Reilly is standing up, the best as he can. His gaunt frame almost folds under its own weight.

REILLY (Caption)
No way to think. Too weak to keep trying to escape. Just have to survive. Thirsty.

4. Reilly’s hand is touching the glass in the white.

5. Reilly being electrocuted, due to touching the glass of water on the light side of the cell.

REILLY (Caption)

6. Reilly looking towards the dark side of the cell. His face is that of a broken man.

REILLY (Caption)
I’m only the clone. It won’t matter. Just...just so tired.

7. Reilly walks into the dark side of the cell from the light.

Sorry, Peter.

GREEN GOBLIN (off panel)

Why Ben Reilly?

I’m going to explain the Clone Saga as quickly as I can. Deep breath now....

He was Peter Parker, The Amazing Spider-Man’s clone. An exact duplicate of Peter, implanted with his memories and feelings by the morally corrupt lecturer Miles Warren. Then he died in an explosion. Or did he?

No. Peter’s clone awoke from his death-like state and took to the road. Realising that he was but a replica of the person he believed himself to be, he hit the road, spending five years travelling from town to town, trying to find a purpose for his fake life.

On returning due to Aunt May’s rapidly deteriorating illness, the clone who was now calling himself Ben Reilly, could not resist the urge to web sling, donned a hooded jumper and became the Scarlet Spider, Spider-Man’s amazing clone. Or was he?

No! Tests confirmed that he was the real Parker, and the Parker who had married Mary Jane and was expecting a child was the clone! EGAD!

Do not fret – turns out that Norman Osborn was behind it all, and had been planning the whole thing since his apparent death. Norman revealed himself to Ben, beat him up, donned the green and told Parker that he was the real deal, not Ben.

Ben died saving Peter, and disintegrated as a result forever proving that the Peter Parker we knew and loved has always been the real deal.

Man, Norman is a douche.

That was as simple as I could make the Clone Saga, a storyline which was meant to run through the Spidey titles for two years ended up going for almost five. The reason? At the time, Spidey was the only character making money, and Marvel had a bankruptcy to (at the time) avoid.

So what’s the difference between Ben and Peter, I hear you think. Ben is a darker, more moody than Peter. He constantly reminds himself over, and over, and over, that he is nothing but a worthless clone as he tries to justify a life for himself.

Ben was originally designed to replace the married and soon to be father Peter, once again making Spidey single and carefree, while Peter went on to live happily ever after. Not happy with having cake and eating it too, fans cried out in anger, and the plan was scrapped. Thus ends a very confusing, but somewhat awesome chapter in Spidey’s history.

I’m just happy that we got Norman back, no matter how big a douche he is.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Lois Lane - Lives of Heroes - Danial Carroll

PAGE ONE (eight panels)

PANEL 1. A talkshow host sits at a desk within a typical studio set. He is holding his arm out to the stage entrance.

Ok, guys, our next guest has just released a book titled, Lives of Heroes.

Please give a warm welcome to, Lois Lane, everybody.

I never really expected this.

PANEL 2. Lois is walking in from off-stage, waving to the unseen crowd. She is smiling exaltedly.



PANEL 3. Close up on Lois' book, being stood up on the desk by the host's hand.

It's a far cry from journalism.

So your new book, Lives of Heroes--why don't you tell us a bit about it?

PANEL 4. Lois is sitting on a chair opposite the host.

And the attention can be distracting.

Well, everyone is aware of what a great job our city's superheroes do of keeping us safe--

PANEL 5. Close up of Lois, holding her hand up in absent gesture.


But I wanted to show that behind the masks and costumes, they're not that different from you or I.

PANEL 6. Close up of host.

The journalist in me should have seen it.

I understand that Superman played a large part in arranging many of the interviews--particularly with those of the Justice League.

PANEL 7. Another wider view of both the host and Lois.

Absolutely. He was more than happy to help as always.

In fact, I'd dare say that without his assistance, this book may never have seen the light of day.

PANEL 8. Close up of Lois, looking suddenly thoughtful.

I owe him much more than I could ever repay.

The truth.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Lois Lane - Beyond Metropolis - Matt Duarte

Lois Lane in “Beyond Metropolis” by Matt Duarte

Five panels, all wide and long across the page.

Panel 1

Description: Lois Lane is standing against a wall in an alley, surrounded by three menacing looking men, carrying baseball bats. These thugs are posturing dangerously and approaching her. Despite the fact that she is clear and eminent danger, Lois remains calm, with a smirk on her face.

THUG #1: Boss said you were sniffing around the offices, so we gotta send a message.

THUG #2: Yeah, that being a reporter in this city is bad for your health!

LOIS LANE: Now, gentlemen, that’s no way to talk to a lady, is it? Threats will get you nowhere, besides...

Panel 2

Description: The men are closer to Lois now. Behind them, in the shadows, a man with a wide chest and a flowing cape behind him has appeared. His face is obscured in the dark alley, so we can’t see who it is (but you can probably guess).

LOIS LANE: I already uploaded all the incriminating files to the Gazette’s servers, it will be on the first page tomorrow.

LOIS LANE: And more importantly, my boyfriend is here...

Panel 3

Description: Dark panel with only SFX in it.




Panel 4

Description: The three thugs are laying down on the floor, unconscious. Lois is now approaching her boyfriend, who still covered in the shadows, glad to see him there.

LOIS LANE: What took you so long? I sent the signal ten minutes ago...

BOYFRIEND: Sorry, I was on the other side of the city.

Panel 5

Description: Lois Lane is now embracing Batman (?!). They both have smiles on their faces, as if they were about to kiss.

LOIS LANE: You didn’t give that odious Vale woman any news to cover, did you?

BATMAN: You know I save all my best exclusives for you.

Next: What the heck is going on here?

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Lois Lane - Pressure Creates Diamonds - Ryan K Lindsay

Set up - in this issue (of Lois' own book, hell it might even be the debut) Lois was in line at a Gotham City bank when robbers locked it down and busted a few heads. After Lois spends a fair amount of time just sitting against the wall and watching, she opens her mouth one too many times and gets dragged away from everyone else. This is where we find her.

1. Lois is tied up, hands behind her wrists, on the floor of a bank manager’s office. Her eyes look around her.

2. A man is dumped on the ground in the office, not next to her, a metre or two away. It is Bruce Wayne, he’s been roughed up some.

3. Bruce Wayne sits up.

Lois: What are the odds you would be here?
Bruce: I think pretty good if you really think about it?
4. Lois sits up.
Lois: You know who these guys are?
Bruce: I don’t know them personally but I know what they’re like, yeah.
Lois: Bad people?
Bruce: The worst. They’re not here for the money, they’re here for the violence. They want an excuse, then we’re all dead. They’ll escape, no money moved, fatalities total.
5. Lois is standing, shrugging off the ropes that bound her.
Bruce: …
Bruce: Didn’t you write a story about them in Metropolis?
6. Lois is looking through the blinds on the internal office window, she's casual.
Lois: Even gave them their name.
7. Lois is walking out the door.
Bruce: You know who they are and you knew they’d be here.
Lois: I had a hunch.
Lois: You just sit tight, Mr Wayne.
Lois: I’ve got a story to research.
From here, of course, we get to see Lois at her absolute best, with no hint of Superman, and Bruce Wayne stays in his playboy persona to hilarious, and sometimes helpful, effect. The title, of course, gives away what the robbers are really after.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Lois Lane - The Last Superman Story - Rol Hirst

Panel One.

Lois sits at her desk in the Daily Planet, late at night. She’s typing up a story on her computer. Her heart is breaking.

TEXT: This is the last Superman story I will ever write. Just typing those words causes me more pain than you could ever imagine…

Panel Two.

On a rooftop high above the city, Superman clutches his chest in agony and falls to his knees.

TEXT: …but not as much pain as I know it will cause Metropolis’s greatest hero.

Panel Three.

Close on Superman’s chest.

TEXT: There are teeny, tiny machines – nanobots, they call them – swimming around inside my bloodstream. The technology is beyond me – I've asked our science editor to provide a sidebar. All I understand is that I’ve been infected, and so has the Man of Steel.

Panel Four.

The same image, but this time in X-Ray so that we can see through Superman’s costume and into his body. We can see the heart beating in his chest. It is being attacked by a swarm of tiny machines, glowing green. Kryptonite powered nanobots.

TEXT: We have been told that any attempts to remove them will likely kill us. However, they will remain benign and cause us no further harm so long as I don’t ever type a certain combination of letters again.

Panel Five.

Out of X-ray. Now Superman has collapsed completely on the rooftop. He’s curled up in agony.

TEXT: Those letters are S-U-P-E-R-M-A-N…

TEXT: And that is the last time I will ever write them.

Panel Six.

Back to Lois, lit by the light from her computer screen, a look of steely determination has replaced the sadness.

TEXT: From now on, for the good of the entire world, I will dedicate my life instead to concentrating on an entirely different combination of letters.

Panel Seven.

Close on Lois’s computer screen. It reads…

L-E-X L-U-T-H-O-R.

TEXT: Be warned: what I write will not be pretty.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Lois Lane – Write What You Know - Ben Rosenthal

The following takes place at a time before Lois and Clark were married, or even dating.

1. A high view of Lois Lane sitting at a coffee shop. In front of her is her notepad. She is looking out of the window, deep in thought.

LOIS (Caption)

The pen is mightier than the sword.

2. A closer panel, with Lois putting her pen to paper. She looks unsure of herself.

LOIS (Caption)

In a world of super men and women, that’s easy to forget.

3. Lois has the pen in hand, hovering above the page, hesitant.

LOIS (Caption)

My name is Lois Lane, and I am a reporter for the Daily Planet. I can’t fire lasers from my eyes. I don’t have a fancy car for fighting crime, and I definitely can’t talk to fish.

4. Lois is writing in her notebook, her mind made up.

LOIS (Caption)

I can do something much more powerful. I research, discover...

5. The bottom of the note page reads “Clark Kent is Superman.”

LOIS (Caption)

...and write.