Saturday, January 1, 2011

Why Reed Richards?


Reed Richards is one of the most important men in the Marvel U. He is one of the founding members of the club because he was one of the first. He has been around a long time and he’s survived plenty of action. He’s the original pioneer of landscapes unknown, he’s the father of the imaginaut generation that don’t mind a Marvel U with Negative Zones and world eating deities. He’s fought nearly every villain, teamed up with plenty of heroes, he’s just about the smartest guy on the planet (depending on who you ask), and he’s also the patriarch at all times of one very cool family.

I was never a real fan of the Fantastic Four. I just had no desire to read their comics but then Jonathan Hickman came along and made me pick up a few issues. As it stands now, it feels like Hickman’s run in its entirety isn’t as awesome as I want it to be, but there’s no doubting that his opening 3 issue arc ‘Solve Everything’ was one of the best stories to be told in the Marvel U for a long while. It finally made me get Reed and so here we are at the dawn of a new year and what better way to launch things than with this man. It seems only fitting considering we ended 2010 with the greatest villain from the DCU that we should start 2011 with Marvel’s greatest hero.

Just so long as no one writes/draws the man with massive pecs and a six-pack. That just isn’t right. The man is a scientist and even if he can stretch his body into being muscly I doubt he would want to. At least, that’s my stance.

15 comments:

  1. Reed Richards: The Pratfalls and Potholes of Parenthood by MK Stangeland Jr.

    This scene is set at an earlier point in F4 continuity, not long after the birth of FRANKLIN RICHARDS.

    (6 Panels)

    Panel 1: REED RICHARDS is in his lab. The place is relatively quiet with the appearance that not much is taking place, though REED is busy looking over data displayed on a number of computer screens.

    One of REED RICHARDS’ arms is stretched out and wrapped around a variety of mechanical pieces in order to form an impromptu hammock/cradle for a baby FRANKLIN RICHARDS, who is sleeping soundly as the arm slowly swings back and forth.


    Panel 2: Panel is close up on a door to REED’s lab as it opens. Standing in the door way is SUSAN RICHARDS. She is currently wearing a robe of some kind to indicate that she has just recently woken up and hasn’t yet taken the time to put on her uniform or any other proper set of clothing. The look of SUSAN makes it clear that she is rather unhappy about something.

    SUSAN: Reed Richards!

    As wonderful as your brain is, you can sure be stupid sometimes.

    Panel 3: SUSAN uses a force field to carefully lift the still sleeping FRANKLIN out of REED’s arm and carry him towards her. REED’s head stretches upwards a little as he twists it nearly a full 180 degrees around to look at SUSAN.

    REED: (In an innocent fashion, still unaware as to what SUSAN is upset about.) What did I do?

    SUSAN: (Still upset, but trying to avoid making a bigger deal out of the situation.) Dear, I appreciate you looking after Franklin so I can get some much needed sleep, especially with Ben and Johnny out doing whatever it is they’re up to.

    Panel 4: SUSAN now holds the still sleeping FRANKLIN in her arm. Panel has a heavy focus on REED RICHARD’s lab as SUSAN uses her free arm to indicate to it, allowing the panel to better emphasize the point she’s intending to make.

    SUSAN: But bringing our child into your lab?!

    Panel 5: REED has turned his body to look towards SUSAN in a more traditional fashion, with his body having resumed its natural form. SUSAN now holds FRANKLIN in both arms. REED is still not entirely sure what SUSAN is worried about.

    REED: He’s perfectly safe. I set all unessential equipment to standby mode. He should be perfectly safe.

    SUSAN: It’s your lab, Reed.

    REED: Statistically, he’s as safe in here as anywhere else in the building.

    Panel 6: REED stands next to SUSAN. His hands are on her shoulders. His head is bowed slightly in a contemplative manner to indicate he understands what she’s talking about and that he realizes he’s made a mistake.

    SUSAN: Reed, I’d just…I’d just feel better if he wasn’t in here. Whatever the ‘statistics’ may be, I’d just like to have that peace of mind.

    REED: Alright.

    I understand. I’ll be sure not to bring him back in here till he’s old enough.

    SUSAN: Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
  2. MK - This script is sweet, the sort of thing Reed would tell Franklin, perhaps. I like this and I think you kind of nail Reed's voice and mindset. Nice.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hi all, this my first time contributing. Wasn't sure what post I'm supposed to put my script on so I apologize for duplicates.

    REED RICHARDS:

    Panel 1
    Inside his lab, Reed stands on a shallow metal platform. His arms extended in front of him, palms resting on two glass globes attached to short pillars rising from the metal platform. A dull glow emanates from the center of each glass globe.

    CAPTION: The time-stream is a fragile, yet resilient creature, metaphorically speaking.

    Panel 2
    Close on Reed’s face, awash with white light. His head is slightly tilted back, eyes closed. His hair is blowing from the sub-atomic winds swirling around him.

    CAPTION: Tiny changes in one time-point simultaneously destroy one reality and birth another.

    Panel 3
    Cut to a dark night outside of a single family home. A bright light flashes from an upstairs’ window.

    CAPTION: My work has taught me many things. Most important of which is that in many ways, reality...

    CAPTION: ... all of them...

    CAPTION:... are subjective.

    Panel 4
    Inside a bedroom within the single family home. Reed is standing in the same position as in panel one, head still tilted back and eyes closed. Wisps of energy spark at his feet. A man sleeps soundly in the bed a few feet away from Reed.

    CAPTION: South Carolina. 3:47am.

    CAPTION: The Hickman residence.

    CAPTION: What I’ve grown to see as meta-striations woven through the fabric of space-time...

    CAPTION: ...Other’s see as the logically impossible.

    Panel 5
    Reed is leaning in and whispering into Hickman’s ear. Hickman remains asleep.

    CAPTION: A paradox.

    REED: I will solve everything.

    ReplyDelete
  4. @Adam: I love the idea of Reed meeting his current writer; his Fate, if you will. That could lead to all sorts of interesting storylines.

    I also really enjoyed your writing. Lines such as, "His hair is blowing from the sub-atomic winds swirling around him" were great. Very nice stuff! Hope to see more of it in the future.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Hey Adam, welcome to Thought Balloons, and thanks for playing at home! We encourage people to post their scripts in the comment section of the "Why [Character]?" post we do every week.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Danial: Thanks! This was a lot of fun. I'm looking forward to see what character is up next week.

    Matt: Thanks for the info. I originally posted under the most recent script post, but then noticed someone else posted their script here. I've deleted my previous comment.

    ReplyDelete
  7. You say you don't want Reed with huge pecs and a six pac and you pick a Dale Eaglesham rendition to illustrate the post? :P

    Nice choice. I've been away traveling for a while, but I'll see if I can get back in the game.

    ReplyDelete
  8. "Birth of a Genius"

    PAGE ONE

    1) Hospital room. Evelyn Richards lies on a bed, exhausted. Beside her is her husband Nathaniel. They are staring into each others eyes lovingly as sunlight glows over them from the window. In her arms, Evelyn holds baby Reed.

    2) Close-up of Nathaniel.

    NATHANIEL: You're sure about the name?

    3) Evelyn looking at her newborn son, lost in the sight.

    EVELYN: Yes.

    4) Nathaniel smiling. He's happy with the name.

    NATHANIEL: Reed.

    NATHANIEL: Our boy.

    5) Same as panel one. Nathaniel now looking at Evelyn.

    NATHANIEL: How are you feeling?

    6) Evelyn now looking at Nathaniel and smiling wide.

    EVELYN: Fantastic.

    7) Looks of utter shock on both parents' faces as...

    BABY REED: Fan-tast-ic.

    END OF PAGE.

    ReplyDelete
  9. @J.D: I like your idea a lot. It's warm, and fitting that the first word baby Reed inspired in his parents was, "fantastic".

    Although, I actually think I'd like it even more if you ended it at panel six.

    ReplyDelete
  10. MK - ah, the twist is... there is no twist. Interesting. A sweet and surprising script.

    Adam - really strong writing and a great 4th-wall breaking concept. Which I always like. Looking forward to seeing more from you in weeks to come.

    JD - great stuff. Sorry, I mean "fan-tas-tic". This one left me smiling.

    ReplyDelete
  11. i want to do a script for this but since i don't read FF i keep thinking of reed as Mr. Impossible from the Venture Bros.

    ReplyDelete
  12. @ Ryan, Rol - Glad you like it. :-)

    I initially made a self challenge to try to focus on Reed's stretchy powers somehow over his brain, since his brain is so much more of a focus for him as far as I can tell (not that I can blame anyone for it.) From there, it morphed into a bit about family and eventually to what I ended up writing. I get the impression that when it comes to such things, he tends to get absent-minded when it comes to relationships and family issues compared to science, but still genuinely cares about his loved ones. Glad to see I wasn't misguided in my thought process.

    @ Adam - It's an amusing piece to think about. At least as far as heroes go, I can imagine it might be fun to have an opportunity to actually meet the characters we write.

    The villains, not so much. :-P

    @ JD - I think your title says it all.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Great scripts so far--especially liked the one with Reed and baby Franklin. :) Here's mine:


    Page (--): Three rows, seven panels.

    PANEL 1: Long shot of Reed and Sue Richards’ master bedroom in the early morning. In the large bed lies Sue, elbow propped up, a hand on Reed’s empty side.

    SUE (caption): Of course. He’s been sleeping at his work table working on…something for two weeks straight now. Should I expect him to remember today?

    SUE (caption): I know his work is important to him—to the whole world, even. I don’t want to change him, and I knew what I was getting into when I married him. But…

    PANEL 2: In their bathroom—a spacious mix of Sue’s homey knick-nacks and Reed’s efficient inventions. A strange looking shower is in the background, its glass full of condensation. Sue has just gotten out of the shower, towel covering her and a towel on her head, and brushing her teeth.

    SUE (caption): Some days are harder than others.

    PANEL 3: In a minimalist, sleek hallway, Sue is standing next to a Star Trek-like door—Reed’s office—knocking. She is wearing a fluffy purple robe (the “F4” symbol on the breast), her hair still wrapped in her towel and holding a cup of coffee in her hand.

    SFX: tap tap

    SUE (1): Reed?

    PANEL 4: Sue’s perspective as the door opens. Through Sue’s eyes, we see Reed, in his uniform, white lab coat over it, slumped over his desk, asleep. Under his hand is a half-finished letter, and next to his head are Sue’s gloves.

    PANEL 5: Sue picks up the note, the other hand on Reed’s hair, coffee cup floating in the air inside one of Sue’s force fields.

    REED (caption): “So you can always have your family with you with just the snap of a finger. I hope this doesn’t count as ‘re-gifting.’ Happy Birthday, Sue. Love—“

    PANEL 6: Close-up on Sue’s hand, now wearing the glove, snapping her fingers.

    SFX: Snap!

    PANEL 7: Long shot as a holographic projection of the whole family—Reed, Sue, Ben, Johnny, Val and Franklin—is projected out of Sue’s glove. Sue is looking up at the projection—a smile on her face.

    SUE (caption): Of course. He didn’t forget today. It’s not exactly what I would want, but it is his gift, and that matters.

    SUE (caption): Now, let’s see if I can get him up and cook us some breakfast…

    ReplyDelete
  14. Great stuff--I liked the one with Reed and Franklin. :) Here's mine:

    Page (--): Three rows, seven panels.

    PANEL 1: Long shot of Reed and Sue Richards’ master bedroom in the early morning. In the large bed lies Sue, elbow propped up, a hand on Reed’s empty side.
    SUE (caption): Of course. He’s been sleeping at his work table working on…something for two weeks straight now. Should I expect him to remember today?
    SUE (caption): I know his work is important to him—to the whole world, even. I don’t want to change him, and I knew what I was getting into when I married him. But…

    PANEL 2: In their bathroom—a spacious mix of Sue’s homey knick-nacks and Reed’s efficient inventions. A strange looking shower is in the background, its glass full of condensation. Sue has just gotten out of the shower, towel covering her and a towel on her head, and brushing her teeth.
    SUE (caption): Some days are harder than others.

    PANEL 3: In a minimalist, sleek hallway, Sue is standing next to a Star Trek-like door—Reed’s office—knocking. She is wearing a fluffy purple robe (the “F4” symbol on the breast), her hair still wrapped in her towel and holding a cup of coffee in her hand.
    SFX: tap tap
    SUE (1): Reed?

    PANEL 4: Sue’s perspective as the door opens. Through Sue’s eyes, we see Reed, in his uniform, white lab coat over it, slumped over his desk, asleep. Under his hand is a half-finished letter, and next to his head are Sue’s gloves.

    PANEL 5: Sue picks up the note, the other hand on Reed’s hair, coffee cup floating in the air inside one of Sue’s force fields.
    REED (caption): “So you can always have your family with you with just the snap of a finger. I hope this doesn’t count as ‘re-gifting.’ Happy Birthday, Sue. Love—“

    PANEL 6: Close-up on Sue’s hand, now wearing the glove, snapping her fingers.
    SFX: Snap!

    PANEL 7: Long shot as a holographic projection of the whole family—Reed, Sue, Ben, Johnny, Val and Franklin—is projected out of Sue’s glove. Sue is looking up at the projection—a smile on her face.
    SUE (caption): Of course. He didn’t forget today. It’s not exactly what I would want, but it is his gift, and that matters.
    SUE (caption): Now, let’s see if I can get him up and make us some breakfast…

    ReplyDelete
  15. @Adam - damn, you write real purdy. That's one fine script you've written there it just flows along so nicely. Love it. Can't wait to read more of what you put up here.

    @Jared - a very cool conept but I love Sue's reaction. Seems many people want to really push Reed as being a family man, I like that.

    ReplyDelete

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