Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Batwoman - Old Money - Matt Duarte

Batwoman in “Old Money” by Matt Duarte

I obviously imagined this would be illustrated by J.H. Williams III, but in my mind, the layout for this would be like this: the first panel is roughly one third of the page with the second one as an inset of it. The third and fifth panel would take the rest of the page, with the fourth panel acting as a small transition in the middle of those two.

Panel 1

Description: An outside shot of Kane mansion, imposing and sprawling. We can see a figure jumping around the roofs, though we can't see who it is, there are two very familiar pointy edges on the head of this person.

CAPTION: The Kanes are old money. Old money means they won't notice something is missing until long after it's gone.

Panel 2

Description: The same figure as before is jumping gracefully through an open window, boots first, and this time we can see that it's a woman. Seen from inside the room, we can see lots of expensive decoration, worthy of a mansion.

CAPTION: I'm not proud of it, but it's not the first time I've raided this family's coffers.

Panel 3

Description: The same woman as before, trying to open a safe located in the room. From behind, we can see that she has short hair and is wearing some clothes that while somewhat baggy, still show her form.

CAPTION: I normally prefer a bigger challenge...

SPEECH (out of panel): I thought I saw a pretty cat...

Panel 4

Description: Small panel connection panel 3 and 5. The woman has turned around, revealing it to be none other than Selina Kyle, Catwoman. She is wearing her Darwyn Cooke-style costume, with the hood pulled down revealing her short hair and night goggles


Panel 5

Description: The lower bottom of a woman's face. A set of striking red lips, smirking, showing her teeth only barely. Her skin looks unnaturally pale, particularly in comparison with the long red flowing hair by her sides. We can see the pointy end of a black mask just above her nose.

BATWOMAN: I did, I did see a pretty cat!

Next: Cat vs. Bat!

Batwoman - Unmasked - Sime McDonald


Tight on Doctor Hugo Strange, fingers steepled, his chin resting on the assemblage.

I’ve made it my life’s work to understand The Bat, you see.


Pull back:
Kate Kane is strapped to a therapist's couch, tightly bound with thick rope, completely immobile. She’s been stripped of her costume, but her face remains mask.
Her teeth are clenched, she's struggling against the binds, but escape appears impossible.
Seated beside her is Doctor Hugo Strange, his fingers still steepled, leaning forward, a notepad on his lap.
Kate’s Batwoman costume is draped over his left knee.
Dressed in a suit, his expression is entirely neutral. Were we not aware of his history, we'd think him a genuine psychiatrist.
There is a person sitting nearby, on the far side of the room. Female, slender - but she's cast in shadow.
Strange is speaking not to Kate but to this mysterious woman.


To understand it…

… and destroy it.


The woman sitting on the far side of the room isn’t there by choice.
Like Kate, she’s trapped, forced to watch on, powerless.
It’s Vicki Vale. Reporter for the Gotham Gazette.

(off panel)
Now I know.

Standing now, Strange is stroking Kate’s face with a finger, inches from her mask.
Kate shows no sign of fear.

The Bat is a composite of the mask and the person beneath it.
Together, they create an otherworldly, fearless persona.

One cannot exist without the other.

Strange pulls the mask from Kate’s face as Vicki Vale watches on, eyes wide, fear mingling with intrigue.

You’re going to prove my theory correct, Miss Vale.

You’re going to destroy The Bat.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Batwoman - Get Up, Stand Up - Rol Hirst

Panel One.

A very young Kate Kane is riding her bike down a suburban street, racing against her twin sister Beth. They’re both peddling frantically, determined expressions on their faces. They’re both wearing T-shirts and shorts, neither is wearing any cycling safety equipment. The sun is setting.

CAP (Kate): I was six years old.

CAP: The bikes were a Christmas present.

CAP: Not from Santa, Dad didn’t believe in any of that.

Panel Two.

Suddenly a cat streaks out across the road in front of Kate’s bike. She slams on the brakes, screaming.

CAP: The first thing I remember is the cat.

Kate: Ahhhh!

Panel Three.

Young Kate sits in the road, nursing a scraped and bleeding leg. There are more bruises and scratches on her arms and face. The bike is on its side behind her. She’s screeching her lungs out like kids do when they come off their bikes.

Kate: Waaaaahhhhh!

Jake (off-panel): Kate.

Panel Four.

A long shadow falls on young Kate and she stops crying to look up. We can’t see him, but the shadow comes from Kate’s father, Jake Kane. We can see Kate’s sister sitting on her own bike nearby, watching. Her mouth is a big 'O'.

Jake: Get up, Kate.

CAP: This is my earliest memory.

Panel Five.

Present day. A dark and storm-lashed Gotham City rooftop. Batwoman lies bruised and bloodied following a particularly brutal encounter with Bane. She’s trying to pick herself up.

Jake (off-panel): Get up, Kate.

CAP: And it pretty much set a precedent…

Panel Six.

Jake helps his daughter to her feet. Bane lies nearby, unconscious: beaten.

Jake: You did it. I knew you could. I knew you could beat him.

CAP: Back then, he always made me stand up on my own.

CAP: Nowadays... sometimes he actually gives me a helping hand.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Batwoman - My Heart Is The Worst Kind Of Weapon - Maxy Barnard

After smashing my head into a wall for weeks on end, I return. And with a very particular idea for a script about our delightful Kate Kane. You may recall, if you put your mind back to the mega event 52 (how appropriate considering the 'new 52' Batwoman is finding herself in now), she survived a pretty damaging knife wound to the chest.

And so a very comic-booky plot comes to mind. Because isn't it strange how she survived such a fatal wound, even considering it's a comic book or whatever? Well, RETCON! Nanites on the blade assisted in her healing, items placed into her system by a mysterious background figure, intent on delaying her sacrifice to turn her into deadly weapon!

We join the story as her implanted heart-weapon has kicked in, sucking a stream of blood from the chest of the planned target (a gang boss she was monitoring) and into her own.


Sitting on the roof now, Batwoman is patting her steaming chest, where the remnant of the blood that entered her chest has left a typical cartoon-style heart pattern dyed into her skin.

CAPTION: What in the world--?

Street level view now angled up towards the rooftop, as various gangsters both go to check on their fallen boss and look and point up to where they saw the mysterious eruption of blood go.



Batwoman is steadying herself and clutching her side, wincing in pain.

BATWOMAN: Damn. Have to get ahold of Dad, mission's compromised... And then some.

Batwoman with two fingers to the ear of her mask, activating her communications device.


Overlapping panel of Batwoman, mouth wide open in pain as a loud shrieking sound comes over her comms.



The sound peters out, as Batwoman covers her ears in pain, teeth gritted.

VOICE (comms): EEEEE--skrsh--atwoman?--eee-- I--his-you?

BATWOMAN: Who is this?

Panel coming out of the Batwoman's ear-piece from the previous panel, of a silhouetted face leaning into a microphone.

VOICE: Doesn't matter. Just know that you have to do what I tell you...

Close-up on Batwoman grimacing.

VOICE (comms): Or you'll die quite horribly.

Kate Kane - One More Time - Ben Rosenthal

1. We see Kate Kane in her car, looking at her from the passenger’s seat. She is looking in her handbag. Outside of the car, and clearly visible through the driver’s side window is a young Renee Montoya. Renee is dressed in her patrol officer uniform, and has her note book and pen in hand. She has just pulled over Kate for speeding.


It’s in here somewhere. I can never find a thing in this garbage sack.


That’s ok, Ms Kane. While you’re battling the forces of your handbag you can tell me what you do for a living.

For the ticket.

2. Kate is in the bottom left corner of the panel, looking up. She is cut out against a memory of hers. In it, she is fighting bank robbers as The Batwoman.



3. Back to the same framing as Panel 1, but Kate is looking at Renee.


Coffee trainer.


A coffee trainer?

4. A close up of Renee. She has a cheeky little smile on her face.


How do you train beans to become coffee?

5. A close up of Kate. She is smiling.



6. A tighter shot of Renee through the car window. The back of Kate’s head is visible in the bottom left corner. Renee is writing on her notepad.


I’m going to let you off with a warning, but you have to promise me to slow down from now on.

Should you have any questions that need answering –

7. A close up of the piece of paper in Kate’s hand. It reads:

Renee - 555 434 632


Give me a call

With the relaunch of the DC range getting ever closer, I decided to revisit something. Specifically, a relationship. Yes, the world has changed, but there are some things which are just meant to be. If the whole universe can start again, why can't relationships.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Batwoman – Parallels – Kelly Thompson

Page 3 (of 4)

Batwoman (Kate Kane) is fighting crime two hours after a disastrous blind date that her cousin Bette forced/blackmailed her into going on. Kate finds herself drawing some parallels between her dating and crime fighting experiences in panels that alternate between “now” and “two hours ago”.

PAGE THREE (6 Panels).

Panel 1. Back on the rooftop: Batwoman, already on her hands and knees, gets punched again in the face by the villain Ms. X.


MS. X:
Valentine told me you were tough...but I'm just not seeing it.

Panel 2. On the rooftop: Kate looks up at Ms. X, from the ground, and wipes a trickle of blood from her chin.

First of all, whether villain or blind date, they all seem to know one another.

Panel 3. Flashback to a restaurant scene: Kate sits across a dinner table from a woman (AMY) maybe 5 to 10 years her senior. Dressed in a smart power suit of sorts. She's got a Rachel Maddow look. Clean and sharp, attractive but not necessarily beautiful.

Two Hours Ago.

Wait...Kate Kane? Not that Kate Kane.


Panel 4. At the restaurant: Amy has an annoyed/accusatory expression on her face, as if Kate's not so stellar reputation has preceded her.

I didn't realize it was you. I've heard of you.


I used to date [BLEEEEP].

Oh. This will be fun.

Panel 5. Back on the rooftop: Batwoman kicks Ms. X in the chest.


It's a surprisingly small world I guess. The Gotham villain pool and the Gotham dating pool.

Panel 6. The two women, hero and villain, stand on the roof slightly apart, silently sizing each other up.

Why Batwoman?

To be honest, it all comes down to JH Williams III. Batwoman is a character I haven’t read much of but I’ve seen some gorgeous page grabs. The way Williams III draws Kate Kane on the page is a sight to behold. I have no idea how to write the good lady (and perhaps that will show) but I think I know how to set up an artist to cut loose on a page. And hopefully that page will have some semblance of coherent words on it, maybe even a story.

I’ve found the more I’ve written comics the more I love writing for an artist. I think you have to have an artist work on your words before you can truly understand what the collaborative process is like. I haven’t worked with JH Williams III before but I’m going to give it a go this week.

Oh, there’s also another reason I’ve picked Batwoman this week. Her name is Kelly Thompson. I’ve long been a fan of Kelly’s online writing. She has a column with Comics Should Be Good on CBR, she’s a voice on the 3 Chicks Review Comics Podcast (which is awesome and I urge you all to check it out), she’s a fellow CBR reviewer, and she’s just had a story approved for the media sensation, and monetary titan, Womanthology. It was through discussion with Kelly that I decided to choose Kate Kane. Now, up in a moment is Kelly’s one page script. She’s a special guest star so go make her welcome and enjoy the week.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

The Riddler – The Worlds Maddest Detective - MK Stangeland Jr.

(5 Panels)

Panel 1: RIDDLER and BATMAN (BRUCE WAYNE) are on a rooftop in Gotham City. RIDDLER is wearing a BATMAN costume, though his cowl and cape have a greenish tint to them and the body suit is darker. RIDDLER is turned towards BATMAN from previously being perched on a rooftop ledge, and has a very un-BATMAN like grin on his face.

BATMAN: Riddle me this, Edward. When is Batman not?

RIDDLER: A riddle? I LOVE riddles! Oh, oh! I’ve got this one, don’t tell me…

Panel 2: BATMAN stands directly in front of RIDDLER doing his best intimidation death-glare. RIDDLER, however, knows BATMAN well enough to not be affected by it very well and instead continues to have a grin on his face that would look outright creepy if the regular BATMAN were wearing it.

BATMAN: (Not giving RIDDLER a chance to answer.) When I haven’t approved it.

RIDDLER: Oh, you mean this old thing?

BATMAN: You want to explain to me why you’re running around Gotham dressed like me?

Panel 3: RIDDLER crouches as he sticks one foot up on the ledge of the building and stretches the opposite arm out in front of his face while holding his cape, using it to cover his face below the eyes.

RIDDLER (1): I’m trying to get inside your head and answer one of the second greatest riddles of the Batman!

RIDDLER (2): Riddle me this – how does he run around in tights all the time without going as bats as the very madmen he puts away?

Panel 4: RIDDLER stands on the ledge of the building with his back to the open air. His arms are stretched wide, each hand holding an edge of his cape.

RIDDLER: The answer?

Panel 5: RIDDLER leaps off the rooftop backwards. BATMAN rushes to try to catch him, worried that RIDDLER may have snapped even beyond his normal self and is leaping to his death.



The following page would show that no, RIDDLER isn’t committing suicide, but instead has his own grappling cable which he uses to try to swing away while he laughs maniacally.

Friday, August 26, 2011

The Riddler - Words, Words, Words - Grant McLaughlin

Classic 3 x 3 grid. All panels equal size. Nothing crazy fancy there.

1 – Nighttime.  Shot focused on the Riddler. He is puzzling over the question of what he should do next.

RIDDLER: It's really been far too long since I last matched wits with Batman.

2 – Pull back to show that the Riddler stands before a long line of filing cabinets. He looks towards them eagerly.

RIDDLER: Certainly I must have some clever capers collected within these cabinets.

3 – Riddler rifles through the first filing cabinet. He reads from a pile of cue cards.

RIDDLER (1): Here we are. “I am light as a feather, yet no man can hold me for long.”

RIDDLER (2): ...

RIDDLER (3): Wait. I used this one when I tried to drown him...

4 – Riddler walks around the room absentmindedly, discarding the cards he deems useless by throwing them over his shoulder. The filing cabinets are visible in the background. It is clear that he has been at this a while, because a few more drawers are open and there are cue cards lying all over the room.

RIDDLER (1): “What turns everything around but does not move?”

RIDDLER (2): No, I did this one too. He escaped from that funhouse much quicker than I had anticipated...

5 – The Riddler continues his search. He has removed his jacket, leaving it hanging on one of the filing cabinets. His shirt shows sweat stains from his exertions. More drawers are open. The cue cards are starting to overwhelm the room.

RIDDLER (1): “What kind of clothes does a lawyer wear?”

RIDDLER (2): Suing the Cape Crusader seemed like such a good idea at the time...

6 – Even more drawers are open. The Riddler sits on top of one of the filing cabinets, looking through cue cards. His initial exuberance has long since been replaced with irritation. He crumples the cue card in his hand in frustration. Discarded and crumpled cards continue to fill the room.

RIDDLER (1): “What is not enough for one, just right for two, and too much for three?”

RIDDLER (2): Ugh. I thought I had finally figured out the true identity of Gotham's Dark Knight...

7 – Light starts to shine through the windows. It is daytime. Riddler has been searching all night, and he looks awful. The sweat stains have increased in size, his eyes are red with tiredness, he has a five o'clock shadow. The man is exhausted.

RIDDLER (1): “The man who built it doesn't want it. The many who bought it doesn't need it. The man who needs it doesn't know it.”

RIDDLER (2): By all logic, burying him alive should have been far more successful...

8 – Riddler drops the last cue card. He looks around the room glumly. It is covered in cue cards. All the filing cabinets are open and empty. No dialogue.

9 – Still sitting on the filing cabinet, Riddler slumps his shoulders, defeated. Far away shot, with the Riddler in silhouette.

RIDDLER: What now, Edward?

The Riddler - Better Left - Danial Carroll

[I started researching riddles this week, and found that I really, really don't like them, so instead, I decided to research Edward himself. It turns out, he was a really curious kid--incessantly asking questions and such--so I figured that this trait has probably never left him. So, when I think of enquiring minds, I automatically think of...]

Edward Nigma is walking up to a large columned building. A sign nearby reads, "Gotham City Library".

CAPTION: Ever since I was a child, I have questioned the world around me.

He is now seen entering a dark doorway, next to which is a small sign reading, "Grimoire and Occult".

CAPTION: Curiosity is my muse.

He is seen pulling a large, leather-bound book from the shelf.

CAPTION: Some questions, however...

Edward is at a reading-table. His head is upon the table, eyes vacant and dilated, drooling. He has dropped the book, the spine of which reads, "Necronomicon".

CAPTION: Are better left unanswered.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

The Riddler - We Never Sleep - Matt Duarte

The Riddler in 'We Never Sleep' by Matt Duarte

Panel 1

Description: The Riddler calmly stands in an dark alley, leaning on his trademark cane. Before him, Batman (Dick Grayson) is swooping in from above.

BATMAN: End of the road, Nigma. I know you are back to your old habits.

RIDDLER: Please, “Batman”, you know I am not a common thug like the rest of the denizens of that crude asylum.

RIDDLER: My recent villainous acts have rhyme and reason to them.

Panel 2

Description: Batman is holding the Riddler by the neck of his jacket. He is clearly not in the mood for this, but Riddler remains as collected as before.

BATMAN: I'm sure you will explain it on the way to Arkham, as you always do.

RIDDLER: Riddle me this, Batman: What is pink but pretends to be red?

BATMAN: I don't care.

Panel 3

Description: The Riddler sits in the back of an Arkham Asylum van (the kind that would take the new guests to their premises), with shackles on his hands. Despite this, he is sitting comfortably, still smiling. We can see a small barred window where the drivers are.

RIDDLER: A pinkerton.

DRIVER 1: What? What did you say?

DRIVER 2: Remember the training? We are not supposed to talk to them.

Panel 4

Description: Same as before, but the Riddler has turned his head to talk to the drivers, but one of them is already closing a little hatch to the window.

RIDDLER (quietly): Hehe...

RIDDLER: Pinkerton detectives used to infiltrate unions and communist parties and pretend to be one of them to investigate them more thoroughly.

DRIVER 2: Thanks for the history lesson, but we don't care.

Next: A Private Eye in Arkham

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

The Riddler - Questioning the Unquestionable - Sime McDonald

The Riddler – Edward Nigma – is battered and bruised, his iconic garb torn.

He’s been through the wringer and is propped up against the wall of an abandoned Gotham City warehouse. 

The Joker looms over him. He is not smiling. He actually looks quite distressed. 

My take on the Joker is he’s not always the maniacally-laughing clown he’s so often portrayed as.  He’s a psychopath; he never displays the same characteristics from one day to the next. 

And today, he’s a brooding clown.

Poor dear.
You’re asking yourself why, aren’t you?


The Joker crouches on his haunches, his face inches from Riddler’s.

You need to know why.
Need an answer for everything.
Every riddle.

The Joker has unholstered a glinting pistol.
The barrel is pressed against Riddler’s head.

Your whole world revolves around questions and answers.
Answering the unanswerable.

But your world is fiction, Edward.
Buddy, ol’ pal.

Joker licks the Riddler’s cheek.
Nigma’s eyes are wide with fear.

You live in my world, see.
There are no questions.
There are no answers.

There’s just me.

Completely black, save for Joker’s word balloon.

That’s the joke.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

The Riddler – Wrong Answer – Ryan K Lindsay


1. Damian is punching The Riddler in the guts. They are in a room, a basement, chains on the walls, stains on the ground. This is Damian’s playground.
Damian: I got one for you. Listen closely.

2. Riddler is on the ground, holding his stomach. He’s in pain.
Damian: There is a room.
Damian: It is sound proof.
Damian: Two guys walk into aforementioned room.
Damian: One of them is pretty awesome.

3. Damian stands above the Riddler. Damian’s close to rocking that stance he did on Batman & Robin #1.
Damian: The other is you.

4. Damian grabs the Riddler’s hat off the ground.
Damian: The Batman is off, busy, definitely not coming back any time soon.
Damian: So, how much blood does this other guy give up before he names his source?

5. Damian is wearing the Riddler’s hat. He’s about to punch, or kick (go with your instincts), the Riddler.
Damian: Riddle me that, @$$#@^

Monday, August 22, 2011

The Riddler – Riddle Me This - Ben Rosenthal

1. Night. Edward Nigma sits at a desk, illuminated only by a desk light. He is in a singlet and boxer shorts, however upon his head is his trademark green question mark hat, his black eye mask on his face. He is hunched over his table, pen in hand.

2. A close up of the desk, specifically the paper on which Edward is writing on. On the top of the page it reads ‘Bank Heist’. Below it are words and short sentences, some are legible through the scrawls, some are not. A few crude scrawling of Batman are visible, with his tongue poking out and X’s where Batman’s eyes should be.


Bank Heist there a word or person which contains a knab?

When is the top of a mountain like a saving’s account? When it peaks one’s interest.

3. Looking up at Edward’s face from the desk. His hand rests upon his head, face scrunched up in concentration.


Ugh. Time for an easier gimmick.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

The Riddler - Wise Men Fold - Rol Hirst

The story so far…

The Riddler has fallen in love and renounced his evil, duplicitous ways. Batman is suspicious but gradually comes to believe that Edward Nigma has turned over a new leaf. The Joker, of course, is having none of this. He kidnaps Nigma’s bride-to-be and when Batman and the Riddler arrive to rescue her, he murders the woman before their eyes. Batman captures the Joker and ships him back to Arkham. The Riddler disappears… until, one night a few weeks later, he returns – more vicious and driven than ever. He lures Batman into a trap, captures and imprisons the Dark Knight inside an unbreakable plexiglass prison. Then he gets out his gun…

Panel One.

The Riddler points his gun (an old-fashioned revolver, but BIG) at Batman. The Dark Knight has little room to move within his cell. There’s no way to dodge this bullet.

Riddler: It’s broken, yet it keeps on working. What is it?

Batman: Edward…

Panel Two.

Close on the Riddler, over the top of his gun, his face wracked with pain. No tears. He’s past tears.

Riddler: What begins but has no end… yet it’s the end of everything that begins?

Panel Three.

Close on Batman, looking grim.

Batman: Edward, you don’t have to do this…

Panel Four.

Edward cocks his gun, ready to fire. Batman is pleading now, his palms against the glass.

Riddler: What’s the one crime the Batman won’t ever be able to punish me for?

SFX: Click!

Batman: Edward, please—

Panel Five.

The gun fires – Batman screams out.

BATMAN: Noooo!

Panel Six.

Batman can only watch as the bullet ricochets off the unbreakable plexiglass wall and strikes Edward in the heart.

Why The Riddler?

Riddle me this, boy and girls...

Which Batvillain walks on four legs in the morning, two legs in the afternoon, and three legs at night?*

Which Gotham rogue ties up Batman's brain more than his body, has a mysterious pun for a moniker, and makes question marks almost as fashionable as bowler hats?

Who's the one Batfoe even Jim Carrey couldn't kill? (Though he gave it a pretty good shot.)

He's a puzzle, wrapped in a mystery, called E. Nigma.

Why The Riddler? Hey, I'm not giving you all the answers...

(*In the morning he's crawling through sewers to escape Arkham Asylum. In the afternoon he's standing tall as he launches his latest diabolical plan. At night he's hobbling about on his cane after taking another beating from the Batman.)

Saturday, August 20, 2011

R2D2 – The Solitary Protocol – Ryan K Lindsay


1. R2-D2 is in a storage room with a bounty hunter, there’s boxes and not much else around. R2 used a projection of Han Solo to lure this foolish rogue into the room. This is a long shot, establishing the parameters.
Caption: The R2 unit scans the room to ensure they are alone. Not even a wamp rat is within hearing distance.
Caption: The Solitary Protocol initialises.

2. R2’s eye turns blood red.
Caption: Only one will see it.

3. The bounty hunter shows fear as he fumbles for his gun, too late. A red glow is upon him, we can't see R2-D2.
Caption: And not for very long.

Friday, August 19, 2011

R2-D2 - Words Between Friends - Grant McLaughlin

1 – The common area of the Millennium Falcon (where they played that hologram game in A New Hope). Chewbacca is sitting in the “booth” area. R2-D2 is across from him. They appear to be in conversation. The game table is between the two, but it is off.

R2-D2: Doot do ba weeeooo woop?

2 – The conversation becomes more heated. Chewbacca is howling mad, banging on the table with his hands in frustration.


3 – R2-D2 is nonplussed (as much as an astromech droid can be nonplussed).

R2-D2: Fleep beep bloop deep bop.

4 – Chewbacca is much calmer. He has one hand under his chin, considering the matter (think Rodin's “The Thinker”). He looks thoughtful and pleased. No dialogue.

5 – Pull back the frame to show that Han Solo, C-3P0, and company have been watching this exchange. They are confused.

HAN SOLO: What just happened here?

C-3P0: I'm afraid that some things are beyond even my advanced abilities of understanding...

Thursday, August 18, 2011

R2-D2 - Learnt From The Best - Matt Duarte

R2D2 in “Learnt From The Best” by Matt Duarte

Panel 1

Description: Obi-Wan, Anakin Skywalker, R2D2 and C3PO are aboard a ship. R2D2 is connected to a wall outlet, in the background we can see a big door. The characters look sort of like they did around The Clone Wars, as this takes place shortly before those events. (Look, I'm a fan of Star Wars, but not a HUGE one, so this might not exactly fit in with the canon, bear with it). They look slightly worried about their situation.

ANAKIN: Hurry, R2, reinforcements could be here soon.

OBI-WAN: Patience, Anakin. I am confident we will avoid a confrontation.

Panel 2

Description: Same as before, except the door has opened to reveal a huge battalion of droids waiting on the other side. They haven't reacted to the intruders yet, but Anakin and Obi-Wan are reaching for their lightsabers.

ANAKIN: So much for that.

R2D2: Bee Bee Bop Beep

C3PO: Oh dear, he says wait! Wait!

Panel 3

Description: Same as before, except the droids have turned around and kept marching in a different direction. Obi-Wan and Anakin have relaxed their stance.

R2D2: Beep Beep Bop Bop

OBI-WAN: See? It all worked out.

ANAKIN: Well done, R2. What did you do?

Panel 4

Description: A close up on R2, still working connected to the wall.

C3PO: Master Anakin, I do believe he told them: “These are not the Jedis you are looking for”.

The End.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

R2-D2 - Street Fighting Droid - Rol Hirst

The story so far…

Luke Skywalker has crash-landed on a strange planet with only R2-D2 and C-3PO for company. They’ve arrived in a strange city that has been ravaged by a plague of marauding creatures who hide their faces under hoods and communicate only via handheld portable computers. These strange, violent humanoid aliens are known as “The Y’Oof”. They have looted, pillaged and burned the city to the ground, killing everyone who opposed them. And now, they’re face-to-face with an unarmed Luke Skywalker. Well, not entirely unarmed…

Panel One.

Facing the oncoming horde of Y’Oof, Luke calls back to R2-D2 for his lightsaber, holding out his hand ready to catch the weapon when R2 fires it at him.

Luke: R2…?

Panel Two.

Close on R2-D2. The lightsaber ejects from its storage place in the top of R2’s dome…

R2D2: Squee boop whoop wheee---!

Panel Three.

…but the saber doesn’t launch towards Luke. It remains sticking out of R2. C-3PO approaches, looking panicked. The Y’Oof swarm towards Luke.

Luke: Hurry up, R2…!

R2-D2: Widdle boop b-doop beeep!

C-3PO: What do you mean, it’s stuck?

R2-D2: Squiddle bee-boop bing bwooooop!

C-3PO: Well, unstick it, you wretched watering can! Master Luke needs his---

Panel Four.

The Y’Oof fall upon Luke – he’s swamped by their locust-like attack. C-3PO throws his arms up in panic while R2-D2 hops from one foot to the other in frustration.

C-3PO: Master Luke! Oh, look what you’ve done, you binary-spewing bucket of diodes! They’re killing him! They’re killing him!

R2-D2: Ping bweedle boopledee--!

Panel Five.

Unable to detach the lightsaber from his dome, R2 does the only thing he can… activating the lightsaber and launching himself into battle to save his master.

SFX (saber): Neeeeoooooowm!

C3PO: R2 – no, what are you doing? Come back – R2D2, no!!

Monday, August 15, 2011

R2-D2 – His Only Hope - Ben Rosenthal

1. R2D2 is taking up most of the panel, shown from half way up. There are two people with him, however we cannot see who they are as they are out of panel. One of these people is currently trying to ‘fine tune’ a message that R2D2 is playing back (you know, the blue hologram thing). Show this by having a pair of hands doing ‘tuning’ things to R2 I guess. Not like that though. Sicko.

The blue hologram is scrambled. We can see that it is of a humanoid figure, but cannot make out who it is.

VOICE ONE (off panel)

Wait, wait. Something is playing.


-ksssst- long I’ve been here. I don’t kn – kssst- Fox.

2. Same as Panel 1, but the hologram is scrambled beyond recognition.

VOICE TWO (off panel)

Get it back!


I’m working on it I’m working on it.

3. Same as Panel 1.


-kssssssst - ...things he has done in my name. My clone is evil and must be stopped!

VOICE ONE (off panel)

Wait, I think I’ve got it.

4. Same as Panel 1, however the hologram has been unscrambled. We can now see that the person giving the holographic message is George Lucas. His hands are chained and has obviously been held prisoner for at least the last fifteen years.


Help me internet community. You’re my only hope!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

R2-D2 – Loyal to the End - MK Stangeland Jr.

(7 Panels)

Panel 1: A thin panel that stretches across the top of the page. All that can be see is space, though a slight tint or pattern to the image should suggest it is being looked at through some form of shielding.

Panel 2: Panel, stretched across the page like panel 1, pulls backwards to show R2-D2 sitting in the astromic droid slot of an XJ model X-Wing, looking out into space.

Panel 3: Panel is tilted to show C-3PO standing next to the X-Wing looking up at R2-D2.

C-3PO: Artoo, you really should come down.

Panel 4: JAGGED FEL walks up next to C-3PO.

C-3PO: There’s nothing you can accomplish up there.

JAGGED FEL: How long has he been up there?

C-3PO: Oh! Hello, Jagged.

Panel 5: C-3PO turns to JAGGED FEL. JAGGED looks like he’s really thinking about the situation.

C-3PO: He went up there as soon as he heard about Master Luke. He hasn’t come down since. I don’t know what to do!

JAGGED FEL (1): Maybe…

JAGGED FEL (2): Maybe he just needs time.

C-3PO: Time? Time for what?

Panel 6: C-3PO looks as surprised as one can when they’re a droid with an unmoving face. JAGGED continues to talk to him.

JAGGED FEL: To mourn.

C-3PO: To mourn? But certainly you don’t think that’s possible for a droid, do you?

JAGGED FEL: Normally I might agree with you, but with what I’ve heard about your friend…

Panel 7: Close up on R2-D2’s dome as it sticks up out of the astromic slot.

JAGGED FEL: (Off-Panel) …I might make an exception.


Getting to Know MK Stangeland, Jr.

Feel free to call me Michael if you feel so inclined. I’m good going by either.

Who is your favorite comic character?

Rocket Raccoon - he’s a super-intelligent wise cracking rodent. His best friends are a tree that says little more than it’s own name, followed closely by Star-Lord and whatever ridiculously large gun he happens to be using at the time. Guns that would be ridiculously large for a normal human, mind you, let alone a two-foot furry woodland critter. All while being an a**-kicker of the Fantastic.

What’s not to love?

What is your favorite comic?

This is a toss up.

On the one hand, there’s the 2008 Guardians of the Galaxy series as written by Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning (DnA). It features the same soft sci-fi mix of action, cross-galaxy/universe landscaping, fun characters, and lack of techno-babble that originally made me such a fan of Star Wars.

On the other hand, there’s Bryan Q Miller’s Batgirl series with Stephanie Brown which has sadly now ended at the hands of the DC reboot. Steph alone makes the series a lot of fun, being someone who’s both relatable as a human being and entertaining in her own right. Plus, Bryan does an amazing job of setting a series in the normally grim and gritty Gotham City while managing to keep it as lighthearted as it is.

I think that when it comes down to it, however, I have to tip it to the Guardians .

Who is your favorite comic writer?

I think the closest thing I have to a favorite comic writer is DnA, on account of Guardians of the Galaxy and the phenomenal finale in the form of Thanos Imperative. If nothing else, it gave me reason to check out the new Heroes for Hire series simply because they were writing it, which I think is a pretty good reason to pick them.

The only other writer I can say as much about is Brian Clevinger, who I first learned about through his hilariously dark and outrageous 8-Bit Theater webcomic, which lead me to purchasing the Atomic Robo Trades as they come out, and thus far I’ve at least taken a look at any comic projects I find out he’s writing for.

I think Warrin Ellis might be making a strong argument as well, between Nextwave, the part of his Ultimate Fantastic Four run I’ve read, and depending on what he does with his upcoming work on Secret Avengers.

Who has been the most fun to write so far at thoughtballoons?

The Batgirl/Robin team-up from Stephanie Brown Batgirl week is a definite winner. Those two just go together so incredibly well, and even as someone who’s normally a Marvel Guy, the potential loss of their highly antagonistic relationship is something I’ll regret the loss of if it doesn’t survive the DC reboot.

Which character do you most dread having to write?

I’d say the character I’d dread most is Mephisto, so I think I’ve dodged the biggest bullet right there since he was picked long ago. That said, he’s part of a larger grouping of characters that really leave me feeling uneasy about the possibility of having to try to write them, all falling in the realm of some kind of ‘evil mystical’ aspect of comics. It’s the kind of category in which I’d also place characters like Satanna and Sabacc (or however you spell his name)

Which non-comics character would you most like to write?

Given time to think about it, I’d probably say either the Animaniacs or Freakazoid!. Those two are probably due for a comeback, anyway.

Which script do you think has been your best so far?

Without a doubt, the Batgirl/Robin team-up script from the Stephanie Brown Batgirl week, “Best of Frenemies”. I had a lot of fun putting that page together, and I think everyone else had a lot of fun reading it, too.

Again, it’s a shame that the DC Reboot is on the horizon, because I have little doubt that if they’d had the time to put out a Batgirl & Robin book starring those two first, even if it was just a miniseries, it could have surpassed Guardians of the Galaxy as my favorite comic.

Which script in total do you think has been the best on the site?

Most dreaded character may have been the most difficult question, but this comes in second. Matt Duarte’s Poker Face script featuring The Thing stands out as an early favorite, simply because that was the week I was first introduced to the website, and it stands out as a winner from that week.

I also have to give props to Ben Rosenthal’s Twas the Night Before X-Mas starring Deadpool as Santa.

Finally, I also like both Max Barnard’s Stretch Armstrong script with Reed Richards and, more recently, FUNderbolts. The former, I still can’t honestly say I really understand what’s going on with that thing, but it still gives me a warm fuzzy feeling inside for some reason. The later I just happen to find incredibly charming.

Why R2-D2?

Short Answer? Because the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles were already picked.
Long Answer?
I probably took a little too much time thinking about who I wanted for my first thought balloons character choice. Ultimately, I wanted to pick something that had some kind of personal importance, and Star Wars fit that bill pretty easily.
So why pick R2-D2 specifically? Because even amongst the main characters, Artoo has a rather unique role, one that makes him arguably as centric to the story as Darth Vader. He’s only one of four major players that show up in all six movies, and of those four, he’s the only one to do it without dying (as with Obi-Wan and Anakin/Vader) or getting his memory wiped clean (as with his good pal C-3PO). Sure, he gets shot up a few times, but one of the advantages of being a Droid is that can take it.
It goes even further once you bring the comics into the equation, since apparently he’s still alive and ticking in Dark Horse’s Legacy series, set well over a century after the end of Return of the Jedi. Well put together little droid indeed.
The other major reason is that while R2-D2 been compared to “the family dog” by CGI Clone Wars director Dave Filoni, he’s much more than that. The loyalty is certainly there, but unlike most families that go through more than one dog over the course of time, Artoo is conversely the dog that goes through several families. And while no offense to Lassie or Scooby Doo, but I wouldn’t put my money on either of them figuring out how to get the Falcon’s hyperdrive working while there’s a Super Star Destroyer breathing down their necks.
Though to be fair, Krypto could probably put a few dozen holes in said Star Destroyer by flying through it several times and make the point mute.
So that’s why R2-D2. Not only does he probably offer one of the widest variety of options when it comes to his native setting, but he’s also a fun, lovable, iconic character in spite of never once saying a single line of intelligible dialogue. So go have some fun with him, and may The Force Be With You.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Captain Marvel – Deceptive Appearances - MK Stangeland Jr.

(5 Panels)
Panel 1: CAPTAIN MARVEL has just helped the JUSTICE LEAGUE INTERNATIONAL defeat a godzilla-like monster. GUY GARDNER has hand on CAPTAIN MARVEL’s shoulder.
GUY GARDNER: Not bad, Cap’n Marv. Not bad.
CAPTAIN MARVEL: Thank you, Mr. Gardner. I think.
Panel 2: GUY GARDNER is pointing with his thumb over his shoulder as CAPTAIN MARVEL is trying to hide that he’s concerned.
GUY GARDNER (1): No sweat.
GUY GARDNER (2): Anyway, the team was planning to go celebrate how kick-@$$ we all are, and some of them were wondering if you wanted to join us. I know a great bar in town and…
Panel 3: CAPTAIN MARVEL looks hesitant as he considers what answer to give, seeing how he’s technically underage, without giving away his secret identity.
CAPTAIN MARVEL: Perhaps such celebration should be saved for later. For now, there’s cleanup to attend to!
GUY GARDNER: Should take all of thirty minutes to take care of the body. Especially if you’re volunteering to pitch in.
Panel 4: CAPTAIN MARVEL continues to rebuff GUY GARDNER
CAPTIAN MARVEL: Even still, there must be a better means of celebrating than with alcohol! A heroes body should be a temple, after all!
GUY GARDNER: You serious? Tell me you’re kidding me, here.
CAPTAIN MARVEL: Of course not! Why would I jest about such things?
Panel 5: GUY GARDNER gives up, and begins to fly off. CAPTAIN MARVEL looks disappointed.
GUY GARDNER (1): Well, I’m sure that if you’re really so against it, you might be able to get a soda or water there, too. Feel free to join us if you change your mind.
GUY GARDNER (2): Otherwise, it’s your loss.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Captain Marvel - Painting the Town Red - Grant McLaughlin

Three rows of equal size. The first row is a single panel, taking up a third of the page. The second and third rows are made up of three panels each (all of equal size).

1 – Captain Marvel sits at a table in a fancy restaurant. It is well-peopled, with all of the other patrons dressed to the nines. Our hero is being attended by a prim and proper maitre d'. Some of the patrons are trying to steal glances at Captain Marvel, but they aren't doing much else. It strikes me as a pretty great image if Captain Marvel were in the process of stuffing his napkin down the front of his shirt to use as a bib with one hand, so he's definitely doing that. The other hand holds his menu. However, the matire d's arrival interrupts this action, and Captain Marvel looks up, flustered to be caught in the act. He clearly isn't used to this kind of place.

MAITRE D': Capitaine Merveille, let me thank you once again for attending the grand opening of La Grande Fromage Rouge.

CAPTAIN MARVEL (1): Uh, you're welcome?

CAPTAIN MARVEL (quietly) (2): ...I think?

MAITRE D': Have you decided which of our magnifique dishes you would like to have ce soir?

2 – The maitre d' has a pen and pad, ready to take Captain Marvel's order. Captain Marvel has recovered himself and now holds his menu with both hands, bib firmly in place.

CAPTAIN MARVEL: Yes, could --

MAITRE D' (interrupting): Would you care to try our savoury escargots?

3 – The matire d' continues to prattle on, calm and collected. Captain Marvel waves with both hands (one still holding the menu) to try to get his attention.

CAPTAIN MARVEL: No, that's alright --

MAITRE D' (interrupting): Or may I suggest the braised tofu with shiitake mushrooms?

4 – The maitre d' barely seems to recognize that Captain Marvel is talking. Captain Marvel is flustered again.  He tries to get the maitre d's attention with one hand.

CAPTAIN MARVEL: Really, I just --

MAITRE D' (interrupting): Or perhaps the pumpkin and squash soufflé would be of interest to you?

CAPTAIN MARVEL: Well, uh, those all sound interesting...

5 – Back in control of the conversation, Captain Marvel is looking more confident.  He wears a big smile. The matire d' is surprised by what he hears.

CAPTAIN MARVEL: But could I just get some ice cream?

6 – The maitre d' is incredulous. This is not at all what he was expecting. Captain Marvel smiles on.

MAITRE D': Ice cream?

7 – Captain Marvel is pleased. His smile grows a little wider. He knows he's making the choice he wanted all along.


CAPTAIN MARVEL (2): Chocolate, if you have it.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Captain Marvel - Disassembled - Matt Duarte

Captain Marvel in “Disassembled” by Matt Duarte

Note from the author: I totally blew my deadline on this one, so I am backlogging it into the time it was supposed to be up. Sorry for the delay.

Panel 1

Description: Captain Marvel is grabbing Dr. Sivana by the neck, holding him above the ground. Sivana is defeated, almost unconscious, but the Captain is not looking at him. Instead, he is looking down at his navel.

CAPTION: It's funny, it didn't start with lighting and thunder, just with a small rumble, barely audible.

CAPTAIN MARVEL: I'm... hungry?

Panel 2

Description: Captain Marvel is facing a really big version of Mr. Mind. There is actually fear in the face of the big red cheese, it looks out of place and abnormal.

CAPTION: It spread far too soon, and the next thing to fall was my self-confidence.

CAPTAIN MARVEL: You will not win this time, Mr. Mind! I will not let you succeed!

CAPTAIN MARVEL (in smaller font): I hope...

Panel 3

Description: Captain Marvel is in the rock of eternity, talking to the Wizard Shazam. Both of them look worried as they walk side by side.

CAPTION: At first I thought this all-too sudden influx of very human emotions and feelings was related to my alter-ego as Billy.

SHAZAM: I think what happening is very clear. If you can't see it yourself, it means that not only has the stamina of Atlas and the courage of Achilles, but the Wisdom of Solomon has left you as well.

Panel 4

Description: A close up of Shazam, talking direly to Captain Marvel, who is shocked by the revelation.

CAPTION: It turned out to be much worse.

SHAZAM: The powers are abandoning you because these men of legend and gods are being reborn into Earth.

SHAZAM: We must find them before someone else does. Time is of the essence!

Next: Billy Batson: Agent of S.H.A.Z.A.M.

What would follow after this is a story where Billy Batson/Captain Marvel can only access one set of powers at once, and at a much lower level than his normal state. It would ideally be a spy-like tale with magic elements of him globe trotting finding these legendary beings being reborn into Earth rescuing them from organizations that are trying to use them for their own advantage. Completely different tone from the usual Captain Marvel story? Sure, but I think it would be fun to see regardless.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Captain Marvel - Horror of the Mind's Eye - Sime McDonald

Billy Batson is hunched in a foetal position in a dark, windowless room, furnished with only a mattress. His eyes are wide open, pupils dilated.

Sha – Sha – Sha –

The memory haunting Billy Batison:
Brilliant, yellow light, crackling with the magical energy of Shazam.
Once upon a time, a radiance that encapsulated Captain Marvel’s greatness.
Now, it represents something else, something horrifying.
Within the yellow, crackling luminosity, are several skeletons, the skin grotesquely burned from their bodies.

On Billy’s wide, dilated eyes.

Sha – sha – sha –
Dr Thaddeus Sivana watches Billy from transparent shielding built into the door.

Sha – Sha – Sha

Tsk tsk tsk.
There are some things children shouldn’t see.

Dr. Sivana back's is to us as he walks down a hallway, towards the exit – towards whatever maniacal plot he’s got planned next.


NEXT: Fractured Mind, Fractured Magic!