Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Captain Marvel - Running Interference - Rol Hirst

Panel One.

The shadowy lair of Dr. Sivana. The heinous villain sits in a high-backed chair, his fingers steepled before his face, staring at a bank of satellite monitors. His wicked son, Thaddeus Jr, stands behind him wearing a lab-coat and carrying a handheld computer.

Junior: The Interference Engine is ready, pa.

Panel Two.

Looking over Sivana’s shoulder we see the monitors he’s watching. Billy Batson is under surveillance, going about his everyday activities, unaware of any threat. He’s walking down a small town high street, looking in the shop windows.

Sivana: Heh heh heh.

Panel Three.

Cut to Billy, staring in wide-eyed horror.

CAP (Sivana): Then send in the clowns!

Billy: What the--!?

Panel Four.

An army of robot killer-clowns has descended on the small town high street, bringing chaos and mayhem – destroying cars with their oversized shoes, firing lasers from their buttonhole flowers, throwing acid-laced custard pies at the horrified civilians. A man selling donuts from a portable stand watches the oncoming onslaught, frozen in fear.

Billy Batson stands in the street before this insane clown posse and prepares himself for action. A lightning bolt shoots towards him as he cries out his magic word…

CAP (Sivana): And lets see how the good Captain copes with a few alternate abilities…

Billy: SHAZAM!

Panel Five.

Instead of being transformed into his usual square-jawed, muscle-bound alter ego… Billy has become something quite different. He's still wearing his distinctive red and gold costume but his body is old and frail and he’s supporting a huge rock on his shoulders that is grinding him down into the street. His left leg is buckling under the weight. The rock is so huge we can’t see the top of it. Worse still, our brave Captain finds himself surrounded by dozens of small, grasping children, each demanding his attention, wanting toys, food, etc. Despite all this, Marvel remains undaunted – shrieking out in defiance and determination.

CAP (Sivana): The elderliness of Solomon… The arrogance of Hercules…

Marvel: Killer clowns? Bring ‘em on!

CAP (Sivana): The burden of Atlas… The offspring of Zeus…

Kids: Dad! Dad! Over here! Look at me! Dad! I'm hungry! Need to go wee-wee! Dad!

CAP (Sivana): The heel of Achilles…

Panel Six (inset in bottom corner of #5).

Close of Marvel as he turns his head to look at the donut stand. He licks his lips.

CAP (Sivana): And the ADHD of Mercury…

Marvel: Ooh – donuts!


  1. "destroying cars with their oversized shoes," I have no idea why, but I love this line.
    A nice play on Captain Marvel's powers.

  2. @Rol A page full of great ideas and wonderful visual. As Ben said a nice play on Captain Marvels powers. Its always fun to see the flip side of a character.

  3. "The offspring of Zeus" is the bit I liked most about it. That old guy never seemed to be able to keep his pants on.

  4. Zany imagery and ideas with a nice inversion of the character too.

    I'm not an artist but if I was this page would be a hoot to draw.

  5. This page is radiates wackiness. The imagery you have going here is good stuff (I especially like the killer clowns), and the play on Captain Marvel's powers are quite fun. My only complaint is that I feel like that last panel would do better as a full-page splash (although I recognize that we're a bit limited with our single page constraint). Still, I think it would deserve that kind of space.

  6. Rol - good thoughts, my man. You've spun these things around but I feel you could have delivered enough of this page with just the last two panels, perhaps.

  7. Love the concept behind this one. Very solid work, Rol.


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