Monday, August 8, 2011

Captain Marvel - Twenty Years From Now - Ben Rosenthal

Doc Sivana is dying. Diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, he refuses to become a shell of the scientific mastermind he believes himself to be. He wishes to die with dignity. To that end, he has constructed thousands of bombs, each planted throughout the city. These bombs are synched up to one timer – and the only way to stop this timer is to stop Doc Sivana’s heart.

On the previous page an older Billy Baston as confronted the doctor in an attempt to appear non-threatening. Doc Sivana has just finished pleading with Billy to end him, to allow him to die as the man the world remembers.

1. Wide panel. Doc Sivana’s back is to us. In front of him is Billy Baston in his 50’s. Billy has one arm outstretched, hand resting on Doc Sivana’s shoulder. His face is stern.

2. Same as above, however Billy is now looking at the ground. There is a bitter look on his face, mixed with sadness.

3. Same width as the panel above, however it is tighter as Billy has pulled the Doctor close, and is now giving him a hug. This is from the same angle as the previous two panels, with us seeing the back of the Doctor’s head, and Billy’s emotionless face.

4. Same as Panel 3, however Billy quietly whispers a single word.



The next page is a splash, as lightening hits Billy and the Doctor, transforming Billy into Captain Marvel, and frying Doctor Sivana. The page after simply shows a greying Captain Marvel, head bowed, standing over the burnt out husk of his former enemy.

And just because I'm certain that the theme hasn't come across, this page is about Captain Marvel losing the last bit of innocence he had for the greater good.


  1. You're selling yourself short, Ben. This is a great concept and a better execution (pun unintended). Captain Marvel is one of my favourite DC characters, but few have really been able to do anything particularly exciting with the character concept. This reads how I imagine a solid Elseworlds tale about Captain Marvel could (because DC would obviously never allow him to "grow up", as it were). It is an honest and genuine moment.

    I'm perhaps a little hesitant about the setup (although I believe it could work, it would need to be handled properly), but the scene you depict here, and what it would lead up to is awesome. Sacrifices for the greater good are always emotional, especially when it comes from a character who is as pure and innocent as our Billy Batson.

  2. Chilling page. A big super villain plot yet with more heart and emotion than in any chick flick movie. A great showcase of the big adult themes and big choices young Billy has to face as Captain Marvel.

  3. The page definitely raises some interesting themes and concepts that could be bought into a Captain Marvel story that perhaps haven't been touched on in the past.

    Who would feel the guilt of this act? Billy? Or Captain Marvel?

    A great page with a lot of emotion on it with a minimum of dialogue and panels. Nice work!

  4. Love it, Ben - it's the Dark Knight Returns version of Captain Marvel. Does effectively break the character, but that's the idea I guess. Well paced, letting the visuals tell the story, touching, and a great use of the lightning bolt.

  5. Very good script Ben. The Machiavellian suicide plot that works as a way to harm your enemy is a thing of wonder.

    My only complaint is that this doesn't work as a stand alone page, as you explain a lot of things in your intro. However, as a part of a bigger whole, it's an incredible moment that you have captured quite well.


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