Friday, March 30, 2012
Wednesday, March 28, 2012
(Issue takes place prior to BLACK WIDOW’s defection from USSR. At present, she is meeting with a higher ranking agent, AGENT SMIRNOFF at a high-class restaurant.)
Panel 1: AGENT SMIRNOFF and BLACK WIDOW (in professional eveningwear as agent ROMANOVA) are at their table. Their food is delivered to them.
AGENT SMIRNOFF: Regardless, our superiors are beginning to question your results as of late.
ROMANOVA: They are aware of the task assigned to me, correct?
AGENT SMIRNOFF: Yes, they are aware of the difficulties presented by Mr. Stark and his ‘associate’.
Panel 2: AGENT SMIRNOFF preps his napkin before he eats.
AGENT SMIRNOFF: Which is why you specifically were assigned to this task. You are among the most capable employees our organization employs. You would not have been assigned to this matter if they were not fully aware of the situation.
Panel 3: AGENT SMIRNOFF cuts into his food.
AGENT SMIRNOFF: But they also expect results. At present, they question whether your record is as clear as it appears.
Panel 4: ROMANOVA takes a bite of her food as she listens to AGENT SMIRNOFF.
AGENT SMIRNOFF: However, they would be more understanding if they weren’t suspicious of your involvement of this Mr. Barton.
Panel 5: ROMANOVA puts her napkin to her lips as she digs for more information
ROMANOVA: I’m afraid I’m not quite sure what you’re talking about.
Panel 6: AGENT SMIRNOFF doesn’t look at ROMANOVA as he responds, instead focusing on his food.
AGENT SMIRNOFF (1): Of course you do.
AGENT SMIRNOFF (2): Our superiors suspect you might be getting too close to him.
We OPEN in a dark corridor in a faceless military facility and a CLOSE UP on a GUARD slumped unconscious against the wall, partly hidden in the shadows.
NATASHA (CAP): “Secrets don’t stay in the shadows forever”
We ZOOM OUT to show the more of the corridor. The bodies of several unconscious GUARD’s are strewn all over it. In the ceiling is an open vent cover.
NATASHA (CAP): “Sleeping giants wake.”
CUT TO a TIGHT SHOT on NATASHA in the vent. She wears a black bodysuit and peers through a cover into the room below.
NATASHA (CAP): Empires rise--
CUT TO Natasha dropping into the room below. The dark room is bathed in an eerie dark red light coming from an unseen source off panel.
NATASHA (CAP): --fall--
TIGHT on Natasha. Snarky.
NATASHA (CAP): -- and rise again.
Wide panel. We are slightly above Natasha now-- a CRANE shot. She is encircled on all sides by teenage girls dressed in all in one black bodysuits similar to hers.
CAPTION: The Red Room, Moscow.
Tuesday, March 27, 2012
Panel layout isn't the most important. Just make sure that the last panel is of big enough size to do the image justice.
Monday, March 26, 2012
1. Black Widow has been sent flying back by an unseen force.
CAPTION: 3 minutes ago.
CAPTION (Black Widow)
2. The widow has been slammed against a wall.
CAPTION (Black Widow)
He just swatted me away. Like a fly.
3. The Widow has come to rest against the wall. We are looking at her front on. Her head is down, and we can see a slight trickle of blood down the side of her mouth.
CAPTION (Black Widow)
So to you I must be a fly. Then you are the spider?
4. The Iron Man armour, holding Cap’s shield is walking towards Thor and Mjolnir.
CAPTION (Black Widow)
Stop me if you have heard this joke.
In America, the spider eats the fly.
5. Same as Panel 3, however the widow is looking up at us, a smirk on her face. We can see a device in her hand, flat with an LED timer on it. It is a small explosive device.
CAPTION (Black Widow)
In Soviet Russia, the fly eats you.
Sunday, March 25, 2012
A luxury Manhattan hotel room, seen from outside. Curtains blow in the breeze of the open window. Behind those curtains, two figures are silhouetted – the Black Widow and Peter Parker. The Widow stands before Peter’s silhouette. She is unzipping the front of her costume.
Peter: This is some weird spider-thing, right? I mean, you never showed any interest in me before…
We’re inside the hotel room now. We’re looking over Peter’s shoulder. He’s wearing his Spider-Man costume but not his mask. The Widow is holding that. Her costume is now unzipped to mid torso, showing plentiful cleavage. She’s smiling seductively.
The hotel room is set up for romance. Champagne cooling, subdued lighting, candles. Maybe some rose petals scattered over the sheets of the four poster bed.
Peter's spider-sense is tingling.
Natalia: You were with someone else. Though I’ve always believed in going after that which I desire, I won’t choose to harm a happy relationship…
Natalia: Especially if there’s another redhead in the equation.
The widow rests her arms on Peter’s shoulders, drawing him close. She’s still holding his mask, behind his head now. She’s staring in deep in the eye. Peter is embarrassed. His spider-sense is still tingling.
Peter: See, I don’t know if my spider-sense is tingling now because of your entomological reputation…
Peter: …I’m worried about the freaky age difference…
Peter: …or, um, y’know, I'm just afraid of getting beaten up by a jealous Winter Soldier… Daredevil… Hawkeye… Herc—
The Widow kisses Peter passionately. His spider-sense goes wild. She drops his mask.
The kiss continues. The tingles of Peter’s spider-sense diminish in intensity.
The kiss ends, though Natasha’s face remains close to Peter. They’re both smiling now. Peter’s spider-sense is no longer tingling.
Peter: Woo. No more tingling. Not from up there, anyway…
We’re watching the scene through a CCTV camera now, from elsewhere: a dark, secret-agent monitor room. A shadowy figure is watching the monitor (possibly O/P).
CAP: Stage one complete. The Widow’s kiss has neutralised the subject’s inbuilt defences. Begin stage two…
Because Natalia (Natasha) Romanova (Romanoff) is a fascinating character with a complex history that dates back to the time of Czarist Russia. She's been an assassin, a ballerina, a spy, a revolutionary, a double agent, a defector, an Avenger, a Champion, a sidekick, a leader and a heartbreaker. There's plenty of story material there for us thoughtballooners to get our teeth into!
For the definitive tale of the Widow's history, I'd recommend Paul Cornell's excellent Deadly Origin mini-series of a few years back. I'm still not convinced Scarlett Johansson is the perfect casting for any aspect of the character beyond the catsuit... but, once again, Hollywood failed to ask my opinion.
Friday, March 23, 2012
Thursday, March 22, 2012
We OPEN on a TIGHT shot of HAWKEYE in costume as he sits in one of the Quinjet’s passenger seats.
HAWKEYE (CAP): “They always ask me how I walk alongside ‘God’s and Legends’.”
CUT TO BLACK WIDOW sitting in the seat across from Clint’s in her black bodysuit. She smiles wickedly.
HAWKEYE (CAP): “They’re not so different.”
HAWKEYE (CAP): “Divorcee.”
We CUT TO TONY STARK, in the seat in front of Black Widow’s. He wears his armour, sans helmet. He’s in the middle of telling a joke, laughing.
HAWKEYE (CAP): “Daddy issues.”
We CUT TO THOR sitting in the seat in front of Clint’s. He looks calm and collected.
HAWKEYE (CAP): “Sibling rivalry.”
CUT TO CAPTAIN AMERICA in the pilots chair. He’s all business, but allows himself a small smile at Tony’s joke.
HAWKEYE (CAP): “A sense he doesn’t belong.”
Wide panel. CUT TO a CLOSE UP on Hawkeye in the cargo bay the of the Quinjet. The bay doors are opening up in front of him, sending a strip of sunlight across his eyes.
HAWKEYE (CAP): “We all have our weaknesses.”
Wide panel. CUT TO outside the Quinjet as Cap, Iron Man, Thor, Hawkeye and Black Widow jump down towards us-- the money shot.
HAWKEYE (CAP): “But we still do what we do.”
ALL: Avenger’s assemble!
Wednesday, March 21, 2012
(For reference, this takes place in the same universe as Millar’s Old Man Logan alternate reality storyline, but several years prior to the events of the main story.)
Panel 1: KARLA SOFEN, MOONSTONE (in what passes for ‘civilian’ garb) stands with her arms crossed in front of her as she looks at HAWKEYE sitting in her chair. She’s not pleased to see him. She’s even less pleased that HAWKEYE is sitting in HER chair.
HAWKEYE: I’m here to ask for your help, Moonstone. One Thunderbolt to another.
Panel 2: KARLA SOFEN advances towards HAWKEYE.
KARLA SOFEN: No, Barton. The Thunderbolts don’t exist anymore. They died with everyone else.
HAWKEYE: You’re still here.
Panel 3: HAWKEYE stands up out of the chair, fairly certain that if he didn’t, KARLA would throw him out of it anyway. He points at KARLA SOFEN as she reaches him.
KARLA SOFEN: Because I was smart. I got out while it was still an option.
HAWKEYE: And as much as I hate you for abandoning us, I’m willing to look past it if you’ll help me now.
Panel 4: HAWKEYE has his arms out as he tries to make his case.
HAWKEYE (1): The Thunderbolts aren’t all dead yet.
HAWKEYE (2): Neither are the Avengers.
HAWKEYE (3): As long as we still live, we can still carry out their legacy.
HAWKEYE (4): The world can still be avenged as long as…
Panel 5: KARLA SOFEN grabs HAWKEYE by the throat.
KARLA SOFEN: NO.
Tuesday, March 20, 2012
So the first two pages of my Avengers story have been a little on the silly side. This one will be no different.
Inset in panel 2. Clint Barton sits on a creaky wooden chair. He is wearing casual clothes and looking straight at us as he talks. Spotlight on him, long shadows behind. He’s fidgeting with his hands, looking a little grumpy.
Clint: You might say, when I first picked up a bow…
Flashback. Hawkeye in his original costume, firing acid arrows at clunky, early-armoured Iron Man (the version with big screws in the face-plate). The arrows are rusting the suit as they hit its weak spots.
CAP (Clint): …I was an angry young man.
Inset in panel 4. Out of flashback. Close on Clint, pointing a defiant finger at us.
Clint: But you ask me, since then, I’ve more than made up for any youthful indiscretions…
In the central image, Hawkeye walks away from a group of dumbfounded Avengers. A classic “I quit!” moment.
In another image, Hawkeye punches Daredevil while a shocked Black Widow looks on.
In another, Hawkeye is embroiled in a furious argument with Gyrich.
In another, Hawkeye breaks a bunch of arrows that are green in colour while a surprised arrowsmith looks on. (Dialogue: Green? I asked for purple! Who the $%@& shoots green arrows!?)
In another, Hawk yells at his equally enraged wife, Mockingbird.
CAP (Clint): OK, so there might be the... occasional moment when my temper still gets the better of me...
Out of flashback. A middle-aged hippy woman leans across and rests her hand on Clint’s hand, giving him a calming smile. Clint is wrinkling his nose: not a happy camper.
Woman: But that’s why you’re here, Clint. You’ve made a tremendous step in acknowledging your feelings, and now…
Pull out to reveal the larger scene: a self-help group – a circle of chairs occupied by Hawkeye, the hippy woman, Bruce Banner, Logan, Ben Grimm, Namor and Angar The Screamer. None of them (with the exception of the hippy, who obviously has her work cut out for her) look particularly happy to be there.
A sign pinned to the wall behind Namor’s head reads: Anger Management / Tuesday / 7 – 9pm / All Welcome.
Clint looks around the group as he runs fingers through his hair.
Woman: …we’re here to help you on the rest of your journey.
Clint: Hoo, boy!
Monday, March 19, 2012
Caption1: "Clint has been on the roof for hours."
Sunday, March 18, 2012
1. Hawkeye steadies himself against a crumbling wall, as seen on Nick Fury’s monitor. His left arm holds his bow, his right hanging by his side, dislocated.
CAPTION: 5 minutes ago.
I don’t have super human strength.
I am not a God, and the last thing I invented was an avocado and banana cheese smoothie.
2. Hawkeye is looking at the wall he is leaning on, thinking.
But I work hard. I train.
3. Hawkeye is slamming his dislocated shoulder into the building, trying to force it back into place
And I refuse-
4. Hawkeye is slamming his shoulder against the wall once again, this time with more force.
-to be looked over-
5. Hawkeye has slammed his shoulder into the wall one last time, with a huge amount of force. Part of the wall has crumbled away
6. Hawkeye is now standing under his own weight. His shoulder has been knocked back in place. He grimaces as he reaches for a bow from his quiver.
Not any more.
Why Hawkeye? Well, why don’t we ask Hawkeye himself, Mr Clint Barton!
“Whaddya mean you don’t know why I was chosen? I’m the best there is at what I do – shotting arrows. Sure, I used to be a crook, turning to a life of crime for money instead of going to the Olympics and becoming world famous but I was young(er) back then.
And it paid off – the Avengers saw some good in me and asked me to join their ranks. Now I travel the globe, doing what Avengers do best....Avengering. Some may say that I am a secondary character, that my multi-faceted arrows are nothing but a cheap way to get out of a tight situation. Well, to those people I say YOUR MOTHER!
Now if you excuse me, I have to go and continue working on my next brilliant arrow invention – a shark repellent arrow.”
Friday, March 16, 2012
We OPEN on a CLOSE UP of a decaying SNAKE on a cracked desert floor.
The corpse is dessicated-- the slightest breeze looks like it could turn it into confetti. In its death throes the snake tried to swallow itself.
LOKI (CAPTION): I think this is the end.
FIXED PANEL. A shadow falls across the snake.
LOKI (CAPTION): I’m not entirely sure.
Wide panel. Cut to the source of the shadow; Loki stands in the middle of a seemingly endless desert. He’s wearing his dark green robes but they’re wrapped around him Arabian style. This is the ‘classic’ version of Loki, not a child or woman.
He squints at the relentless sun. His trademark helmet is battered and worn, one of the horns has been snapped off.
The sky is cloudless and blue. No life, no plants, no water. Just desert.
LOKI (CAPTION): It’s happened so many times before.
LOKI (CAPTION): Now there’s no-one left.
LOKI (CAPTION): No tricks left to pull.
LOKI (CAPTION): No pieces left to move.
Wide panel. A CLOSE UP on Loki’s eyes, peering into the distance.
LOKI (CAPTION): Just me and him.
Wide panel. From Loki’s POV we can see a sand dune about a mile away. A FIGURE has appeared at the top of it, walking towards us. The sky has darkened. Storm clouds gather.
LOKI (CAPTION): Here he comes.
Wide panel. A CLOSE UP on Loki’s hand as he grips the hilt of his drawn sword.
Inset panel. A CLOSE UP on Loki’s smile.
LOKI (CAPTION): I think this is the end.