Friday, December 28, 2012

Rudolph - The Inevitable Gritty Reboot - J.D. Coughlan

Panel 1: A WW2 aerial dogfight at night, over land. Focus on one American fighter plane, its nose bursting into flame.

RUDOLPH: (From plane) Donner! Blitzen! Keep this Nazi scum off me; I'm going in!

Panel 2: In Rudolph's cockpit. You can't tell because he's wearing his mask right now, but he's the typical rugged war hero. There is determination in his eyes. The flames from his plane's nose illuminate him.

NORTH POLE: (On radio) Sleigh Nine, this is North Pole! You're burning up -- eject!

Panel 3: Close-up on Rudolph. He has, like all fictional heroes, done away with safety and removed his mask, showing us his cocky grin.

RUDOLPH: No can do, North Pole. It's black as Hell out here, and these boys could use a light to guide them.

RUDOLPH: And to think you wanted me to sit this one out.

Panel 4: Side-on view of Rudolph's plane; flames consuming the nose. In the background, American planes shoot down Nazi ones. Rudolph can be seen struggling with the controls.

NORTH POLE: (On radio) That's madness! Sleigh Nine, eject right now, that is an order!

RUDOLPH: Sorry, command, you're breaking up.

NORTH POLE: (On radio) Rud--!


Panel 5: Aerial shot of Rudolph's plane, in flames, leading a squadron of American planes through the dogfight.

RUDOLPH: (From plane) Follow me, Reindeer! I'll light the way...



  1. Some of the dialogue wasn't quite right to me as the reader, but nothing that could take me out of this simply wonderful re-imagining of the Rudolph tale.

    This is a great and unexpected concept that works on every level. Enjoyable and uplifting, a lovely piece of writing J.D.

    1. You're right about the dialogue; I was trying to make it reallt cheesy, but I guess the overall tone scuppers it a bit.

    2. I'm going to have to chime in as the voice of dissent here. Loved the dialogue. It was the prefect amount of over the top in my opinion and did your premise proud. I particularly dug the call signs and corny Christmas puns. Y-you could say they sleighed?

      Your concept is fun as hell and I'd read each and every issue until the inevitable thoughtless cancellation, at which point I'd cry out at the injustice of it all.

  2. As far as inevitable gritty reboots go, this one is far better than it really ought to be. I actually want to read more about it and find out what happens next.

  3. I'm a sucker for a war comic. You know just how to get to me you brazen hussy, you.

    In seriousness though this was a great page with a nice back and forth between the pilots and control. Yeah, it was kind of cheesy, but I loved the tone as it evoked those old 'Commando' comics of my youth.

    Great last panel too.

  4. I assume the intent here was for the dialogue to be cheesy and cloying in its callbacks to the original Rudolph, and if it was, it succeeded.

    1. I could see this as a sort of show-within-a-show like that Leap Day movie from 30 Rock, and it would be pretty funny as a sorta-parody of all those grim revamps of old fairytales/fables.


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