Sunday, September 1, 2013

Why Armor?

Art by Jake Wyatt

Protection. It’s a word that springs to mind when thinking about superhero comics. Superheroes are people who put themselves in danger to protect those who need to be protected. Whether that’s Captain America deflecting speeding bullets with his shield or Batman putting on a mask and cape to protect people’s lives, the way he wished he could have protected his parents. It’s a theme widely explored. It’s true escapism to read about characters that defend the weak.

Art by John Tyler Christopher.
Hisako Ichiki, the X-man known as Armor is the perfect metaphor for this entire notion. She is a brave individual. One who can literally protect anyone, including herself, with a suit of psionic armor.

Art by Kristafer Anka
Travelling to study at the Xavier Institute of higher learning, and later the Jean Grey Institute, the young Japanese teenage longed to become a member of the X-men. During her time with the X-men Ichiki has protected the lives of even hardened heroes such as Wolverine. However it was her inability to protect her long time friend Wing during his hour of emotional need that has truly shaped the on going need of Armor to protect those around her. 

Much like Armor’s creator Joss Whedons other character Buffy Summers, it is in her own human weakness and frailty that lead Hisako to greatest strengths. The will to safeguard those you love and cherish is a strong motivator.

So this week I ask you who needs protecting?

Art by John Tyler Christopher.


  1. (This is my first time playing along, and I had a lot of fun.)

    Panel One:
    Establishing shot. HISAKO and X-23 are on a busy street in NYC. Taxis in the distance, crowds of onlookers lining the sidewalks. Traffic has stopped all around them as they face off mid-street, X-23's claws out, HISAKO holding up her arms in a gesture of peace, though she stands ready to act.

    CAPTION: I can't reach her. She looks at me, and all I see in her eyes is death. Mine. Theirs, if I don't stop her.

    Panel Two:
    HISAKO: (activating her armor) Laura. Stop. Think. You don't want to hurt anyone. Fight it.

    X-23 snarls and slices at HISAKO, hits only armor .

    CAPTION: Knives slash at me, and even though I know better, I flinch, just a little. She muttered something about a trigger scent, and now, this. I don't know how make this stop.

    Panel Three:
    X-23 slashes at HISAKO again in frustration.

    Panel Four:
    X-23 then turns and looks at the onlookers.
    CAPTION: What I do know, is that I need to protect the bystanders.

    Panel Five:
    X-23 heads toward the crowd, HISAKO jumps onto her, knocking her down.
    CAPTION: And I need to protect Laura from herself.

    Panel Six:
    X-23 and HISAKO wrestle, X-23 slashing at HISAKO in a rage. HISAKO gets the upper hand, pins X-23 down.

    Panel Seven:
    HISAKO: Come on, Laura. Come back. Beat it.
    CAPTION: I realize how alike we are. Practically indestructible, X-Men, saving the world when most girls our age are worrying about proms.

    But our hearts, are minds, are as easily destroyed as anyone else's.

    Panel Eight:
    Laura's eyes return to normal, and she looks up at HISAKO.

    X-23: Thank you. I am sorry. I--
    HISAKO: It's ok. Welcome back.

    Panel Nine:
    HISAKO pulls X-23 up, and they stand, looking at each other with mutual respect.

    CAPTION: But neither of us will be destroyed today.

    1. Hi Colleen,

      Welcome to ThoughtBalloons.

      Nice script and a good amount of action/characterisation/story to include in a one pager.

      I like how you cut right to the action, by mentioning the trigger smell in a caption instead of showing this at the start.

      One criticism is that it might be hard to fit all details you've described in the establishing shot on a nine panel page.

      Cool script though, come back next week!

    2. Hey Colleen,

      As Brian said, welcome to ThoughtBalloons. This was a really cool first page. You dive into the action putting us as the reader on our toes which is always a great way to start. You have some great character moments and insight into both Hisako and X-23 through your very well written captions.

      I agree with Brian that its a lot for a single page. Keeping the pacing as it is could work really well over two pagers, but equally you could trim a caption or two or drop panel 3 maybe and make it pop as a fast paced one pager.

      Excited to read your next page.

    3. Thanks, Shaun! I appreciate the feedback!

  2. Thanks Bryan! I was thinking the same thing about how it seemed like I kind of had too much for one page, but I wasn't sure -- thanks for mentioning that.

    I will definitely be back next week.


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