Tuesday, April 30, 2013

The Mandarin -Full Circle -Dan Hill

This is essentially a homage or play on the opening pages of Brubaker, Fraction and Aja's Immortal Iron Fist #1.


Panel 1: Wide panel: A panoramic shot of a paddy field nestled at the base of a mountain. We can see several WORKERS going about their business in the field.

1. CAPTION: Kun-Lun Mountain Range

Panel 2: Wide panel: DANNY RAND strides purposefully across the panel (from left to right) through the paddy field as the workers stop what they’re doing and watch.

Danny is in full Iron Fist costume (the updated Aja version). There are blur lines around his right arm suggesting the brisk pace he’s marching at.

2. CAP(MANDARIN): This village is insignificant...not even 300 wretched souls.

Panel 3: Wide panel: We’re looking slightly upward towards THE MANDARIN as he strides towards us with equal purpose. He’s dressed in modern combat gear (flak vest, etc). We can see the ten rings on his gloved hands glinting in the sun.

He’s surrounded on all sides by a cadre of men all dressed in similar gear. In the sky above them we can see helicopter gunships and drones.

3. CAP(MANDARIN): The armies of the Khan...

4. CAP(MANDARIN): Repurposed for a modern age. A modern Khan.


Panel 4: 
Wide Panel:
The workers in the paddy field are in the foreground of the panel. They watch as Danny continues his march forwards towards Mandarin’s forces gathering on the horizon.

Clouds have started to darken the sky. Strangely, both of Danny’s hands have started to glow, though we can’t see how from this distance.

6. WORKER: <Father...who--who is that?>

Panel 5: Wide panel: Mandarin’s hordes, their back to us, fill the majority of the panel as they race across the plain towards the lone figure of Danny in the background.

7. CAP(MANDARIN): Who am I?

8. CAP(MANDARIN): I am The Mandarin. Descendant of the great Khan.

9. CAP(MANDARIN): Thorn in the Great Satan’s side.

Panel 6: Wide panel: Danny fills the majority of the panel in a kung fu pose. His left arm is thrust towards us, glowing with the unbridled power of the chi.

His right hand, brought up near his face, but pointing out towards us, is wearing a REPULSOR GLOVE from the Iron Man armour. It glows with energy, ready to fire.

10. CAP(MANDARIN): And everything old is new again.

Monday, April 29, 2013

The Mandarin - Lockdown - Ben Rosenthal

1.  FULL PAGE SPLASH  - The Mandarin is in the lower left of the page.  We can see his full body.  His hands are out stretched, all fingers at awkward angles.  They are clearly broken.  From the rings pour the ten alien spirits whom inhabit the rings.  They all are of a different species, but are coloured the same colour as the ring from which they are escaping.  They are bearing down on The Mandarin.  The Mandarin looks horrified.

--and that’s what the Mandarin didn't understand.  A prison of magic or a science is still a prison.

Eventually the inmates revolt.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

The Mandarin - Pain to Come - R. A. Wonsowski

PAGE 22 Layout:

Panel 1 - Background: TONY STARK, tied to a chair, obviously beaten, face bloodied, suit stained wth dirt and dried blood, drenched in sweat, tie askew.  He looks unconscious.  He is in a dimly lit cave-like room.  Foreground is a clear glass bowl on a wooden table.


Panel 2 - Same as above except a colorful golden ring is dropped in the bowl.

SoundFX:  TiNG

Panel 3 - Same as above as another ring is dropped in the bowl, TONY starts to turn his head toward the sound.

SoundFX:  TiNG

Panel 4 - Same as now 3 rings ar dropped in the bowl, TONY tries to open his eyes.

(off-panel):  Ah.  He stirs.

SoundFX:  TiNG ting TiNG

Panel 5 - Same; the other 5 rings are dropped into the bowl as TONY tries weakly to lift his head.

(off-panel):  I thought we would try something a little different, this time.

SoundFX:  TiNGting TiNG TNG tling

Panel 6 - Our p.ov. is now to look down on Tony, a shadow falls across his beaten face as helooks up into the face of his torturer.

(off-panel):  You without your weapons, I without mine.

(off-panel):  Tell me, Anthony.  Without our little technologies, who would inspire more fear.  You...

Panel 7 - Reveal of the MANDARIN.  He wears an olive green three-piece suit with a white silk shirt and a golden yellow tie.  He is cloaked in a black cape,and his long hair is wild.  However, his face is no longer human, but a thin humanoid version of a Chinese dragon, grinning toothily, hungrily.  His skin is a mottling of green and crimson.  His hands are elongated, sinewy, and clawlike that taper into talon-like finger nails.

MANDARIN:  ...or ME?

CAPTION:  Next Month:  The Mandarin Heralds The Beyond Dragons RETURN!!!

Why the Mandarin?

Because of his mad bling, baby....
Of all of Iron Man's enemies, armoured or otherwise, none inspire the sheer insane fear that the Mandarin does.

Evicted out of mainland China when the Communists took his family's wealth, the Mandarin (his true name unknown, and a descendant of Ghenghis Khan) stumbled into a lost valley where he discovers the ruins of a spaceship piloted by a dragon with ten powerful rings because COMICS!

The important thing here, however, is that the Mandarin now had the means to avenge himself upon the Chinese government, and later, ALL governments.  His study of the alien rings led him to realize that technology would not just be a means to terrorize, but to rule as well.  See, that whole "Fu Manchu" mystic ancient evil shtick is misleading to most.  The Mandarin has it in for Tony Stark because Stark's armor is a symbol - of protection, of technology at its most beneficial.  So too has the Mandarin used his ten rings as a symbol - of technology barely understood, and therefore lethal.

The Ten Rings from Iron Man the Movie
When the first Iron Man movie came out, the Ten Rings carried out that symbolism, but was even more insidious, particularly to Iron Fans.  As the Ten Rings terror cell stole Tony's tech, they corrupted it into a perversion of power to subjugate their own.  The Ten Rings, as an unknown quantity, were scarier than any alien power jewelry could ever be.

Now here we are finally at IRON MAN 3 (opening 3 May 2013 in theatres everywhere), and the Mandarin brings it all to Tony Stark's front door.

Sir Ben Kingsley as the Mandarin

This is the showdown that Iron Fans have been waiting for:  The Mandarin finally faces off against ol' Shellhead.  And we at ThoughtBalloons couldn't be more thrilled at the prospect of seeing this fantastic villain finally grace the silver screen.  We will do our best to show you why he is an evil to be reckoned with.  And don't forget, you aspiring writers-to-be out there can play along too.  In fact, here's a handy dandy tip sheet to help you work out the rings, if you so desire:

And we'll see you all at the movies!

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Quantum & Woody - Shameless Plug (or, Preaching to the Choir) - by R.A. Wonsowski

1 - Black Panel across the top, with white "typewriter" text.  Copy reads:
"Who Can Save Us Now?!"

Rest of page lays out like this:


Panels 3 to 7 are all white backgrounds.

2 - Interior, a 7-Eleven mini-mart.  Two DINGBATS in hoodies and sunglasses are out cold on the floor.  Chips and soda are strewn about as the manager and cashier look on the mess with "I wonder who's gonna clean up this mess" looks upon their faces.  QUANTUM and WOODY look disappointedly at their catch.  QUANTUM is ejecting the bullet from the chamber of a cheap semi-automatic pistol.  WOODY is sipping from a bottle of cola from a straw.

WOODY:  Well, this was another lackluster use of our talents.

QUANTUM:  Now, Woody, the weed of crime grows in untended gardens such as...

3 - Foreground, QUANTUM throws his hands up in despair.  WOODY looks concerned after his partner.

QUANTUM:  Oh, who are we kidding?!?  This is USELESS!!!

WOODY:  Eric?

QUANTUM:  Why are we even bothering?  We've already been cancelled TWICE!!

4 - WOODY puts his hand on QUANTUM's shoulder, as QUANTUM looks toward the reader in despair.

WOODY:  What are you talking about?

QUANTUM:  And now we're being relaunched!  Oh, please, fickle comics-buying audience!  Reject us again!

QUANTUM:  If they won't buy Chris "Black Panther" Priest, what makes them think they'll buy these new guys?!

5 - WOODY pulls out his smartphone with a crooked smile on his face.  QUANTUM looks at the screen.

WOODY:  Well, why not get one of these guys to write...

QUANTUM:   ..."Thought Balloons".

6 - Close-up on WOODY's smartphone screen with the ThoughtBalloons logo across the top, held
in a white-gloved hand.

WOODY:  Yeah, these guys are unpublished for the most part, but they're dedicated.  And a lot of what they write is pretty good.

7 - QUANTUM, now more confident, points to WOODY's cellphone screen. WOODY rolls his eyes.

QUANTUM:  You know, this isn't a bad idea.  What about this guy?

WOODY:  Wonsowski?  The Rob Liefeld of the written word?  Please...

Friday, April 26, 2013

Quantum and Woody in: Birding Bridges - Niel Jacoby

Panel 1: Quantum and Woody are driving together, with Woody at the wheel. His cellphone is ringing.


Panel 2: They both raise their arms to bang the bands together, but Quantum's is gone. They are both surprised.



Quantum: I DON'T KNOW!

Panel 3: An eagle is flying Quantum's band back to its nest.


Quantum and Woody - Team Players - J.D. Coughlan

Panel 1: Superman, Wonder Woman and Batman sit behind a desk facing us. Superman and Wonder Woman have open, friendly expressions, Batman has his arms folded and a scowl on his face.

SUPERMAN: What do you feel you can bring to our team?

Panel 2: Opposite POV. Quantum and Woody sit across from them. I don't know if they have costumes, but if not, Quantum should be dressed formally, Woody casually. Quantum calmly talks while Woody sits back in his chair, arms folded, a mischievous grin on his face.

QUANTUM: Well, we have a rather unique power-set, an eager sense of social awareness, a strong desire to help people...

Panel 3: Woody suddenly springs to life, throwing his arms wide. Quantum's expression falls.

WOODY: I can shoot lasers out my face!

QUANTUM: He can't.

Panel 4: Woody counts off on his fingers, Quantum facepalms.

WOODY: I can talk to animals (they just don't talk back), I can solve a Rubik's cube in zero seconds, I can fly at the speed of speed, my whole body is made of indestructibilium, and I'm a level 500 mage in World of Warcraft.

WOODY: Also: magnets.

Panel 5: Woody sits back, confident. Quantum glares at him.

WOODY: And, as far as the dress code goes, while I am very willing to go pantsless, we have to talk about those collars.

Panel 6: Reverse POV again. Superman and Wonder Woman stare blankly, dumbfounded. Batman hasn't changed.



BATMAN: To be honest, we're kinda desperate.


Thursday, April 25, 2013

Quantum and Woody. – The Quantum Conundrum of Jack Bauer. – Shaun Richens.

PAGE TWENTY – 8 Panels.
Layout. Page layout is similar in style to the spilt screens from the tv show 24.

1. Black title panel. The classic Quantum and Woody title font in white reads. “The Quantum Conundrum of Jack Bauer”

2. Close up on an iPhone type phone screen. The phone rests on a bedside table. A message has popped up on the phone screen.

It reads 24 missed calls: Eric.

3. A black panel with a digital clock read out overlaid on it. The clock reads.


4. QUANTUM in full costume sprints down a busy city street. He holds his cell phone to his ear.

QUANTUM: Woody! If my atoms break apart because you’re asleep I’ll …

5. Cut to WOODY fast asleep in bed.


6. The GOAT is eating a bundle of $100 bills.

CAPTION: *A story for another time.

7. Black panel. The classic Quantum and Woody white title font reads.

“Will Quantum and Woody Klang in time?*”

“*They honestly swear they’re not a couple.”

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Quantum & Woody – Split Personality Disorder – MK Stangeland Jr.

(QUANTUM and WOODY failed to connect their gauntlets in time! Fortunately, they were saved with the help of PROFESSOR VON RILETH [A character I made up because I haven’t read the series and don’t know if there’s already an appropriate character in existence for this kind of thing]. Unfortunately, the process fused them into one body. Were they better off dead? Or might there be hope for them yet?...)

(6 Panels)

Panel 1: QUANTUM/WOODY looks into a mirror, the individual looking back at him has a shocked look on his face. The fused form should look roughly how you might expect if you visually blended the two individual characters – height half-way in between the two, a skin tone that sits roughly in the middle between QUANTUM’s dark and WOODY’s light, etc.

In the background of the mirror reflection is VON RILETH, who is shrugging and has an apologetic ‘I’m sorry, but I did what I had to please don’t hate me’ look on his face.

QUANTUM/WOODY: Wwhhaytd odiildo oykoluiek wdeoh atdoa bmaeby?!

Panel 2: QUANTUM/WOODY try to turn around, but trip as both individuals – sharing control of the body – try to do different things at the same time.

QUANTUM/WOODY (1): AWnhdyw hiast iistt hsios gdiibfbfeirciuslht…


Panel 3: As QUANTUM/WOODY lies on the ground, VON RILETH runs over to him and grabs his wrists.

VON RILETH: Again, terribly zorry. Let me feex zhis for ju…

Panel 4: Close up on QUANTUM/WOODY’s wrists as VON RILETH knocks the two wrist things they’re wearing together.

SFX: Clang!

Panel 5: Flash of light surrounding QUANTUM/WOODY’s form as he/they split back into QUANTUM and WOODY.


Panel 6: QUANTUM and WOODY are lying on the ground next to each other, both feeling highly disoriented.

WOODY: If that never happens again, it’ll be too soon.

VON RILETH: See, about zhat…


Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Quantum and Woody -Buckle Up- Dan Hill


The first five panels of this page are all thin, long and vertical.

Panel 1: A shot of QUANTUM sat at the bottom of the panel. He’s surrounded by darkness and is looking up towards the top of the panel where dim shafts of light dance around each other.

1. QUANTUM: This--

Panel 2: A shot of nothing but outer space-- stars as far as the eye can see.

2. CAPTION: “--is without--”

Panel 3: A faraway shot of our GALAXY spinning in its place in the vast cosmos.

3. CAPTION: “--a shadow--”

Panel 4: Again, nothing but outer space.

4. CAPTION: “--of a doubt--”

Panel 5: A shot of WOODY hanging upside down from the top of the panel. His feet are shackled by a pair of KIRBY-TECH looking foot restraints. His hands are manacled in a similar fashion. He looks down. We can’t see the floor. Wherever he is, it’s dark.

5. WOODY: --the worst day ever.

Panel 6: WIDE PANEL: A graph showing astro pulses in a graph like presentation. Kind of like this one: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/6/61/SETI@home_Astropulse_Screensaver.JPG

6. CAPTION: 24 hours.

7. CAPTION: Opposite ends of the galaxy.

8. CAPTION: Buckle up.

Quantum and Woody - What Are We Doing Here? - Grant McLaughlin

A black panel.  It is the title, as per the Quantum and Woody comics.  It reads in white writing "What Are We Doing Here?".

Quantum and Woody stand in line at a fast food joint.  Quantum looks upset, raising his arms in frustration; Woody looks surprised, as if he doesn't understand why Quantum is out of sorts.

1. WOODY: What do you mean?

2. QUANTUM: We have things to do!  We're in the middle of a patrol!  Evil won't stop itself, Woody!

The two men are at the front of the line, standing in front of the cashier.  Woody looks at Quantum, responding to his concerns.  Woody also takes the opportunity to order in the middle of his riposte.

3. WOODY: Look, I'm all for stopping evil and whatever, but I need to stop hunger first.

4. WOODY (aside): The Number 2 Combo for me.

The cashier goes to fill out Woody's order.  Woody and Quantum continue to argue off-panel while we focus on the cashier getting the food together.

5. WOODY (off-panel): I mean, how are you not starving?  I haven't eaten since second or third breakfast.  I'm dying over here.

6. QUANTUM (off-panel): You're truly the paragon of a balanced diet.

Woody looks to Quantum to see if he wants anything to eat.  Quantum crosses his arms and stares daggers back, not that Woody seems to notice.  The cashier comes back with Woody's order and looks towards him expectantly.

7. WOODY: Whatever, man.  Last chance here.

8. QUANTUM (icily) : I'll pass, thank you.

Quantum's stomach rumbles something fierce, causing him to look down in surprise.  Woody is equally taken aback, putting his arms up to protect himself from the sudden noise.  The cashier is also somewhat shocked.


Quantum puts a hand to his empty stomach.  Looking disappointed in himself, Quantum quietly places an order.  Woody is still shocked by what he's heard, wearing a bit of a blank expression on his face.  The cashier does a better job than Woody of regaining their composure.

10. QUANTUM (quietly): ...some fries and a Coke, please.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Quantum and Woody – Don’t Try This at Home - Ben Rosenthal

1.  A thin black panel running the top of the page.  It is the title, as seen in all Quantum and Woody comics.  It reads in white writing “Don’t Try This at Home”.

2.  Quantum and Woody are addressing a class of high school students.  Both are in their costumes with Quantum standing straight and trying to look professional as he speaks. Woody has his head turn towards the cute female teacher whom is standing near the door listening to them.

I have trained for years in martial arts and in the meta-sciences. I eat right, don't drink and exercise daily.

I played a lot of ‘Duck Hunt’ on the NES.

3.  A close up of Quantum and Woody.  Both are looking at the class (off panel – although it does look as if they are addressing the reader).  Woody has his hand up, pointing to Quantum with his thumb.

I wear a mask to protect others by concealing my identity.

His name is Eric.

My name IS Quantum.

4.  Still tight on Quantum and Woody.  Woody has reached behind Quantum’s head and his pulling off his mask from behind.  Quantum’s chin and mouth are exposed as he desperately tries to hold his mask in place with both hands as Woody pulls.

No, it’s Eric. 


5.  Still tight on Quantum and Woody who are now almost nose to nose.  Both are becoming equally as frustrated with each other.

If people find out who I am it would place my loved ones in danger.

Loved ones?  You don’t know anyone besides me.

6.  Exactly the same panel as before, with no dialogue.  Quantum and Woody continue to stare at each other intensely.

7.  Quantum has not moved.  Woody is addressing the class/reader once again.

We’re not a couple.

Why Quantum and Woody?

A you may have seen, especially over the past few months I (Ben) like funny. Most of all, I like funny in funny books (comics to those of you not stuck in the 1950's).  It is books like Joe Kelly's Deadpool run that have shaped me into the writer I am today - so now you know ho to blame.

However Deadpool wasn't the only character whom I took inspiration from.  In fact I would say he took second place behind the World's Worst Super Hero Team - Quantum and Woody. 

Put simply, due to a scientific accident in their departed dads labs, childood friends Eric and Woody become entwined when their bodies are transformed to pure energy. The only way they can prevent his from happening is by clanging control bands together every 24 hours.  Along with their (well, Woody's) friend Vincent Van Goat the two go about solving crimes and saving the day.

Just don't call them a couple.

You can grab all of the first run of Quantum and Woody over on comixology (thanks to me....true story), and be sure to pre order the NEW Quantum and Woody series coming this June.

In the meantime, place your page featuring the boys below!

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Masks & Mobsters - Whatever Happened to the Sidekick? - R.A. Wonsowski

(I beg forgiveness - I am completely unfamiliar with this property, but based on what I saw from my fellow Thoughtballooners, I offer this...)


Panel 1 - We are inside the large elevator of a luxury hotel.  The paneling is dark, rich wood, brass fixtures include the floor counter above the doors.  On the left, with two large,well dressed gunsels behind him, is the SIDEKICK - his hands are bound behind him, and the gunsels are holding him by the upper arms with their meaty hands.  The SIDEKICK looks about 16 or 17 years old - his blond hair is styled in a James Dean-style ducktail.  His costume is reminiscent of Robin's during the 1970's, but the color scheme should be yellow and blue, with a blue domino mask to match his cape.  His face is a combination of anger and fear as he struggles.  On the right, smoking the last of a cigarette, is the BOSS MAN.  His hair is slicked back with pomade, and he wears a black pinstriped Italian suit.  He has a pencil thin moustache, and he is smoking an expensive cigarette.  He stands a head taller than the SIDEKICK.

BOSS MAN:  Y'know, kid, I've had enough.  Enough'a you, and the Big Guy, and your Teenage Hero Crew.

BOSS MAN:  Thing is, you and your Cape'n'Mask pals just don't get it.

Panel 2 - Same as above, except BOSS MAN's grinding out the cigarette on the bottom of his shoe.  The SIDEKICK's sweating.

SIDEKICK:  Oh, we get it, alright...

BOSSMAN:  No, I don't think you do.  You're not listening...

Panel 3 - Same as above, except the floor counter has hit the top floor.  Everyone looks at the door: the thugs calmly, the SIDEKICK nervously.

BOSSMAN:  So now, I gotta send you a message...

SoundFX:  DING

Panel 4 - Big panel.  From inside the elevator, our point of view behind the BOSS MAN and the SIDEKICK, we see the doors open to reveal an exclusive bordello.  The interior is all red velvet and gold embroidery, and the women are all voluptuously, ridiculously cheesecake-bad-girl gorgeous, dressed in near-see-through tiny silken negligée.  A couple of girls drink champagne, and a redhead in the back reclines on a pile of money.  The girls are all seductively eyeballing SIDEKICK.


Panel 5 - Two-shot close up, the faces of BIG BOSS and SIDEKICK.  BIG BOSS is smiling closed-mouthed and one-sidedly to himself, SIDEKICK is slackjawed in disbelief.


Panel 6 - Same as Panel 5, but now BIG BOSS and SIDEKICK share the same smile.

SIDEKICK:  Message received...

Friday, April 19, 2013

Masks and Mobsters - Investigative Reports - Niel Jacoby

Panel 1: A trio of bank robbers in domino masks, pinstripe suits, and hats to match are holding up a bank. One, black-haired, has a full beard, one, a redhead, has a John Waters moustache, and the third, blond, is clean-shaven. The one with the full beard is threatening the teller while the other 2 keep watch.


Panel 2: The three divvy up the loot into four piles, one for each of them and a larger pile for the boss. A black Packard burns in the background.


Panel 3: We see the redhead in his office, typing away on a typewriter. The suit, hat, and mask are on a coatrack, and the false moustache is laid on his desk next to the typewriter. He has a hand-rolled cigarette in his mouth, and a thin trail of smoke fills the air. A small audio recorder has been taken from a pocket in the suit and lays on the desk.


Masks and Mobsters - Union - J.D. Coughlan

SET-UP: I essentially had a similar idea to MK's, but further along. Various gangster supervillains have now rose up and now rival the amount of regular mob bosses. This is their first ever meeting together.

Panel 1: Wide shot, the usual crime boss meeting. Long table, bodyguards behind each boss. Descriptions of each boss to follow, but they should all be moody, cautious and tense. At the head of the table, a man in an all white suit and face-covering mask stands. This is Mr. Monochrome. His bodyguards are dressed in all black suits and masks.

MR. MONOCHROME: I won't waste time with pleasantries. You all know why we're here.

MR. MONOCHROME: We're more powerful now than when we started out, sure, but we still got the "heroes" on one side and the old bosses on the other, squeezing on us.

MR. MONOCHROME: The answer is obvious and you all know it. We need to join forces; pool our resources. Create our own Mafia -- get unionised.

Panel 2: Going round the room now. Close on Blackbeard. He is a pirate-themed villain. He is dressed in piratical gear, but nothing flamboyant; more dignified and dashing. Like an evil Errol Flynn. His clothes are mostly black and his beard (also black, obviously) is quite trim. He does have an eyepatch. He grins confidently. His bodyguards are dressed more like conventional pirates.

MR. MONOCHROME (O.P.): So, who's in?

MR. MONOCHROME (O.P.): Blackbeard?

BLACKBEARD: It's a bold venture, Mr. Monochrome. You have me and my crew.

Panel 3: Close on Dr. Robot. An eccentric mad scientist wannabe (really just a moderately smart science teacher turned to crime). He wears a labcoat and goggles, and his hair is unkempt. His bodyguards are dressed like old-school robots (they most definitely are not). He grins and gestures wildly.

MR. MONOCHROME (O.P.): Dr. Robot?

DR. ROBOT: Of course! Of course! MWAHAHAHAHA!

Panel 4: Close on The Duchess. She is a very upper-class older lady, dressed like royalty in extreme finery. Her bodyguards should be wearing something resembling Royal Guards. She turns her nose up snobbily.

MR. MONOCHROME (O.P.): Duchess?

DUCHESS: Hmph. We approve.

Panel 5: Close on the Russian Bear. A large, muscular man in a fur coat, with an old-fashioned boxer's moustache and bald head. His bodyguards are shirtless and of similar build. The Bear sits with his arms folded and a scowl on his face.


BEAR: ...Da.


This would continue until the inevitable "Why should we trust you" who then gets made an example of, but I didn't want to pack too much in. Really, this is just an excuse for me to use some supervillain ideas I had floating around.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Masks & Mobsters – The New Kings of Crime – MK Stangeland Jr.

[Note: I’ve only seen the previews of the comic, so anything that doesn’t fit or is similar to what’s already happened in the comics is purely by coincidence.]

(5 Panels)

Panel 1: Location – the offices of the crime lord known as SICARIO. The place has just seen the conclusion of a shootout between SICARIO’s men and the members of gang calling itself THE NEW KINGS OF CRIME. The panel faces outwards towards the doorway, where in addition to a small team of the gangs minions – individuals wearing faceless masks and simply known as MINIONs – the three leaders of the gang are standing.

To the left is MR. CRIMINAL, a strong tough-looking man wearing a black suit, a fedora, and wearing a mask with a ‘?’ on it while wielding a shotgun; to the right is CRIMINAL DARWIN, who in addition to his white suit and top hat wears a mask that resembles the face of Charles Darwin and wields a tommy gun; and in between the two directly in front of the door stands their ringleader, THE NEW FACE OF CRIME (FACE), who wears a grey suit and bowler hat, holds a revolver in one hand, and wears a mask designed to have an array of simple faces on it that can quickly change when he turns a nob located on the side of the mask. At present, this mask has a simple smiley face on it.

FACE: Mr. Sicario! Just the man we were looking for!

Panel 2: SICARIO pokes his head up from behind the desk he hid behind during the shootout. A bullet passes by his head, far enough away to make it clear it was a warning shot.

SICARIO: Just who the **** do you think you…

SFX: Bang!

Panel 3: FACE has his weapon aimed out, with smoke coming out the barrel. His open hand is on the knob on the side of his head, and his ‘face’ is now one that’s a mix of neutral and annoyed.

SFX: flip

FACE: Now, now, Mr. Sicario. You don’t get to be a crime lord by being stupid, so I know you’re smart enough not to talk sass to a criminal with a loaded gun.

Panel 4: SICARIO hides behind his desk with just the top of his head poking up. He’s clearly been startled, moreso than before.

SICARIO: What…what are you doing?

FACE: (Off-panel) You can call it whatever you like, for all I care.

Panel 5: FACE grabs a chair and puts it down in front of SICARIO’s desk. His ‘face’ has been flipped back to a simple smile.

FACE (1): Hostile takeover, change in management. Whatever. Makes no difference to me.

FACE (2): All that’s really important is that you are being replaced.

Panel 6: FACE is sitting down, with CRIMINAL DARWIN standing over FACE’s right shoulder.

FACE (1): I’ll give the masks this much – they may be a pain in the ***, but they’re really on to something with the whole secret identity thing.

FACE (2): Tell him, Mr. Darwin.


Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Masks & Mobsters -Aftermath & Beginnings -Dan Hill


Day. THE TOWER (from issue #4) throws a devastating right hook towards one of the ROBOTS from Issue #2. The ROBOT’s back is against the side of a building. He’s got nowhere to go.

1 CAPTION:            Golden City was never the same after the masks made their mark.

FIXED PANEL: The ROBOT swerves out of the way, THE TOWER’s punch connecting with the side of the building, smashing a hole in the side of it.

    2 CAPTION:            It was like dropping a boulder in the middle of a pond.

WIDE PANEL: Night. The aftermath of the fight we saw in the previous two panels. The building the two adversaries were fighting by has collapsed, leaving only a pile of rubble.

The scene is surrounded by police officers and fire crews and circled by portable lights as they try and pick through the debris for any survivors.

3 CAPTION:            The ripples would be felt for decades, the course of history changed forever.

4 POLICE OFFICER 1:    Hey, buddy, can we get some light over here!        

We ZOOM IN on the destroyed building, focusing on a pair of POLICE OFFICERS frantically pulling debris from a particularly large pile.

    5 CAPTION:            In these, my twilight years, I often wonder how things might be if they hadn’t come along.

    6 POLICE OFFICER 2:    I think I see someone.

    7 POLICE OFFICER 1:    Jesus Christ, he’s still breathing.

ZOOM IN some more, a hand is now visible emerging from the same pile, the officers doubling their efforts to get to the poor soul before it’s too late.

    8 CAPTION:            Would the streets still have run red with blood?

    9 POLICE OFFICER 1:    I need more men over here!

    10 POLICE OFFICER 2:    Oh God, I know this guy.

ZOOM IN, now a CLOSE UP on the face of the man beneath the rubble. His face is criss crossed with a latticework of vicious, deep cuts.

    11 CAPTION:            Or would the tides of fate have washed us all to different shores?

    12 CAPTION:            Excerpt from ‘Golden City: My Time in Purgatory’ by Eliot Ness.
    13 POLICE OFFICER 2:    Hang in there Al, you hear me?

Masks and Mobsters - If It's Broke - Grant McLaughlin

The front page of the Golden City newspaper (I don't think there's an established name, so let's go with "The Golden City Reflection").  The headline reads "Towering Over Crime!".  There can be a picture of Tower punching out some criminals or something similar.

(1) CAPTION: Golden City has embraced a new type of hero.

Night time.  A group of mobsters are unconscious and tied up in front of a police station in Golden City.  Some police officers are standing around them.  One scratches his head in surprise, another starts cuffing the crooks, etc.

(2) CAPTION: They're seen as the new way to fight back against crime.  A better way to clean up the streets.

Day time (the next morning).  The mobsters are walking out of the police station, a police officer holding a door for them.  The mobsters are smug; the police officer deferential.

(3) CAPTION: But while their capes and bright costumes are new, the results are the same.

The mobsters are in a bar, celebrating their easy release.  They all have drinks in hand and laugh uproariously to show what a great time they're having.  A shadowy figure stands in the foreground, looking at them.  We can't make out any of his details.  A few mobsters notice him, but pay him little mind.

(4) CAPTION: The masks are little more than band-aids.  Instead of making a real difference, they just cover up the ugly problems that no one is prepared to fix.

Close-up of the gun that the mysterious figure is holding, its hammer pulled back and ready to be fired.  He points it at the mobsters.  The mobsters are obviously surprised and afraid by this, but they don't need to be visible on this panel.  The gun is really what matters.   The final caption is a "To Be Continued" type thing.

(5) CAPTION: No one, that is, except for me.

(6) CAPTION: Next: The Fix Is In!

Monday, April 15, 2013

Masks and Mobsters - Down - Ben Rosenthal

1. Bobby from behind. He is putting his trench coat on. 

It's down to this. Down to me. 

2. His Hand reaches for his gun on a table. 

Months I've been working on them. Gaining their trust. 

3. Bobby is putting on his hat, back still to us 

Now it's time.  

4.  A reveal of Bobby with a Domino mask on. 


That's the thing about dominoes. You just have to topple one, and the rest fall.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Masks and Mobsters – All The Pieces - Shaun Richens.


1. Tight close up on the hand of DETECTIVE DON COSGROVE. The hand holds a double one domino piece between its thumb and forefinger.

COSGROVE: Domino piece again. It’s the same guy.

2. Pull out to a wide shot. Don Cosgrove stands with his partner ROGER HARRIS. They both wear fitted suits and fedoras. Don is still holding the domino piece and has a half finished cigarette in the other hand. Don has graying hair and is the much older partner, Roger being the young rookie. 

The pair stand in a large, luxurious 50’s style office. A huge window behind them looks out at Golden City at night, the lights of the big city shimmer off the rain covered glass.

On the floor in front of the detectives is a fat balding man; he wears a fine suit minus the jacket, his white shirt soaked in sweat. He is bound and gagged and is gently weeping. This is KEN ‘THE KING’ CAMPBELL, one of Golden cities biggest crime bosses.

COSGROVE: Get the gag off this big baby. Lets see if he’s singing the same tune as the others.

3. Close up on Ken Campbell as Roger pulls the gag from his mouth.


4. Still on Ken Campbell his mouth now free to talk.

KEN: Take me in. I’ll tell you everything. <Sob>

KEN: Just keep her away from me.

5. Same panel set up as 2 but tighter in on the detectives and more of the window in panel.

THE Domino perches on the window ledge; she is illuminated against the bright lights of her city.

The Domino is a slim, lean but muscular African American woman. She wears a fitted black suit and a long black coat. She wears her hair in a small Afro and over her eyes rests a white domino mask. Her hands are covered with black gloves and around her neck rests a set of white pearls.