Sunday, May 17, 2015

Iron Man - The Mask in the Iron Man Special Edition - Ben Rosenthal

Not only have I gone back to the very first Thought Balloons pick of Iron Man - I've re-written my very first comic page.

Originally I had no idea how to write a comic page.  I was at the time writing for TV and radio and those scripts are very different.  I was also a very different person back then.  I've matured as a writer and as an individual so there are certain edits made.  Enjoy this Special Edition of my first script.  

1.  TONY STARK and PEPPER POTTS are lying in bed.  Tony looks distant, wrist resting upon his forehead as he stares at the roof with a distant look on his face.

PEPPER: I can hear you thinking.
TONY: I’m not thinking.  I’m asleep.  Honest.
PEPPER: You’re Tony Stark.  You’re always thinking something. 
TONY:  I was thinking about my father.

2.  Pepper has rolled on to her side, sensing that Tony wants to talk but not admitting it. 
PEPPER: Right, spill it.  Because we both know we aren't getting any sleep until you do. 

TONY: Well that’s just selfish.
PEPPER:  Yes it is, black kettle.  Talk.

3.  A close up on TONY looking at the ceiling. 

TONY: Fine. I’ll skip the “he was to interested in his work to pay any attention to me” part, and the whole “I became great with machines to get my father’s approval” section, and go straight to – I think my father created Iron Man.

4.  Reverse on Pepper looking somewhat confused.

 TONY: He may not have made the suit, but I was Iron Man long before it came along.  He never had time for me.  Always focusing on the next invention.  Sound familiar?

5.  Back to both Tony and Pepper on the bed.  Pepper is on her side still, looking at Tony as he looks at her still on his back.

TONY:   I turned to machines in order to gain his approval, but I think I a part of me found them so appealing because they don’t judge. 
TONY: There was never a threat of rejection like there was with him.  With people.

6.  Close up on Tony returning his gaze to the ceiling.
TONY:   I put up walls.  Wrapped myself in ego to prevent anyone from ‘getting in’. 

TONY:  I have always been an Iron Man – the shrapnel just gave me an excuse to make it official. 


  1. Looking between this and the original version, the improvement between them - especially in the formatting - is obviously apparent. You've definitely come a long way for writing comics since that first page.

  2. The original piece is full of promise. It's a really great set up with some honest and funny moments between two characters you get straight to the heart of - it is a raw piece but bursting with potential.

    Fast forward to this new reworked version and it's still has everything that was great about the original idea but its polished up to a gleam. Even just looking at your choice of panel composition you have elevated this page drastically.

    This really is testament to you as a writer Ben. Truly excellent work.

  3. Man, I always wonder about going back to earlier works and taking some time to polish them up, and you have put on a clinic in how much shinier a page can get with some tender loving care. This page still has lots of words to it, but they absolutely sing. A great melding of humour and serious that adds up to a moving page.

  4. It's great character development at the core, but for me is how, in so little, you indirectly show Pepper's character as well. These unguarded moments are what reveals, and you do it well. A refined piece all the way through.


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