Page 1 – (6 Panels)
1.1: Interior, the family / TV room in the Baxter building, the room where you always see Johnny and Ben bickering right before Reed barges in to announce that the world is going to end unless they do something. It’s evening and Ben Grimm, the Thing, is standing in the middle of the room, yelling to people off-panel. He’s wearing a turtle neck / sports coat / early 1960’s “cool” sophisticated male outfit. I picture this as a close-shot of Ben’s profile looking right, but that’s not necessary.
Thing: C’mon, everybody . . .
Thing (in the usual “It’s Clobberin’ Time” font): IT’S CHRISTMAS CARD TIME!!!
1.2: The rest of the First Family, sans Reed, entering the room. Johnny is flying in, carrying Franklin in arms that aren’t “Flaming on”. Both are wearing ties. Sue and Valeria are walking hand-in-hand, Valeria slightly pulling her mother. Everyone is dressed in the same ‘60’s yuppie attire.
Franklin: Sorry Uncle Ben. I had to help Uncle Johnny with his tie.
Johnny: Thanks, kid. I’m never gonna’ live this down.
1.3: The whole family standing together, posing for the photo. From left to right the line-up is: Ben, Reed (whose spot is empty), Sue and Johnny. Sitting in chairs in front of Reed and Sue are Valeria and Franklin. The empty space next to Sue, where Reed should be, needs to be tremendously obvious.
Sue: Valeria, do you know where your father is?
Valeria: He said he’s be right up, but you know how Dad gets.
1.4: Valeria’s face, looking up at her mother and, by proxy, the reader.
Valeria: He’s been working on some super-secret project. All I know is that he calls it “Project Mistletoe”.
1.5: Interior, Reed’s idea room from the Hickman run of Fantastic Four. It’s basically a white “dry erase board” room where Reed goes to brainstorm ideas, so the walls are usually covered. Now, Reed is erasing everything from the walls. He’s also dressed for the portrait, so that the reader knows he didn’t totally flake-out on his family obligation.
Valeria (caption): “Today he just needed to finish a few things up.”
1.6: Reed erasing the final “idea” on the wall – “SOLVE EVERYTHING”. He’s smiling, finally content within himself.
There's an infectious sweetness to the page, a propos to the style, the holiday, and the feel of family. Just don't forget to wish BEN Mazel Tov...Nicely done.ReplyDelete
Thanks R.A.! Originally I was going to mention Ben's heritage and have him make a typically gruff declaration about "Happy Holidays" and how he's not into "all that politically correct stuff", but figured that would change the tone too much. Cutting that out was the hardest part of writing this page!Delete
A nice Christmas tale, and a good character moment for Reed Richards.ReplyDelete
Thanks David! I've been re-reading Hickman's whole Marvel run and wanted to give Reed some positivity. Hurray Multiverse!Delete
This is super sweet. Really taps into the Fantastic Four family element that I love so much about the characters. Also some really tight dialogue, fitting in all the info you need as well as some nice chuckle moments. That final panel is quite something.ReplyDelete
Also, "IT'S CHRISTMAS CARD TIME!" is pure brilliance.