Friday, July 31, 2015

Beast – CRISIS on INFINITE HANKS – Derek Adnams


Page 1 – (5 Panels)

1.1:  Interior, a lab in Avengers Tower, day.  Hank McCoy, in his current incarnation of the Beast, whatever that may be, is crashing through a plate glass window, the kind that’s reinforced with steel wire to protect against breaking.

Hank (caption):  There are a minute number of ways with which one can break space-time.

1.2:  View through the broken window, an army of alternaBeasts, all from different realities, representing different stages in Hank’s mutation.  They are legion.

Hank (caption):  I’ve done them all.

Hank (caption):  This is my penance.

1.3:  The alternaBeasts swarming over Hank McCoy.  He fights valiantly, but is clearly outmatched.

Hank (caption):  Overwhelmed by circumstance, there was no choice but to find a way to make it all right.

Hank (caption):  Reed Richards had his Bridge.  Doom, the Time Platform.

1.4:   Interior, the enormous lab Hank was just thrown from.  The Garter, a large, wide, mechanical, Kirby-esque “donut” hovering above the ground.  This was meant to be an “I-Beam” of sorts, but instead has become a faucet of alternaBeasts that can’t be shut-off.  In this panel, the Garter is pouring alternaBeast after alternaBeast.

Hank (caption):  The Garter should have undone the damage of my meddling, but instead of a support structure for the timestream, I created a singularity.

Hank (caption):  When curiosity got the better of me – again - I crawled through

Hank (caption):  So did all the versions of “me” that still existed.

1.5:  Exterior, Avengers Tower, day.  Hank McCoy is in mid-air, broken and splintered glass cascading through the sky as Hank plummets to the ground.  A funnel of alternaBeasts follows him, the tip of the funnel closest to Hank while the funnel grows backwards, the wide end filling the window through which Hank was thrown.

Hank (caption):  It’s a small comfort to know that the multiverse is full of “me’s” that made the same mistakes and shattered reality.

Hank (caption):  I’m tired of being alone.
 
 

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Beast - Tossed Salad and Scrambled Eggs - Ray Wonsowski

First off, let me say that I am a huge fan of Kelsey Grammer. I thought he was the perfect casting choice for Hank McCoy. With that in mind...

Layout:
112
345
678

Setting: Frasier Crane's Seattle radio studio. 
See, Storm's been on the show...
Note: voice of the caller should be in those pointy electronic looking word balloons.

Panel 1- two-shot. On the left, Dr. HANK MCCOY, as he looked in X-Men Last Stand, all blue fur an tweed suit and tie. He's sitting at his mike, smiling gamedly. Right, ABIGAIL BRAND, who should be modeled after Roz Doyle (actress Peri Gilpin, see above), behind the glass, looking a little bored, talking into her mike. Both have studio headphones on.

HANK: ...alright, Abigail, who's our next caller?
ABIGAIL: We have "Alex" on line 2.
HANK: Go ahead, Alex. I'm listening.

Panel 2- Straight-on shot, HANK sitting at his mike.

CALLER: Hey, Doc. Long time listener, first time caller...
CALLER: I'm actually calling about my older brother...

Panel 3- same as last panel, HANK listening thoughtfully.

CALLER: We really didn't grow up well together. I don't think you could call us close...
CALLER: But, you know, at least you grow to respect each other. Now...

Panel 4- same as last, HANK cupping his chin.

CALLER: See, we didn't grow up knowing our dad. But we looked up to our professor like one. And since he...died...
CALLER: ...well, my brother hasn't been the same...

Panel 5- same as last, HANK gesturing as he engages the CALLER.

CALLER: The choices he makes...He's just so angry...
HANK: Actually, Alex, what you describe is not unusual...

Panel 6- same as last, HANK holding the base of his mike, elbows on the desk.

HANK: Older brothers tend to feel the weight of responsibility more acutely. A tendency to want to please the father figure.
HANK: This weight bears even more so after the father figure is gone.

Panel 7- same as last, as HANK continues confidently.

HANK: It's at this time when your relationship is at its most critical. No matter what choices he's making out of anger...
HANK: ...his journey is spiritual as well as psychological. He needs your mature compassion...

Panel 8- KURT WAGNER (Nightcrawler, as played by David Hyde Pierce -  -seen here) bamfs in from the left, dressed in a grey three-piece, all smiles and excitement. HANK, right,  growls angrily at him.

KURT: Hey, Henry, Mother and I...
HANK: I'M ON THE AIR! SHE'S NOT MY REAL MOM! GET OUT OF MY ROOM!

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Beast - A Cat Walks Into A Bar... - Phillip Butehorn & Brian Harris

Panel 1: Location is at a bar. POV is from the bartender. Beast is sitting at a bar and is in his contemporary look.

Bartender (off panel): What can I get ya?

Beast: I require your most immense receptacle with a gallon of water and a few pinches of crumpled Dramamine.

Bartender (off panel): ...we have three different kinds of beer?

Panel 2: POV from panel 1 with slight changes. In front of Beast is a very large bowl. He sticks his paw in the water and moves it before he drinks it. There is slight wave in the bowl and water falling off.

Bartender (off panel): What’s your damage?

Beast: The crux of Scott Summer’s revolution: Mutant Lives Matter.

Bartender (off panel): Why is a seven foot, three hundred pound cat trivializing his people’s cry for reform?

Beast: Oh my Watson and Crick. Is that a line out of Summer'sblog? This world. Our problems. They are bigger than all of us. Peace is factually unmanageable.

Panel 3: Same POV of panel 2, but with Beast face first in a very large bowl with beer splattering all over and dripping down the panel as if it was a window.

Beast: SLURP.

Bartender (Off Panel): Casual at the most, but I see your point. What have you actually done though? Don’t you think Scott’s radical engagements and mantra shows he has accomplished more than you since you sit here attempting to get a good buzz on?

Beast: SLURP.

Bartender (Off panel): Here’s a trivia fact for you: Mutants are 47.4 percent of all homicide victims and 52.5 percent of offenders. Your one-eyed buddy thinks his actions will cause a drop off.

Panel 4: View is from Beast’s POV. Reader sees the bartender for the first time and he’s Nick Fury moonlighting as a Bartender. He is pouring another drink into Beast's bowl.

Bartender: Again. What you done to make a difference?

Panel 5: Same POV as the first two panels with slight changes. Bartender is grabbing the bowl. Beast is trying to dab the fur around his mouth with a napkin and holding up his other paw.

Beast: General, do you have a phone? Also, can you dial and put it on speaker.

Panel 6: A black panel with a transcription

Transcription: Five minutes later, Beast Called Wolverine and asked for a laboratory at the Jean Grey School of Higher Learning. Two days later, the Original X-Men were misplaced in the current 616 timeline.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Beast - Home - Grant McLaughlin

I imagine panels 1 and 8 kind of bordering the page, spanning the width while being a bit shorter than a normal panel.  As well, you could link panels 5 through 7 as being the same overall image just divided by gutters, but it's by no means necessary not necessarily feasible.  All that said, if you can imagine a better layout, go for that.

1 - Beast stands at the entrance to the X-School (his back to the reader).  Before him, the grounds, buildings, and the like are all visible in the distance ahead.  The "Jean Grey School for Higher Learning" sign is next to him (on the gate / wall / freestanding / whatever).  Beast wears a suit and tie, like the classy guy he is.

CAPTION (BEAST): "Xavier's School for Gifted Youngsters."

2 - Move to a shot inside one of the classrooms.  We can see students and their desks about, but the focus is on the window, looking out to the grounds where we can see Beast walking towards the building.

CAPTION (BEAST): I was educated in its classrooms.

3 - Walking up the entrance steps, Beast and Wolverine pass.  Wolverine claps a hand on Beast's shoulders; Beast looks towards Wolverine happily.  A moment of camaraderie.

CAPTION (BEAST): Made lifelong friends in its halls.

WOLVERINE: Morning, Hank.

BEAST: Good to see you, Logan.

4 - Inside, Beast is looking at a display case that has something of a pictorial history of the school.  The focus of the panel is a photo of the original X-Men - Beast, Cyclops, Jean Grey, Iceman, and Angel - in their old-school uniforms (Beast still in mostly human form, Iceman still snowy, Angel with angel wings, etc).  It looks like they were trying to take a serious picture, but their youth and friendship got the best of them and they came out looking casual and a little silly.  There are also other pictures from the era partially visible around this main focus (fights with villains, dances, plays, etc).

CAPTION (BEAST): And it's where I learned some of life's most valuable lessons

5 - Continuing along the pictorial display, we see a photo of the current faculty and staff, with present-day furry Beast prominently visible.  Again, we can have other photos on the periphery, likely depicting different events from Wolverine and the X-Men, but the current-day Beast is the big part.

CAPTION (BEAST) (1): I've changed a great deal since that time.

CAPTION (BEAST) (2): So has the school.

6 - Focus on Beast's reflection in the glass as he looks at himself (perhaps adjusting his tie).  He looks pleased.  Proud.

CAPTION (BEAST): But it is very much where I became the man I am today.

7 - Beast is in his own classroom, setting out materials and the like for himself.  He wears a similar expression as the last panel.  Some students might be walking in.

CAPTION (BEAST): It's something I can never repay.  Nor truly recreate.

8 - Beast stands in class, looking towards his students (his back to the reader).  Feel free to pick whichever students from the Wolverine and the X-Men series you'd like.  Like the original X-Men before them, their personalities and expressions run the gamut from serious and engaged to irreverent and distracted and everything in between.  This should be laid out to echo panel 1.

CAPTION (BEAST): But that doesn't mean I won't try.

BEAST: If you'll open your textbooks, we'll begin.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Beast – From “Interview with a Beast” – MK Stangeland Jr.

(6 Panels)

Panel 1: KAT FARRELL is doing a longform interview with DR. HENRY McCOY. The two sit across from each other, and while the two are both dressed professionally, there is a measure of a casual atmosphere between the two.

FARRELL (1): Dr. McCoy, if you don’t mind me asking a more personal question?

BEAST: That would depend on the nature of the question, of course.

FARRELL (2): Your fur – Of all your traits, it’s the one that most obviously marks you as a mutant. Yet unlike some individuals that regret their physical appearances, you notably avoid much of the same attitude, especially in recent years.

FARRELL (3): To what do you credit this?

Panel 2: BEAST gives a small smile.

BEAST: Ah, yes. The fur. Of course.

Panel 3: BEAST answers as only BEAST can, with a touch of dignity and thoughtfulness.

BEAST (1): There is something to be said for providing a role model for others.

BEAST (2): While my fur may not be ‘normal’ in the typical sense of the word, it is a part of who I am as sure as any other part of my physical form.

BEAST (3): And by not letting my fur bother me, I hope I can set an example for others who might have unusual physical structures.

BEAST (4): It helps that I have learned, over the years, to find lemonade where I might otherwise be left with lemons.

Panel 4: Flash sideways – panel should be off kilter just a touch to show an example of what BEAST is talking about. Here, he’s standing out in the snow. He’s wearing his ‘pants’ X-MEN uniform, a scarf, and winter hat that had just a touch of goofiness to it, but otherwise his fur is exposed. He looks mostly unphased by the cold.

Panel 5: Similar in style to PANEL 4, we see a couple of Halloween pictures. One sees BEAST ‘dressed up’ as CHEWBACCA, his hair dyed brown. The other has BEAST dressed up as SULLY from MONSTERS, INC.

Panel 6: Similar in style to PANEL 4 and 5. BEAST and AGENT BRAND are sitting next to each other on a couch after a long, hard day of the usual difficulties at SWORD. BRAND is leaning on BEAST.

AGENT BRAND: (mumbled, just audible for the reader to see but clearly not being said very loud) Mmm…nice…soft…fluffy…


(END PAGE)

Why Beast?

When people think of the X-Men, they tend to think of Cyclops as their premiere member – Wolverine may get all the publicity, but Cyclops is the classic leader, the one who’s seen as carrying on his legacy, the guy you’re supposed to think of as the new future of mutants when Professor Xavier isn’t around.





Except he does a lousy job of carrying on ‘Xavier’s Dream’, the part about humans and mutants living together in peace and harmony. For that, you should instead look towards the likes of Dr. Hank McCoy, AKA Beast.

Most X-Men are typically considered ‘X-Men’ and leave it at that. A handful manage to stretch beyond those boundaries, Beast being among the most prolific. Avengers? Beast has been there, both mainstream and as a handpicked member of Cap’s secret variety. Defender? Beast has done that. SWORD? Beast counts it among his resume, even serving hand-in-hand (sometimes literally so) with its commander, Abigail Brand. It’s even more notable when you take adaptations into account. In the movies, who’s the one mutant you see openly serving in a prominent government position? Beast, of course.

And he does this in spite of being an ‘obvious’ mutant who’s covered in blue fur. Most mutants could get away with pretending to be humans if they wanted to. Beast? He really doesn’t have that option.


Cyclops may be the future of the X-Men, but if you want the future of Mutantkind? They might be better off if they tried following Beast’s example instead.


Saturday, July 25, 2015

Ant-Man: A Short Lesson - P. A. Nolte


1/ Taskmaster, bursting through some double doors, running into a hall, frantically pressing the trigger in his hand.

Ant-Man (Caption): My first few months in costume, I kept coming across this guy named Taskmaster.

Ant-Man (Caption): He's a muscle mimic with eidetic memory.

Taskmaster: C'mon, dammit!  Lousy--


2/ Ant-Man appears in front of him, using his variable size to flip Taskmaster with ease.

Ant-Man (Caption): "Anything you can do, I can do better."

Taskmaster: Whoop!


3/ Taskmaster performs a perfect 3-point landing, sword drawn, still holding the trigger.

Ant-Man (Caption): Pretty cool gimmick, really.  Too bad he's on the wrong side...

Taskmaster: Gonna take a lot more than that to slow me down, bug.


4/ Taskmaster thrusts his sword towards Ant-Man, but Lang has shrunk and run up the blade and Taskmaster's arm, only to jump off of the villain's shoulder.

Ant-Man (Caption): I've seen him catch and hurl Cap's shield right back at him and dodge arrows like he knew where they were going to be before Hawkeye even had a chance to nock them.

Ant-Man (Caption): But it doesn't matter how much footage of me he watches--

Taskmaster: HA-- huh?


5/ Ant-Man is back to full size and grabbed Taskmaster by the back of his hood.

Ant-Man (Caption): Nobody steals Scott Lang's moves.

Taskmaster: Aw...


6/ SFX: WHAM!


7/ Ant-Man stands over the crumpled form of Taskmaster, flipped and incapacitated.  The trigger in Taskmaster's hand is depressed.  Must have happened mid-flip.  A loud, angry alarm sounds.

Ant-Man (Caption): Nobody.

SFX: DEET DEET DEET

Ant-Man: Uh-oh.

Friday, July 24, 2015


Scott Lang, Ant-Man – Entomology – Derek Adnams

Page 1 – (5 Panels)

1.1:  Exterior, day, a foot rising in mid-stride off of a stomped dragonfly, lying eviscerated on a St. Louis, Missouri sidewalk.

Scott Lang (caption):  There are cultures out there where dragonflies represent transformation. 

1.2:  Scott Lang in his Ant-Man gear climbing through the crushed carcass of the insect.  He is starting a journey from the tail in this panel to the head in Panel 1.5.

Scott Lang (caption):  I don’t put much faith in symbols, being more of a machine guy, but as a system they are nearly perfect. 

Scott Lang (caption):  It’s funny how a bug that hasn’t evolved in 325 million years could come to represent renewal.

1.3:   Now Scott is at the base of the thorax, where is connects to the tail.  It is shattered, all bug guts and goo and decimated exoskeleton.

Scott Lang (caption):  My kid made me listen to this song once.  The only line I remember goes something like -

1.4:  Scott Lang walking past the destroyed wings of the dragonfly.

Scott Lang (caption):  “Then I will remove your wings and you will learn to fly”.

1.5:  Scott Lang walking toward the reader, the dragonfly’s head and enormous compound eyes in the near background.  There is a clear substance coming out of one eye, creating the illusion of crying.

Scott Lang (caption):  Cassie always loved dragonflies.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Scott Lang, Ant-Man - Sins of the Past - R.A. Wonsowski

Set-up: A mysterious woman came through Reed Richards's dimensional portal, assaulting Reed and demanding the whereabouts of the Ant-Man. She manages to bypass the security at Avengers Tower, and finds SCOTT LANG in full Ant-Man get-up,  returning from a mission, and heading to the TV room. Blasting energy bolts from her hands, she flies into a rage, attacks LANG, and is even more furious when his helmet is knocked off...

Panel 1- Foreground, a six-inch tall SCOTT LANG jumps from a blasted coffee table, evading a pair of energy bolts. The WOMAN shooting, background, is wearing a black motorcycle helmet (mirrored face shield down) and leathers with yellow piping, aiming carefully and unhurried.

WOMAN: You heard me!! Where is that murdering son of a bitch?!
WOMAN: WHERE'S HENRY PYM?!?

Panel 2- LANG lands and bounds off a sofa cushion, aiming himself at the WOMAN's face.

LANG: ...psycho...
WOMAN: I'LL KILL HIM FIRST!!!

Panel 3- LANG smashes his tiny fist into the WOMAN's faceplate, shattering it.

LANG: Not today, lady...

Panel 4- circular inset, close-up of LANG's face, complete shock.

LANG: ...no...

Panel 5- close-up, through the shattered faceplate, we see revealed the face of JANET VAN DYNE, the Wasp of another dimension, her left eye is covered with a leather eye patch, and her left cheekbone looks like it never healed from a long-ago beating. She's screaming in rage.

JANET: Every Earth, every slide! He's the same! If not WORSE!
JANET: I have to save me! From HIM!!
JANET: HE DOESN'T DESERVE TO BE A AVENGER!!!
JANET: HE DOESN'T DESERVE TO LIVE!!!
...to be continued...

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Scott Lang – Ant-Trap – MK Stangeland Jr.

(This script takes place in the MCU, following the movie.

So SPOILERS if you haven’t seen ANT-MAN yet.

But really, what are you waiting for?)

(6 Panels)

Panel 1: HANK PYM is talking on the phone.

SCOTT LANG: (Phone) Hey, Hank. You’re an expert on ants, right?

HANK PYM (1): Yes, Scott.

HANK PYM (2): Yes I am.

Panel 2: Closeup on SCOTT LANG, on the other end of the phone. He’s looking at something off-screen.

SCOTT LANG (1): Great.

SCOTT LANG (2): I need your help with an ant thing.

Panel 3: HANK PYM, still on the phone. His face shows subtle signs of ‘why do I put up with this?’

HANK PYM: Just say it, Scott.

SCOTT LANG: (Phone) You remember Cassie’s pet ant? Antie?

Panel 4: Back to SCOTT LANG. The panel is further back now to show that he’s looking at ANTIE, the giant ANT that CASSIE LANG adopted at the end of the ANT-MAN movie. ANTIE is lying on the ground, not looking like they’re doing the greatest. CASSIE LANG is nearby, hugging her pet ant, and looking at SCOTT with the expectation that her dad is going to find a way to fix the problem.

SCOTT LANG: He’s not looking too hot, and we were hoping you could give him a look and see what’s wrong.

Panel 5: Beat panel. HANK PYM is on the phone, with a close-eyed ‘why me’ look.

Panel 6: Continuation of Panel 6.

HANK PYM (1): (Thought Balloon) I knew I should have had him shrink that thing back down.

HANK PYM (2): Sure, Scott.

HANK PYM (3): I’ll take a look.


(END PAGE)

Monday, July 20, 2015

Scott Lang - They Tried to Make Me Go to Rehab... - Phillip Butehorn & Brian Harris

Panel 1: View is of a door. On the door is a sign: Kleptomaniacs Anonymous. 

Panel 2: View of Scott Lang from chest up. He looks tired. Eyes are baggy and he is one piece of bad news away from falling off the wagon.

Scott Lang: Hello. My name is Scott and I’m a kleptomaniac

Crowd: Hi Scott.

Scott Lang 1: I’ve been theft-free for five years now. But you know what? I still get those urges.

Scott Lang 2: Today, for example. Billionaire Justin Hammer arrived in town for Spy Con. Do you have any friggin’ idea what Spy Con’s net worth is? I’m sweating just thinking about it.

Panel 3: Scott is in the background, at the head of the circle sitting in a chair surrounded by other members of the anonymous group. One person is already up and walking away. Another kleptomaniac is listening closely but halfway out of her seat.

Scott Lang: It’s like the time last April, when I was casing the Worthington place (his place is in town too, on West 68th), just to see what was up. I was four years free, I wasn’t taking anything, just remembering the old thrill.

Panel 4: View of the group. One person is wiping sweat off his foreground, one is listening closely while taking notes, and another person is biting on her finger nails.

Scott Lang 1 (off panel): I don’t know, sometimes, I just- I don’t know if it’s worth it.

Sponsor (off panel): What’s that, Scott? What’s not worth it?

Scott Lang 2 (off panel): Giving up that life. I mean, I did pretty damn well for a while. Don’t you remember what that’s like?

Panel 5: The man next to Scott, the Sponsor, is sweating as he watches more of his recovering thieves make for the doors.

Sponsor: Well, let’s not forget- let’s not… Don’t you remember what this did to you?

Scott Lang 1: I guess so, yeah.

Scott Lang 2: But I also remember what this did for me.

Panel 6: Most of the remaining recovering thieves at the door, out the door or making for the door. The sponsor running his hand through his hair, looking utterly dismayed.

Panel 7: View of the three remaining members, Scott, the Sponsor and a handsome Southern gentleman with medium length hair held back by a headband, sporting a pink shirt and a brown trench coat. The gentleman is smirking at Scott, who seems the smallest bit ashamed of himself. The sponsor can’t even look at either of the men.

Remy LeBeau: Congrats, mon ami, you made 18 recovering thieves relapse.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Scott Lang - Little Things - Grant McLaughlin

This would take place somewhere in the current Nick Spencer and Ramon Rosanas Ant-Man book with Scott in Florida to be closer to his ex-wife and daughter.

1 - Night time.  We're in the living room of Scott's apartment.  The lights are off and nobody looks to be home.

CAPTION (SCOTT) (1): Things have been going pretty well.

CAPTION (SCOTT) (2): I'm running my own business.  I have this sweet apartment.  And I get to see my daughter on the regular.

2 - Flashback.  Scott is running into an auditorium / concert hall in a panick.  As is his wont in this series, he's wearing the full Ant-Man get-up.

CAPTION (SCOTT): Although juggling all that could occasionally go a little more smoothly.

SCOTT: I'm here!  I'm --

3 - Expand the scope to show that the place is pretty much empty.  Cassie is sitting at her drumkit, mad, while Peggy is off to the side, a little disappointed.  Scott is taken aback at his poor timing.

CAPTION (SCOTT): And sometimes I'm a little off.

CASSIE (1): -- too late.

CASSIE (2): I can't believe you missed my recital!  This was really important to me!

4 - Cassie is having none of Scott's excuses.  She's yelling at him, mad in the way only teenagers can be.  Scott is heartbroken to have made his daughter so upset, and even Peggy seems to feel the reaction is a bit over the top.

CAPTION (SCOTT): In those moments, even though I know I'm giving it my all, well...

SCOTT: Honey, I'm sor--

CASSIE: No!  You're the worst Dad ever!

5 - We're back to the empty apartment of the first panel, except this time we have a magnified inset panel to show that Scott is actually present.  The zoom should be centered on the carpet, and the panel should show Scott sitting at the base of a forest of carpet strands that loom high over him.  He sits on the ground, legs curled up, elbows on his knees.  His helmet is off and he holds it in his hands, his head leaning forward against it, eyes closed.  He can be crying or just frustrated with himself or somewhere in between.

CAPTION (SCOTT): It can make a guy feel pretty small.

Why Ant-Man?


Because we do tie-in weeks when a new comic book movie hits theatres.

There's been a lot of change around here, but that's one tradition that isn't going away anytime soon.

But why Ant-Man?  More specifically, why Scott Lang?

Well, he's the protagonist of the film for one thing.  And we've already done Eric O'Grady...

But seriously, Scott Lang may be a legacy character, but he's managed to build a pretty varied career out of the whole thing.  Thief.  Reformed thief.  Electronics expert.  Relapsed thief.  Super hero.  Avenger.  Fantastic Four-er.  Dead.  Reformed dead.  Fantastic Four-er a second time.  Defender.  Most recently, small business owner.

But perhaps most importantly, Father.


There are a lot of things that can make a character worth caring about, but for Scott Lang, I think it's his relationships.  And while the links he has to the superhero and supervillain community are often worth your while (I'm partial to him and Taskmaster - particularly in the most recent book by Nick Spencer and Ramon Rosanas), it's his relationship with his daughter Cassie that makes Scott something special.  He's had a lot of ups and downs and encountered more than his fair share of challenges, but the thing he wants more than anything is to be a good father to his daughter, and I think that's worth dwelling on.

There's an awful lot to chew on when it comes to Scott Lang.  So let's do some chewing, shall we?


New Tenured Writer - P. A. Nolte

It's happening again.

The Thought Balloons family got a little bigger this week as you may have noticed P. A. Nolte threw down his first official script for Red Hood week, and he's started his tenure with a cracker of a piece.

We had such a good time with him during his residency that we asked whether he might be interested in staying around a little longer, and as you can see, the answer was a resounding yes.  We're happy to have him coming along for this ongoing ride and eagerly look forward to his efforts down the line.

You may recall him well from his previous stint on the site, but let's go over his bio one more time, shall we?

Who Are You?
------------------ 
P. A. Nolte. I cover art with words.  
Why Comics?
-----------------  
I love the collaboration. And the exploratory nature. And the rules. Which sounds stupid, but is totally true. If you're going to go exploring, it helps to know the constellations so you can orient yourself. If you're going to make comics, it helps to know the 180° rule so you can orient your readers. But, once you know what plants to leave alone, or how to use a page-turn effectively, there's no wrong way to go. And, if you're lucky, you get to do it with someone who shares that same passion for exploration as you do.  
Where Can One Find You?
 --------------------------------  
I'm on Twitter (@PANolte) and Facebook (/PANolte and /InkspotComics), I pop up over at David Brown's Fifth Dimension Comics from time to time, I just finished letters on Eric Palicki's Red Angel Dragnet, and I hope to have a new project or two of my own see release by the end of the year.

Welcome aboard once more, my friend.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Red Hood - Accountable - P. A. Nolte


1/ Outside a boarded-up brownstone in the run down part of Gotham is The Batmobile, sans a front tire.  The back tire was being viciously attacked by a 13-year-old with a crowbar until Batman arrived.  Now he is being hit in the stomach by that same 13-year-old with that same crowbar.  (Batman #408.)

Jason (Caption): You ever read Atlas Shrugged?


2/ A line of betting booths at an upscale racetrack.  In the background, Batman is fighting off two large, bald men in matching green suits.  The look on his face is one of terror as he observes what his partner is doing.  In the foreground, Robin is on top of Two-Face, who he's knocked to the ground.  Robin's hands are wrapped around Two-Face's neck and he shows no sign of letting go anytime soon.  (Batman #411)

Jason (Caption): I hated it, except for one part.


3/ The Joker smiling down at an unseen Jason Todd.  His eyes are red.  Both his face and clothes are splattered with blood, as is the crowbar dangling in his left hand.  The background is black.  The Joker is all Jason Todd sees before he dies.  (Batman #427)

Jason (Caption): "A lie is an act of self-abdication, because one surrenders one's reality to the person to whom one lies, making that person one's master, condemning oneself from then on to faking the sort of reality that person's view requires to be faked..."


4/ Talia al Ghul watches as Jason Todd is revived in a Lazarus Pit.  His back arches in pain as the murky water splashes around him.  Ra's al Ghul is also in the water, and looks furious that his daughter has so cavalierly interrupted one of his ritualistic baths.  (Batman Annual #26)

Jason (Caption): I like the accountability of that.


5/ Batman's reflection in the Red Hood's helmet.

Batman: This isn't about vengeance, Jay.  It never was.

Batman: It's about justice.

Red Hood: Tell it to The Joker...

Friday, July 17, 2015


Red Hood – “1-900-720-2666” – Derek Adnams

Page 1 – (6 Panels)

1.1:  Red Hood, fully masked, leaning in toward the reader, addressing them.  The background for all these panels is an old-school warehouse printing press, the kind comics were run through in the 1980’s.

Red Hood:  I want you to see my face.

1.2:  Red Hood pulling off his mask, revealing a slightly beaten-up Jason Todd.

Jason Todd:  Do you see it?  My face?  The face you wanted beaten and bruised? 

Jason Todd:  The face you wanted dead?

1.3:  Jason looking away, sad, head tilted down at the Bat-communicator / iPhone thing he’s using in Panel 1.4.

Jason Todd:  A face you never wanted to see again?

Jason Todd:  My face.

1.4:  Jason’s whole face reflected in Bat-communicator / iPhone screen as he dials 1-900-720-2666”.  The number being dialed must be clearly seen.

Jason Todd:  So I’ll disappear. 

1.5:  Jason, smiling smugly, pressing the send button on the Bat-communicator / iPhone thing.  The printing press background is visible in this panel, setting up the emptiness of Panel 1.6.

Jason Todd:  Done.

1.6:  Now just the printing press background, spools of uncut comic book pages in the foreground, revealed by Jason Todd’s disappearance. 

Silent Panel

Red Hood - Mission Statement - R.A. Wonsowski

Splash Page. From above, as if from a fire escape, a trash-strewn alley in Crime Alley. At one end, top of panel, BLACK MASK and his thugs; and at the other, bottom of panel, TWO-FACE and his goons. All have pistols drawn. Dead center between them all stands the RED HOOD, bleeding from a gunshot in the shoulder and weaponless, but uncowed.

CAPTION 1- I grew up not two blocks from here. Boosting tires for smokes. Mean streets.
CAPTION 2- Saved by the Bat. Trained by him. Was killed by his worst nightmare. I remember the crowbar.
CAPTION 3- Brought back by his lover, mother to his real son. Learned how to kill, and who needed killing.
CAPTION 4- I know eighteen different resolutions to my situation. All of them end up with blood on the ground.
CAPTION 5- Good.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Red Hood – Behind the Red Hoodlum! – MK Stangeland Jr.

(This is set within the AMALGAM universe, where DARK CLAW (LOGAN WAYNE) has finally caught up with the mysterious RED HOODLUM (RED HOOD/DAKEN), who has been terrorizing NEW GOTHAM.)

(6 Panels)

Panel 1: DARK CLAW pulls off RED HOODLUM’s mask to reveal his identity as TODD DAKEN, formerly the second SPARROW.

DARK CLAW: (Continued from previous page) …Todd Daken?!

Panel 2: DARK CLAW steps back in surprise and shock. RED HOODLUM reaches for his crowbar.

DARK CLAW: But you…

RED HOODLUM (1): Died?

RED HOODLUM (2): No, I didn’t die, you idiot!

Panel 3: RED HOODLUM swings at DARK CLAW with his crowbar. DARK CLAW steps back and dodges the swing.

RED HOODLUM: Healing factor, remember?

Panel 4: RED HOODLUM brings his crowbar up above his head and prepares to swing it down on DARK CLAW. DARK CLAW brings his claws out.

RED HOODLUM: But noooo, you didn’t even bother to remember!

SFX: sNikT!

Panel 5: RED HOODLUM swings down at DARK CLAW. DARK CLAW holds his claws up above him to block the crowbar and cut through it as it comes down.

RED HOODLUM: You’re so eager to angst and brood you ran off without trying to figure out if I was still alive!

Panel 6: RED HOODLUM throws what’s left of the crowbar away and pops his own claws.

RED HOODLUM: Well now I’m really going to give you something to angst and brood about.


(END PAGE)

Monday, July 13, 2015

Red Hood - Call Me Maybe? - Grant McLaughlin

1 - Red Hood stands facing the reader, menacingly wielding a crowbar.  He's wearing his full costume, but it's clear he's furious.  A ball of rage.  He's the focus of the page and the background should either be artfully blurred or not drawn.

RED HOOD (1): You thought you could just forget about me.  Have your fun and then throw me away like so much trash.

RED HOOD (2): Maybe you figured I wouldn't remember.  Wouldn't discover your part in that sick drama.

RED HOOD (3): But I got the message.  And I've come a long distance to return it.

2 - Similar staging, but Red Hood has the crowbar raised above his head, ready to attack.  The background and foreground is now present, revealing that he is in a phone store, with a cornucopia of different types of phones all about him - cell, landline, rotary, novelty, and so forth.

LETTERING NOTE: Maybe have Red Hood's word balloon dripping black to show how mad he is.

RED HOOD: I hope you're ready to accept the charges.

3 - Outside.  Arsenal and Starfire stand a safe distance back from the building - a Phone Hut, as it were.  Evidence of the violence within is everywhere: broken windows, phones flung out of the building, maybe some smashing sfx, and so forth.  Arsenal asks a question to Starfire; she can do nothing in response but shrug.

ARSENAL: So is this why he never answers my calls?

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Red Hood - Robin Beyond - Phillip Butehorn and Brian Harris

Panel 1: View is from a dark street corner looking straight into the heart of downtown Gotham. Most of the light in the panel can be found stretching out from the Bat-symbol lighting up the sky. Red Hood is speeding on a motorcycle straight at the reader.

Red Hood (Caption): My drinking buddies usually ask, "Why rope yourself back into their drama? What's the point?"

Panel 2: In the foreground, a fist is connecting with the right side of the Mad Hatter’s face. Blood and teeth fly out of his mouth. In the background, Red Hood is extending his arm into Mad Hatter’s jaw.

Red Hood (Caption): The basic answer is the adrenaline kick we get. Any cape or psycho will tell you it's the thrill that locks you into this lifestyle.

Red Hood (Caption): A lifestyle choice that led to the ass-kicking of others and plenty of Bat-finger wagging at me

Panel 3: Full view of Red Hood doing a split-kick in the air with Tweedledum and Tweedledee each taking a kick to the head.

Red Hood (Caption): I’m not as perceptive as Tim and I’ll never be as reliable as Dick. I'll always be me: the rowdy Robin

Red Hood (Caption): I slaved for my abilities. Nothing came naturally. Well, except for the arrogance.

Panel 4: In the background are Mad Hatter and Tweedledum and Tweeldedee. They are bloodied and bruised. They’re tied up together under a light post. The light is shining on them and a red Bat- symbol is spray-painted across the three of them.

Red Hood (Caption): I do what I do not to piss off The Bat and his Merry Men.

Red Hood (Caption): I do it to remind myself that I have transcended the silly “Robin” status.

Red Hood (Caption): I am The RED HOOD.

Why Red Hood? - Phillip Butehorn

Growing up, Kyle Rayner was my Green Lantern, Wally West was my Flash and Tim Drake was my Robin. Yes, I am a loyal 90s fan. In my opinion (I have done zero research on this), the 90s ended death in comic books. For years, no one touched the resurrection of Jason Todd, Barry Allen, or Bucky. However, death was defeated by Superman. Soon after, everyone returned. Like I said before I was Team Tim Drake, but when Jason Todd first “returned” in Hush and then later in Under the Red Hood, I was muddled by Jason Todd’s return, his history, and character.


Even though Tim Drake will always be my first, I think Jason Todd is the Robin that got away from me. I say that because he is the middle Robin (I know that is no longer true, but that’s not the point here.) and I am a middle child. However, our similarities end there.

Jason Todd wasn’t born with acrobatic skills or money. He was poor, orphaned, and had a special set of skills. Those skills involved theft and survival. One might say Robin #2 was Aladdin meets Robin Hood. Instead, DC’s creators of the 90s made Jason Todd unlikable. What a waste. Dick made Robin likable, fun, and for some, (those outside comics) a joke of a sidekick. Jason Todd could have added even more layers to Robin’s legacy. Give the role to a brat and watch it transform even the worst of kids. Instead, they brutally killed him. They made jokes about how they killed him. When he returned, he was a still a joke, but over time they developed him and made him even more likable. He looks too much like the other Robins and his personality is sort of like the annoying brother everyone has. The sad thing is that he still hasn’t found his place. Maybe this week we can help him take a step closer to doing just that.


Writers-in-Residence - Phillip Butehorn and Brian Harris

We're trying something a little different with our writer-in-residence this week.  Namely, that we're going for writers-in-residence this time around.  Indeed, we're happy to have Phillip Butehorn and Brian Harris join our band of merry men for a bit.  "But how can two people both be the latest writer-in-residence?" you ask.  Well, I'm glad you did, for you see, Phillip and Brian write together, so they will be collaborating on their scripts.  I think it will make for a nice change of pace, and while we're on that note, why don't I turn the microphone over to them: Phillip and Brian - The Illumi-Nerdi!

We are the Illumi-Nerdi. We are a coalition spanning decades, centuries, parallel universes and alternate timelines. Phil Butehorn is a time-traveling history junkie that spends his time in the late 1700s, signing Constitutions, joining slave revolts and rocking Midnight Rides before that son-of-a-bitch Paul Revere ever saddled up a horse. Brian Harris was born in the not-too-distant-future of 2146. He spends his time robot boxing, Venusian drag-racing and fighting for Nexus-6 rights. In our spare time, we also run a wonderful little blog in the “present” where we discuss comics, movies, television, nerd culture and the future of robot rights at The Illumi-Nerdi.
Happy to have you two aboard.  If your scripts are half as creative as that, we have lots to look forward to.

Saturday, July 11, 2015

24:00:01 - DEPARTING GATE - Derek Adnams

Page 1 – (6 Panels)

1.1:  Interior, an airport, day.  Profile of a business man, hair disheveled, five o’clock shadow spreading across his face, looking up at an old-style motion flap board, the kind that used to show departures and arrivals before we went all digital.  The individual placards of the flap board are spinning.

Silent Panel

1.2:  The flap board has stopped and is displaying this misspelled message:

BECSAUE

We can only see the section of the flap board showing “BECSAUE”, so the reader has no idea if there are other words, other puzzles.

1.3:  The man, shocked.  This is not what he was expecting to see.  The individual sections of the flap board are spinning again, erasing the message from before.

Silent Panel

1.4:  The flap board has stopped again, and now we can see a larger section of it, big enough to display at least three lines so these words, errors, extra spacing and all, can be clearly read:

I CANT LOOK AFTER IT

I CANT LOVE                     IT

L VE ALL

1.5:  The man standing, tears welling up in his eyes.  The flap board is spinning again, deleting all the words except “ALL”.

Silent Panel

1.6:  The man standing before the board, dropping his bag, alone in what should have been a busy airport.  The flap board is huge, a monolith towering above him.  White light from the huge windows behind the flap board flood the scene.  There is no background outside the windows.  The flap board is covered with one word repeating into infinity:

ALL

Friday, July 10, 2015

24:00:01 - I HVAE STIL... - Ray Wonsowski


Layout:
1122
3344
5566

Setting: Providence, RI Amtrak Station (see photo references here). There is a flapboard still working there, but feel free to reposition it if that fits the need...

Panel 1- sitting on one of the benches, leaning against his duffle on one end, is LEN CARTER, 40ish, a little paunchy, starting to lose his hair, but looks like he's trying to keep himself together. Dressed in a Hawaiian shirt, khakis, and running shoes, glasses on his nose. He is regarding a plain white envelope, weighing it in his hands. It looks torn in one end. One or two people are milling around him; a businessman carrying a briefcase talking on his cell, a young athletic woman in fashionable spandex jogging wear with a rolling suitcase, waiting. A homeless man sleeps on the floor at the bottom edge of the panel. Flapboard behind him reads: ARKHAM, MASS - 23:59:59

CAPTION: Dear Leonard Carter
CAPTION: Re: Randolph Carter, deceased

Panel 2- Same as above, but LEN has unfolded a letter, holding the envelope behind it, which looks heavy on the unopened end. A mushroom has sprouted out of the homeless man's ear.  Flapboard reads: I HVAE STIL - 24:00:00

CAPTION: I am pleased to advise that we have now completed the administration of your grandfather’s estate.

Panel 3- same as above, but LEN, letter open in his lap, tilts the envelope with one hand, spilling a large antique brilliant silver key into his other. More mushrooms are growing out of the homeless man's hair and clothes. The woman has sat on the other end of Len's bench, suitcase between her knees. The businessman is walking away.  Flapboard reads: NOT RSEOLEVD IT - 24:00:01

CAPTION: I hereby enclose this silver key, representing the sum total of the inheritance due to you.

Panel 4- same as above, with LEN shoving the letter back in his duffle, key still in his hand. The woman notices him, but LEN is unaware of her. The sleeping homeless man is now covered in fungi.  Flapboard reads: IN MY DRAEMS - 24:00:02

CAPTION: I would be grateful if you could sign and return the enclosed form to acknowledge its safe receipt. Sincerely, Hap Akeley, Esq.

Panel 5- same as above, except LEN has sprawled in his seat, head back, legs out, one arm on the bench back, the other hand holding the large silver key to his face. The fungal man has sporulated. The woman, looking at Len, licking her lips, unzips her running jacket to her navel, the sliver of revealed skin suggests that she's naked underneath. In the deep background, we see Morpheus from the Sandman walking with Morpheus from the Matrix in conversation.  Flapboard reads: FTHAGN - 24:00:03

CAPTION: Didn't even know I had a Grandpa Randolph. Jesus.

Panel 6- same as above, except the hand holding the key is now resting on his lap; LEN is now asleep. The sporulated form has now become a Mi-go (see here); the woman has also changed into a Mi-go, but still in the jogging suit somehow. The angles of the walls are starting to look wrong.  Flapboard reads: £T#@?&!π)(=%-# -  25:00:02

CAPTION: What the hell am I supposed to do with a silver key?
LEN: zzz
CAPTION: ...

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

24:00:01 – Subtextual – MK Stangeland Jr.

(6 Panels)

Panel 1: THE QUESTION (VIC SAGE) stands on a rooftop overlooking a prominently displayed BILLBOARD designed as an art piece in the style of 24:00:01.

QUESTION (1): People throw a lot of theories at novelty pieces.

QUESTION (2): Most do it for the mere novelty of the idea.

QUESTION (3): Some even like to see what ideas stick.

Panel 2: The BILLBOARD – half of it is made up of panels that, when combined together, form an image of THE QUESTION’S face. Ideally, it should be done in a way that suggests this is a ‘reflection’ of QUESTION looking and concentrating on the BILLBOARD.

QUESTION (1): Sometimes it’s the least novel ideas that have the most merit.

QUESTION (2): Such as the idea that this particular piece merely has a hidden message.

Panel 3: A continuation of PANEL 2. The BILLBOARD now has the words ‘THE END’ on it.

QUESTION: The real trick is taking the least novel suggestion and finding the novelty behind it.

Panel 4: Continuation of PANEL 3. The words on the BILLBOARD now read ‘T END S COMING’.

QUESTION: Like a message hidden inside a hidden message.

Panel 5: HUNTRESS (HELENA BERTINELLI) stands next to QUESTION, looking at him.

Panel 6: Continuation of PANEL 5.

HUNTRESS: Who are you talking to?

QUESTION (1): You’re not asking the right question.

QUESTION (2): What you should be asking is…

QUESTION (3): …‘Who am I not talking to’?


(END PAGE)

Monday, July 6, 2015

24:00:01 - Fear Fear Itself - P.A. Nolte

1/ An elderly man in a dusty, old recliner sits in front of his rabbit-eared television. Whether this is period, or the man is just THAT hard-up is uncertain. He turns the TV on.

SFX: click

2/ The screen shows a car wreck. A nasty affair on a modern thoroughfare with seven or eight vehicles in a nasty pile of twisted metal, dripping fluids, and just extinguished flames. 

TV: --on 435 this morning. Three people were hospitalized. No word yet on the cause of the accident, but local police-- 

Man (OP): No. 

SFX: click 

3/ The screen flickers to show a reporter in a war-torn country. The buildings behind are hollow shells. The locals no longer rush to be on camera. These people can't/won't do anything to really help them, and they know it. 

Reporter: --seen interference in the city's pro-democracy protests from outside forces and called on international journalists to report-- 

Man (OP): No. 

SFX: click 

4/ We look again at the man. Closer, this time, but mostly unchanged. The light from the TV bathes him in eerie light. 

TV (OP):  --it always knows the flavor of fruit, wherever it grows! Now with--

5/ The man looks to his right. On the table beside him is a small, framed photograph of a woman. Behind that, the door, but it's not the focus. 

6/ This time, it is, and the photo and the table are eclipsed by how imposing an ordinary front door can be. 

7/ The man returns his attention to the TV. 

SFX: click

TV (OP): --stabbed in the leg near Rivermonte Cemetary and South Avenue. Suspects fled, and police were forced to erect a perimeter in an effort to--