Shaking off some rust with this one. It's been a while since I've written short form. It's lacking something and I may need to go back and tweak it but I wanted to put it up before things get busy with the holidays. Thanks for reading.
We have a high, wide establisher of the factory district of a near-future metropolis. The tops of the buildings are obscured by a dense pollution. This pollution should look suffocating. One of the factories center frame is surrounded by a throng of protestors (their signs give them away).
A teenage BOY is among the protestors. It’s chaos on the ground level. Signs proclaim, “BAN THE POLLUTERS”, “TOPPLE THE 1%”, and “DEATH TO DROIDS”. The boy, like all the others, wears a half-face respirator mask to filter out the toxic air.
The Boy looks off panel to the sounds of fevered voices.
VOICE 1 (OFF PANEL)
It’s one of those factory droids!
VOICE 2 (OFF PANEL)
Don’t let him get away!
We are over the shoulder of the boy; three protestors have cornered a humanoid factory droid in an alley beside the factory fence. This droid was not build for lifelike aesthetics but should look human enough that the dread on his face touches a nerve. There is so much smog in the alley that everyone is visible mostly torso up, making the scene slightly dreamlike.
PROTESTOR 1 (to the Boy)
What’s it look like?
PROTESTOR 2 (to droid)
You’re the reason we can’t get no jobs!
Protestor 3 is in the act of swinging a protest sign at the droid’s head but the Boy has grabbed his arm – stopping him.
This won’t accomplish nuthin’. They’ll just replace it!
The other two protestors grab the boy and pull him away.
I bet he works for the company!
Protestor 3 bashes the droid’s lower jaw with the picket sign. The jaw partially detaches from the skull.
SFX FROM IMPACT
The boy is punched hard in the stomach.
The droid is stabbed in the chest with a protest sign, issuing a crackle of sparks.
The boy is slashed across the face with a knife – severing the strap of his toxin filtering mask.
The protestors stand close to each other and look down at the boy in fear at what they’re just done.
Shit, you broke his mask!
Not on purpose. ‘Sides he’s one a them!
Screw this, I’m outta here!
The boy lies on the ground gasping for air. The pollution is slowly suffocating him. In the distance behind the boy the three protestors run from the scene.
The severely damaged droid looks down on the Boy.
DROID [mechanical font]
Your respirator has been terminally damaged.
The droid runs around through the protestors toward the Factory gates. The protestors stand back in awe. The droid is a living firecracker, sparks fly from his neck and he spews black smoke.
Riot police, also wearing toxin masks, guard the gates and train their weapons on the droid.
That droids malfunctioning…
Close on the cop, the oncoming robot is reflected in his helmet’s visor.
Issuing primary command - seize motor functions!
Close on the robot, it’s jaw hanging by a ribbon of fake flesh. The boy sputtering against the droid’s chest.
DROID [mechanical font]
Protect human life supersedes all—
Close on the cop’s face, same as panel 5 only now the robot’s reflection looms larger.
Nothing gets past us!
LIGHT HIM UP!
The droid has spun around to absorb the police’s bullets and protect the boy. Several errant shots wound and kill protestors nearby.
SFX FROM POLICE GUNS
BLAM – BLAM – BLAM
The protestors surge forward in a blind rage.
They’re shooting! Get ‘em!
The droid has collapsed to the ground still cradling the boy. The protestors push past the droid and the boy, overwhelming the riot police and damaging the gates of the Factory.
The boy struggles to his feet gasping for air and clutching his chest. Around him protestors tear the riot police limb from limb.
The boy slips through a gap in the Factory fence.
A man in a tuxedo stands at a podium gestures to another tuxedoed man who is walking toward the podium.
His new droid roll out cut costs and upped production by fifteen percent!
Let's hear it for our CEO!
We are over the boy’s shoulder as he staggers onto the Factory floor, which has been dressed to entertain the hundred or so high society guests. They've all stood to applaud, unaware of the gasping boy. The damage of the toxins have already done their damage to his brain.
The CEO stands at the podium bathed in the warmth of a spotlight.
Thank you. Ya know a lot of people were surprised by my choice of venue-
Medium shot of the boy, blood dripping from his nose and mouth, his color gone and his skin gaunt. He raises a hand in desperate plea but no words come. Dinner guests nearby recoil in horror.
CEO (OFF PANEL)
This is where we make our living. We should not be ashamed.
I remember my father’s words--
On the CEO at the podium, his face looks conflicted by what he’s witnessing. He’s stunned but wants to soldier on.
He said… um…
On the boy’s face, dead on the ground, his eyes staring up lifelessly.
CEO (OFF PANEL)
Through our deeds we will live forever.
Back on the CEO, his hand covering his eyes from the spotlight. He is trying to see around the light at something beyond the boy.
Is that-- are those protestors?!
One second is the simplest measurement of time and it can be enough to save a life. Or lose it.
What if you had the ability to see seven seconds into the future?
Its enough time to dodge a punch, or a bullet... but is it enough time to save your city from the corrupt?
In River City there is the myth of a man who sees seven seconds into the future. Those who prey upon the weak will soon learn he is no myth.
But are mere seconds enough to save us from unchecked evil?
How is this gift possible?
And who is...
I'm very excited to see my story, The Hyena, as drawn by the super talented Chris Winters, featured in Alterna Comic's IF Super Powers anthology available this November.
A wide shot of the High Command space fleet. Two dozen battleships, clustered around the small moon of Nicada, which is in the orbit of a large gas giant.
SPEECH BALLOON (tail leads to the largest ship)
Are you SURE he swallowed it?!?
TEGAN (human female, late 20’s, mixed ethnicity, petite and fit) crouching over a fallen marsupial humanoid in an officer’s uniform. His chest has been torn open and Tegan is pulling out the creature’s guts and organs with an exasperated expression.
How am I suppose to find anything in here!
NOX (war droid, seven feet tall) kneels on the ground, having just picked up a matchstick sized data drive in his blood splattered claw. His expression is show through in his eyes, which are wide with surprise.
I guess he dropped it before he had the chance to swallow it.
Tegan is standing, a red smear of blood left on her forehead, as she finishes dragging her forearm to wipe sweat from her brow.
Not cool, Nox.
So should we, like… put him back together?
High and wide shot of Tegan and Nox mushing the corpse’s vital organs back into their cavity. The image quality here should be a bit distorted since we are viewing through a CCTV.
SPEECH BALLOON (no tail)
ADMIRAL BOEMAN (Human, late 50’s, tall and austere) stands over a bank of monitors and crew. Ideally this is a low angle to make him imposing.
Send a team to intercept them at the docking bay.
Those schematics must not fall into the separatists’ hands!
Tegan, carrying a blaster pistol, and Nox are racing into the large ship docking bay. Tegan looks alarmed.
A few dozen humanoid aliens and some humans wait for them. All wear military uniforms similar to the slaughtered marsupial and all tote advanced looking blasters. A SOLDIER reacts upon seeing them.
There they are!
Tight on Tegan, she closes her eyes in concentration. If possible there might be a glow effect. She is igniting an alien power.
Same as panel three only the soldier’s blasters have all blown up in their hands. Not massive explosions but enough to kill the user. A few blaster emit a laser blast but nothing threatening our heroes.
Tight on Boeman, monitoring from the safety of the bridge.
It’s impossible. Her kind is extinct!
Tegan and Nox race toward the nearest landing craft in the hanger.
Was it wise to reveal your ability to control machines, Tegan?
Wiser than dying.
Besides what’re they gonna-
A massive Rhino-humanoid lumbers into the hanger wielding a huge battle axe. He wears the pants of the High Command uniform but is too big for the shirt.
RHINO SOLDIER (elect)
Head on at Tegan and Nox. Nox looks on, horrified. Tegan regards her paltry blaster pistol.
Same panel only now Tegan looks at Nox with a meek smile.
Alright, do your thing!
Same framing only Tegan is running away from Nox, up the bridge to the landing craft. Nox has the same concerned expression.
What is my… thing?
Nox ducks as Rhino soldier swings his axe with lethal force.
Tegan stands in the landing craft’s cockpit. Her head lowered and arms outstretched, she is communicating with the machinery. The machinery inside should be lit up.
All systems online.
Rhino soldier’s axe is lodged in a cargo ship, having missed its target. Nox’s shoulder affixed gun has fired at Rhino but the shots do nothing to distract him from retrieving his axe. Behind them the landing craft has lifted off the ground.
TEGAN (no tail/ over ship’s PA)
Heads up, Nox!
I’m gonna make us a door!
The landing craft has fired its two laser cannons at the interior hanger wall.
The landing craft flies out of the newly exposed hole in the wall. Nox and the rhino solider are now weightless.
TEGAN (no tail)
Would you quit playing?!
Tegan and Nox sit in the cockpit. Tegan holds the data drive in her hand and considers it passively.
I wonder what’s on this thing anyway?
Should we’ve asked before we joined the separatists?
On Tegan’s angry face.
We’re not doing this for them, remember?!
I just want to watch the High Command burn.
Stationed between and behind Tegan and Nox a hologram of Boeman’s face has appeared in front of them.
You may have been able to deactivate our pursuit fighters-
But trust me when I say we will hunt you to the ends of the galaxy!
Tight on Boeman’s holographic head, an eyebrow raised and nose snarled in disgust.
I will personally--
What is that? Are you trying to say okay?!
On Tegan’s defiant face, she holds up her thumb to her index finger creating a circle.
This is how many fucks I give.
A young woman, CORA, still in her early twenties, gazes down at a baby in her arms, AMELIA. The mother looks on the child with wonder and awe, ‘this thing came from me. This thing IS me’. The woman’s clothing and the room’s decorations are non-descript and period neutral. Amelia is wrapped in a pink blanket.
SPEECH BALLON (tail off panel)
Cora, the doctor is here. It’s time.
We’ve shifted focus over Cora’s shoulder so we can see her husband, RICHARD enter the room. He smiles warmly at his wife, the kind a husband knows to use when broaching a touchy subject. Standing beside him is the DOCTOR, a squat, red faced little man, holding a scalpel.
Don’t act dramatic again.
She’s always acting up.
On Cora, clutching the baby close to her chest like some treasure want for protection.
You’re not the first mother to be nervous, Cora.
Cora has bowed her head and extended the baby to the Doctor. The Doctor has reached out to take the child, the scalpel carefully pointed down for safety.
That’s a smart girl. You know there is no other way.
In one movement Cora has turned her shoulder with the child, shielding her from the Doctor and with her free hand she has grabbed the scalpel.
Cora clutches the baby in one arm and with the other she brandishes the scalpel like a threat. Richard and the Doctor keep their distance. All look on in shock. Cora’s face is a stone mask of determination.
Cora! Have you gone mad! Where do you think you’re going?!
We are on a wide shot of the CITY with its bustling streets and vibrant billboards. It might look like any major city in any developed country, save for a second glance. For at a second glance it’s clear there is something amiss with this city. All the billboards feature hyper-sexualized models, not one or two but all – and even for products sex is never used to sell. Men strut down the street with their chests puffed out while all the women have their gaze fixed on the ground. This is a patriarchal society on steroids.
Cora ducks into an alley with baby Amelia in her arms. The baby is screaming and Cora looks over her shoulder as she goes. She is on the run.
SPEECH BALLOON (tail off panel)
I know that scream. It’s hunger!
The speaker advances toward us through the gritty alley. This is a STRANGER, dressed in rags with a mottled beard and sharp eyes. Dangerous eyes.
I’m good at figurin’ things an’ know about more’n most hunger pangs.
We are on a two shot as the Stranger has approached closer to Cora. She clutches the baby to her chest and looks on at him nervously.
Oh, pink bibs, eh? You got yourself a girl then?
Tight on the stranger, a devilish grin on his weathered face.
All that big noise an’ you a runnin’.
Bet I can figure what you’re runnin’ from too!
Cora is walking towards us in the alley. Behind her the Stranger follows amused. He knows this alley is a dead end.
You wouldn’t let ‘em do the cordectomy would ya?
You wouldn’t let ‘em cut her vocal chords!
Cora has reached the concrete end to the alley. She looks for a way beyond or past or through, anything to escape another man who wants something from her. The Stranger approaches behind her.
What you think, you gonna raise her in some cave in the woods?
How you gonna teach her to talk? She’ll end up a mute either way!
Cora has spun around, her back to the wall. One of her hands has discreetly ducked into a pocket, fishing for the scalpel. The Stranger approaches.
The system won’t allow it. Every woman’s got to get cut!
On the Stranger, reaching out to take the baby. A sick smile plastered on his crazy face.
Might be they give a reward for that little girl, hand her over!
Cora has lashed out with the scalpel – slashing the Stranger across the throat. Blood splatters all over her and the baby in violent steams. He might still have a sick grin.
Cora walks through the wilderness. The sky is painted brilliant reds and oranges like a blooming flower field as the sun sinks into darkness. Cora looks exhausted, sweat and dried blood and dirt mix into a batter, which coats her face in a mask of weariness. The baby in her arms has become an anchor.
SPEECH BALLON (no tail)
How will you raise her and care for her?
Cora looks down at the child, over Cora’s shoulder at Amelia’s face. Contorted in tears the baby needs changing and feeding and sleep, which is pretty much everything a baby can need.
SPEECH BALLOON (no tail)
You haven’t thought this through, have you?
Cora spins around, clutching her crying baby to breast. Standing behind her is the source of the voice, a WOMAN; a handsome woman with wide shoulders who is built and dressed for living off the land. The Woman has a thick mane of hair and speaks with a clear voice.
You’re not imaging my voice. I speak, therefore I am.
And I’m not alone.
The woman gestures to the forest behind her. While Cora has fallen to her knees, partly from exhaustion and partly from exultation – there are others. She has not doomed her daughter, perhaps not even herself.
We live off the land and away from a society with no place for us.
It is not an easy life but it is freedom. And at night we sing.
On Cora, the baby in one arm she gestures meekly to herself with her free hand. Her face is contoured in a well-practiced piteous shape. She looks like a tamed creature who has found pity the only means for getting what she desires.
WOMAN (tail off)
You? No. You will only hold her back.
The woman, now holding Amelia, steps back from Cora. Cora, still on her knees, hangs her head in shame. In the distance we see the shapes of approaching figures. It is too dark and they are too silhouetted now for us to make them out.
You have made the right decision. Cora.
Cora leaps to her feet in rage, slashing wildly with the scalpel. Several male COPS grab Cora roughly. These are a paramilitary breed, their faces masked and their hearts cold. Cora cries out in horror but there is no sound, at most a whisper like a soft breeze.
SPEECH BALLOON (tail off)
Book her. Her punishment will be swift and severe.
The “Woman” pulls off her wig with one hand, revealing a tightly cropped haircut. He has soft features but is clearly a man. The Doctor scoops Amelia out of his other arm.
I can’t believe your crazy plan worked, Doctor.
She must have been truly exhausted to believe such a place could exist!
On the Doctor as he cradles baby Amelia in his arms and stares down at her with rapt attention. The Man stands behind the Doctor, watching him leave.
The trouble we’d all have if such a place existed, eh?
Some would have you believe such a world did exist once!
The paramilitary dogs have formed a circle around Cora, who is curdled up beneath them as they all take whacks at her with clubs and whips. They don’t even take turns, so great is their pleasure in other’s pain. The Doctor walks past, cradling the baby. A military Jeep waits nearby for him.
And all they spoke was gossip and scorn for one another.
Can you imagine-
We are in a hospital. Baby Amelia is strapped to a table and her mouth has been propped open. The Doctor, attended by several male doctors and nurses, reaches the scalpel delicately into the baby’s throat.
Having a voice and not using it?
For the PencilJack writing contest, #91, theme - the fall season.
PAGE 1 –
1. We are head-on viewing two police officers driving in a black and white LAPD police cruiser. The driver is Officer CALVIN JONES (early 20’s) African-American and well built. His partner is Officer PATRICK TOOMS (late 40’s), a kind but weathered face. He looks a bit like Robert Forrester in JACKIE BROWN. The two are smiling and laughing, partners that appear to genuinely enjoy each other’s company.
If we can see around the car at all it should be apparent they are in a seedy urban area at night.
Jones is a good partner. He’s young but he’s already learning about tough sacrifices, the kind we make to keep the evil at bay.
2. We are in Jones’ POV looking at Tooms. Tooms looks out the car window. Out of the car window we see gaggles of costumed kids, ghosts and superheroes mostly. It’s Halloween night, stormy and cold.
Jones is always asking about my last partner, Mike West, died. Tough sacrifices, I say.
3. We are positioned looking over the officer’s shoulder, from the back seat. Both officers are reacting in shock and bracing themselves as Jones slams on the breaks. Bathed in the light of the cruiser’s headlights is a TWEAKER (female, age impossible to determine). The Tweaker looks panicked and quite possibly high.
SFX (along the top of the panel)
What the hell?!
4. We have jumped forward in time a few minutes. The two officers are outside their cruiser talking to the Tweaker. Tooms is taking down her statement on a small notepad. The Tweaker is pointing to a large testament housing building in the distance. Again, this is a very shady neighborhood.
She says men stole her baby. I suggest we move on but Jones parrots back at me about tough sacrifices. He’s getting it.
5. We have leaped forward in time another few minutes. We are now positioned behind Tooms and Jones as they stand in front of Nic Gardens, a twenty-story tenement housing project in LA. There are homeless men standing out front, warming their hands by a blazing trash barrel flipped over to make a campfire. There’s a pack of feral dogs too quarreling over their discarded chicken bones. This is not the type of place you want to wander around; even if you’re carrying a weapon. Tooms and Jones are both looking up at this monolith, more depressing than Stalinist architecture.
What are the odds she even had a kid?
I’m sure she’s had some at some point. This whole world’s got a cancer in it.
PAGE 2 –
1. We are inside the housing building. Jones is talking to someone behind a door opened just a crack. In the BG, down the hall, Tooms is knocking on a door. Note that the inside of the building should look as downtrodden as the exterior. All the doors have iron gates on the exterior as an added layer of protection.
Have you seen or heard anything unusual, sir?
2. We are in Jones’ POV looking at a WEIRDO lurking behind the cracked door. It’s dark inside but this guy has a straggly beard with food crumbs in it and is wearing a stained wife-beater. He looks pale and sickly, like a fat Gollum.
They’re Satanists. They hold rituals on the roof!
You’re dirty, just like them!
3. We’re stationed in a medium profile view as the Weirdo behind the door is sticking out a can of disinfectant and spraying a plume of chemicals into Jones’ face. Jones reacts with his hands up to protect himself.
You need to get clean!
What the hell, man!?
4. We have the same framing as the previous panel only the door is now shut and Jones has taken a step back, gasping for air and waving the chemicals away.
SFX (from door)
Crazy son of a bitch! Spray Lysol in a cop’s face?!
5. Close on Tooms, non-descript background. The lighting and angle should be noir and suggest some deep inner turmoil.
I still see West’s face when I close my eyes. I can’t tell Jones. I can’t tell anyone.
6. Same set up only we have pulled out and removed whatever flourish of lighting or angle you put on it. Jones stands next to Tooms, a hand on his shoulder and another wipes his eyes. They are in a stairwell.
It’s a long shot but we better check the roof.
PAGE 3 –
1. High angle of Jones and Tooms trudging up the stairs. Jones, younger and stronger than Tooms, should be a few stairs ahead.
Ya know what other cops call you? Spooky Tooms.
I’ve been called worse.
2. Jones stops on the stairs to look down at Tooms who continues up the stairs. Jones’ eyes should be a little swollen and puffy from the Lysol.
It really doesn’t bother you that the whole precinct thinks you’re off?
I didn’t become police to make friends. I’m fighting the darkness.
3. Jones puts his hand on Tooms’ chest, blocking him from continuing past him. Jones’ body language is strong but not threatening. Tooms seems taken aback.
See, that right there! That’s a creepy thing to say.
I don’t care what people think of me. I prefer they stay away.
4. We are in Tooms’ POV looking up at Jones. Jones looks down at us with equal parts sympathy and confusion.
Why? Why you push everyone away?
Maybe I can help?
5. Tight on Tooms looking off.
People that get close to me get hurt. West.
My gun jammed… I should’ve had his back, I…
6. Medium profile in the stairwell. Jones puts his hand on Tooms’ shoulder for emotional support. Tooms looks up at Jones. The way the light is cast, just above Jones, casting Tooms in shadow, he’s like an angel anointing a sinner.
Nevermind all that. Let’s clear the roof and be done tonight, alright?
PAGE 4 –
1. Tooms and Jones have reached the top of the stairwell and are crouched in front of a door cracked open, leading to the roof. Both cops have drawn their guns.
I should take point.
Sure. It’s just…
2. Medium head-on shot of Tooms holding his firearm with both hands, looking down at it wearily.
It's the same gun…
3. Swap angles, we are now on Jones, eyes still puffy, wearing a faint smile. He is holding his gun out, barrel first.
Trade you. Just cleaned mine this morning.
4. Tight angle on Tooms taking the gun with his left hand and holding up his gun with his right. He looks down on the gun wearily.
You sure? It’s against regulations.
JONES (off panel)
Tough sacrifices, right? We’re a team.
5. Same framing. Tooms now only holds one gun and with both hands. He looks up at where we imagine Jones is. If possible his face should appear lighter to suggest Jones has pushed open the door to the roof. Tooms is smiling.
You got a big heart, kid.
PAGE 5 –
1. On the rooftop. We are positioned over Jones’s shoulder, his gun held with both hands and pointed at – TWO MEN, dressed as skeletons. These are slightly cheesy store-bought costumes made creepy by the fact these are grown men. They are looking back at Jones and standing around a creepy looking black altar. This is nothing that could be written off as Halloween pranks, this looks like a legit ceremonial altar with strange objects dangling and pentagrams etched into its face.
2. Profile view of Skeleton Man 1 reaches for Jones. Jones is wincing as he pulls the trigger of the gun, expecting a shot to fire.
SFX (from gun)
3. Skeleton Man 1 is grabbing the gun from Jones’ hand. Skeleton Man 2 grabs Jones’ arm.
Tooms! I need you man, don’t freeze on me!!
4. In the foreground Jones is on his knees, either arm being held by the Skeleton Men. Jones’ head is facing back toward the stairway entrance he came through. Tooms is standing in front of the door. The Tweaker woman from the street is putting a blood red robe over Tooms’ shoulders. The robe is adorned with gold symbols and pentagrams, similar to those on the altar. Tooms is smiling.
The only way to conquer evil is to appease it, with tough sacrifices. Mike West wasn't the first--
5. Jones is being dragged to the altar by the Skeleton Men. He looks horrified.
TOOMS (off panel)
You won’t be the last.
From PJ writing competition #89, Theme was sidekick
We are ground level in a modern metropolis as a ten-foot elemental, ROCK MONSTER rages through the sunny city street. People run for whatever cover they can find from this rampaging beast. There is a LIGHT BLUR darting at him from a high angle.
Colorist & Letterer Note: This is all viewed through a camera lenses so the color will be desaturated and there will be a red dot and “Record” symbol in the upper right hand corner.
Tell me you’re getting this!
The Rock Monster is medium in frame, recoiling from a massive punch having just been landed by KID COMET. We can only make out Comet from the waist up, below that he is still a light blur. Comet is athletically built, in his mid 20’s, and wearing a form fitting Orange suit with no mask. Rock Monster’s head has split from the punch.
Note: We are no longer in the “camera lens”.
LUCY LOGAN, an attractive brunette reporter, stands in the foreground holding a microphone as she speaks. In the background Comet is winding up for another massive punch on the reeling monster. Comet is floating in the air but no part of him is a blur at this point as he has slowed down considerably.
Note: We are back within the “camera lens”.
As you can see behind me Kid Comet has once again stepped in to save the day-
We are closer now to the action as Comet lands the massive punch he was winding up and Rock Monster’s head shatters.
It’s just Comet now, no kid!
In the foreground the Rock Monster’s head is hurling toward us, far below that Comet is in the follow through of the throw that sent his head soaring. This high, wide shot gives us our first real look at the city, like any modern city.
But the question on all our minds no doubt remains, where is this city’s first defender?
Where is Helio?
HELIO is full in frame; the sun-themed superhero is dressed in all yellow and wears a yellow half mask with long spikes at the peak like rays of the sun. However Helio is looking anything but majestic at the moment - his arms and legs are outstretched and chained to the grim grey brick wall behind him. Though in peak physical condition Helio's body language suggests he is weakened.
Why are we left with the hero’s sidekick to protect us?
Our vantage point has shifted 180 degrees so the chained Helio is now in profile. We have also gone wider to reveal we are in what appears to be a very rundown cellar. A partially boarded-up window near the top of the wall provides the only sliver of light in the room (none of which touches Helio). Comet sits on the ground beside Helio, watching an old TV stationed across the room. Despite Comet’s previous demonstration of power we can’t help but see him as a bit of a child in this pose, sitting at his “father’s” feet, watching TV.
No matter what I do! No matter how many times I save them—
All they do is ask about you!
We are tighter on Helio and Comet. Helio looks down at Comet. Comet glares back.
I thought we were brothers. You said you would always have my back?
Your back, not the end of your leash!
But I think I know why they still see me as your pet-
Helio’s face is full in frame as Comet’s hands lift the helmet off Helio’s head. The helmet should be high enough up so we can see Helio’s face, which is gaunt and pale.
When they see my helm they will know what you have done.
Comet has lowered the sun burst helmet onto his head, his eyes glare up at Helio (off panel).
They will know…
And they will bow!
We have a high/wide establishing shot of Liberty Tower, the Empire State building of this metropolis. There is a viewing deck near the top for tourists to snap pics of the skyline. Today the viewing deck has been cleared of everyone save Lucy Logan, her CAMERAMEN, and Comet- who is providing her a one-on-one interview.
I see you are wearing a helmet in homage to Helio, you must miss him-
After all, wasn’t it Helio that gave you your powers?
Close on Comet. He is wearing the helmet but we can see his eyes darting away in thought, perhaps some guilt too.
We are on the surface of the sun. Comet’s hands are outstretched as he basks in the sun’s recharging warmth. Comet is not wearing the helmet here, and if possible he should look younger, perhaps longer hair.
Colorist Note: This is flashback panel so there should be some desaturation.
Why not stay here all the time?!
We are slightly wider, to show more of the suns wicked topography. Helio stands beside Comet, smiling at the boy. Here Helio is wearing his helmet and looks younger and stronger himself. He has his hand on Comet’s shoulder, amused at Comet’s enthusiasm.
No one can ever know this is where we derive our power, or that without sunlight we are mere mortals.
Tight on Helio’s face, smiling but also weary.
Just once, can’t I wear the crown?
Not just yet.
We are back atop Liberty Tower with a vantage point over Comet’s shoulder at Lucy. She stands beside the camera with one hand up to her ear, struggling to hear the ear piece, and her other hand up gesturing Comet to give her a second.
Hold that thought, Kid Comet-
It’s not Kid any-
We’re getting breaking news! Back to the newsroom!
On a TV screen the pixelated skyline of the city and a bright streak in the sky. Unlike the quick blur of Comet on page one, this is a massive fireball, far away but massive in size. There is a Breaking News scroll at the bottom.
NEWS REPORTER (elect.)
Scientist confirm the meteoroid, dubbed Chariot, will enter the Earth’s atmosphere-
Comet stands in the cellar, watching the TV, his hands on his hips in his best heroic pose. Behind him we can see Helio, still chained to the wall, looking on in concern.
This has gone far enough, Comet. Let me go!
Your blasts aren’t powerful enough to destroy that meteor!
And return to your cold shadow?
We are tight on Comet, shoulders up. He has his hands on his helmet, trying to block out his mentor’s words or perhaps trying to gain strength for what he feels he must do.
You only ever saw their gratitude for me- never my sacrifice for them!
You’re not ready!
The Sun Burst helmet impacts the TV screen, sending shards of glass flying from the monitor. Comet is in the follow through, having just thrown the helmet in a rage.
I don’t need this helmet and I don’t need you!
Tight shot of a single shard of glass on the ground, bathed in the light from the partially boarded window.
Tight on Helio’s face, the shard of glass is reflecting light into his eyes. His skin appears to glow- charging.
We are back in the “camera lens” as a blur of light streaks up from the city toward the incoming fireball.
Deny a King?
We are on the city streets as chaos reigns. In the foreground a woman clutches her head, screaming in horror. Far above in the sky the two streaks of light barrel at each other. It’s clear Comet intends to impact the meteor with everything he has. Only one of them will walk away from this impact.
Then happy low-
Tight on Comet’s face, behind him only a blur of light where his body would be. His face is contorted in fear and physical limitation.
Back on the panel of the chaotic street- everyone covering their eyes and ears as a burst of light more powerful than any atomic bomb issues far above their heads.
Uneasy lies the head-
Tight on Helio in the cellar, shoulder up, as he has lowered the helmet onto his head. His eyes are closed in sorrow.
That wears a crown.