Saturday, August 1, 2015

The Beast: Combative Nomenclature - P. A. Nolte

1/ In the poorly-lit courtyard of the Brand Corporation, The Beast wrestles with The Griffin.  Hank McCoy's hair is a mixture of blue, black, and silver as his genetics are still struggling to find a happy balance between their usual Homo Superior markers and those of the hormonal extract he believes may be responsible for mutation, and still injected himself with.  Yeah.  Good one, Hank.  The Griffin, John Horton, is wearing a red suit meant to contain his own unstable genetics.  His benefactors have turned him into a walking mess of man, lion, and eagle in the hopes of obtaining Hank's extract for themselves.

Beast: Do you find it cause for concern that the cryptozoological entity whose name you employ is not the same as the one you physically resemble?

Griffin: What-- What do you mean?

2/ Close-up on Beast.  He is expositing brightly as he continues to push against The Griffin.

Beast: Well, griffins, if the stories are to be believed, did have leonine bodies, as you do, but their heads were supposedly those of eagles, whereas you have chosen to continue the leonine motif.

Beast: Not a look I would choose for myself, mind you, but to each their own.

3/ Close-up on Beast.  He is purposefully messing with Horton.  That much should be obvious through his sideways glance.  Their fight requires so little of his concentration.

Beast: And then there's the tail...

4/ Close-up on Beast.  Shaking his head.  Still fighting.

Beast: No, no, no.  I do believe, good sir, that you are supposed to be a manticore.

5/ The Griffin knocks The Beast back.  All this talk has confused and enraged him.

Griffin: Aaaurgh!!  Just shut up already!  I didn't name myself, okay?

Griffin: Those jerks from The Secret Empire told me they'd make me powerful...

Griffin: How was I supposed to know they'd turn me into this-- this freak!?

6/ The fight is distracted by Linda Donaldson, an attractive blonde woman leaning over the railing of a nearby stairwell.  She is dressed in appropriate businesswoman's attire.  The exact kind of person you would expect Hank McCoy to fall for.  Almost like she was planted there specifically to lure him into a false sense of security.  The Beast is not happy to see her throw herself into this situation, and less so that she's siccing armed personnel on him.  The Griffin, though he says nothing, is equally concerned by these men and their guns.

Linda: Security!  I've found them!

Beast: Linda!  No!

Linda (TB): That creature!  It called me by name!  But how?

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...


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...

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 died 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…


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...


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.


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?!

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

LANG: ...psycho...

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.


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 LIVE!!! be continued...