Monday, July 21, 2014

Komodo - Healing - Grant McLaughlin

So I can't really tell whether or not Komodo is currently depowered or not in continuity.  I'm going with a world where that answer is "yes" and she has been for a while.

1 - Low shot.  Melati Kusuma sitting glumly in her wheelchair is the focus of this panel, but the foreground is filled with the legs of people walking by in front of her in either direction.  She is stationary, looking longingly towards these limbs, which (if possible) look kind of like bars of a jail around her.

CAPTION (MELATI): I still miss it sometimes.

2 - Move closer to Melati.  She rubs her legs absentmindedly as she continues to look off into the distance with a frown on her face.  From the background, it's evident that she is in a park of some description.

CAPTION (MELATI): It can be tempting to think that, having lost them a second time, my life is over.

CAPTION (MELATI): That nothing I do will ever make me feel better.

3 - Someone off-panel calls to Melati, causing her to look (with some surprise) over her shoulder towards the source of the sound.

VOICE (off-panel): Melati!

CAPTION (MELATI): But life is about choices.

4 - Switch angles to an over the shoulder view of Melati.  She looks with an evident smile upon a group of women who are ready and waiting to play some wheelchair basketball.

CAPTION (MELATI): And I think it's about time to choose to be happy.

WOMAN: ...are we doing this or what?

MELATI: You better believe it!

Komodo - Catch Up - Ben Rosenthal



1.  Komodo is sitting in a room.  We see her full body, facing head on to the panel.

KOMODO
I look like a monster.  Something from a helpless child's nightmare.

2.  Exactly the same framing as the previous panel, but Komodo is now in human form.  We can see her legs are not there.

KOMODO
Or, I am the helpless child.

3.  A head shot.  Komodo is back in her lizard form.

KOMODO 
Like this, I only appear as a monster.


5.  The largest panel of the page. Komodo is back in her lizard form, stading up and walking out the room - we can see what it is now.  A visiting room in a high security prison.  She was visiting someone.  That someone is Hardball.

KOMODO
You're are one.

6.  A smaller panel of Hardball, similar to the first panel.  He is silent.  He is pensive.


Sunday, July 20, 2014

Komodo – Latveria, USA – MK Stangeland Jr.

(The following comes from an idea I’ve had for a KOMODO story that I’d be inclined to try pitching to MARVEL if they ever asked if I wanted to write something for them.

The summery thus far: While driving cross-country, KOMODO stumbled upon an out-of-the-way town filled with rogue DOOMBOTS trying to live a more peaceful, DR. DOOM-free lifestyle. Also, THE CAPTAIN – last seen in NEXTWAVE – is living there too for reasons. However, soon after KOMODO showed up, so too did DR. DOOM – who is secretly actually another DOOMBOT, just a higher quality one – who started shooting up the place.)

(6 Panels)

Panel 1: KOMODO is using THE CAPTAIN’s attempt to fight DR. DOOM to high just out of sight so she can recover and think. She holds the head of DOOMBOT STEVE in her hands.

KOMODO (1): I need a plan! I don’t have the firepower to fight Dr. Doom head-on.

KOMODO (2): Why don’t any of you do anything?

SFX: (From Off-Panel) Pew! Pew!

Panel 2: Close-in focus on the head of DOOMBOT STEVE.

DOOMBOT STEVE (1): We are attempting to live a DR. DOOM-free lifestyle. That includes purging violence from our systems.

DOOMBOT STEVE (2): We keep THE CAPTAIN around to do it for us.

SFX: (From Off-Panel) tt-ZZZ!

Panel 3: THE CAPTAIN comes crashing to the ground and bounces off the ground a little as his own attempt to fight DR. DOOM gets lackluster results.

SFX: cr-UNK!

THE CAPTAIN: ☠☠☠☠ing ow!

Panel 4: KOMODO tries to hold in feelings of frustration as the scene deteriorates around her. The tail-end of THE CAPTAIN can be seen as he bounces off-panel.

DOOMBOT STEVE: What was that? Is THE CAPTAIN winning?

Panel 5: KOMODO makes a dash for it, still holding the head of DOOMBOT STEVE.

DOOMBOT STEVE: Where are we going?

KOMODO: I know some code. If I can find a computer, maybe I can re-install your backbone.

Panel 6: KOMODO continues to run for it as shots from DR. DOOM hit the ground behind her. She’s worried less about getting hit herself and more about the head of DOOMBOT STEVE getting destroyed.

SFX: BOOM!

SFX: Ker-SPLODE!

KOMODO: (Shouting, to get over the sounds of the explosions around her.) MIGHT AT LEAST BUY ME TIME TO COME UP WITH SOMETHING BETTER!


(END PAGE)

Why Komodo?

You ever have that character where you read a series, and they become one of your favorite characters from that series? But then, when it ends, they just kind of…disappear? Despite being part of a larger comic universe? You never hear about anything happening to them, they just kind of fade off? Where about the only evidence they ever existed are those comics where they showed up in the first place and any online references to them?

For me, that about sums up Melati Kusuma, AKA Komodo. Created by Dan Slott for the Avengers: The Initiative series (one of the first series I read regularly when I started reading comics regularly) – her backstory was that she was a student of Dr. Curt Connors, AKA The Lizard, who was missing her legs and fixed his lizard formula.

Well, the part that makes you crazy, at least. Which gave her the power to change into a lizard woman at will with a healing factor that’s just this side of the likes of Wolverine and Deadpool. Granted, she has to stay as a lizard woman if she wants to keep her legs, but it’s not really anything she seems to have a problem with.

Pile on top of that the genius she has which allowed her to get said powers – genius I would argue allows her the potential to join the ranks of other B-Level geniuses of the Marvel Universe like Beast and Spider-Man – and both her dedication and flat-out skill as a superhero that made her one of the top recruits of the Initiative series, and you have someone with a lot going for her.

Which makes it sad that, since The Initiative ended, she’s all but disappeared from the Marvel U. She’s popped up a couple times since then, but for the most part? Nada. It’s especially troubling since the guy who created her is currently the Spider-Man writer. The same Spider-Man who has Dr. Connors, The Lizard, as a long-time enemy.

That’s ‘Why Komodo’. Because I know she has a lot of potential that’s being wasted right now, and I want to see how much of that potential we can use here at Thought Balloons this week.



That includes any play at home writers who’d also like to have a go at it! As always, if you’d like to write a script this week, feel free to post it in the comments section of this ‘Why?’ below!

Saturday, July 19, 2014

New Tenured Writer


I bring you some good and some bad news.  The bad news is that both Shaun and Brian have had to step aside from their Thought Balloons tenured writer positions.  Shaun has been with us for a while, having joined under the reign of Ryan Lindsay.  His contributions to the site have been both numerous and well written.   Brian was with us only a short time, but wrote some tight scripts.  We would like to wish both well in their future comic writing endeavours.  

And now for the good news - we have a NEW TENURED WRITER (obviously.  It's the title of this post).

Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome former play at home writer ARBY MOAY to the team.  Arby has posted scripts in the WHY section for a while now, so when a position came up he was a natural to join.  But that's enough from me, I'll let Arby introduce himself:

"Arby Moay is an aspiring comic book writer and novelist from the Philippines who dreams of one day going into outerspace because it seems like it could be fun. Having recently graduated from university, he is still currently looking for a good computer job, and is being very picky about it.

He's been a lifelong fan of Batman and Robin, growing up in the 90's along with the animated series, watching it when nobody's around because the 'rents and nanny banned him of doing so (they think the show's too dark and violent). However, his relationship with actual comic books has only been for a little over a year, taking interest when he found out that his favorite novelist at the time, Neil Gaiman, wrote a Batman comic. About Bruce's funeral. Arby's been broke ever since.

You can find him on https://twitter.com/aeglyss15, and on http://aeglyss.tumblr.com. He also has a webcomic called Sims University (currently in limbo) which uses the PC game Sims 3 as art, because he doesn't know anyone who isn't too busy to draw for him."

Don't forget that you too can play along at home (and maybe step up and become a tenured writer as well).  Simply post your one page script in the current week's Why? post comment section.  Feedback guaranteed.  

Friday, July 18, 2014

Warriors Three - Snipe Hunt - R.A. Wonsowski

Panel 1- Standing under a streetlight, trying to look inconspicuous in trench coats, cheap suits, and sunglasses are HOGUN, VOLSTAGG, and FANDRAL (HOGUN and VOLSTAGG are still wearing their headgear). JÀNE FOSTER has walked past them, has jolted herself to a stop midstride.

JANE: ?

Panel 2- JANE has turned, scratching her head, talking the three, who are trying to act nonchalant.

JANE: Volstagg, what are you guys doing?

VOLSTAGG: SHH! We are, as you say, under the covers. Out on a stake.

Panel 3- JANE facepalms as VOLSTAGG pulls a pair of opera glasses from his coat pocket. FANDRALL turns to her to explain as HOGUN looks off-panel.

JANE: Oh for the love of...

FANDRALL: Loki told us of a great beast that escaped his dungeon. He called it a "snipe", a giant fanged cow that breathes blue fire and glows purple when spooked...

Panel 4- HOGUN points off panel, VOLSTAGG looks in the same direction through the tiny glasses. JANE is exasperated as FANDRALL continues.

FANDRALL: It must be found before Odin, Father of All, discovers its absence...

JANE: Guys! The god of mischief sent you on a snipe hunt! There's no such thing as a...

(Off-Panel) CRASH!

Panel 5- All four step back as the SNIPE, exactly as FANDRALL described, charges across panel. Recently torn off flashing police car lights are impaled on its horns.

SNIPE: MOOO!!!

Panel 6- VOLSTAGG grins, seething with excitement as FANDRALL draws his sword to go after the snipe. HOGUN follows grimly as JANE puts her head down and walks off on the opposite direction.

VOLSTAGG: The hunt is on!

JANE: I'm going home...

HOGUN: Loki has much to answer for...

(Off-Panel) CRASH!!!

SNIPE (Off-Panel): MOOOO!!

Warriors 3 - King Of Trios - Niel Jacoby

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Panel 1: The Warriors 3 are getting out of a rather small car, a VW Beetle or something, small enough that Volstagg is straining to pop himself out of the driver's seat area, in a parking lot.

Caption: EASTON, PA

Fandral: WHEN YOU PROPOSED A ROAD TRIP, I SHOULD HAVE KNOWN TO ASK WHERE TO.

Hogun: THIS HAD BETTER BE WORTH IT, VOLSTAGG.

Volstagg: OH, BUT IT IS, MY FELLOW FIGHTERS! FOR TODAY, WE PARTAKE IN THE GREATEST PASTIME A WARRIOR MAY HAVE!

Panel 2: Volstagg is bursting through the doors of the Easton Funplex with a massive wad of cash in one hand, and a Chikara staffer seated at a folding table is startled.

Volstagg: ENTRANCE KEEPER, HOW MUCH FOR 3 OF YOUR FINEST FRONT ROW SEATS?

Staffer: YOU-YOU'RE JUST IN LUCK, SIR. WE'VE GOT JUST 3 LEFT!

Panel 3: Volstagg, Hogun, and Fandral are sitting in their front row seats. Volstagg's folding chair is obviously straining to support him, and he is loaded down with a bevy of snacks. In the ring, we can see The Faces Of Pain(The BarbarianMeng and The Warlord) and Team ROH(Nick Jackson, Matt Jackson, and Mike Bennett) facing off for their first round match. Hogun is clearly disinterested in the action, while Fandral is eyeing Maria, Mike Bennett's valet.

Hogun: FRANKLY, VOLSTAGG, I DON'T KNOW HOW YOU THOUGHT WE-

Panel 4: In the ring, Nick and Matt Jackson simultaneously superkick The Warlord, and we can see Hogun react in astonishment in the crowd.

SFX: SMAK!

Panel 5: Hogun is standing up, in a rage, as Fandral continues eyeing Maria. Volstagg is startled, but continues eating.

Hogun: THAT IS NOT HOW WARRIORS CONDUCT THEMSELVES! BOOOOOO! BOOOOOO! HISS AND BOOOOOO, GOOD SIR!

Fandral: IS THAT AN ILLEGAL FOREIGN OBJECT IN YOUR PANTS, FINE MAIDEN, OR ARE YOU SIMPLY THAT ENJOYED TO SEE MY BEAUTIFUL VISAGE?

(P.S. sorry this one went up a little late, I've been kind of busy as of late)

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Warriors Three – Friendly Duel – MK Stangeland Jr.

(7 Panels)

Panel 1: A minor hall in ASGARD. VOLSTAGG sits at a table with a beer in one hand and a very large piece of meat on a stick in the other.

FANDRAL and HOGUN stand in front of the table. Neither looks fully outfitted for battle, but are prepped for a friendly bout against each other. FANDRAL is shirtless and wields an Asguardian-style Rapier, while Hogun wields a blunted mace and still has a comfortably-fitting shirt on.

FANDRAL: Are you sure you don’t want in on this, Volstagg?

VOLSTAGG (1): I am already in a duel, good friend!

VOLSTAGG (2): A duel with my lunch! Ha ha!

Panel 2: HOGUN readies his mace as he prepares to swing it. FANDRAL does not look worried.

HOGUN: Are you sure you want to fight with your shirt off?

FANDRAL: Why? Are you jealous?

HOGUN: I’d hate to ruin your body for you.

Panel 3: HOGUN ‘punches’ forwards with his mace. FANDRAL easily dodges to the side, though the mace looks as though it only misses him by a small margin.

SFX: MISS!

FANDRAL: That would require you be able to hit me, good sir!

Panel 4: FANDRAL swings his blade at HOGUN, an attack that HOGUN easily deflects with his mace.

HOGUN: Your overflowing self-assurance will be your undoing.

FANDRAL: Always with the grim perspective, eh?

Panel 5: The cleanly-licked stick that was holding VOLSTAGG’s meat flies from off-panel and smacks FANDRAL in the face. HOGUN watches in surprise.

SFX: smack!

HOGUN and FANDRAL: !

Panel 6: HOGUN gets knocked over as VOLSTAGG slams into him stomach-first.

SFX: BOOMP!

HOGUN: !

Panel 7: FANDRAL and HOGUN lie on the ground. VOLSTAGG stands over the both of them, looking quite pleased with himself. FANDRAL and HOGAN have a look of mild annoyance at the situation of things.

VOLSTAGG: Sorry, good friends, but I finished my first duel, and thought I would join yours!


(END PAGE)

Monday, July 14, 2014

Warriors Three - Three Men - Ben Rosenthal



1.  Close up of Fandral, torso up.  He is looking down to something that is in front of him (off panel).  .  What we can see of the background behind him is dark.  He looks confused.

FANDRAL
Well, this is a unique situation.


2.  Close up of Hogun, same framing as Fandral in the previous panel, and is also looking down at the off panel object.  His grim, stone-faced expression reveals nothing other than he is not happy about this situation.

HOGUN
It is a trap.  Dispose of it.


3.  Once again, same framing on a close up of  Volstaag also looking at the object below off panel.  He is happy with the object.

VOLSTAAG
Nonsense.  He may be a lot of things--


4.  High shot of looking down at the Warrior's Three.  They are looking at a small baby Loki in the middle of them.

VOLSTAAG
But he has never been so cute!


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Yeah - Warriors Three and a Baby.  
I would write the hell out of this.


Sunday, July 13, 2014

Warriors Three - To Hel and Back - J.D. Coughlan


Thor has been tricked by Hela, queen of the underworld, and has now become her eternal prisoner. The Warriors Three journey to Hel to free him.

Panel 1: Wide shot. The Warriors Three stand in the barren wasteland that is Hel, before Hela sat on her throne, above them. Their weapons are drawn.

HELA: What's this? You come to my kingdom of the dead to parlay with me for Thor's freedom?

Panel 2: Group shot of the threesome. Fandral stands in the middle, holding his sword low, a smug grin on his face. Volstagg and Hogun brandish their weapons closely, serious expressions.

FANDRAL: Nay, Queen Hela. We come to correct an injustice.

VOLSTAGG: Aye! And we shall do so by tongue or by steel. Your choice, witch.

FANDRAL: I assure you, I am talented with both.

Panel 3: Wide shot again. Hela raises her hand, and zombie-like creatures are rising from the dirt. The Warriors stand tightly together, facing out, on guard with their weapons.

HELA: You think you three have the might to defeat my legions of the dead? Three of you, against every soul that has ever lived?

Panel 4: Close on the trio. Hogun faces Hela now, but Fandral and Volstagg look over their shoulders at her. All have determination in their eyes.

HOGUN: For our brother-in-arms, we shall fight til our last breaths. And then, when time and age claim us and send us to your damned dominion, we shall take up the fight again, until Ragnarock itself. But we shall not leave here without Thor.

HOGUN: Know this, or, by all means, test it.

END OF PAGE