(Based on situations created by Alan Moore in Superman #423 and Action Comics #534)
Notes: Before I begin with some visual ideas for the overall look of the script I would like to ask any readers to bear with my obvious amateurishness as regards the format of a traditional comic script. This is my first attempt at writing one, and so there are bound to be mistakes in proper staging and instructions to the artist. I have endeavored to explain each panel visually as best I am able, but as I have never worked with any professional comic artists i am unsure of the clearest format in which to communicate to them my ideas. having said that I would like to say a little bit about the visual style of this sotry as I imagined it. I was definitely inspired by the Superman artists of the Fifities, Wayne Boring and Al Plastino. Their ability to cram so much visual information into a six panel per page set up and maintain clarity is what I tried to emulate. I know that some artists might be tempted to loosen up the panel restrictions, but I would point them not only to comics from the Fifties but also to the works of Alan Moore whose themes this particular story is based upon. I must also note that it was a sketch of a redesigned Superboy costume by Mike Weiringo that really gelled the peice visually in my mind and I owe him a debt of thanks for the inspiration. Since I make no bones about my appreciation of Alan Moore as a comic creator I must say that I would very much like to steal some of his visual ideas form his other works, namely Supreme and Tom Strong. What fascinated me about these titles, aside from their intriguing character studies, was the way Moore had different art styles representing the different eras of these characters lives. I think this is an amazing device as it gives the overall impression of history in a very direct way, especially if one knows even a little of actual comic history. So in my imaginings of this story I saw that that device could also be used to tell the "historical reveals" in this story. I will try to break down some of the multiple styles I foresaw: 1. The world of 2017 I saw being drawn by Mike Weiringo, sadly that is no longer possible, however his pseudo-cartoony style to me is very appropriate to the feeling behind that particular era of the story so as to lighten the mood of what could quickly become very depressing especially if treated with too realistic an art style. Chris Sprouse, Alan Davis, Darwin Cooke or Dean Trippe would also be suitable. Chapter Two cultivates my love of the Marv Wolfman/George Perez era of the Teen Titans and so obviously George Perez or Phil Jimenez would do nicely, though an alternative would be john Byrne. The Space adventures of Superboy I envisioned in two differnet styles; the first summary tale I saw as a Forth World Jack Kirby style. The second tale (Chapter 8) Gil Kane, Alan Davis or Michael Golden. That's just a temporary list for now and once I've done a tighter revision of this story I will do a Chapter/page by page breakdown of art styles, but for now this should help give an overall artistic impression of what I saw while I was writing this. I would appreciate any criticism on the structure and visual directions of the panels that people have to offer. In closing I would like to extend an invitation to Alan Moore to read this script and offer any advice he might have, but as I do not know if he frequents the interweb nor do I have any way of contacting him I must hope to mysterious forces that he will happen across this sincere and appreciative homage.
Chapter One: “Whatever Happened To The World of Tomorrow?”
Panel 1: (Panels are arranged "wide-screen")
The Milky Way galaxy. An expansive full-page spread interspersed with caption boxes that resemble old parchment scroll.
Caption 1: “Once long ago there existed a world where people could do extra-ordinary things. Some could fly faster than a speeding bullet. Some could leap tall buildings in a single bound. Some were more powerful than the pounding surf. One in particular came to be regarded above the rest.
Caption 2: Though his birth planet had been doomed to destruction, fate guided his destiny to be forever entwined with that of his adopted world.
Caption 3: Nearly thirty years ago he perished while facing his greatest foe and with him the ideals of “super-men”. The world continued on without him or his kind and thought itself at peace. However history has a strange way of repeating itself.”
The Terran galaxy viewed from space. Jupiter is on the left, dominating the panel. In the distance an asteroid belt and beyond that the small red planet known as Mars.
Caption: The Milky Way Galaxy. 2017.
The asteroid belt stretches from left to right across the panel. Mars and the tiny satellite moons can be viewed in the distance.
Mars on the left. The Terra and her moon are but specks in the distance against the Sun.
The surface of the moon, looking towards the Sun, which dominates the center and right side of the panel. In the upper left hand corner a pair of red booted feet descend toward the surface.
Same scene as above panel though the Sun is exiting the panel up and to the right and the pair of boots have descended down to reveal muscular blue clad legs.
The figure has landed upon the moon. It is a male viewed from behind; muscular clad in blue and red (no cape). The Sun is but a sliver in the top right corner of the panel.
The figure appears in silhouette from behind still standing where he landed on the moon’s surface. The Earth rises from the center, about knee high to our hero.
Caption: “Things have changed since I’ve been away. There’s not as much noise as I remember. And lots of radio and digital waves coming from Antarctica. Which also seems to have thawed.”
Same scene as previous panel except the Earth has “risen” in the star field and dominates the background. We can see the altered coastlines of North and South America. A block of ice mostly covers North America, and Antarctica appears lush and green.
Our hero has lifted off from the surface and his disappearing from the top center of panel. All that we see are his legs (from the knee’s down) and his boots. Earth is in the same position as the previous panel.
The Earth in toto, dominating the panel. Our young protagonist in silhouette, flying towards it, descending toward the North American Ice Block.
The Upper stratosphere of Earth. Dark voluminous clouds pregnant and birthing lightning. Our hero swoops through this miasma, down to the world below.
100 miles above the surface of the Earth. We follow our youthful protagonist as he descends toward what was the eastern seaboard of North America. Sheets of ice that extend from The Yukon to the Appalachian Mountains have over taken the continent. Everything beyond and to the east is gray and dark.
Superboy (thought bubble): “It looks like everything from the Yukon to the Appalachian’s have been frozen solid. There’s life down there, maybe some of it human, but I’m not hearing anything that sounds like cities. I’m not even picking up any Television broadcasts.”
We are looking down from a height of maybe 50 miles. Our hero zooms closer to the ruined landscape. Large craters dot the surrounding area and a vast swath of destruction stretches out below.
Superboy (thought bubble): “Wait! There is something…pretty faint…sounds like…German.”
The utterly annihilated city of Metropolis lies below us. We hover over our hero, 5 miles above the surface.
Caption 1: “2912 GFO…Come in, this is Metro Excursion 356…Come in anyone. Wilem I’m not getting anything on this piece of junk. Do you think they’re still out there?”
In amongst the ruins of Metropolis now. We follow behind our flying wonder as he surveys the devastated landscape. Some of the larger buildings remain half standing while everything else is in absolute ruin. The ground and building also seem to be covered in a gray dust. One of the large untoppled buildings has the smashed remnants of a giant globe atop it.
Caption 1: “I doubt it Franz. We’re already three hours overdue. And they had their orders.”
Caption 2: “Yeah, but maybe…. no I suppose not.”
We continue following our hero as he avoids a vicious looking nuclear cloud that spits lightning and gray snow.
Superboy (thought bubble): “Sounds like two men. I can hear their heartbeats from here. Close, maybe a mile. Fluctuating. They’re dying.”
We are about 1000 feet up looking down on the wrecked docks of Metropolis. The harbor is devoid of water and great sailing frigates are strewn around as if they were a child’s discarded toys. Our hero descends toward a relatively intact warehouse along the broken pier. A smashed sign along the pier reads; Wayne Shipping.
Caption: “Come over here Franz. You could at least try to stay warm for a while.”
Our hero stands on the dilapidated girders of the warehouse roof looking down into one of the numerous holes punctuating its frame. About 50 feet below him we can see over his shoulder, two men huddle for warmth, clad in hazmat suits, before a small fire made up of smashed freight boxes and a sterno can. The fire illuminates a circle of 20 feet and large shadows loom behind the men on large freight cars.
Same as previous panel, though our hero as disappeared.
Close on the two men in HAZMAT suits, we’re probably three feet from them (ground P.O.V.). They cling to each other in a final embrace. The light from the fire cast shadows on the boxcars behind them. Wilem is on the left, Franz on the right.
Wilem (in German): “Franz? Franz!?”
Same distance from the two men as before. Wilem (the man on the left) shakes Franz lightly.
Wilem (in German): “Franz wake up…wake up.”
Same distance as previous panel. Wilem hugs his friend’s body tightly and close.
Wilem (in German): “Oh my old friend. I’m sorry for talking you into this crazy expedition. I’m sorry for all of it.”
Same scene as above.
Superboy (off panel, in German): What’s happened here?”
Our hero (right side of panel) is silhouetted standing in front of the fire across from Wilem, who is scuttling along the floor backwards and to the left.
We are looking over Wilem’s shoulder, up at our hero. His face is in shadow but his muscular chest, legs and arms are clearly visible. As is the large red “S” emblem on his chest. He stands about 10 feet away. The fire is between him and Wilem. Wilem has raised his hands in a defensive posture over his faceplate.
Wilem (in German): “Who…who are you?”
We are now slightly above Wilem, looking down. Our hero circles the fire to the left, only his left leg, arm and part of his chest are visible, the rest is in shadow. Wilem is attempting to crawl away form him to the right, but Franz’ body (which is partially draped over him) prevents him doing this.
Superboy (in German): “... a friend.”
Wilem (in German): “No..no, stay away form me!”
Close up on Superboy’s chest. His red, gloved hands gently hold Wilem’s glove hands.
Superboy (in German): “Calm down. You’re going to hurt yourself. I just want to talk.
Wilem (in German): “Aahh-ahh.”
Looking over Superboy’s shoulder as he gently places Wilem’s hands back onto Wilem’s chest. Through Wilem’s faceplate visor we can see his eyes soften, he almost looks sad.
Superboy (in German): “Try to stay calm. Your heart…I wish there was more I could do.”
In profile we see Wilem resting against a boxcar. In front of Wilem squats the Boy of Steel, his face still obscured by shadow. His left hand is touching Wilem’s chest, as if trying to calm him.
Superboy (in German): “Can you tell me what’s happened here? Why are you here?”
Close up on Wilem’s visored faceplate. Through the glass we can make out his pained expression. He also appears to be sweating profusely.
Wilem (in German): “We…kk..came looking for supplies..information. Got lost. Overdue. (Cough-cough) Left behind. Expedition had to go. Only t..t..two hours…shielding. Are you an angel?”
Mid-shot of Superboy, about 21 years of age, in foreground. Behind him shadows stretch across the interior of the gutted and ruined warehouse. Superboy’s expression is sorrowful.
Superboy (in German): “I’m just a…”
We are looking over Superboy’s shoulder at Wilem, whose head is titled forward against his chest.
We look up at Superboy. Superboy is standing looking up and to the left. Behind him shadows continue to creep across the ruined warehouse.
Superboy: “Just a friend.”
Same shot as before minus Superboy. Dust and scraps of paper lifts up from bottom of panel. Gray dust falls from top of panel.
Caption: They went and did it! Those fools actually went ahead and did it!”
We are looking down on the city from 1 mile up. Superboy zooms straight toward us, arms extended ahead of him, fists clenched, tears streaming down his cheeks. Below him dark clouds continue to spew lightning over the devastated landscape.
Caption: I can’t say I didn’t expect this. This shouldn’t be a surprise. Any playwright will tell you that you can’t introduce a bomb in the second act without it going off by the third.
Chapter Two: “The Second Act”
We look down & out from the fifth story window of the Tower of Titans in New York City. Silhouetted in the foreground (waist up) are the Teen Titans comprising Tara (the Asian empath), Master C (the giant cyberneticist) Nightfire (the Teen Alien) and Superpunk (the boy of Steel). Over their shoulders we see an immense gathering of protesters brandishing signs; ( Superdope!, Teen Titans must Go!, Amendment 30 means YOU!). Forming a perimeter between the crowd and the Tower are heavily armored tanks with “futuristic” cannon like device attached to their hulls. Between the tanks are squads of heavily armed and armored Federal Marshals.
Caption: New York City, 2011.
Nightfire: “So they finally went and did it?”
Mid shot of Superpunk wearing a gray flannel long-sleeve over a black t-shirt and blue jeans. A Red “S” design emblazoned on his chest. His back has turned from the window and he is scowling in contempt.
Superpunk: “We knew it would be any day. I mean the Constitution is practically in shreds at this point.”
Mid shot of Tara (on left side of panel) looking at the “futurama” like device in Master C’s hands who stands on the right side of panel. Master C in making adjustments to the devices’ numerous diodes.
Tara: “Are you getting anything on that?”
Master C: “Some low band F & Z-rays, but everything else is flat. They’re still jamming us.”
Profile shot; Superboy (still with back to window) in foreground on the right, next to him stands Nightfire facing window. Nightfire looks at his hands, which glow with “star-energy”.
Nightfire: “What do you think they intend to do?”
Superpunk: “I think those tanks are a pretty good sign of their intentions. Either we surrender and they lock us up, or...”
Looking up from just outside and under the window. Tara stands facing us, her left hand on the window her right hand covering her heart. She appears very sad. We can see in the bottom half of the window the reflection of the angry mob brandishing picket signs.
Tara: “So much anger and hatred.”
Outside about twenty feet from the perimeter of tanks now. The S.W.A.T all stand ready between the hulking machinery. Three Federal Marshals in HAZMAT suits stand atop the lead tank. Two of them are bending over a small black box, which is prominently labeled with a biohazard sticker. The third is standing and speaking into a bullhorn. His free hand gestures towards the two other Marshals.
Federal Field Marshall: “…given by Chief Executive Levitz, I hereby order you to cease and desist all unauthorized activities as outlined in Charter 1138, under Code 42 in the recently ratified 30th Amendment to the Constitution of this United Continent of America. You are to lay down arms and armaments and surrender to Federal Field Marshall Kurtz. Failure to comply gives us the authorization to use excessive force!”
Slightly above the Federal Marshals on the lead tank. Federal Field Marshall Bullhorn looks down at the other two marshals. Federal Marshall Box1 looks up at him. Federal Marshall Box2 begins to open the seal on the black box.
FFM Bullhorn: “Open her up, boys.”
We are looking down into the black box, over the shoulder of FFM Box2 as he lifts off the lid. Green smoke pours up and over the sides of the black metal. Inside the box is a crystalline chunk of glowing kryptonite.
Close on Superpunk. He is looking down disdainfully from the window.
Superpunk: “Oh, please! That crap hasn’t worked on me since I was 14.”
We are standing behind the Teen Titans as they continue to look out the window. Tara her hand still on the glass, looks over to Master C. Master C still studies the “Futurama” device he is holding. Nightfire’s hands, at his sides, blaze with energy. Superpunk stands fists clenched slightly above his waistline, though still to his sides.
Tara: “Are our perimeter defenses still in operation?”
Master C: “We’ll find out soon enough.”
Nightfire: “And if they’re not?”
Superpunk: “Then that’s when things get ugly.”
FFM Bullhorn standing atop tank pointing forward viciously, yelling into bullhorn. We look up at him amidst the crowd of S.W.A.T., which surges forward at his command.
FFM Bullhorn: “All right men, they’ve had their warning. Let’s Move in!”
Wide shot; ten feet away. From the grassy knoll in front the Tower of Titan’s up spring four, exceptionally large Audio speakers. The speakers are a good story high and dirt and earthen debris sprinkle from their tops and sides.
In the foreground members of the S.W.A.T. and the Federal Field Marshall’s are double over in pain, clutching their ears. In the background the immense speakers vibrate and sonic waves distort the landscape.
Close up of Tara, Her hands crossed, clenched over her heart. The sight she is looking down at horrifies her.
Tara: “Great Goddess, they’re not stopping! They’re running over their own men!”
Mid-shot of Master C checking his “Futurama” device. His expression is emotionless.
Master C: “The decibels outside are up to 20.2 kfm. If they don’t retreat soon everyone down there within a mile radius is going to have permanent hearing damage.”
In profile Superpunk and Nightfire fly towards the left side of panel away from the window.
Superpunk: “Come on, Nightfire, if they’re too stupid to save themselves it looks like we’ll just have to do it for them.”
Nightfire: “Should we even bother?”
We look on from 10 feet above and 45 degree's down as Superpunk and Nightfire fly up out of an open hatch in the roof of the Tower of Titans. The bay can be seen in the top of panel and an illuminated city in the distance. It is night.
Superpunk: “Some of those people are just regular folks. It’s not their fault that the people giving the orders are hair-brained fascists!”
Nightfire: “Then whose fault is it, Johnny?”
Full shot of Superpunk on left side of panel, facing Nightfire, on the right. Both hang in the air with the bay and city lights below them. Superpunk appears dejected.
Nightfire: “I mean if these people are willing to follow orders and do what they’re told without thinking of the ramifications. What obligation do we have to save them? The defense that they’re just doing they’re jobs is lame and irresponsible. In fact it’s a worse excuse because they’re willing to subvert freedom for a paycheck!”
Mid profile shot of Superpunk in foreground, looking pensive, mulling over what Nightfire has just said. In the background the night sky is full of stars. One star in the upper right corner is brighter than the others.
Full shot of Superpunk still hanging in air, facing away from us looking up to the right in surprise. The glowing star from previous panel is brighter an much closer now and in it’s center the tip of a nuclear warhead can be barely identified. The bay and city lights can be seen below. A reflection on the water that reveals the missile’s shape.
Superpunk: “Sweet Zombie Jesus! They wouldn’t!”
Superpunk streaks away from us toward the oncoming rocket propelled missile. Mid shot of Nightfire in lower right of panel looking after the flying Superpunk.
Close up on Superpunk’s face in profile facing right side of panel. His hair is wind swept back and the background to is full of “fast-motion marks (?)”. His expression is angry, teeth clenched.
Superpunk (thought balloon): “Those stupid sons a…”
We look on from underneath the missile as Superpunk grabs it and pushes it upward. Wind force surrounds the two making up the visual of the remainder of the panel aside from the glowing engine and rocket blast at the rear of the missile. Superpunk’s face is clenched in anger and strain.
Superpunk (thought balloon): “Up..up..go up you piece of…”
We are now looking on from 10feet away and to the side as Superpunk continues pushing the rocket upward into the night sky. Nightfire flies in foreground maintaining speed with the two streaking missiles, his hands coursing with “star-energy”. Superpunk looks toward Nightfire yelling instructions. Nightfire looks toward Superpunk.
Superpunk: “Nightfire, see what you can do about this propulsion system will ya?”
Nightfire: “You got it!”
Mid shot, of Nightfire placing his energy filled hands upon the missiles engine.
Nightfire (thought balloon): If I can stabilize the fluctuations in the fuel mixture I might be able to neutralize the main power flow.”
We are looking down from the warhead as Nightfire absorbs energy from the engine into his body. The energy bleeds off of him and streaks behind him. The wind force still shows in the background.
Nightfire (thought balloon): “I think that’s done it?”
Full shot of Superpunk, holding defunct rocket in one hand looking at it with malice. Nightfire is on his left, his hands glow with energy that bleeds off his body, looking at Superpunk. The two hang in the night sky.
Superpunk: “Thanks Reg. You were right. I guess I just had hope that somebody down there had enough sense to call it off before something like this happened. But if these bastards are willing to destroy so many lives just to be rid of us…my goddess.”
We look down on the bay and reflected city lights in the waves. The stars and night sky shimmer in the distance. It gives the appearance of tranquil peace and calmness.
Wide shot. In the foreground the lead tank is firing it’s great gun on the Tower of Titans. FFM Bullhorn grasps the top hatch of the tank and has his mouth opened screaming; his face shows nothing but rage. The Fifth floor of the Tower is exploding outward; glass and steel shards tumble to the ground. Between the tank and the Tower the Giant Speakers are exploded masses of wires and metal.
Looking up from inside the lead tank, two soldiers operate the interior mechanics of the hulking mobile cannon, as FFM Bullhorn’s face yells down at them from the open hatchway.
FFM Bullhorn: “Fire again! And keep firing till that whole building comes down!”
Inside tank, looking over the shoulder of a soldier who monitors a radar screen. On the screen two blips are close to the center “radar line”.
Radar Soldier: “Sir we have two bogeys at Mark 9:7. They are hot and in rapid approach!”
Mid shot of FFM Bullhorn, looking up and to the left of panel, as he lifts his head from the tank hatchway.
FFM Bullhorn: “Huh?”
Close up of Superpunk’s hands twisting the nozzle of the tank’s cannon.
We look down, as if from FFM Bullhorn’s P.O.V., at Superpunk, Mid-shot dusting off his hands and glowering up at us. The tank’s cannon nozzle is twisted into a pretzel shape and steam pours from its spout. In the background just behind Superpunk, we see the discarded nuclear warhead.
Mid shot of FFM Bullhorn backing away to far right corner of panel. He has his right hand up in front of himself, in a defensive posture. His left hand reaches back toward the glowing chunk of kryptonite crystal.
FFM Bullhorn: “St..stay away from me! I had the authority as provided by the United Continent Constitution. You are a fugitive from justice and…and…”
Looking down on FFM Bullhorn, as if standing just above him. He holds up the chunk of crystal Kryptonite in front of him, at us.
FFM Bullhorn: “We don’t need you, or your freak friends causing international incidents! We’ve been fine without your kind for over thirty years! Why don’t you just give up like your old man?”
Mid shot of Superpunk lifting up FFM Bullhorn with his right hand. FFM Bullhorn struggles and continues to try and push the kryptonite at Superpunk. Superpunk’s face shows nothing but anger.
Superpunk: “What do you know about my father?”
Close on FFM Bullhorn flailing in Superpunk’s grasp. He struggles to hold onto the kryptonite.
FFM Bullhorn: “Why isn’t this $#!& working?!”
Close shot of Superpunk encasing FFM Bullhorn’s hand and the kryptonite.
Superpunk: “You jerks should have done your research. This garbage hasn’t worked on me for years!”
Close up of Superpunk's hand crushing the marshal’s hand and the kryptonite.
FFM Bullhorn: “AAAARRRRGGGHHH!”
We are looking down from the top of the tank, just behind Superpunk and the FFM. Tara and Master C are advancing from the ruined battlefield that once was the parkway of the Tower of the Titans. Master C surveys the layout with his “Futurama” device and Tara looks up at us pleadingly and eyes full of tears. Just to the right of them Nightfire descends from the sky, just landing on the ground.
Tara: “Jonathon, stop! What are you doing?”
Mid shot of Superpunk turning to face us. The FFM crumples unconscious as Superpunk releases him. Superpunk’s face is angry and also full of tears. He is shouting.
Superpunk: “What am I doing? Look at them Tara! Look at what they’ve done! I didn’t start this but I sure as hell have the power to end it! Why should we bow down to them? They think they're better than us! They think they have the right! The right to blow up a city just to be rid of us! Well I’ll show them! I’ll show them exactly what they’re afraid of!”
Close up on Tara. She looks upward toward the direction of Superpunk. Her face is peaceful and calm, full of sadness and serenity.
Tara: “Jonny, are you listening to what you’re saying? Do you really believe it? Do you really think that you’re so different from them? Is it really worth the horror that you’re proposing?”
Super punk looking down from the tank at Tara. Tara looks up at Superpunk, her hands covering her heart.
Tara: “Come down, Jonny. Come down before it’s too late. Before you do something you’ll always regret. Have you forgotten all that we stood for, all that we fought for? Is this really how you want it to end?”
Superpunk: “It’s already too late, Tara. Too late for all of us. But you’re right, I don’t want it to end this way.”
We look up at Superpunk who has lifted up off the tank about 5 feet. Below him the FFM convulses with pain and holds his destroyed hand to his chest. Super punk looks down at us with sorrow filled eyes.
Superpunk: “I’m sorry. I just can’t do this anymore. We tried for four years to bring some hope to these people and all we got was grief. They tell their children to be the best they can be, but they don’t really mean it. If they did then why are they so afraid to let us be who and what we really are? It doesn’t matter anymore though. We’ve seen what they’re willing to do to themselves and I want no part of it. If they want to blow themselves up, let them. I don’t have to stay on this miserable planet. And neither do you. Will you come with me?”
Looking down on Master C, Tara and Nightfire. Only Nightfire meets his gaze, the other two look down or away.
Tara: “I..I’m sorry Jonathon. I don’t think that’s the right answer either. There has to be a better way.”
Mid shot of Superpunk looking down on the Teen Titans and the ruined landscape around them. His face is relaxed yet saddened. The others look up at him imploringly.
From the POV of the Titans; we watch as Superpunk ascends far into the night sky. He does not look back at us.
Superpunk: “Goodbye then.”
Superpunk suspended above the Earth in outer space. He looks sad and lost, like he has nowhere to turn.
Superpunk: “Well what do I do now?”
Looking down at the Earth. Nightfire streaks up to join us, energy trail blazing behind.
Nightfire: “Hey Jon, wait up. You weren’t going to take off without me were ya?”
Full shot of Nightfire and Superpunk floating in space the moon visible between them.
Superpunk: “Reg! You’re coming with me? What about Nate and Tara?”
Nightfire: “They’re where they want to be. But me I may have been born on Earth but I grew up in outer space remember? I only stuck around ‘cause it used to be fun. But now everyone’s all stuck up and bossy. No place for me. Mom and Dad will understand, I hope. Anyway I say we head off toward Vega and see what the universe has to offer a couple a young turks like us? Whadda ya say?”
We watch as Superpunk and Nightfire fly away from us, toward the far reaches of outer space.
Superpunk: “Sounds like one hell of an adventure.”
Chapter Three: “And Now You’re Back, From Outer Space…”
We are looking down Superboy, flying from the left side of panel to the right, looking down on a devastated cityscape. Large detonation craters can be seen amidst ruined buildings covered in gray dust. A gray snow falls from the dark clouds that dot the sky. The landscape on the far right side of panel gives way to a coastline crushed by a churning black sea and stormy clouds.
Caption: Having recently returned to the Earth after a three-year absence, Superboy observes the utter devastation of the planet. The cause of which he believes to be a result of nuclear conflict.
Superboy (thought balloon): “Just like the planet Aknaria. I thought I’d seen the last of this kind of insanity.”
Now behind Superboy, we watch as he dodges a dark cloud full of spitting lightning, the frothing dark sea below him.
Superboy (thought balloon): “Gotta be careful of these magnetic storm clouds. They’ll mess up my sense of direction. I need to find that boat Wilem spoke of. Before it’s too late.”
Superboy (in upper left corner) flies towards what appears in the distance (below and on the right of panel) to be a tramp steamer. The steamer is being tossed amongst the waves of the raging black sea.
Superboy (thought balloon): “There they are…”
We are roughly 60 feet above the angry ocean. Superboy is just below us looking down on the steamer ship, which is being violently flung about. The boat is indeed an early twentieth century trawler, but has been covered with large steel plating so that no visible opening can be discerned.
Superboy (thought balloon): “Looks like they could use some help.”
Full shot of Superboy diving into the inky sea. We see him half in and half out of the water. His face registers a look of disgust; as though he has tasted something truly gut wrenching.
Superboy (thought balloon): “By the Great Winds of Nausicca, these waters are even fouler than those on Daria 8!”
Superboy; flying up from the water, holding the shielded ship up above him with both hands. He is flying towards us. Water streams from the underside of the vessel into the churning seas below.
Superboy (thought balloon): “I’ll just give you fellas a lift to calmer, cleaner waters. If there are any left on Earth?”
From about 50 feet above we look down on the flying boat. It heads from the bottom of the panel towards the top. At the bottom of the panel the sea is frothy and dark but a third of the way up the panel it changes out to a calm serene series of waves.
Caption: Superboy finds a safe place to set the strangely armored ship near the former coast of Brazil.
We are on the deck of the metal plated ship. Superboy is descending just in front of us. A coastline can be seen just behind him about mid panel. Superboy looks off in the direction of the coastline.
Superboy (thought balloon): “I’d almost swear that used to be Brazil. It looks so different now. This much devastation couldn’t have been caused by nuclear explosions alone…could it?”
Full shot of Superboy doubling over frontwards. We look on directly in front of him.
Superboy (thought balloon): “Ugh! Suddenly I’m super-exhausted! I haven’t felt this odd since I got lost on the Moons of Gallanon!”
We look down on a mid shot of Superboy, unconscious on his back, from two feet above. Surrounding him and the edges of the panel we see from the waist down what appear to be four people in radiation suits and boots. The word balloon comes from the upper most pair of legs.
Upper Rad Suit: “Hurry get him below before anymore damage is done.”
The following two dream sequence pages I envision having lots of smaller panels descending and rotating spiral like down toward a central series of tiered panels. In the spiraling panels are repetitive images of the central images, but from alternating angles within the scene. The entire page lining is in black but at the very edges it should be smudged, hopefully giving it a shadowy appearance. The dialogue balloons are made of smoke drifting amidst the central panels.
Central Panel 1:
A large man’s hand holds a child’s hand, pulling it forward. We look on from what would be the child’s POV.
Central Panel 2:
The image has pulled back to reveal the man’s arm, shoulder and face looking down towards us. The man appears upset and irritated. He is in his late forties with a moustache and pepper gray beard. He should resemble Jordan Elliott from Action Comics #534 (since that’s who he is).
Central Panel 3:
Still looking up from the child’s POV, Jordan Elliott has bent closer to us and now appears very angry and menacing.
Dialogue Balloon 1: “Great Goddess no! Not again! I don’t want to see this again!”
Dialogue Balloon 2: “Oh please, please don’t be angry with me. I don’t like it when you’re angry.”
Dialogue Balloon 3: “I’m tired of dragging you. Now if you don’t follow along you’re going to be in a world of trouble!”
Dialogue Balloon 4: “Sometimes I wish you’d never been born.”
Similar set up as previous page, though it would be nice to see some fluctuations in the panel layout, more erratic and confusing(?).
Central Panel 1:
Still from the child’s POV we see the child’s hand breaking free of Jordan’s hand. Jordan looks terrified.
Central Panel 2:
Jordan Elliot in close up, lunging toward us, his face registers stark terror!
Central Panel 3:
From the child’s POV, ten feet away, full shot of Jordan Elliott being hit by a speeding car.
Dialogue Balloon 1: “Come back here! What do you think you’re doing?”
Dialogue Balloon 2: “No don’t!”
Dialogue Balloon 3: “MOMMEE!”
Superboy sitting blot upright in a cot, his face sweaty and frightened. His hands are crushing the metal frame of the cot. Behind him are steel plated walls and computer data screens very reminiscent of the interiors to a submarine vehicle, though with more interior space.
Superboy in foreground, holding his head and sobbing. Behind him are seven men and women dressed in blue coveralls manning computer stations and other shipboard operating posts. Some are turned to look at the weeping Boy of Steel. One man approaches Superboy with a tray of food and drink. We see him from the neck down.
Tray Man: “I see you’re awake. Good. You should have something to eat. It will help you regain your strength. Though you’ve gotten some of it back already I see.”
Superboy looking up toward the man with the tray. His head is still out of panel.
Superboy: “Thanks. I’m not sure what happened to me, but I appreciate your help Mister…?”
Tray Man: “Do I really look that different Jonathan? Don’t you remember me at all?”
Superboy’s head in lower left of panel looking up at the man with the tray. We see him from the waist up. He is an elderly Dick Grayson, somewhere in his mid-fifties. He is smiling gently.
Superboy: “Mr. Grayson! You survived? I’m so glad to see you! Oh goddess I’m so glad…”
Superboy, still sitting on the cot, embraces Dick Grayson, who has bent down to do the same. The tray of food lies on Superboy’s knees and some food has fallen onto the blanket covering.
We are looking over Mr. Grayson’s shoulder at Superboy looking up into the face of Old Man Grayson. He is crying uncontrollably.
Superboy: “Regnig is dead Mr. Grayson. I tried to save him but…”
Slightly above Superboy and Old Man Grayson. They sit around a small rectangular table in the control center of the boat. The crew stands at their posts all looking on as the two men talk. The tabletop is illuminated from underneath and a map of the New Earth land masses can be see on it. Superboy looks at Old Man Grayson imploringly for forgiveness. Old Man Grayson looks at the map.
Caption: The hours pass as Superboy tells Mr. Grayson of his years in space and the events surrounding his son’s death.
Superboy: "I’m sorry. I feel awful; especially after seeing what all the Earth’s been through. Though I wish I knew more of the details. It seems like a lot more damage was caused then just some nuclear war?”
Close up of Old Man Grayson looking across the table at us. His hands still folded in front of him. He looks surprised and a little bewildered. The light from the tabletop casts shadows upon his face.
Old Man Grayson: “Nuclear War? There’s been no war here son. This is a natural catastrophe.”
This is a small circular inset at top left of Panel 4. It contains only the talking head of Old Man Grayson. His expression dour and forlorn.
The Earth in center of panel wobbling on its axis. A small sun in background on the right side of panel. A sliver of the moon covers the left edge of panel.
Caption: “A year after you and Reg left the magnetic poles of the Earth shifted their positions. This caused the worldwide Magnetic Field to plummet to 0. Devoid of its protection we were bombarded by both the full extent of the sun’s radiation and other “cosmic” rays.”
A coastline being pummeled by waves and floating ice blocks.
A cityscape being decimated by explosions and in the far distance a thin mushroom cloud.
Caption: “The ice caps melted in months and earthquakes rocked the surface. Failures in electronic power caused untold deaths and the detonation of cached nuclear weapons worldwide.”
A rioting populace attacking each other and the buildings of the city they inhabit.
Caption: “People went mad, understandably.”
Fields of bodies on open plains. A diaspora of human and animal life strewn about. They all appear to be sleeping. Above them in the sky a large flaming sun beats down upon them.
Caption: “And then those unable to find shelter below the surface, perished.”
Looking on the pyramids of Egypt from about a mile distance throngs of people crowding in and around.
Caption: “There were a few places where the magnetic field had been maintained.”
Looking down on Stonehenge and it’s surrounding fields from 50 feet in the air, full to the brim with people, all looking up at us.
Caption: “But they weren’t large enough to sustain everyone.”
From the top of the largest ziggurat in Machu Pichu we look down on a massive population of people crowding in amongst the ruins.
Caption: “Hundreds of thousands at best, survived.”
We look out upon a coastline lined with people, some splashing into the sea, rushing to meet an oncoming fleet of Atlantean vehicles. The vehicles are bursting from the sea and they are numerous.
Caption: “That is until help came form below.”
Close up of Old Man Grayson; head slumped forward, still sitting at the light-table. Hands in front of him now clasped together tightly.
Old Man Grayson: “It took a year to figure out what had happened. And were only now starting to really understand it. Those ancient architects had it all figured out millennia ago. How stupid we were. How distracted we let ourselves get.”
We look on from behind a group of rad-suited engineers gazing up at two large obelisks generating a field of energy between them. Floating above each obelisk is a benben, energy spikes off of these two devices as well.
Caption: “It took another year to crack the mechanical codes left behind by those humans of past eons. But we finally did it.”
We are underwater now, looking on as Atlantean salvage vessels drag dilapidated hulks of sunken ships across the ocean floor.
Caption: “We began to try a modify what technology we had access to in hope of reclaiming the surface.”
Superboy sitting at the light table, his face somewhat euphoric, gazes toward us intently.
Superboy: “I noticed that Antarctica was unfrozen. Does this mean you’ve succeeded? Are there humans living on the surface again?”
Superboy and Old Man Grayson sitting across from each other at the lit map table. The crew has huddled close in to better hear the conversation. Shadows play along all their faces. Superboy in leaning in closer as is Old Man Grayson.
Old Man Grayson: “Not living. Not yet. But we think soon. With what your mother uncovered in the ruins of Antarctica we may finally have a fighting chance.”
Close up of a stunned Superboy.
Superboy: “My mother?!”
Caption: This two part imaginary story concludes in the Superman Family #223.