NOTE: During the summer I wanted to try my hand at writing a comic book script, mostly to see whether or not I could do it. I found the format somewhat restrictive at first, but as I envisioned the finished comic it just flowed out of me. I decided to write about established characters so I could focus more on getting the format and pacing right, so I can’t do anything with it other than post it here for free. I’d love to hear everyone’s thoughts in the comments. Enjoy!
“The Return” part 1
by James Palmer
Draft 1.2 10/29/14
by James Palmer
SPLASH PANEL 1
In the center of a star field, a golden planet hangs, wreathed in clouds.
The planet Galador.
A forgotten world, it was once decimated by fearsome, shape-shifting entities known as the Dire Wraiths.
These creatures were eventually destroyed by a group of brave Galadorians and their leader, who gave up their humanity to become a powerful protective force known as…
Zoom in a little closer to reveal the outlines of magnificent buildings and spindly skyscrapers.
Zoom in on one city to show the buildings in more detail, gleaming metal, sky bridges, and people, men, women and children, going about their day in bright, colorful clothing. They are talking, laughing, playing.
But now it has been reborn!
Exterior of a large golden building, with a wide walkway leading up to it. On the edges of the walkway, spaced at intervals, are tall, stone statues of the Spaceknights, standing as if they are still protecting the people of Galador. The last of the statues, standing taller than the rest and near the entrance to the golden building, is a statue of Rom.
The Palace of Galador, home to their leader Rom and his bride, the human Brandy Clark.
Cut to interior of the palace, in a vast room with a large window or balcony overlooking the Galadorian capital city. Two figures stand close to each other, looking out the window.
BRANDY: Oh Rom, it’s so beautiful. So peaceful. To think we built it up from practically nothing.
Rom places his hand on Brandy’s shoulder. He is smiling.
ROM: Yes, darling. It was an amazing feat. Of course, we had a little help from Galadorian science. But everything is now as it was before the Dire Wraiths came.
Close-up of Brandy Clark. Her curly brown hair is now long, and she wears a diaphanous golden gown.
BRANDY: It was worth it. All the sacrifices…
Her face takes on a sad look, and we see a panel of her fighting alongside Rom Spaceknight as Starshine, killing Dire Wraiths that lunge for them.
BRANDY: All the lives lost…
Rom takes his hand off her shoulder.
ROM: Some brave souls lost their lives, all so we could live on Galador in peace once again.
Rom walks away from her.
ROM: (thinking) But this peace may have come at a price. Once shrouded in little more than legend, Galador is starting to attract undue attention.
A robed attendant comes in, a tablet-like device in his hands.
VOREX: Rom, my liege. We have just received another communication from a race of beings calling themselves Skrulls. They want to enter trade agreements.
Rom waves his hand at the attendant, his face looking grim.
VOREX: Sire, what are Skrulls?
ROM: Just ignore them. As usual.
ROM: (thinking) I am afraid we cannot remain unnoticed forever.
Rom continues walking, followed close by the attendant, who hurries to catch up.
VOREX: Rom, the Watchers report no sign of Dire Wraith activity.
ROM: Good. Thank you, Vorex. That will be all.
Frontal view of Rom as he pushes open a set of double doors.
ROM: (thinking) My fear is not the Dire Wraiths…
Space. A close shot of stars with the curve of Galador in the bottom left corner.
Identical view to the one before, only this time there is a flash of bright white light.
Close-up showing the source of the flash, a wispy being with oddly bent legs and a long frill atop its head that goes down its back.
“…My fear is that there are worse things out there than the Dire Wraiths.”
Shows the glowing being in more detail.
Stardust, current herald of the world-eater Galactus.
Stardust looks down at the planet turning beneath its feet.
STARDUST: Another world ripe for the picking. The Master hungers. He will be pleased.
Stardust extends his right hand toward deep space and sends out a beam of white energy.
Stardust alerts his master that another suitable world has been found.
Pull back to show whole planet, and Stardust as a white streak that falls toward the golden orb of Galador like a comet.
Groups of people looking into the sky and pointing.
Several hours later: From all over Galador, reports of strange lights in the sky come flooding in.
Rom is sitting at the end of a long table, at which sit his many attendants, scientists, and advisors.
The brightest minds on Galador convene to discuss how to best deal with this strange new threat.
VARIOUS ADVISORS SPEAK: …like a white flame.
It destroyed a Watcher lookout post!
…perhaps the Wraiths have returned.
Close-up of Rom, raising his hand for silence.
ROM: Enough. I will have order in these proceedings. Vorex, have we attempted to communicate with the…phenomena?
Close-up of Vorex.
VOREX: Yes, Rom. All attempts to contact the entity have been met with violence.
A dark-haired man sitting across from Vorex.
TELDAR: Liege, the people are scared. They don’t know what to think. What should we tell them?
Shot from other end of the table, facing down the length of it to Rom. Every head is turned toward him.
ROM: Tell them not to panic. Remain indoors until further notice. That is all.
Stardust lands in a central square near the palace, people running away from him. He points to the sky.
STARDUST: behold, people of Galador. Your doom approaches.
Every head turns to the sky, where a large shape enters the atmosphere. It is a giant sphere, the size of a small moon. The sky turns dark.
The worldship of Galactus!
Close-up of the sphere, where we see a door open in the side, and a dark shape emerge, casting a shadow covering miles of buildings.
Galactus emerges, standing on a platform extended from his worldship. Pieces of impossibly huge and intricate machinery hover in the air around him, enveloped in energy.
GALACTUS: I hunger!
Shot from overhead and just behind Galactus. We see from his point of view as the people of Galador run and scurry like ants.
GALACTUS: (thinking) This world is rich with life energies. Unfortunately for its inhabitants, but they are no concern of mine. I shall feast like never before.
We pull back. Galactus’s hands are outstretched, glowing with the power cosmic as he assembles the machine he uses to suck planets dry. Tiny dots of people are running for their lives far below.
GALACTUS: (thinking) They will flee their world or die. The choice is theirs.
Unbeknownst to Galactus, a third option is in the offing.
Back in the palace, we see Rom and Brandy, huddled together, watching the scene
outside their window fearfully.
BRANDY: What is that thing?
ROM: Something I had hoped existed only in legend. Something I learned about from my days as a spaceknight. Galactus, destroyer of Worlds.
BRANDY: What are we going to do?
We see Rom walking away from Brandy.
ROM: Something I should have done long ago.
BRANDY: No, Husband. You can’t.
Overhead view. Rom is entering a long, dimly lit corridor, with Brandy close behind. There are clusters of barely discernable machinery cluttering each wall.
ROM: I have to. There is no other choice.
We see Rom and Brandy from behind. In front of them is a gleaming metal figure of Rom in his Spaceknight form, standing in front of a bulky machine.
BRANDY: No. You gave up all that you are to save this planet once, and almost lost it. I won’t watch you do it again!
ROM: No one is asking you to.
Above and behind Rom as he pulls a sheet from a large console.
ROM: Improvements will have to be made, of course. I just hope this equipment still works.
The long dormant machines hum to life.
Looking at Brandy’s face, washed in golden light. Her mouth is open, her eyes wide.
BRANDY: Please, Rom, no. Not again.
SPLASH PANEL 1
We pull back behind Brandy, Rom stepping into the large blocky machine, which has split down the middle and spread open, golden light pouring out of it. Rom is naked now, his clothes piled on the floor. But he is profile is black, shadowed by the enormous glow of light pouring out of the machine, Kirby dots coalescing around the machine’s opening.
ROM: What I do, Brandy Clark, I do for the good of Galador.
Forgotten for decades, the mighty machines of Galador hum to life once more, their single purpose to transform the planet’s bravest warriors into living weapons!
We’re looking down from above, as Stardust hovers over Galactus as he finishes his energy-siphon.
GALACTUS: You have done well, Stardust. The energies of this planet are like nothing I have yet encountered.
STARDUST: Thank you, Master. I live only to serve.
A beam of energy strikes Stardust, sending him spinning.
Stardust recovers, floating prone in the air, white trails of smoke or residual energy come off of him.
STARDUST: Who dares attack a herald of Galactus?!
Full body shot of Rom Spaceknight, hovering in the air, his right arm outstretched, the hand flat and shimmering with yellow energy. His hand coverings have fingers now, no more mittens.
ROM: I, Rom Spaceknight.
We pull back to see Galactus, Stardust and Rom, facing off in a semicircle. Galactus is turning a knob on his energy-siphon.
GALACTUS: So, the stories of the fabled Spaceknights are true. This must be your world.
ROM: It is. I command you to leave it at once.
GALACTUS: This planet has energies I require to function. I mean you or your people no harm, but this world must die so that I continue to live. Leave your world at once, or die with it.
Front shot of Rom, his arms at his sides.
ROM: I know who you are, Galactus. I don’t wish to fight you, but I will do whatever is necessary to protect Galador and its people.
(Art by Simon Oleny)
We see over Rom’s shoulder looking up at Galactus, as missiles zoom toward him from multiple sources. Some of them strike, hitting the worldship, the energy-siphon, and Galactus himself, as blossoms of fire and smoke erupt at each impact point.
The planetary defenses of Galador go into action.
GALACTUS: Very well. But I warned you what happens next…you die!
Back inside the Hall of the Spaceknights, we see Brandy Clark sitting at the console, her head down on it, crying.
Inside she can hear the concussions of missile blasts, and the drone of the palace’s warning system. Outside, she knows a fierce battle is taking place.
Above the city, Galactus makes adjustments to his machine, oblivious to the missiles and laser fire striking his massive body. Stardust destroys several Galadorian fighter ships as they stream towards him, while Rom is blasting at Galactus with all his newfound might.
The Galadorian military, spurred by the sight of their leader, press the attack.
Close-up of Rom as he flies toward Galactus, yellow energy beams erupting from both hands.
ROM: (thinking) This new spaceknight body is amazing. My dematerializer is built into my armor. I just hope it’s enough.
And in their midst, a new, improved Rom Spaceknight, once again defending Galador and its people.
Back in the Hall of the Spaceknights, Brandy looks up as we see a flash of light from behind her. Tears are streaming down her face.
BRANDY: What? Who’s there?
Brandy turns to see a large being stepping from a circle of light floating in midair.
BRANDY: Who are you? Guards!
THANOS: Fear not, Brandy Clark of Earth. I am Thanos of Titan.
Wide shot of the chamber. Brandy and Thanos face each other. The circle of light is fading away behind Thanos.
BRANDY: Titan? As in the moon of Saturn?
THANOS: Smart girl. I came to offer you a way out of your present predicament.
BRANDY: What do you want in return?
THANOS: Give me the machinery that transformed your husband into the greatest of all the Spaceknights, and I will expunge the planet-eater from your world forever.
TO BE CONTINUED!
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