THE ENIGMA VARIATIONS – EXCERPT

THIS IS MY ATTEMPT AT AN ACTION SEQUENCE, WHICH I HAVE NEVER TRIED BEFORE. I TRIED TO KEEP THE IMAGE OF ALL “DIE HARD “, “TERMINATOR” AND “BOURNE” MOVIES IN MY MIND AS I WAS WRITING THIS, I SEEM TO CUE BETTER OFF MOVIES THAN COMIC BOOKS…WEIRD, HUH?

THE SERIES PROPOSAL GOES AS FOLLOWS:

THE ENIGMA VARIATIONS

A new virus, known as the Enigma Variation has been created that gives people “super” powers. The thing is, is that it is transmitted sexually.

It escapes from a top-secret government lab (as these things do) in the heart of England. It was probably carried out, accidentally, by one of the operatives there. Possibly more than one as the guy is a bit of a Casanova and has probably infected more than one female.

We join the story a couple of years after the virus has moved into the general population. Enigma Variations (or just “Enigmas” and in some cases “Variations”) are sprouting all over the place and already they have banded into groups or pairs. Or, just act on their own. One group is semi-supported by the British government and called The Prelude. These are thought to include some of what are thought of as the first “victims” of the virus.

We meet HAMMERJACK in the first story as he is dragged into a fight between THE PRELUDE and FRONT 77, JACK saves SUNSTRIKE from BLACK ALICE.

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PAGE 1:

A 4 panel page. Three along the top of the page and one big fuck off panel taking up the bottom half of the page. This could also be full page with the three first panels dropped into the top of the page.

PANEL 1: We have a bird-eye view of a big dark haired guy working away with his jack hammer on a bit of road-works, the area is cordoned off and he’s in his donkey jacket, wearing boots and jeans with little turn-ups, he’s a big guy as it is. He’s got on ear protectors, there are a couple of other construction workers in the top edge of the panel.

SFX:

DRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR

SFX:

WHEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE

PANEL2: We’re a little closer now, in the bottom half of the panel we can see a gloved hand and the ends of curled long blond hair and a bit of forehead with the top half of a black domino mask. The other workers have seen what’s going to happen as they are looking up their moths round ohs of shock and their eyes wide in terror. The guy on the jack hammer is oblivious to all this. He’s still working away. Now we can see the full head of the woman (SUNSTRIKE) her eyes closed in pain, a little blood streaming from the left hand side of her mouth her teeth clenched, hair streaming upwards, her arms flung back out above her head, she’s falling at almost mach velocity.

SFX:

SWOOOOOOOOOSSSHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH

PANEL 3: This is a little closer still, we cans see the feet and legs of the other workers as they’re scattering and running to get out of the way, the man on the jackhammer has finally noticed that something is amiss and has looked up were close enough to see his shocked face, his mouth open and he’s letting go of the jack hammer so it’s beginning to fall, he’s halfway in a pool of shadow caused by the falling woman.

PANEL 4: This is a side on long shot of the impact as the woman has hit the ground and there’s a massive fireball, cars and vans go flying every-which-way. The glass of buildings close to the impact zone are smashed and there’s flying glass and concrete, tarmac, cars coming down the street that are far enough away from the blast have crashed into each other on both sides of the blast. We see the dark silhouette of the man who was on the jack hammer being flung away.

SFX:

FWOOOOOOOSHHH!

CRASH!

KERRRUMPH!!!

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PAGE 2:

6 PANELS three tiers of two. This is a survey of the damaged area and closing in of the fallen SUNSTRIKE.

PANEL 1: Mid- range shot side on of the crater caused by the impact of SUNSTRIKE. Surrounded by debris and smoke, there’s a geyser of water from a ruptured water main (there’s always a geyser of water, it could be in the middle of the desert and there would be a geyser of water from a ruptured water main). We can see some injured people in the background flung against the street furniture and buildings. It would be nice to have one of the buildings be a Barclays Bank, another a STARBUCKS with its façade destroyed, the Barclays has a broken cash-point, money spewing out.

PANEL 2: The same scene but moving closer into the crater, we see a gloved hand and costumed arm (costume torn of course) emerging from the crater. There’s rubble falling from the rim of the crater, we can see utility cables, gas pipes, water pipes, melted tarmac and smoke rising from the hole.

PANEL 3: CLOSE up on the side of the crater, SUNSTRIKE is half emerged from the hole her hair disheveled, her domino mask askance, blood pouring from her nose, she’s hauling herself out of the crater and she’s about halfway out, her costume is seriously torn a hint of bare breast and torso. There’s the sound of emergency vehicle sirens.

SFX:

WEE WOO WEE WOO

PANEL 4: We cut to an up shot into the sun, from a long way off we can see the silhouette of 4 individuals, two are being carried by the other two.

PANEL 5: A ground level close up. SUNSTRIKE is almost out of the hole. She’s got her left leg up and over the rim of the crater and she really isn’t in good shape. We can see the boots and lower legs of the four members of FRONT 77, just a little off the ground as they come in to land.

PANEL 6: A close up of the fallen SUNSTRIKE as she is surrounded by the copse of legs that is FRONT 77 she looks really beaten and is half hanging into the crater still.

—————————————————————————————————————————————————-

PAGE 3: This is also a 4 panel page, but reversed from page 1. The big half page panel is on the top half and three smaller panels dropped into the bottom half of the page.

Here’s a character description of FRONT 77:

ÜBER-SKIN: Skinheaded bully-boy who at first seems to be combat leader on the group’s operations. He has level-7 strength and bulletproof skin, his IQ matches his boot-size.

THE GRYPHON: The real tactical leader of Front 77. His powers seem to be of limited flight, but he also seems to have some mental powers beyond his elevated intelligence.

RUDE GIRL: Vicious as she is beautiful, Rude Girl really has aspirations of being the mother of the new master race. She has martial arts training and enhanced athletic abilities. She favours edged weapons and chains when getting down and dirty in the middle of a scrap.

BLACK ALICE:  A woman who has acquired black light powers, she can bend it and make it do whatever she wants. There may be suspicions that the virus has unlocked latent psychic powers akin to magic.

PANEL 1: A close up that fills this half of the page. Here we have the FRONT 77 in a semicircle in all their malevolent glory. They are from left to right:

ÜBER- SKIN, RUDE GIRL, THE GRYPHON and BLACK ALICE.

(if these could be captioned to identify them)

They are slightly silhouetted against the sky as we look up on them we see them from the knees up. ÜBER-SKIN: Is in a stylized boot-boy uniform, t-shirt with the Blood and Glory stylized swastika on it, braces and skinny jeans, with a pair of Doc Martens as Kirby would’ve designed them. RUDE GIRL: is dressed also in Kirby designed DMs, she has on skintight leggings and a little micro skirt, she has a leather jacket filled with buckles and belts. She’s of slight, delicate build but she has a skinhead girl haircut and an evil smile. GRYPHON: He’s a sturdy chap, big billowing cape and dark mask, he’s in a black leotard type costume with big jack-boots, with a stern Batman-like ( or maybe Judge Dredd like) jaw line. BLACK ALICE: We can see her face, she has long dark hair and long flowing robes, everything is dark about her, there is a miasma of dark surrounding her personal space.

BLACK ALICE:

Hello sweetie pie.

PANEL 2:

From a distance we can see an overturned car as it’s being heaved upward by something.

SFX:

Scritch Scratch

PANEL 3: The same shot a little closer, the car is definitely being heaved up.

SFX:

Chink a lunk.

PANEL 4: Draw back again to the distance of PANEL 2. this is the SFX with chunks of car exploding out from the middle.

SFX:

BOOM!!

—————————————————————————————————————————————————

PAGE 4:

A 4 PANEL page two top, two bottom. On this page HAMMERJACK enters the fray and he’s pretty pissed off. Obviously this is the construction worker from earlier, the one on the jack hammer (duh!). He’s dressed in a highly stylized donkey jacket, let’s but his uniform in blues, blacks and greys. His hair is the familiar dark mop, but he has grown to twice the size that he is in his civilian guise, he is wearing fuck off big boots and tight blue trousers with white “turnups” at the bottom. His jacket is black with blue details, the back and shoulder patch should be in blue, maybe a cerulean blue. He has no headgear, but maybe a pair of goggles, based on safety goggles almost as a visor, might look cool.

PANEL 1: HAMMERJACK is pretty pissed off. This is a splash panel so he fills all of it, almost bursting the panel borders, his is a battle stance (almost Hulk-like) with two legs spread apart and his arms bunched and fists clenched, he’s shouting, around him the debris of the car.

HAMMERJACK: (shouting)

WHO THE $#@* DROPPED A CAR ON ME?!!!

PANEL 2: This is a close up on three of FRONT 77 turned towards where HAMMERJACK is, we see them from mid thigh up (GRYPHON, ÜBER-SKIN and RUDE GIRL I think) an interesting angle would be looking slightly up, as if we are standing in a hole or small dip.

RUDE GIRL:

Oh $&%# It’s HAMMERJACK!

PANEL 3: HAMMERJACK starts running towards the offenders, his arms pumping building up steam (after all they are his main weapon). We are looking head on and from slightly on the left, his mouth is open in a primal scream as he’s running, we can see the facades of the office buildings in the background.

HAMMERJACK:

IT HAD TO BE YOU NEO-NAZI PINHEADS, DIDN’T IT!

SFX:

RRRRRAAAAAAAAAHHHHHRRRRRRRR

PANEL 4: This panel is mid range and we are looking from behind HAMMERJACK as he bowls into FRONT 77 punching away, they all go flying back into the hole or to its side, but they go flying in all directions. Slightly to the right and a little back of the crater we see SUNSTRIKE holding her right arm under her breast as if she may have a broken rib, her left harm hanging down by her side and her shoulders slightly hunched, the defeated soldier pose.

SFX:

OOOOOHHHH

SFX:

AAARGH

SFX:

KA-THOOOOMMM!!!

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PAGE 5:

4 PANEL page. These are four long panels running the width of the page in slices radiating down the page like a fan.

PANEL 1:  This panel is ÜBER-SKIN flying at HAMMERJACK we are looking from behind HAMMERJACK’S shoulder as ÜBER-SKIN is impacting with him.

SFX:

GAAAHHHHH!!

PANEL 2: We are looking down from above, ÜBER-SKIN  is kneeling on HAMMERJACK’S chest as he’s pounding him, beneath HAMMERJACK we can see radiating cracks from the impact of           ÜBER-SKIN hitting him.

ÜBER-SKIN:

TAKE THAT YOU MONGREL-LOVING SCUM!

PANEL 3: this is from side on, ÜBER-SKIN is pounding on HAMMERJACK his hate-filled expression twisted and contorted. As  a beam of bright light hits him from behind.

SFX:

KWABOOOOOM

PANEL 4:  A longish shot of SUNSTRIKE who has just fired the shot that has knocked ÜBER-SKIN from HAMMERJACK, her hands together arms stretched out in front, still smoking from the blast she just let off, behind her we can see RUDE GIRL and GRYPHON running towards the fray.

SUNSTRIKE:

Take that you pustulating JAM-RAG!

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PAGE 6:

A  6 PANEL page. One panel thin and the width of the page at the top. Three panels occupy the middle tier and the bottom is occupied with two panels..

PANEL 1: We have a longish range view as SUNSTRIKE , is picked up by an invisible force (this is coming from GRYPHON) and RUDE GIRL  is jumping in for the kill with her sword  to slice SUNSTRIKE. Far in the background we can see BLACK ALICE’S shadowy form floating in the air. The ground scattered with debris etc. In the background we can see the faint outlines of the business buildings.

GRYPHON:

We’ll have none of that young lady.  You Prelude have got to learn that it is we that shall prevail.

RUDE GIRL:

Gonna CUT you bitch!

SUNSTRIKE: (in obvious pain)

KISS MY A–*

PANEL 2:  SUNSTRIKE has been cut off because in this panel we see ÜBER-SKIN has been thrown by HAMMERJACK and he’s knocked down both RUDE GIRL and GRYPHON. His limp body has caromed into them knocking them out of the way before they could do any harm to SUNSTRIKE.

SFX:

WHACKOOOMMM!!!

PANEL 3: A shot of HAMMER JACK ( on left panel) and  SUNSTRIKE ( on right panel) we can see them full body, with a foreshortening SUNSTRIKE  closer to the “camera”, looking at each other.

HAMMERJACK:

Thought you could use a little help ‘STRIKE.

SUNSTRIKE:

Yeah…thanks. I’ll by you a pint after.

PANEL 4:  We are now looking from the same angle, but closer to SUNSTRIKE who is now twisted round toward the “camera”, she is looking up into the air off-panel, she’s partly in shadow from the object above and in front of her. There is a look of horror on her face. In the long perspective of the panel HAMMERJACK is knocked back again by ÜBER-SKIN. ÜBER-SKIN is pounding into his stomach, whilst HAMMERJACK is pounding on his back and shoulders in their aggressive embrace.

PANEL 5: this is a larger panel, three perspectives going from close up, to a little further way to in the mid-distance. CLOSE UP we are looking at BLACK ALICE floating in the air, we can see her back. Her right arm is extended and there is a ball of black light building up on her fisted hand which she’s aiming at HAMMERJACK and ÜBER-SKIN. Her left hand is extended a little as she has SUNSTRIKE in a noose of black light, strangling her. SUNSTRIKE is in the MID-CLOSE UP she is a few inches off the ground struggling with the noose of black light, both hands trying to free it from her neck. In the LONG perspective is HAMMERJACK  and ÜBER-SKIN still battling it out like the Hulk and the Thing, unaware of what is going to happen, behind them is a skyscraper/office block, the entrance and the first few floors that we can see.

SUNSTRIKE:

ACKK! ACKK!

PANEL 6:  long perspective, BLACK ALICE has let of her blast of black light it has shot out and both HAMMERJACK and ÜBER-SKIN have been blasted into the bottom of the office block which we can see has visibly begun to lean as it is crashing to the ground. The tableau is BLACK ALICE blasting the two men, whilst she is strangling SUNSTRIKE  in a noose of black light, RUDE GIRL  and THE GRYPHON  running into panel from the right, the background is all office blocks and skyscrapers the damage to the street furniture and buildings all round is extensive.

SFX:

KA-BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOMMMMMMMMMMMMMM!!!!!

END OF EXCERPT

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