This is the as-yet-unfinished, still-in-progress, no more hyphens needed next issue of my take on Spider-Man. See previous posts for more details.
AMAZING SPIDER-MAN Issue #551
Spider-Man fighting the Halloween Gang…We’re on the street of NYC where portions of the Daily Bugle’s sign crashed at end of last ish.
The Halloween Gang is still twisted and hurt per last issue — but that hasn’t slowed them down any.
In the BG are MJ and Aunt Anna.
SFX: THWIP! THWIP!
(clearly, Spidey’s using his webbing – and his good ol’ web shooters, as established last ish)
THREE INSETS at bottom of page:
NOTE TO COLORIST: This is a flashback.
SHOT of a partially dug grave
Shot of a shovel digging further into the grave
Shot of fully dug grave, someone jumping into it…we can only discern that it’s a small, brunette man, perhaps holding a stick or something. His back is to us, and he’s in motion (jumping in).
(NOTE TO SELF: NEED AN UPDATE ON THE GENUS CREATURE WHO WAS NEARBY)
(1) Same shot of the grave
(2) Same shot, only an axe has been swung up.
(3) The axe has been swung down.
Axe going up and down in these panels…with the “SCHUKK!” repeating every time the axe is down.
Inside the grave, we see our old friend Ernest T. Wretched, smiling gravely. (sorry)
(9) Over the shoulder of Wretched, we see he’s looking into the now-opened casket of Harry Osborn. The corpse looks just hours old.
SFX WRETCHED: HEH-HEH…HEEHEEHEE!
1/ CAPTION: Persistence can grind an iron beam down into a needle.
(1) Spider-Man’s tackled from behind by their muscleman, Blue Eclipse.
2/ SPIDER-MAN (thought): Okay. Getting nowhere fast. Can’t maneuver. And too many people…
(2) As Spidey webs Blue and kicks Treat, Harvest slices at Spidey’s leg w/his scythe.
3/ SPIDER-MAN: AWWFGHH!
(3) Although Spidey’s grabbed hold of Harvest’s scythe, we see his leg’s got a big gash in it. Treat approaches fast, a fist pulled back ready for a punch…
4/ SPIDER-MAN (TO TREAT): If you’re going for the #1 Ugly Prize — you win, pussycat!
His spider-sense s/b indicated here.
(4) Treat gets close to Spider-Man and has swung a fist, but Spidey’s caught it.
5/ SPIDER-MAN (THOUGHT): Did I just call him “pussycat”?
(5) Close on: Spidey’s gloved hand around Treat’s fist…we can see discoloring around the glove.
(6) Shreds of the glove are flittering to the ground – the fabric is “dying” before our eyes. Spidey’s eyes wide here.
6/ SPIDER-MAN (O.S.?): What the– ?!
(7) Spidey’s flipped and landed on Treat’s back as the others close in again. Spidey’s still holding the scythe.
(1) Spider-man’s looking at his hand. The glove has a hole in it the shape of Treat’s fist, and his skin is raw – several layers of skin have been eaten away. We can see the web shooter on his hand too. It’s damaged and discolored (ARTIST/COLORIST: is it rusty or eaten away a little?).
7/ SPIDER-MAN: Okay…several expletives occur to me just now.
In quick succession, Spider-Man flips off of Treat and ducks further attacks. Spidey-sense NOT tingling at this point.
8/ SPIDER-MAN: I Just got those web shooters back!…
9/ SPIDER-MAN: …and you gotta go and ruin ’em?!
(5) Trick flies at Spidey on his glider…
10/ SPIDER-MAN (THOUGHT): Great. This one’s back on his—
(6) Blue gets Spidey in a full nelson as Trick comes in fast.
11/ SPIDER-MAN: *SIGH!*…Still haven’t had time to recover fully from that experiment by the crazy doctor dude…*
12/ CAPTION: *see last ish!
(1) Trick flies on, leaving some kind of black sack over Spidey’s head.
(2) sack on his head, Spidey flips Blue over him.
(3) Spidey spins around, pulling off the sack, finding himself face-to-face with Eve.
1/ SPIDER-MAN: Uh-oh.
(4) He webs up her face-mask.
(5) Close on Spidey.
2/ SPIDER-MAN (THOUGHT): Woh. Suddenly dizzy…wh—the black sack! Did something to my equilib—
(1) Eve holding her mask w/both hands, has swung it at Spidey’s face—hitting him hard.
(2) Spider-Man’s down.
3/ O.S.: SPIDER-MAN!!
4/ SPIDER-MAN (THOUGHT): M…J?…I…Can’t…can’t…
(4) Blackness opening up…
(5) Blackness still opening up…
SFX: KSSH! KSSH! FKK-OOOM!! FKK-OOOM!
(6) Blackness still opening up now forming the shape of Spidey’s eyes. We can see, in squiggles and/or blurriness, the city coming into view. Some kind of battle going on around Spider-Man.
(1) ½ or ⅓ Page: Over-lay of Spider-Man’s eyes, open as they normally are on his mask. Behind them (as in, In Front of Spider-Man) is the big, scary, grinning face of…
1/ TERROR GOBLIN*: ‘Bout time you woke up, Pete. Hehuh-eh. We gotta talk!
2/CAPTION: When all is over and you march for home The spoils of war are easily disposed of: Standards, weapons of combat, helmets, drums… The spoils of love present a different case.
– paraphrased from Robert Graves’ “Spoils”
*Intro’d last ish!
(2) Shot of Goblin yelling at Spider-Man.
Goblin’s glider circles around them.
3/ TERROR GOBLIN: Stand up, Spider-Man!
(3) Long shot of the street:
Police on one end, in riot gear, guns aimed; S.H.I.E.L.D. floating above. Behind Spider-Man, the crowd is being held hostage, the Halloween Gang standing guard (or perhaps being a little more threatening to some of those in the crowd – you know, Harvest has his scythe at the neck of two, Blue holds two or three up against a wall, etc.).
MJ and Anna are not seen.
4/ SPIDER-MAN: W—What do you want? What’s happened here?
1/ TERROR GOBLIN: It’s a stand-off I’m afraid. Their tear gas and their guns have only put the crowd at risk.
2/ SPIDER-MAN: Wh– Who are you?!
3/ TERROR GOBLIN: Oh, Pete. Come on, surely you recognize my voice.
4/ SPIDER-MAN: No, I…No! Is it…H– …Harry?
(4) Spider-Man’s collapsed.
5/ TERROR GOBLIN (small): Good ol’ Pete.
6/ TERROR GOBLIN: Oh, don’t fall apart on me now, Peter Parker!
7/ S.H.I.E.L.D. HELICARRIER (ELECTRIC): YOU HAVE ONE MORE MINUTE TO COMPLY. S.H.I.E.L.D. WILL NOT BARGAIN WITH TERRORISTS!
Spidey on ground, groggy.
8/ SPIDER-MAN: Wh– what’s going on?!
9/ TERROR GOBLIN: My timing was pretty bad, Pete. See, I’d like to destroy the city’s crime world, take it over, kill you, and also get Liz and little Normy to come with me. Nothing’s ever as easy as it seems.
10/ TERROR GOBLIN: And who knew S.H.I.E.L.D.’s HQ was hovering just downtown? Guess I need to work on my re-con.
11/ SPIDER-MAN: What…how– What are you–? How are you here? I– I don’t understand this!
(7) Spidey looking over the held-hostage crowd.
12/ SPIDER-MAN: MJ was here…with Anna. Where is she?! Where are they?
(8) Spidey’ grabbed Goblin by the shirt, holding him up.
13/ SPIDER-MAN: WHERE ARE THEY, HARRY?!
(9) Close on Terror Goblin, grinning.
14/ TERROR GOBLIN (small): Dead.
NOTE TO COLORIST: This is a flashback.
(1) EST. SHOT: JFK AIRPORT
(2) At a ticket counter we see Wretched looking…normal, offering his I.D.
1/ WRETCHED: And what is it I must do once I’ve arrived at Burgas to retrieve my…parcel in the quickest way possible?
2/ AIRLINE EMPLOYEE: Well, sir, based on the information on the computer, it requires more storage than is available on this flight. It’s going out on a separate plane approximately two hours behind us. Pick-up information should be available at an information desk when you land.
3/ WRETCHED (small): #%!!**grumble**#!$!
(3) Early dawn, Wretched drives a European truck of some sort – a beat-up Mercedes or truck what-have-you – Burgass airport in the background…
(4) Now he’s unloading the “parcel” – the box which contains Harry – onto a rickety gurney.
(5) He’s pushing the gurney, with all his might, toward a beat-up old warehouse – doors to which are wide open.
Panels (1-3) Wretched has pushed a body we can’t quite make out from a table.
He then lowers Harry’s body onto an intricate table of sorts…it’s got tubes and wires and electrodes on its surface…there’re 4 IV bags nearby, full of liquids of varying colors. If there’s room, he’s hooked Harry’s body up to many of these tubes and IVs and so on.
Artist note: let’s NOT make this look too Dr. Frankenstein-ish. A different style to it would be awesome.
(4) Sweaty and exhausted, Wretched exits the room.
(5) The camera pulls out to reveal the body Wretched had pushed fell onto a pile of other bodies – some of which should be long-dead (and uninteresting) Marvel heroes or villains (like, say, D-Man. Is he dead?).
In other words, Wretched’s been scrounging around the Marvel U for quite some time.
“And cradles rock us nearer to the tomb.
Our birth is nothing but our death begun.”
– Edward Young
NOTE TO COLORIST: This is a flashback.
(1) Spider-Man’s removed his mask…Peter’s clearly panic-stricken by the news of MJ and May’s death.
1/ PETER: Tell me you’re joking, Harry.
2/ S.H.I.E.L.D. HELICARRIER (ELECTRIC): YOU HAVE 30 SECONDS TO COMPLY WITH OUR ORDERS. WE DO NOT BARGAIN WITH TERRORISTS!
(2) Terror Goblin (TG) looking terribly dramatic….
3/ TG: Oh, Peter…I much prefer my new appellation. Terror Goblin!
4/ TG: No longer green with envy. No longer merely a Halloween cliché – although my friends are a gaggle of ’em! It’s a new age of Goblin for dear old Spider-Man.
(3) Close on Peter, red-faced with anger and hurt.
5/ TG (CONT’D): … And woe to you, ’tis a sad loss. Your poor family…
6/ TG: Ah! But never fear, Pete ol’ pal! There shall be a silver lining to that cloud of gray…See, they’re just suffering from the same malady as I – only their best friend didn’t kill them first. I skipped right to the serum…
(5) Angle on TG and Eve.
7/ TG: Hallow’s Eve! Show my friend…his family!
(1) Hallow’s Eve has stoically moved on her flying whatsit (see ish 450) toward a large ground-floor window – it’s tinted.
(2) We see a portion of her flying apparatus scraping along the window – shattering it.
(3) The windows shards fall aside, revealing two people…
(4) Larger shot, close on Anna and MJ… they’re huddled together, fearful. They look rotted, deformed – UNDEAD!
(5) TG: Ta-da!
1/ S.H.I.E.L.D. HELICARRIER (ELECTRIC): YOU HAVE 10 SECONDS TO COMPLY.
(6) Peter enraged…
2/ PETER (THOUGHT): Don’t do what you always do, Pete. Don’t. He’s goading you. Anna & MJ will be OK. They’ve got to be.
(7) Peter’s pulling on his Spider-Man mask.
3/ PETER (THOUGHT): If you attack with rage, he gets the upper hand. Don’t do it. You’re a brainiac, use your brain…and use the seconds S.H.I.E.L.D.’s given him!
4/ PETER: Harry– Goblin. Can science really do what it looks like has been done here?
NOTE TO COLORIST: This is a flashback.
Panels (1-3) Close on an EEG monitor (measuring brain function)…by panel 3, we see movement, showing life.
(4-6) (with insets)
Panel 4: We see some sort of metallic clips attached to four or five points on Harry’s face.
INSET 1: a finger pressing a button
Panel 5: The face has changed to the TerrorGoblin visage, electricity coming from the clips
INSET 2: the finger pressing the button again
Panel 6: it’s Harry’s face again – electricity coming from the clips again
7-9. POV through a video camera. Harry in BG. We see “REC” in an upper corner in red.
1/ Wretched: I have, yes, achieved brain activity — in a super. This “villain.” (So subjective.) I’ve detected a foreign agent…in his blood stream. This is probably what has allowed my experiment to finally work…finally!
2/ Wretched: Electric stimuli tends to cause upset in the tissue – as if several epidermal layers are dying then speedily rebuilding. I’m not certain I fully understand this tangential effect of my work as yet…if the skin is dead, should it not remain such?
3/ Wretched: What I do know: the DNA from this new terrifying creature can be replicated ad infinitum. And further experiments may, nay shall, yield new, oh-so-unusual subjects, especially as I continue to mix and match the myriad DNA sequences previously explored.
Back at the old lab of Doc Wretched…
(1) Harry stirs.
(2) He begins to rise…his face turning back to the horror seen on the previous page…
(3) Rest of page: gleeful Dr. Wretched, Harry arising, his hand grasping something nearby, crushing the object.
1/ WRETCHED: YES, OH TERRIFIC, TERRIBLE EXPERIMENT! YOU’VE ARRIVED! INDEED YOU HAVE ARRiiiiiiiiiiiiVED!!!
Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.
Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.
Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.
– St. Matthew, Verse 4, King James Bible
Spider-Man and Terror Goblin.
3/ TG: We’re back to being a bit formal there, are we, Pete?
(2) TG looking up at the S.H.I.E.L.D. – agents now flying off the ship and heading toward them.
4/ TG: Must admit – I’m appreciative. Can’t let my secret identity out on the world! That would be foolish! Wouldn’t it…Peter?
TG: What torture it would be to have to wonder about your loved ones day in and day out. Never truly knowing if they’re safe, never knowing if little Harry will even remember me or if Liz has moved on with life or thinks of me each day or anytime a favorite movie comes on the TV.
5/ Spider-Man (thought): He’s ranting. He is crazy. And not only does he not seem certain if the world’s seen my face…he seems to barely have a grip on reality…and that’s my in!
6/ Spider-Man: Can it be undone, Goblin? Whatever that’s been done to you and this Halloween Gang of yours…can it be reversed?…Or…will Liz and Normy over there have to remain forever disappointed in you?
(4) CLOSE on TG – shock.
(5) Terror Goblin spins.
7/ TG: WHA–?!
(6) Spidey talking to TG – a crowd of mixed faces in BG…it IS possible Liz and Normy are there…but of course they are not.
8/ SPIDER-MAN: You do see them, don’t you, Terror Goblin? Liz, Normy, watching from the crowd – judging their life based on the things you do….
(7) Spidey’s closer to TG now….
9/ TG: I– I don’t see them, Spider-Man. Are you–
10/ SPIDER-MAN: We have to protect our families, Terror Goblin, this is why we have the power we have…why we do the crazy things we do. C’mon, Goblin– look at their faces! Look them in the eyes!…
11/ SPIDER-MAN (connected): …Tell the faces of innocent Liz and jubilant little Normy how you’re going to get out of this!…How you’re doing this for them!…How you and that Halloween Gang are going to kill people…just! For! Them!
½ page splash: focusing on Goblin, perhaps with ghost images to show he’s spinning (?), looking at the crowd which now ALL look like different versions of Liz (from past years of Spider-Man) and little Normy at various young ages….
1/ TERROR GOBLIN: IT’S FOR YOU, LIZ!! NORMY! FOR YOU!!
(2) TG pulls two silver batons from beneath his tunic.
(3) Presses a button on each w/his thumbs, arming them.
(4) Spidey’s eyes go wide!
(5) TG tosses the silver batons toward the crowd
2/ TG: YES!
(6) Spider-Man jumps toward the flying sticks and the crowd, one (or both?) hand(s) outstretched, to shoot his webbing.
3/ SPIDEY: NOOOO!
Panels (1-3) Spidey has caught each silver stick-bomb on a web line, pulled them away from the crowd (which no longer looks like Liz and Li’l Normy but actually looks like a fearing crowd), and tossed them in the direction of the Terror Goblin.
(4) Larger Panel: Foreground: The explosion knocks Terror Goblin back, tearing his clothes.
Mid or BG: Spidey’s webbed a large shield to cover himself and the crowd from the explosion.
(1) S.H.I.E.L.D. agents have moved in as Terror Goblin attempts to recover from the explosion.
(2) in BG several S.H.I.E.L.D. agents are using heavy weaponry to take down some of the Halloween Gang; in FG Spidey’s approaching Harry…who looks, mostly, like Harry again.
(3) in BG, Trick and Hallow’s eve are escaping into the sky; a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent is pointing toward them, as if giving others the order to pursue.
(4) Spidey has reached his hand down to Harry to help him up.
1/ SPIDER-MAN: Harry. Let’s go.
In BG: S.H.I.E.L.D. agents move out after Trick and Eve.
(5) S.H.I.E.L.D. agents have approached.
2/ AGENT: We’ll take him in, Spider-Man.
3/ Spider-Man: Do it quickly…before I lose control.
(6) The S.H.I.E.L.D. agents are leading Terror Goblin away.
(1) Sitting by lantern light, with an old-fashioned fountain pen, Doc Wretched is writing in a journal.
(2) CLOSE ON the page: he’s finishing the following sentence: A success, and a monster, I had truly become Dr. Frankenstein…and I do as my monster pleases.
(3) Wretched, closing the book, looking over his shoulder:
WRETCHED: Now, what shall we do with you?!
(4) ANGLE ON:
Flash Thompson, in a cage