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Iron Man: The Watchers of the Moon

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PAGE ONE (four panels)
Panel one takes up the top two-thirds of the page, with panels two to four cascading as tiles across the star scape of the bottom third.

PANEL ONE
Top two-thirds of page. A wide shot of THE MOON against a background of stars. The stars take up the whole page, with the remaining three panels as insets at the bottom.


Narration:
The Moon. Over the course of human history it's shaped our legends, our dreams. Our ancestors talked about the magic in its phases. Later, we told stories of the other, stranger peoples living in the sky and looking down on us.

Titles:
IRON MAN: THE WATCHERS OF THE MOON
Script and art by Steve Rogers

PANEL TWO
An instrument-laden SATELLITE hangs in space. Heavy contrast between light and shadow where the sun catches on its solar panels.


Narration:
We've studied it.

PANEL THREE
Long shot of the AMERICAN FLAG, held stiff by its wire. The one sign of life in the middle of all this airless rock. It seems tiny and fragile.


Narration:
Left our mark on its surface.

PANEL FOUR
The barren moonscape, with the EDGE OF A CRATER along the left side. There is almost no colour, and the the sunlight casts dark shadows along the cliffs. The horizon is slightly curved, and a CRESCENT EARTH hangs against stars.


Narration:
And flown home, finding nothing but lifeless rock. But....

PAGE TWO (four panels)
Page two is a reverse of page one, with smaller inset panels cascading across the top third, and panel four taking up the bottom two thirds, forming a splash page.

PANEL ONE
A middle-distance shot of one of the cliffs at the crater's edge. There is still no sign of life, just BARREN ROCK.


Narration:
...if we'd looked closer.

PANEL TWO
Closer still, the side of one of the CLIFFS, only a sliver of stars in the upper right corner. Half the panel in shadow, divided by the line of rock catching the sun. The shapes are raw and chaotic.

PANEL THREE
Closer still, we see ARTIFICIAL LINES hidden in the shadows, just the slightest gleam of light on an unnaturally straight edge.

PANEL FOUR
A close up of the shadowed area, now lit to reveal the square outline of a HATCH built into the rock. The hatch is pentagonal with a handle and a keypad on the top edge along the middle is several lines of ALIEN WRITING. A shadow from the cliffs obscures one corner.


Narration:
We would have found the truth in those old stories.

PAGE THREE (five panels)
Panel one taking up the top third of the page, panels one to four forming a grid below.

PANEL ONE
Interior moon: A wide, open-planned PENTAGONAL ROOM. Bright, clear white lighting shines from strips running up from the corners of the room to the peak of the ceiling. The floor is covered with banks of work stations reminiscent of NASA's MISSION CONTROL CENTER in Houston. OCTOPODE ALIENS stand at some stations, while others walk between them. The aliens have glistening purple-grey skin, which reflects light as though slightly slimy. The aliens balance on four squid-like tentacles, while using double pairs of tentacles emerging from the middle of their bodies to manipulated the controls. They have no heads, but a pair of eye stalks project from the top of their bodies.


Narration:
Deep below the surface live a race of creatures from beyond our galaxy.

PANEL TWO
Over the shoulder of one of the aliens: a display screen. On screen: a BBC NEWS BROADCAST, a female anchor's head. Caption: War Again.

PANEL THREE
Close up of another screen, with an alien tentacle manipulating the controls below it. On screen: a page of the INTERNET MESSAGE BOARD Out There.


Text on screen:
MrsMartian (user icon of green alien with lipstick): No way there's life on the moon! What would they eat?
Rocketman451 (user icon of a rocket ship): Don't be so such a Terrannormative idiot. They're ALIENS. They don't have to eat what we eat. Maybe they feed on radiation.
7thsigma (user icon of a bell curve): terrannormative isnt a word stop insulting people and go outside deal with the real world for a change you loser

PANEL FOUR
Two Aliens standing next to each other, gesturing with their tentacles. The have no mouths. One holds a tablet in its tentacle, while the other reaches for it.


Narration:
They've been watching us for centuries. Gathering Data. Waiting.

PANEL FIVE
An EMPTY CORRIDOR, clean and well-maintained, stretches into the distance. The hallway is also narrowly pentagonal; its sides angle up from the floor to meet at the ceiling. On either side, ROWS OF DOORWAYS, each protected by a FIELD OF ELECTRICITY made up of jagged blue lines like branches of lightening crossing each other.


Narration:
Even deeper still, below levels of living quarters, atmosphere plants, and data storage, are the cells.

PAGE FOUR (five panels)
Page divided diagonally between panels one and five, with panels two to four small squares on the border between them..

PANEL ONE
Cell interior as seen through the FORCEFIELD. A HUMAN MAN is CHAINED spread eagled against the back wall.


Narration:
They know they are right to fear their most recent prisoner.

PANEL TWO
Close up of man's a BARE ANKLE, encircled in the unyielding grip of an ALIEN MANACLE. It holds him so tight that the skin pinches against the edges.


Narration:
So they strip him of his armour

PANEL THREE
A WRIST equally ensnared. The arm is golden-skinned, and lightly sprinkled with dark hair. Show enough of the forearm to display MUSCLES that are well-defined without being bulky. This is the strong arm of a working man, entrapped and pulling against his chains.


Narration:
chain his limbs

PANEL FOUR
Close up of a COLLARED NECK. Just the edge of a strong, bearded jawline showing above the metal band. Blue and red lights line the collar, and a CHAIN leads off panel.


Narration:
and bind his nervous system with neural inhibitors

PANEL FIVE
AN ALIEN enters the CELL and approaches. It has no expression save for an evil cant to its eyestalks. Its tentacles carry an assortment of small boxes.


Narration:
But for all their questions...

PAGE FIVE (splash page)
TONY STARK chained to the wall. He's naked save for a red thong. His muscled limbs strain against his bonds, PERSPIRING SKIN GLISTENING in the reflected light of the force field. His determined expression shows no fear, his steel-blue eyes narrowed in the face of this unimaginable threat.


Narration:
Iron Man...

"Whatcha working on?"

Steve started, fingers flying across the keys of his laptop to save and close the document while simultaneously pulling up a half-finished game of Free Cell. "Nothing." He could feel his skin flushing right to the tips of his ears. It had to be Tony that walked in.

"So Captain America has a dirty secret."

"What? No!" Steve protested, well aware that it only made him sound more guilty.

He felt a hand on his shoulder as Tony leaned over him. "Sure you do. Wait until the press gets hold of it. 'Captain America Plays Computer Games While on Monitor Duty.' Imagine the scandal."

Steve rubbed the back of his neck, eyes fixed on the screen. "It's been a slow night. I just thought I..."

Tony laughed. "Relax, Cap. Everybody does it." Leaning closer in, he pointed to the second row of cards. "If you put your seven of hearts there, you can clear a space to move the queen of clubs off the ace."

"Gee, thanks." Steve said. He could still feel his heart pounding, the sensation not at all helped by the tickle of Tony's beard against his ear. "I don't know what I would do without you."

"Just trying to help." Tony straightened, pushing off against Steve's shoulder. "Hey, at least I didn't walk in on you watching porn."