The Darkness : A Blaze Of Glory

Darkness A Blaze Of Glory Comic Talk Talent hunt

Jeffzewanderer Par

Fin 2013 Top Cow a organisé sa seconde Talent Hunt pour permettre à des artistes et scénaristes d’être publiés pour la première fois. Pour les scénariste, l’exercice consistait à écrire un one-shot de 22 pages mettant en scène le porteur d’un des 13 artefacts (Witchblade, Darkness, Angelus…). Mais ce porteur ne devait pas être le porteur actuel (il pouvait s’agir d’un ancien ou futur porteur déjà connu, ou d’un personnage créé pour l’occasion) et l’histoire devait être narrée soit par Jackie Estacado soit par Sara Pezzini.

J’ai participé à ce concours. J’ai perdu. Je vous propose maintenant de découvrir le script que j’avais envoyé. N’hésitez pas à me faire part de vos critiques. Et s’il y a des artistes qui ont du temps libre et que ça inspire…

THE DARKNESS : A BLAZE OF GLORY

PAGE 1

Panel 1 :Night. Close-up of Jackie Estacado, taking a chair to sit at a table in a restaurant. There is a bottle of vodka on the table, and at least one empty glass (a shooter glass).

Jackie is wearing his trademark white suit and black shirt, a bit ruffled. He looks as though he’s talking to someone off-panel, sitting at the same table.

The restaurant itself is a small Russian place, not a dive but not too classy either, in Little Odessa in New York. We actually can’t see much of the place (there’s just been a huge fight there, it’s seriously damaged and littered with corpses, but the reader should have no idea at the time).

JACKIE : Damn, that’s thirsty work.

Panel 2 : Close-up on Jackie’s hands. He’s pouring himself a drink from the vodka bottle.

JACKIE : Don’t mind if I help myself, do you ?

Panel 3 : Extreme close-up of Jackie drinking his vodka. We basically see only the glass and his lips.

Panel 4 : Jackie puts down his glass.

JACKIE : Ha ! That’s better.

JACKIE : You know, what we’ve just been through here… It kinda reminds me of a story…

Panel 5 : Jackie leans forward, towards his unseen interlocutor.

JACKIE : Something the Darkness told me, from way back in the Middle-Ages…

PAGE 2

Panel 1 : ARNFRIED, a Darkness bearer from the Middle-Ages is standing with his huge sword drawn, atop a pile of corpses, surrounded by darklings of all shapes and sizes.

He’s a big guy, muscular, with long black hair and a beard. He’s wearing “Darkness armor”, something heavy, still looking a bit more metallic than organic (to get the “medieval/Heroic Fantasy” feel). It will have to be drawn several times (something to keep in mind when it comes to adding detail).

JACKIE (caption) : The Darkness had found this guy called Arnfried Schtauffen. Some warlord from what used to pass for Germany back then.

JACKIE (caption) : He was a real piece of work. A bastard’s bastard, and then some.

Panel 2 : Aerial view of a sprawling city amidst a thick forest : the DARKCITY. There are ramparts around the city, and a big castle towers over it. There is also a square at the center (that one is important, it’s where the action will take place later on). There’s only one road leading to the city. The city itself is very dark, it’s not actually made of the Darkness but it was created by using it.

JACKIE (caption) : After that rampaging and mass killing phase all bearers seem to go through, old Arnie decided to set up shop somewhere called the Schwarzwald. The Black Forest.

JACKIE (caption) : He used the Darkness to build a big city there, and captured people from all the towns and villages around to populate it.

Panel 3 : Throngs of soldiers in armor are throwing themselves at the ramparts of the Darkness city. Arnfried and his darklings are pushing them back, standing atop the walls. The death toll is tremendous, especially on the soldiers’ side.

JACKIE (caption) : Of course, that pissed the local lords off. Well, that and the looting.

JACKIE (caption) : Not that it did them much good, mind you.

Panel 4 : Arnfried, lounging on a scary looking throne inside his castle, with Darklings all around him.

JACKIE (caption) : So Arnie had his little kingdom, slowly getting bigger, and he was leading a happy, murderous life away from the rest of the world.

JACKIE (caption) : As a final “fuck you” to his enemies, he even allowed them to challenge his champion once a year, on midwinter’s day.

PAGE 3

Panel 1 : Late afternoon, on the outskirts of the Black Forest. ELLI is walking on the road, towards the reader. This is her establishing shot.

She’s a young woman, around 20 years old. Pretty but not “supermodel pretty”. Athletic build, rather slender. She has short red hair. And she’s wearing the EMBER STONE as a pendant around her neck.

She’s wearing practical clothes : a tunic, leather or buckskin pants, boots. She carries no weapon whatsoever, nor any bag.

Most importantly, her face is totally expressionless. She looks totally empty. Her eyes should not look determined or anything. Just kind of glazed over, like she doesn’t really care about anything, like nothing really matters to her, but not in a “blasé” kind of way. More like the look of someone who has lost all reason to live but is alive anyway.

JACKIE (caption) : And that’s when the girl came in…

Panel 2 : Establishing shot of the DARKLING CHAMPION, Arnfried’s champion, standing guard at the edge of the forest, in the shade of the trees, calmly waiting for all-comers. There are corpses at his mount’s feet, but it may not be necessary to show them just yet.

He’s a hulking monster, humanoid, armed with a huge battle axe. Monstrous demon-like face. His armor is actually scales.

He’s riding a huge darkling beast, roughly wolf-shaped, with a Darkness twist.

JACKIE (caption) : She didn’t look like much.

JACKIE (caption) : Not that it would have mattered to Arnie’s champion…

DARKLING CHAMPION : You’re here for the challenge little girl ?

Panel 3 : Close-up on Elli’s face. She’s still wearing the same empty expression.

NOTE : Elli will speak using three “voices”.

There’s her regular voice, the one she’s using unless otherwise noted. Use regular word balloons.

Then there’s her “fiery voice”, which she uses when the Ember Stone is basically talking through her. It should be made clear by using different word balloons, maybe flaming ones, at least colored in orange/red.

And there’s the “semi-fiery voice”, which is when the Ember Stone is talking through her but her “human” part is not totally submerged. It should be materialized by mixing regular balloons and “fiery” balloons. Maybe by coloring the balloon only partly.

ELLI : My name is Elli.

Panel 4 : Extreme close-up of the Darkling Champion’s face, with a predatory smile.

DARKLING CHAMPION : That’s a nice name…

Panel 5 : Zoom on corpses lying on the ground (several, but not too many, not a big pile), They’re knights defeated by the Champion. They’re badly mauled, dismembered, decapitated, etc…

DARKLING CHAMPION (caption) : They had nice names too.

PAGE 4

Panel 1 : Close-up on Elli, speaking to the Darkling Champion. The Ember Stone is glowing faintly.

ELLI : It says I must go to the dark city…

Panel 2 : The Darkling Champion, on his beast, charging suddenly at Elli, axe raised, screaming.

DARKLING CHAMPION : And I say you die little girl !

Panel 3 : Small insert of the Ember Stone suddenly glowing brightly.

Panel 4 : Aerial view of a gigantic ball of fire at the edge of the forest right where Elli and the Darkling are. It is partly hidden by the trees, but it’s so big it’s spilling over. Elli and the Darkling are of course impossible to see.

Panel 5 : In the foreground, lying on the scorched earth, is what’s left of the Darkling Champion, burnt and disintegrating. In the background, Elli is walking away with her back to us, going deeper into the forest, towards the DarkCity.

JACKIE (caption) : See ? It’s always the quiet ones you have to worry about.

PAGE 5

Panel 1 : Wide to very wide shot. Night has fallen. Elli walks through the massive city gates (they’re open), toward the reader.

The buildings in the city are mostly stone. The city is quite big. It has a sinister air to it, but not because of cliché stuff such as monster statues or anything. It looks like a regular medieval city only dirtier, grittier… Not decrepit but deeply rotten.

Only a few torches here and there light the streets, aside from the dim light coming from the buildings. Light is not very popular in this city, for obvious reasons.

It is populated by both humans and darklings of all shapes and sizes.

The darklings are clearly top of the food chain, but they’re not slave masters. They like to torment the humans for fun, but otherwise they live pretty much next to them but not with them.

The humans are like living ghosts. They are all infected by the Darkness and it shows on them. Their faces are drawn, unhealthy. They shamble, mostly oblivious to what is happening around them, numb.

Panel 2 : Elli is walking resolutely through the city, still looking expressionless, paying no mind to her surroundings. Some of the locals on the other hand (both darklings and humans) are starting to notice her, look at her as she passes by.

Panel 3 : Aerial view of Elli still walking trough the city, seen from the point of view of a small darkling on the rooftops. The darkling (DARKLING FOOL) is dressed as a royal fool (he must be visible).

Elli is approaching a big square (the one at the center of the city seen in the aerial view from page 2 panel 2).

More and more people are following her, mostly humans and a few darklings, a small crowd (not the whole city of course).

NOTE : Pay attention to the buildings surrounding the square, one will come into play later on, during the fight to come (it doesn’t matter which one really, it’s just that Elli will end up with her back against it).

Panel 4 : Elli has reached the square. She sits right in the middle, cross legged (maybe show her while she’s in the process of sitting, for fluidity’s sake).

People and darklings are standing still, looking at her.

Panel 5 : Small insert of the Ember Stone, glowing faintly.

PAGE 6

Panel 1 : The Darkling Fool (the one from the previous page) is running like hell towards a towering castle (the one we saw in the aerial view of the city from page 2 panel 2). He’s on the drawbridge.

Panel 2 : The Darkling Fool, still running, enters the throne room.

It’s a big room, high ceiling, not much in the way of decoration, very dark. There’s a throne (the scary looking one from page 2 panel 4) in the back, opposite the door the darkling enters from.

Arnfried is sitting on the throne. He’s wearing his Darkness armor. He’s surrounded by a few small darklings fighting among themselves. He’s bored (although it’s not necessary for the reader to see it in this panel since it will probably be a wide to very wide shot to show how big the room is).

DARKLING FOOL : M’lord ! M’lord !

Panel 3 : Arnfried, lounging on his throne, looking very, very bored.

ARNFRIED : What now, you little Scheißkerl ?

DARKLING FOOL (off panel) : There’s this girl m’lord… She’s sitting in the middle of the square…

ARNFRIED : And I’m supposed to care because… ?

Panel 4 : Close-up on the Darkling Fool’s face. He’s looking panicked.

DARKLING FOOL : She came from outside m’lord ! All alone !

Panel 5 : Close-up on Arnfried’s face, suddenly lighting up with interest.

ARNFRIED : Did she, now ? Well, well… Maybe you were right to disturb me after all.

PAGE 7

Panel 1 : Arnfried comes out of the castle, followed closely by the Darkling Fool. He’s annoyed by the Darkling’s stupid remarks.

DARKLING FOOL : Be careful m’lord ! She’s not normal this girl ! I tell you !

ARNFRIED : Of course she isn’t, you Arschlosh ! I wouldn’t give a shit about her if she was !

Panel 2 : Arnfried and the Darkling Fool reach the square where Elli is still sitting cross-legged, still expressionless. The small crowd around her is still there. Arnfried and his fool push through it to reach Elli.

DARKLING FOOL : See m’lord ? Just sitting there ! Ain’t normal, I tell you !

ARNFRIED : Will you shut up ?!

Panel 3 : Low angle shot of Arnfried standing in front of the seated Elli, looking down on her with contempt, a bit disappointed, . She doesn’t look up to meet his eyes. The Darkling Fool is scuttering between his master’s legs, looking at Elli with hostility.

ARNFRIED : So you’re the girl who got my fool all worked up. I figured you’d be more impressive, to say the least.

ELLI : My name is Elli.

Panel 4 : Close-up on Arnfried’s face, smirking.

ARNFRIED : And to what do we owe the pleasure of your visit Elli ?

Panel 5 : Close-up on Elli’s face, she’s looking up at Arnfried for the first time. There is a small light in her eyes, and the glow of the Ember Stone around her neck intensifies.

NB : See note on page 3 regarding Elli’s word balloons.

ELLI (semi-fiery) : Life.

PAGE 8

Panel 1 : Close-up on Arnfried, still smirking. He’s raising his hand in front of his face ominously. It’s glowing with Darkness energy.

ARNFRIED : Well, you’ll find very little of that here, girl.

Panel 2 : Arnfried is putting his glowing hand on Elli’s head. He’s about to infect her with the Darkness just like he did to the rest of the inhabitants of the city. The Darkling fool is still scuttering at his feet.

ARNFRIED : This will only hurt a moment. Then you’ll tell me how you got past my so-called “champion”.

DARKLING FOOL : Careful m’lord ! Careful !

Panel 3 : Small insert of the Ember Stone suddenly flaring up.

Panel 4 : Extreme close-up on Arnfried’s face, eyes opening wide as he suddenly realizes something very wrong is happening.

Panel 5 : A big burst of fire and light explodes from Elli, who’s still sitting (a bit like the explosion on page 4 panel 4, but more focused). The explosion throws Arnfried back violently, sending him flying through the crowd (Elli doesn’t care if the onlookers are hurt) and crashing to the ground. And it burns the Darkling Fool to ashes instantly.

SOUND EFFECT : WOOSH

PAGE 9

Panel 1 : Arnfried getting up, stunned but furious, still smoking from the explosion. The ground itself was damaged by the impact. A huge sword is appearing in his hand, formed by using the Darkness (the same one as on page 2 panel 1).

The crowd, both darkling and humans, is dispersing quickly.

ARNFRIED : You Shlampe ! I’ll kill you for this !

Panel 2 : Arnfried attacks, sword raised, charging at Elli.

ARNFRIED : DIE !

Panel 3 : Close-up on Elli’s hand grabbing the blade of Arnfried’s sword and stopping it cold. The hand is covered in black and orange fiery armor. It should look like it’s made of black stone and glowing lava (see next panel for a global description of the armor itself).

SOUND EFFECT : CLANG

Panel 4 : Elli is holding the sword blade firmly in one hand. Her eyes glow. She’s smiling. Fiery armor is appearing all over her body. She’s in the process of getting up.

The armor looks like a medieval version of the human version of the manifestation of the Ember Stone’s power (see Artifacts #4 cover for reference) : less form fitting, more like traditional armor. If you opt to give her a helmet, it should look like a dragon head (see Page 12 Panel 3 for clarification about that, but basically it’s because the Ember Stone turns its bearer into a dragon).

ELLI (fiery) : Burn.

PAGE 10

Panel 1 : Elli springs up, punching Arnfried powerfully in the chest with her free hand and letting go of the blade with the other. Add a fire effect to her punch (flames around the fist, trail of flame…).

The impact rocks Arnfried hard, but he takes it, thanks to his darkness armor.

Panel 2 : Arnfried strikes back, slashing one-handed with his sword, and Elli dodges narrowly.

Elli moves gracefully, she’s very fast and light on her feet, but surprisingly powerful when she strikes. She’s a snake, almost gliding when she moves.

Arnfried is a powerhouse. Quite fast himself, especially for someone wearing such a bulky armor, he still relies more on brute strength, feet firmly planted on the ground.

Panel 3 : Elli kicks Arnfried hard, but he partially blocks/deflects the blow and counters with a punch of his own at the same time, hitting Elli in the side of the face.

Panel 4 : Insert of a close-up on Elli’s face, wiping a little blood from the corner of her mouth where Arnfried’s punch connected.

Her eyes are ablaze, she’s enjoying this fight. She looks alive for the first time, almost rapturous.

PAGE 11

Panel 1 : Elli delivers an impressive flaming uppercut, connecting nicely and sending Arnfried back.

Panel 2 : Rocked by the impact, furious, Arnfried drops to one knee and extends his free hand. Darkness tentacles spring from it, towards Elli.

The tentacles look like the ones in the Darkness video games : a mix between huge snakes and the creatures from the Alien movies, all black and oily. Each has a huge maw filled with sharp teeth, and small, malevolent, green eyes.

Panel 3 : Elli dodges the tentacles frantically, forced to move backwards, towards the buildings surrounding the square (the “towards the buildings” part is important, as you’ll see in the following panels).

Panel 4 : Insert of a close-up on Arnfried’s face, smiling wickedly. He knows his strategy is working and he’s got his opponent on the ropes.

Panel 5 : More Darkness tentacles spring through the stone wall of a building behind Elli, grabbing her arms, legs and body. She grits her teeth, in pain.

PAGE 12

Panel 1 : Arnfried walks towards the pinned Elli, an arrogant look on his face. His sword fades away into nothingness.

ARNFRIED : Don’t struggle girl, it’s useless.

Panel 2 : Close-up on Elli, pinned against the stone wall behind her by the Darkness tentacles, struggling against her bonds, in pain, furious. The Ember Stone at her neck is glowing brightly.

Arnfried’s hand is grabbing her chin. Arnfried himself is off-panel.

ARNFRIED (off-panel) : What are you ?

ARNFRIED (off-panel) : You don’t look like that Angelus whore from last year.

ELLI (fiery) : I am of fire but not of the light.

Panel 3 : Flashback (use a kind of filter for the image, or maybe different borders for the panels, to make it clear to the reader that this is indeed a flashback, narrated by Elli).

A dragon in the sky, above a small city, seen from afar, so we mostly see a silhouette of the beast and the rooftops (it can hardly be called a skyline).

Lots of spears and arrows stick out from the dragon’s body. The beast is severely wounded, barely able to keep flying, about to come crashing down on the city under it.

The dragon is the previous bearer of the Ember Stone in “full power” mode. It is four-legged, with huge bat-like wings, long tailed. Your classic fairy tale/Heroic fantasy dragon basically. It should look powerful but more aggressive than massive.

It bears similarities to Elli’s Armor, since they are both a manifestation of the power of the Ember Stone.

It is huge : bigger than a tyrannosaurus (so about 20 meters long).

ELLI (caption, fiery) : I am wild. Untamed.

Panel 4 : The Dragon is lying dead on the grounds, turning to embers, amidst the rubble of buildings it destroyed when it fell down.

There are corpses visible among the rubble, and a girl, still alive, crawling out from under it : it’s Elli. She is NOT the dragon. She was caught in the devastation.

ELLI (caption, fiery) : I am the Ember Stone of creation.

PAGE 13

Panel 1 : Close-up on Elli, crawling from under the rubble, hurt, dirty, covered in cuts and scratches. She looks lost, disoriented, more shocked than in pain.

ELLI (fiery, caption) : Yet I brought her death.

Panel 2 : Extreme close-up on the Ember Stone, lying amidst the rubble, shining dimly.

Panel 3 : Elli’s hand closes around the Ember Stone, picking it up.

ELLI (fiery, caption) : And it trapped me in return.

Panel 4 : Back to the present.

Close-up on Elli’s face, she’s furious, snarling, eyes ablaze. She’s still pinned to the wall by the Darkness tentacles, but she’s struggling against her bonds.

ELLI (fiery) : So I chased death !

ELLI (fiery) : I chased death to be free !

Panel 4 : Elli is struggling more and more against her bonds. They are about to break. Bright lines of fire appear along the Darkness tentacles.

Arnfried steps back, worried, realizing something wrong is happening.

ELLI (fiery) : Chased it until I found you ! Until I found your darkness ! Your nothingness !

ELLI (fiery) : I knew then you had to burn !

PAGE 14

Panel 1 : Elli bursts free from her bonds. The Darkness tentacles holding her explode into flame. Arnfried jumps back to avoid being caught in the blast, and only half succeeds.

ELLI (fiery) : So burn monster ! Burn so I can atone for my sin !

Panel 2 : Elli starts turning into a huge Dragon, identical to the one we saw in the flashback (on page 12). Show her during the beginning of her transformation, but still humanoid.

ELLI (fiery) : So I can be life once more ! Unbound from this dead shell !

Panel 3 : Half splash page. Low angle shot. The Dragon (Elli, fully transformed, as THE EMBER STONE DRAGON), has taken flight, wings spread, hovering menacingly over Arnfried (possibly Arnfried is seen from behind, in the foreground).

See Page 12 panel 3 for the description of the dragon.

ELLI (fiery) : BURN !

PAGE 15

Panel 1 : Close-up on Arnfried, looking up at the dragon. He looks defiant, having recovered from his surprise, not about to go down easily.

ARNFRIED : It will take much more than that to kill me !

Panel 2 : Wider shot of Arnfried, arms spread, unleashing his own power, summoning a cloud of glowing Darkness energy around himself. A dark shape (it’s a dragon too, but it should not be immediately recognizable as such in this shot) is starting to emerge from the ground directly beneath him.

ARNFRIED : I am what comes after Death ! I am darkness itself !

Panel 3 : Half splash page. Arnfried is riding a huge DARKLING DRAGON he just created using the Darkness. The Darkling Dragon spreads its wings and is about to take flight.

Arnfried looks both fierce and arrogant, convinced he can’t lose this fight.

The Beast should be something out of a nightmare. It has all the usual dragon characteristics (wings, claws, roughly lizard-like…).

Arnfried himself is in full armor. Perhaps the legs should look kind of fused to the Darkling Dragon under him, like he’s part of it via his armor.

No saddle necessary.

ARNFRIED : You are nothing to me !

PAGE 16-17

Panel 1 (Page 16, upper left-hand corner) :  The Darkling Dragon taking off and rushing towards the Ember Stone Dragon hovering above it.

Panel 2 (Page 17, upper right-hand corner) : The Ember Stone Dragon dodging the Darkling Dragon’s charge and striking back from above with a stream of fire from its maw. The fire narrowly misses its mark, only singeing the Darkling Dragon because it dodged, but causes much destruction to the city (there’s an explosion when the fire hits the ground).

Panel 3 (Page 16, lower left-hand corner) :The DarklingDragon maneuvered itself on top of the Ember Stone Dragon and is clawing at its back and forcing it to dive towards the ground, crashing through the top of buildings, destroying rooftops. The Ember Stone Dragon’s blood should look a bit like molten lava.

Panel 4 (Page 17, lower right-hand corner) : The Ember Stone Dragon darting up, swiping its claws at the Darkling Dragon’s belly and connecting, spilling black blood.

Double page spread : The Ember Stone Dragon (Elli) and The Darkling Dragon, locked in combat, both wounded, evenly matched, in the night sky above the city.

The Ember Stone Dragon his breathing a steam of fire at the Darkling Dragon’s back, where Arnfried is (and hitting its target).

The Darkling Dragon, ridden by Arnfried, is clawing at the Ember Stone Dragon, also doing serious damage.

The city underneath them is burning, a lot of buildings are destroyed (even some that aren’t burning, both dragons are responsible for the destruction).

PAGE 18

Panel 1 : High angle. The Ember Stone Dragon and the Darkling Dragon are still fighting in the night sky. Both are pushed to the limit. The Ember Stone Dragon is on top of the Darkling Dragon, driving it towards the ground, more precisely towards Arnfried’s Castle.

This is the Ember Stone Dragon’s last hurrah, its last assault, a desperate move. It’s bleeding badly from a myriad of wounds. Its maw is leaking fire. Yet it remains fierce an unbowed.

The Darkling Dragon can’t get itself free. It’s flaying wildly. Small Darklings are appearing from its hide, trying to claw at the Ember Stone Dragon, unsuccessfully. It’s too late.

Panel 2 : Wide shot of both dragons crashing into the castle silhouetted against the night sky, towering above the city.

The highest towers are breaking apart because of the impact. It should look like the castle is about to come crashing down on them.

Panel 3 : Half  splash page. Wide to very wide shot of the city. A gigantic explosion engulfs the whole city, lighting up the night sky. It’s spreading from the castle, where the dragons fell, literally destroying and burning everything. We see the scene though the fire and flames.

SOUND EFFECT : BOOM

PAGE 19

Panel 1 : Wide horizontal panel. Arnfried and Elli are in the middle of a burnt wasteland.

Arnfried is in bad shape, his Darkness armor very badly damaged, his skin burnt, bruised and battered, but alive. He’s lying on the ground, on his back, in the process of getting up, looking stunned by the explosion and scared by what he is seeing.

Elli is just standing there in front of him, unscathed, wearing her civilian clothes from the beginning of the story. She looks as if nothing happened. Her expression is neutral. The Ember Stone is no longer around her neck.

Nothing is left standing. Maybe a few stones here and there to indicate there was a whole city there, but no more. No wall, no building, nothing. Everything has been burnt away by the Ember Stone Dragon’s dying explosion.

Panel 2 : Wide horizontal panel. Extreme close-up on Elli’s face (show her eyes). She’s turning to glowing embers, drifting in the wind.

ELLI (semi-fiery, whisper) : Burn…

Panel 3 : Same as panel 1, except Elli is no longer there. There are only embers left, drifting away in the night sky (not even in the precise shape of a human being).

Panel 4 : Close-up on the Ember Stone, no longer glowing, lying on the ground where Elli was standing before disappearing.

PAGE 20

Panel 1 : Arnfried finishes getting up, still rattled by what just happened, but starting to regain his composure.

Panel 2 : Arnfried looks around him, realizing there is literally nothing left of his city, his Darklings or even the people. Nothing but ashes. Yet he survived.

ARNFRIED (whisper) : Scheiße…

Panel 3 : Close-up on Arnfried’s face. He’s snorting arrogantly, starting to smile.

ARNFRIED : Can’t burn the Darkness, whore !

Panel 4 : Low angle shot, seen from the “point of view” of the Ember Stone lying on the ground in the foreground.

Arnfried is walking away, turning his back to the reader and the Ember Stone.

The Ember Stone is once again glowing faintly.

Panel 5 : Close-up on the Ember Stone, glowing faintly. Blades of grass are sprouting from the burnt ground under it.

JACKIE (caption) : Hell of a story, huh ?

PAGE 21

Panel 1 : Jackie is still in the restaurant from the beginning, still sitting at the same table with his glass, in front of his unseen audience. He’s leaning back on his chair, looking satisfied. There’s a small Darkling on the table, drinking from the vodka bottle, drunk.

NOTE : Remember Jackie’s suit is a bit ruffled, he just was in a fight.

JACKIE : Thing is, people always miss the point of it.

JACKIE : I’m sure you did too.

Panel 2 : Close-up on Jackie, he’s raising a finger in front of his face, like a teacher about to point out a mistake to a student. He still looks satisfied with himself, and more than a little condescending.

JACKIE : See, I bet you think it’s all about how the Darkness makes you so badass even a fucking dragon can’t kill you.

JACKIE : But that’s not it. Not at all.

Panel 3 : Insert of Jackie’s finger, the one previously raised, tapping authoritatively on the table.

JACKIE : It’s about how the dragon went !

Panel 4 : Close-up on Jackie’s face, a bit closer than on panel 2, like the “camera” got closer to him. He now looks somber, and very intense.

JACKIE : In a blaze of fucking glory.

PAGE 22

Panel 1 : Jackie once again leans back on his chair, relaxing a bit (but not smiling). He absent-mindedly swats the drinking darkling off the table with the back of his hand.

We see him from the front.

JACKIE : That’s what’s important.

Panel 2 : The “camera” rotates slowly. We still see mostly Jackie, pushing back his chair and getting up. But we now start to see who was in front of him the whole time. Maybe the hand of this person is on the table (he’s of course dead, but the reader should still not be 100% sure at this time).

JACKIE : That’s how I want to go someday.

Panel 3 : The “big reveal”. Jackie is walking away from the table, towards the reader. He looks somber once again, a bit melancholy.

Behind him we see the table where he was sitting, the restaurant, and the person who was in front of him.

That person is a mobster, from Eastern Europe, more the “tracksuit and bad jewelry” kind than the “Armani suit” kind. And he’s dead, badly mauled, like any person killed by the Darkness.

The whole restaurant where the scene took place is ravaged. There are corpses of mobsters (all goons, as badly dressed as their boss, although there isn’t much left of them) lying around everywhere, small Darklings playing among them. The place itself is damaged : bullet holes, broken furniture… The typical aftermath to Jackie unleashing the Darkness on the competition.

NOTE : Here’s the description from Page 1 Panel 1 to get a feel for the restaurant : “The restaurant itself is a small Russian place, not a dive but not too classy either, in Little Odessa in New York.”

JACKIE : But maybe we can’t always get what we want…

TITLE : A BLAZE OF GLORY

 

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