The Faceless Issue One

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comics

Oh yeah, blog posting.

So here’s a little piece I worked up for a comic collaboration that never really came together. I still think it’s pretty cool, maybe you guys will too?

Page One

Panel One

Big wide shot from the top left hand corner of a large warehouse. On the ground are arranged thirty or so jump-suited henchmen arranged before a makeshift stage, their backs facing the camera. Various pieces of industrial crap from the facility’s former use are pushed to the sides of the room. On the stage is a more elaborately-garbed member of the same paramilitary organization, whose uniforms look sort of like H.Y.D.R.A. They are the A.S.L. (Anti-Science League). Make sure that in the ranks of men, the last rank is just two guys. However, the main focus of this panel is to show a cloaked figure waiting in the rafters. He’s couched in shadow, but we can tell he’s listening in to the ranting on stage. It is thundering and lighting going on outside.

CAPTION (BLUE): The near future, your hometown.

GRAND COMMISSSAR (the guy on stage): What has this “super-science” ever done for us, the working-men? What great advancements have lasers, and robots, and uber-viruses ever brought to the proletariat…

Panel Two

Close shot tilted upwards of the two men in the back rank. On the left is our hero, the eponymous “Faceless”, in reality Kevin Richter, 25. He’s talking to some other mook during the speech. It is important to note that the A.S.L. uniform completely covers the head, and like Spider-Man or Deadpool, has large expressive “eyes” drawn on it so that we can identify with the guy. Maybe the guy in the rafters has white eyes like Batman that will mark him out of the shadows? We can sort of see him looming around up there, as the camera is pointing over and through the shoulders of the two men.

1. FACELESS (whisper): So, what’s the name of this outfit again?

2. OTHER GUY (whisper): The Anti-Science League. The Grand Commissar started it up to wage war on those who would tamper in God’s domain.

3. FACELESS (whisper): A.S.L., huh? Isn’t that the name of …

Panel Three

Close shot, this time looking through FACELESS and the other guy’s shoulders to a skinny little dweeb up front. You can see a bunch more guys’ backs behind him, as he’s turned around to face the duo.

4. DWEEB (jagged “yelling” balloon): SHHHHHHH!!!

Panel Four

Extreme close up on FACELESS. His mask-eyes react like when Spider-Man gets surprised.

5. FACELESS: Whoa, man, calm down! I was just reflecting on how A.S.L. is usually better known as the acronym for American Sign Language, but Anti-Science League is cool, too…

6. DWEEB, pointer on bubble coming from outside panel: SHHH! SHHH!! SH*

Page Two

Panel One

No panel border. Medium shot of DWEEB as he’s hit by an energy blast. He’s still frozen in the “finger in front of face” SHHH position, but he’s been shot in the back with some sort of laser. Green or orange plasma-fire burns outwards from his spine, making him into a glowing skeleton.

SFX: G-ZORP!

1. DWEEB: GYAAAAAH!!!

Panel Two

Full-body shot of the GRAND COMMISSAR holding a smoking laser-pistol in one hand and a stand-up microphone in the other. The barrel’s pointing right at us, the reader.

2. GRAND COMMISSAR: If there are no further objections, I’d like to continue with my speech, considering that I AM STILL YOUR LORD AND RULER!

3. MYSTERIOUS MAN (bubble coming from offscreen, up high and at the back): I have an objection.

Panel Three

We pull back to see Thomas Landry, aka ROCKETMAN, framed against a large window as lightning splits the sky outside (widescreen panel). ROCKETMAN is dressed in what appears to be a WW-II era GI uniform, although he’s wearing a cone on his head that makes him look like a rocket. He’s got a rocket pack on his back, like the Rocketeer, and a cape, which looks suspiciously like a towel. It has a rocket on the back, what can I say, the guy like rockets. He looks a little insane, which is to say about as much as the GRAND COMMISSAR down below.

4. ROCKETMAN, shouting: I object to your derision of the one thing that sets us apart from the apes, SCIENCE!! Go, my RAKETENMENSCHEN!

Panel Four

Same setup as the last panel, but now various RAKETENMENSCHEN have busted through the windows that ring the top part of the facility. They have similar garb to ROCKETMAN, but less ornate. They do have rocket gloves (literally: a big rocket strapped to each glove, for fighting and propulsion), which they have used to fly through the windows and aim themselves at the crowd below.

SFX: CRASH! CRASH! CRASH! (that’s the windows going as they bust through)

Panel Five

POV shot through the eyes of one of the RAKETENMENSCHEN. He’s got his hands in front of him like Superman, and he’s flying right at FACELESS, who is losing his shit (Spidey-eyes, general losing-one’s-shit type posture).

5. FACELESS: Nononononono

Page Three

Panel One

Huge, like half page panel of FACELESS getting impacted by the RAKETENMENCH’s fists. Mask definitely gets ripped, maybe one of the eyepieces breaks off? Teeth, blood, spit go flying from the rocket punch. FACELESS is knocked off his feet. The RAKETENMENSCH has a big shit-eating grin on his face. He lives for this shit.

SFX: SKRITUNCH!

1. FACELESS: OOF!

Panel Two

The RAKETENMENSCH has landed neatly on the ground as FACELESS goes flying. The camera is pointed through his legs as he lands, you can see FACELESS thrown backwards. All around the two men has begun a ridiculous melee. You can see the GRAND COMMISSAR and ROCKETMAN duking it out on stage, ROCKETMAN holding the COMMISSAR’s gun hand up in the air and lasers arc into the ceiling.

Panel Three

Low shot as we see FACELESS trying to pick himself up off the ground as the RAKETENMENSCH walks forwards calmly.

2. FACELESS: Guh, uh I-I I don’t agree with the ideological position these guys have taken! I just needed the money!

Panel Four

No panel borders. The RAKETENMENSCH has arrived just as FACELESS has gotten up off the ground. He rushes in with a devastating rocket-uppercut (the jet helps him punch, you see).

SFX: FRIPTOOSH!

Panel Five

Medium shot, mostly of FACELESS’ mostly-uncovered face now, as he is launched into the air, a trail of teeth falling in the air behind him. Hopefully he’s headed towards a window…

CAPTION (RED): This is where I used to work.

3. FACELESS: GYAAAAAAH!

Page Four

Panel One

Establishing shot of a seedy-looking bar built into the bottom of a large building (think the Oil City Roadhouse). There’s a large red neon sign above the door that says SLOTHROP’S, and a wide variety of costumed weirdoes smoking/milling around out front.

CAPTION: Two hours earlier, I was out on the town.

1. FACELESS, word bubble pointer is sneaking out through the door of the bar: Yeah, I was in all of them…

Panel Two

FACELESS, his uniform mussed up (shirt untucked, hood pulled off of face) is sitting at the bar talking to a girl in an extremely revealing henchwoman costume. I’m thinking something like Dr. Mrs. The Monarch’s from Venture Bros., but maybe more dominatrixy? She’s got her head propped up on her fist, she’s super bored by what he’s saying, but too polite as of yet to say anything. Maybe she’s waiting for somebody. The camera is perpendicular to the bar, so you can see the bartender milling around behind. His clothes are vaguely reminiscent of a RAKETENMENSCH…

2. FACELESS: Teenage Vengeance Brigade, T.H.R.E.A.T., The Bohr Underground…

3. GIRL: Uh huh.

Panel Three

Low shot, we can see the GIRL’s legs and the bottom of the barstool. It’s great. FACELESS is looking kind of wistful now, swirling his finger around the rim of the glass.

4. FACELESS: You name ‘em, I’ve been in it. I’m kind of a vet in the villainous organization game now.

5. GIRL: Oh, yeah?

6. FACELESS: I’ve got a gig with a sweet new crew coming up tonight, but maybe afterwards you want to…

Panel Four

Now we’re looking over the bar from the bartender’s perspective. A well-dressed hipster douchebag has sidled up between FACELESS and the GIRL. His hipster clothes are a uniform, too.

7. HIPSTER DOUCHEBAG: I’m going to talk to this girl now, hasbeen.

Panel Five

No panel border. The words ORIN SMYTHE, AGENT of H.I.P.S.T.E.R. appear over the DOUCHEBAG’s head in a sweet-looking logo, kind of Nick Fury-ish. This panel is all white, with no background and offers a full view of what a high-up member of a hipster-run evil organization would look like, namely an ironic t-shirt saying H.I.P.S.T.E.R. in Helvetica font, man bag over shoulder, Ray-Ban sunglasses, holstered sidearm. Everything looks expensive and sweet.

CAPTION (Red): Great, one of these assholes.

EDITOR’S NOTE: H.I.P.S.T.E.R. = High Influence Paramilitary Spec-ops, Terrorism, Extortion and Radness!

Panel Six

ORIN has moved to lean in between FACELESS and the GIRL on the bar. We can see only the back of her head. FACELESS is kind of looking over the guy’s head (he’s fairly short) and looks really angry.

8. FACELESS: Why, you little…

9. ORIN: I wouldn’t believe what he tells you about his career, either. The only organization that’ll take him is named L.O.S.E.R…

A lot of the themes will be readily apparent to you if you’ve been reading along with The Resolution Project. The idea’s basically that a loveable everyman has been working in the henchman game for a while and kind of wants to get out. My concept for how this strange world of lo-fi costumed assholes fighting each other came about after reading Philip Roth’s American Pastoral, which had one of its characters join something akin to the Weather Underground as a way of getting back at her dad.

My thought process was what if a modern day movement, something akin to Occupy, radicalized in the same way that S.D.S. (Students for a Democratic Society) did in 1968-69? The violent breakup of S.D.S. resulted in numerous underground terrorist groups, the Weatherman being the most famous, so what if that happened again, but in a comic-bookier way? By that token, what if 4chan decided to become real life supervillains? What if Anon stopped being Professor X, and became Magneto? What if hipsters moved on to the next big thing, which was dressing up and kicking the shit out of one another?

The story would take place about 10 years after this societal change, and would feature numerous allusions to 20th Century literature, as no doubt you’ve seen the incredibly obvious influence of Gravity’s Rainbow in the piece above, and that’s just how I roll. As for comics influence, there’s definitely some Scott Pilgrim, some of JH Williams III’s Chase, maybe a little bit of Kick-Ass? I don’t know, I thought it might have been a fun project, but alas. Perhaps a legit comic creator will like a kernel of the idea and run with it? Tell me what you think. I still think the idea of rocket-fists is hilarious.

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The Author

Matt Bowes is a self-proclaimed cultural commentator/arbiter of good taste from Edmonton, Alberta. He enjoys movies and books, and writes about them sometimes at thisnerdinglife.com.

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