This is the first draft of the first issue of a series I'm currently calling "Hunter". It's sort of a sci-fi detective story. The end of what's here will probably get pushed into the second issue since I've decided to add an extra scene on Mars in the beginning. I realize that 22 pages is a bit of a commitment to read here and critique and comment on but any suggestions or input would be appreciated.
Page 1 (Splash)
Panel 1 *We see a man crashing through as window of a high
rise building. He's close in the foreground and we see a
futuristic cityscape in the background. Clean and modern
with advanced architecture.* The Man's trench coat
flutters around him as he falls. His arms are outstretched
towards the window, firing blindly at the opening.
Caption 1: This is NOT how I saw this going.
Caption 2: It was supposed to be by the book. An easy
bounty. Bring in the two bit con artist and collect a
couple thousand credits.
Caption 3: Worst. Job. Ever.
Caption 4: My name is Merrick and I'm a hunter. Or was
until I found myself being tossed out a window a
hundred and ten stories in the air. But I'm getting
ahead of myself. Let's start before the death dive.
Page 2 (4 Panels)
Panel 1 We see Merrick on a motorcycle driving through a
city on Mars. Towering spires of the Environment
Simulators dot the landscape. The architecture is more
functional and advanced than that seen on Earth.*
Merrick's motorcycle has fat tires and looks almost as if
it is a car on 2 wheels. An unconscious prisoner is cuffed
and draped over the back.
Caption 1: Mars. New Europe. City of the future they
say. If you ask me this place is a cesspool with a
nice paint job. But hey, it's home.
Panel 2 Merrick's bike stops in front of of the local
Police. Parked half on the curb half off. People walking
past give him sideways glances.
Caption 2: I need a vacation. Maybe I'll take one on
the shores of one of the few remaining bodies of water
Panel 3 From inside the police station we see the doors
kicked open and Merrick in the doorway with his prisoner
on his shoulders. The prisoner looks dazed and half
conscious.* Merrick is smiling widely.
Caption 3: This is the fun part.
Delivery for major dick!
Panel 4 A large man comes storming out of his office,
pointing at Merrick. He's overweight and stressed out
looking. And angry.
Caption 4: I love pissing this guy off. Don't know
why. He's a pretty good boss.
Dammit Merrick! Where the hell have
Picking up sleeping beauty here.
Page 3 (4 Panels)
Panel 1 Close up of Merrick's prisoner hitting the floor
About time. You're booked on the
next transport for Earth.
You didn't have to book me a
cruise, Captain Richards.
Panel 2 We see Merrick and Captain Richards standing in
the middle of the lobby of the Police station. Merrick is
a good foot taller than Richards. People a milling around
going about their business.
Caption 1: He doesn't hate me. But he doesn't like me.
But then I don't think he likes anyone.
So who's the runner?
He's a con artist who pissed off
the wrong people. Goes by the name
Original. Why not just let the bad
guys get him?
He has info on the crime families
on Mars. we need him alive. So
bring him back. In one piece!
Panel 3 Close up of Merrick smiling.
Caption 2: This sounds like fun.
Sure thing Major Dick. See you in a
couple of days.
Panel 4 Outside of Police station. Merrick walking down
the steps in front towards his bike.
Caption 3: Piece of Mercurial Cake. Shouldn't take me
more than a couple of days to get this job done and
then it's vacation time.
Page 4 (2 Panels, one above the other.)
Panel 1 A large transport ship enters Earth's orbit.* The
ship is long and angular. Windows light up the side almost
like a cruise ship. The bridge is centered high in the
middle of the Transport. we see the sun on the other side
of the planet.
Caption 1: Earth. Haven't been back here in a while.
Seems like a lifetime.
Caption 2: The usual scumbags are probably in the
usual hell holes.
Panel 2 Landing shuttles leave the Transport. Heading in
directions all over the planet.
Caption 3: I know where to start. It's just a matter
of asking the right questions.
Caption 4: And carrying a couple of guns.
Page 5 (5 panels)
Panel 1 Close up of a face being slammed into a desk. A
couple of teeth are missing and blood trickles form the
man's nose. He has a patch covering his left eye.
Where is he?!
Panel 2 Merrick pulls the man up, holding him by the
collar close to his face. The man looks scared.
Caption 1: This is Sly.
I don't know. I heard he left town.
That's because he's in hiding.
Panel 3 Merrick throws Sly against the wall. He lands hard
on the floor. We see they're in a dingy backroom office.
It's obvious the office has been trashed by Merrick
throwing Sly around.
You know how I can find him, Sly.
The last I heard he was hanging out
at a place called the Weeping
Caption 2: Sly isn't too clever, considering the name.
Panel 4 Merrick extends his hand to help up Sly.
Caption 3: Like I said. Ask the right questions.
See that wasn't so hard. Anything
else I should know?
The Dust Brothers are looking for
Caption 4: Shit. That's not good.
Panel 5 *Merrick opens the office door. We see they're in
the back of some sort of shop. Merrick is turned in the
If I find out you're setting me up
you're going to lose the other eye.
Page 6 (3 panels)
Panel 1 Merrick stands outside a rundown bar, his back to
us. A neon sign above the door says "Weeping Widow". The
streets are filled with people.
Caption 1:* Nice place. Never been here before, but I
think it might become my regular haunt.
Caption 2: I like the "You're going to need
antibiotics after sitting down" scene.
Panel 2 Merrick inside the bar approaches the bartender.
Caption 3: When you're not sure what you're looking
for the bartender is a good place to start.
I'm looking for someone with
I'd like some help.
Caption 4: Time for plan B.
Panel 3 Merrick grabs the bartender and pulls him over the
bar. Sticking a gun in the bartender's face.
Caption 5: Why does everyone choose plan B?
And you're going to help me!
Okay, okay! don't shoot me.
Page 7 (4 Panels)
Panel 1 We have the bartender's point of view, looking
down the barrel of the gun. Merrick's finger is on the
trigger. People are crowding around the scene.
Where can I find Smith?
Caption 1: This is becoming a very common question.
Going to have to find new ways of asking it.
Panel 2 Closeup of the bartender's face. Sweat pours down
He hasn't been here for a couple of
days. When he heard the Dust
Brothers were after him he
vanished. You're probably too late.
Does he have friends?
Panel 3 Side view of the Merrick and the Bartender.*
Merrick has put his gun away. People have moved away
except for two men sitting at the bar.
Caption 2: He's right I might be too late. The Dust
Brothers are good at making people disappear.
He has a girlfriend near here. Not
many people know about her. She's a
dancer at the Red Light club.
Of course she is. Thank you, you've
been a big help. Sorry about the
Panel 4 Merrick walks out the door as the two men at the
bar follow him out. They're big and surly looking.
Caption 3: So there's a girl. There's always a girl.
And usually the dumb ass isn't far behind. He's
probably there right now.
Page 8 (6 panels)
Panel 1 We see Merrick from shoulder's up. We can see the
two big men following him. Merrick is walking down an
Caption 1: I'm being followed. I noticed these guys in
the bar. They're probably the Dust Brothers.
Panel 2 View from above and behind the two men. We see
Caption 2: I'm going to have to be fast. They're big
Panel 3 We see Merrick from the front diving around a
corner.* The dust Brothers look surprised.
Panel 4 The Dust Brothers pull guns from their jackets.
Merrick is crouched at the corner of a building Holding
both his guns at the ready.
Caption 3: This far down on the street no one will
here the gunshots. That can be a good thing or a very
bad thing. The real city is about fifty stories up.
Panel 5 The Dust Brothers are at the corner as Merrick
pops out surprising them with his guns in their chests.
This is a dramatic way to get my
Panel 6 Looking over Merrick's shoulder at the Dust
Brothers. The don't seem phased in the least.
Caption 4: I hope this works.
DUST BROTHER 1:
Mr. Sims would like to speak with
Caption 5: Aw crap.
Page 9 (2 Panels)
Panel 1 Merrick still standing with his guns drawn pointed
Caption 1: Mr. Sims is the head of one of the families
Smith ripped off. Why does he want me. Normally the
Families won't go after Hunters. Too messy.
What does he want to see me for?
DUST BROTHER 2:
It seems the you share a common
Panel 2 Merrick lowers his guns and smiles.
Caption 2: Sure, what the hell.
Sure, what the hell.
Page 10 (6 Panels)
Panel 1 Merrick in an office doorway being flanked by the
two large men.
Caption 1: This is Sims's office. Nice. A little
flashy for my tastes.
Nice place you got here.
Panel 2 Mr. Sims in a dark suit* sits behind his large
desk in front of a large window showing the city in the
Welcome Hunter. I trust the
Brothers weren't too rough with
you. You understand the need to
unarm you of course.
Panel 3 Close up of Merrick's roguish smirk.
Well it is illegal to take a
Hunter's guns. But you seem like a
trust worthy guy.
Panel 4 Mr Sims stands up from his desk. His hand on
Merrick's guns sitting on his desk.
Charming. It appears we're after
the same thing, Mr...?
Call me Merrick.
Panel 5 Side view of Sims sitting on the edge of his desk,
Merrick standing in front of him.
Caption 2: I have a bad feeling about this.
You see Smith is very valuable to
me. As I'm sure he is to you. So
I'm going to offer you double his
bounty to work for me.
And if I refuse?
Then the Brothers Dust here will
show you what they do best.
Panel 6 Merrick shrugging. His hands up. A quizical look
on his face.
Caption 3: Why is it always Plan B!?
Guess I don't have much choice
Page 11 (3 Panels)
Panel 1 Merrick slams his fists up and into the Brothers'
Panel 2 Merrick dives for Sims. Tackling him over the
desk, as we see the Brothers' on their knees.
Panel 3 Merrick grabs his guns and kicks over the desk.
The Brothers are on their feet and shooting.
Caption 1: So this was a fun meeting.
Page 12 (4 Panels)
Panel 1 Merrick kicks Sims in the face knocking him out as
he shoots at the Dust Brothers.
You're boss is unconscious. we
could just call it quits and walk
Panel 2 The Brothers diving for cover as they pepper the
desk with gunfire.
Panel 3 Merrick with his back to the desk as splinters of
wood fly around him.
Is that a No?
Panel 4 From the Brothers point of view. The shoot at the
Caption 1: That's a no.
Page 13 (2 Panels)
Panel 1 Merrick standing facing the brothers shooting to
keep them down.
Caption 1: I can't believe I'm about to do this.
Panel 2 Throws himself backwards into the window. Guns
blazing as the window shatters.
Caption 2: I am so stupid.
Page 14 (Splash)
Panel 1 Seen from outside. Merrick crashing through the
window. Shooting towards the opening.
Caption 1: And so we're back here. 150 stories to the
ground and one big stain.
Caption 2: I have about 15 seconds before I get hit by
a skycar and maybe 45 until I becoming a permanent
part of a 20th century road.
Page 15 (3 panels)
Panel 1 We see Merrick's hand flicking a switch on one of
Panel 2 Closeup of Merrick's gun, a small arrow pops out
Caption 1: IhopethisworksIhopethisworksIhopethisworks
Panel 3 Long vertical panel. We see Merrick falling ,
firing a grappling hook out of his gun, the rope spiraling
upwards toward the building.
Page 16 (2 panels)
Panel 1 Small panel in corner of page. The grappling hook
wraps around an 19th century gargoyle.
Panel 2 Rest of the page shows Merrick swinging back
toward the building.
Page 17 (4 Panels)
Panel 1 An elderly couple sitting in front of a holoset.
They're eating supper. We see Merrick outside the window.
Panel 2 The couple hasn't moved. They don't see Merrick
speeding towards their window. He's closer and we see the
look of amused horror on his face.
Panel 3 Merrick smashes through their window and into
their tv trays. Spraying food everywhere.
Panel 4 Merrick standing brushing himself off as the
couple look at him shocked.
Caption 1: Well that was interesting, Totally ruined
Page 18 (3 Panels)
Panel 1 Merrick looking out the door of the apartment into
the hallway. The coast looks clear.
Caption 1: Hope they didn't see where I made my
Panel 2 Elevator door. Dings on the 96th floor.
Panel 3 The doors open and we see the Dust Brothers in the
Caption 1: I'm so asking for a raise when I get back
Page 19 (6 Panels)
Panel 1 Merrick running down the hall. Half turned
shooting at the elevator.
Panel 2 View from inside the elevator looking out. We see
Merrick shooting at the elevator doors. The shots
exploding all over the outside wall. The two Dust
brothers, One on either side of the doors.
DUST BROTHER 1:
This guy is harder to kill than the
DUST BROTHER 2:
Panel 3 Dust Brother 1's hand holding a grenade.
Panel 4 From outside the elevator we see the grenade
coming towards us.
Panel 5 Close up of Merricks face looking shocked.
Caption 1: A grenade!? Who throws grenades?!
Panel 6 From inside the apartment we see Merrick diving in
ahead of a ball of fire.
Page 20 (5 Panels)
Panel 1 We see the open elevator doors at the end of a
charred and burning hallway. The Dust Brothers have their
heads poking out the doors of the elevator.
DUST BROTHER 2:
We should have used a bigger
DUST BROTHER 1:
That would have brought the whole
building down. He's trapped.* Now
we just move in and take him down.
Panel 2 The couple is still sitting watching their
program. They don't seem to have noticed all the action
going on around them. Merrick is looking at them somewhat
Caption 1: Are these people completely medicated? Well
it makes life easier without them freaking out.
Hopefully they won't mind a couple of corpses in their
Sorry about the mess.
Panel 3 The Dust Brothers sneaking down the hallway
towards the apartment where Merrick is hiding.
DUST BROTHER 1:
Maybe the blast killed him.
DUST BROTHER 2:
I doubt it I've heard of this guy.
He's notorious for his cockroach
like ability to stay alive.
Panel 4 Merrick leaning against the doorway waiting. In
his hand is a grenade with the pin pulled.
Caption 2: I throw grenades that's who.
Panel 5 We see the grenade fall in front of the Dust
Brothers feet. They look surprised.
DUST BROTHER 1 & 2:
Page 21 (2 panels)
Panel 1 Bright blue ray of light emitting from the
grenades turning to the Dust Brothers to...well dust.
Caption 1: I didn't even think of the irony of what I
just did to them. Haha I'm awesome.
Panel 2 Merrick standing over the pile of dust.
Caption 2: Maybe I should bundle it up and send it to
Mr. Sims. Nah that'll just make him want me even more
dead. He's going to be pissed when he hears about
Caption 3: Better get moving the authorities will be
here soon and the less paper work and explaining I
have to do the better. And there's no telling how many
of them are on Sims's payroll.
Page 22 (Splash)
Panel 1 Merrick walking away from the building as fire
truck and police pull up. We see flames coming from high
up the building and fire/police sky cars hovering nearby.
Merrick is reloading his gun as he walks away.
Caption 1: I need to find that girl. Hopefully dusting
the Dust Brothers bought me some time.
Caption 2: This job is becoming more intense than I
Caption 3: Still it's good to be back.
Hope you enjoy it. If you're an artist and want to take a crack at drawing it got right ahead.
Quick feedback ( I got distracted by the youtube link )
I’d go for a louder opening, lots of SFX - I'd also consider having him yelling. You need people plugged into this as quickly as possible - Lots of SFX/Screaming makes it more real, more immersive. I'd even discard most of the initial captions alltogether and just go with Caption: 24 hours earlier when starting the 2nd page.
Its on Earth, but most of the conversation seems to think it’s on Mars. There needs to be more of a distinction, if a Mars crime family boss is on Earth in “his” office, then add “temporary” or “leased” or “field” or “embassy” or something to emphasise the difference and the fact that he is away from home. Or "wow must be a big deal if Sims is here on Earth himself".....
The initial Dust brothers thing was too easy and lacked tension. Having him knocked unconscious and dragged unwillingly along adds tension and puts him on the back foot when dealing with Mr Sims. It also gives us a little bit of an axe to grind when it comes to settling things with the Dust brothers. Look at how much setup goes into establishing animosity with professional wrestlers or boxers before big bouts. It makes it more interesting. There is something to be settled here, a point to prove etc...
Dust brother dialog is a bit stilted. Give them an identity.
Apart from that It was an enjoyable enough read but there was nothing really new in terms of plot or approach. I'd suggest you flesh out the backstory/world building element as well. Have a strong idea of this world/universe, its setup, its technologies - They might never make it to print but what it will do is allow little elements of authenticity to the overall story and could well prove to be useful in providing elements to the plot as well.
Like I said it's the first draft and after a recent read through I can totally see what you're saying about the worlds and environments needing to be more defined and realised. I wanted to try to leave a lot of room for an artist to interpret and build and design. I think that tends to make the world I'm trying to create fall a little flat in the script stage.
I agree it's nothing groundbreaking but I was thinking that it would be something I'd like to read if it were out there.
Thanks for the help.
Holy cow dude a 28 minute video review of my script. Thanks for the effort. I haven't had time to sit down and watch it yet , I only noticed it this evening. But when I do watch it tomorrow I'll be in touch. Seriously 28 minutes is a long time to say it sucks. LOL.
i don't say it sucks, it's just not easy to explain this stuff. I liked your writing style a bit or i wouldn't have bothered with it. i hope it helps at least make you think about a few things. that is all i really intended. I'm here to help so don't let anything i say bother you or discourage you in any way, that is the last thing i want to do. i only cover a few pages, and i just wanted to share a little bit of how an artist has to interpret this stuff. It is sort of a big puzzle and a lot of the work relies on different styles and methods about how to go about translating it. I think that is the over all message i was trying to convey. That and a couple of the issues that i talk about in the vid.
I was joking about you saying it sucks. Just me being self deprecating. I appreciate any help on it. There wasn't a whole lot of planning put into the story when I sat down at the computer. I just got an idea and started writing so alot obviously needs to be worked on and expanded and so on.