An artist named Chad Thomas, whether he knew it or not, helped me score the Youngblood gig.

The role he played was an entirely unconventional one, but I would be lying if I didn’t admit that the e-mail I received from him, while in the midst of laying final script, didn’t inspire me to do better. Met Chad at Wizard World Chicago during a panel, and somewhere down the line he asked if he could render my Reserve script (a sample piece that I was carrying by the dozen) and use it in his portfolio. Couple weekends ago, as I worked on what will be my first published script, Chad sent along a link that would mark the very first time my words have become a fully realized story.

Hopefully, it won’t be the last.

More than a few people asked to see the pages that turning me into a giggling idiot that evening, and this week, offered for your consumption is The Reserve. Nine of the eleven pages are included next to their corresponding section of script, re-wired according to Chad’s final art, which I think is damn gorgeous. Two pages are missing due to Chad’s concern that they didn’t appropriately compliment the story, and they will be redrawn sometime this summer. But I don’t care. This is too cool for words.

 


The Reserve, Page One

Panel 1

CAP: Tower Residence, Morning.

TV: Where just moments ago, the organization known as Hydra launched an offensive…

Panel 2

REPORTER: …striking Times Square and Union Station almost simultaneously…

Panel 3

JASON: See daddy? See!?

Panel 4

REPORTER: …crippling the city’s morning commute and endangering thousands of lives…

Panel 5

REPORTER: …we’re…we’re now receiving reports that there appears to be nerve gas in the subway system, Hydra has released nerve gas in…

Panel 6

JASON: Is he gonna call daddy? Is he?

Panel 7

REPORTER: …wait…wait…we’ve just gotten word…

Panel 8

REPORTER: The Avengers are on-site! I repeat, the Avengers are here…

VOICE (off-panel): Jack? Jack!! Jack, you’re gonna be late for work!!


The Reserve, Page Two

Panel 1

RADIO: …continuing WJCNs live coverage of Hydra’s latest attack on New York…

Panel 2

No copy.

Panel 3

No copy.

Panel 4

RADIO: The Avengers, on the scene for nearly an hour, remain hopelessly outnumbered…

Panel 5

No copy.

Panel 6

No copy.

Panel 7

No copy.

Panel 8

No copy.

Panel 9

No copy.

Panel 10

RADIO: …we think…yes…yes…reserve Avengers Quicksilver and Falcon have just arrived on scene…

Panel 11

RADIO: This is incredible ladies and gentlemen, the tide of the battle is already turn—

RADIO: Click!!


The Reserve, Page Three

Panel 1

JACK: Yes, I’m sure.

Panel 2

CAP: Three weeks later.

CRAIG: I’m just sayin’…

JACK: There’s nothing wrong with it.

Panel 3

CRAIG: Maybe…maybe things just been quiet?

JACK: Quiet?

Panel 4

JACK: I was on my way here when Hydra tried to drop that nerve gas on us. Ultron chemically altered the planet’s atmosphere a few days after that.

JACK: And when did Kang do that thing with the wormhole and the
White House?

CRAIG: Last Thursday.

CRAIG: I thought this kinesis stuff relaxed you. Or should I just feel silly?

Panel 5

JACK: It does…no…forget it. It’s just…I just…know I should be doing more. I should be…

Panel 6

CRAIG: What? Saving the world? I don’t get you capes man. You could do anything. Anything. Why in the hell do you all wanna ‘save the world’?

Panel 7

JACK: Why not?


The Reserve, Page Four

Panel 1

No copy.

Panel 2

CRAIG: What do these guys pay again?

Panel 3

JACK: It’s not about money.

CRAIG: Then what? The chicks? I know you’re married and everything, but please tell me it’s about the chicks. I’ve seen that stupidoutfit of yours man, it’s gotta be chicks, pretty hot ones.

JACK: It’s not the women. Watch your step.

Panel 4

JACK: I wasn’t put here to make spreadsheets for Stark Financial. They said I passed the clearances. I’m on the list. I don’t know what’s takin’ so long.

Panel 5

JACK: I just want a chance man…just one shot.

Panel 6

CRAIG: They’re gonna call Jack.

Panel 7

JACK: I know.


The Reserve, Page Five

Panel 1

CAP: Six weeks later.

SIMONE: …and we found out he was sleeping with her!!

Panel 2

SIMONE: I asked him to his face, “Are you messin’ around with that tramp?” and he’s all, “Naw, she ain’t my type.” Come to find out he’s kept a change of clothes at her place for three weeks. Can you believe that crap?

SIMONE: Jack? Jack! Are you even listening to me?

Panel 3

JACK: Huh?

JACK: Oh…yeah…Mark’s an ass. Sweet.

Panel 4

SIMONE: It’s been two months Jack. I know how much this whole thing means to you…

Panel 5

JACK: No…you don’t.

Panel 6

SIMONE: How could I? We’ve barely spoken in weeks. I’m starting to think this little fantasy of yours is more important to you than your own family. Is that it Jack?

Panel 7

JACK: What the hell kind of question is that?

SIMONE: Simple one. And apparently you can’t answer it.

Panel 8

JACK: Oh my God.

JACK: I’ll be in the basement.


The Reserve, Page Six

Panel 1

JACK: Unnghh!

Panel 2

JACK: Unnghhh!!

Panel 3

CAPTAIN AMERICA: Nice work son. I think even Iron Man would have trouble rescuing a 747 by himself.

Panel 4

No copy.

Panel 5

CAPTAIN AMERICA: I was actually coming by to see you. We ran the necessary background checks and evaluations.

Panel 6

CAPTAIN AMERICA: Welcome to the reserves.

Panel 7

JACK: Huh. Huh. Huh. Huh. Huh. Huh.

Panel 8

No copy.

Panel 9

No copy.


The Reserve, Page Seven

PANEL 1: Simone is on the living room couch, wrapped in a blanket and reading a book with the aid of a pair of designer frames. Tower’s dialogue coming from off-panel.

JACK: I’m sorry, baby.

PANEL 2: CU on Tower, his eyes taking on an eerie glow as a mischievous smile comes into view.

JACK: Let me make it up to you.

PANEL 3: He sensually embraces his wife, her t-shirt and glasses floating away.

PANEL 4: Panoramic shot, all black to create a bit of separation to indicate time lapse.

PANEL 5: The two of them lay beneath a blanket on the living room floor, holding hands and enjoying each other’s company.

SIMONE: I’m sorry about before. I should’ve been more…

TOWER: You were right. Either they do or they don’t. I can’t just stop living until they do. It’s not fair to you, and it’s fair to our son.

SIMONE: Still…Jack…I have no idea how much it means…hey…you
hear that?

TOWER: What? No. Jason’s not back from Ian’s until tomorrow.

SIMONE: No, no…shh…listen…you don’t hear that beeping? Sounds like it’s coming…

PANEL 6: Panoramic shot of Tower’s eyes, wide with shock.

TOWER: (whisper)…from the basement…


The Reserve, Page Eight

Panel 1

JACK: Oh…oh my God.

Panel 2

No copy.

Panel 3

No copy.

Panel 4

No copy.

Panel 5

No copy.

Panel 6

JACK: Bleugh!!


The Reserve, Page Nine

Panel 1

JACK: Huh. Huh. Uh. Uh. Uh.

Panel 2

VOICE/RADIO: What’s your twenty?

Panel 3

VOICE/RADIO: Are you on-site?

Panel 4

VOICE/RADIO: Respond if possible.

Panel 5

JACK: I can’t. I didn’t know. I wasn’t…

JACK: It isn’t supposed to be…

Panel 6

VOICE/RADIO: Iron Man is in trouble a few blocks over.


The Reserve, Page Ten

Panel 1

VOICE/RADIO: He could use your help.

Panel 2

No copy.

Panel 3

No copy.

Panel 4

No copy.

Panel 5

JACK: I’m here.


The Reserve, Page Eleven

PANEL 1: Gorgeous splash page that sees Jack Tower taking to the sky to fulfill his destiny, occurring at a time and place not of his choosing, but occurring nonetheless. I envision this preferably as an upshot, with the young hero vectoring in on a luminescent full moon that throws uncomfortably bright light in every direction. This shot is the true pay-off to this man’s dreams, and the image needs to have a certain dreamlike quality to it, almost as if this isn’t really happening. Surreal and spectacular in one breath.

JACK: Avenger reporting for duty, sir.

CREDITS: “THE RESERVE”

BRANDON THOMAS-WRITER
CHAD THOMAS- ARTIST

Chad Thomas’ site resides at http://chad.defuser.net and he can be reached at DriftwoodX7@aol.com. Mail him and tell him he did a nice job.


Next: A staple of Ambidextrous is laid to rest as the New Hotness officially becomes extinct, but worry…we’re only replacing it with something better. Find out how you can help next week, and the incentives for doing so. Peace.

Oh, yeah, Gail Simone wants you to buy her first issue of Birds of Prey, which happens to be issue 56 for those that don’t know. DC Comics has just announced that the issue has sold out in just 24 hours, which complicates matters entirely. Be ever vigilant.

Oh, yeah, and Andy Diggle has written one of the freshest pieces of graphic literature to release this year in the form of The Losers. Very soon it will sell out (this is a promise and not idle speculation), once again complicating matters entirely. Be ever so vigilant.

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