A post from my vintage Marvel blog concerning the making of CIVIL WAR
Missed a day yesterday unexpectedly, so I’m going to try to double-up a little bit here on the progressing story of CIVIL WAR’s development.
After the outline and the notes that went back and forth that was showcased in the previous entry, Mark went away and wrote a first draft of issue #1–a draft that was very different in a number of respects from what saw print. There isn’t room here to showcase the entire thing, but here’s a little taste:
Marvel Civil War #1
Part One of Eight
Script By Mark Millar
Art By Steve McNiven
36 Script Pages
4th November 2005
1/ We open in the beautiful, suburban town of Bellport in Long Island. It’s night and we get a cool shot from above Speedball as he stands on the edge of a building in the Main Street and speaks to someone on his cell-phone. He’s pretty high up here (though none of the buildings are more than a few storeys high).
CAPTION : Bellport, Long Island:
SPEEDBALL : Well?
RADIO BALLOON : Well WHAT?
2/ Close on Speedball, a little frustrated.
SPEEDBALL : Where ARE you, Microbe?
3/ Cut to Microbe (his team-mate in New Warriors) as he sits in a hotel room and looks shocked, choking on a chip as he realizes he’s been lazing around watching TV when he should have been meeting his friend. The room is covered in CDs, DVDs and all the things a guy like him would take from hotel to hotel.
MICROBE : Oh, man. I totally FORGOT. We were TEAMING-UP tonight,
MICROBE : Stay where you are, Speedball. I’ll grab a cab and get there as
soon as I can.
1/ Cut back to Speedball and we pull back and see the camera crew all standing around and waiting for them to strike as a make-up girl attends to his cheeks.
SPEEDBALL : RELAX, dude. The best we could find was a Breaking and Entry
at some Mom and Pop CONVENIENCE STORE.
SPEEDBALL : All the kids are watching ‘New Warriors’ to see us fight
MAGNETO or somebody and this is how the producers hope
we’re gonna hit the BIG TIME?
2/ Switch angles and we see this lovely little place where nothing bad ever seems to happen ever. It’s hardly the kind of town for a superhero to keep busy.
RADIO BALLOON : Reality TV sucks, man–
SPEEDBALL : No, Bellport, Long Island sucks.
3/ Cut back to the hotel and we see Microbe sitting back and enjoying some chips again as he watches Wonder Man Simon Williams on TV. Please note that he needs an entirely different look now he’s gone into politics. He can’t look as slick and sleazy as he usually does and this is obviously something to discuss before we get moving.
RADIO BALLOON : What you doing ANYWAY?
MICROBE : Just watching the box. That guy running for Congress on the
SUPERHERO REGISTRATION ticket’s on Sixty Minutes and,
I gotta say, the dude really SPEAKS to me, man.
4/ Switch angles as the conversation becomes a little debate.
RADIO BALLOON : Are you nuts? Wonder Man gets his way every mask in this
country’s gonna be smashing rocks in a GULAG.
MICROBE : Guy used to be a SUPERHERO, jackass. He doesn’t want a ban.
He just wants POWERS licensed like GUNS are licensed.
MICROBE : You really think it’s a good idea to dish out adamantium claws
without a little PSYCH-EVALUATION?
1/ Cut to Speedball once again as he finishes his call. We’re looking over his shoulder here and see him looking down from the building at the back of a store where a bunch of teenage kids are exiting with lots of stuff they’ve stolen.
SPEEDBALL : Sigh.
SPEEDBALL : Would you look at these guys? Oldest must be TWELVE.
2/ Cut back to Microbe for a moment, very worried.
MICROBE : Just be careful, Robbie. Breaking and Entry almost always means
junkies and junkies almost ALWAYS carry GUNS.
3/ Cut back to Speedball and a great poster-shot of him leaping towards us and all those little orange bubbles start to appear around him.
SPEEDBALL : Fingers crossed.
1/ Okay, I’m going to leave this sequence in your capable paws, Steve, but the panels here are registered for the required number of beats as Speedball leaps around and smacks someone in every panel. Imagine a bouncing ball let loose in a confined space and draw a little body around it. Remember, three panels on this page and somebody getting their teeth knocked out in every panel.
THIEF ONE : HOLY—!
2/ Second guy gets hit.
3/ Third and fourth guys get hit.
1/ Fifth guy gets hit.
2/ Switch angles and we see Speedball squatting on the shoulders of the fifth guy (whom he’s just taking out) and looking around towards us very suddenly as the sixth guy only just reacts, realizing what’s happening. This entire sequence should have taken place in a fraction of a second. Speedball look playfully pissed off.
LITTLE ROBBER : SPIDER-MAN!
SPEEDBALL : Okay, you’re going down TWICE as hard, fat-boy.
3/ Cut to a nearby street and we see Happy Hogan and Pepper Potts (supporting cast from the old Iron Man comic) as they walk back through the town centre, holding hands and laughing.
HAPPY HOGAN : (little bit of banter)
PEPPER HOGAN : (should mention Tony Stark)
4/ Zoom-in a little on Happy and Pepper, both having a laugh.
HAPPY HOGAN : (little more banter)
1/ Cut back into the alley and we see all these kids lying unconscious around Speedball as the final kid points a gun at him, trembling as he does so. The camera guys are filming the whole thing for the New warriors television show.
SPEEDBALL : Oh, look. Your Dad’s gun. I’m so scared.
SPEEDBALL : Just TRY it, man.
2/ Closer on Speedball as he gives a little smirk, beckoning the kid on.
SPEEDBALL : C’mon.
SPEEDBALL : Try it and see what ol’ SPEEDBALL has in store.
3/ Shot of the kid firing the guns, eyes closed and knocked back a little by the power of this thing that he’s clearly never fired before.
4/ Reaction shot from Speedball as he smacks the bullet effortlessly and sends it flying off-panel.
1/ Pull back and we see the scene from another angle as Happy and Pepper walk past the alley, completely unaware of what’s happening. Remember, this whole sequence is really slowed down here and should maybe even be in a different colour.
2/ Big close-up of the bullet coming right towards us.
3/ Close on Happy and Pepper smiling, a fearful look on Happy’s face as he begins to look around for a moment, his eyes widening as he realizes something’s wrong.
4/ Pull back and a nasty shot of the bullet going right through Happy’s head, JFK-style. This is where we suddenly snap back to reality and real-time. I think we could get away with the messiness here as long as he’s facing away from us. But it needs to be visceral as this one bullet changes everything.
1/ Cut back to Speedball, the final thief and the camera guy and everyone is open-mouth at what’s just happened here.
CAMERA-GUY : Holy $*&@.
2/ Head and shoulders shot of Pepper Potts as her face is covered in Happy’s blood and her eyes are as wide as Jackie Kennedy’s. She’s holding her hands up to her face and trembling.
PEPPER (small) : Happy?
3/ Pull back for an overhead of the scene as she crouches down and attends to her dead husband, the pool of blood stretching out across the pavement. We can see Speedball and the camer guys standing here, paralysed with fear and the final thief running off down the alley, obviously wanting to get out of here ASAP.
PEPPER (huge) : Oh my God.
PEPPER (bigger) : HAPPY!
From this point, Mark wrote two additional drafts in short order, based on reactions from myself, Joe Q and a number of the writers who were in on the initial brainstorming sessions, including Brian Bendis, JMS and Jeph Loeb. By draft two, the Stamford Disaster opening was in place.