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X-O MANOWAR #1 Plot

JayJay here. I’m posting another one of Jim’s plots today. It’s a pretty interesting behind-the-scenes peek to read and compare. This is also available in a reprint volume. Some abbreviations: BG = background, FG = foreground, POV = Point of view

X-O MANOWAR #1 Plot

PAGE ONE

Full page.  Eric is fighting his way down a passageway inside a huge starship.  There is a trail of alien bodies behind him.  He is currently smashing the head of an alien foe with a metal bar, presumably removed from some machine.  Several other aliens are attacking Eric.  Some have weapons, but at such close quarters it’s difficult to use them effectively.

Eric is tall, blond and well-built, with long, shaggy blond hair and beard.  He is discreetly naked.

The aliens present should look like they evolved from spiders.  Several different types should be seen.  These guys aren’t the masters of this ship.  They are, in fact, bio-engineered anthropomorphized spiders, evolved by the aliens to serve as slaves/footsoldiers/cannon-fodder.  The real masters are spidery types, too, but won’t be shown.  No clothes on these guys, but they might have some sort of equipment  — holsters, for instance.

The passageway is vaguely funnel-shaped.  Most spaces on this ship have orb or funnel motifs, but not too obvious.

PAGE TWO

  1. Eric kills the last of the spider-guys.
  2. Close up of Eric as he looks around warily.  His hand is raised near his face.
  3. Now we see why his hand is raised as we look with him at a crude map drawn on his palm.
  4. Cut to outside the ship.  It’s not too far from Earth — maybe 5000 miles.  Lots of little craft are entering or approaching the big ship.
  5. Back inside.  Eric is opening a circular trap door in the floor of a chamber.  Just outside we see more spider-guys running past the chamber Eric’s in.  They think he went somewhere else.

PAGE THREE

  1. Eric slithers down a very narrow tube-like passage…
  2. Eric emerges in a large chamber which houses the X-O armor.  The exit hatch from the tube Eric’s in might be fairly high up.
  3. Eric drops to the floor, tantalizingly near the armor.
  4. In another chamber — a “local” command station, as opposed to the main bridge, alarms flash and sound.  A “master” spider-guy, who we should deliberately obscure, points to a screen with a map or schematic showing the location of the trouble — that is, someone is in the X-O chamber!  Lesser spider-guys scramble.  The “master” spider-guy is short and slight compared to the rest, if any indication at all is given.
  5. As Eric is just reaching the armor, a huge, heavy door rises open bg.  A heavily-armed squadron of spider-guys is outside, already drawing a bead on Eric.
  6. Eric pulls the ring on the X-O suit…

PAGE FOUR

  1. and backs into it as the spider-soldiers sweep toward him.  The officer in charge is ordering his troops to fire.
  2. The suit enfolds him as many rayblasts hit.  Another tenth of a second and he’d have been toast.  Luckily, none of the shots hit any parts of Eric not yet completely covered.
  3. The suit is now completely closed around Eric.  The troops blast away futilely.  X-O is raising an arm, as if to point at them…
  4. Cut to outside the ship as a big chunk of the side of it blows outward.
  5. Cut back to X-O, his gun arm pointed at a series of holes in walls leading to open space.  Bits and shards are being sucked out into the vacuum.  X-O would be too, if the suit weren’t magnetically anchored.  (He blew away the spider-squad and the walls.)
  6. X-O looks at his own blaster arm, surprised by his own power.

PAGE FIVE

  1. X-O leaves through the hole.
  2. X-O flies away.  The ship fires at him with energy weapons.  Photon Torpedo-type things.  He’s veering to evade and looking back.
  3. X-O slams himself into the ship’s guns as they fire.  Talk about a berserker.  Thre is a huge explosion.
  4. X-O is thrown Earthward.  Background, the ship is still breaking up.
  5. Cut to X-O high above the Peruvian Andes, descending.  The armor has anti-grav capabilities, so its orientation isn’t necessarily boots-down.
PAGE SIX
  1. X-O lands awkwardly on a snow-covered mountain, near the peak.
  2. X-O looks around…
  3. …quits the armor…
  4. …and leaving it in the snow, fg, walks away, discreetly naked.
  5. Eric arrives at a village, far down the mountain.  Natives point and stare.
  6. Inside one of the sparse, poor houses, Eric sits, wrapped in blankets in front of a kerosene heater, wolfing down food.  No manners.  This guy’s a savage.  The family, including a pretty-ish nineteen-year-old daughter and a little boy, look on amazedly, bring more food, and talk about this strange savage from the mountain.
PAGE SEVEN
  1. Cut to Manhattan, featuring a distinctive office skyscraper.
  2. Inside now, establish a plush, modern office.  One man, at the desk, is addressing a woman sitting in a chair, facing him.  Another man, a nasty-looking guy, stands.  All three look serious, grim.  They’re talking about the ship X-O destroyed.
  3. In a close-up, the woman, call her Widow, explains that the X-O armor itself is their only ticket off of this world.  She’s sinisterly beautiful.
  4. In a close-up, the seated man, call him Recluse says that the armor has been traced.  They’ll have it soon.  But they need the ring to operate it.
  5. They’ll get it, she says, rising.  Here, the standing man, the Commander is FG.  He’ll commit the necessary forces.  Maybe they can simply make a deal with the savage, Recluse says.  He says, yes, if necessary.
PAGE EIGHT
  1. Cut to the village.  Eric is wearing a serape and baggy native-style pants.  He’s clearing big stones from a small field.  He’s strong.  The nineteen-year-old girl, Maria, is also in the field, hoeing.  The little boy, bg, is playing.
  2. They take a break.  Maria has brought him water.
  3. Close up of her as she examines his ring.
  4. A VW truck pulls up with a couple of men from the village.  They signal Eric to come with them (to a bigger town nearby).
  5. The little boy is close FG, Eric riding away with the men in the back of the truck, BG.  Ominous feel.
  6. A noise catches the little boy’s attention.  He points at a squadron of helicopters in the distance, in the opposite direction form the one the truck went, and in the same direction as the main part of the village.  Maria looks, shading her eyes.
PAGE NINE
  1. Cut to the larger town.  The men are smoking and talking to other men in the market.  Eric was standing by watching, but his attention is drawn to the little boy, racing into the square.
  2. The boy, in tears, explains to the men what happened.  Eric doesn’t understand, but intuits that it’s bad.  He’s already running back toward the village.
  3. Cut to Eric arriving on the dead run at the village.  It’s intact…
  4. …but the people are all dead, shriveled husks — as though their juices were sucked out.
  5. Maria is the worst.  In silhouette, or at least without being too gross, we suggest that she has been dismembered, head on a stake, whatever.
PAGE TEN
  1. Near Maria, Eric finds a small device — an alien tape recorder.  The men are arriving, BG.
  2. In Eric’s hand, the tape activates, telling him in Spiderese that the aliens have the suit, now they need the ring.  If he simply puts it somewhere and lets them know where, they’ll leave him alone.  If not, well…
  3. Eric looks at the ring.
  4. He sets off walking.  The men, devastated with grief, are FG.
  5. Cut to much later.  Eric is walking, following the ring’s guidance.  It apparently has a homing instinct built in.  He doesn’t realize, of course, that he’s walking to New York.  Not that it would matter to him.
  6. Cut to an abandoned factory in upstate New York.  A limo has just arrived and an aide is opening the door for Widow.  A subordinate is greeting her with the news that they’ve found Eric.  Hiding?  she asks.
PAGE ELEVEN
  1. As they enter the factory, under which is their fortress, the subordinate explains.  No, Eric isn’t hiding.  He’s on his way here.  Walking.  So?  Throw everything we’ve got against him.  Nothing else matters.
  2. They ride down in an elevator.  The sub says Eric’s clever.  He’s had 2000 years to learn their ways.  He’s proving hard to kill.  Widow asks if the suit has been secured.
  3. Yes says the sub, as they leave the elevator into a large chamber.  In this chamber we can see the suit weighted down and restrained by huge blocks, cables, clamps, etc., as if they expected it to fly away.
  4. Good, says Widow, then says something about the need for really good treachery.
  5. Cut to Eric in the jungle.  He’s hiding, covered in moss and mud half embedded in the moss and mud of the bank of a little stream.  The boots of a human soldier (a bio-engineered spider-guy, really) are visible FG, walking past Eric.  Maybe a second pair, those of a guy behind the first in line are also visible.
PAGE TWELVE
  1. After the column has passed, Eric rises, now armed with several small-arms alien weapons.  He’s aiming one at the column.
  2. He fires.
  3. Cut to a clearing where many helicopters are parked.  Out of these big military choppers have come alien-looking ground vehicles and weapons.  The theory is this:  the aliens use Earth-type transport, and most of their field troops look human.  However, they use alien weapons if required.  There is confusion and fear over the loss of the patrol Eric just destroyed.  You might show smoke rising from the jungle, BG.
  4. The commander is radioing back to Widow.  She’s screaming at him.  Meanwhile, Eric strides out into the clearing carrying the alien equivalent of a LAWS rocket, recovered from the column.
  5. He’s spotted as he draws a bead on a nasty-looking big tank thing.
PAGE THIRTEEN
  1. Boom!  He destroys the tank with enough force to destroy most everything near it.
  2. Cut to Widow.  An aide is telling her the task force is vapor.
  3. The Widow says no more task forces, as she picks a fly out of the air between thumb and forefinger.
  4. She examines the fly as if to eat it.  She says send individual agents.  One on one is how we hunt.  Lure him into a trap.  Does anyone have a dab of salt?
  5. Cut to a small lowland city, probably Iquitos, Peru.  Eric is entering the town, still carrying a couple of weapons.  It’s night.
PAGE FOURTEEN
  1. As Eric cautiously makes his way down the street, some girls hanging around in front of the local bar/trollop house call to him.  They’re dressed for the sleazin’.
  2. Eric stops and stares.  A few more girls come out on the porch calling to him to come in.
  3. A big, nasty-looking guy, mostly human, lurks on the porch roof.  Eric takes a step toward the porch.
  4. Eric stops, reminded, perhaps, of Maria — not in a soppy, romantic way, but that these kind made good bait.
  5. Eric lurches back, narrowly evading the huge assassin who has leaped down from the porch swinging a glowing mace-type weapon with two points like spider-fangs.
PAGE FIFTEEN
  1. The big guy pounces again, driving Eric back, knocking away his weapons.
  2. The big guy fends off a blow by Eric and hits with one of his own.
  3. The big guy bites Eric (though his mouth parts are human, instinct asserts).  He went for Eric’s neck but got shoulder.
  4. Eric endures the pain  and jams his fingers deep into the guys eyes.  Careful, not too gory.
  5. Eric clubs the writhing big guy with his own fang weapon.
  6. Eric stands over the body, breathing hard.  Magnificent, says a voice from the porch.
PAGE SIXTEEN
  1. The voice belongs to Maurice, a gay man.  Eric doesn’t understand applause, but can see this guy’s no threat.
  2. Maurice tries to examine Eric’s wound, but Eric pulls back.  Close on Maurice.
  3. Maurice’s gentle persistence makes Eric let him look.
  4. Maurice leads Eric to his hotel.
  5. Soon, Maurice has bound Eric’s wound and is trying to coax him into a bubble bath (just Eric.  Maurice is fully dressed).
  6. Soon, Eric is in the bath, looking a little suspicious but not too unhappy.
PAGE SEVENTEEN
  1. Soon, Maurice is showing Eric, wrapped in towels to the sofa, where he can sleep.
  2. Maurice heads for the bedroom, waving nighty night, leaving this beautiful savage hunk lying on the couch.  Maurice says he thinks they’ll have a beautiful relationship.
  3. Morning.  Maurice finds Eric gone.  Sigh.
  4. Maurice discovers Eric, who was sleeping curled up or squished up behind a heavy piece of furniture — hiding.
  5. Maurice says Eric’s obviously a man in trouble.  He’ll help.  First we’ll change your appearance — shave and haircut.  Then you can come with me to New York.
  6. Later, Maurice leads Eric onto an airplane in Bogota.  Eric is in a suit, shaved and trimmed.
PAGE EIGHTEEN
  1. On board, sitting in first class, Maurice is holding onto Eric’s arm, the classic feminine gesture.  Eric doesn’t notice.
  2. Close up as Maurice admires Eric’s ring.
  3. Eric pushes him away angrily.
  4. The stewardess runs over to see what’ s wrong.  Maurice sputters something about an accident, wiping his drink off of his jacket.
  5. Maurice sulks.  Eric seems oblivious.
  6. Soon, at Kennedy, Maurice tells Eric wait while he makes a call.
PAGE NINETEEN
  1. Cut to the Widow.  An aide is telling her Maurice is on the line.  He’ll be delivering Eric to their hangar momentarily.
  2. Back to Maurice and Eric.  Maurice is saying  well, come on you big, stupid lug.  Let’s go get you slaughtered.  Eric is looking at his ring.
  3. Eric points to the ring and looks sincerely into Maurice’s eyes.  “Objetiva próximo.”
  4. Eric picks Maurice up in an affectionate, grateful bear hug.  “Gracias.”
  5. People stare at this odd couple’s public display of affection.
  6. Close up of Maurice.  He’s realizing that he really likes this guy.
PAGE TWENTY
  1. Reluctantly, Maurice leads Eric through the airport, perhaps out a door.  He’s explaining in English what he’s doing and why.  Eric doesn’t understand.
  2. They near the hangar.  Maurice continues explaining.
  3. Outside the hangar, Maurice stops.  He can’t do this.  He admits his treachery, and begs Eric to put the ring down and flee.  Come with him.  No strings attached.  He just wants Eric to live.
  4. Maurice continues.  He has places they can hide till the aliens are gone.  Eric looks almost as if he were considering it.
  5. Inside the hangar, where an army of bad guys await, an officer looks out through a peep hole at Maurice and Eric, realizing that Maurice is betraying them.
  6. Attack!  The hangar door burst open and the horde of armed men and deadly machines rushes toward Maurice and Eric, firing.
PAGE TWENTY-ONE
  1. Maurice is hit.
  2. Eric carries him behind a tank truck.
  3. Maurice is dying.  He says “call it.  Llame lo.”
  4. Troops round the trucks firing at Eric, who drops Maurice.
  5. Eric scampers under the tankers returning fire with his spider-blaster.  Look out, says a bad guy.  These are gas trucks.
  6. BOOM!  The truck blows up.
PAGE TWENTY-TWO
  1. Much fire and wreckage.  Alien soldiers are everywhere, sorting through debris, searching for Eric and the ring.
  2. Eric is pinned under wreckage.  Fire is dangerously close.
  3. He looks at the ring.
  4. He says the same words the men in the truck said to him back in the village.  Come.
  5. Cut to the bunker.  The guards around the suit are noticing a tremor.
  6. Cables start to snap.
PAGE TWENTY-THREE
  1. The suit spectacularly rips free of its constraints.
  2. Forming itself into a sphere…
  3. It smashes out of the factory, impervious to shots fired at it.
  4. The suit arrives at Kennedy.  Good overhead establishing shot of the fire and chaos.
  5. Beside Eric the suit lands, unfolding.
PAGE TWENTY-FOUR
  1. Cut to the commander ordering anti-fire units (alien technology) to douse the blaze.
  2. The blaze is doused.
  3. Troops with heavy equipment move to where Eric was.
  4. From out of the smoke strides X-O.
PAGE TWENTY-FIVE
  1. Most drop their guns, abandon their vehicles and flee.
  2. The commander, in a powerful looking alien tank is furious.  He denounces his fleeing troops and orders the tank to attack.  Eric may be wearing the armor, but he’s not good at using it yet.
  3. The tank lands a shot on X-O.
TWENTY-SIX
  1. X-O swings awkwardly, and bends some metal on the tank, but takes another shot.
  2. X-O fires his arm blaster — but the force is deflected harmlessly by an energy or physical shield wielded by the tank.
  3. The tank’s main gun blasts X-O point blank, damaging the armor.
  4. X-O looks limp.  The tank picks him up in a claw.
  5. The commander speaks to Eric in Spiderese.  He doesn’t wish to damage the armor more.  If Eric sheds it and surrenders the ring, he’ll live.
PAGE TWENTY-SEVEN
  1. Eric says your voice is the voice from the tape.  You destroyed the village.  The commander says yes.  And I sucked Maria’s juices personally.
  2. The tank blasts X-O again.  Come to think of it, screw surrender.  I want to suck your juices, too.  A chunk of armor is now missing near Eric’s midsection.
  3. One more shot, says commander.  But X-O grabs the fang-like cannons…
  4. And wrenches them as the shot is taken.  Boom!  Major damage to tank and some to X-O.
  5. Now free of its grip, X-O rips his way inside the tank.
PAGE TWENTY-EIGHT
  1. X-O slices up all the crew except the commander with a secondary weapon.
  2. The commander zaps Eric in his bare spot with a blaster.
  3. Though wounded, X-O breaks off the commander’s gun hand disarming him.
  4. From behind the commander, we see X-O ram his fist down the commander’s throat into his guts…
  5. …and yank him inside out.  This is inside the tank, dark and shadowy.  Suggest, rather than graphically show this.
PAGE TWENTY-NINE
  1. Later, police, firemen and other authorities examine the scene.
  2. Meanwhile, the Widow and Recluse talk nervously.  They have a serous problem.  They must prepare…
  3. Cut to the woods somewhere.  Eric is laying Maurice’s body on a bier.  The armor is nearby.
  4. Eric hugs Maurice goodbye.
  5. Silhouetted against the flames of the bier, armored again, X-O strides toward us.  Angry.

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24 Comments

  1. I'll do a post about the DARING properties one day soon. No relation to Golden Age characters. Thanks, Joe.

  2. I haven't heard anything about the Daring properties, is that anything you can talk about? any relation to the Golden Age characters? sounds interesting–

    Joe

  3. I own a very small stake in the DEFIANT properties pursuant to a verbal agreement with Eric Ellenbogen. Not worth the paper it's printed on, some would say, but Eric has always been honorable. I'll tell a story about that later. We should codify it one of these days, soon. I own the DARING properties but have a similar debt of honor to JayJay and Joe James. There will be deductions from JayJay's participations in retaliation for her various malfeasances. : )

    I also own eight other fully developed properties and too many half-baked ones to talk about.

  4. Anonymous

    @JediJones:

    I was thinking along the same lines — a website for digital comics, like a news magazine with newspaper strips. It could be sustained through advertisement. But then, with the current state of the economy…

    But, Jim, don't you hold a higher stake in Defiant properties? And what about the unborn Daring Comics projects? Did they end up at Broadway? I can't recall which came first.

    But this blog has enough readers that such a project could really come to be. Something to really think about, eh?

    Cheers.
    –Rick Dee

  5. It was fun reading it too, Jim, and we fans miss it just as much if not more than you do. The greatest untold "What If?" story in comics in my opinion is "What if you had remained in charge of Valiant?" That slightly edges out "What if you had bought Marvel?"

    Of course I'm reading the Dark Key titles now and I'm disappointed they're ending. I really hope if the current owners of the Valiant properties do attempt a relaunch that they invite you back to run the show and offer you a fair deal. Of course you'll always deserve a better one since you deserve to own those characters. But I hope the perfect deal wouldn't be the enemy of a good deal for you.

    If not that, then I wish that you'd come up with some new comic book masterpiece(s) and self-publish it as a web comic. I think you have it in you to write something that could surpass everything you've done before and say something really new while staying true to those classical comic book storytelling techniques. I could see it being something like Watchmen or of course Valiant that gets everybody talking and takes the genre and/or the industry by storm.

    I feel like you need to be in complete control of what you write and you need it to be affordably published enough that it has time to build an audience through word-of-mouth. Some form of web-based comic seems like it could pull that off. I'm not sure if there's an existing site you could partner with or not, but designing a new site to collect payments in exchange for reading comics would not be the hardest thing for a web developer to do.

    I can only see one pathway for the comic industry to rebound and get back the readership levels it used to. That is through digital distribution. Which would need to be coupled of course with great stories that are accessible to people who are not currently comic book fanboys and fangirls. Whether those should be all-ages adventures like Valiant or mature stories for adults like Watchmen is an open question.

    We haven't had a comic book "go viral" yet. I firmly believe it's going to happen someday. I would love for you to be the guy that makes it happen. You've shown, not told, the industry what it's been doing wrong more than once before. I believe you are still the guy who can do it again. And Jay Jay is still the woman to color it, of course. 🙂

  6. Dear KintounKal,

    So hard to remember all of what I'd planned, what I meant by those Previews snippets. I don't think I intended for Jillian to die (I always type "Gillian" and have to correct it. I spelled it with a J back then so people would pronounce it right). That's why I had Gilad toss her the gun as he vanished. Andar the Geomancer? Wow. That actually seems fraught with possibilities, but I don't remember what I had in mind. If I think about it for a while, maybe the little light will go on. Or maybe JayJay remembers.

    Boy, it was fun doing that stuff. I miss it.

  7. KintounKal

    I thought I might be interpreting the solicitation too literally but I'm pleased to hear that isn't the case. Unity #0 ("Ends Of The Earth") made it clear Gilad understood Jillian was almost certainly dying as he was summoned to Geoff.

    Gilad returning in the nick of time didn't seem probable. If Jillian was murdered as intended, I wonder how Neville would react to Gilad's explanation that he was needed elsewhere.

    The other big discrepancy found in those Previews solicitations pertains to Solar, Man of the Atom #14. It claimed "Solar brings Andar, the new Geomancer, into modern day Earth and sets out to right the ravages of UNITY."

    Was Andar really considered to replace Geoff McHenry as Geomancer? Prior to Dark Key, Jim & Faye Perozich only wrote Andar once in Magnus, Robot Fighter #12 ("Stone And Steel"). He had no role in the Unity crossover.

    Tim Truman later established that Andar was displaced from the Lost Land to 1908. He was an old man when he died in Turok: Dinosaur Hunter #5 ("Shades Of Yesterday Part 2: Fear No Evil") so readers never saw him interact with Solar or Geoff.

  8. No indecision on my part. What they did after I left I don't know.

  9. Eternal Warrior 3 was scripted without a copy of the plot or story notes or anything. They just made up totally random dialog that had nothing to do with the story as it was intended.

  10. KintounKal

    Oops. At the end of the second paragraph, I meant to type 'Was there any indecision over her fate at the end of "Unity chapter 2: Footprints On The Sands Of Time"?'

  11. KintounKal

    Likewise, the official Previews VALIANT/Voyager Communications solicitation for The Eternal Warrior #3 claimed Gilad returns from UNITY to hunt down his secretary's killer. That's interesting because Jillian Alcott survived and went on to become of DeathAngel.

    Originally, this issue was going to be scripted by Jim. When "Rise Up And Strive Again" was published, the credits said the story was provided by Janet Jackson and it was written by Kevin VanHook and Jim Shooter. Was there any indecision over her fate at the end of "

    Of course, Jillian surviving sort of contradicts Gilad taking precious seconds to recruit his brother and Archer. I prefer the idea of Gilad being whisked away to the Lost Land at the cost of Neville's daughter. That direction seemed to have more potential.

  12. Englehart scripted much of that issue. I guess he decided to spare Ken.

  13. Anonymous

    I notice that Maurice/Ken dies in the script. When did you decide to keep him alive?

  14. I'm not sure when Steve Englehart started writing, but in the sixties I was instructed that ALL sentences ended with an exclamation or question mark. The reason? Bad letterpress printing on newsprint so cheap that one could see the wood chips in it. Editors were afraid that periods would be lost.

  15. Anonymous

    Is it just me, or did Steve Englehart have a fetish for exclamation points? In his entire approximately 30-issue run of Silver Surfer (which was excellent, in my opinion — best run of SS I've ever read), I think only *one* declarative sentence ended in a period. Seriously. One. I was counting. Apart from that one (and I wish I had jotted down where it is), every single sentence that wasn't a question ended in an exclamation point. Which actually worked fine with that particular series. But, sadly, he did the same thing with his Ultraverse title "The Strangers" and inadvertently ruined the tone of the book, as "Strangers" just wasn't the same kind of story as "Silver Surfer." The tone of the book should have been ominous…not "ominous!" (The Ultraverse itself had sort of an ominous tone to it overall…this was a world where no superpowers seemed to come without a drawback.) Anyway, I bring that up because all the Spanish dialogue he wrote for XO#1 seems to end in exclamation points. Wonder if that's something anyone on any editorial staff (Valiant, Marvel, Malibu, etc.) ever noticed or made mention of.

  16. Steve Englehart dialogued those pages. I dialogued the first six. I assumed, perhaps mistakenly, that Steve's Spanish was okay. I should have checked.

  17. Boy,

    I wrote a review of X-O Manowar #1 back in 2008 to coincide with Valiant Entertainment's X-O Manowar: Birth hardcover being released. I attempted to translate the spanish word balloons starting on page 10 and ending on page 27.

    Page 10, Panel 6

    The woman named Maria says "Te he traido una copa de agua, Aric!" This translates as "I have brought to you a water glass, Aric!"

    Page 11 Panel 1

    Maria replies "Que trabajador eres, Aric! Nunca en mi vida he visto un hombre como tù!" This translates as "That worker you are, Aric! In my life I have never seen a man as you!"

    The boy called Carlitos says "Eres mas como un angel, caido del cielo! Preguntale otra vez del anillo Maria!" This translates as "You are more like an angel fallen down of the sky! Ask him again of the ring Maria!"

    Page 11 Panel 2

    Note that Aric refers to Maria as "M'rrha". Of course, that's not her real name.

    Page 11 Panel 3

    The man driving the green jeep enters and asks "Hola, Aric! Listo para el viaje?" This translates as "Hello, Aric! Ready for the trek?"

    Maria says "Adios, Aric!" This translates as "Farewell, Aric!"

    Page 11 Panel 4

    Maria then says "El ni penso de mi, Carlitos!" This translates as "He did not even think about me, Carlitos!"

    Carlitos replies "Ai de mi! Chicas!" This translates as "Ai of me! Girls!"

    Page 11 Panel 5

    Maria replies "Un dia, hermanito, tu estaras interesado en — Qué pasa?" This translates as "One day, little brother, will you be interested in — What happens?"

    Carlitos looks up in the sky and says "Mira, Maria!" This translates as "Sight, Maria!"

    Page 11 Panel 6

    Carlitos points at four approaching helicopters and asks "Qué es esto?" This translates as "What is this?"

    Page 12 Panel 2

    Aric replies "Kay ess?" This is his incorrect way of asking "Qué es?" This translates as "What is?"

    Carlitos screams "Los helicóptoros–! Mataron todos–! Maria–!" This translates as "The helicopters-! They killed all-! Maria-!"

    Page 17 Panel 1

    The prostitute in fishnet stockings says "Que tal, hombre! Eres muy listo, eh?" This translates in Spanish as "How is, man! Are you very ready, eh?" Next, Jaki says "Was, dann–Sprichst du kein spanish? Bist du deutscher?" This translates in German as "What, then – Speaking you nobody Spanish? Are you German?"

    Page 19 Panel 2

    Aric says "Grrha-sis!" which is his wrong way of phrasing "Gracias!". This Spanish word means "Thank you!"

    Page 21 Panel 6

    It's the same situation as above where Aric can't say "Gracias Ken!" properly.

    Page 22 Panel 4

    Aric yells "Grrha-sis! Mee-go!" which is his way of phrasing "Gracias! Amigo!" This translates as "Thank you! Friend!"

    Page 22 Panel 5

    Aric is getting frustrated with his limited Spanish vocabulary but he can only repeat "Friend! Friend, Ken!"

    Page 27 Panel 3

    Aric yells "Vi-a-je! VI-A-JE!" This means "Trek! TREK!"

  18. In this particular case, the pencils were done from the plot, then the dialogue and captions were written to work with the images, which is "Marvel Style." I wrote the dialogue and caps for the first half dozen or so pages and Steve Englehart did the rest. I'd have to look to tell you exactly where the handoff occurred and I don't have a copy handy.

  19. Does the dialogue and narration get added after the images or do you have a good idea of what it's going to be before it's drawn?

    Really cool to see this, by the way. I'm pretty sure I've got this issue. I'll have to dig through my boxes to compare it shot for shot.

    Thank you for posting this. It's great to see how the creative process plays out.

  20. Boy

    I haven't read through the issue or anything else so I don't really understand what's going.

    It starts off with Aric in the spaceship. He follows the map on his hand to some mysterious armor. So he uses the armor to escape.

    It doesn't exactly say where he came from or how he got the map on his hand, but that will probably be explained eventually.

    He crash lands in South America, and ditches his armor for no reason.

    In NY, there's 3 people in an office discussing something. Who are they, and how could they possibly know about the armor and Aric?

    Can somebody please translate the spanish? He's outside helping out, and all of a sudden, a jeep pulls up. So he decides to go with them? Why? How long was he with the spanish people? It doesn't exactly say.

  21. Yeah, the names used for all the Spider Aliens are different too. Widow was Lydia of course while "Recluse" became "Prather" and "the Commander" was named "Aristedes". Another significant little change is that Aristedes filled the role of Widow's subordinate in the published comic. So Aristedes was apparently supposed to outrank Lydia yet he ended up being a minion.

  22. Eric also became Aric.

  23. It's interesting that Maurice's name was changed to Ken Clarkson. Was this an intentional nod towards Gold Key's Dr. Clarkson? That would make sense. As soon as Solar's VALIANT origin established that Gold Key comics were fictional, it created a bit of a dilemma. How many similarities should there be between Dr. Seleski's life and that of the original Dr. Solar? Jim was aware of this situation and established some subtle differences to prevent everything being too coincidental. For instance, Gayle Nordheim was not Gail Sanders. Likewise, it's obvious that Dr. Dobson from "Alpha & Omega" was created to replace Dr. Clarkson.

  24. Thanks JayJay. You're answering my questions before I even ask now! lol

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