This is the first issue of a six issue miniseries titled, "The Clock". The Clock is a public domain superhero that was created in 1938 by George Brenner. I hope you enjoy my fresh take on this old character.
Panel 1: We open in a superhero bar, "Capes and Cowls". It is a crowded night, we see all kinds of superheroes in the background, and we are focused on two in particular. One is wearing a futuristic helmet and jet pack, the other is a ninja/vigilante type. They are both drinking beers.
Ninja: So I just told him straight up, "Look, we can't work together anymore".
Jetpack: Did he ask why?
Panel 2: Same shot.
Ninja: Of course...you know how these sidekick types are. Self conscious, clingy, insecure.
Jetpack: What'd you tell him?
Panel 3: Same shot.
Ninja: I explained to him that his work in the field is sloppy, and it makes me look bad. Just last week, he almost got shot because he tripped over his cape. I mean, this isn't amateur hour. He looks like The Clock out there--
Jetpack: Uh, Jerry...
Panel 4: Now we cut to The Clock sitting at the bar. We see the two conversing superheroes behind him and within earshot. The Clock is nursing a shot.
Ninja: I mean, seriously, if he wants to be so unprofessional, he can go back to the little leagues and compete with semi-retired old men.
Panel 5: Same shot, The Clock drinks the shot.
Ninja: He can go be The Clock's little sidekick or something, I really couldn't care less.
Jetpack: Dude shut up, he's right over there.
Panel 6: The Clock slams his shot glass down on the table, we see the ninja-esque superhero in the background look over at the noise.
CAP: Young people. No respect for their elders.
Panel 1: The Clock got up and is walking through the bar and past the two superheroes who were talking about him.
Ninja: Hey, sorry man, I didn't mean anything by it...
Jetpack: Yeah, he just meant...you know..
The Clock: Yeah. I know.
CAP: Superheroism is a young man's game.
Panel 2: Exterior, we are in NYC on a rainy night, The Clock is exiting the "Capes and Cowls" bar.
CAP: Does it matter to them that I was one of the first masked vigilantes? Do they care that The Clock blazed a trail for all the hordes of costumed crime fighters that followed?
Panel 3: Behind shot of The Clock walking down the empty street in the rain. His shoulders are hunched.
CAP: No, they don't. All this generation cares about is who has the coolest costume, the flashiest powers, and the most expensive gadgets.
Panel 4: Switch the angle to a side shot of The Clock walking down the street. We see an advertisement for "The Silver Sentry" on a bus stop.
CAP: It's all style over substance. There's no place for a first generation superhero like me. When you get as old as me, it's hard enough to chase down a purse snatcher on foot, let alone stop someone from uploading camera phone footage of you huffing and puffing.
Panel 5: Cut to a front shot of The Clock walking down the street in the rain, shoulders hunched, and hands stuffed into his coat pockets.
CAP: No matter how hard you try to keep in shape, there are hundreds of younger superheroes looking to take your place the moment you slip up, and eventually your age will catch up to you.
Panel 6: Behind shot of The Clock starting to cross the street when the traffic eases up.
CAP: Back when I started out as The Clock, I only used the cane as a weapon. Now, I find myself putting some weight on it when my bad knee acts up.
Panel 7: Same shot, The Clock is in the middle of the street and a spotlight has landed on him. He blocks his face from the bright light shining on him from the sky.
CAP: I guess it makes sense...the villain to defeat The Clock ended up being time itself.
OP: Brian O'Brien...do not move. We have you surrounded.
Panel 1: Pull out and switch angles, we see that a police helicopter is in the sky, an ambush of many police cars has arrived. Officers are out of their cars and pointing their guns at The Clock, who is in the middle of the street and lit up by the helicopter spotlight.
OP: You are under arrest for the murder of the Mayor of New York City.
Panel 2: Cut to Peggy Allen, the 40-50 police commissioner, she is standing behind a police car door and speaking over a handheld loudspeaker.
Peggy Allen: Put your hands on your head and drop the cane!
Panel 3: Cut to a tight shot of The Clock puting his hands up, but he has not dropped his cane.
The Clock: There must be some sort of misunderstanding...
Peggy Allen(OP): I said drop the cane!
Panel 4: Behind shot of The Clock with his hands in the air as he releases the cane and lets it drop to the ground. He is silhouetted by the bright spotlight and cop car headlights.
The Clock: Have it your way, officer.
Panel 5: Tight close up on the cane as it bounces on the ground a bit.
SFX: CLACK CLACK
Panel 6: Same shot, the cane is lying on the ground, we see that the diamond studs at the tip of the cane have all shifted to the right and exposed holes in the cane that are spraying copious amounts of smoke.
Panel 1: Pull out, we see The Clock as an obscured shadow in a big billowing cloud of smoke in the middle of the street. Cops are now running towards the cloud of smoke. We see Peggy Allen in the foreground shouting into her megaphone and leading the charge.
Peggy Allen: Suspect is on the move, go, go!
Panel 2: The smoke has cleared somewhat, the cane is gone, we see two cops in the middle of the street bump into each other, but The Clock has disappeared. We see an open manhole on the street.
Panel 3: Tight shot on the open manhole.
Peggy Allen(OP): Damn it, O'Brien.
Panel 4: Cut to Peggy Allen lighting a cigarette with a match, police officers are scarmbling around the area, looking to her for what to do next. She looks pissed. A second in command officer is talking to her.
Peggy Allen: You just had to run, didn't you?
2nd in command: He's fleeing into the sewers...should we send men in after him?
Peggy Allen2: Of course, but it won't make a difference. The Clock knows those sewer lines like the back of his hand.
Panel 5: Cut to The Clock in the dark, damp sewers, wading through ankle high water.
Peggy Allen(CAP): I'd bet my pension that he loses us down there in that shit filled labyrinth.
The Clock(CAP): I've been set up. That much is obvious.
Panel 6: Cut to a third person shot of The Clock wading through the sewers with prupose, maybe a rat scampers by him.
CAP: But why? Why go to such elaborate lengths to frame me for the murder of the mayor?
Panel 1: The Clock stops at a bare wall, we see dim police flashlights around the corner. The Clock taps the wall on a loose brick with his cane.
CAP: I need time to think...need to make some sense of this.
Panel 2: Same shot, we see the brick The Clock tapped depresses into the wall and a secret opening slides open on the wall. The Clock is stepping into the opening passage. We see the police flashlight around the corner getting much brighter.
Cop(OP): He went this way!
Panel 3: Same shot, we see The Clock disappeared into the passage and the secret door is sliding shut. The cop with the flashlight has rounded the corner, but is surprised to find that The Clock is gone.
Cop: I could have sworn I saw him turn his corner...
Panel 4: The Clock is now in a dark room and he is flipping a light switch on the wall.
CAP: Haven't used this place in years...not since the investigation...
Panel 5: Pull out to show The Clock standing in THE GEAR HOUSE, his underground hideout. A massive gear system is in the room. It looks like the inner workings of a watch or clock. We also see various trophies from The Clock's crimefighting career, and a wall of very old 80's style computers. There are abandoned subway tracks running through the room.
CAP: ...it feels good to be back in the Gear House after all this time.
Panel 1: The Clock is walking through the hideout and to the bulky 80's computers filling up a wall.
CAP: Hopefully, the equipment still works.
Panel 2: Over the shoulder shot, The Clock wipes thick dust off one of the old monitors.
CAP: I'm going to need it to figure out what the hell is going on here.
Panel 3: Now the old monitor fills the entire panel. On it, we see news coverage. An anchorwomen is reporting next...next to her head, we see a box with a photo of The Clock as a much younger man. The subtitle reads, "Mayor Murdered, 'The Clock' is primary suspect' ".
Anchorwoman: A tragedy has befallen our city. The Mayor was found murdered in his apartment this morning, and the killer left only one clue at the scene of the crime...
Panel 4: Tight shot on The Clock's calling card, a business card with a stylistic drawing of a clock, like a brand or logo, and the words "The Clock Has Struck!" in bland typeface. The card is in a police evidence bag.
Anchorwoman(OP): ...a calling card. Our older viewers will recognize this as the card that the vigilante known as "The Clock" used to leave at the scene of crimes he allegedly prevented.
Panel 5: The news broadcast cuts to old security camera footage of The Clock as a 27 year old man punching out a masked and armed robber in a bank. The punch is very dynamic and the robber falls backwards on the nylon rope marking the line to the teller.
Anchorwoman(OP): In the lage 80's, The Clock was one of this city's first masked crime fighters.
Panel 6: Same security camera footage, we see another armed robber is about to shoot The Clock from behind, but The Clock whirled around after knocking out the first robber and is pointing his cane at the second. He shoots the diamond stud at the tip of his cane like a projectile at the second robber's gun and knocks it out of his hands.
Anchorwoman(OP): His athleticism and courage combined with his arsenal of gadgets proved to be quite effective in combating rising crime rates.
Panel 1: Cut to news footage of The Clock unmasked, Brian O'Brien, as he is escorted through a crowd of press and protesters by men in suits and cops. They are helping push his way through the crowd to a courthouse.
Anchorwoman(OP): The Clock was an extremely successful vigilante until his arch enemy "The Punster" publicly revealed the identity of the crimefighter..."Brian O'Brien", the district attorney.
Panel 2: A court room painting of Brian O'Brien on the stand.
Anchorwoman(OP): It came to light that O'Brien had bee using information he obtained during his job as the district attorney to bust criminals that the justice system could not successfully prosecute. Clockgate was quite a scandal and a lengthy investigation ensued which ruined O'Brien's finances and career through years of litigation.
Panel 3: Cut to modern news footage of police commissioner Peggy Allen during the daytime and speaking to the press at a podium.
Anchorwoman(OP): For many years, The Clock has been both an obscure footnote in the history of vigilantism and also the butt of many superhero jokes. That changed today, when police commissioner Peggy Allen announced that the ex-district attorney is the prime suspect in the recent murder of Mayor George Brenner.
Peggy Allen: Evidence found at the scene of the crime suggests that The Clock AKA Brian O'Brien may be responsible for the death of Mayor George Brenner.
Panel 4: Pull out, we are now looking over The Clock's shoulder at the dusty, 80's computer monitor displaying the news footage of Peggy Allen.
Peggy Allen: The Clock is armed and dangerous, and it is our top priority to locate and arrest him.
Panel 5: Same shot, The Clock has turned off the monitor in that classic way that old TV's used to shut off with mostly black on the screen and a little blip of light in the center.
CAP: Someone murdered the mayor and left no trace...
Panel 1: Cut to a front shot of The Clock as he pulls one of his business cards like the one we saw on TV out of his jacket pocket. We see that it is the same card from the news broadcast with the stylized Clock logo and the words "The Clock Has Struck!". The Clock is looking at the card, considering it, and we might see a thoughtful look in his eyes through the holes in his mask.
CAP: ...other than one of my old punch cards. Who could have done this?
Panel 2: Cut to a behind shot of The Clock as he moves to the wall of the Gear House where we see several similar versions of his diamond studded canes hanging on the wall in a row. Some are more primitive than others, maybe some of the canes have different attachments and a few are missing the tops.
CAP: It would have to be someone with access to one of my old cards or someone capable of producing a convincing replica.
Panel 3: The Clock adjusts the diamond stud at the tip of the cane while walking past the canes and further dow the wall. We see that the first in a row of framed newspapers enters the panel.
CAP: The police must have plenty of copies of my punch cards on file, so the one left at the scene must be damn near identical to the real deal or they wouldn't have declared me public enemy number one.
Panel 4: The Clock stops at the first newspaper. We see the supervillain "The Punster" on the front page in a police mugshot. He is wearing a costume consisting of a Hugh Hefner style jacket with exclamation points patterened on it, a bowler hat, and a domino mask. The headline reads, "The Clock Puts The Punster In Time Out."
CAP: I caught The Punster counterfeiting money in his "play dough" scheme back when I was starting out...I think he's in a nursing home now. He still might be able to duplicate my card and get it at the scene of the crime, but why would he kill the mayor?
Panel 5: Behind shot of The Clock exiting the Gear House through a sliding poanel.
CAP: Something doesn't add up. I haven't been a major player in the superhero game for years. Why would someone go after me like this now?
Panel 6: The Clock is wading through the sewers again and towards the camera. He is using his cane to plod through the calf-high water.
CAP: Whoever did this didn't count on me getting away from the cops. They probably expected me to get caught right away and take the fall for them. They think I'm old and weak.
Panel 1: The Clock is climbing up a ladder to exit the sewers.
CAP: And they're right. I am a tired old man. But I've still got a few tricks up my sleeve, and these bastards are in for a surprise if they think I'm going to let them set up The Clock for murder.
Panel 2: The Clock climbs up out of the manhole in a dark alley.
CAP: I haven't had a challenge like this in a long time. I hate to admit it, but I'm a little excited.
Panel 3: Cut to the inside of an extremely shady dive bar. The bar is filled with lowlives. At TV is suspended from the ceiling, on it we see the news footage reporting on The Clock and a picture of The Clock as a young man. The Bartender is cleaning a cup and watching the TV.
Bartender: Serves him right...in the 90's, that masked asshole broke my femur for stealing a TV.
Panel 4: Cut to the door of the bar, The Clock walks in.
Bartender(OP): Seriously, I hope he gets the chair.
Panel 5: The Clock walks up to the bar. Everyone looks at him. At guy sitting on a barstool jumps out of his chair as The Clock approaches, and people sitting at the bar move away from him. The Bartender is terrified and is reaching for a phone to call the police.
The Clock: Is that right?
Panel 6: Tigher shot of The Clock taking a seat on the bar stool in front of the Bartender. The Bartender is holding the phone in his hand.
The Clock: Put the phone down, chum. You're not calling the police.
Panel 1: Pull out to show the rest of the bar and The Clock turning away from the bartender. He is pointing his cane at everyone.
The Clock: That goes for the rest of you too. If I see you even reach for a cell phone, I'll shove this cane so far up your ass that you'll be tasting diamonds!
Panel 2: Tight shot of The Clock sitting at the bar with his back to the camera.
The Clock: Now...somebody here knows something. Share it with the rest of the class, please.
Panel 3: Switch angles, The Clock whips his cane at the hand of someone seated near him at the bar. A cell phone is smashed by the tip of the cane and it looks like The Clock broke the dude's hand as well.
The Clock: What did I just say? Don't touch your fucking cellphones. I thought that was clear.
Bartender(OP): Come on man, what do you want from us?
Panel 4: Cut to the frightened bartender over The Clock's shoulder.
The Clock: Excuse me?
Bartender: Nobody here knows shit...just leave and we'll forget you were ever here.
Panel 1: The CLock leaps over the bar and punches the bartender in the face.
The Clock: Oh really?
Panel 2: The Clock lifts the Bartender by the shirt and thrusts him into shelves of liquor. He shatters the bottles and glasses with the bartenders back.
The Clock: Somebody here has information, and they'll talk or I swear to God I'll put every last one of you in the ICU!
Panel 3: Tight shot of The Clock tossing aside the injured Bartender and looking back to the rest of the bar.
The Clock: Well? Anyone ready to talk yet?
Panel 4: The Clock walks behind the bar and to a biker guy sitting at the bar. He points the cane right at the guy's face.
The Clock: How about you? You know something?
Biker: Uh, no?
Panel 1: The Clock cracks the diamond tip of the cane across his face.
The Clock: You sure about that?
Panel 2: The Clock walks out from behind the bar. The guy he hits spits blood all over the bar.
Biker: What the fuck! What's your problem? I didn't do shit!
Panel 3: The Clock walks to the Biker and bends back his hand, breaking his wrist.
The Clock: Well?
Panel 4: The Clock is holding and twisting his injured hand, the biker guy is struggling in pain.
Biker: For the love of god let go! I don't know anything!
The Clock: Well?
Panel 5: The Clock twists even harder. People are standing up in the background and about to try to stop him.
The Clock: Well?!?
Panel 6: Biker guy passes out while The Clock twists his broken wrist. Someone has put a hand on The Clock's shoulder from behind.
OP: That's enough.
The Clock: Eh?
PAGE 13: all wide shots on this page.
Panel 1: The Clock drops biker guy and turns around to face a group of three low lives who walked up behind him.
Lowlife1: You're out of your goddamn mind, old man.
Lowlife2: Nobody here knows who killed the mayor you lunatic.
Lowlife3: And even if we did, why would we talk to a washed up mask like you? Hell, you probably did it, you psycho.
Panel 2: Over The Clock's shoulders, we see Lowlife1 shove him a bit. The three are ready to fight, people are scrambling to leave the bar now.
Lowlife1: Get out of here before we beat your senile ass into a bloody pile of arthritic shit.
Panel 3: Tight shot of The Clock's face. We can see his eyes through his mask's eye holes. He looks crazy angry.
Panel 1: Switch angles and pull out to show the three men lunging to attack The Clock. The Clock kicks one in the groun andhits another in the throat with his cane. The third whips out a knife.
Panel 2: The Clock dodges Lowlife1 who stabs at him with the knife. He also uppercuts another with the cane.
Panel 3: Cut to the Bartender cowering behind the bar and using a phone to cal the police. We see The Clock punching one of the guys in the foreground.
Panel 4: Switch angles, The Clock pulls out handcuffs with one hand while blocking a punch from Lowlife2 with the other arm and kicking Lowlife3.
Panel 1: The Clock grabs the arm of the guy who punched him and handcuffs him to the bar.
Panel 2: The Clock knocks out the last standing of the three attackers with an uppercut but he notices the cops arriving in the background. We see flashing cop lights outside through the bar windows.
CAP: Damn it.
Panel 3: Same shot but all the attackers are defeated and we see Peggy Allen entering with a couple other cops. They are armed and pointing their guns at The Clock who is now facing the camera. He is turning to leave out the back. His cane is emitting thick smoke again.
Peggy Allen: O'Brien, freeze! I will shoot!
Panel 1: Cut to Peggy Allen's perspective as she shoots her gun at The Clock. There is much more smoke in the bar now. The clock just barely manages to round the corner to go through the back of the bar as the bullet strikes very close to his head but hits the wall.
Panel 2: Switch angles, we see Peggy Allen and the cops looking around the room but it is now entirely filled with thick clouds of smoke. Some cops are coughing, Peggy Allen is trying to see where The Clock is.
Peggy Allen: We can't let him slip away again!
Panel 3: Cut to outside the back of the ar in a dark and dirty alley. Peggy Allen and some carps are exiting the back door of the bar, smoke pours out of the door and into the alley. They find it is empty...no Clock in sight.
Peggy Allen: Damn it!
Panel 4: Pull out to show Peggy Allen and the cops in the alley below, we have The Clock's view of them as he stands on the roof of a building. We see that he used the diamond stud of his cane as a grappling hook to get out of the alley.
Panel 1: We see the Clock walking away from the ledge of the roof and reattaching the diamond stud to the tip of the cane. There is a "Silver Sentry" billboard on the top of the roof depicting Silver Sentry posing with some sentry bots and the text "In trouble? Call for help...Sentry Bots are on patrol 24/7!"
CAP: I was stupid to think I could handle this the old way...bust some scumbag heads, get a lead, then bag the mastermind.
Panel 2: The Clock starts climbing downa fire escape ladder to get off the rooftop.
CAP: Stupid. Lazy. Whoever murdered the mayor isn't going to be as careless...
Panel 3: Cut to The Clock running down the fire escape stairs.
CAP: This guy obviously covered his tracks.
Panel 4: The Clock drops off the fire escape ladder to the ground in another dark alley. We see cop cars with lights flashing drive by the alley to get to the bar. They go right by The Clock outside of the alley.
CAP: Can't afford to get arrested. That's exactly what he wants.
Panel 5: Cut to The Clock running deeper into the dark alley, stomping through puddles.
CAP: He'd probably have me killed the second I step foot in jail...maybe he'd make it look like suicide.
Panel 1: Behind shot of The cCock about to exit the alleys and walk into the street.
CAP: Less questions that way...easier for everyone to accept that The Clock was guilty and move on with their lives.
Panel 2: Same shot but The Clock hides behind the alley corner as more cop cars rush through the streets.
CAP: Can't get caught.
Panel 3: The Clock runs back into the alley while looking over his shoulder.
CAP: Gotta keep moving...can't risk getting spotted again.
Panel 4: The Clock in the alley, bent over with his hands on his knees and trying to catch his breath. He is looking down at a manhole.
CAP: Out of breath...is this the right manhole?
Panel 5: Same shot, The Clock is struggling to remember if this is the right sewer entrance.
CAP: Can't remember...does this one lead to the Gear House or is it across the street? God, how did I get so old?
Panel 1: The Clock is on the ground and struggling to get the manhole covering off the sewer entrance.
CAP: Can't run for shit, memory is dull and faded.
Panel 2: The Clock Can't get the manhole covering off.
CAP: Too old and weak to lift this damn manhole cover!
Panel 3: The Clock uses his cane as a crowbar and makes some progress on the covering.
CAP: Maybe the guy who set me up made a smart move. Maybe I am too old and weak to elude capture.
Panel 4: The Clock manages to get the covering most of the way off.
CAP: Maybe I'm senile...Maybe I did kill the mayor and I just forgot.
Panel 5: The Clock kicks the heavy covering the rest of the way off.
CAP: Alzheimer's got Mom...maybe my brain's gone to mush after a lifetime of getting punched in the head by self proclaimed supervillains.
Panel 1: Tight shot on The Clock's masked face. He is sweating a lot and through his eye slits we see that he is worried.
CAP: No...can't let myself think this way. Can't afford doubt right now.
Panel 2: Behind shot of the Clock about to climb down into the sewers.
CAP: One second of hesitation could--
Panel 3: Same shot, The Clock is now lit up by a spotlight once again.
Panel 4: Switch angles, we see Sentry bots descending from the sky and into the alley. They have spotlights on their chests and they're surrounding The Clock. The Clock is looking up at them.
Panel 5: Switch up angles, now the Sentry Bots are mostly on the ground and surrounding The Clock in the alley.
SentryBot1: SentryBot 958 orders you to peacefully surrender.
PAGES 21 and 22:
Double page spread of The Clock surrounded by the closing in Sentry Bots in the claustrophobic alley.
Sentrybot1: Thank you in advance for your cooperation.