“FAMILY AND FRIENDS”
PENCILS, ED BARRETO
INKS, KLAUS JANSON
The Punisher dominates this page.
We’re looking up at him from a slightly low angle. He’s in a tank-top undershirt with a Colt .45 auto shoved in the waist of his pants. Since his arms and part of his chest will be bare show some old scar tissue. He’s tossing rectangular objects toward us. These will turn out to be photographs. If you show a background you’ll mostly be showing the ceiling from this angle. He’s in a room in a rundown hotel. The ceiling is cracked and water-stained.
CAPTION: (PUNISHER NARRATION) War Journal entry.
CAPTION: Changing challenges into opportunities is all a part of war.
CAPTION: This crowd presents a golden opportunity.
REVISED PAGE 5.2
PAGES TWO AND THREE
We’re looking over Frank’s shoulder at photos tossed on a Punisher skull tunic spread lying atop a military style cot. The photos are surveillance shots of the member of the Marvel Knights team. Arrange them so there’s a good shot of each by which there will be captions narrated by the Punisher. Also on the bed is a cut down pump shotgun with some shells lying by it. A copy of GUNS AND GEAR magazine. (I made this magazine up but ,ake it look like a typical gun magazine.) There’s a sheath knife and few fragmentation grenades. There’s also Punisher’s camera. Some expensive model with a long telephoto lens on it. Just the standard Punisher litter. These should be secondary to the photos which are the focal point here. Also, a little telegraphing for events later on; a cockroach is crawling over Shang Chi’s photos. It’s an itty bitty one. No big honkin’ waterbugs here.
The photos are surveillance photos not posed shots. Punisher took them while spying on these guys. Take that into account.
TITLE: FAMILY AND FRIENDS
CAPTION: I’ve got these four tracking me all over the city. That can be turned to my advantage if I can lead them by the nose again.
CAPTION: These “heroes” come with pasts. They’re all borderline. All outlaws.
BY DAREDEVIL’S PICTURES: Daredevil. The altar boy. He’s got a mad-on for me that goes deeper than personal. He’s brought the others together to hunt me. But there’s more. The guy has some kind of sixth sense.
BY BLACK WIDOWS PICTURES: The Black Widow. Natasha Romanov. Ex-KGB. Still with S.H.I.E.L.D. as far as I know. With her resources she might be the most dangerous of the crew.
BY DAGGER’S PICTURES: They call this one Dagger. I’ve run into her before. Some kind of freak. She throws non-lethal daggers made of light. Not sure what that’s about. Usually partnered with black male named Cloak. His whereabouts are unknown.
BY SHANG CHI’S PICTURES: Shang Chi. This one interests me. Wicked fast with his hands and feet. Some kind of living urban legend down in
REVISED PAGE 5.2
Punisher stands holding Shang’s photo. The cockroach crawls along the edge of it. Punisher’s eyes are narrowed. Here we can establish the room behind him. It’s really run down with peeling wall paper and busted down and scarred furniture. There’s a map of the Five Boroughs of New York City tacked to the wall with some clippings from newspapers by it.
CAPTION: I don’t know his story. From conversations I’ve taped with this crowd there’s always hints about his past.
CAPTION: Ties to some kind of Asian organized crime figure. Major TRIAD action is my guess.
Punisher’s fingers pluck the cockroach from the edge of the photo.
CAPTION: I’m sure it’s a family thing.
The roach pressed gently between Frank’s index finger and thumb in the extreme foreground. We look past it to see the background filled with Frank’s face bearing a cold expression. (Joe- can we use a color gimmick to place the Punisher out of focus?)
CAPTION: I’ll dig around in this Shang Chi’s history for the filth.
Same as the previous panel but now Punisher is in focus and the roach it’s crushed between his fingers.
SFX: (TINY) gish!
CAPTION: Then kill it.
Cut to a tight close-up of Shang Chi. He’s in combat pose with a hand held out ready into the extreme foreground. He’s shirtless and bathed in sweat. His expression is cold and concentrated on some off panel foe. The background is black and featureless.
TAILLESS BALLOON: SHANG CHI…YOU DISHONOR ME.
SHANG CHI: I WAS BORN TO DISHONOR.
High angle pullback shot. This is a dream so don’t worry about reality too much. Ninjas surround Shang Chi. They have swords and chains with weights on them and
and whatever. They’re closing on him. He’s crouched and ready to fight. The
background is black. sais
TAILLESS BALLOON: ONCE IT AMUSED ME TO LET YOU LIVE.
TAILLESS BALLOON: NO MORE.
TAILLESS BALLOON: I HAD HOPES YOU WOULD SEE THE TRUTH OF THE WORLD.
He smacks aside a blow from a sai one ninja as he slams the heel of his hand into the face of a second ninja.
TAILLESS BALLOON: BUT FOR ALL YOU HAVE SEEN.
TAILLESS BALLOON: FOR ALL YOUR SKILLS.
TAILLESS BALLOON: ALL YOUR STRENGTH.
He jumpkicks other ninjas into their pals spilling them to the floor.
TAILLESS BALLOON: YOU ARE STILL A FOOL.
A ninja slashes Shang’s back as he’s backhanding a ninja to the floor.
TAILLESS BALLOON: I WILL NOT SUFFER A FOOL.
Shang stumbles back as a chain wraps around his leg.
TAILLESS BALLOON: NOT FROM MY OWN HOUSE.
Ninjas close on him slashing and jabbing as Shang falls.
TAILLESS BALLOON: NOT ONE WHO BEARS MY LEGACY.
A shadow falls over Shang lying on the floor cut and bruised and bleeding. The wounds look mortal.
OFF PANEL: YOU WILL DIE NOW.
OFF PANEL: (LINKED) YOUR NAME AND MEMORY EXPUNGED FROM ALL EXISTENCE.
OFF PANEL: (LINKED) AS THOUGH YOU NEVER EXISTED.
Shang looks up to see the shadowed figure of Someone Who Could Be Fu Manchu standing over him. Fu is leather-clad in a black leather outfit with lots of buckles and a long black leather coat worn over it. His face is in shadow. We see his long nailed fingers.
SHANG: (WEAK) father…
SWCFM: YOU ARE NO SON TO ME.
SWCFM: ALL THE WORLD AND MORE COULD HAVE BEEN YOURS.
SWCFM: HAD YOU BUT SEEN THE TRUTH OF THINGS.
Shang sits up suddenly on the sleeping mat in his room established last issue. It was all a dream. He’s dripping with sweat.
SHANG: (WEAK) guh?
OFF PANEL: I HEARD YOU MOVING ABOUT.
He sits up further and sees his “aunt” established last issue enters his room shyly with a tray with a cup of tea and bowl of rice on it.
SHANG: AUNT MUI…
AUNT: I BROUGHT YOU TEA AND SOMETHING TO EAT.
SHANG: THAT WAS NOT NECESSARY, AUNT.
REVISED PAGE 5.2
Shang stands to accept the tray.
SHANG: YOU ARE TOO KIND.
AUNT: MY HUSBAND AND I HAVE WELCOMED YOU INTO OUR HOME AND OUR HEARTS.
AUNT: IT IS GOOD TO HAVE A YOUNG ONE HERE…
His “aunt” smiles sadly. There are tears in hr eyes.
AUNT: …ESPECIALLY AS OUR LOVELY LIN IS NOW GONE.
AUNT: AND YOU HAVE NO HOME OF YOUR OWN? NO FAMILY?
Shang looks from under his brows with a frown. His expression is grim in close-up.
SHANG: I PREFER NOT TO TALK ABOUT MY FAMILY.
His aunt steps away as he is seated on the floor eating from the bowl of rice.
AUNT: THAT IS TO BE RESPECTED.
AUNT: PLEASE ACCEPT OUR GIFT OF FOOD AND OUR THANKS FOR YOUR EFFORTS TO FIND OUR DAUGHTER.
She is backing from the room with a wise smile, closing the door behind her as she goes.
AUNT: GOOD DAY TO YOU, SHANG CHI.
SHANG: AND YOU, AUNT.
Shang looks at a single of grain of rice held between the tips of his chopsticks. He looks at it with a grim expression as though it held all the secrets of the world.
Moon Knight’s crescent moon shaped airship flies over the city.
FROM AIRSHIP: SO, WHAT DO YOU THINK?
FROM AIRSHIP: I’M NOT SURE.
Moon Knight is in the pilot’s seat. Daredevil sits in the co-pilot’s place.
MOON KNIGHT: WHAT’S NOT TO LIKE, ‘DEVIL?
MOON KNIGHT: YOU’RE SERIOUS ABOUT A CRIMEFIGHTING ORGANIZATION. I’M SERIOUS ABOUT FINANCING IT.
MOON KNIGHT: A HEADQUARTERS. VEHICLES. SURVEILLANCE EQUIPMENT.
DAREDEVIL: AND WHO SIGNS THE CHECKS?
Daredevil turns to smile at Moon Knight who looks surprised. Even through his mask he can show some limited expression.
DAREDEVIL: MOON KNIGHT OR MARC SPECTOR?
MOON KNIGHT: HUH?
DAREDEVIL: YOUR IDENTITY HAS TO BE THE WORST KEPT SECRET IN OUR COMMUNITY.
REVISED PAGE 5.2
Moon Knight returns to looking grim in close-up.
MOON KNIGHT: OKAY, WISE GUY. BUT THE OFFER STILL STANDS.
MOON KNIGHT: THINK OF WHAT YOU AND YOUR FRIENDS COULD ACCOMPLISH
Daredevil turns to “look” out the canopy on his side. Moon Knight turns to speak to him.
DAREDEVIL: I’LL TAKE IT UP WITH THEM.
MOON KNIGHT: I THOUGHT YOU WERE THE LEADER, DAREDEVIL.
DAREDEVIL: WE’RE NOT THAT ORGANIZED.
The airship flies over the Widow’s apartment building.
FROM AIRSHIP: WE DON’T EVEN HAVE A NAME FOR OURSELVES.
FROM APARTMENT BUILDING: WHAT ARE YOU DOING HERE, FURY?
We return to the scene with Fury in the Widow’s apartment. He remains seated as last issue. The Widow stands with hands on hips looking peeved. Dagger stands behind her as though seeking cover from her.
FURY: I JUST WANTED TO ASK YOU ABOUT LOYALTIES, NATASHA.
FURY: YOU’VE BEEN ON AN UNAUTHORIZED
AND MIXING WITH SOME BAD COMPANY. MISSION
ACTIVE DUTY, NICK. NOT ON
Fury speaks as he sits forward.
FURY: BUT YOU’RE STILL ON THE S.H.I.E.L.D. PAYROLL, HONEY.
FURY: THAT GIVES ME THE RIGHT TO BE NOSY. YOU USED TO HONCHO THE AVENGERS, FOR CRIPE’S SAKE.
FURY: NOW THIS CROWD?
REVISED PAGE 5.2
Fury stands. The Widow looks really peeved now with Dagger looking uncertain behind her.
FURY: YOUR BOYFRIEND IN THE RED PEE-JAYS ISN’T SO BAD. BUT FRANK CASTLE’S ANOTHER STORY. THE GUY’S DANGEROUS.
WIDOW: WE’RE NOT ALLIED WITH THE PUNISHER. WE’RE HUNTING HIM.
FURY: ONE’S AS BAD AS THE OTHER.
WIDOW: I CAN HANDLE IT.
Widow frowns in close-up. Dagger is behind her standing further back.
WIDOW: AND WHEN I RETURN TO ACTIVE DUTY WITH S.H.I.E.L.D. YOU WILL HAVE MY UNDIVIDED ATTENTION, COLONEL.
WIDOW: AND DON’T LET THE DOOR HIT YOU IN THE BACK ON THE WAY OUT.
With a rueful smile Fury walks away from the ladies.
FURY: THAT’S MY WIDOW. NEVER GIVE AN INCH.
FURY: WELL, G’NIGHT, LADIES.
DAGGER: (SMALL) GOOD NIGHT.
Widow still looks angry as Dagger speaks up shyly behind her.
DAGGER: YOU’RE A S.H.I.E.L.D. AGENT?
WIDOW: THAT’S HOW I PAY THE RENT.
DAGGER: THEY’RE LIKE SPIES AND STUFF?
WIDOW: YES, DAGGER.
Dagger smiles in close-up.
DAGGER: MAYBE THEY COULD HELP ME FIND CLOAK THEN.
Establish a street corner. Night. A guy in a New York Yankees start-up jacket is standing at a row of newspaper machines. You know, those boxes you see on street corners. You put in your money and swing the door in the front open and take out a paper. The guy is pulling change from his pocket. He wears a Walkman earphones.
His hands plunking the change into the slot of a DAILY BUGLE machine.
He looks bored as he pulls two papers from the stack inside the box.
Tight shot of him looking over his shoulder with a touch of trepidation and surprise.
OFF PANEL: YOU TOOK TWO PAPERS.
Cloak stands on the sidewalk behind him as the guy turns pulling the earphones from his ears.
CLOAK: YOU PAID FOR ONE PAPER BUT YOU TOOK TWO.
GUY: SO WHAT?
Low angle shot. Cloak walks away alone on the street. The guy is gone. The Walkman and earphones lie on the sidewalk in the foreground. Sheets of newspaper are blown off the two dropped papers on a sudden wind.
WALKMAN: (TINY MUSICAL NOTES)
A guy is being thrown through a window toward us. He has his back to us as he comes through the front window of a neighborhood bar and out toward the sidewalk. Neon beer signs shatter as the body impacts on them.
Looking from inside the bar as Frank Castle comes through the busted out glass. The guy lying on the sidewalk in a litter of glass is Mickey Fondozzi. He’s trying to sit up. He’s frightened. Mickey is previously established in Punisher continuity. He’s an informer for Frank and low level mob figure. Have him in a dark shirt with some gold chains and an ID bracelet. I’ll send reference.
PUNISHER: YOU KNOW BETTER THAN TO LIE TO ME, MICKEY.
MICKEY: YOU’RE NUTS. YOU CAN’T DO THIS TO ME.
PUNISHER: THAT’S WHERE YOU’RE WRONG.
Frank stands straddling Mickey and pulls him up by the shirtfront even as he shoves the barrel of Colt .45 in Mick’s face.
PUNISHER: I ASKED YOU A QUESTION AND YOU TELL ME YOU’RE NOT CONNECTED ANY MORE.
MICKEY: buh-BUT YOU KILL CONNECTED GUYS.
PUNISHER: NOT ONES I HAVE A USE FOR. GIVE ME SOMETHING BIG.
Mickey forces a smile despite the gun aimed at his face.
MICKEY: OKAY…SOMETHING BIG…OKAY…
MICKEY: YOU HATE DRUG GUYS, RIGHT? THERE’S A NEW PLAYER.
Reverse angle from Mickey’s POV of the Punisher scowling.
MICKEY: OVER AT THE PROJECTS NEAR THE
. MANHATTAN BRIDGE
MICKEY: THEY CALL HIM DADDY WRONGLEGS. A REAL FREAK.
Mickey blabs as the Colt is shoved into his cheek.
MICKEY: DESIGNER DRUGS. REAL FREAKY STUFF.
MICKEY: THAT BIG ENOUGH?
Punisher crouches over Mickey and playfully slaps his face. Punisher is reholstering his Colt.
PUNISHER: GOOD BOY, MICKEY.
PUNISHER: TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF, OKAY?
Mickey sits on his ass on the sidewalk looking indignant as Punisher walks away.
MICKEY: HEY…HOW ‘BOUT SOMETHING FOR THE EFFORT?
Check out ABOVE NEW YORK page 133.
Punisher is atop one of the towers on the
. He’s crouched
here with binoculars looking over to the Manhattan
side where we see those ugly buildings down in the right hand corner of the
photo. These are public housing high-rises. He has on a windbreaker jacket that
is blowing in the high wind to reveal two holstered .45 Colts worn at the small
of his back.
CAPTION: (PUNISHER’S JOURNAL) I know this place.
CAPTION: Building C was taken over by a Haitian mob a year ago.
CAPTION: They turned the place into a fortress.
CAPTION: If Mickey Fondozzi is right this Wronglegs took it away from them.
CAPTION: I could use the altar boy and his crew on this one.
PANEL TWO or INSET PANEL WITH THE ABOVE AS A SPLASH
Binocular shot looking down at the entrance of one of the buildings. There’s a scorched car up on a blocks and a rusting and deserted playground swing and some scrubby weeds. Some trash and dead leaves blow on the wind. But there is no other sign of life.
CAPTION: But the place is a graveyard.
CAPTION: Not the junkie supermarket Mickey says it is.
Punisher moves low across the lot between scrubby trees and abandoned cars. He has an M-16 with an underslung grenade launcher and drum magazine in his gloved fists. He’s not wearing the windbreaker now so we can clearly see his skull tunic. He’s wearing nightvision goggles on his face.
CAPTION: He knows better than to shine me on.
CAPTION: I do a recon.
From the protection of a tree he watches the front of the building. One of the double front doors stands open. It’s a steel plate door with a vent at eye level.
CAPTION: Zero security.
CAPTION: No guards. No lookouts. Not even a screaming boom box anywhere.
He moves toward the entrance. He’s looking around. The M-16 remains trained on the front entrance.
CAPTION: Is this Daddy Wronglegs that confident?
CAPTION: Or is it something else?
He is braced in the doorway with the M-16 held low and pointed inside.
CAPTION: I hate mysteries.
He moves through the lobby as seen through a doorway in the foreground. The lobby is rundown and covered with many, many layers of graffiti. Human figures lie in the dark in the foreground.
CAPTION: Junkies on the nod or crackheads sleeping it off.
CAPTION: Dozens of them.
Punisher uses the barrel of the M-16 to pull aside a layer of old blankets and cardboard covering a couple of inert people lying on the floor in a corner of the lobby.
CAPTION: It’s hard to tell they’re alive. Breathing shallow.
CAPTION: They don’t even move when I touch them.
Detail shot. Punisher’s hand pulls aside the shirt front of a man dressed in layers of tattered clothing. We see the man’s exposed chest and the flesh is covered with what looks like a strange, scaly rash.
CAPTION: Some kind of lesions or growths on them. Their body temperatures are low.
CAPTION: Is this a side effect of some new designer drug?
Punisher moves past busted open elevators that have water running down from above from a busted water main.
CAPTION: The lab and money rooms were on the tenth floor.
CAPTION: I’m betting they still are.
Punisher moves up a firestairs stairwell with the gun held ready. On the landings and many of the steps there’s other inert folks lying covered with blankets and old clothes.
CAPTION: Hundreds more junkies.
CAPTION: They’re asleep everywhere. Not moving. Barely breathing.
Punisher moves down a hallway toward a steel plated doorway at the end of the hall. The door lies open and hanging from one hinge. The walls and ceiling before the door are scarred and torn by many bulletholes.
CAPTION: The Haitians’ forted-up compound.
CAPTION: Somebody took them out hard.
Punisher inspects the bulletholes and blood spatters on the walls near the doorway.
CAPTION: Massive firefight took place here.
CAPTION: Lots of casualties if the blood is any proof.
Punisher moves into the area beyond the steel doorway. There’s a heavy machine gun on a tripod set up on a table with piles of empty shellcasings under it.
CAPTION: Still not a sound.
CAPTION: The hairs on the back of my neck say TRAP.
CAPTION: But they didn’t have to let me get this far.
REVISED PAGE 5.2
Punisher moves down a hallway with his back to a wall and the M-16 held ready. More bullet and shotgun damage is visible here.
CAPTION: A hissing sound here.
CAPTION: Regular and low with a hum to it.
CAPTION: I move toward the lab.
He moves into a dark room where a figure is seated in a large padded chair with its back to a boarded up window. The figure is backlit by moon light. The figure is huge and bulky and dressed in a stained raincoat that covers it like a tent. It looks like the figure might be that of a grossly fat man. Like a half ton of grossly fat man. The back of the figure is hunched with sloping shoulders. The figure’s head is lower than the back to conceal the shape of the head. Punisher keeps his gun trained on it.
CAPTION: The smell here is overpowering. Sweet and musky.
CAPTION: The hiss and hum are louder here.
PUNISHER: ARE YOU THE GUY THEY CALL DADDY WRONGLEGS?
PUNISHER: ANSWER ME.
View through Punisher’s night lenses. The view is blurry and greenish. We see the figure backlit from behind which obscures the facial area.
CAPTION: The hum and hiss are coming from him.
CAPTION: I line up on his chest. One twitch and it’s a center shot.
From behind the figure in the extreme foreground. An appendage emerges from under the raincoat. It’s not human. It’s an insectoid limb with claws and carpace and tangles of sinew. Punisher steps back with weapon ready
CAPTION: He twitches all right.
CAPTION: In all the wrong places.
SFX: (RISING) HSSSSSSSST!
Frank is backing away as a big old ugly alien thingy leaps at him from that chair and reaches for him with long insect limbs. This doesn’t come out of nowhere. This all hooks up with some crossover going on with the major Marvel books.
The alien should be insectoid with several more limbs than we so. Big, multi-jointed limbs with wicked hooks and spurs on them. It’s head is up to you but should have some wicked mandibles that slew spittle about. Eyes can be small and multi-faceted. It also has some alien symbol tattoos on its exo-skeleton. It’s definitely and alien, sentient being and not just a big bug.
Frank is fast enough to start blasting at the creature. The scene is lit by its muzzleflash. Empty shellcasings are flying like popcorn.
CAPTION: Now I know how he got his name.
SFX: (GUN) BRRRRRRRRT!
SFX: HSST! HSSSSSSS!
PAGE TWENTY ONE
Shang sits in his room and writes in a bound journal. He’s writing in Chinese letters with a brush. Columns right to left.
CAPTION: “YOUR HOSPITALITY AND GENEROSITY SERVE ONLY TO DEEPEN MY SHAME. I FAILED TO SAVE AND PROTECT YOUR DAUGHTER.
He is packing his meager possessions, the few books, into a leather backpack kind of deal. He is dressed in a T-shirt and jeans and Wrangler jacket. Remember that he never wears shoes.
CAPTION: “AND SO MUST LEAVE YOU AS MY PAIN AT MY FAILURE GROWS TOO GREAT TO BEAR.
He comes down the stairs to the bakery on the first floor.
CAPTION: “BUT KNOW THAT I CARRY YOU IN MY HEART AS THOUGH YOU WERE MY OWN BLOOD.
He stands in the doorway to the back room of the bakery. There, among spilled flour, lie the bodies of his “uncle” and “aunt”.
CAPTION: “EVEN MORE PRECIOUS THAN MY OWN BLOOD.
He is crouched over them and turned to look off panel at the source of a voice.
OFF PANEL: HAVE YOU NEVER SEEN SUCH BRUTALITY?
OFF PANEL: (LINKED) HAVE YOU NEVER SEEN SUCH CRUELTY?
OFF PANEL: (LINKED) IF THAT IS SO…
PAGE TWENTY TWO
Shang is on one knee in the foreground turned with fisted hands to see Zaran emerging from shadows at the rear of the bakery. Zaran is festooned with weapons as before. A toothy smile of cruel pleasure creases his face. This is a “big money” shot emphasizing Zaran.
ZARAN: …THEN YOU DO NOT REMEMBER ZARAN THE WEAPONS MASTER.
ZARAN: YOUR FATHER SENDS HIS REGARDS.
TO BE CONTINUED!!!!