I can’t believe I didn’t post this last week! I had it ready and everything. Just got busy going to PAX South. It was awesome, btw.
Anyway, here’s this week’s blog.
It’s another set of layouts for part of an issue of Exiles and the plotting around it. Ragnarock has already happened in the 616 and didn’t actually change anything. I think it would be interesting to see what would happen if it actually took place the way the Norsemen envisioned it and truly was the end of the world (as we know it.)
I’m not sure who the Exiles in this team would be. Azara is key to the story (and would probably be in the team the whole time, anyway) but I’m not sure who else should be in the group. Thunderstrike is an obvious choice and perhaps Ballista and Unicorn. But it would also need a down to earth scrapper or two. Perhaps Knight Errant. A flyer would be useful, too. Hmm…How about just Hemogoblin. There you go. That’s a good group. For whatever reason, I feel like the Exiles should always have 6 members in the group. Maybe I’ll define why that is sometime…but not now.
If I was actually doing this, I might change Magni and Modi to the 3 daughters they’ve created for the Marvel version of Thor. Although, I like the traditional Norse Myths for this version of Ragnarok, too, so maybe not.
Page 1 Panel 1 A long, establishing shot on a bridge with the NYC skyline in the background. There is activity on the bridge but it is hard to see what it is. Lightning parts the skies.
Text Box: The Place: New York City of Reality 216
The Time: Ragnarok
Page 1 Panel 2 The focus draws in closer showing that there is a massive battle taking place on the bridge. One side is trolls, dark elves and other villainous Asgardians. On the other side are police and army, even civilians fighting them. Lightning continues to light the skyline.
Page 1 Panel 3 Focus draws even closer and the Exiles come into view fighting against the invading Asgardians.
Page 1 Panels 4 – 6 Close ups of various members of the Exiles whipping up on the baddies.
Page 2 Panel 1 Zoom back out, long panel showing the Asgardian horde gaining the upper hand.
Page 2 Panel 2 Long panel panning around to show the battle.
Unicorn: There’s too many of them. They’re overrunning us!
Thunderstrike: Keep fighting! We have to hold them here.
Page 2 Panel 3 Ballista looking over his shoulder. In the background are the figures of Norse warriors approaching.
Ballisa: It’s the einherherjer…einjererer…dead Viking guys!
Page 3 Panel 1: A small panel inset in the next Panel showing then einherjar breaking into a charge.
Page 3 Panel 2: A full page showing the einherjar crashing into the trolls, etc.
Page 4 Panel 1: Cut to the Manhattan skyline. A figure stands atop one of the buildings, silhouetted and wreathed in lightning.
Page 4 Panel 2: Zooming in on the figure, close enough that the silhouette can be clearly discerned as Thor.
Page 4 Panel 3: Still zooming in. Thor is clearly displayed now and seems to be in battle with someone but they’re not apparent.
Page 4 Panel 4: Azara looking up in the midst of battle.
Azara: I’m going to help him!
Page 4 Panel 5: Thunderstrike and Azara in panel in battle.
Thunderstrike: No! You’re not meant to help him!
Azara: Then why are we here?
Page 4 Panel 6: Thunderstrike and Azara still debating and fighting.
Thunderstrike: To do this. To help the Midgardians fight off the invasion.
Azara: No. I can help. And if I save Thor then he can help us fight.
Page 5 Panel 1: Azara tossing off his opponents to break free, Thunderstrike still fighting in the background.
Azara: I’m going!
Page 5 Panel 2: Azara flying with lightning in the background
Page 5 Panel 3: A close up on Thor, standing ready to take on his opponent’s next attack.
Page 5 Panel 4: Half page panel. Reverse shot showing Thor’s back. He’s small, even in the foreground. His opponent is in the background and is huge – the Midgard Serpent.
Page 6 Panel 1: Zoom in on the Midgard Serpent looming closer with jaws gaping open.
Page 6 Panel 2: Azara slamming into the Midgard Serpent’s head and knocking him away.
Page 6 Panel 3: Azara hovering, looking pleased and proud of himself, looking down at the Midgard Serpent off panel.
Page 6 Panel 4: Azara from the back having been struck, head knocked to the side. A close examination of the side of the panel shows the handle of Mjolnir flying off panel.
Page 7 Panel 1: Azara looking in the direction of his attacker, his helmet shattered on the side where he was struck.
Page 7 Panel 2: View of his attacker. It’s Thor, he’s catching his hammer as it returns to him.
Thor: Enow, mortal! Your place is not here!
Page 7 Panel 3: Pan out, long panel that shows them facing each other.
Azara: Mortal? I’m less mortal than you are, Thor. I’m an Eternal! My people are just as long lived and don’t depend on Golden Apples to keep them alive. And I don’t have this predestined death hanging over my head.
Page 7 Panel 4: Another long panel, the two figures have barely moved but Azara is tossing his ruined helmet away.
Thor: Aye, Eternal but not Asgardian. You may be long lived and you may be a powerful warrior but you are not born of the Golden Realm so your place is not in the annals of Ragnarok.
Page 8 Panel 1: A close up of a furious Azara’s face.
Azara: So that’s it then? I’m not part of your special club so you’d rather die than take my help?
Page 8 Panel 2: Close up of Thor’s face. He has a stoic expression with just a hint of condescension.
Thor: Correct. This is the fate of Asgard and her sons. You cannot help me in this except for as mortals can.
Page 8 Panel 3: Back to Azara, no longer angry but desperate.
Azara: I’m here to help you, Thor!
Thor: I need not thy help, mortal.
Page 8 Panel 4: A split panel of Azara’s face and Thor’s face.
Azara: Thor, listen…
Thor: Nay, mortal. Listen thou. No man or god can deny his Fate. It is folly and cowardice to try. My Fate is here. Your Fate is there. Go to thy place.
Page 9 Panel 1: Azara hovering, beseeching
Azara: But I can…
Page 9 Panel 2: Thor hefting his hammer.
Thor: Must I strike thee again? I swear that I shall not be gentle this time as I was the last.
Page 9 Panel 3: A close up of Azara’s face. He looks dejected but understanding.
Page 9 Panel 4: Long shot showing Thor still on the building and Azara flying away. Lightning continues to wrack the sky in the background.
Page 9 Panel 5: Long shot showing Thor battling the Midgard Serpent once more.
Page 10 Panel 1: Inset in top left of next panel. Azara is rejoining the fight and Thunderstrike is in the frame, again.
Thunderstrike: I told you. Your place is here.
Page 10 Panel 2: A full page panel showing a long shot of the Exiles and einherjar and regular people fighting against the villainous creatures of Asgard on the bridge. Manhattan is in the distance but the Midgard Serpent, massive and clearly visible is still fighting Thor, who can barely be seen as a small silhouette illuminated by masses of lightning.
Page 10 Panel 3: Inset in bottom right of previous panel. Azara looking up toward the fight between Thor and the Midgard Serpent.
Azara: It didn’t have to be.
Page 11 and 12: Several panels showing the deaths of various Asgardians, both from classic descriptions of Ragnarok and dealing with the deaths of Asgardians who were created for and during the comic series – Thor, poisoned, collapsing next to the Midgard Serpent. Tyr being devoured by Fenris and avenged by the Warriors 3 who also die in the process. Odin falling to Surtur. Loki and Hel dying as well.
Text boxes scattered across the pages: Over the following days and weeks, the Asgardians are proven right. Ragnarok is their Fate and they all perish in exactly the ways that were foretold thousands of years earlier.
Page 13 Panel 1: Amora and Magni in action poses! Magni has the Executioner’s axe.
Text box: Not all Asgardians were doomed to die, though. Fate left hope in the form of two young gods
Page 13 Panel 2: Pan out to show they are facing Malekith and Kurse. Malekith and Amora are already exchanging mystic blasts while Magni and Kurse are charging at each other.
Malekith: I am surprised Amora. I would have expected the cunning Enchantress to have found some way out of Ragnarok. Should I offer you the chance to join the winning side?
Page 13 Panel 3: Close up of Amora’s torso, her hands in arcane gestures, magical energy flowing from them, a magical explosion from Malekith striking her shield, her body lit in strange colors.
Amora: I am surprised that the mighty Malekith, with all his mystical knowledge does not know that there is no way out of Ragnarok and that there is no winning side. This is the end of everything.
Page 13 Panel 4: A similar view of Malekith.
Malekith: Not everything. Not everyone. And Fate is fickle. It can be changed. It can be fooled. It can be stolen.
Page 13: Panel 5: Pan back out to see Magni and Kurse trading blows and both Amora and Malekith looking at Magni.
Page 14 Panel 1: Kurse has managed to grapple Magni and Malekith is approaching him. Amora is in the background, bound by Malekith’s magic.
Page 14 Panel 2: A closer view of Kurse and Magni with Malekith right next to them.
Malekith: Your Fate will be mine, son of Thor and my Fate will be yours.
Page 14 Panel 3: Amora bursting through the mystical bonds.
Page 14 Panel 4: Malekith reaching out a diabolically glowing hand toward a struggling Magni still in Kurse’s grip. Amora’s arm only is visible coming from off panel to grip Malekith’s shoulder.
Page 14 Panel 5: Amora forcing a kiss on Malekith. He looks surprised.
Page 14 Panel 6: Close up on Malekith, now released. He’s surprised and slightly horrified.
Page 15 Panel 1: Same view but Malekith is smirking and wiping his lips.
Malekith: Release me from your enchantment and I will reverse my curse before it destroys you, Amora.
Page 15 Panel 2: A similar view of Amora but close. Fiendish looking runes glow on her lips.
Amora: What have you done?
Page 15 Panel 3: Malekith and Amora facing each other, he with a victorious smirk, her with a troubled expression.
Malekith: Your ways are well known, my love. Only a fool would not prepare for them. Much as it pains me to end your beauty and radiance, the kiss that has bewitched me has cursed you and you will die in minutes if you do not allow me to remove the curse.
Page 15 Panel 4: Now Amora is smirking. Kurse and Magni can be seen still wrestling in the background.
Amora: Fool you are, Malekith, if this was your preparation. You have said it yourself, I am your love. You cannot let your love die. End this curse and I will be eternally grateful.
Page 15 Panel 5: Close up of Malekith. He has tears in his eyes.
Malekith: I cannot, my love. I can only end the curse if I am under no compulsion. I knew this might happen and I entwined that requirement with the spell. Please, release me so that I may save you.
Page 16 Panel 1: Back to Amora. She has a sad, chagrined look. The magic of Malekith’s curse has begun to spread from her lips to the rest of her face.
Amora: And if I free you, you will never save me.
Page 16 Panel 2: Long shot of the two of them facing each other, both of them knowing Amora is going to die. She is taking it stoically, he appears hysterical.
Malekith: What can I do? What can I do for you, my love?
Page 16 Panel 3 (small): Malekith has a surprised, stricken expression.
Page 16 Panel 4 (small): Malekith with a determined look.
Malekith: As you wish.
Page 16 Panel 5: Full body shot of Malekith, his body and face full of pain and determination and lit with strange, sinister magic light. There is smoke coming off him.
Page 16 Panel 6: The same shot but more smoke and his skeleton can be seen.
Page 16 Panel 7: Only the magical light remains and it is fading.
Page 17 Panel 1: Amora standing with a satisfied look over a pile of ashes that were once Malekith. Magni and Kurse can be seen battling in the background.
Page 17 Panel 2: Same view, Amora is collapsing.
Page 17 Panel 3: Zoom in on Magni and Kurse.
Magni: Enow, fiend! Your vexations have lasted long enough and kept me away from my love too long!
Page 17 Panel 4: Magni breaks free.
Page 17 Panel 5: Magni decapitates Kurse with his axe.
Page 18 Panel 1: Magni kneeling next to Amora, her head in his lap, Kurse’s decapitated body in the background.
Magni: What has he done to you, my love?
Page 18 Panel 2: Same view but closer, Amora has a hand up, touching Magni’s face.
Amora: I fear he has slain me.
Page 18 Panel 3: Magni has lifted Amora’s body up to his chest.
Magni: No! No, there must be something I can do.
Amora: There is nothing, my heart. I can feel the power of his curse. Odin himself could not break it, if he yet lived.
Page 18 Panel 4: Zoom in on their faces close together.
Amora: Do not weep for me, my heart. Though I have not always behaved like one, I face my Fate like a true Asgardian.
Page 18 Panel 5: Zoom back out. Magni is holding Amora’s clearly lifeless corpse. Despite her request, she is weeping.
Page 19 Panel 1: The Exiles in the suburbs, gathering up survivors.
Ballista: I still can’t believe that, after all that, we abandoned New York.
Unicorn: What were we supposed to do, Babe? There were just too many of them. If we would have stayed, they would have just overrun us.
Page 19 Panel 2: Enemy troops coming over the horizon and the Exiles going to face them to protect the survivors.
Hemogoblin: Heads up. Looks like we’ve got company.
Page 19 Panel 3: Magni, carrying the Executioners axe still, cuts his way through the dimensions near the Exiles. Modi is behind him in the rift carrying Mjolnir.
Modi: Leave these malcontents, friends. Bring your charges with us to safety.
Page 19 Panel 4: Azara and Hemogoblin are watching the newcomers dubiously, Ballista and Unicorn uncertainly and Thunderstrike and Knight Errant are already ushering the civilians toward the Asgardians.
Azara: We’re just going to trust these guys?
Thunderstrike: It’s Magni and Modi. Thor’s sons. And Modi has Mjolnir. He must be worthy. We can trust them.
Page 19 Panel 5: Closer view of Unicorn and Thunderstrike, with civilians passing them on their way toward the rift.
Unicorn: So what, he can carry a hammer and we just assume he’s a good guy?
Thunderstrike: It’s Mjolnir! You can’t pick it up unless you’re worthy!
Unicorn: I hate magic.
Page 20 Panel 1: The other side of the rift. Magni and Modi are there and the civilians are passing through as are some of the Exiles. They’re arriving in a ruined cityscape.
Page 20 Panel 2: Pan out to show some iconic New York Landmark, that is also ruined. The Exiles, civilians and Asgardians are small against it.
Page 20 Panel 3: Close up view of Ballista and Magni.
Ballista: What happened here? Where are all the giants and trolls?
Magni: Once the foul varlets massacred all the innocents they could find and looted all the valuables they could carry, they destroyed what was left until they grew bored and went to find other entertainments.
Page 20 Panel 4: Azara and Modi in view.
Azara: So, we’re just moving back in and waiting for them to attack us again?
Modi: Nay. Ragnarok draws to a close. The enemies of Asgard are all but gone and only my brother and I remain of the Golden Realm. It is time to rebuild.
Page 21 Panel 5: Long shot of Grand Central Station. It has been recrafted by the Asgardians as an enormous, glorious Long House, though you can still see the remains of what it was.
Magni: And here is where the foundations of the new world will be built.
Knight Errant: Whoa.
Page 22 Panel 1: Half page panel a sort of cosmic view of the 9 realms. Yea, verily, they be wrecked. The charred, scarred husk of Yggdrasil runs through them.
Text box: 1 Just as the prophecies foretold, it was not just Asgard and Midgard that suffered from the conflict.
Text box: 2 Every realm from Alfheim to Jotunheim, was devastated in the war with the Asgardians and their allies meting out bloody and fiery retribution for the wounds that they suffered.
Text box 3: Those who instigated Ragnarok were just as aware of the prophecies as those who they attacked. They knew their own realms would suffer as much as any.
Text box 4: But the hatred and desire for vengeance and violence in the hearts of some beings cannot be measured and they are willing to sacrifice all if it will harm their enemies.
Page 22: Panel 2: A distant view of the mangled roots of Yggdrasil. They have clearly been chewed on. The Exiles and Magni and Modi are standing around them.
Text box: But all hope is not lost. There is still life and where there is life there is a future.
Page 22: Panel 3: Magni kneeling next to a tiny sapling that is nonetheless extremely healthy looking that is springing up out of the remains of Yggdrasil. The lower legs of those he’s with are evident in the background, surrounding him.
Magni: Good, it’s healthy. As it always is, the new grows out of the old.
Page 22: Panel 4: Pan back slightly and up so that everyone’s face is visible. They’re all looking down at the sapling off panel.
Hemogoblin: Too bad the old had to be completely destroyed before the new could grow out of it.
Page 22: Panel 5: Modi cutting a rift in space and everyone starting to go through.
Modi: Is that not the way of all things? Is it not the way of things in your world? There are no true beginning or endings. Just changes. Life grows out of death, then that life dies and new life grows out of it.
Page 23: Panel 1: The Exiles and Asgardians stepping out the other side of the rift on a balcony of the long house.
Azara: Of course. Nothing is ever really created or destroyed, it’s all just transformation. But if that’s the case, I don’t know why we’re here. We didn’t change anything.
Page 23: Panel 2: A large panel with a panoramic view of the space below the balcony. It is a thriving village in the heart of the ruins of New York city.
Magni: No? The Fate of each Asgardian was written, my friend. There was no changing that. The Fate of Humanity was written as well, but that you have changed. There were only supposed to be 2 mortals to survive Ragnarok. Thanks to you and your companions, there are thousands.
Page 23: Panel 3: Back in on the Exiles and Asgardians.
Azara: Saving lives is always good, but if Fate determined that two would be enough to repopulate, why did we need to save thousands?
Page 23: Panel 4: Cut to a shot of the Earth with a large ship approaching.
Magni (Unseen): Perhaps something unforeseen threatens this world.
And that will lead us into the next story, where the Kree attack while the Earth is vulnerable. The Exiles will fend off the attack with a daring raid on the ship. During this raid, Thunderstrike remains behind to hold off oncoming troops. (“It’s suicide!” “I have fought alongside my heroes to stop the end of the world, there is nothing more I want to do.”) This causes trouble in the next arc because it is helping the Kree in another reality when the Celestials come to their world to seed it with Eternals and Deviants as they did in Earth’s ancient past. One of the Exiles is not interested in helping the Kree because they killed Thunderstrike.
And as usual, if you’ve read this far (or just skipped to the end)…you can buy my novels and games at blackguardpress.com