Panel 1: Sunrise over New York’s eastside.
Panel 2: Zoom in to the front steps of an apartment building where a young negro woman is escorting a young white man with a blindfold.
Mr. Narrator: It’s about 8:30am on February 14th, 1967. The sun is climbing in the east but it’s already busy this morning in New York. Eddie Dowd’s building is just a short walk to the Promise Clinic. Evangeline and Vincent have decided to make the short walk and it is not long before they see the line snaking its way through the front door of the clinic.
Panel 3: Across town in the financial district a well dressed young man is waving goodbye to the building doorman as he heads out for the day.
Doorman: “Looks to be a fine morning Mr. Chadwick. Will you be needing a cab today?”
Troy Chadwick: “Not today Antony.” < laughs> “Think I’ll actually brave driving today.”
Panel 4: Inside a ‘66 VW Beetle convertible in the parking garage. Troy is looking through files in his briefcase. One in particular with the heading “Promise Clinic.” Troy looks thoughtful as he scans the file.
Troy Chadwick: "Now Dr. Beckett what are you up to? And where is all the money and equipment coming from, hmmm? Even military contracts don’t explain all this."
Panel 5: Evangeline and Vincent standing outside the Promise clinic. The sounds of buses and traffic are deafening, jackhammers permeate the background. They lean close to one another to talk.
Evangeline: “Are you sure you are up to this, cher?”
Vincent: “It’s just an initial visit and if I don’t keep this appointment I could lose my benefits.”
Panel 6: Inside the clinic Troy is standing to one side looking the clinic over. He also looks over the clients as if looking for someone in particular. The clinic is absolutely packed. From his expression, even though he attempts to conceal it, he is overwhelmed by the stench of unwashed men and women, the sick, etc. There are several women at the front, behind small windows, shouting at everyone to wait their turn, sign in, etc.
Panel 7: Evangeline and Vincent are now standing at the door. Evangeline looks around the lobby noting some men are coughing, others complaining. The waiting room looks like it was nicely furnished at one point. Posh couches in orange and yellow and a new coffee maker that sits empty. Styrofoam cups are littered and the trash is overflowing. It was nice but now it is simply used.
Panel 8: (close up, alarmed) Evangeline turns and cocks her head… the sound of gunfire… machinegun fire.
Panel 9: Vincent turns at the sound of screams and panic making its way down the city blocks like a tidal wave. Police sirens wailing in the distance begin to get louder and appear to be converging in their direction.
Panel 10: Troy, still inside the clinic, remains unaware of the approaching commotion due to the volume within.
Panel 11: Evangeline scans the area for a place to change… just in case.
Panel 12 : Reaper leans toward her.
Vincent: “Any idea what’s going on or just another New York day?”
Evangeline: “Gunshots, sounded like machine gun or something. It was fairly close, too.”
Vincent: “Can you get me closer?”
Evangeline: “It is several blocks away, cher. We need to keep your appointment. Let’s let the police handle it.”
Panel 12: A fireball seems to fill an intersection two blocks away and reaches a story in height. Glass shatters and the ground shakes. People are screaming and sprinting from the explosion.
Panel 13: Evangeline looks toward the explosion.
Evangeline: “…or not.”
Vincent: “Just so you know, I’m arching my eyebrows at you right now. Just can’t see it behind the bandages.”
Panel 14: Hearing the explosion Tony starts to make his way outside only to be swept along by the crowd.
Panel 15: Evangeline laughs as she leads Vincent to a nearby alley unnoticed in the confusion.
Evangeline: “Well good intentions and all that. Let’s go.”
Panel 16: As the sound of machine gun fire increases scenes of the jungles of ‘Nam flash through Vincent’s mind.
Panel 17: Tony slips his mask on as the crowd carries him along and deposits him outside slightly battered.
Panel 18: Evangeline has her newest velcro outfit on so changing is a snap and she stashes her clothes, in a flash Nova is ready for action. Meanwhile Vincent falls back against a wall while clutching at his face, breathing heavily.
Nova: “You ok, cher?”
Vincent: Looking up as the blood starts seeping through the bandages, “Not for long…”
Panel 19: Nova crosses herself and silently prays for Vincent and this encounter.
Panel 20: One police cruiser pulls in front of Nova and Vincent. Two policemen get out and take cover on the driver’s side, same side Nova and Vincent are on and begin firing.
Panel 21: Finally clear of the crowd and properly masked Tony, now Warlock, assesses the situation noting the police cruise nearby. The officers firing at someone or something he can’t see as the crowd continues to stream away from the gunfire.
Panel 22: A sudden spike in the magic in the area draws Warlock’s attention to the pair in the alley. It is a familiar spike. One thought crosses Warlock’s mind, Reaper.
Panel 23: Machine gun fire erupts into the cruiser and one of the officers falls. The screams fade into the distance as most of the wiser folks have gotten away from this area.
Panel 24: Nova and Warlock catch sight of an individual, seemingly normal in appearance, wearing a fall coat, banging against the walls of the clinic. The unusual part is that the bricks seem to be cracking and flying off the wall under the power of his blows.
Panel 25, divided panel:
1: Nova creates her personal force field as she flies toward the downed officer.
2: Shadows emerge as Vincent continues to battle within himself.
3: A soft glow envelopes Warlocks hands as he moves them over the officer while chanting.
Panel 26: Nova noting the closing wounds lowers her energy blast, realizing this stranger is no threat to the officer. Warlock is oblivious to the defensive attack he almost triggered as he concentrates on saving the officer’s life.
Panel 27: The second officer’s head snaps back in a spray of blood erupting on either side of his head as the wall continues to be pounded on by the strange blonde man.
Panel 28: As more bricks are dislodged you can begin to see inside what appears to be an operating room. The voice of a man shouting for help is heard from inside.
Panel 29: Satisfied Warlock represents no threat and may, in fact, be friendly, Nova takes to the air again searching for the source of the gunfire.
Panel 30: Evangeline lifts into the sky and sees a woman wearing blue and black futuristic looking armor. She is firing a machine gun into the police cruiser.
Panel 31, divided panel:
1: The armored woman looks up at Nova. She seems genuinely taken aback.
2: Nova raises a hand in warning. Her warning clear without speaking, “Don’t make me blast you.”
3: A clearer view of the man is gotten. He also appears to be wearing some sort of futuristic armor underneath his coat but his is red. His face also appears to have some armor over it.
Panel 32: Vincent appears to be growing in height as he is consumed by an ink black cloud. He appears to be in some pain as well.
Panel 33: The woman in blue lifts her rifle and squeezes the trigger as she aims her rifle at Nova.
Panel 34: Nova fires her energy blast at the woman catching her on exposed flesh, causing the woman in blue to grunt in pain as her rifle hammers out a lethal stream of bullets.
Panel 35: Warlock’s spell finishes and the officer’s wounds close.
Panel 36: Nova’s force field flares and fades as it absorbs almost all of the damage. The remaining damage trivial.
Panel 37: The blonde man with the iron mask breaks succeeds in breaking through the brick wall.
Panel 38: Nova swoops down, her foot glowing as energy gathers, and throws a kick at her opponent but glances off the woman’s armor.
Panel 39: Only a growing inky darkness remains where Vincent stood as his transformation continues.
Panel 40: An old man’s voice is heard shouting as the blonde man enters through the hole in the wall.
Old man: “Wait, that was you? Not a grenade? What are you? Get back… get away from me…”
Panel 41: Warlock stands and makes a gesture at the blonde man’s back. A quick snap to distract him Warlock thinks as the pale purple bolt passes through the armor, jolting the blonde man.
Panel 42: The woman shouts at the blonde man as she reloads
Woman: “Steel! You alright?”
Panel 43: Steel sheds his coat, tossing it aside. A large cylinder emerges from his right shoulder, seemingly two feet in length. It sets and swivels to a horizontal position, glowing with red energy inside of what appears to be a barrel of some kind.
Steel: “Don’t worry about me, Iron! I’ll find Beckett!”
Panel 44, split panel: (close up for both) Nova and Warlock react with recognition to the name.
Panel 45: Iron arches back and attempts to land a well executed kick.
Iron: “Back off, girl! You might get hurt.”
Panel 46: Nova is taken back by the force of the kick and the sound of metal as Iron’s kick hits her hand. Nova takes a step back from the force of the blow but is unharmed.
Nova: “Nobody else needs to get hurt, why are you doing this, what are you after?”
Panel 47: Warlock sees an old man in the operating room, still in a surgical gown, sitting up with IVs still inside his arm.
Panel 48: He begins to stand up and the IVs fall away. His wrinkles begin to smooth, he grows taller, and his hair darkens from white to dark gray, thickening as he stands.
Panel 49: Only 15 seconds have passed in the alley but what remains doesn’t resemble Sgt. Vincent Porter at all. Reaper has arrived.
Reaper: “I AM UNLEASHED!!”
Panel 50, divided panel:
1: Reaper rushes from the alley.
2: Reaching the cruiser he doesn’t go over but melds into the shadows beneath it.
3: Then reappears behind Steel and lands a solid punch. “Peek-a-boo. I. BREAK. YOU!”
4: Steel grunts loudly in pain at Reaper’s unexpected blow.
Panel 51: Warlock makes arcane gestures.
Warlock: “What reason can you have for attacking a place of healing?”
Panel 52: (close up) Iron stares in shock that gives way quickly to anger.
Iron: “A place of healing? You can’t be serious. Open your eyes.”
Panel 53: Steel turns and launches a powerful blow at Reaper, catching him squarely in the chest.
Panel 54: A surprised look crosses Nova’s face as she realizes from the energy wash from the blocked kick that Iron’s leg isn’t just armored but completely artificial.
Panel 55: Iron shouts angrily, “I’m after the person who did this to me. If I can’t have my life back, I’ll have to settle for taking his!”
Panel 56: Iron begins a wind up for another kick.
Nova: “I’m so very sorry for what he did but this is not the way to handle it. We can find another way!”
Panel 57: The old man’s transformation is nearly complete. In his place stands a towering 6 and 1/2 foot muscular man, handsome, with his paper gown shredding before a strange uniform appears in a blink. An old military uniform with a stylized gas mask. In his hand materializes a strange gun, almost reminiscent of an old style gatling gun
Panel 58: Reaper draws his fist back and launches it at Steel with his whole body behind it.
Reaper: “So that’s how it’s gonna be, eh? Allow me to deliver my response…”
Panel 59: The limp form of Steel goes flying through the wall into a medical storage room. He collapses unconscious.
Reaper: “Mess with the best, get flat like the rest.”
Panel 60: Warlock stops gesturing and turns to Iron.
Warlock: “This is why the heroes of Sampa are not to be trifled with. Stand down and explain yourself.”
Panel 61: Iron drops her weapon, raises her hands.
Iron: “I’m no fool. You’ve got to hand it to Dr. Beckett. He sure has beefed up security. I hope you people can sleep at night.”
*Panel 62, split panel:
- 1: Evangeline: “We are not with Dr. Beckett. We are with a group against such travesties”
2:Reaper: “Like a baby… with colic.”