(four panels, each ¼ page)
Panel one: side view of man (John; The Paladin) in a superhero costume, kneeling, face buried in his hands. The costume is one indicative of being a “Good guy”, it’s mostly white, it’s flashy. There’s a mask on the floor, crumpled next to him, and his skin/hair is visible where not covered by his hands. Tears are visible rolling down the side of his face.
Caption one: OH. GOD.
Caption two: I’m going to be sick.
Panel two: same scene as first panel, one hand (closest) is down from his face, clenched in a fist
Caption: I was so stupid. So fucking stupid.
Panel three: Close up on face, both hands down. Handsome man, 20-30ish, long hair. Eyes tearing big time. Face wrenched with heart-splitting agony.
Caption: I trusted her. I believed everything she told me. Hook, line and sinker.
Panel four: Back to side view, this time he’s leaning over, both hands on floor, arms locked. He’s shuddering and fighting vomiting.
Caption: I never suspected…
(montage of panels, overlapping to show sequence)
Panel one: The hero (John), in civvies, sitting next to hot chick (Sara) in classroom environment
Caption: I first met Sara in Professor Oglesnort’s classroom.
Panel two: The two are leaning over a chemistry set up on a lab table.
Caption: We were lab partners in class…
Panel three: The two are seated across from each other at a hamburger joint, sipping from the same milkshake.
Caption: …and partners in a relationship soon followed.
Panel four: Scene of the lovers walking hand in hand through a forested park.
Caption: Things got serious pretty quickly, which never happens not for me.
(four panels, ¼ page each)
Panel one: close up on newspaper. Headline is “Feral Escapes The Paladin” – picture has animal-looking lady with yellow slinky costume leaping, while The Paladin (our hero) looks on, helplessly as she bounds away from him.
Caption: When I wasn’t with Sara or in class, I was battling The Feral Five.
Panel two: Sara and John watching tv on couch. Tv shows five faces, four with X’s through them. Last is feral chick from previous panel
Caption: Sara always worried about the supers – the heroes and villains fighting. She said that she hated them, that she felt too many innocents died b/c of them.
Panel three: The Paladin sitting on edge of building, looking at night cityscape
Caption: That’s what made it so hard coming to the decision to tell her…
Panel four: John standing in front of apt door 223, wearing a trenchcoat. On his feet are superhero boots, suggesting the costume is underneath.
Caption: I stood at her door for a good ten minutes before I knocked.
Voice from within: Come in!
Pages four and five
Two page splash with insets
Panel one (inset, upper left, page 4): John stepping through the door (we’re looking over his shoulder) to see Sara, standing in the center of the living room, wearing a trenchcoat, too.
Both of them speaking: I have something to tell you.
Panel two (splash): John to the left, Sara to the right, both of them with their trenches off. John is in The Paladin costume (mask hanging on his shoulders) and Sara is wearing the slinky yellow costume of the Feral Five member.
John: I’m The Paladin
Sara: I’m Thrash.
Panel three (inset, bottom right, page 5): close up on John, looking startled, angry
John: You bitch!
(one page splash with insets)
Panel one (inset, upper left): The Paladin dragging beaten/bloodied Sara/Thrash into Police HQ
Caption: I did what I had to. Criminals deserve to be locked up.
Panel two (inset, middle right): John shaking hands with professor Oglesnort
Caption: Then I tied up all the loose ends.
Panel three (splash): John, wearing trenchcoat, walking in the rain. He’s passing a sign that displays YOU ARE NOW LEAVING SUNNY BROOKSTOWN.
Caption one: The Paladin died the night my heart broke. John Majors is a good Christian, so he won’t kill himself. But I can’t stay here any more. Not surrounded by memories of her.
Caption two: It’s time to go elsewhere, to become someone else. To start over.
Caption three: Again.