This is my second entry for the Ozomics.com sequential challenge and stars The Incredible Hulk. It was written by Emmet O’Cuana and featured a couple of challenging panels, namely panels 4 and especially 5. I’ve tried a different approach from that used in the previous Shazam Challenge and it has yielded a higher level of finish. It still took quite some time to complete, however, so I am now thinking of doing only the inks for the next challenge, leaving out the colours in the hopes of furthering my understanding of the medium of comics.
As well as the finished page, I’ve included the pencil sketches I started will, for those interested. Below is the script:-
SEQUENTIAL CHALLENGE SCRIPT #02 – HULK
Written by Emmet O’Cuana
The main action concerns the HULK in free fall, but with three panels at the top and three at the bottom which overlay the main image which extends to full bleed, drawing attention to what is happening in the shifting mind of BRUCE BANNER/HULK.
A single eye expanding beyond the frame, pupil fully dilated and iris strained through with green.
CAPTION: Did you ever have a dream…
A hand forming the shape of a claw as the fingers lengthen and swell, the metastasizing cells transforming the skin colour to a dark green. A glimpse of the blue sky can be seen in the background.
CAPTION: …so real you couldn’t tell it was a lie.
Mouth pulled back in a roar, teeth jutting forward, the visible skin also darkening in the same way.
CAPTION: Who is dreaming my dream?
Splash Panel, BANNER/HULK is halfway through the process of changing, his body a mass of straining muscles and bones jutting through flesh. Seconds away from fully becoming the Hulk, this is the moment when he is poised exactly between the two states. The tattered remains of a prison uniform are still visible. Evidently Banner had been captured and is now being used in a battle situation.
The air itself is full of fighter jets, explosions and debris. Banner has been tossed out from a great height in the middle of the battle, a reference to Millar/Hitch’s Ultimates #13.
CAPTION: This is what I was born for.
Cut to years before, in a coffee shop. YOUNG BANNER as a preppy young college student without glasses, wearing an open-necked red plaid flannel shirt, tousled hair, eyes vacant with a polite smile.
Opposite him is BECCA, wide-eyed and gesturing furiously. She has large hoop ear-rings dangling, her hair bunched up in a winding tower, bright purple eye-liner and a mismatched tie-dye green shirt together with a purple velvet jacket. She is resting one elbow on a stack of books on the table-top. Two large, bowl-like cups of coffee are in front of each of them. Becca’s has long gone cold, whereas Banner has obviously guzzled his down just to stay alert.
YOUNG BANNER (CAPTION): Just smile and nod at the pretty lady, smile and nod.
BECCA: “it just opened my mind. I realized I had this part of me, deep down, for so long.”
YOUNG BANNER: “Uh – huh.”
Close up on Banner’s face. He has moved his left hand to cover his mouth, and stifle a yawn.
YOUNG BANNER (CAPTION): Man I could be at that Digable Planets gig right now.
BECCA: “Because it’s all about asking the deeper questions, y’know, seeking true wisdom.”
Call back to the very first panel, a close up on Banner’s eye.
BECCA: “It’s all about choosing who you want to be. Who you were meant to be”
YOUNG BANNER (CAPTION): ♫nuclear is we different time different space/ uh oh planet earth we brought the mad bass♫
The story is inspired by Rick Baker’s work in American Werewolf In London which showed the process of transformation of a man becoming a werewolf. Typically classic horror movies would have the mad scientist or werewolf victim disappear behind a counter, or have a slow series of transition shots showing the change. Baker went against the grain by trying to show as much of this process on camera. Given that Stan Lee was inspired by Jekyll and Mr Hyde for the Incredible Hulk, it seemed fitting.
Given the shifting timeline of the Marvel Universe, Banner is now a college student in the early 90’s, hence the music and clothing references (not to mention the giant cups of coffee). Digable Planets dropped references to existentialism and physics in their lyrics, so they seemed like a group Banner would like as an upper middle-class white kid wanting to seem cool.
THE HULK and related characters are © Marvel Comics.