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The Martyr

edited June 2012 in Work Logs
So one of the artists of the late, lamented Spinning to Infinity contacted me and asked me if I had anything for him to work on. He had some ideas of his own, but I didn't like any of 'em, so I wrote one up specifically for him.

The artist's name is Marco Magallanes, and his work is here:

http://www.dry-gulch.com/chapter/chapter-1/ 

I'm kind of getting a Charlie Adlard vibe from his material. What do you think of it?

When flying home from A-Kon, I got this scene in my head that I haven't been able to shake since. A guy sitting in an aisle seat of a plane burning up and in mid-crash. He's the only calm one, while the rest of the plane panics, and then the flames sweep over him...

Using that image as a starting point, I came up with this idea. Let me know if you think it's too derivative of stuff like SOURCE CODE, JOURNEYMAN, QUANTUM LEAP and BOURNE IDENTITY. I'm trying hard not to make it so. Marco likes it and I'm going to start scripting it this week. It'll be B&W for a change.

Working titles:
THE MARTYR
CAUSE DU JOUR

Cold Open:
An unassuming man sitting in the aisle seat of an airliner during the 9/11 plane crash into a Pennsylvania field. Everyone else is panicking but him. The terrorists lie dead in the aisles, throats slit with their own paper cutters. The plane is ablaze and about to strike the forest. The fire sweeps over him ...

Premise: 
A man appears in a new place in 21st century Earth in a new body and is compelled to help the people there, always dying in the process. As a martyr to his causes, he effects change for the good ... then starts over somewhere else. Like Quantum Leap or Journeyman with more death and space displacement but no time travel. Think of the anonymous Tank Man of the Tiananmen protests in 1989. 

He's been doing it for 12 years, as far as he knows -- ever since his personality was yanked from that plane during 9-11. His latest assignment is an ambiguous cause that he decides he doesn't believe in. He abandons this particular cause and hundreds die needlessly. Whoever has been using him is angry and soon he and a woman he meets are on the run.

He dies in the climax and is once again reborn as a new nationality with a new cause du jour. In a twist, he finds a way to solve this issue without dying, inadvertently releasing him from his contract (to his handlers' chagrin). He also discovers that 9-11 wasn't the beginning, and that he's been doing this for over a hundred years, his handlers being a secret society. He then tracks down the girl, convinces her that he is the same person in a new body, and they run off together...

«1

Comments

  • So, its a love story.
  • Aren't they all? I recently noticed that almost every well-told story boils down to two people in love, or two people who think they're in love, or one person who's in love, but the other one isn't...
  • Been thinking recently about Hitchcock's Charade and the McGuffin. The McGuffin in the movie is the stamp that everyone spends the movie chasing. Its the major plot driver. 80% of the movie is devoted to the pursuit of the stamp. The other 20% is about Cary Grant and Audrey Hepburn learning to trust each other so they can fall in love. And that's what the movie is really about.
  • Yes, I've heard it called the item that the characters care about the most and the audience cares about the least. The best stories are the ones that aren't about what they're about. If that makes any sense.
  • (Nitpick: Charade is an amazing movie, but it's not by Hitchcock.)
  • The premise works fine by me.
    My first reaction was that it sounded like Image's new title, GRIM LEAPER, but your ending is more sci-fi based (escaping corporate / military control, et.)
  • Hmmmm. Much too close to that one. I'm going to make some changes, then, but keep the basic premise intact. Perhaps he's just extraordinarily long lived and can change his appearance.
  • You're absolutely right Brandon. Good catch.
  • @SteveHorton - unless you build a better mousetrap, it's that simple. But I know how you feel. I like to be as original as possible, also.
  • How does he change his appearance. Slowly, over time? Make up?
  • Makeup would be kind of offensive. I'm thinking he can shapeshift to look like anyone unassuming of any nationality, but can't mimic any specific person.
  • Also -- and the artist came up with this bit -- his piercing eyes stay the same, regardless of the rest of him.
  • What do piercing eyes look like?
  • They have drill bits in them.
  • @JasonFranks -- so... are they piercing to others? (drill bits come out of the eyes, point first), or have the eyes themselves been pierced (by the drill bits)?
  • Hahaha. 

    No, they look like this. Here he is in (what he believes is) his original form, and shapeshifted into a 99 percenter.

    image
  • Those look like regular eyes to me, bro.
  • Y'know, injury to the eye motifs were part of what brought on the comics code.
  • I can't even wear contacts...I'm never gonna get my eyes pierced.
  • Have we screwed with your thread enough Steve?
  • I as thinking of a TETSUO: THE IRON MAN kind fo scenario. Only the drill bits are, you know, coming out of the guy's eyes, not his schlong.
  • Back on topic, numbskulls. :)

    I asked for a kind of a Don Cheadle looking character for the main character. Think he pulled it off?
  • Yes.  The main character works well.

    Even with the normal looking eyes. Hah!
    Is this a black & white book?  Will the eye color help define him each time he's in a new body?
  • Black and white. His eyes are staying the same "look" from person to person. I like the idea of having him keep the same eye color too, but of course we won't see that (except maybe on covers).
  • Or grey tone.
  • Respectfully, the eye thing won't work. What about a more distinctive feature, like a scar or a tattoo or a birthmark?
  • For some reason, the bottommost posts are getting cut off. Is it a forum bug?
  • Respectfully, the eye thing won't work. What about a more distinctive feature, like a scar or a tattoo or a birthmark?
    No need to preface it, criticism is one of the reasons I posted it. Why won't the eye thing work? Too subtle?
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