My apologies, friends: love to give you a complete script at this juncture, but time’s a’pressin’. I do guarantee that this script will be finished off and polished up in the next three (3) days…and, I guess you all know me well enough by now that you won’t be surprised to hear: “Blue Shadows” is on the way.
But, bugger all that, for now.
Here’s Part 1.
INTRO PANEL: Poet…Physician…Adventurer…Scientist! Minor prince of the secretive superhuman race known as the Inhumans, his is the power to determine the weak spot in any object, and destroy it with a single well-placed blow! Brother of Triton, cousin to Black Bolt, Stan Lee Presents: KARNAK THE SHATTERER!
Panel 1: A long panel consisting of the entire first tier of the page (slightly shortened by my inclusion of the Intro Panel, natch), it’s a slice of a very large picture of the Moon, seen as though from a fairly close orbit and roughly on a WNW-ESE slant across the page, with the terminator making what we understand to be the crescent-moon shape on its surface…as though our POV is that of a lunar orbiter rushing across the sunlit surface to the dark side. Say the lunar surface takes up most of the bottom left-hand side of the image, many beautifully-detailed craters etc. Off more to the top right, there’s the Earth, hanging in space. The view is from too far up to make out the Blue Area, which is right on the terminator itself as of this moment. One other point of note: since I’ve arbitrarily suggested that Attilan gets its sunsets and sunrises when the moon is in its crescent phases, that means that the Earth is in a particular phase as well, as seen from the lunar surface. Can’t be bothered figuring out just what that is now, though, although off-the-cuff it seems to me that the phases must match up, and that the Earth will be in crescent phase too…embarrassing, but this is like the difference between arithmetic and calculus, the most common mathematical mistakes are always arithmetical ones…ask me about stellar evolution or Hawking radiation and I’m there, but the phases of the moon…Christ, you’ve got to be as smart as a fisherman to figure that stuff out…anyway…
Capt.: Night falls, on the Moon.
Capt.: But – as its latest inhabitants have learned – not all at once.
Panel 2: I know there’s a better way of tweaking this artistically, but the basic idea is that this is another one-third panel, another whole horizontal tier (although possibly this drawing could be divided into a dyptich, if that looks better). This time it’s the city of Attilan, as if seen from the top of a small rise just outside it, its bright and beautiful Kirbyesque buildings suffused (as is the grey regolith to either side) with an orange-gold sunset light. It looks quite idyllic: tiny black humanoid figures soar about the futuristic spires like far-off crows or ravens. The sky around the city is a calm violet, fading to black; overhead, the stars are beginning to shine.
Capt.: The lunar sunset’s shadows creep almost imperceptibly up the streets of Attilan, city of the Inhumans.
Capt.: In some places, the glimmer of twilight will cling for almost the full three days of transition, the city sinking feet-first, slowly, into the comfort of its long monthly sleep.
Panel 3: Slightly larger than one-sixth panel, looking out of a darker alleyway onto a main street, to reveal the somewhat indistinct figure of Karnak walking roughly from our right to our left. We can see just enough of the alleyway to notice a couple of Inhuman women wrapped in robes indicating him as he passes, and we may also notice some turned heads on the street, the odd face peeking out of a window; our hero excites some interest, apparently.
Capt.: It is one of the Moon’s gifts to the Inhumans; a wonderful, extended time for contemplation.
Capt.: Yes, wonderful; particularly if the Inhuman in question has as much to contemplate as the man called…
Panel 4: Slightly smaller than one-sixth panel, filling out the page. Close-up on Karnak’s face, startled, as his head jerks suddenly up, and turns slightly toward his left shoulder.
Iridia: (I imagine the word-balloon at the top and to the right of this panel, quite large and with jagged edges as she calls out:) LORD KARNAK!
SPLASH. Seen from above and an angle: Iridia’s shadow falls over Karnak, who is pictured in an automatically-defensive kung-fu posture…but already he’s beginning to relax from it a little. One of his hands is positioned so it looks like he’s shading his eyes. It looks like the golden light that’s shining on the street around him has been blotted out by a blue-ish butterfly-shaped angel, whose shadow is somewhat centred on him.
Karnak: What? YOU!!
TITLES (along the bottom border of the page): “THE MIRROR AND THE LAMP!” Below this, the credits.
Panel 1: Two-thirds splash from Karnak’s point of view; we see perhaps his head and raised karate-chop/eye-shading hand in the foreground, while Iridia floats above him, gorgeous and smiling. The sun peeks over her shoulder. She has tracked him down. And, a word on my dialogue-conventions: when I double-name a speaker, it isn’t always that they have a completely separate new word-balloon…sometimes it’s just a connected word-balloon, and sometimes it is a separate one. Mostly, I hope it’ll be clear from context what I mean. But, I haven’t figured out how to make it explicit yet, so if it gets confusing what I mean…go for economy of space.
Iridia: Well of course it’s me! I’ve been looking for you for hours!
Karnak: You have?
Iridia: I just wanted to thank you for talking to Boligar…Lord Karnak, it’s like he’s a new man…
Karnak: Well, it wasn’t a very difficult problem, Iridia —
Karnak: — And, please…it isn’t necessary for you to call me Lord Karnak, you know.
Karnak: At least, not when no one’s watching.
Panel 2: One-sixth panel, as Iridia hovers in front of him.
Iridia: HA! But you forget, I’m not one of the “little mothers”, Karnak! So of course I must call you “Lord”, and you should not be telling me not to! Would you ask a simple Inhuman woman to show such disrespect to her Royal Family?
Panel 3: Karnak’s hand is on his chin, and he looks half-rueful, half-amused..
Iridia: (off-panel) Besides, whoever said no one was watching?
Karnak: Hmm…you know, I was to meet Gorgon, in the park…
Iridia: Perhaps I could fly you there, my Lord?
Karnak: If you wouldn’t mind…
Panel 1: Full-tier panel, seen from just above the two as Iridia, carrying Karnak by the hands beneath her, flies up out of the street below.
Iridia: Poor Karnak! It’s not easy for you, is it?
Karnak: (looking back down at the street, and the people in it watching them leave) It is not. But we all have our sacrifices to make, I suppose…
Panel 2: One-sixth. Karnak and Iridia wheel over the park, where below there is a crowd of Inhuman children gathered around a large brown figure.
Iridia: Really? Even Gorgon?
Panel 3: (inset panel; Karnak’s face, lugubrious)
Karnak: Yes…even Gorgon…
Panel 4: One-sixth. A kid’s-eye view: we are looking up at Gorgon, who’s laughing uproariously. Behind him, Iridia and Karnak spiral to the ground.
Gorgon: Oh ho! So you want to hear about the Fantastic Four, do you? Perhaps about the time Ben Grimm and I battled in the aeries of the island called Manhattan, on Earth?
Inhuman Child #1: Yes, please, Gorgon!
Inhuman Child #2: Tell it again, Gorgon!
Panel 5: One-sixth. We’re looking slightly over Gorgon’s shoulder as Karnak approaches and stands in the bottom left-hand corner of the panel behind him – basically we’re looking from what would’ve been Karnak’s POV about one second earlier if he was about two feet taller, looking down at the kids sprawled out on the ground soaking up Gorgon’s stories.
Gorgon: Well, hmm…now that I think about it, children, I’m not sure I wish to relive that particular memory just now. Besides, I’ve told that one before, I think…and you must be getting bored with it, surely…
Inhuman Child #3: Tell it!
Inhuman Child #4: Tell it!
Gorgon: No…no, I’m not sure I want to. Besides, it may frighten some of you, and then what would your mothers say? And then what would Medusa say?
Panel 6: One-sixth. Gorgon stands, turning back from our POV among the children to greet Karnak.
Gorgon: Cousin! You arrive at last!
Gorgon: And with the fair Iridia, by Agon’s gift!
Iridia: Hello, Gorgon. You appear to have been besieged while waiting.
Panel 1: One-sixth. From above, perhaps: the children are to Gorgon’s back as he faces Karnak and Iridia. He jerks a thumb over his shoulder.
Gorgon: What, these ones? I’ve fought off worse than them in my time…
Gorgon: But…has Karnak brought you to accompany us for this morning’s work, beautiful one? It’s been long since I’ve seen you spread your wings under the Terran sky…
Panel 2: One-sixth, head-and-shoulders shot, as Iridia replies to Gorgon: he is at the right-hand side of the panel, and we see him in three-quarters as Iridia faces him almost straight-on from the middle, with Karnak disappearing off the leftward edge of the panel
Iridia: No, Gorgon. I’m afraid Lord Karnak has not invited me; ours was a chance meeting.
Iridia: But I think I should like to take over from you here, if I may…
Gorgon: Eh? Oh, well…yes, of course. If you would prefer it…
Panel 3: Longish panel, perhaps two-thirds of a tier. As Karnak and Gorgon walk away across the park, Gorgon’s hand on Karnak’s shoulder, Iridia kneels down to talk to the children – their dialogue is in smaller print, smaller balloons. I know the script seems to indicate K+G being on the left, and Iridia on the right, but I don’t exactly have a 100% firm idea about the composition here…it could be reversed easily enough, if that worked better. See, I’m trying to do something here about once per page, where the ordinary flow of action in the panels gets subtly reversed, but without calling too much attention to itself…it’s a whole meta-thing, thematic-reinforcement gobbledegook, but it might not look so good in reality as it does in my head. For example, in this panel having K+G walk away to the left in the spacious area of the background, while Iridia is pictured at a larger size in the foreground, facing off the page toward the (unpictured) children in about a three-quarters view, but then speaking in smaller print as if she’s farther away…and then next panel having K+G come in from the left foreground, towards Crystal in the middle-right. You see what I’m saying: it doesn’t quite make sense, I guess. But it’s on purpose. But! It may look stupid, and you [the imaginary artist of this opus, of course, readers] might just decide “yeah, that’s a dumb way to do this, they should be walking towards us at first, and then re-entering on the other side or this side…” Etc. I’d like to do it, if it’s at all possible. But if it doesn’t work, it doesn’t work. But anyway:
Gorgon: It isn’t like you to be late, Karnak.
Karnak: I was…lost in thought, I’m afraid. It’s this elongated time of day – it encourages one’s mind to wander.
Karnak: I only hope we have not kept Triton and Crystal waiting, as well…
Gorgon: Crystal? Cousin, Crystal has not been on time for anything in years! And besides, we are still her seniors, are we not…?
Iridia: Now, now, children. Gorgon and Lord Karnak have important work to do today…but, I wonder, have I ever told any of you the story of my first meeting with Gorgon?
Inhuman Child #1: Does it have the Fantastic Four in it?
Iridia: No…but it does have Black Bolt…
Inhuman Child #3: Black Bolt!
Panel 4: One-ninth or so, or whatever’s needed to complete the tier. Karnak and Gorgon exit the park, walking out of the left foreground. Crystal and Lockjaw are standing there waiting for them, middle-right.
Crystal: There you are! You were so late, Lockjaw and I came to find you!
Panel 5: One-sixth. Gorgon bends down to pet Lockjaw, who slobbers on him a bit, while Karnak deals with the wrath of Crystal. Which actually isn’t all that bad.
Karnak: Has Triton returned from his explorations yet, cousin?
Crystal: Well, not as of ten minutes ago he hadn’t…
Panel 6: Crystal raises her arms; Lockjaw’s antennae begin to glow, and Kirby dots and bright light start popping out from it and around the four of them as they fade away.
Crystal: But maybe by now…
Panel 1: Full tier. They appear in a flash of light in the middle ground of a large underground chamber filled with Kirbyesque machinery – maybe located to our left, we see a large viewscreen and bank of computers that show a Mercator projection of Earth, with certain points clearly marked out on it: somewhere in the Himalayas, somewhere in the South Seas, Manhattan, Atlantis…nowhere in Greece, Siberia, or anywhere that Eternals cluster, but basically everywhere else on Earth that Kree or otherwise Kirbyesque technology exists in profusion is illuminated…and if this placement in the panel is correct, then perhaps it’s to the right of it that we see a similar projection, this time a cutaway of Attilan and the old Kree city it rests on top of, and the network of water-conduits that were established during Byrne’s run on FF marked out there by a grid. If we look closely, we can see that the map shows points of egress from the system of conduits into other underground chambers, that are highlighted in a way that’s similar to the Kreetech sites on the other viewscreen. Meanwhile in the right-middle foreground (again, if that works), is a large well of water that Triton is just clambering out of, his back to us. He’s got a kind of sling or pack over his shoulder, that will prove to contain some interesting Kree gadget.
Crystal: …He will have!
Triton: Karnak! Gorgon! Crystal! And just in time!
Panel 2: One-sixth, as Karnak rushes to help his brother out of the well.
Karnak: What news today, brother? Success?
Triton: I believe so…I found a new network of conduits off the branching at H-6 several hours ago, that led to an egress deep in the old Kree ruins under the city. Far deeper than I’ve ever gone before…
Panel 3: One-sixth. From his sling, Triton hands a Kree device about the size of a large jackfruit to Karnak, who has Crystal and Gorgon standing behind him.
Triton: …I believe this device is almost certainly kin to the scanalyzer we found last week — but as you can see, it is far more complex. If I’m right, it should increase our equipment’s resolving power at least by an order of magnitude…
Crystal: But this is wonderful! Black Bolt will be so…
Panel 4: One-sixth. Triton, still not quite on his feet, staggers to the right, and Crystal rushes forward from the left to support him. Our view is from a little above, just as though we were a couple steps up on a ladder.
Crystal: Triton! You’re not well!
Triton: Only…a little weak, cousin. The water of the Kree is highly oxygenated, but rather too pure for living organisms to enjoy swimming in for long…it does not have the flavour of life in it.
Panel 5: One-sixth. Triton is now sitting down, perhaps at the panel’s left, and our POV is a little closer to the ground. Gorgon brings him a glass full of some restorative liquid or other from the right..
Triton: Rather like travelling through a long sleep, but without dreams…
Crystal: (The back of her head, with its groovy hairband, is at the bottom of the panel as she faces Triton) But…is this what it’s like for you, every time?
Triton: I can bear it, Crystal. And besides…
Panel 1: Triton’s dialogue continues into a caption, over a full-tier panel of a hillside by a lake, quite obviously on Earth. The four Inhumans have arrived at one of their archaeological Kree digs, somewhere out in the country, and Karnak’s team is bustling about as Lockjaw frolics with Gorgon, and Crystal stands beside Karnak at the lake’s edge, with crossed arms. In the foreground, in the middle of the page, Triton dives forward to plunge into the waters of the lake.
Triton (capt.): “…there is a simple cure for this torpor of mine, as Karnak and Gorgon well know.”
Crystal: I had no idea it was so hard on him, Karnak.
Karnak: Are you sorry you came along today, Crystal? I could simply have borrowed Lockjaw from you for the afternoon, as I’ve done before…
Crystal: No…no. I did want to visit Earth again, after all…and besides…
Panel 2: One-ninth panel. Crystal in profile, gazing out at the lake.
Crystal: …as my sister might say, I should know what sacrifices other Inhumans are making, for the good of Attilan.
Panel 3: Same image; Crystal turns to Karnak.
Crystal: She wants to see you after we’re finished here, by the way.
Karnak: Medusa does? In what capacity?
Crystal: She didn’t say.
Boligar: (off-panel) Lord Karnak!
Panel 4: One-sixth panel. Boligar arrives in the frame: his power is to assume monstrous shapes that he plucks out of people’s unconscious minds, by the way, which makes him a pretty perfect Inhuman. But, he has no “real” shape of his own. I picture him here as something like a walking thundercloud, crowned with lightnings, but then again clearly I’ve stolen that idea from somewhere, so…
Karnak: Ah, Boligar! How go things with our sentry? We shall be sorry to lose you, my friend…even Gorgon could not discourage unwary humans from stumbling onto our excavations as you have done this past year!
Boligar: Well, Lord, if it comes to that…I could stay on, for a while yet…
Panel 5: They turn and walk away from us into the mouth of the excavation, Karnak’s hand on Boligar’s large, hulking shoulder.
Karnak: Nonsense. This is your wedding season, and you deserve to enjoy it. In all the Great Refuge, we can surely find someone with compensatory talents to fill in for you while you’re otherwise occupied…
Karnak: By the way, what form is this, that you wear today?
Boligar: I hardly know, my Lord. It was the dream of a small human child, I think, who almost came up the hill on the other side…I must say, from the look of me, she must have been quite imaginative…
Panel 6: Karnak and Boligar walk into the darkness of the hill, with Karnak slightly in front; we see them face-on as they enter.
Karnak: Ha! Perhaps we could have used her, then. To make sense of our find.
Boligar: No doubt, my Lord…
Panel 1: Full tier. Karnak and Boligar enter a large underground chamber that was once a Kree research station, now stripped of machinery that various Inhumans are carting out.
Boligar: …After all, even if it is from a thousand years ago, the Kree’s technology puts that of most other alien races to shame.
Karnak: Hmm…yes, it does, doesn’t it?
Karnak: You know, sometimes I wish Reed Richards could be here to see this…
Karnak: (calling to a reptilian Inhuman labourer, just clearing out the last of the Kreetech) Ophidar! Is it certain that everything of note has been catalogued?
Ophidar: And removed, Lord Karnak! Once the Lady Crystal and Lockjaw have finished transporting this last load, the survey is complete!
Panel 2: One-ninth panel. Karnak and Boligar stand in the gloom underneath the hill looking on it for the last time, Karnak in front and Boligar in back. They crowd the panel somewhat. Karnak is contemplative.
Boligar: Lord Karnak, I…
Boligar: Iridia and I had discussed…we wanted to ask you…
Panel 3: Another one-ninth. Karnak and Boligar face each other, under the hill.
Karnak: Yes, Boligar?
Boligar: You’ve helped us so much…and we only wondered…
Panel 4: One-ninth. Karnak’s smiling face, in the gloom.
Boligar: (off-panel) …Would you consent to speak for us, at our ceremony?
Karnak: What? Boligar, I should be delighted to speak for the two of you!
Karnak: By Agon, this is a surprise! Of course, it would be my honour…
Panel 5: A bit more than one-ninth of a page. Karnak’s dialogue continues in a caption, as Gorgon’s hoof is about to come down powerfully in close-up on the green grass on the hillside.
Karnak (capt.): “…my privilege to be involved in this wonderful step forward for both of you.”
Gorgon: BEWARE, INHUMANS! STAND ASIDE!
Panel 6: A bit less than two-thirds of a tier, filling out the page. Without too much direction from me, Crystal and Lockjaw cling to Triton, and Karnak and Boligar stand nearby, watching Gorgon observe the results of his stomping…which is the dramatic collapse of the Kree hillside into ruin.
Gorgon: GORGON NOW SPEAKS!
Triton (capt.): “And that makes thirteen…”
Panel 1: One-sixth panel, with Karnak and Triton sitting, lounging really, in a mess of Kirbytech scattered all around, in the chamber back in Attilan with the viewscreens. They’re facing each other. I see Triton on the right and Karnak on the left, although the dialogue listing indicates the reverse (this is another one of my possibly-misguided Big Thematic Ideas). Karnak’s fingers are steepled in front of his face.
Triton: …Thirteen sites plundered, and then destroyed forever so that no human will come to any harm by discovering them. Thirteen out of twenty-two; but now with the improvements we’ve made to the scanalyzer, we will almost certainly be able to put that provisional number behind us, and widen our net.
Triton: So…so far, so good, brother.
Triton: You met with Medusa.
Panel 2: One-ninth panel, with washed-out colour to show it’s a flashback. Medusa’s face (and hair, of course), lips parted hotly with strong emotion.
Karnak (capt.): “…It perhaps did not go quite as I might have wished it to.”
Medusa: Karnak, I don’t like it either!
Medusa: But as the new Head of the Genetics Council, I must be seen to be impartial! Especially me!
Panel 3: One-ninth, washed-out, now we’re looking at Karnak from Medusa’s POV (a bit of face and of course some some hair floating around). He looks a trifle downcast.
Medusa: Black Bolt is relying on us both. And – I hate to say this – but it’s only for another year…
Karnak: And I am not refusing, cousin. But…it is a little hard, you must admit.
Panel 4: One-ninth, and continuing in the flashback style: Karnak is entering Rikasa’s house (that’s our new character – be patient, all will be explained), as a hand holds the door open for him. He doesn’t look happy.
Medusa (capt.): “But you will meet her today?”
Karnak: “Yes, of course.”
Karnak: “But I cannot promise to be pleased.”
Panel 5: Long, two-thirds of a tier panel, which is Rikasa welcoming Karnak to her parents’ sitting-room, an elegant lavender chamber with tasteful furniture. Rikasa extends one arm to indicate Karnak should go in and sit down. Obviously he and she are both entering from the left, I think. It’s a plein Americain, maybe our first one so far. Everything is straight and rectilinear, the “democracy of form”. Rikasa is an near-human formed Inhuman: I picture her with blue skin, perhaps a couple or four attractive antennae rising from her forehead, not Black Bolt/Lockjaw style antennae but the more expressive wavy kind. She’s pretty.
Rikasa: Won’t you make yourself comfortable, Lord Karnak?
Karnak: I think it would be as well if you simply called me Karnak, Rikasa.
Karnak: Where are your parents, if I may inquire?
Rikasa: They have retired, my Lor…I’m afraid they have retired, Karnak.
Panel 6: One-ninth, as Karnak and Rikasa sit down. We are looking over Karnak’s shoulder at her; she seems very proper.
Rikasa: They wished to meet you, of course. But their forms are strictly nocturnal, and the long lunar day requires them to keep to more central apartments.
Rikasa: However, they have asked me to give you their apologies, and to suggest that a meeting might be possible after the twilight passes…?
Karnak: Of course. It would be my pleasure.
Panel 1: One-sixth. Looking down from above at the two of them. Karnak makes a gesture with his hands, over the table in between them…opening up conversation gesturally, breaking the ice.
Karnak: It must be a difficult adaptation for them, from life on Earth to life here on Luna.
Rikasa: Perhaps. But I think they have found compensations in it, too.
Karnak: Yes…yes, no doubt. As we all have.
Rikasa: Well, not quite “all”, Karnak. I barely remember Earth before the Exodus…
Panel 2: One-sixth. We see them in profile, facing each other. Rikasa is smiling.
Rikasa: In fact – strangely – the clearest memory I do have about life on Earth…
Rikasa: …Is of you, Lord Karnak.
Karnak: Hmm…well now, as I said, Rikasa…
Rikasa: Lord Karnak. Do you remember it? My grandfather had just produced his “Second Hercules” symphony…
Rikasa: …And Black Bolt had invited us all to the Palace, to celebrate it.
Rikasa: Of course, my cousins and I were not permitted anywhere near Black Bolt…
Karnak: …Oh, Agon.
Rikasa: …So we tortured you, instead.
Panel 3: One-ninth. Close-up of Rikasa, who’s smiling a lot, now, and it’s important that she looks both extremely mischievous, and extremely attractive…perhaps this is where the washed-out flashback colour gets just a little brighter, slightly, in the middle…before fading out again in preparation for us rejoining K+T back in the underground Kreetech room. Well, but I leave it up to you. Me, I’m seeing Rikasa’s face turned slightly down, and a lock of hair (if she has hair) flopping over her face. Girlish. Well, and I guess you know a little too much about what makes me tick now, you bastard! Curse you!
Rikasa: Because you were so very forbidding, you see.
Karnak: (off-panel) The misplaced coronet…
Rikasa: Yes. That was me.
Karnak: By the Kree, woman…
Panel 4: One-ninth. Karnak’s face, slightly downturned. He is thinking hard.
Panel 5: One-ninth. He looks up again, smiling, maybe even laughing, having figured it out.
Karnak: Ha! It was invisibility, wasn’t it?
Panel 6: Full tier: a mural, extending out from Rikasa’s face (profile; just make sure she has a lot of personality, after all this is Rikasa loosening up) at the far left: and I’m sorry, barring Ditko-isms I don’t know how to illustrate this properly, we should probably discuss this over the phone a little bit…
Rikasa: No, not invisibility, Karnak.
Rikasa: It’s rather difficult to describe. Most people, they see space as essentially smooth, do you know what I mean? Continuous. But to me, it isn’t continuous. To me, space is…
Rikasa: …Like a million fragments. Like a jigsaw puzzle, with all the pieces turned face-down. And until you pick them up, they might be anything. They might be the right piece, or the wrong piece. They might be a picture of this, or of that. And they wait for you, wait to see what they’ll become, when you look at them.
Panel 1: Full-tier, and again a mural we should dicuss over the phone to get a clear picture of, but this time the mural is expanding out of the right side of Rikasa’s face seen straight-on, which is even more expressive than before, if that’s possible.
Rikasa: But, I can look at them, before they become anything at all. And I can move them around. Anywhere that people haven’t looked, that they haven’t searched, that they’re not aware of…I can hide things in there. Swap out the places that people are looking at, for the spaces they’re not looking at…I can reorganize them, cluster them together…
Rikasa: For example, since only you and I are in this room, I could easily seem to disappear by exchanging the part of the room you’re looking at, with me in it, for the part of the room that’s behind your head, that you can’t observe…
Rikasa: Of course, if this room were full of people, it would be much harder to find unobserved spaces to hide myself in…
Panel 2: One-ninth. Karnak’s face, as he thinks hard.
Panel 3: Same.
Panel 4: One-ninth. Karnak looks up at Rikasa, grinning.
Karnak: My dear Rikasa…
Panel 5: Full-tier. Karnak and Triton back in their underground lair, in full colour. Only, the scene’s flipped around to the other side: Karnak is on the right, and Triton on the left. Another one of my little thematic tricks. Karnak’s line continues in caption from the last panel.
Karnak (capt.): “…How would you like a job?”
Triton: You said that to her?
Karnak: I did, indeed.
Panel 1: Full-tier: Triton whips his head around. Karnak steeples his fingers.
Triton: She’s here now, isn’t she?
Panel 2: Full-tier: same picture, but suddenly Rikasa is in it…my preference is that she’s standing in the foreground, to middle-left, seen from behind.
Rikasa: Lord Triton.
Panel 3: Same scene, but Triton has turned his head back around, and sees Rikasa.
Triton: It’s just “Triton”, Rikasa.
Triton: …Oh, by the damned Kree, Karnak.
Triton: I thought we were agreed, that we were going to wait before we did this…
Panel 1: One-ninth. We are facing onto Karnak sitting, looking like a schemer: this has already all been decided, now you should just go along, whether you’re my brother or not. He still has steepled fingers.
Karnak: Why wait, brother?
Triton: (off-panel) The golden light has addled your brain, brother…!
Panel 2: Two-thirds of a tier. We look up at Gorgon, from a hoof’s-eye-view, and he has Lockjaw on a leash.
Gorgon: Ho! Let’s not forget who is senior, cousins!
Gorgon: I have brought Lockjaw! We may go where we please!
Gorgon: The game is afoot!
Triton: (off-panel) Oh, Agon…