Blue Shadows, Part 2 of 3

Panel 5: Double panel. Medusa’s dialogue continues in caption, as Karnak, Triton, Sue, et. al. enter a blue-lit metal chamber deep under their city. They look out onto what appear to be two high-tech medical pallets, and a bank of machinery, all seen as though a fish-eye lens.

Medusa (capt.): “…In the end, even though I wanted to, I still couldn’t do what I was supposed to do.”

Karnak: This is it!

Medusa (capt.): “Because I just didn’t have the strength for it.”

 

PAGE NINE

Sixgrid.

Panel 1: Double panel. We are looking into the room over the shoulders of Gorgon and Triton…or perhaps, we are seeing this room from above, the scene on a diagonal with respect to the straight borders of the panel. Karnak has entered and walked past the medical pallets (and the array of high-tech medical instruments we see next to them), to stand in front of a large viewscreen showing a Mercator projection of Earth’s surface just like the one he has back at home, though at the moment the screen is dark. His hands rest lightly on an impressive bank of control consoles at waist height. He is excited.

Karnak: We’ve found it, cousins! I knew this installation would have to be somewhere

Karnak: …After all, where better for the Kree to coordinate their activities on Earth, than in their own ancient city on the Moon?

Gorgon: Triton

Triton: Yes, Gorgon?

Gorgon: I’m afraid it is now my turn to have a terrible suspicion

 

Panel 2: Gorgon has moved forward to put his hand gently on Karnak’s shoulder, as the latter bends eagerly over the bank of computers.

Gorgon: Karnak…cousin

Gorgon: …Do you not see where we are? What this place must be?

Karnak: Eh? I don’t take your meaning, cousin. Obviously, we are in the operations centre of the second Kree expedition to…

 

Panel 3: Karnak looks up, suddenly, a look of horrified realization on his face. Gorgon looks sorrowful.

Karnak: …Oh.

Karnak: Oh, Agon.

 

Panel 4: Crystal screams, off-panel. Gorgon and Karnak have twisted around in alarm to look back roughly in the direction of our perspective, with part of Triton’s face also looking our way in the foreground, and perhaps his clenched fist. One or two of the FF are nearby, part of the tableau but not central to it.

Karnak: What?

Gorgon: Agon’s Genes…!

Triton: CRYSTAL!!

 

Panel 5: The three are racing toward Crystal, who stands at an open side door of the chamber, pointing inwards to a darkened space. Rikasa has her hands on Crystal’s shoulders, whether in reflexive shock or reflexive comfort we can’t tell. Another of the FF is standing nearby, again not fully in the centre of the action.

Crystal: KarnakGorgon!

Crystal: It’s…horrible!

Karnak: What is it, Crystal? What do you see?

 

PAGE TEN

Ninegrid.

Panel 1: Triple panel, with the Inhumans and FF in the fairly distant background, and in front of them a large and eerily low-lit Kree room, all in blue. Maybe this recalls our heroes’ meeting with the Eternals back in issue #1? But possibly that goes beyond cute and right on into repetitive…sounds like an art problem I’m not competent to solve. Anyway, what Crystal is indicating (to the others, who have stepped up to the threshold to join her…Johnny has again ignited one hand, both to provide better light, and to be ready for anything) is a large space loaded with medical equipment, and row upon row of those inclined human test-tube thingies that you only ever see in comics, or science fiction TV shows featuring clones or robots. Most of the tubes are empty, but some are occupied, both with the ancient corpses of early humans, and weirdly-augmented humanoid figures that represent Kree experiments gone wrong. In case you haven’t guessed, this is the original laboratory in which the race of Inhumans was created by the Kree, and at the other end of the room from our intrepid explorers is a raised and inclined platform upon which is pinned, Vitruvian Man-style, and with many tubes and wires snaking in and out and back and forth from his body, the original captive Eternal from whom the Kree’s inspiration was drawn. He has been vivisected, something like twenty-five thousand years ago, but the machinery’s still working. He may be brain-dead, but being an Eternal, his body is still alive. However we don’t see him clearly, yet; that’s for the next panel. In this one he’s at the end of the line, maybe just a silhouette of a pinned hand or foot in the extreme foreground of the image, to the right.

Crystal: …THAT!!

Ben: Holy cats!

Sue: It’s…it’s

 

Panel 2: Double panel. Now we get our Vitruvian Eternal, and the group is gathered around him.

Sue: …It’s a man! And he’s alive!

Triton: No, Mrs. Richards. No, it isn’t a man.

 

Panel 3: Triton’s face in moderate close-up, as he reaches out to touch the Eternal. He looks extremely thoughtful, a bit lugubrious.

Triton: Though, I fear, he may be alive…

Triton: Fantastic Four, you should leave us, now. You are our friends

 

Panel 4: Triple panel. Triton’s dialogue continues in caption, as we look (perhaps) down onto Sue, Ben, Johnny, and Rikasa waiting uncomfortably in the main chamber outside the lab.

Triton: “…But what we have unearthed here today…it is a family matter.”

Ben: So…they gave you the boot, too, huh Rikasa?

Rikasa: I am not a member of the Royal Family, Mr. Grimm. They can only speak freely in front of each other.

Sue: Rikasa…I don’t want to put you in a difficult position, but…what is that room, in there?

Johnny: Come on, Sis. You’re married to Reed

 

PAGE ELEVEN

Sixgrid.

Panel 1: Double panel, a diptych. We’re at eye-level now (that is, if we weren’t already), as Johnny turns to Rikasa.

Johnny: …You should know what a lab looks like, by now!

Johnny: It’s a lab, right?

Rikasa: I…believe so, Johnny Storm.

Ben: Okay, but the question oughtta be, what kinda lab?

Sue: Isn’t that obvious, Ben? It’s some sort of genetic research facility…

Ben: Well if it’s that blamed obvious, Suzie, why ya gotta do a whole buck-an’-wing about it then?

Sue: Ben

Ben: Aw, c’mon. We’re smart enuff to figger this out, ain’t we?

 

Panel 2: Ben gestures at Rikasa from the right or left foreground. She has her arms crossed.

Ben: Ain’t we, Rikasa?

Rikasa: I…I think it’s very likely that you are, Mr. Grimm.

Ben: So mebbe we don’t need to give ya the third degree about it here, huh kid?

Rikasa: Well…I am curious, myself

 

Panel 3: More talking, and rotating around the scene. probably we see Rikasa facing away from us now, in the foreground, and towards the FF.

Rikasa: …So I suppose I was looking forward to hearing you three speculate…

Ben: Haw! Too bad Reed’s not here, you’d get all the speculatin‘ you could handle!

Ben: Us three are usually lucky ta get a word in sideways

Karnak: (off-panel) Rikasa.

Karnak: (off-panel) Fantastic Four. Friends.

 

Panel 4: Double panel. We’re looking up at the Inhumans as they emerge from the lab, Karnak in front, the others behind him. Gorgon carries the shrouded body of the vivisected Eternal.

Karnak: It is time for us to go. Black Bolt must be informed.

 

PAGE TWELVE

Ninegrid.

Panel 1: Triple panel, no caption, no dialogue, no people. Attilan, seen from approximately street level, maybe a little higher, stands in the golden sunshine…blue shadows everywhere, of course.

 

Panel 2: Triple panel. Karnak waves Rikasa into a large living room, with many couches, an almost Roman Emperor-like area for entertainment, but deserted.

Karnak: Please come in.

Rikasa: Thank you, Karnak.

 

Panel 3: Rikasa looks around her.

Rikasa: I had heard that Gorgon kept apartments in the city

 

Panel 4: Rikasa and Karnak sit.

Rikasa: …But I suppose I thought that was just something people said.

Karnak: He’s graciously consented to let me have the use of them, for…

 

Panel 5: Karnak leans back in his seat. Behind him, on a table, there’s a bust of the Thing. Rikasa is in the foreground.

Karnak: …For a little while.

Karnak: By all the stars, what an exhausting day...

Rikasa: Oh!

Karnak: Oh?

 

PAGE THIRTEEN

Ninegrid.

Panel 1: Double panel. Rikasa has gotten out of her seat and come over to kneel on the divan beside Karnak; we see her as though we’re situated just behind the bust of Ben. She’s smiling excitedly as she reaches out to touch it delicately. Karnak is to the left, leaning slightly left, turning his head to the right to look at her with tired amusement, and a little bit of growing affection.

Rikasa: Why, it’s an Alicia Masters!

Karnak: Yes, it is.

Rikasa: Just imagine, Karnak — this is just how she does it. Just her hands, straight onto the clay

 

Panel 2: Close-up of Rikasa as she turns to look at Karnak, very winsomely. He’s almost not even in the panel.

Rikasa: Don’t you think it’s marvellous?

Karnak: Well, yes…as it happens, I…

Rikasa: Feel it.

 

Panel 3: This time it’s Rikasa who’s almost out of the frame, as we see Karnak resting his head on one fist, and smiling a little.

Karnak: Feel it?

Rikasa: Yes, feel it. Why not?

Karnak: Well…

 

Panel 4: Double panel. Rikasa and Karnak, each with a hand on the sculpture, side-by-side and looking at it.

Karnak: …Why not, indeed?

Rikasa: You could be a sculptor, Karnak. Have you never thought of that?

Karnak: No. I never have.

Karnak: Does that seem strange?

 

Panel 5: Close-up of Rikasa, perhaps mainly even just her right eye, turned now to look appraisingly at her companion.

Rikasa: Well…

 

Panel 6: Her hand has found its way to Karnak’s.

Rikasa: …Perhaps, just a little strange…

 

Panel 7: In the cool dark of Gorgon’s living room, Karnak and Rikasa embrace.

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14 responses to “Blue Shadows, Part 2 of 3

  1. Once again I delight in your understanding of these characters and your ear for dialogue…and once again I drag out my utterly pedantic quibbles over what actually works and doesn’t work on a page. I still see you putting too many panels on a page and too much happening in a panel. Please understand, it only bothers me because you’re so close here. Every day I see people who don’t have a clue how to structure a story or a page — even though they read tons of comics, they’ve never tried to work out the mechanics of the stories they’ve read — and you see things like newbies trying to put sixteen panels on every page because “Frank Miller did it and it worked for him!” And you’re so far beyond that, so take heart.

    Now, as an example, let’s look at page eleven, panel one. The exchange is lovely, but to my eye it takes three panels to cover the consecutive beats of information…

    Panel 1: Johnny turns to Rikasa.

    Johnny: You should know what a lab looks like by now!

    Johnny (continues): It’s a lab, right?

    Rikasa: I…believe so, Johnny Storm.

    Panel 2: Ben and Sue look around in puzzlement, taking in their surroundings.

    Ben: Okay, but the question oughtta be, what kinda lab?

    Sue: Isn’t that obvious, Ben? It’s some sort of genetic research facility.

    Panel 3: Ben crabs at Sue, who looks a little exasperated at him doing his usual grumpy curmudgeon routine yet again.

    Ben: If it’s that blamed obvious, Suzie, why ya gotta do a whole buck-an’-wing about it?

    Sue (interrupts): Ben

    Ben (continues): Aw, c’mon. We’re smart enuff to figger this out, ain’t we?

    In this particular case, you’re in good shape because adding those two extra panels would make this a six panel page. Another example is panel four on the previous page: you’re asking for that to be a single page-wide panel, with five characters each talking…which could work if you were trying to convey an Altmanesque overlapping speech collage, but here it comes across as bending our expectations of time and consecutive statements. Three individual panels convey a different impression of time passage than a single panel of triple width.

    Are you and I using the same method to write scripts, I wonder? I start with all the dialogue as if it were a stage play, then go back and break it up into panels and group the panels into pages. The problem with this method is that you end up with too damn much dialogue and have to cram it into too few panels. The only answer is to cut like mad. I sometimes mourn the demise of the “Marvel method” where you did the plot outline, got the pencilled pages back, and only then wrote the dialogue to fit the panels the artist had given you. That’s how Roy wrote all his best stuff, and Steve E. did a fair amount that way too. That’s the first method I learned, and it helped contain my natural prolixity.

    (Hey, screw Warren Ellis! We could start our own Engine here! With blackjack! And hookers! In fact…forget the blackjack!)

    You know I’m loving the story, right? And that last page — yeah, baby!

  2. Oh!

    You’re right!

    Now how did I stumble over that, damn it? That Page Ten Panel Four is trying way too hard! Gah. That’s a problem. And just reading your corrected Page Eleven…yes, cripes, it’s much better your way! Now why didn’t I do it that way in the first place…?

    Wow, that’s helpful. I used to see this all the time back when I was an essay tutor, the urge to condense is as dangerous as the urge to pad things out, right? Right.

    Glad you’re liking the story, RAB! And I, too, felt that after forty-odd years it might be nice for Karnak to finally get a little action…

    Of course, I often think the same thing about myself…

    But, oops! That’s no way to start a second Engine, is it?

  3. As to method, I’m pretty much just doing it all on the fly at this point, starting with thinking about the page and wondering what I could do with six panels vs. what I could do with nine panels. That’s pretty much it; I’m just trying to clear a path from checkpoint to checkpoint of what I’ve already decided needs to be in there. Of course, each time I successfully make my way to a checkpoint, I see I’ve got to change it…

    Hmm. Have to think about this. I guess what I normally do with a script of any kind is first write a pretty long “plot diary”, in which I sort of wonder aloud about what to do…basically it’s a one-person story meeting or brainstorm or jam, I guess. I cram everything I can in there, background details, little bits of dialogue I like, analyses of what I’m doing, just so I don’t forget any of it later, until I get bored, and then start scripting on the same page. This I pretty much just make up — very easy with regular TV/movie scripts, a bit harder I’m finding with the comic stuff…but definitely getting easier! Basically I’ve got a list of gates that the loose plot has to be bullied through, so I just try to get there as best I can: so it’s bushwhacking, really. This story’s plot diary had eleven gates covered, in eleven pages of run-up before the script started. Hey, one per page! I try to save the bits of dialogue I liked (although usually these don’t end up being as good as the lines I just jam in there willy-nilly along the path), and concentrate on obeying the analysis of the symbolism and characters I’ve made…and everything else is improvisation based on whether it’s six panels or nine I’m thinking of.

    Anyway, that’s what I’m doing with this here thing. I find I can pretty much visualize a page in my head as I write panel by panel, so long as I’ve got some dim idea of how it’s structured…so I’ve just been going with that.

  4. ITEM! If there were to be a third “issue” of this Inhumans series (which unfortunately there won’t be, because I’m starting to get way too attached to characters I’m not authorized to muck around with, and interpretations of them that won’t be presented in comics anytime soon), it would be called…

    Snow Leopard.

    I’m actually kind of regretful that I won’t get a chance to write it…

  5. I know it’s taken me a while to get commenting. A little under the weather, didn’t want to let the dullness talk.

    This segment seems less visual than the one before. The shocker in the lab is the only scene that forces itself on me; the rest I had to squint my mind’s eye for. That’s not wholly bad though, because the visual experience is mostly with the characters. Very recognizable FF you have there, which is welcome, even though they don’t have a strong part to play.

    Now, with what you’ve set up so far, I firmly expect to see the meaning of it exposed in conversation between Karnak and Rikasa. It’s Karnak’s book, after all, and we want to see him do what his special thing – stare hard at the conundrum until he’s divined where it will yield. And then with a blow, or a statement… Furthermore you’ve made it Rikasa’s book too, and doesn’t she get to be some kind of Royal Consort now? Karnak will confide in her, if he’s the man we think.

    As to the revelation of the vivisected Eternal … just brilliant. It makes utter sense in retrospect, but I never thought of it, or knew anyone who did. Medusa’s genetic crisis might have nothing to do with this, well, original sin, but one feels like it’s a punishment. And yet our Inhumans are innocent of the Kree’s crime. It grounds the present troubles in Origin Time, so to speak. Remember when you were writing about the standard canonical twists on the superhero’s opening position? The secondary result of the origin mechanism, the doppelganger, the fall from reputation and so on? That’s what you’re doing here.

    Oh, yeah. If the victim is nude, he might seem on first glance to be just some modern human guy, or the Kree’s first genetic success.There should be some definitely Eternalish accoutrements in view, maybe a mannequin form with his costume. One of those crescent-lightning emblems Ikaris wears would not be too much.

    The romance pages. Did I guess the Alicia angle, then? I know you meant to show that hands-on sensuality would be powerful for Rikasa, and have something to do with the resolution of the relationship. Yes, you must have been thinking about Alicia at that point.

    So, on Page Thirteen, with Ben’s statue, what the couple are doing with their hands is very important. We’ve been alerted, we will be looking. We won’t be satisfied until they’re locking fingers. Artist’s notes should be provided.

    In sum, quite as slick and satisfying as the previous segment. If you were in the continuity-building business for Marvel, you’d be building a platform for various future stories, where the Eternals and Titans as well as the Inhumans have scores to settle, or motivations for distrust. And supposing that, then in the final segment you should be raising the tension rather than resolving it, as the Royal Family reacts.

    Enjoyable as before!

    Oh, and I shan’t pine too dreadfully about missing the Black Bolt story – because haven’t you given us the sense of it in the title? Solitary … silent … perfect … last of its kind.

  6. Ah. You’re probably right, Jonathan. I haven’t written the last few pages because I’m just mulling the possible ways Karnak can be the driving force…I mean I think this issue has him featured prominently so far, what with the shattering and the love scene, but (ironically) I feel like I’ve got to get it just right here, to keep it a Karnak book instead of an Inhumans book. This is the real challenge, I think! As with Snow Leopard — and, really glad you like the title, Christ I’m in love with that book in my head, I’ve actually started plotting the damn thing! — the trick is to keep Karnak front and centre, but in Snow Leopard there’s a cool revisionist way to do that, and in Blue Shadows it’s a little more complicated. Of course Rikasa’s the key, as you note, but it’s Karnak who’s the protagonist, and this oughtn’t to be a Mary Sue situation. In a way, after the scene in Gorgon’s house (have you guessed Gorgon’s secret yet?), the traditional character of Karnak is itself shattered, for good, so I can use him for more things…but that he’ll still need that combination of egotism and reserve to be recognizable makes it a tricky business.

    You did guess the Alicia angle…I shift around the FF/Inhumans identifications here quite a bit on purpose, and to a purpose, and I’ve tried to set each turn up in advance, so thanks for noticing. In The Mirror And The Lamp, Gorgon is Johnny Storm, but in the part we’ve seen of Blue Shadows he’s Ben Grimm, and Rikasa turns from Sue to Alicia very easily as well. Note that Rikasa contradicts Crystal on page three by as much as telling Sue she hasn’t got any talents…until Karnak gave her a job, her power wasn’t good for anything, but then she uses it to pull Karnak’s fat from the fire. That’s Rikasa = Sue. But then with her hands on the bust of Ben…that’s Rikasa wanting to help Karnak be more than just “The Shatterer”, and so that’s Rikasa = Alicia. Good eye, man!

    Thanks for saying you like my FF — I actually like them a lot, except possibly I didn’t have time to convey that Johnny’s quick-witted — I mean I tried, but I don’t think it worked. My portrayal of Ben I’m extremely happy with, because his way of working things out is every bit as good as Reed’s (as we saw from the Englehart FF — oh man, I love Englehart’s spare and lean characterization of Medusa), and I wanted to say that a) when Reed’s not in the room, Ben’s probably the biggest lateral thinker of the FF, and b) that only Reed can really corral Ben — Sue can’t, because Ben knows her, he’s got lots of stuff on her, and he’s a misshapen Thing after all, and he’ll say what he wants because of that. Only when Reed’s around will he not use his misshapen-Thing-license, because it’s just too heavy to put on your best friend every five minutes. But with Sue and Johnny? He’ll work it. Also I really wanted to show the three of them interacting without Reed, and what happens when that, um, I guess power vacuum is there. Man, it’s always fun to mess with the Fantastic Four, they’re such awesome characters, they hardly even need to speak. I seriously envy Aguirre-Sacasa, and if you haven’t read that Thing/Golem issue of his “4” — well, that’s darn good stuff.

    Just going back to Black Bolt for a minute — I hate hate HATE when modern-day writers have him speak an actual word, because for the longest time when he used his voice the Marvel writers just had him barely subvocalize…he was still mute, essentially! He was still utterly mysterious! So to have him say “stay” to Crystal or “enough” to the Hulk…bah! Useless attempts at relevance! Because Black Bolt is supposed to be an absolute one-off, barely even used…like the original Kirby Silver Surfer, he just has TOO MUCH POWER to do more than just STAND THERE. Too much inherent dynamism, RAB might say. Anyway, yeah: he’s like the snow leopard, a child of the high Himalayan peaks, alone, apart, unique. And perfect, as you say. RAB’s response to Sean Kleefeld’s Kirby Design Meme is worth looking at for sure, Jonathan…

    Anyway…

    I agree about the need for Eternalish accoutrements in the dead Eternal, you speak my mind there! Also remember this is the “Iceman” of the Eternals, one of the exiled, non-cosmic-powered types that settled Titan (or Uranus, I can’t remember which), possibly the only original specimen left of the Celestials’ original Eternal design…those on Earth were changed by exposure to Chronos’ cosmic-power experiments (in which they’ve been soaking for the last several centuries, pre-Gaiman), and those on Titan are half-cosmic-powered, all being descendants of Alars and Sui-San. Don’t know what the Uranians are up to, but I think they’ve been elevated as well, in some way…even if only by their own hard work…

    Actually I love this idea, that all the Titanians are descendants of just two people. Two human people? Inbreeeding. But two Eternals? Well, the Celestials did design them to be special…

    And obviously something Mentor wants to know is: what happens when an Eternal breeds with an Inhuman? It’s never happened, but it’s certainly possible: crossing humans with Eternals makes humans, and crossing Eternals with Deviants makes nothing, but in the one case where an Inhuman was crossed with a Deviant — holy crap, LOOK OUT! Most dangerous villain since the Molecule Man. Not that I’m saying Starfox would move in on Rikasa (although that would keep Karnak central, but I’ll say Rikasa is enough of a Mary Sue to be only interested in our hero, and no one else), or even on anybody, but…just as I presented the Eternals in “sinister mood”, as you called it, the Titans do tend to stir the pot wherever they go, and they’re not apologetic about it unless it’s baseline human beings they’re screwing with. Except for Thanos they’re not deadly, but don’t ever think you’ll be the same after they’ve hung around with you for a bit. The Titans are way more progressive than the Eternals, and if there’s one thing they’re not, it’s “mindful”. Mentor is (I think I’ve said) the closest thing to an Emperor of the Solar System there will ever be, and even if the Titans aren’t nearly as interested in the Celestials’ genetic plan as the Eternals are, they certainly don’t shun the whole idea as a field of knowledge.

    Ohhhh…I’m writing while intoxicated. Forgive me…

    Two more things: one, I’m so pleased you’ve read my Superhero Plots, although a little annoyed that you use precise words to describe the ideas, whereas I just had to throw a lot of mud at the wall…and two, ah-ah, Rikasa isn’t a Duchess yet, although I want her to be! But it’s just impossible, and Karnak’s a dreamer, and he’s going to get a talking-to from Medusa. Because as soon as Karnak is married under Inhuman law he’s out of the breeding program! Because (I am saying) Inhumans are very, very strictly monogamous, and any Inhuman is free to marry whomever they wish! Even those of the Royal Family! With the exception of Black Bolt. But that’s another story…

    Another story having to do with Maximus, Crystal, Medusa, and Black Bolt…

    And Gorgon, whose secret you still haven’t guessed…

    And Triton, whose extreme Terrigenesis has severely limited the number of his fellow Inhumans with whom he can procreate…

    Listen, Jonathan, if you do guess it, let me know, huh? But I will be doing an Annotation post after Blue Shadows is finished.

    And, oh! You put it brilliantly: it’s Original Sin. This is “Blue Shadows” too: the Cotati made a Garden, remember?

    Dig those multivalent titles!

    And dig, also, how much you’re liking this. Why, I wouldn’t finish this script at all if it weren’t for you Jonathan! And in not finishing, I would’ve missed an opportunity to get better at this stuff.

    Okay, more beer! And now it’s voting time on the time-travel thing. Will you change your rankings? Or leave them as they are?

    I wonder.

  7. Oh, yeah, as far as all that goes, Medusa has a secret too…”do you really, Reed?” she says, knowing that he won’t. Understand, that is.

  8. Well it could be that Gorgon is simply in love with Ben Grimm.

    Look at it from his point of view. Second only to Black Bolt, Gorgon carries the power of devastation wherever he goes. Oh, Crystal might rise to it in some Dark-Willow extremity, but the others would have to work to find the right point of application. Gorgon rolls out of bed every morning, ready for destruction.

    Black Bolt understands, but he’s in an even worse fix. There’s solace in Black Bolt’s company, but no relief.

    But look at Ben. He’s a piledriver in human form but he carries it lightly. He’s come through all the soul-destroying stuff, and kept his soul. Wherever he goes, he goes as himself. Nobody is more grounded, self-confident or appealing. If you ever wonder what real masculinity is about, there’s always Ben Grimm.

    What a guy! And what a team we’d make!

    But. That’s rather a lot to explain, when your friends are all laying back on the many couches in your grand party pad, and there’s the bust of your idol sitting there prominently. You’d be making a big deal of your insecurities. It doesn’t quite add up.

    No, I think Gorgon is the host of the Fantastic Four Fan Club, where scores of Inhumans gather to regale their exploits. And dream of breaking out. And exploring everywhere. And never letting fear hold them back.

    The more mature members will think about how some of the human race at least have learned to accept them; in defiance of the wisdom of millennia of huddling in the Great Refuge. How humans might be overcoming their xenophobia at last, and what that means for the future. And the kids will be like, go Johnny go, and Sue is so cool, and isn’t Reed Richards wise!

    Just two guesses.

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