View Full Version : Family Legacy

07-25-2006, 02:13 PM
I've been exploring the theme of inherited responsibility. All comments and critiques are welcome. Thanks!

Family Legacy
by Greg Bartlett


PANEL 1: Proud parents watch as their toddler, Ryan takes his first, wobbly steps. Joyous grandparents look on with glee. The Sheehan clan is a very youthful and attractive family.

CAPTION (in a feminine style script):
At the age of seven months old Ryan learned to walk. He did everything well.

PANEL 2: A large shadow eclipses half a city block in downtown Boston, Massachusetts. Frightened citizens look up in horror at the hulking frame of The Dreadnaught! With the aid of a propulsion system tethered to his back, the super villain levitates 20 meters in the air. The machine BUZZES loudly. He shouts at the citizens calling for a showdown with his archenemy.


Where is your Defender to save you now? Bring him to me!

CAPTION (in a different style & font then the cap. above):
Boston has been in the protection of a legacy of heroes for as long as anyone can recall. Every 25 years or so the mantle is passed to the next Defender.

PANEL 3: With a graceful swing, a 7-year old Ryan SMASHES a baseball. With his baseball cap slightly askew, Ryan grins widely. His bench goes nuts!

At 7 Ryan learned how to crush a curveball. He’s been the captain of every team he has ever been on.

PANEL 4: The Dreadnaught touches down triumphantly in the center of a busy Bostonian Avenue. With arms outstretched he taunts the citizens, they scatter.

Is your Defender too fearful to face The Dreadnaught?

PANEL 5: In a blur, The Defender tackles Dreadnaught from behind. Dreadnaught’s head and legs SNAP back violently from the impact.


I don’t think so.
PANEL 6: Ryan proudly hands his father a very large trophy he has won in a boxcar derby race. His father is an imposing man; he smiles proudly at his son.

Patrick was very proud of his son, while Patrick meant the world to Ryan.


PANEL 1: The Dreadnaught and Defender SMASH into the side of a coffee shop. Tables, umbrellas, and customers fly in every direction. It’s a complete melee!


PANEL 2: The two warriors square off. The Defender’s cape blows intrepidly behind him while, from a knee, steam spews from the back of Dreadnaught’s devices. The Defender points at his adversary.

This is the last day you’ll threaten my city. I’ve had it.

This is definitely the last day for something. Your reign is over.

PANEL 3: Dreadnaught CHARAGES at The Defender wrapping his large hands around his neck. The Defender clutches at the large wrists of The Dreadnaught. Blurring from the velocity, they SOAR through the air towards Boston Harbor.

PANEL 4: The two gladiators arc into the air and begin to plummet towards the Harbor. - We can show the ARC with clean, swooping motion lines.

PANEL 5: They SPLASH down into the water. From dockside, many citizens cheer on their Defender.


Get `em Defender. You can take him!

Dreadnaught’s a punk!

PANEL 6: With bags packed at his side, Patrick Sheehan kneels to be eye level with his son. Ryan is on the verge of tears.

I’ll be home before you know it. People in Ethiopia are starving Ryan.

His father was a giant to him. Neither of them could’ve known this would be the last conversation they would ever have.


PANEL 1: The extended Sheehan family plus many additional mourners have gathered at the gravesite of Patrick Sheehan. Rain falls from drab clouds onto the group. Thomas Sheehan and his wife embrace their daughter in-law, Kathryn. An 8-year old Ryan looks on in anguish.

CAPTION (yet another style & font then the caps. above):
At the age of eight I learned how to deal with death.

PANEL 2: CLOSE-UP of Ryan. Ryan puts on a brave face. With his grandfather’s strong hand gripping his shoulder, Ryan holds back a quivering lower lip.

I was good at everything. I even grieved well.

PANEL 3: An 18-year old Ryan leans on the railing, on the observation deck of the John Hancock Building. Ryan has grown into an attractive, athletically built young-man. He gazes out into the setting sun dipping behind the skyline of his hometown.

Following in my father and grandfather’s footsteps I scored a legacy scholarship to Harvard.

PANEL 4: Ryan glances over his shoulder, making sure no one is watching. He steps onto the railing.

Man I hope I don’t mess it up.


PANEL 1: This should be a large panel covering the top two-thirds of the page. Ryan Sheehan ARCS from the ledge of the Hancock building, gliding through the warm, spring air, arms outstretched like an eagle! A grin, from ear to ear is plastered across his face. The city of Boston, in all its grandeur spreads out in every direction around him.

A block behind Ryan a ragged billboard sits on top of an apartment building. On the billboard is an old, half torn down image of The Defender. The hero stands with his fists at his sides and his chest pushed out proudly. The billboard reads: “In memoriam of our fallen hero.” - This is an important image and should almost trump Ryan in flight. It looms over him.

I do everything well. I even learned…

…to fly.

PANEL 2: Ryan, with one foot gracefully touching grass, lands in his backyard. His home is a nicely groomed ranch in the heart of Worchester, on the outskirts of Boston. The sun has nearly vanished into the horizon.

PANEL 3: Ryan looks around inquisitively to see if anyone noticed his perfect landing.


PANEL 1: Ryan quietly walks through the backdoor of his house and into the kitchen. His mother Kathryn sits, clipping coupons at the kitchen table.

PANEL 2: Ryan attempts to tip toe past his mom and into the living room to watch some television.

Hello, Ryan. Did you ride your bike home from Jeffrey’s? I didn’t hear you in the shed.


PANEL 3: Ryan is caught. He smirks.

Um… yeah. I rode my bike. He goes by Jeff. We’re 17 now.

Sit down Ryan.

PANEL 4: Ryan sits at the table across from his mother.

Ryan, are you going to graduate?

What are you talking about Mom?

I just spoke with your economics teacher, Miss Stevens. She said you haven’t been to her class in a week, and when you’re there you’re daydreaming.

PANEL 5: Kathryn extends her hand across the table, Ryan pulls away squirming in his chair.

You have such incredible potential Ryan. You know your father--

You have no idea about my potential.

You would be surprised at what I know. Your father—

PANEL 6: Ryan has heard enough. He stands and takes an offensive posture towards his mother. Kathryn pleads with her son to listen.

I know Ma. Dad was valedictorian, he was starting quarterback at Harvard and could have gone pro, but he chose to raise a family instead. He was a goddamn saint. I’ve heard all of this already.

The worst thing in the world is wasted talent. Please don’t waist your abilities.

PANEL 7: Thomas Sheehan, Ryan’s grandfather walks through the kitchen door. Ryan and Kathryn are suddenly tense and suspend their argument.

Hello. Am I interrupting anything?

No of course not Thomas. Please, come in.


PANEL 1: Ryan sneers at his mother. Thomas defends Kathryn.

I was just getting the guilt trip again. She was telling me how wonderful your son was.

I’m sure she was just trying to point out that you could succeed in ways your father wasn’t able to.

PANEL 2: Ryan turns to go. His grandfather places a stern hand on his shoulder.

Your father would be proud of you son. You can accomplish many things your father meant to do while he was still here.

I’m not my father. You guys have no idea what I can do!

Please Ryan, we have to talk.


PANEL 3: Ryan SLAMS the screen to the front door. Kathryn is exhausted; she leans against the kitchen table. Thomas stands with his arms crossed facing her.

We have to tell him the truth.

He’s not following in his father’s footsteps. I won’t allow it.

I’m afraid he might follow with or with out our blessing.

PANEL 4: Ryan begins to jog down the middle of his Bostonian Avenue away from his home. He begins to BLUR as he picks up speed.

PANEL 5: With two clenched fists outstretched from his face, Ryan lifts off the ground. Fury is etched across his face.

PANEL 6: Ryan lands on the rooftop of an apartment building in the center of the city. Countless stars twinkle in the twilight.


PANEL 1: Ryan climbs down a ladder to a fire escape below. Ryan’s friend Jeff sits smoking a cigarette with his legs dangling off the side. Jeff is a freckly, overweight kid.

What’s up Ryan?

Hey Jeffrey.

It’s Jeff. We’re adults now, start acting like it.

PANEL 2: Ryan smiles as he sits next to his close friend. He grabs the cigarette from Jeff.

Oh yeah, that’s right. Jeff it is then.

Hey do you remember the Defender? He was wicked cool.

PANEL 3: Ryan puffs from the cigarette.

Who doesn’t remember The Defender? He saved Boston’s ass more than a few times. I think he drowned about the same time my father died.

PANEL 4: An enormous explosion ROCKS the outskirts of Boston.

PANEL 5: The two boys stand. Ryan takes on a suddenly heroic pose. Jeff stands back timidly.

Does that look like it happened in Southy? It looks like Southy to me.

I’m not sure.

PANEL 6: Ryan places a foot on the railing of the fire escape. Jeff is confused.

That was right near my house Jeff. I gotta go.

What are you doing? We’re like 12 stories up!


PANEL 1: Ryan GLIDES through the air a half a block from his friend. Ryan is determined but concerned. Jeff has figured it out.

So that’s how you get on my roof!


PANEL 2: Ryan lands in his backyard in the center of a scene of complete chaos! His house lies in ruin, smoldering and nearly flattened.

Jesus Christ…

PANEL 3: Ryan is alarmed at a buzzing sound that seems to be closing in on him. He turns to see The Dreadnaught levitating a few yards from the ground. He clutches Kathryn in his colossal hand!



PANEL 4: Dreadnaught sneers and points at the teenager with his right hand. Kathryn lies unconscious in the large grip of his left hand. Ryan stands defiant.

You’re the Legacy.

PANEL 5: Dreadnaught turns to exit. Dreadnaught, with Kathryn in tow laughs wickedly while BLASTING into the evening sky. Exhaust smoke billows from his equipment, swallowing Ryan. Kathryn rouses to relay a message to her son.


Help your grandfather, he’ll tell you everything.


PANEL 6: Ryan scrambles into what used to be the kitchen of his home. He’s distressed to hear moaning from under the refrigerator. His grandfather’s legs lay crushed, jetting from under the appliance.




PANEL 1: Ryan grabs the refrigerator and LAUNCHES it a half a block away.

PANEL 2: On his knees Ryan tends to his battered grandfather. Thomas is a wreck, for the moment Ryan is stoic.

He was too strong Ryan, I tried to protect your mother.

He’s an animal, how could you? Grandpa, I’m sorry.

PANEL 3: Feeling himself slip away, Thomas has an important family birthright to bequeath to his grandson.

You come from a very exceptional family Ryan. Since we arrived in this country our family has been defending Boston. I wanted to tell you earlier, but your mother--”

PANEL 4: Ryan is confused. Thomas continues. He grabs Ryan’s arm, gripping it tightly.

Your father was one of the greatest. Before he was murdered… by The Dreadnaught.

PANEL 5: This is too much information for Ryan to internalize. With his final breath Thomas gives Ryan one last command.

Go to the basement and look in your father’s trunk. You’ll understand everyth…

PANEL 6: Thomas Sheehan has died. His eyes shut as he slumps in Ryan’s arms.


PANEL 7: Ryan is beside himself. He clutches his grandfather’s head close to his chest.

Grandpa, no, no, no.


PANEL 1: Ryan makes his way down the stairs of his basement towards his father’s trunk. It lies gallantly at the far end of the dark basement.

PANEL 2: Ryan CRUSHES the lock with his bare hands.


PANEL 3: He opens the lid. Inside the trunk, folded neatly is his father’s Defender costume!

PANEL 4: Holding the costume in his hands, Ryan is floored. Ryan Sheehan realizes his destiny in an instant.

PANEL 5: Several emergency vehicles have arrived on the scene of the destroyed ranch. Some of the police officers and firemen point towards the sky.

With his cape flowing, floating several meters above his home Ryan clenches his teeth.

Dreadnaught will pay for this. He will pay for all of this.

Look, up there. It’s the Defender!

He’s back!

Eric Palicki
07-25-2006, 05:16 PM
I liked this quite a lot...

Reminds me of INVINCIBLE. The better issues. Snappy dialogue. Good action. But it's all believable (mostly...) It has all the hallmarks of good superhero stuff, even if that's not my thing, usually...

My only beef is that Ryan is a smart kid. His father died at the same time the Defender disappeared, and Ryan's begun to develop powers of his own. I don't buy that he wouldn't have figured things out sooner than he did.

And it's funny...in your post regarding my zombie script, you mentioned that it's nice to see the bad guys win, once and a while...and as I read your script, my first impulse was 'hmmm...maybe this kid's dad is the Dreadnaught..." Guess I'm just wired to expect the worst... :w00t:

Nice one.

07-25-2006, 05:24 PM
Thank you Eric. I'm gonna try and read your other two scripts tonight.

Funny you should mention Dreadnaught. Powers run in the Sheehan family. Maybe an uncle, cousin? We'll see.

William Withers
07-25-2006, 05:36 PM
I want to read more of your story. Are you looking for an artist? If so email me at wwithers1@triad .rr.com.

07-25-2006, 09:48 PM
Wow, this was a fun read. I really enjoyed it. I do agree with Eric about him maybe not figuring it out, but that tad lil' point wasn't enough at all to distract me from the story. Actually, I didn't think about it until Eric said it, thanx a lot :rolleyes:

But anyhoo, great premise thus far. It was simple and just fun to read and I can't wait to read more!!! :thumbs:

Awesomus Prime
07-25-2006, 10:07 PM
Fun read, two suggestions:

1. think about starting the script at page 4 panel 2 and work the rest in through exposition or perhaps later scenes. I'm not sure if that is would work for the script, just a "what I would do" and you're not me.

2. You jump from several POVs in your captions in the begining. You handle it well, but I think you might look at keeping it to two. Really a non-issue.

Other than that I'd definitely read this book.