Xmen: Evolution 
July 3, 2001
Prepared for Matt Hicks 
Script for 8-page story 
Devin Kalile Grayson


GENERAL NOTE TO ARTIST:  Can’t wait to see you bring this to life! A quick word about Dot Comics – as you probably know, the format breaks up pages by pulling, or “popping,” out one or two panels at a time. The downside to this otherwise dynamic and inventive presentation is that these pop-ups are viewed resting on top of the whole page, which can sometimes be extremely visually distracting. So to that end, I’d like to urge you to stick with very clean, traditional panel layouts and heavy, solid borders. I think that will really help with the final impact the comic has when translated into Dot Comic format. Thanks!

Now, on with the show:

PAGE 1, splash
      Open on a nice, kinetic, pin-up-worthy shot of Cyclops fighting his way through a roaring fire. For visual kicks, let’s say the conflagration is consuming a large ship at sea. In fact, make it a naval destroyer or aircraft carrier.
      Cyclops is on the main deck. A wall of flame blocks the main cabin, the cargo bay is in imminent danger of exploding, and the floor plank boards are burning through, making the deck almost impossible to cross. To make matters worse, two Naval officers are unconscious, one near Cyclops, and the other closer to the impenetrable cabin. 
      Cyclops is currently aiming his visor-controlled concussive eye blasts at the water, hoping to cause a reactive wave to come crashing over the boat. 
     As always, Cyclops is intense and serious.
     None of the other X-men are present. 
     Title and credits (such as they may be) here. 
     CYCLOPS in “All for One.”

1 SFX/blasts: =ZZZZZAKT=
PAGE 2, panel one
   His plan works, and a huge wave sweeps over the deck, dousing some of the flames, but forcing Cyclops to hold on to something to keep from being washed overboard.
1 SFX/wave: =whoooomp=
Page 2, panel two
   Not so fortunate are the two unconscious naval officers, who, Cyclops notices with alarm, are being swept out to sea as the wave he created retracts. 
2 SFX/wave: =PSSSSH=
Page 2, panel three
  Cyclops dives for the officer nearest him, managing to catch him or her in time to keep him or her from being pulled overboard….
Page 2, panel four
   …but less lucky is the other officer, whom Cyclops is forced to watch be swept away to sea.
 Mercifully, the fire, boat, and both officers are beginning to blip out as the Danger Room Hologram begins to shut itself down. 
Page 2, panel five
   Now standing alone in the middle of the pristine Danger Room, Cyclops bows his head in frustration as he receives his score. 
6 TAILLESS/ ELECTRONIC: Less than .008 chance remaining of favorable outcome. 
PAGE 3, panel one
   Cut to an establishing shot of Bayville High (so marked, please).
1 TAILLESS: Scott?
Page 3, panel two
   In the crowded, bustling school hallway (which is filled with happy, healthy, multi-ethnic teens, please), Jean Grey is rushing to catch up with Scott Summers, who is currently standing in front of an open locker, frowning at a piece of paper in his hand. 
   Jean looks a little concerned.
 2 JEAN: Scott, you ran out of TRIG so fast I didn’t get a chance to say hi.
3 JEAN: Are you OKAY?
4 SCOTT: I’m fine, Jean, but – 
Page 3, panel three
   Jean accepts the paper Scott thrusts towards her and glances down at it with a puzzled arch of one eyebrow as Scott remains by his open locker, clearly frustrated about something.
5 SCOTT: -- LOOK at this!
6 JEAN: An A MINUS. That’s GREAT, Scott, why are you –
7 SCOTT: GREAT? That’s totally LESS than great, that’s what the MINUS means. 
Page 3, panel four
   Jean looks up at Scott with a laugh as she hands the paper back. Scott is thrusting it back into his locker, now turning towards Jean with a sudden rush of worried confession.
8 JEAN: You’re KIDDING me, right? 
9 SCOTT: It’s not just the TEST.  I can’t beat that DANGER ROOM simulation back at the Institute, and Professor Xavier designed it specifically FOR me. 
10 SCOTT: I’m just afraid I’m SLIPPING, you know? I mean –
Page 3, panel five
   Scott slams his locker shut as he strides angrily away from it, towards us (that is, into extreme foreground), still frowning, as Jean, in midground, watches him go with a startled expression, agape even. She can’t believe how hard he’s being on himself. 
11 SFX/locker: =slaaam=
12 SCOTT: -- what if I’m not as CAPABLE as everyone THINKS I am?
PAGE 4, panel one
   Cut back to the Danger Room fire simulation. It’s much as it was on page one, but this time, Cyclops already has one of the officers over his shoulder in a fireman carry, and is trying to figure out how to get to the one closer to the fiery cabin. 
Page 4, panel two
   Now Cyclops uses his concussive beams to knock something (a plane, a structural part of the ship, etc.) over onto the deck more or less between him and the impassable, burning deck separating him from the second unconscious officer. He’s hoping to make a kind of a bridge.
1 SFX/blasts: =ZZZZZAKT=
Page 4, panel three
   The good news is that whatever he fired at is falling more or less where he wanted it to –
2 SFX as needed
Page 4, panel four
  -- the bad news is that as it makes contact with the burning deck, it falls through it, collapsing even more of the fiery deck down towards the volatile cargo area.
  The ship is starting to go up in a fiery explosion as the scene once again begins to fade out. 
Page 4, panel five
   Once again alone in the middle of the Danger Room, Cyclops grits his teeth and removes his visor, this time blasting the ceiling speaker out in his frustration.
   Remember to make the strength of the beams coming out of his now-uncovered eyes look dangerous – the subtext being that this is a lot of power for a teenage boy to have to control. 
5 SFX/blasts: =ZZZZZAKT=
6 TAILLESS/ ELECTRONIC: Less than .012 chance remaining of favvvvvvv – 
PAGE 5, panel one
    Cut to later that day, dinnertime at the institute. All of the Evolution X-men – Scott, Jean, Rouge, Ororo (Storm), Logan (Wolverine), Kurt (Nightcrawler), Evan (Spyke), and Kitty (Shadowcat) – are in their civvies, clamoring happily and noisily around the dinner table. (Well, Wolvie is never exactly happy, and Scott is still sulking, but in general, there’s a feeling of exuberance and ease). I know there’s an awful lot of them, but remember, you wanted to draw comics! ;-)
     As the “adults” in this version of continuity, Ororo and Logan take the heads of the table, and seem the most detached from the action. As the youngest, Kitty, Kurt, and Evan are very much at the center of it, shoving each other out of the way as they load their plates (in fact, have Kitty reaching through Kurt to get a bread roll or some such). 
     Rogue is asking Scott to pass her a pitcher of milk that’s on the table. And, what the heck – let’s say they’re having hamburgers. 
A ceiling t.v. (as established in the animated series) is on, currently showing the news, the current report involving a large, out-of-control apartment complex fire with the text “Bayville Garden Apartments” appearing beneath the concerned reporter. Please do everything you can to keep the t.v. shot of the fire visible throughout this whole page. 
1 KURT:  Mmmm – I’ve been waiting for dinner ever since LUNCH!
2 EVAN: Get out of the WAY, Kurt! I’m STARVING!
3 ROGUE: Hey, Shades – pass me the MILK, will ya? 
Page 5, panel two
   In the process of passing the milk to Rogue, Scott becomes distracted by the t.v. report, uncharacteristically fumbling and spilling milk on Rogue. 
   Rogue jumps up with a scowl as Jean glances at Scott with concern, the kids laugh, Logan ignores it and keeps eating, and Ororo gets up to get a (kitchen) towel. 
   Kurt is already preparing to playfully hurl a burger at Scott. 
4 T.V./electronic: …where a RAGING FIRE threatens the lives of several TENANTS still trapped inside...
5 ROGUE: Hey! Do those glasses make you BLIND now!?
6 KURT: Ooh! Food fight!!!
Page 5, panel three
 veryone (except Logan, who continues to ignore him utterly and calmly keeps eating) jumps back, surprised, as Scott rounds on Kurt, snapping at him. 
8 SCOTT: No food fight, Kurt. That was an ACCIDENT. Rogue, I’m SORRY.
Page 5, panel four
 Scott storms out of the room, frowning bitterly, as everyone watches him go with confusion – what’s gotten into him? 
 Rogue is still standing, brushing off her clothes with a frown as Ororo starts to help mop up the table. Jean and Kurt are fretting. 
 9 SCOTT: Nobody’s PERFECT, okay? 
10 SCOTT: If you NEED me, I’ll be helping out with that FIRE EVACUATION.
11 ROGUE: Hey, it’s no biggie. You don’t need to go charging into a BURNING BUILDING over a little spilt MILK… 
12 KURT: Is he OKAY? 
13 JEAN: Scott’s been under a lot of PRESSURE lately. 
Page 5, panel five
  Ororo hands Rogue the towel (to clean herself up with) as Logan mumbles into his dinner plate, Kitty looks up at Jean, and Jean turns to the t.v. report with hope lighting up her face. 
14 LOGAN/small: Yeah. Of the SELF-INFLICTED variety….
15 KITTY: Anything we can do to HELP?
PAGE 6, panel one
    Cut to Cyclops, now at the real fire. He’s fighting his way through the burning building. As the t.v. report suggested, before it went up in flames, this place was an apartment building, Cyclops now in someone’s actual apartment, and this fire has been burning long and hard – the floor’s about to go – is, in fact, already gone in spots – thick, black smoke fills the air, and all visible furniture has been burned to a crisp. 
     Additionally, though we don’t necessarily have to be able to see all of this in this one shot, an Asian fireman lays on the ground just inside the apartment door (which I’m imaging against the west wall), unconscious and still holding a non-functioning fire hose, and a young Latino boy is huddled in the north-east corner by the room’s large north-wall windows, terrified. Across from the front door, on the east wall, is a closed door leading to another room we can’t see into.
    Cyclops is pretty much in the center of the apartment, currently using his visor-controlled concussive blasts to drop a wall full of rubble in front of the apartment’s front door (just behind the unconscious fireman), since the outside hallway is in back draft flux (in other words: a veritable tidal wave of flames is coming in through the apartment’s open front door, and Cyclops is causing the wall around the doorway to collapse in order to halt the progress of those flames before they burn the fireman and super-heat the room). The floor between Cyclops and the closed east-wall door is visibly the most damaged and unreliable. 
1 SFX/blasts: =ZZZZZAKT=
Page 6, panel two
     Stay in tight as Cyclops gets down and rolls across a narrow patch of seemingly sturdy floor, heading towards the young boy in the northeast corner of the room. The two large windows behind the boy make it clear that we’re not on the first floor (let’s say we’re on the third floor).
Page 6, panel three
   The glass from the windows explodes as with grit teeth, Cyclops scoops the boy up in his arms, sheltering him from the rain of glass.
At the same time, crying sounds can be heard coming from the next room, but there’s no obvious way to cross the burning, unstable floor to get to that doorway.
2 SFX/window: =KSSSSH=
3 SFX: =waaaah waaah=
Page 6, panel four
     As Cyclops stands again, both he and the boy turn towards one of the now glassless windows with looks of surprise – bounding cheerfully in are Jean, Rogue, Nightcrawler, Spyke, and Shadowcat (all in full costume). 
4 JEAN: Need a little HELP, Cyclops? 
Page 6, panel five
  Close on Cyclops, looking surprised and uncertain. 
PAGE 7, panel one
   Another close-up of Cyclops, but this time he’s grinning with gratitude and renewed confidence. 
1 CYCLOPS: Yeah. I do.
Page 7, panel two
   As Cyclops begins shouting out orders, the X-Men leap into action! Since we’re tight for space, you’ll probably want to stay close on Scott and whichever X-man he’s commanding panel to panel.
In this panel, Cyclops addresses Nightcrawler as he points towards the east doorway. 
2 CYCLOPS: NIGHTCRAWLER – I think there’s a baby in that room, but the floor’s UNSTABLE. I need you to teleport in there, grab it, and teleport out!
Page 7, panel three
   Nightcrawler disappears in a puff of smoke (or however his teleportation visual effect is going to be rendered on the cartoon – add SFX as needed, classic “BAMF”?) as Cyclops, still holding the boy, turns to Jean, who is already holding one hand to her head, eyes closed, and pointing with the other towards the south wall. 
4 CYCLOPS: Jean, is there anyone else still in the building?
5 JEAN: In the BACK ROOM. A WOMAN, she’s barely conscious.
Page 7, panel four
   Shadowcat starts through the southern wall and Rogue is standing near the unconscious fireman as Cyclops points to the hose beneath the fireman.
6 CYCLOPS: SHADOWCAT – I’m leaving her to you! 
7 SHADOWCAT: Don’t worry, Cyclops, I’ll get her!
8 CYCLOPS: And ROGUE – absorb some knowledge from that FIREMAN and get that HOSE working!
Page 7, panel five
   Nightcrawler pops back in, smiling and holding a baby, as Rogue kneels down by the unconscious fireman, touching his forehead with her bare hands to absorb his knowledge of the fire-fighting equipment. I believe she closes her eyes when she does this but check any cartoon character specifications you may have.
   As Cyclops barks one more command to a slightly peeved Rogue, Spyke, still standing near one of the blown-out windows, addresses Cyclops.
 9 CYCLOPS: Don’t touch him long enough to HURT him, though!
10 ROGUE: I know! I know!
11 SPYKE: And ME?
PAGE 8, panel one
   Spyke begins shooting spikes through the north wall to create a ladder on the outside of the building, as Shadowcat phases back in, pulling a pretty, coughing, Latino women (mother of the kid and the baby) behind her. 
   Rogue is, by now, masterfully handling the fire hose, dousing the flames outside the apartment’s front door. Everyone is safe.
1 CYCLOPS: You’re our EXIT plan, Spyke! We’ll need some kind of LADDER to carry the causalities DOWN.
2 SPYKE: You GOT it, Cyclops!
3 WOMAN/SFX: =kaff kaff =
Page 8, panel two
   All smiling with pride, the team start moving the causalities towards and out the window (except for Rogue, who holds the fire at bay). Show at least one of them climbing down Spyke’s wall ladder. 
   Maybe Jean is now carrying the kid Cyclops had as Cyclops gets the fireman over his shoulder in – ironically – a fireman’s carry. Kitty is still helping the woman. 
   Needs to be clear here that they’ve been completely successful. Jean is beaming a smile at Cyclops.
4 JEAN: See? You did it. 
5 CYCLOPS: Thanks to YOU guys.
Page 8, panel three
  Cut back to the Institute. Scott, in his civvies, is sitting with Professor X in Charles’ study. 
6 CAPTION: Later, back at the Xavier Institute for Gifted Children…
7 SCOTT: I don’t GET it, professor. When I had a REAL fire to deal with, everything worked out FINE.
8 SCOTT: But I’ve tried that DANGER ROOM exercise THIRTY times now, and I STILL can’t get through it!
Page 8, panel four
   Professor X smiles kindly at Scott, maybe even giving him a paternal pat on the shoulder. 
 9 SCOTT: Is there something WRONG with the SIMULATION? 
10 PROF X: No, Scott. And there’s nothing wrong with YOU, either.
11 PROF X: I DESIGNED that exercise to see how long it would take you to REALIZE that you DON’T have to face challenges ALONE.
Page 8, panel five
   Scott beams with pride now, as Prof X smiles at him with paternal affection. 
12 PROF X: Remember, you’re part of the X-Men. 
13 PROF X: You can do GREAT things on your own, but there’s NO LIMIT to what you can accomplish with the help of your FRIENDS!
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