The Further Awesome Adventures of the Unsinkable Stephanie Brown #16
PAGE ONE: Six panels.
PANEL ONE: This issue opens with an image of a domed city on a beautiful island. It should be a nice mix of classical and space age filled with marble columns and arches but also with flying saucers and space needle spires. On the shore of the island are a number of ships, both traditional sailing and space-age, all with large painted sails.
CAPTION: Atlantis. Antediluvian age.
PANEL TWO: Steph and Joe with Nell between them are standing in a swirl of mist. They are all dressed as before. Steph wears purple leggings, leather ankle boots and a lavender sports bra. Nell has yellow bat-shaped bows in her dark curly hair and wears a black sweatshirt with a yellow bat symbol, jeans and saddle oxfords. Joe wears his usual open vest, jeans and boots as well as the gold orb hanging around his neck.
NELL: Where are we?
STEPH: I’m not sure.
JOE: Summoned by gods.
PANEL THREE: Nell gapes wide-eyed and clutches Steph’s hand. They are looking at each other as the mists begin to part and Joe kneels.
JOE: Aku Illapa. Bow.
PANEL FOUR: From behind the kneeling figures of Steph, Joe and Nell is seen a hooded female figure in full-length robes that look like wings. She is Aku. Aku is pointing.
AKU: You of all people should know better than to bring a child, Shaman!
PANEL FIVE: The view is from over the shoulder of Aku as she removes hood from hairless head. Steph is now holding the wide-eyed Nell in a protective way as Joe scowls.
JOE: Joe remember, but it Nell’s choice.
PANEL SIX: Aku has removed her hood. She has a lovely drawn face that but for the dark skin reminds one of a crystal skull. There is a purple orb hanging around her neck.
AKU: Even though you have been summoned to prevent the end of times!?
PAGE TWO: Splash page. Aku is leading Joe, Steph and Nell into a throne chamber where eleven more figures, hooded and cloaked in wing-like robes, are gathered around a slumped twelfth such figure on a throne. There is an orange orb hanging around the slumped figure’s neck. Some of the figures also have orbs about their necks in the various colors we have seen like red, gold, green and blue. There could be other colors of orbs as well. This chamber appears to be the submerged one seen in issue six. There are what appear to be eggplants being grown around the well at the center of the chamber.
AKU: The leader who brought us here from the stars has collapsed. He can no longer contain the entity that sleeps below. Awakened it will devour every living thing on this planet and then scavenge the universe for more. We Stargrazers no longer have the ability to contain it for this planet has changed the chemistry of the source of our power.
PAGE THREE: Six panels.
PANEL ONE: Steph is raising a brow as Aku hands she and Joe each something purple that looks like raw eggplant. Nell is making a face.
STEPH: Which is...?
NELL: Eww... eggplant.
PANEL TWO: Aku is nodding and smiling. Steph appears suspicious. Joe is tasting it. Nell is tugging on Steph’s arm.
AKU: We believe the altered Toordoolbefil can still bestow such abilities on select natives of this planet. Eat.
NELL: If I eat some can I help save the world?
PANEL THREE: Steph is scowling as she nibbles a piece of purple veggie and looks down at Nell who is pouting.
PANEL FOUR: Steph has taken Aku’s hand and seems to be imploring her.
STEPH: If Joe and I agree to eat this to-duel-be-full stuff and stop your monster will you keep Nell safe?
AKU: No one will be safe if you fail.
PANEL FIVE: Steph is nodding to Aku even as Nell scowls.
STEPH: Still, what would her mother say if...
AKU: I will take the child with me if you wish.
PANEL SIX: This is a close-up of Nell with fists on hips and making a face.
NELL: Take me where?
PAGE FOUR: Four panels. Three side by side in top third of page over a much larger panel four in the bottom two-thirds.
PANEL ONE: Aku is leading Steph, Joe and Nell out of the throne chamber along with the other robed figures to whom she gestures with a sweep of arm.
AKU: We twelve are taking toordoolbefil seed to the far corners of the globe to see if we can cultivate a variety that will allow us to regain our abilities. That is, if you and the Shaman give us time.
STEPH: Just keep Nell safe.
PANEL TWO: Steph is kneeling and hugging Nell. A tear is running down Steph’s cheek, unseen by Nell.
NELL: But Steph! I can...
STEPH: Please Nell, be good and mind Aku.
PANEL THREE: Aku has taken the chain with purple orb which she was wearing and is draping it over Steph’s head as Steph appears to be wiping away the tear.
AKU: Here, you’ll need this. It does me no good anymore.
PANEL FOUR: The Atlanteans are leaving the island on their ships of various designs with painted sails. Aku holds a pouting Nell by the shoulders as her ship floats away in mid-air. On the shore Steph and Joe are waving even as the Devourer rises up on the other side of the domed city of Atlantis, a huge horrible entity with multiple tentacles, eyes and gaping maws.
NELL: But I wanna stay with Steph!
AKU: Pray, child, that they are up to the task.
TITLE: Steph, Joe, Nell and the Dare Debs in “Forever Endeavor!”
PAGE FIVE: Four panels.
PANEL ONE: Joe is morphing into a golden deer and Steph into a human-sized upright purple starfish. This might be achieved through multiple blurred figures.
STEPH: What the...
JOE: Spirit animals.
PANEL TWO: Starfish Steph is looking down at her purple starfish body, an image of her face appearing on the most upright point of the star. Deer Joe has turned his head and is shooting gold energy blasts from his antlers.
STEPH: But a starfish... seriously?
PANEL THREE: Starfish Steph is being grabbed up by a tentacle wrapping around her midsection. She flails arm points and leg points as she comes off the ground. Deer Joe is leaping away to avoid the same fate from another tentacle.
JOE: Steph! Nooo...
PANEL FOUR: Deer Joe is morphing into Cougar Joe as he leaps toward the tentacle encircling Starfish Steph. He is golden and his claws are slashing, blood flying as the tentacle is severed.
PAGE SIX: Four panels.
PANEL ONE: The Fly-Girl gundam operated by Wendy/Proxy is struggling in the grip of tentacles much like those that caught Starfish Steph as what appears to be the same monster rises out of the Gotham fog.
CAPTION: Elsewhile. Gotham.
PROXY (jagged bubble): It’s too powerful!
PANEL TWO: Aquaman and Supergirl are streaking into the frame. Supergirl is delivering a blow that pops one of the devourer’s eyeballs. “KSPLATT!!” Aquaman severs with his trident the tentacles holding the struggling gundam. “KSNAPP!!”
PROXY (jagged bubble): I’m free! Oh no, this could be bad...
PANEL THREE: Aquaman and Supergirl have each hesitated, a puzzled look on their respective faces as the monster regrows tentacles and reforms the splattered eye.
PROXY (jagged bubble): I’m picking up the same mind-controlling pulse that we encountered on the night of the Tooters. (See issue seven.)
PANEL FOUR: The Fly-Girl gundam is flying over Black Bat and Fly-Girl standing on the ground below with the monster in the background.
PROXY (jagged bubble): Can you keep Aquaman and Supergirl busy if they turn on us? I have an idea but need some time.
FLY-GIRL: We can try, Proxy.
BLACK BAT: What about Batman?
PROXY (jagged bubble): I suspect he’s taken precautions as we did. If not it’s Master Dragon’s problem. They’ve gone inside to rescue Steph and Joe.
PAGE SEVEN: Splash page. Richard Dragon and Batman are each in hand to hand combat with a mummy. Yeti Pongo is going after demon Paindora. Robin is looking all around as he stands in the middle of the circle of crystal skulls on the floor. The surface of the Devourer with its many eyes and mouths is coming up out of a misty hole in the floor in the background and disappearing out of the top of the frame. “SSSLITHRRR...”
ROBIN: I don’t see Steph anywhere!
PAINDORA: Fools! Bow to me or die!
PAGE EIGHT: Six panels.
PANEL ONE: Batman is punching a mummy backwards and Richard Dragon is kicking the other one back.
BATMAN: We have to destroy the skulls to close the dimensional displacement before the creature comes completely through.
DRAGON: But what if Miss Brown is on the other side?
PANEL TWO: Robin has picked up a skull and is making a face as he looks at it, trying to decide what to do. Pongo and Paindora struggle like mythological sumos behind him.
ROBIN: I can’t. I won’t trap Steph!
PANEL THREE: A close-up of Batman’s grim masked face.
BATMAN: Destroy the skulls, Robin. That is an order!
PANEL FOUR: A close-up of Dragon’s concerned face.
DRAGON: It’s your choice, son.
PANEL FIVE: Robin/Damian’s face contorted with excruciating conflict.
ROBIN: But Steph’s the only person who has ever... loved... me.
PANEL SIX: Batman’s angry masked face as sweat pours down it.
BATMAN: Damn it, Damian! We can’t defeat these undead creatures... Steph would expect you to do what is necessary!
PAGE NINE: Splash page. In the background to one side Pongo is struggling with Paindora for the crystal skull it holds but is bloodied and losing. On the other side Batman and Dragon have each been caught in bear hugs by the respective mummies they were battling. In the foreground Robin is smashing a crystal skull on the hardwood floor even as tears pour down from his masked eyes. KRRRASHHH!!!
DRAGON: If by some miracle we survive I want you to stay away from the Debs.
ROBIN: I’m so sorry, Steph!
PAGE TEN: Six panels. Perhaps two vertical columns of three each showing Black Bat and Fly-Girl’s respective battles with Supergirl and Aquaman side by side.
PANEL ONE: Black Bat is dragon kicking Supergirl and sending Supergirl staggering backwards in a bent-over position. Black Bat’s dragon tattoo image can be seen swirling around her extended kicking leg.
PANEL TWO: Aquaman is deflecting a bolt from Fly-Girl’s gun with his trident as they circle in the air. “PZZZING!”
PANEL THREE: Black Bat is stumbling backwards as she blocks a blast of heat vision from Supergirl with forearms suddenly covered in sizzling dragon scales. “SSSSS...”
PROXY (jagged bubble overlaps panels three and four): Keep ‘em busy one more minute!
PANEL FOUR: Aquaman is parrying Fly-Girl’s gun away from her gloved hand with his trident as he closes with her.
FLY-GIRL: He’s way too experienced for me, Proxy!
PANEL FIVE: Supergirl is punching Black Bat backwards, sending her flying through a brick wall. “KRRUNCK!!”
PROXY (jagged bubble overlaps panels five and six): Here I come!
PANEL SIX: Aquaman has caught Fly-Girl by the neck with one hand and is choking her even as he pushes the points of his trident against the underside of her costume’s bosom.
AQUAMAN: Prepare to die, mortal!
PAGE ELEVEN: Two equal panels.
PANEL ONE: The Fly-Girl gundam that Wendy/Proxy operates flies headlong toward the Devourer monster rising out of the unnatural history museum building. The gundam is pulling by guidewires a huge inflated balloon of Barney, the purple dinosaur.
PROXY (jagged bubble): I filled one of the Christmas Parade balloons with hydrogen!
PANEL TWO: Aku and Nell are watching from the deck of Aku’s ship as it floats away from the scene of a cute purple tyrannosaur and a golden cave bear battling the Devourer as it threatens to consume the domed city of Atlantis. The jaws of the tyrannosaur and claws of the cave bear seem to be having little effect on the monster. Nell is crying.
NELL: I’m so scared they’re going to die and leave me all alone!
AKU: Fear? Is that what it is to be human?
NELL: I want to help!
PAGE TWELVE: Six panels.
PANEL ONE: Aku is giving Nell a thoughtful look.
AKU: Perhaps the Shaman is right. Perhaps destiny is your own to choose.
PANEL TWO: Aku has produced an eggplant from her robes and is offering it to Nell.
AKU: Do you wish to eat?
PANEL THREE: Nell is making a face as she eats the eggplant and Aku smiles wanly.
AKU: It can be bitter.
PANEL FOUR: Nell is morphing into a bat of her same size.
NELL: I know. Mom always makes me eat my veggies.
PANEL FIVE: Bat Nell is flying away toward the battle as the purple tyrannosaur has become caught in some tentacles pulling it toward a gaping maw.
PANEL SIX: Bat Nell is flying past Tyrannosaur Steph’s head.
NELL: I’ll distract it!
STEPH: Nell? Ohmygawd! Stop!
PAGE THIRTEEN: Four panels.
PANEL ONE: Tyrannosaur Steph’s eyes are glowing purple as Bat Nell is ensnared by a whipping tentacle. Golden Joe is morphing from cave bear into eagle.
STEPH: Joe! Help her!
PANEL TWO: Golden Eagle Joe’s claws are slashing through the tentacle that has caught Nell as he flies upwards.
PANEL THREE: Eagle Joe and Bat Nell are flying free of the tentacles and up from the inferno of Atlantis. Tyrannosaur Steph now looks more like Godzilla than anything else. Purple energy beams are shooting from her eyes and flames from her mouth. The Devourer is on fire and seems to be retreating but ensnaring Steph with tentacles to pull her down into the flames with it. “KRRRAPPP!!”
JOE: Nell stay here!
NELL: No way!
PANEL FOUR: Eagle Joe and Bat Nell are slashing at tentacles in the midst of the flames in an attempt to free the raging Tyrannosaur Steph as she continues to burn the Devourer with purple energy beams even more intense looking than before. “GRRRRRRRRR!!!”
NELL: It’s killing her!
JOE: Each other!
PAGE FOURTEEN: Splash page. Tyrannosaur Steph, Eagle Joe and Bat Nell are all flying outward from a massive explosion in midst of the inferno along with debris and pieces of monster splatter. “KBOOOMMM!!!”
PAGE FIFTEEN: Six panels.
PANEL ONE: Steph, Joe and Nell are lying on the ground with the inferno still burning in the background. All are back in human form. Steph’s body is mangled and smoke is rising from it. Joe and Nell are shaking their heads to regain their senses.
PANEL TWO: Joe and Nell crawl toward the prone Steph.
NELL: You did it!
PANEL THREE: Joe is on his knees and is pulling Steph into his arms. Smoke continues to rise from Steph’s smoldering tights and top. The purple orb still hangs around her neck.
STEPH: Ungh... did what?
PANEL FOUR: A tear is running down Joe’s cheek as he holds Steph in his arms and Nell takes Steph’s hand.
NELL: You stopped the monster like I knew you would!
PANEL FIVE: Steph is forcing a smile as Joe helps her lift the cord holding the purple orb up and off from around her neck.
STEPH: I want you to have this, Nell...
PANEL SIX: Steph is placing the orb over Nell’s bowed head with its yellow bat bows in dark curly hair.
STEPH: It’s all up to you now.
PAGE SIXTEEN: Four panels.
PANEL ONE: Nell beats on Steph’s chest with her fists and Joe leans over to kiss Steph on the lips as the smoke swirls up about them, mostly obscuring the background of the burning ruins of Atlantis. This panel mirrors the pose from panel two on page seventeen of the previous issue #15.
NELL: Nooo... Steph, you can’t give up!
PANEL TWO: Steph’s eyes are closed but she is no longered broken and burning. Nell still beats her chest and Joe holds her, but the parting mists now reveal glimpses of the wrecked museum and broken Fly-Girl gundam in the background.
NELL: I won’t let you die!
PANEL THREE: This is a close-up of Steph’s eyes wide open as if in surprise.
STEPH: Wha... what happened?
PANEL FOUR: Joe and Nell are smiling.
JOE: Steph heart stop. Joe and Nell do CPR.
PAGE SEVENTEEN: Four panels.
PANEL ONE: Robin/Damian has put a hand on Nell’s shoulder.
ROBIN: Nice work, Nell!
ROBIN: I found them! Alive!
PANEL TWO: Nell appears very animated, waving her arms, eyes wide, as if telling a very exciting story.
NELL: We went back in time to Atlantis and met a goddess and battled an evil monster and saved the world and...
PANEL THREE: Fly-Girl has flown in through the hole in the roof of the museum and is landing beside Nell with Wendy in her arms. Black Bat is walking up on the other side.
FLY-GIRL: Wendy actually blew up the monster by igniting a balloon full of hydrogen.
WENDY: Well, the part of the monster that came through the rift at any rate.
BLACK BAT: While Fly-Girl and I kept Aquaman and Supergirl busy.
PANEL FOUR: Robin/Damian is nodding as Richard Dragon and Pongo appear behind him.
ROBIN: And I smashed the skulls to close the dimensional displacement while Batman and Master Dragon held off the mummies.
DRAGON: And Pongo here bravely occupied the demon.
PAGE EIGHTEEN: Four panels.
PANEL ONE: Nell is scowling as Joe smirks and pats her shoulder.
NELL: But I was there! In Atlantis! I swear!
PANEL TWO: Steph is hugging Nell.
STEPH: Don’t swear. Probably all just a bad dream, Nell...
NELL: You don’t remember?
STEPH: You DID save my life!
PANEL THREE: Steph is now holding Nell by the shoulders and looking into her face sternly as if to make a point of discipline.
STEPH: Thanks for that, but don’t ever do it again. Your mother must be worried sick!
NELL: But Steph! I want to be a Dare Deb!
PANEL FOUR: Steph has her hands to her face.
STEPH: And I want YOU to learn to do what your mother tells you!
PAGE NINETEEN: Four panels.
PANEL ONE: Nell’s mother, Mrs. Little, is pushing a wheelchair in which sits Steph’s mother, Mrs. Brown, through the debris of the wrecked museum.
MRS. LITTLE: Good advice.
MRS. BROWN: If daughters would only take it more often.
PANEL TWO: Nell is pulling on her mother’s arm and jumping as if bouncing. Her mother is smiling wryly.
NELL: Please, mom, please!
MRS. LITTLE: Steph’s mother has told me enough to know that I may as well say “yes” so you won’t have to lie about it. Yes, you can be a lil’ Debbie.
NELL: Sweet! I’m a Dare Deb!
PANEL THREE: Steph is rolling her eyes.
STEPH: You might want to rethink that, Cupcake. The stupidity of this Dare Dolt nearly destroyed the world if it hadn’t been for...
PANEL FOUR: Batman flanked by Aquaman and Supergirl appear behind a startled Steph almost as if to honor her.
BATMAN: The team that YOU, Ms. Stephanie Brown, brought together to prevent it!
PAGE TWENTY: Splash page in black and white to look like a front page news story in the Gotham Gazette. It is mostly a photograph of the Dare Deb team. Steph is shrugging but has a faint wan smile. A grinning Black Bat is on one side and putting a hand on Steph’s shoulder. Nell is standing in front of and between them. Nell has pulled out from under her black batgirl sweatshirt the purple orb that a dying Steph gave her when they were in Atlantis and is gaping at it wide-eyed. Fly-Girl, kissing and cradling Wendy in her arms, stands on the other side of Steph. The headline above the photo in large letters reads, “THE DARE DEBS!” The caption below the photo reads, “Move over Justice League! Yesterday a new heroine team known as the Dare Debs saved Gotham City from imminent cataclysm! Black Bat, Lil’ Deb, Spoiler, Fly-Girl and Proxy are the new darlings of the city!
CAPTION: Could this story of preventing the end actually be the beginning? The Dare Debs are coming soon to a local comic store near you in their very own team title!