For this week, I created a transcript of the dialogue/text that will go onto each page and panel of my comic (after Page 1, since it is already drawn out– see my previous post). Some parts of it might be edited in the future, so this is just a tentative script at this point:
Panel 1: From the ashes of the bombs arose the first mutants…
Panel 2: One of them called herself Ginkgo Girl.
Panel 3: Who gained her powers from eating a mutant ginkgo seed that formed a symbiotic relationship with her body…
Panel 4: And gave her the power to control Nature, to wield sharp fans that could cut through anything.
Panel 1: When the world realized the existence of mutants was now a reality, they were immediately labeled “freaks”, “aliens”, or “monsters”. Because of their immense power and capacity for destruction, most countries considered them international threats.
Panel 2: Ginkgo Girl, for instance, was vilified by the US government, Japan, and the Soviets, and hated by police officers and crime lords alike. However, she was loved by civilians, and would-be mutants forced to hide their powers out of fear.
Panel 3: Those who “came out” as mutants were often ostracized, even abandoned by their families. Some were treated like second-class citizens, in spite of efforts by activists to recognize them as people with rights. In the US, racist politicians considered “mutants” lesser than colored people, while the Japanese considered them to be the offspring of demons. Others feared the Japs would use them to revive their fallen Empire.
Panel 4: Unsurprisingly, when I was a young girl, and first discovered my powers, I kept them hidden from others in fear of what they would think. As a result, I grew up shy and withdrawn, and even more so in front of my mother.
Panel 1: In all the time I knew her, she rarely told me anything about my father– only that he died in WW2, and that I was born a few months after the bomb in Hiroshima.
Panel 2: She also never acted like a mother should. Rather than being loving and caring towards me, I was always given the cold shoulder– completely ignored, as if I didn’t exist.
Panel 3: There was always this paranoid look in her eyes whenever I was in her presence, as if she knew something about me that she didn’t want to admit to herself: the possibility that I was a mutant.
Panel 4: No one had quite made the link between nuclear energy and the rise of mutants yet (except for a few fringe scientists), but that didn’t mean people like my Mom didn’t have their suspicions. The day everyone found out the truth was a day I’d rather forget…
Panel 1: I remember that day crystal clear. I was twelve years old, and the year was 1957. School had become a nightmare for me over the years, since I became the frequent target of bullying and teasing.
Panel 2: The abuse came from both classmates and teachers. It started with name-calling, then the rumors of why I never raised my hand in class. The bullying only escalated when I expressed my love for Ginkgo Girl, and soon I was threatened by teachers that they would fail me, and report me to the police.
Panel 3: It all came to a head during recess one afternoon. Some kids thought it’d be a good idea to beat me up, just for the fun of it, in front of the whole damn school. Something stirred inside of me as I was being hit and shoved around, and I realized I’d had enough of the torture.
Panel 4: I lashed out with my powers, and needless to say, the result wasn’t pretty.
Panel 1: I hadn’t even made it out of the school grounds before I heard the people behind me screaming in terror. From that day forward, I never looked back, but I didn’t need to in order to feel everyone’s hatred on my back.
Panel 2: Knowing how my mother would react to seeing me, I didn’t even bother returning home until the dead of night.
Panel 3: Of course, my school had contacted her, so she was waiting for me as I soon as I sneaked back home. She had locked the door and covered the windows in the time I was gone.
Panel 4: That’s when I knew I was no longer welcome in her house. No longer her daughter, and no longer accepted by society.
Panel 1: Homeless, penniless, and hopeless, I spent my days running from the law, living the life of a delinquent, a thief.
Panel 2: Firmly convinced that I was a freak, a demon, I hated myself more and more with every petty crime I committed. Then one day, three months after leaving home, the unthinkable happened.
Panel 3: Ginkgo Girl– the heroine I idolized for years appeared in front of me as I was harassing a man at an alley. Rather than attack me, she instead asked me to be her sidekick, to fight crime alongside her.
Panel 4: “Why me?” I asked in tears. “Why choose someone who has already done so much harm to others, simply by existing? No one cares about me, and no one ever will”, I admitted. “Because”, she replied, “you more than anyone else, deserve a second chance.”
Panel 1: To this day, I don’t know what Ginkgo Girl saw in me, but I do know this: she saved me from becoming a criminal. She, more than anyone else in the world, loved and accepted me for who I was, and for that I can only thank her.
Panel 2: Throughout the 60s and 70s, “GG” and I fought, side by side, against the lowlives and villains of Japan, and Eastern Asia. The Yakuza, the “Rat Man”, crazy Communists, etc. We even made it on world news as heroes of the feminist and environmentalist movements!
Panel 3: Those years were the happiest in my life– not just because of the crimefighting, but because of Ginkgo Girl, who taught me how to be a hero under the name I chose for myself: Hasaki Gozen, after the famous female samurai Tomoe Gozen. In my eyes, GG was more than just my mentor– she was a better mother than by actual mother.
Panel 4: But of course, all good things come to an end someday. Those “Golden Years” I had with GG, when we were at the top of the world, didn’t last.
Panel 1: The year was 1984, and the world was at the brink of total annihilation. In early September, Ginkgo Girl and I were contacted by the Japanese government over the Soviet shoot down of Korean Airline Flight 007, and sent to the coast off of Wakkanai, Japan, to search and rescue survivors.
Panel 2: Later that month, the world nearly ended by nuclear war thanks to a false alarm, which sent pro-mutant advocates in an uproar, and into conflicts with anti-mutant counter protestors
Panel 3: October brought Operation Able Archer and scandals involving shadowy politicians accepting bribes from foreign nations. And November was even worse with the rise of a new mutant supervillain, who called himself “Foxphorus”.
Panel 4: I only found out too late just how much of a monster Foxphorus was– what he was willing to do with those fire and electric powers of his.
Panel 1: Unlike past mutant villains, Foxphorus had no desire for money or power or fame or glory. He just liked to see things burn to the ground like the sadistic pyromaniac he was.
Panel 2: Every time Ginkgo Girl and I caught wind of this madman, he’d always just manage to escape in a flash of lightning from his most recent target. Suspiciously, the yakuza would always be nearby recovering from his unstoppable onslaught, or trying in vain to stop his rampage.
Panel 3: When we brought in one of their goons for interrogation, he told us that Foxphorus once worked for their clan after he escaped from a burning mental asylum, but that now he had become an uncontrollable degenerate with no morals, killing other yakuza members, innocent civilians, and even children if he felt like it. In short, Foxphorus went too far with his crimes, even for the Yakuza.
Panel 4: Because at least the Yakuza showed restraint.
Panel 1: The next few weeks were harrowing, to say the least. Me, GG, the police, the Yakuza, and the military teamed up to stop Foxphorus’s antics. We chased him all around Japan– Tokyo, Kyoto, Sapporo, Oita, you name it.
Panel 2: We battled him in burning buildings, scorching schools, and even in the charred remains of hospitals. However, because his attacks were seemingly random and unpredictable, we always arrived late to the scene at least most of the time.
Panel 3: Then, the day we finally had the monster cornered in atop the Nagoya TV Tower, he did something unforgivable.
Panel 1: He killed Ginkgo Girl, then burned her body right in front of me.
Panel 1: Amidst my shock and heartbreak, Foxphorus managed to get away unscathed, without even the slightest bit of remorse for his actions.
Panel 2: The weeks that followed were the darkest in my life. I had lost not only a friend and mentor, but perhaps the only person in the world who loved me for who I was, who loved me like a mother loves her daughter.
Panel 1: Now? Now I was alone once more, feeling the exact same way I felt when I was a little girl: lost, afraid, confused, and angry.
Panel 2: Angry at myself for not being a good enough hero, and for not being able to save someone who was, in fact, my hero.
Panel 3: Not long after Ginkgo Girl’s death, I told the Yakuza and the police to fight Foxphorus alone. I called it quits, just as 1984 rolled around, despite their protests.
Panel 4: “Let the madman do as he pleases” I thought to myself. As for me, my heart’s frozen over, cold as ice. Done with crimefighting.
Panel 1: As the winter months of 1984 came and went, the Yakuza, the police, and the government kept knocking on my door, begging me to return to doing hero work.
Panel 2: But every time they came, I refused their offer.
Panel 3: Then, one night, I saw a news report on TV about Foxphorus burning Tokyo Tower alongside the Imperial Palace. The panicked people being interviewed kept asking “Where is Hasaki Gozen? Has she abandoned us?”, pleading for my return.
Panel 4: It was at that moment that I realized something: in the time that I was gone, that I had quit being a hero, the people of Japan realized they had taken Ginkgo Girl and I for granted, and that they needed me now more than ever. I also realized something else: by abandoning the people I was supposed to care for, I was making the exact same mistake my mother made against me all those years ago. And I was not going to turn into my mother. Coming to my senses, I knew now what I had to do.
Panel 1: I had to become the hero Japan needed,
Panel 2: Avenge Ginkgo Girl for her horrible death,
Panel 3: And prove to the world…
Panel 4: That mutants could be a force for justice.