It's meant to be a "What If?" style tale set in the future, specifically 2063 or whenever the 100th anniversary of Cap's introduction to the Avengers is. The pitch ideas are rough, and there are only twelve pages of script. It was envisioned as a one-shot, probably 64 pages, although it could have been stretched into a three-issue mini-series.
The Land of the Free?
99% of America's population lives in squalor, outside the rigidly patrolled urban zones. Even those in the urban zones live in fear of the few with power, fearful that if they're caught without identicards or a good reason for being where they are, they'll be thrown into the streets with the rest.
The Home of the Brave?
Legislation and subtle changes in public opinion long ago led to the end of the Avengers...the Fantastic Four...the heroes.
The American Revolution
The rebellion against this corrupt regime consists of a few children of the superheroes. Falcon. Hawkeye. Nomad. They are led by Will Barnum, the man who was Bucky so long ago. Now an old friend brings them a message of hope and the one man who can make things right again:
Central panel contains a "splash" sequence of Captain America's battles in the late 1990s-early 2000s. At least one shot of him battling a supervillain team headed by Baron Zemo, a shot of him cradling a dying Red Skull in his arms, and a shot of him and his new Bucky, in an updated version of the original blue and red costume, going into battle against a costumed terrorist group (HYDRA or AIM or somesuch). The other panels are arranged, starting at the top left and in clockwise order, around the splash page.
Head shots of a four-star general, an older gentleman
in fine suit and spectacles (Senator) and a man in an even finer
suit with a mustache and silver hair (gangster), looking over
a table with files marked "Dallas - 1963" and "Vietnam
Operations - 1970"
1 CAPTION: The coalition was formed shortly after Captain America was awakened. America's greatest dream returned, unaware that his second coming had brought with it a shadowy twin.
Captain America, magnificient in his classic red,
white and blue uniform kicking in the door to the Senator's office.
His partner, a teenage boy with blond hair in a streamlined Bucky
uniform, is at his side. The Senator, behind his desk, looks shocked,
holding incriminating files in his hands which he is desperately
trying to shred.
2 CAPTION: When Captain America did finally learn of the coalition, their days were numbered.
3 BUCKY: He's shredding the evidence!
4 CAPTAIN AMERICA: Shred all you like, Senator. We've already got plenty of evidence on you and your coalition.
A shot of Captain America before an impressively
large Senate subcommittee. The art should emphasize how much bigger
Congress is than Cap, perhaps by having us see only his back,
with his hand raised to be sworn in, while the Congressional committee
looms in front of him in five or six rows of Senators, seated
5 CAPTION: In the end, evidence was secondary. This was Captain America, and half the Senators he was trying to convince believed him before he started talking. The coalition began to realize that their power wouldn't stand up to his inspiration.
Picture of Baron Zemo, receiving a handful of cash
and being released from a maximum security prison by someone off-screen.
He wears his mask, and his bearing is one of determination and
pride, not a man broken by the rigors of prison life.
6 CAPTION: And so they hired the only man who could stop him.
We see Zemo leaving through the doorway of the complex.
Inside, tied together around a large bomb with the timer showing
00:45, are a stripped to the waist, beaten and bloody Captain
America, wearing a grim determined look, and a relatively untouched,
fully costumed Bucky, wearing a slightly more nervous (but not
cowardly) expression. His look is one of concern. Captain America
is speaking, slowly but forcefully, and we can see that he has
nearly worked through the ropes tying the two together.
1 ZEMO: Goodbye, Captain. I may not have been able to break you...but I can take some small comfort in killing you.
2 CAPTAIN AMERICA: A man like you could never kill me, Zemo.
Zemo's plane is racing down the runway, half lifted
off. A cable trails from behind. Captain America is chasing it
down, a few feet ahead of Bucky, who races along behind him. The
two of them have obviously escaped their captivity.
3 CAPTION (TIMER): :020
4 CAPTAIN AMERICA (THOUGHT): We can't both make it.
Cap turns around and stops, crouching down and putting
both of his hand together to form a "step" for Bucky,
who continues racing towards him. The plane is moving a little
further away. It is not an easy distance for a man to jump, but
5 CAPTION (TIMER): :015
6 CAPTAIN AMERICA: Bucky! Maneuver Seven!
Bucky reaches Cap and steps into his hands, being
flung above Cap's head with an obvious exertion of all Cap's strength.
Bucky does extends himself and launches toward the cable, his
1 CAPTION (TIMER): 011
2 CAPTAIN AMERICA: Uhhh!
Small, close-up panel of Bucky's gloved hand closing
on the cable.
Bucky, hanging onto the cable and looking down at
the landing pad below him, has his other hand outstretched to
catch Cap. Instead, he sees a wistful but calm Captain America
standing on the landing pad and saluting him.
3 CAPTION (TIMER): 003
4 BUCKY: Cap? Cap!?
A splash page of Zemo's antarctic complex exploding,
leaving no doubt that it will be completely eradicated by the
magnificience of the destruction. Zemo's plane can be seen flying
off just barely ahead of the destruction, with Bucky clinging
desperately to a line attached to the back, looking back at the
explosion and screaming in desperation and grief.
1 BUCKY: Caaaaaaap!
The panel is one of urban blight. Food wrappers blow
down crowded streets, with people in shabby clothes avoiding looking
one another in the eyes. A man in a mask uses a cobbled-together
gun to rob a couple in broad daylight, while no one makes a move
to help or even looks in their direction. On the walls are spray-painted
slogans: "End it Today" and "Heroes Are Dead"
and other such cheerful sayings. A lone car, battered and small,
drives down the street with a gang of four rejects from the cast
of "Road Warrior" chasing it.
1 CAPTION: 2063. America the Beautiful.
2 ROAD WARRIOR REJECT 1: Wooooooo-hooo! Gonna catch us a tin can!
3 ROAD WARRIOR REJECT 2: Hee hee hee hee hee!
SFX: (IN THE DISTANCE) BLAM! BLAM! BLAM!
Focus closer on the car, angled from the front so
we can see it coming at the reader. The driver is white-knuckled
on the steering wheel, a terrified and frantic expression on his
face. He's muttering to himself in fear. Through the back window,
one of the Road Warrior rejects can be seen pulling out a jury-rigged
rifle, something made of mechanical parts and duct-tape that looks
grungy but no less lethal.
1 DRIVER: oh god oh god oh god.
Tight shot of the reject aiming the rifle at the
car, grinning wickedly.
Shot of the car from the side, as a bullet hits the
tire and blows it out, causing the driver to start skidding.
SFX: BLAM! KA-WHOOMP!
2 DRIVER: Ahhhhhhh!
The car begins a skid, in the distance there is a
very solid looking concrete and metal box (a dataterminal, think
of it as a cross between a mailbox and an ATM machine) which the
car is going to hit. Just beyond the dataterminal on the left
side of the panel is an alleyway. Two more bullets hit the car,
one crashing through the back window and out the front, narrowly
missing the driver. The other hits the back tire, blowing it out.
SFX: BLAM! BLAM! KA-WHOOMP!
The car turns driver's side first towards the dataterminal
as it continues its slide, and the driver pops the door open in
Shot of the driver being yanked out of the car by
two strong, bare arms. They belong to an Asian, well-muscled character
who is flying off-panel. The man is clearly being rescued from
the car. In the distance, the man with the gun looks angry and
aims the gun at the rescuer.
1 DRIVER: What the--?!
Impressive shot, seen from below, of a bare-chested
Asian man with white feathered wings rescuing the driver by flying
him away from the careening car. This is Falcon. He is wearing
white and red pants, and has impressively handsome features and
long, wildly flowing black hair. He wears a beatific smile on
his face, seemingly unaware of the gun being aimed at him in the
distance by the thug. However, the reader can see that the thug
has drawn a bead on his new target. In the distance, far behind
the thugs and in the air, barely noticable unless you're looking
for it, a falcon flies towards the thugs. This falcon is Redwing.
2 FALCON: It's okay. I've got you.
The car careens into the dataterminal and explodes,
as Falcon lifts the driver into the air in a graceful upward spiral.
The thug continues to aim. Now a little more noticeable, Redwing
has swooped from its airborne trajectory and is headed straight
for the thugs. Still not something you would notice at first.
Redwing swoops in and takes the gun from the surprised
thug as the Falcon looks on with a laugh. He is flying toward
the top of a nearby building, carrying the stunned driver.
3 REDWING: Scree!
4 ROAD WARRIOR REJECT 1: What the hell--?!
5 FALCON (THOUGHT): Nice going, Redwing.
From the alley next to the now-burning car and dataterminal
steps a young woman in the familiar purple garb of former Avenger
Hawkeye, with a white stripe down the front of the costume. She
carries a long, metal bow and has three blunt-tipped arrows nocked.
Her entire face is covered by the mask she wears. This is Hawkeye.
1 HAWKEYE: You know what I hate about you thrill-jackers? No goals. I mean, you didn't need the car, or his cash. You just wanted to cause a little havoc.
Hawkeye looks back over her shoulder at the car she
has walked past, keeping the bow loosely aimed in the direction
of the stupified thugs.
2 HAWKEYE: Mission accomplished. But still, where does it leave you? That's what I mean, no goals. I can't respect people with no direction in life.
Hawkeye looses the arrows and they streak out towards
In a fairly close shot, the blunt-headed arrows each
strike one of the (non-gun using) thugs on the chin, knocking
them unconscious. The other, the one who shot in the first place,
looks on in disbelief.
SFX: KLUNK! KLUNK! KLUNK!
3 ROAD WARRIOR REJECT 2: Uhh!
4 ROAD WARRIOR REJECT 3: Ooof!
Deciding that discretion is the better part of valor,
the only standing thug turns and bolts back down the street. Hawkeye
watches him run and aims a thumbs-up on one hand towards the roof.
5 HAWKEYE: Like shooting fish in a barrel, Falcon!
On the rooftop, Falcon watches, amused. He has the
shoddy rifle propped against the ground, holding it up with one
hand. On the other, outstretched arm sits Redwing. The end of
this arm returns the thumbs-up gesture. The driver is shaking
Falcon and yelling and pointing. Falcon smiles and yells down
to Hawkeye on the street.
6 FALCON: Not bad, Hawkeye.
7 DRIVER: That one's getting away!
8 FALCON: I really don't think so.
Close-in shot of the road warrior, running down the
street and turning into the nearest alley. He looks afraid, much
like the driver did when he was first being chased. We're watching
this from behind, we can't see into the alley.
Close-up of the warrior running into a large, muscled black man's chest and bouncing back to fall on his butt. The black man wears a dark trenchcoat over a black muscle shirt and black combat pants with pouches on them. On the outside of his coat are two gold disks, one at each side of his neck, roughly where the collar points of the trenchcoat end. On his brown leather belt, he wears a simple gold "N." This is Nomad. He is not smiling, although it doesn't matter, since all we can see in this shot is up to his chest. We also cannot see his right hand or forearm, which are off-panel. He is massive, nearly filling the panel. Not superhuman, but certainly impressive.
1 ROAD WARRIOR REJECT: Ooof!
We get a thug's-eye view of what he's seeing from
the ground. Looking up at a very serious looking Nomad and the
two barrels of the sawed-off shotgun he has in his right hand
and aimed at the thug.
2 NOMAD: Hi. I'm Nomad.
The thug faints and drops his head to the pavement,
so that he lies sprawled out in front of Nomad. Nomad still doesn't
3 NOMAD: I live for that.
Nomad cups a hand to his ear and slides the shotgun
into its holster inside his trenchcoat. He is listening to a tiny
4 RADIO VOICE: Nice work, troops. Report in.
Nomad lifts a manhole cover off the street with one
hand as Hawkeye casts a furtive glance around at the few bystanders.
Falcon is on his way down from the building, flying towards the
open manhole with Redwing right next to him.
1 HAWKEYE: You know, my grandfather had a skycycle. I get to travel by sewer. Nice.
Falcon and Redwing plunge down into the open manhole,
and Hawkeye begins making her descent as well. Falcon turns his
head on the way down and grins at Hawkeye while making a comment.
2 FALCON: At least three comments about living up to your means of transport come to mind, Hawk.
Falcon and Redwing are flying down a long length
of sewer pipe, with Hawkeye running along behind, playfully swatting
at him with her bow. Nomad is climbing down the ladder from above,
having replaced the manhole cover.
3 NOMAD: Just because you were born with wings doesn't give you the right to gloat, Falcon.
4 HAWKEYE: Yeah, for once, tall dark and grim has a point! Some of us don't have mutant powers, bird-boy!
Falcon lands and puts a finger to his lips, motioning
for quiet. He whispers to Hawkeye and Nomad, both of whom are
instantly ready for a fight. The tunnel turns up ahead, and light
can be seen coming from the other side of the turn.
5 FALCON: I hear somebody talking.
6 NOMAD: I hear it too. Careful.
Nomad moves ahead and up to the end of the tunnel,
just short of the turn. He is moving ahead of the others, his
shotgun out and ready for action, while he motions the others
to stay back with his other hand. On the ankle-deep water that
runs through the sewer pipes, two long man-shaped shadows can
be seen. One of them has his arm on the other's shoulder, as if
either talking or threatening. Hawkeye and Falcon stand just a
bit behind him, listening intently.
7 NOMAD: I can hear William. It sounds like a casual conversation.
Interior shot of the underground lair. There is an
American flag on the wall, and a few scattered pictures of Captain
America and Bucky, the Avengers, other heroes. A television screen
is inset on one wall with a crack running from the top left corner
to the lower right. It broadcasts a black and white movie, with
static around the crack. The light in the room is provided by
two antique lamps, set on small end tables. An old man, probably
in his seventies, sits in a wire chair. He has buzz-cut gray hair
on either sides of his bald head, and is dressed in a loose set
of green fatigues. This is Will Barnum. He is talking to another
man in the sparsely furnished room. The other man is dressed in
a black, loose-fitting tunic and pants, very medieval looking.
He has silver, slicked back hair and a matching goatee. Age is
clear in his features, more age than a human should know, but
he carries it with dignity. He sags a little bit, but is still
clearly in full control of his faculties. This is Namor, the Sub-Mariner.
Behind Namor is a block of ice, about seven feet tall. There is
a humanoid figure within, but because of the angle and the reflection
of the lights off the ice, it is impossible to make out any more
detail. In the hallway behind Will Barnum and just out of Namor's
vision, Nomad can be seen peering in.
1 NAMOR: I found it, much like I had so long ago, floating in the arctic. I was taking one last look around my kingdom before my reign...ends.
Will Barnum pushes himself to his feet and walks
over to put his hand on the ice, obviously filled with awe and
surprise. It is still not possible to see anything more than that
he has placed his hand roughly where the figure's face is.
2 BARNUM: Is it...can it be possible?
Namor walks over and puts an arm on Barnum's shoulders.
He has a wistful smile as he looks at the figure in the block
3 NAMOR: It's not just possible, Bucky. To come at such a time, it almost seems like destiny.
The figure's face is revealed, in a close-up revealing
only the face. It is none other than Steve Rogers, Captain America.
He wears his blue mask, and seems to be asleep. Of course, he
is in suspended animation.
4 NAMOR (OFF-PANEL): Truly, it is time for the return of Captain America!