22 PAGES! NO ACTION!
Find the critically-acclaimed first issue here!
Splash panel. A shocked BOOMERANG, dressed in shabby civilian clothes, is yelling something across a table. A little bubble containing an actual boomerang points to him, for the sake of clarity.
BOOMERANG: You’ve got to be ****ting me!
CAPTION: See this? This is why I never do anything nice.
CAPTION: I save six cops from a massive shootout with the Shocker, ostensibly out of the goodness of my heart, and what to those ******* do?
CAPTION: They arrest me.
CAPTION: Which means despite my best efforts, I’m still stuck dealing with the police…
CAPTION: The courts…
We’re in a police station. Specifically, an interrogation room. STEVE PARTRIDGE, BOOMERANG’s lawyer, sits across the table from him.
CAPTION: And the damn lawyers.
BOOMERANG: They want to charge me with KIDNAPPING!?
PARTRIDGE: Just accessory to kidnapping.
Close-up of PARTRIDGE. He’s making an exaggerated shrugging motion.
PARTRIDGE: Okay, look. D.A. Tower knows that you and Schultz have a history. Given that they found the girl in his hideout, Tower isn’t ruling out the idea that you were…
PARTRIDGE: Part of it.
PARTRIDGE: Probably doesn’t help that I’m representing you both.
PARTRIDGE: By the way, don’t tell anyone I told you Schultz’s alibi.
BOOMERANG slams his hand down on the table.
BOOMERANG: Part of it?
BOOMERANG: I WAS part of it! I swooped in and saved the girl! I was the swooping, girl-saving part! Tell Tower that!
Another shrugging shot of PARTRIDGE.
PARTRIDGE: Freddy. Baby. This ain’t my first rodeo. That was the very first thing I told him.
BOOMERANG (OFF-PANEL): And?
PARTRIDGE: He’s met you before.
BOOMERANG cradles his head in his hands.
Close-up. BOOMERANG looks at the file Partridge has handed him.
BOOMERANG: I didn’t know D.A. Tower even had kids.
PARTRIDGE (OFF-PANEL): She was recently adopted.
PARTRIDGE (OFF-PANEL): From Syria.
BOOMERANG: Jesus, Gino.
PARTRIDGE leans all the way back in his chair, putting his feet up on the table.
PARTRIDGE: Look, they’ve got nothing, okay? And you? You’ve got me! They’ll never make it stick.
PARTRIDGE: So you wait it out, re-apply for parole in a year or two…
BOOMERANG perks up.
BOOMERANG: Wait, wait, wait.
PARTRIDGE seems momentarily confused.
PARTRIDGE: Oh. Yeah.
PARTRIDGE: Turns out costumed activity of any sort violates the terms of your release.
PARTRIDGE: Did I not lead with that?
BOOMERANG cranes his head back, covering his hands with his face.
BOOMERANG: For Christ’s sake Partridge, what do I even pay you for?
PARTRIDGE: Ha haa. I thought you’d never ask.
PARTRIDGE slides a document across the table.
PARTRIDGE: You pay me for this.
BOOMERANG looks with horror at the document.
CAPTION: Never. Do anything. Nice.
Close-up of BOOMERANG.
BOOMERANG: Absolutely not.
BOOMERANG: Pretending to go straight is one thing. Everyone does that. It’s part of the job.
BOOMERANG: I’ll even save the cat every now and then if that’s what it takes.
BOOMERANG: But this…
Close-up of the document, spanning the width of the page. Its header reads “APPLICATION FOR STATE RECOGNITION OF SUPERHERO STATUS.”
BOOMERANG (OFF-PANEL): There’s no coming back from this.
Single shot of PARTRIDGE.
PARTRIDGE: I’ve already tried every trick in the book. It’s the only way they’ll trust your side of the story.
Extreme close-up of BOOMERANG.
BOOMERANG: I may have done some weaselly **** in the past. I may have broken every moral code I’ve ever followed, or pretended to follow.
BOOMERANG: But this is where I draw the line. I don’t care what they put on the table, I will NOT —
Suddenly interrupted, BOOMERANG’S eyes widen.
PARTRIDGE (OFF-PANEL): If you don’t sign it, they’re shipping you off to the Raft in the morning.
CAPTION: As I was saying…
A courthouse. BOOMERANG sits before a panel of D.A. BLAKE TOWER (labeled with a bubble containing the Eiffel Tower), a female A.D.A., and MACH-VII, a.k.a. ABNER JENKINS (labeled with a bubble containing a dung beetle). Jenkins is in his super-suit, sans helmet.
BOOMERANG: This is who I am now.
At the bottom of the panel is the issue’s title —
PROTESTED REFORMATION: PART TWO
After the hearing. Mach-VII clicks an ankle monitor into place above Boomerang’s foot.
SOUND EFFECT: *ch-chk*
BOOMERANG (OFF-PANEL): Oh, for the love of —
BOOMERANG looks pleadingly at his colleague-turned-enemy-turned-parole officer.
BOOMERANG: House arrest?
BOOMERANG: You’ve seen my apartment, Abe. I’d be better off in prison.
MACH-VII returns Boomerang’s gaze coldly.
MACH-VII: I agree.
MACH-VII: Unfortunately, that’s not what this is. GPS tracking is standard Thunderbolts procedure.
BOOMERANG points angrily at Mach-VII.
BOOMERANG: No! Nuh uh uh!
BOOMERANG: I will NOT be a Thunderbolt!
BOOMERANG: I will NEVER be a Thunderbolt!
Two-shot of MACH-VII and BOOMERANG.
MACH-VII: You already were a Thunderbolt.
BOOMERANG: I will NEVER be a Thunderbolt again!
MACH-VII dutifully explains the conditions of Boomerang’s agreement.
MACH-VII: Turn up anywhere suspicious, and I come check on you. Try to leave the city without permission, or get witnessed committing a crime, and we bring you in.
Two-shot of BOOMERANG and MACH-VII.
MACH-VII: Can I give you some advice, as a friend?
MACH-VII: As your parole officer, then.
BOOMERANG: Still no.
Close-up of MACH-VII.
MACH-VII: If you’re serious about this, the best thing you can do is go back to prison and serve out the remainder of your sentence.
MACH-VII: The public will be more willing to trust you that way.
Close-up of BOOMERANG, seemingly in thought.
Same framing, but BOOMERANG is now staring Mach-VII down.
BOOMERANG: Here’s another idea. Why don’t you go to prison and serve my time for me?
BOOMERANG: Voluntary incarceration is sort of a hobby of yours, isn’t it?
MACH-VII gets up in BOOMERANG’S face, using the bulk of his unwieldy super-suit to his advantage.
MACH-VII: I don’t know what your goal is here, Fred.
MACH-VII: But since you brought it up, never forget that you’re talking to one of the guys who invented this gambit.
MACH-VII: I can see right through you.
Extreme close-up of MACH-VII.
MACH-VII: And I will not hesitate to take you down.
CAPTION: All right, maybe we should back up for a second.
A crudely drawn version of ABNER in his original BEETLE suit, flying down the street and shooting his “electro-bites” at an armored car. This crude art style, suggesting a crayon drawing, applies to the entirety of this page.
CAPTION: If you, like the rest of the planet’s worthwhile population, have absolutely no idea who MACH-VII even is…
CAPTION: You may know him better as Abner Jenkins, the original Beetle.
BEETLE huddles on the ground, being beaten senseless by the THING, the HUMAN TORCH, DAREDEVIL, SPIDER-MAN, IRON MAN, and the HULK, for good measure.
CAPTION: He started out working for the Collector and Justin Hammer. Later he founded the Sinister Syndicate…
BOOMERANG hangs from the ceiling of a bank, tied up by Spider-Man’s webs, as the POLICE close in on him. BEETLE flies backwards away from the scene, giving Boomerang two middle fingers.
CAPTION: …where I had the misfortune to experience his ‘leadership’ firsthand.
The original Thunderbolts lineup of CITIZEN V, TECHNO, SONGBIRD, MACH-1, ATLAS, and METEORITE. Those whose faces are visible are all making grotesquely exaggerated expressions of stupidity, and stink lines emanate from above them.
CAPTION: And of course, he was one of the original Thunderbolts.
CAPTION: For those keeping score at home, those were the bad Thunderbolts, who turned do-gooder because they liked it.
The Underbolts lineup of BOOMERANG, SHOCKER, TROLL, MR. HYDE, and CENTURIUS. They are all proudly giving the ‘camera’ a thumbs up, save for Troll, whose face is crossed out in red.
CAPTION: Not the good Thunderbolts, who were only ever in it for the pardon.
CAPTION: No matter how much fun it looked like they were having.
MACH-VII and BOOMERANG stand with their backs to one another, arms crossed and noses up.
CAPTION: As for why he seems to have such a stick up his butt where I’m concerned…
A WAITRESS slips powder into a plate of food that sits in front of MACH-VII. Farther along the panel, Mach-VII wakes up — groggy, holding his head, and dressed in Boomerang’s costume. At the far end of the panel, Mach-VII/Boomerang looks up to see the OWL and the CHAMELEON standing over him, cracking their knuckles.
CAPTION: I guess it could be the time I drugged him…
CAPTION: …dressed him in my clothes…
CAPTION: …and left him to be beaten to death by a bunch of supervillains.
BOOMERANG, wearing the waitress’ clothes, pulls off a mask to reveal his own Boomerang mask underneath.
CAPTION: But that was, like, last year!
CAPTION: And besides, he can’t even prove it was me.
Extreme close-up of MACH-VII looking coldly at Boomerang.
Extreme close-up of BOOMERANG looking coldly at Mach-VII.
BOOMERANG abruptly throws his arms around MACH-VII, hugging him tightly. Jenkins is clearly taken off-guard by this.
BOOMERANG: Thank you.
BOOMERANG breaks the embrace, but still holds MACH-VII by the shoulders.
BOOMERANG: I’m sorry I snapped at you.
BOOMERANG: The truth is…
BOOMERANG: I don’t trust myself any more than you do.
Close-up on BOOMERANG, holding back tears.
BOOMERANG: I want to do this right.
BOOMERANG: But deep down I’m just a snake.
BOOMERANG: A sneaky snake!
Close-up of BOOMERANG, embracing MACH-VII once again.
BOOMERANG: I’m glad I can count on you to keep me in check…
Wide shot of the two hugging.
CAPTION: Oh, please. As if I was going to give him the satisfaction.
Same framing. MACH-VII awkwardly pats BOOMERANG on the back.
SOUND EFFECT: *pat pat*
MACH VII holds BOOMERANG at arms’ length, with a hand on his shoulder.
MACH-VII: It sounds like we both have a lot to work out.
MACH-VII: And I know just the thing to help us do it.
MACH-VII: Even better.
Splash panel. A meeting of Vil-Anon, the villain support group. Several recognizable villains are in attendance. BOOMERANG and MACH-VII can also be seen, the latter sitting in rapt attention, the former visibly sulking.
VOICE: It’s not about the taste…
VOICE: Even if it does look delicious. So silky white… and smooth…
VOICE: It’s not even about the high, really. Though again, I can’t pretend that’s not a nice bonus.
We focus in on the speaker, PETER PETRUSKI, the TRAPSTER. He sits wearily in his chair, a portable IV drip running into his right arm.
TRAPSTER: No, I think the real reason I eat glue… is that I keep hoping it’ll fix what’s broken…
TRAPSTER: …On the inside.
The other VILLAINS applaud Trapster’s ‘share.’ BOOMERANG, meanwhile, sits dumbfounded at what he just heard.
SOUND EFFECT *Clap clap clap clap clap*
CAPTION: It probably goes without saying…
CAPTION: But this is not better than booze.
Medium shot of MACH-VII and BOOMERANG, sitting side by side.
MACH-VII: Thank you, Peter.
MACH-VII: Fred, do you have anything you’d like to share?
BOOMERANG: Not really.
HIPPO calls across the circle.
HIPPO: Hey Fred! Heard you turned hero today!
Other VILLAINS murmur in agreement.
VILLAINS: (Oh yeah. Mmyeah. That’s right.)
Single shot of BOOMERANG, holding back panic.
BOOMERANG: What? No!
BOOMERANG: I mean… there’s more to it than that…
Two-shot of DR. BONG and BIG WHEEL, sitting beside one another.
DR. BONG: Relax. There’s no judgement here, man.
BIG WHEEL: We all know this life’s no good.
BOOMERANG smiles wistfully as MACH-VII looks over at him.
BOOMERANG: Heh. Yeah, guess not.
BOOMERANG: Not for C-listers like us, anyway.
MACH-VII: Not for anyone, Fred.
BOOMERANG: Eh, something tells me Victor Von Doom feels pretty good about himself right now.
Medium shot of TRAPSTER.
TRAPSTER: I hope our regulars will forgive me for telling this story yet again, but…
TRAPSTER: Do you know I was there on the day Doctor Octopus died?
BOOMERANG perks up at this declaration.
TRAPSTER: He wanted one of my machines, for life support.
TRAPSTER: And let me tell you, even Otto Octavius, with all his strength, and brains, and reputation…
TRAPSTER: Went out desperate and screaming.
TRAPSTER shakes his fists in mock rage.
TRAPSTER: “Bring me Spider-Man! Bring me Spider-Man!”
TRAPSTER: It was all he could think about. As if, when the pits of hell finally opened up to claim their due, he could somehow drag ol’ Web-Head down with him.
Close-up on BOOMERANG, clearly rattled by what he’s hearing.
TRAPSTER (OFF-PANEL): That single-mindedness… it isn’t just unhealthy…
TRAPSTER (OFF-PANEL): It was pathetic.
Extreme close-up of BOOMERANG, staring down at the ground, almost convinced.
TRAPSTER (OFF-PANEL): This life ruins you, Fred.
TRAPSTER (OFF-PANEL): No matter who you are.
GRIZZLY stands up from his chair. TRAPSTER yells angrily across the room at him.
GRIZZLY: Ock would never go out like that!
TRAPSTER: For the last time, Max, I was there!
TYPHOID MARY absent-mindedly checks her nails.
TYPHOID MARY: I still think he faked the whole thing. He’s done it before.
HYPNO HUSTLER responds, pointing energetically at Typhoid Mary, but is questioned by DR. BONG, on his left.
HYPNO HUSTLER: No, no, he really did die that first time!
DR. BONG: Come on. Then how’d he come back?
Same framing. HYPNO HUSTLER turns to DR. BONG, gesturing.
HYPNO HUSTLER: He copied his brain onto a microchip, then had the Jackal clone him a new body and downloaded the old brain into it.
DR. BONG: Do you have any idea how ridiculous that sounds? You can’t put a brain on a microchip.
Slumped in his seat, BOOMERANG’s eyes widen.
VOICE (OFF-PANEL): Excuse me? Says who? Have you not seen the Vision lately?
VOICE (OFF-PANEL): Or Arnim Zola?
JACKSON WHEELE suddenly stands up, shouting.
BIG WHEEL: Or Westworld!
BOOMERANG covers his mouth with his hand, unable to believe the dots he’s connecting.
VOICE (OFF-PANEL): A computer cannot simulate human consciousness. The Ock that died had to be an LMD.
VOICE (OFF-PANEL): Tell me you can hear the irony in that argument.
MACH-VII raises his arms to calm the group
MACH-VII: All right, everyone, let’s settle down.
MACH-VII: I don’t think this is a very productive topic of conversation.
BOOMERANG leans back in his chair, looking over at MACH-VII with a smirk.
CAPTION: On the contrary, Abe.
CAPTION: I just had a major breakthrough.
It’s night, and the Vil-Anon meeting has let out. MACH-VII and BOOMERANG head off in opposite directions. Mach-VII calls to Boomerang over his shoulder, pointing down the street.
MACH-VII: Fred? Your apartment’s this way.
BOOMERANG: Drats. You caught me. And here I was about to go do some shady dealings down at the docks.
Single shot of BOOMERANG.
BOOMERANG: I’m grabbing a beer.
BOOMERANG: Come arrest me later if it means that much to you.
BOOMERANG rushes to catch up to TRAPSTER as MACH-VII takes off in the background.
BOOMERANG: Hey! Paste-Pot!
TRAPSTER: It’s Trapster.
Medium shot of BOOMERANG, trying hard to seem nonchalant.
BOOMERANG: I’m just curious… before Ock died… is there any chance he might have pulled that, er, brain backup trick again?
BOOMERANG: Just ’cause — y’know — we all miss him so much. Keep hope alive and all that.
TRAPSTER stares down at the ground, rubbing the back of his head with one hand and holding his IV stand in the other.
Same framing. TRAPSTER looks back up at Boomerang.
TRAPSTER: You know, I’ve never actually told anyone this…
TRAPSTER: But right at the end, I did see him tinkering with an Octobot. One full of neural relays.
TRAPSTER: For brain swapping.
Close-up of BOOMERANG, his eyes wide and practically (perhaps literally) displaying dollar signs. A thought bubble over his head presents a crudely drawn visual equation:
Octobot + Boomerang = Boomerang lounging on a pile of money in a crown.
TRAPSTER (OFF-PANEL): When I called him out on it, he glued me up and took off. He was… really not himself that day.
TRAPSTER (OFF PANEL): Understandable, I guess.
Over-the-shoulder shot of BOOMERANG, barely even listening anymore. The lighting of the alley directly behind him reveals a gigantic shadow making its way towards the pair.
BOOMERANG: Yeah, yeah.
BOOMERANG: Okay. Listen. Do me a favor and keep keeping that to yourself, will you? Just for now.
BOOMERANG: If you do, there could be a big payoff in it for–
POW!! BOOMERANG is struck in the back of the head by an unseen assailant.
TRAPSTER runs from the scene as fast as he can without losing his IV drip. Behind him, BOOMERANG’S body is dragged into the alley.
CAPTION: Well, I learned one thing this week.
CAPTION: I’ve really got to start taking cabs.
TRAPSTER: That does it. I’m getting the hell out of this town.
TRAPSTER: I wonder if Denise still has that time-share in Atlanta…
Splash panel. In a warehouse, CARL “CRUSHER” CREEL looms large over the wilting figure of BOOMERANG, Boomerang’s shirt collar held tight in Creel’s massive fist.
CAPTION: This guy, right?
CAPTION: Carl Creel, the Absorbing Man.
CAPTION: A professional boxer fights dirty for his entire career, and he ends up with the ability to change his body into any substance on earth.
CAPTION: A major league baseball player throws ONE game, and he ends up in a unitard that some red-robed creeps sewed a bunch of boomerangs onto.
CAPTION: Where’s the justice?
BOOMERANG: Jesus, Carl, what was that fist made out of, concrete?
ABSORBING MAN: Soapstone, actually.
ABSORBING MAN: Trust me, you’ll know when it’s concrete.
ABSORBING MAN sets BOOMERANG down on the ground.
BOOMERANG: So, what, you heard I went hero? Gonna beat me to death?
ABSORBING MAN: Eh. I don’t care about that. You know the wife’s a good guy now?
BOOMERANG: I did not. Is that difficult?
ABSORBING MAN: We make it work.
ABSORBING MAN takes BOOMERANG by the shoulders and begins herding him into the next room.
ABSORBING MAN: Nah, it’s the boss who wants to see you.
BOOMERANG: No kidding? Think he’ll do “Thunder Road?”
Even from behind, the shocked look on BOOMERANG’S face is plain to see. While the screen on its chest is black, the mechanical figure waiting for him in the middle of the next room is unmistakable —
It’s the robot body of ARNIM ZOLA.
CAPTION: Oh, for–
CAPTION: I change teams for all of twelve hours and I get taken out by HYDRA?!
The screen set into the robotic chest turns on. However, the image it displays is not the digitized face of Arnim Zola, but rather the entire upper body of —
WILSON FISK, the KINGPIN.
SOUND EFFECT: *Blip*
KINGPIN: Hello, Mr. Myers.
These next four panels make up a four-square, all of them combined equalling roughly the size of one average panel. All of them are close-ups on BOOMERANG.
In the first one, his face shows relief.
BOOMERANG: Oh, thank God.
Now it displays worry.
BOOMERANG: Wait, this is still bad.
ABSORBING MAN punches BOOMERANG in the back of the head.
BOOMERANG wrinkles his nose in concentration.
SOUND EFFECT: *sniff sniff*
ABSORBING MAN: Spruce.
Two-shot of BOOMERANG and the ZOLA-BOT, in profile. ABSORBING MAN still lurks right behind BOOMERANG.
KINGPIN: If I can bother you for your full attention… I do believe you and I have some… unfinished business… to discuss.
BOOMERANG: Like how you’re apparently Red Skull in disguise?
Single shot of the ZOLA-BOT, KINGPIN centered in the frame.
KINGPIN: Hm. Yes. Fortunately for you, my physical presence in New York remains… unwelcome.
CAPTION: Oh, yeah, today’s my lucky day, all right.
KINGPIN: Abhorrent as Mr. Zola’s ideology may be, the… elegance… of his design cannot easily be ignored.
BOOMERANG (OFF-PANEL): Truly it is the Volkswagen of teleconferencing.
Single shot of BOOMERANG (and ABSORBING MAN’S torso).
KINGPIN (OFF-PANEL): Parker Industries, Mr. Myers.
CAPTION: What? I never said it was my idea. Check the tape.
Close-up of the ZOLA-BOT.
KINGPIN: I only deigned to hire you for this job because your bid was a full two figures lower than what I expect to spend on ascots this year.
Single-shot of BOOMERANG. He’s holding one hand up and one hand down, in a ‘balancing the scales’ motion.
BOOMERANG: But is that…?
BOOMERANG: Because you do wear them a lot.
ABSORBING MAN punches BOOMERANG in the back of the head again.
ABSORBING MAN (OFF-PANEL): That one was rubber, you baby.
Single shot of KINGPIN, adjusting his ascot, but clearly angry.
KINGPIN: You are not without your charm, Mr. Myers. Nor are you wrong.
KINGPIN: That does not change the fact that one of my many ascots may well have performed better than you did!
BOOMERANG: Look. You said the stuff should disappear unnoticed. I almost got noticed, so I got out of there.
BOOMERANG: What do you want, the money back?
BOOMERANG: If you do, you can’t have it. I spent it already.
Reverse shot of KINGPIN.
KINGPIN: Do I dare ask on what?
On his kitchen table, fully assembled, sits the $800 UCS LEGO Millennium Falcon.
Close-up of BOOMERANG, squinting and pursing his lips.
BOOMERANG: I wouldn’t.
KINGPIN rolls his eyes.
KINGPIN: Mr. Creel.
“CRUSHER” CREEL raises his fist, ready to live up to his nickname. BOOMERANG holds up his hands in desperation.
BOOMERANG: I can get you something else! Something WAY better than what you asked me for!
KINGPIN raises an eyebrow.
KINGPIN: I’m listening.
Close-up of a grinning BOOMERANG.
BOOMERANG: I can give you the brain of Otto Octavius.
Close-up of KINGPIN, seemingly considering the idea.
KINGPIN: Mr. Creel.
ABSORBING MAN raises his fist again. BOOMERANG cowers, holding up his hands again.
BOOMERANG: It’s real, I swear! He put his brain on a microchip before he died. He’s done it before and he did it again and I know where it is! You have to believe me!!
ABSORBING MAN and KINGPIN look at each other. Absorbing Man shrugs.
BOOMERANG has broken into a sweat from cheating death two times in as many minutes.
BOOMERANG: Look, not to put too fine a point on this, but…
Close-up of BOOMERANG’s ankle monitor.
BOOMERANG (OFF-PANEL): See this ankle monitor?
BOOMERANG seems positively tiny wedged between the much larger bodies of ABSORBING MAN and the ZOLA-BOT.
BOOMERANG: If you do kill me — or even just keep me here much longer — Mach-VII is gonna come looking for me.
BOOMERANG: And as much as I’d love to know I was the reason he got his ass handed to him…
Close-up of BOOMERANG.
BOOMERANG: That feels like more trouble than I’m worth.
BOOMERANG: Doesn’t it?
Shot of KINGPIN.
KINGPIN: Supposing your story is true… what would I even do with this… ‘brain?’
BOOMERANG: The subservient intellect of a certified genius?
BOOMERANG: I have no idea.
BOOMERANG: But that’s why you’re the criminal mastermind and I’m just the guy who throws curved sticks for a living.
KINGPIN considers this one final time.
KINGPIN: You have one week…
KINGPIN: …to deliver the items initially agreed upon.
Over-the-shoulder shot of an angry BOOMERANG.
BOOMERANG: But that’s–!
KINGPIN: Assuming it exists, I will accept Octavius’ brain as compensation for your initial failure. Do we have a deal?
Close-up of BOOMERANG.
BOOMERANG: Ock is worth way more than some stupid —
KINGPIN (OFF-PANEL): Do. We have. A deal?
But he concedes.
BOOMERANG: We have a deal.
KINGPIN gives a rare smile.
KINGPIN: One week.
KINGPIN: Mr. Creel?
ABSORBING MAN’S fist comes down on BOOMERANG.
BOOMERANG: Now wait just one —
Blackness and a few bursting stars.
CAPTION: That was concrete.
BOOMERANG lies on a dirty hardwood floor. Sunlight streams down on his face as he slowly awakens.
BOOMERANG sits up, rubbing his head. He’s back in his apartment.
CAPTION: That’s another seven hours spent unconscious.
BOOMERANG unsteadily regains his feet, waving his arms for balance.
Boomerang’s POV. He picks up a copy of the Daily Bugle that has been left on his kitchen table. His photo is on the front page. The headline reads: “WHAT GOES AROUND COMES AROUND.” The subhead: “Boomerang joins the fight against Spider-Menace!”
CAPTION: At least when my old friends come gunning for me I can cite brain damage as an excuse.
BOOMERANG lays the paper back down on the table, noticing that his door is ajar, his doorframe has been splintered to pieces, and loose LEGO bricks are scattered all over the floor.
Wide shot. A weary and dejected BOOMERANG plods his way through the parking lot towards the temporary HQ of Parker Industries.
Close-up, Boomerang’s POV. A piece of paper is taped to the door. “We’ve Moved!” it declares. “Come see us in our new offices, located at 42nd and Madison!”
BOOMERANG wrinkles his brow as he leans in to stare intently at the flyer.
BOOMERANG: 42nd and Madison…
CAPTION: Why does that address sound familiar?
BOOMERANG’s silhouette is positively dwarfed by the towering structure that the address on the notice has led him to:
The BAXTER BUILDING.
BOOMERANG: Oh, farts.
CAPTION: All right. So I’ll admit it.
CAPTION: I’m a little out of my depth on this one.
CAPTION: But if there’s one thing you should know about Fred Myers, true believers… it’s that he never goes down without a fight.
The hallway of a not-particularly-fancy apartment building. BOOMERANG knocks repeatedly on a worn wooden door.
CAPTION: Or at least a fall guy.
BOOMERANG: Hey, um —
CAPTION: Dammit, what is his real name?
CAPTION: C’mon, starts with a…
CAPTION: Ah, well.
The door opens to reveal OVERDRIVE, wearing a tank top and sweatpants. He recognizes his old teammate with some confusion. BOOMERANG, for his part, holds his hands out as if to say ‘ta-da!’
BOOMERANG: What’s poppin’!?
CAPTION: Yeah, it’s a risky move. But Overdrive’s a good dude! And the two of us are total buds.
Tall panel. Overdrive’s POV. He has extended his arm out and up, bringing his fingertips in range of a small die-cast cement truck that has been taped to the hall ceiling in front of his door. BOOMERANG, who had previously neglected to notice this, looks up at it.
OVERDRIVE (OFF-PANEL): You have ten seconds to convince me not to drop this on you right now.
CAPTION: So I burn a lot of bridges.
CAPTION: Sue me.
Tall panel. Full-body shot of BOOMERANG viewed in profile. Overdrive’s arm is still extending from the door.
BOOMERANG: You’re joking. I mean… we’re on the fifth floor, for one thing.
OVERDRIVE: Six seconds.
BOOMERANG: Seriously, man.
BOOMERANG: You’re bluffing.
Close up of BOOMERANG.
BOOMERANG: Spider-Man needs your help!
OVERDRIVE stares down BOOMERANG from the doorway. Boomerang is wincing, but has cautiously kept one eye open.
Same framing. OVERDRIVE lowers his arm.
OVERDRIVE: He what.
A close-up of Boomerang’s newly issued superhero ID card, held in Overdrive’s hand. Fred’s expression in the picture is that of someone who is trying their hardest to pretend to want to smile.
OVERDRIVE (OFF-PANEL): So. You really went straight.
Overdrive’s apartment. BOOMERANG stretches back in an armchair as OVERDRIVE himself sits on the couch.
BOOMERANG: As an arrow shot by Hawkeye.
CAPTION: Fun fact: Hawkeye has boomerang arrows!
Two-shot of BOOMERANG and OVERDRIVE. Boomerang reaches out for a bag of Funyuns on the coffee table.
OVERDRIVE: And yet I’m the one you come to for help. What’s up with that?
BOOMERANG: C’mon. Today is literally my first day as a good guy. You really think someone like Daredevil’s gonna trust a single word out of my mouth?
Similar framing. BOOMERANG now holds the bag in one hand and shoves his other hand deep into it.
OVERDRIVE: Now, or ever?
BOOMERANG: See, you get it.
BOOMERANG leans forward conspiratorially, still holding a large mass of Funyuns in his hand.
BOOMERANG: The key here is that Ock doesn’t know I’m onto him.
BOOMERANG: If I bring in the big guns, they’re gonna want to check the situation out for themselves. They do that, he could get skittish and make a break for it.
BOOMERANG gestures wildly, sending a few Funyuns flying.
BOOMERANG: And who knows what he’ll have gotten up to by the time we find him again!
BOOMERANG leans back and crosses his legs confidently.
BOOMERANG: This way, we secure the microchip, take it straight to SHIELD. Happy ending.
BOOMERANG: Plus, I know being a hero is what you always wanted. Why pull the ladder up behind me, right?
Wide shot. BOOMERANG is now chewing on (most of) the Funyuns.
OVERDRIVE: And Spider-Man will vouch for me?
BOOMERANG: The guy who helped take down his arch-nemesis? You’d better believe it!
Close-up of OVERDRIVE.
OVERDRIVE: Hey, um, what about Spider-Man, anyway? No offense, but… this kinda feels like something he could handle himself.
From behind the wheel of an RV, PETER PARKER stares dead-eyed out at the road, seemingly trying to will himself out of existence. In the rear of the vehicle, an OLD MAN in a cardigan sways arrhythmically to the music playing from the stereo.
SARAH MCLACHLAN: Aa-aa-aa-maaaaaa… ziiii-iing graaaaace…
Close-up of BOOMERANG.
BOOMERANG: Spidey’s got a lot on his plate.
BOOMERANG: He’s, um, stuck in the… Negative Zone.
BOOMERANG: With Mr….
Same framing. A spinning roulette wheel of various Misters poofs into being behind BOOMERANG’S head.
Same framing. The indicator has landed on the image of a black-and white face.
(Other Misters on the wheel include Sinister, Fantastic, Hyde, Rogers, and Ed.)
Close-up of OVERDRIVE, bordering on suspicious, but not quite making it all the way there.
OVERDRIVE: Fair enough.
OVERDRIVE: Look, I’m happy to help, Fred. But I don’t know what exactly you think I’m gonna do.
BOOMERANG throws his arm around OVERDRIVE’S shoulder, giving him a huge grin that Overdrive can’t help but return.
BOOMERANG: Hey now. You just do what you always do: be the best getaway driver in the biz!
OVERDRIVE: Yeah, okay!
Close-up of OVERDRIVE, looking puzzled.
OVERDRIVE: Why do we need a getaway driver if we’re the good —
BOOMERANG reaches out to shush OVERDRIVE, literally placing a finger over his mouth. Overdrive cranes his neck backwards in discomfort.
BOOMERANG: Oh! One more thing.
BOOMERANG: Are you still in touch with Janice?1
OVERDRIVE: Uh… yeah. I mean, not really. Sometimes.
Two-shot of BOOMERANG and OVERDRIVE. Boomerang points a finger at Overdrive optimistically.
BOOMERANG: Think she’d do us a favor?
BOOMERANG: You, then.
OVERDRIVE: Depends on the favor.
Splash panel. At home in his apartment, FLINT MARKO, the SANDMAN, tends peacefully to a miniature zen garden.
BOOMERANG (OFF-PANEL): I need her dad to set up a meeting.
NEXT MONTH: RETURN OF THE SINISTER SIX!