Following a villainous altercation gone wrong, Fred Myers, a.k.a. Boomerang, sees an opportunity to get the law off his back for good by declaring himself a newly reformed superhero! But going straight isn’t easy when you still owe a debt to the Kingpin of crime himself, Wilson Fisk! Or when you just… don’t really want to.
In the face of a sudden but inevitable betrayal, Fred and his team — now bolstered by the additions of the Living Brain and the clearly up-to-no-good Shocker — are forced to split up, chasing down two separate leads that they hope will lead them to Overdrive and his precious cargo.
Large panel. In a dark room that appears to be the rear of an upscale Chinese restaurant, OVERDRIVE sits uncomfortably in a chair. Surrounding him are a half dozen of Mister Negative’s besuited INNER DEMONS, their white masks locked into permanent scowls.
OVERDRIVE: Anyone see any good movies lately?
At the bottom of the panel is the issue’s title:
TINKERER, TRAITOR, SHOCKER, SPY!
Similar framing, but smaller.
OVERDRIVE: I thought Bumblebee was pretty fun.
Same panel, sans speech bubbles.
Same panel again.
OVERDRIVE: Do you guys only speak Mandarin, or…?
MISTER NEGATIVE (OFF-PANEL): They speak when I allow them to speak.
Long shot of the room’s entryway. Leaning against the doorjamb is MISTER NEGATIVE, holding a small computer chip out to OVERDRIVE, visible in the extreme foreground.
MISTER NEGATIVE: And right now, the only one I want to hear from is you.
MISTER NEGATIVE: Explaining to me how this works.
OVERDRIVE: Gee. Have you tried turning it off and then on again?
Wide shot. OVERDRIVE grimaces as all six of the INNER DEMONS draw their katanas and simultaneously hold them to his throat.
SOUND EFFECT: *SHHHHIIING*
Wide shot. MISTER NEGATIVE leans in close to OVERDRIVE, the swords still in place.
OVERDRIVE: I’m not a tech guy, okay!?
OVERDRIVE: There’s data on it, that’s all I know!
MISTER NEGATIVE: So help me if this is a fake, Overdrive…
Close-up of OVERDRIVE.
OVERDRIVE: Mr. N.
OVERDRIVE: You and I go way back. I’ve worked for you literally as long as I’ve been doing this.
OVERDRIVE: Have I ever done anything to make you think…
OVERDRIVE: …that I have the guts to try a stunt like that?
Reverse shot of MISTER NEGATIVE, one arm crossed and the other hand on his chin.
MISTER NEGATIVE: And your source? Could they have lied to you?
Extreme close-up of OVERDRIVE, considering the implications of this question.
Same framing. OVERDRIVE does his best not to wince.
OVERDRIVE: I mean…
Close-up of BOOMERANG against a white wall. He’s smiling and has his hands raised.
BOOMERANG: Janice. I swear. It wasn’t me!
BOOMERANG: Also, just so we’re on the same page: what exactly are you mad about?
BOOMERANG ducks as a LASER BLAST takes a smoking crater out of the wall beside his head.
SOUND EFFECT: *FOOOOM!!*
Large panel taking up the center mass of the page. It contains a medium shot of JANICE LINCOLN, who stands in the doorway of her penthouse apartment brandishing a laser cannon. She is a light-skinned black woman with long dark hair, dressed business casual, and she does not look happy.
CAPTION: This chick, right?
CAPTION: Janice Lincoln. Daughter of Tombstone and the sixth Beetle.
CAPTION: But believe me folks, George Martin she is not.
CAPTION: Pete Best… I dunno. Maybe.
Two-shot of BOOMERANG and BEETLE. Boomerang still holds his hands up; Beetle still points the gun at him. Boomerang uses his head to gesture at the hole in the wall.
BOOMERANG: Good way to lose your security deposit, there.
BEETLE: I can afford it.
BOOMERANG: See!? That’s exactly what I’m talking about! Why are we fighting?
A GREEN BLUR darts into frame, knocking BEETLE off her feet and back through the door.
SOUND EFFECT: *CRASH!*
Wide, low-angle shot. The LIVING BRAIN stands dramatically in the doorway (or at least as dramatically as a featureless, emotionless robot can stand). He holds Beetle’s laser cannon in his hands — er, between its orbs — effortlessly snapping it in half.
LIVING BRAIN: Whirr–click-ik– This unit cannot allow you to harm Frederick Myers.
SOUND EFFECT: *Crunch!*
Wide shot. BOOMERANG enters the apartment and holds out one hand to stop the LIVING BRAIN, while extending the other one down to help up BEETLE.
BOOMERANG: Whoa! Stand down, Living Brain, I’ve got this.
BEETLE: Oh good. Now LB’s here.
Two-shot of LIVING BRAIN and BOOMERANG. Boomerang holds his hand out in front of Living Brain’s ‘face.’
LIVING BRAIN: Whirr–click-ick– This unit was recently stolen from —
BOOMERANG: It’s, uh… a long story.
Behind BOOMERANG, SHOCKER peeks his head in the door, knocking awkwardly on the doorframe.
SOUND EFFECT: *knock knock*
SHOCKER: Hey Boomerang, can I come in yet?
BOOMERANG: A very long story.
Seemingly from nowhere, BEETLE pulls out a second laser cannon and fires it at SHOCKER, who recoils. She leaves another smoking crater in the wall right next to the first one.
SOUND EFFECT: *FOOOOM!*
Two shot of BOOMERANG and BEETLE, the former stepping between her and Shocker.
BOOMERANG: What are you doing!? Shocker’s okay!
CAPTION: Where’d she even have that?
BEETLE: Excuse me? Shocker’s okay? After what we did to him?
Similar two-shot. BOOMERANG points coyly at BEETLE.
BOOMERANG: After what you did to him.
BOOMERANG: You haven’t even heard about what I did to him.
BOOMERANG: And yes, I’m about 80% sure he’s planning something —
Cutaway to MACH-VII’s surveillance van. He fiddles desperately with the controls.
SOUND EFFECT: *hissssssssssssssss*
MACH-VII: Herman! You’re out of range!
MACH-VII: Damn, why didn’t I give you an earpiece?
Two-shot of SHOCKER and BOOMERANG. Shocker points at Boomerang, and both smile as if reminiscing about old times.
BOOMERANG: But I’m assured the buried alive thing is water under the bridge.
SHOCKER: Hey, that’s right, you drove me off a bridge, too.
BOOMERANG: Hey, yeah!
Close-up of a stone-faced BEETLE.
BOOMERANG (OFF-PANEL): Anyway, we need your help.
ROCKET RACER (CAPTION): So, I’m just gonna say what everyone’s thinking…
Large-ish panel, showing a beat-up beige sedan (containing Big Wheel, Rocket Racer, and Sandman) driving through the streets of Manhattan.
ROCKET RACER (OFF-PANEL): Where is the Big Wheel?
BIG WHEEL (OFF-PANEL): That’s a question for your friend Overdrive.
BIG WHEEL (OFF-PANEL): He stole it from me almost two years ago. I haven’t seen it since.
ROCKET RACER (OFF-PANEL): I knew I liked that guy.
Inside the car, BIG WHEEL, in the driver’s seat, pointedly keeps his eyes on the road, rather than looking at ROCKET RACER in the backseat.
BIG WHEEL: Or perhaps you mean the original Big Wheel, which you sent to the bottom of the Hudson with me inside?
Medium shot of ROCKET RACER in the backseat.
ROCKET RACER: I mean, I seem to recall your dumb ass driving it off a building into the Hudson.
ROCKET RACER: But tuh-may-to, tuh-mah-to.
Two-shot of BIG WHEEL, who is white-knuckling it, and an indifferent SANDMAN in the passenger seat. ROCKET RACER is visible behind them, smiling.
BIG WHEEL: I’m gonna kill him.
SANDMAN: You’re not gonna kill him.
BIG WHEEL: Yes I am, William, I’m gonna kill him.
SANDMAN: If you kill him you’ll lose your five-year chip.
Close-up of BIG WHEEL, considering this.
Back to the two-shot.
BIG WHEEL: I’m not gonna kill him.
SANDMAN: ‘Atta boy.
BIG WHEEL: But when I get home, I am having a long talk with my sponsor.
Wide establishing shot of an old radio repair shop. Equipment and other spare parts sit on racks and shelves all throughout the cramped space, with some even hanging from the ceiling. ROCKET RACER and BIG WHEEL enter through the front door, causing an entry bell to ring.
SOUND EFFECT: *Ding ding!*
ROCKET RACER: Yo, Tink! Anybody home?
Wide shot from the reverse angle. In the back of the shop, behind a heavy oak desk, sits PHINEAS MASON, the TINKERER. He wears a pair of heavy goggles above his trademark cardigan and is in the process of welding circuitry. He looks up to greet his guests and smiles.
TINKERER: Well, I’ll be.
TINKERER: Of all the unlikely duos to walk into my shop…
BIG WHEEL: The irony is not lost on us, Phineas, I assure you.
SOUND EFFECT: *Ding ding!*
Close-up of TINKERER, smirking. He raises the welding goggles onto his forehead.
TINKERER: You can call it irony if you like. I call it progress.
TINKERER: What can I do for you this fine day?
TINKERER: Don’t tell me you lost another Big Wheel.
Two-shot of BIG WHEEL and ROCKET RACER, side-by-side. Big Wheel rubs the back of his head awkwardly.
BIG WHEEL: Heh, no.
BIG WHEEL: Well, that is to say, I did, but…
Wide shot of BIG WHEEL, ROCKET RACER, SANDMAN (who has just arrived), and TINKERER, all in profile. Sandman shoulders his way in front of Big Wheel to take over the conversation.
SANDMAN: What he means is that this isn’t a business call, Mason.
TINKERER: Ah! Make that unlikely trios.
TINKERER: Too bad. A man could really pull out all the stops designing for you.
SANDMAN: Yeah, maybe someday. Have you got a minute?
TINKERER: For my clients? Always.
TINKERER places his hands flat on the desk in front of him. ROCKET RACER and BIG WHEEL hold up their hands, palms out.
TINKERER: Weapons on the desk, if you please.
ROCKET RACER: Haven’t got any.
Wide shot, in profile. An array of green lasers emerges from TINKERER’s eyes, scanning the trio.
TINKERER: Huh. So you don’t. What a refreshing change of pace.
Over-the-shoulder shot of the TINKERER, now bizarrely slumping over the desktop. SANDMAN looks at him with a mix of annoyance and confusion. Tinkerer’s speech bubble has taken on a frizzier, more automated look.
TINKERER: Seeing as you essentially are a weapon, Mr. Marko, I must regretfully ask that you stay upstairs. You understand.
Close-up of SANDMAN, his brow wrinkled.
Same close-up. SANDMAN’s eyes widen in surprise.
SOUND EFFECT: *WHRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR*
Extreme wide shot. TINKERER — who as it turns out, was just an LMD torso mounted on the back wall, complete with wires hanging out of the bottom — has ascended a track in said wall, now almost bumping its head on the ceiling. The desk has retracted into the side wall to reveal a staircase in the floor beneath it, descending down into the darkness. BIG WHEEL and ROCKET RACER nonchalantly start down this staircase, while SANDMAN, off to the side, still reels in surprise.
TINKERER (OFF-PANEL): Now then…
TINKERER (OFF-PANEL): What was it you’d like to talk about?
Wide shot of Beetle’s upscale apartment. BEETLE stands in the doorway of her kitchenette, while BOOMERANG leans into the open fridge.
BEETLE: Overdrive? He called me a few days ago. Wanted my dad to put him in contact with Sandman for something.
BOOMERANG: Yeah, I wouldn’t know about that.
BOOMERANG: But what I DO know is that he’s got his hands on something very bad, and he’s bringing it to some even worse people.
CAPTION: And now begins the delicate dance that is —
BEETLE: Mister Negative?
CAPTION: Oh. Never mind.
Two-shot. BOOMERANG stands up, holding a beer.
BOOMERANG: Yeah… yeah, that sounds right.
BOOMERANG: Have they got a history?
BEETLE: You kidding? Overdrive owes his whole life to the guy.
BEETLE: He was going to give him Silvermane’s head.
BOOMERANG: Except for the part where he never got it.
Wide shot. BOOMERANG and BEETLE look across the apartment at SHOCKER, who is nestled cozily on the sofa. The LIVING BRAIN has once again found a corner to settle into. Shocker extends his arms in an exasperated manner.
SHOCKER: Well, excuse me!
BOOMERANG heads for the door, gesturing for SHOCKER and LIVING BRAIN to follow him.
BOOMERANG: That just about solves it, all right.
BOOMERANG: Thanks, Janice, you’re a doll. I owe you a beer.
BEETLE: Oh, no you don’t! You can’t just drop news like that and then leave without telling me what’s going on.
BEETLE: Overdrive’s my friend too.
Wide shot of BOOMERANG and BEETLE, with LIVING BRAIN and SHOCKER standing behind each of them, respectively.
BOOMERANG: Sure he is. I bet you don’t even know his real name.
BEETLE: What? Of course I do. It’s Terry.
BOOMERANG: Wait, really?
BEETLE: You know full well I can keep you here if I want to.
Medium shot of BOOMERANG. He cracks open his beer as if settling in for an ordeal.
BOOMERANG: *Sigh* Fine.
SOUND EFFECT: *crak*
BOOMERANG: Overdrive’s got the brain of Otto Octavius.
BEETLE and SHOCKER stand side-by-side, stunned…
…before breaking out into uproarious, belly clutching laughter.
Close-up of a disgruntled (or rather, seemingly disgruntled) BOOMERANG, sipping from the beer.
BEETLE/SHOCKER (OFF-PANEL): –HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!
CAPTION: Double bluff, baby!
Two-shot of BEETLE and SHOCKER, still laughing.
BEETLE: Sure he does. And I’m the heir to the throne of Attilan.
BEETLE: Herman, tell me you didn’t buy into this!
SHOCKER: This is the first I’m hearing of it.
BEETLE: Honestly, you’ve told some whoppers, Fred, but this…
BOOMERANG makes for the door, LIVING BRAIN in tow.
BOOMERANG: All right, fine! Joke’s on me. I’m the incredibly handsome man who cried wolf.
BOOMERANG: But I am telling the truth, and if you don’t believe me, then I have no choice but to save our friend myself. Goodbye.
BEETLE (OFF-PANEL): LB, what’s Overdrive really got?
BOOMERANG: Wait, you can’t–
Wide shot of LIVING BRAIN, with BOOMERANG off to one side, wincing hard. On the far side of the panel, a genuinely surprised BEETLE stands with her arms crossed.
LIVING BRAIN: Whirr–clik-ick– Frederick Myers speaks the truth.
LIVING BRAIN: Overdrive has acquired the digitized brain of Dr. Otto Gunther Octavius.
Two-shot of a nervous BOOMERANG and an emotionless LIVING BRAIN. The former gestures awkwardly at the latter.
BOOMERANG: That’s not… no. He’s lying.
BOOMERANG: Not that I was lying.
LIVING BRAIN: Whirr–clik-ik– Neither this unit nor Frederick Myers is lying.
BOOMERANG: Come on, man.
Same shot. Taser bolts shoot into frame, electrocuting LIVING BRAIN and shutting him down. BOOMERANG grimaces.
SOUND EFFECT (TASER): *BBBBBZZZZZZTTT!*
SOUND EFFECT (LIVING BRAIN): *PHEEEEEeeeeeewwww…*
BEETLE (OFF-PANEL): Congratulations, Fred…
Wide shot of BEETLE, holding out a fist, from which extends a wrist-mounted taser. SHOCKER stands behind her, looking a bit caught off-guard. BOOMERANG, in the foreground, tosses the beer can aside.
BEETLE: For once in my life, I think I believe you.
CAPTION: Seriously, where do these things keep coming from?
Wide shot of the Tinkerer’s radio repair shop. SANDMAN stands alone in the middle of the room, holding up the vial of blue liquid he got from Parker Industries and contemplating it.
TINKERER (OFF-PANEL): Nanites, eh?
Extreme wide shot of Tinkerer’s true workshop. There’s a lot of open space here, save for a workbench in the center, lit by a harsh spotlight, which TINKERER (in a wheelchair), BIG WHEEL, and ROCKET RACER are crowded around now. High-tech weaponry and even cybernetic frames can be glimpsed piled high in the shadowy reaches of the room.
TINKERER: Well, unless Hank Pym has started going by Yellowjacket again —
ROCKET RACER: Very possible.
TINKERER: I’m afraid I can’t be of much help.
Medium shot of BIG WHEEL. He puts a hand on his chin.
BIG WHEEL: So our mysterious malefactor has escaped even your notice. That could be a good thing.
BIG WHEEL: But more likely, it’s very, very bad.
Two-shot of ROCKET RACER and TINKERER, though we’re closer to Tinkerer. A monitor mounted on his wheelchair — which we can see, but neither of them is paying attention to — displays SANDMAN upstairs, the vial highlighted in an even brighter blue than usual.
TINKERER: You said your friend goes by Overdrive?
ROCKET RACER: He does, but if you ever met him, he probably wasn’t using that name yet.
ROCKET RACER: Young black guy, way too excited by the prospect of being a supervillain?
Close-up of BIG WHEEL, scowling.
TINKERER (OFF-PANEL): Sounds like someone else I could name.
ROCKET RACER (OFF-PANEL): Heh. Yeah, I guess so.
Two-shot of BIG WHEEL and ROCKET RACER. The former rolls his eyes.
ROCKET RACER: I just hope the dude’s okay.
BIG WHEEL: Yes, heaven forbid the traitorous lout face any consequences.
Medium shot of ROCKET RACER, getting upset.
ROCKET RACER: Jeez, man. What happened to personal attacks not being a good defense mechanism?
ROCKET RACER: The guy’s in over his head. You of all people should be able to sympathize with that.
As they become more invested in their tangent, ROCKET RACER and BIG WHEEL start to drift off to one side. TINKERER remains in the background.
BIG WHEEL: Unbelievable. You’ll even take his side over mine. Though I suppose it’s only natural that your kind would look out for one another.
ROCKET RACER: Okay, there’s one thing he and I have in common, and based on what that is I do NOT like where this is going.
BIG WHEEL: Career criminals, Robert. People like you and Overdrive, who make their living hurting others.
BIG WHEEL: No offense, Phineas.
Close-up of ROCKET RACER, now looking quite angry.
ROCKET RACER: Really? You want to talk career criminals? Let’s talk about Boomerang, who you jumped at the chance to help.
ROCKET RACER: Shoot, let’s talk about you!
ROCKET RACER: The first Big Wheel was to get revenge on me, I can dig that.
ROCKET RACER: But I never saw you again after that day. I thought you died!
ROCKET RACER: How many Big Wheels has Tink here made for you since then?
Behind ROCKET RACER, TINKERER chimes in.
ROCKET RACER: Jesus. Really? Why?
TINKERER: I have nothing to gain from being discerning.
Extreme close-up of ROCKET RACER.
ROCKET RACER: What use were those put to, I wonder?
Two-shot of BIG WHEEL and ROCKET RACER. Big Wheel remains surprisingly calm, listing items off on his fingers.
BIG WHEEL: I see what you’re trying to do, Robert, but it won’t work. I’m in Vil-Anon for a reason.
BIG WHEEL: I go to therapy four times a week.
BIG WHEEL: I suffer fits of rage. I project my failings onto those around me. I have an inferiority complex, and I indulge in power fantasies. I have also acquired the tools to confront all these truths about myself.
BIG WHEEL: If anyone here is lacking self-awareness, it’s you.
ROCKET RACER: Me?
SANDMAN continues wandering around Tinkerer’s shop. He tentatively nudges a shop-vac with his toe.
BIG WHEEL (OFF-PANEL): Five days. It’s been five days since I watched you and William walk into Boomerang’s apartment.
SANDMAN recoils in a rare display of fear as the shop-vac briefly activates.
SOUND EFFECT: *vvvvVVVVVVVvvvvv….*
BIG WHEEL (OFF-PANEL): In all that time, you have not offered up anything even resembling an apology for blackmailing me and ruining my life!
Wide shot. ROCKET RACER cradles his head in his hands as BIG WHEEL gestures towards TINKERER, who observes the pair from perhaps twenty feet away.
ROCKET RACER: I seriously can’t believe you’re doing this.
ROCKET RACER: You really want to lay out all our **** here. In front of Tink.
BIG WHEEL: I don’t see why not. It’s a perfectly healthy form of expression.
BIG WHEEL: In fact, this feels like the exact right place for this conversation, seeing as Phineas is the one who built both of our —
Medium two-shot. BIG WHEEL and ROCKET RACER simultaneously arrive at the same realization, which causes them to stare off-panel.
From between BIG WHEEL and ROCKET RACER, we join them in looking at the small, unassuming figure of the TINKERER.
TINKERER: I was wondering when you’d get there.
Wide shot of the TINKERER, rolling his wheelchair towards the duo. The expression on his face is a smile, and not at all a sinister one.
TINKERER: It’s curious, isn’t it?
TINKERER: All these years. All that resentment you’ve let simmer. But you’ve never blamed me.
TINKERER: Nobody ever blames me.
TINKERER: They come to me. Sometimes they even interrogate me. But they never blame me.
TINKERER: Why do you suppose that is?
Wide two-shot of BIG WHEEL and ROCKET RACER. The latter shrugs.
ROCKET RACER: Hindsight bias?
Extreme close-up of TINKERER.
TINKERER: I don’t make things personal.
Two-shot of TINKERER and BIG WHEEL. Big Wheel looks visibly uncomfortable as the Tinkerer stares him down.
TINKERER: I know all about you gentlemen.
TINKERER: I know that Jackson here lost out on a multi-million dollar retirement package, all because he couldn’t resist skimming a little extra on the side. I know that he’s spent the last seven years living a life he despises, allowing his biggest mistake to define him in some warped definition of penance. And I know that he donates a full fifty percent of his current income to charity.
BIG WHEEL: What? How do you–
TINKERER turns his attention to ROCKET RACER, who similarly has trouble meeting the older man’s gaze. In fact, he does an even worse job of it than Big Wheel.
TINKERER: I know that Robert works odd jobs, renting out his services to pay his mother’s medical bills and put food on the table for his younger siblings.
TINKERER: I know that he could make far more money than he does now by simply patenting some of the remarkable technology he’s created. And I know that he won’t, because, while he’ll never admit it to himself, he would miss the thrill of this life too much.
Extreme close-up of TINKERER.
TINKERER: I also don’t care.
Medium shot of SANDMAN, bending over to absent-mindedly sift through an old milk crate full of spare parts. Behind him, through the plate glass window, a caravan of black SUVs pulls up to the opposite curb.
TINKERER (OFF-PANEL): I walk the path I’ve chosen, and as long as it doesn’t involve me coming to any harm, I let others walk theirs.
TINKERER (OFF-PANEL): That is what’s kept me alive all this time.
In his surveillance van, MACH-VII keeps trying and failing to regain the signal from Shocker’s mic. He throws his head back in exhaustion.
TINKERER (OFF-PANEL): Some of the most powerful people in existence want to see us behind bars — or worse — simply because we’ve placed ourselves on the wrong side of the law. Would you two really compound that risk even further over petty squabbles?
Medium two-shot of BIG WHEEL and ROCKET RACER, sheepishly looking at one another.
TINKERER (OFF-PANEL): Mark my words, gents: there is no utility whatsoever…
TINKERER (OFF-PANEL): …in making enemies where you don’t need to.
Wide shot. BOOMERANG, his hands duct taped together, is being led out of Beetle’s apartment building by BEETLE herself. Behind them, SHOCKER drags a similarly bound LIVING BRAIN.
BOOMERANG: You guys are ***holes.
BEETLE: Oh, please. As if you wouldn’t do the exact same thing.
Extreme wide shot. The quartet arrives at Beetle’s luxury car, parked curbside. BEETLE opens the rear door.
BOOMERANG: Well, obviously I would —
BOOMERANG: And in Herman’s case, already have.
BOOMERANG: Again, super sorry about that, bud.
BOOMERANG: But that doesn’t make you not ***holes!
BEETLE shoves BOOMERANG into the backseat.
CAPTION: I mean, come on.
CAPTION: You’re seeing this, right?
CAPTION: Is it really any wonder I have trust issues?
Same framing. BEETLE slams the door shut as BOOMERANG yells through the window.
SOUND EFFECT: *Slam!*
BOOMERANG: Whatever happened to being Overdrive’s friend?
From Boomerang’s POV (or at least the backseat’s POV), BEETLE and SHOCKER get into the front seats.
SHOCKER: I dunno, Beetle, he’s got a point. This all feels a little… heartless.
BEETLE: You’re not thinking it through. See, wherever we find the brain, that’s where we find Overdrive! It’s basic efficiency.
SHOCKER: And if we’re too late?
BEETLE: Then there’s nothing more we can do anyway.
Same framing. BEETLE looks into the backseat at Boomerang.
BEETLE: As for Fred…
BEETLE: Maybe if he survives, we give him a finder’s fee.
CAPTION: Damn, she’s good.
Close-up of BOOMERANG.
BOOMERANG: Look, if you’re gonna try to kill me, can you at least tell me one thing?
BOOMERANG: What the hell did I do to you!?
BEETLE, as seen from between BOOMERANG and an ‘unconscious’ LIVING BRAIN, turns her head halfway to look into the backseat.
BEETLE: Gee, I dunno, Fred. maybe you ought to ask Fin Fang Foom.
BEETLE: Who by the way, does not live in Tibet, and definitely does not have a, quote, “Smaug-like nest of gold and gemstones ripe for the taking!”
Close-up of BOOMERANG, grinning.
BOOMERANG: Oh my God, that!
CAPTION: All right, fine. That one was me.
CAPTION: Pretty proud of it, actually. Tell you about it later.
In the middle of the page — below the previous three panels but above the next three — are two small round INSERTS:
— The first is an extreme close-up of Boomerang’s belt buckle, which, after being pressed, flips open into the shape of a small bladed boomerang.
SOUND EFFECT: *fting!*
— The second is an extreme close-up of Boomerang’s hands, subtly rubbing against the boomerang buckle to cut through the tape.
SOUND EFFECT: *skritch skritch skritch*
More-or-less full view of the backseat. BOOMERANG sneaks a sideways glance at LIVING BRAIN, in the seat next to him. An indicator light on its chest has started to flash.
BOOMERANG: Look. First of all… that is a way crazier story than this brain thing, so if you believed it I’m gonna say that is solidly your fault.
Medium shot of BEETLE, her head turned all the way around. Behind her, through the windshield, a man darts out from between two cars into the street.
BOOMERANG (OFF-PANEL): And second of all —
Close-up of a shocked SHOCKER, viewed from head on.
SHOCKER: Look out!
The car swerves away from the man and into an intersection, where it is T-BONED by an oncoming truck.
SOUND EFFECT: SMASH!!
Inside the car, a battered and bleeding BOOMERANG surveys the interior. BEETLE and SHOCKER are both knocked out in the front seat.
CAPTION: Oh, thank God.
CAPTION: I did NOT have a second-of-all in the chamber.
Out on the street, BOOMERANG practically falls out of the car, leaning on the back door for support. In the foreground, only his back visible, stands the MAN who caused the crash.
BOOMERANG: Jesus, man, what the **** were you…
Same framing. BOOMERANG raises his head, his eyes wide with surprise.
Over-the-shoulder shot from BOOMERANG’s POV. Standing in the street, pointing a gun at Boomerang, is the MAN who caused the accident. He’s dressed all in black, and a pulled-up ski mask sits atop his head.
ROBBER: Okay, buddy…
ROBBER: Gimme your wallet.
The following two panels are sepia-tone recreations of panels from SUPERIOR FOES #3. Here, a MAN with a gun runs out of a bodega and past BOOMERANG, who pivots out of his way.
BOOMERANG walks down the street, head down and hands in his pockets, allowing the ROBBER to run off behind him.
Extreme close-up of BOOMERANG, wide-eyed, as he recognizes the same man standing before him now.
Close-up. BOOMERANG gives the robber a BIG GRIN and a THUMBS UP.
Close-up of the ROBBER, understandably confused by this reaction.
Two-shot. In a flash, BOOMERANG disarms the ROBBER…
…and pistol whips him across the face, sending him to the ground.
BOOMERANG stands panting over the robber, gun in hand. Behind him, a beat-up SHOCKER stands clearly intimidated.
Exact same framing. BOOMERANG — not turning around — holds his arm out behind him to point the gun at SHOCKER, who puts his hands up.
SHOCKER: So, uh…
SHOCKER: I don’t suppose now’d be a good time to tell you I’m wearing a wire?
Two-shot. As BOOMERANG walks past SHOCKER, he tears out the wire and throws it away.
SOUND EFFECT: *yoink*
Similar framing. SHOCKER turns uneasily to watch BOOMERANG head back to the car.
Low-angle shot of the wrecked car driving off, trailing broken glass. In the foreground is the silhouette of the unconscious BEETLE, laying on the ground.
SHOCKER (OFF-PANEL): You’re just gonna leave Beetle with that guy?
BOOMERANG (OFF-PANEL): Frankly, I’d be more worried about him.
Two-shot of BOOMERANG and SHOCKER in the driver’s and passenger’s seats, respectively.
BOOMERANG: Actually, scratch that. I’m most worried about us.
BOOMERANG: Can I be honest with you, Herman?
SHOCKER: I don’t know. Can you?
CAPTION: Solid burn.
BOOMERANG: If I don’t find this brain in the next eighteen hours, something really bad’s gonna happen to me.
BOOMERANG: And I’m not entirely sure I even know who Mister Negative is.
Close in on BOOMERANG, seen from behind. LIVING BRAIN is reflected in the rear-view mirror.
LIVING BRAIN: Whirr–click-ik– Suggestion: Perhaps an alternate brain would be more easily acquired.
BOOMERANG: Well, well. Look who’s finally awake.
BOOMERANG: Thanks for the help back there, pal.
Close-up of BOOMERANG, turning his head all the way around.
BOOMERANG: Also, wait, what?
Medium shot of the LIVING BRAIN.
LIVING BRAIN: Whirr–clik-ick– This unit’s knowledge of Dr. Otto Octavius indicates that the neural link he shared with his mechanized tentacles ran in both directions.
LIVING BRAIN: If Frederick Myers considers a crude backup of Octavius’ brainwave patterns satisfactory, it is a reasonable conjecture that those tentacles, wherever they may be, would still contain such data.
The entire car interior, seen through the windshield. BOOMERANG smiles, while SHOCKER’s face is contorted in confusion (and maybe concussion).
BOOMERANG: Oof. Brainy, has anyone ever told you you’re a genius?
LIVING BRAIN: Whirr–click-ick– This unit was designed to be the most intelligent computer in existence.
LIVING BRAIN: So yes.
SHOCKER: I’m sorry, Fred, I am completely lost.
Exterior shot of the car. Boomerang makes a hard U-turn, forcing another car to stop short to avoid hitting them.
SOUND EFFECT: *HOOONK!!*
SOUND EFFECT: *SCREEEEEECH!*
BOOMERANG (OFF-PANEL): That’s probably for the best…
Extreme wide shot. Night has begun to fall over the rolling hills — and rows of gravestones — of a New York cemetery.
BOOMERANG (CAPTION): Because you’re not gonna like where I’m taking you.
Next Time: NIGHT OF THE LIVING OCTOPED!