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                                 HOWARD THE DUCK #1
            
            
                                       Script
            
            
                                Created & Written by
            
                                    STEVE GERBER
            
                                 Script Submitted:
                                      4/11/85
            
                               MARVEL COMICS GROUP

                                  IMPORTANT NOTICE
            
            The text of the following script is Copyright 1985 by Steve
            Gerber.
            
            All characters appearing in the text -- with the exceptions
            of CHIRREEP, POPORB, THE AROUNDER, THE WITHINER, THE
            AMONGER, THE UNDERNEATHER, THE BETWEENER, and OF -- are
            trademarks of the Marvel Comics Group.
            
            That alone should deter you from attempting to copy this
            script to sell for profit.
            
            Trust me -- they'll sue.
            
            You may, however, download this text and copy it to your
            heart's content for your own use and to distribute to your
            friends, neighbors, or anyone else who cares to read it (as
            long as you don't charge for those copies) since it will
            never see publication in comic book form.
            
            ALL SUCH COPIES MUST INCLUDE THIS NOTICE!
            
            Here's hoping you enjoy reading this as much as I did
            writing it.
            
                                                        ---Steve Gerber

                                      PAGE ONE
            
            (1)
            
            FULL-PAGE SPLASH: LARGE CLOSEUP OF HOWARD THE DUCK
            
            falling straight toward the reader through some other-
            dimensional space.  (The backdrop should NOT be black.)
            Howard's upended lower body-- NOTE: HE IS NOT WEARING
            PANTS!-- and webbed feet take up most of the background, but
            we see hints of some Dr. Strange-type geometric abstractions
            behind him.  He looks half out of his mind, eyes looking two
            different directions, beak wide open, cigar perched like a
            seesaw on the edge of the beak.  He's grabbing the brim of
            his hat with both hands, pulling it down in frustration, as

            he screams straight at the reader!
            
              HOWARD:       (BURST; LETTERS OPEN FOR COLOR) WHAT IS
                                REALITY--
              HOWARD:       (SAME) --AN' WHAT DOES IT WANT FROM ME,
                                ANYHOW?!?
              BLURB:        As part of Marvel's ongoing effort to ad-
                                dress these and other pressing questions
                                of our age...
              SIGNATURE
              LINE:         STAN LEE PRESENTS:
              
              TITLE:        HOWARD THE DUCK'S SECRET CRISIS II
              
              BLURB:        A continuity-fraught TWO-PART HYPO-SERIES
                                destined to change the course of the
                                Marvel Universe for hours, perhaps days!
            
            CREDITS:
            
              Created & Written by      Illustrated by        Inking by
                  STEVE GERBER          (ARTIST NAME)        (INKER NAME)
            
                   Letterer's name, Letterer       JIM SHOOTER
                   Colorist's name, Colorist          Editor

                                      PAGE TWO
            
            (1)
            
            A ROLLED-UP NEWSPAPER lands on the porch of an ordinary sub-
            urban house.
            
              BLURB:        It's six-thirty a.m., on what should be an
                                ordinary weekday morning, in an ordinary
                                suburban neighborhood...
            
            
            (2)
            
            SLIGHTLY LONGER SHOT: The door of the house has opened to
            reveal RONALD THE DUCK-- Howard's father as portrayed in HTD
            BLACK & WHITE MAGAZINE #6.  He's still half-asleep, dressed
            in a bathrobe, and leaning over to pick up the paper.
            
              BLURB:        ...on the dimensional plane known as DUCK-
                                WORLD.
              BLURB:        As is his daily routine, RONALD THE DUCK--
                                devoted husband, father of three--
                                shuffles drowsily to the door for a
                                breath of air and his copy of the NEW
                                STORK TIMES.
            
            
            (3)
            
            SLIGHTLY LONGER SHOT.  A dark shadow has fallen over Ronald.
            He looks up and reacts with horror to something he sees off-
            panel!
            
              BLURB:        He inhales deeply-- and the stench of SULFUR
                                assaults his lungs.
              BLURB:        That shocks him to wakefulness-- and to the
                                terrifying realization that this morning
                                will NOT be like any other.
            
            
            (4)
            
            WIDE ANGLE: A wedge of thick, billowing YELLOW-GREY GLOP is
            spreading across the sky, blotting out the sun!  At the apex
            of the wedge, soaring across the sky, is a TINY (from this
            distance) FIGURE ON A SURFBOARD!  The glop seems to be pour-
            ing out of the surfboard as it flies-- like exhaust fumes.
            On the ground, Ronald's neighbors-- ducks, chickens, geese--
            are running down the street, screaming in terror.
            
              BLURB:        For on this morning, a billowing GLOP
                                spreads across the sky, choking off the
                                sunlight...

              BLURB:        ...shrouding the world in a final DARKNESS
                                that precedes its END.

                                     PAGE THREE
            
            (1)
            
            EXT. NEW STORK CITY ROOFTOP - WIDE ANGLE
            
            FEATURING DUCKTOR STRANGE and TRUMAN CAPOULTRY (also from
            HTD B&W #6) gaze up at the glop, which is spreading across
            the sky here, too.  Strange holds a bottle of booze in one
            hand and waves the other in a tremulous mystical gesture,
            trying to conjure the stuff away.  Capoultry screams at him
            to try harder.
            
              BLURB:        Some miles away, on a New Stork City
                                rooftop, DUCKTOR STRANGE, master of the
                                mystic arts, and author TRUMAN CAPOULTRY
                                also observe the phenomenon.
              CAPOULTRY:    Try another THPELL, Thtrange!  The glop'th
                                thtill THPREADING!
              STRANGE:      =hic= By the RIPPLED RINGSH OF HUMIDOR, I
                                =hic= banish you, glop!!
              VOICE:        (OFF-PANEL) Alas, feathered one, mere sor-
                                cery could not stop these events-- even
                                if you were SOBER.
            
            
            (2)
            
            Angle past Strange and Capoultry to THE THROWAWAY.  He's be-
            hind them, floating down to the rooftop, legs together, arms
            folded over his chest, eyes staring blankly as if entranced.
            Strange and Capoultry are whirling around to look at him.
            
            He wears a long flowing cloak-- it would be floor-length if
            he were standing on a floor-- that wraps completely around
            him, and a cowl that conceals his face completely.  Only his
            GLOWING EYES are visible in the shadow of the cowl.
            
              THROWAWAY:    The CONSUMPTION of your world was ordained
                                by a far greater power--
              CAPOULTRY:    My goodneth!  A HAIRLETH APE!
              THROWAWAY:    --greater even than the one who shall EAT
                                your planet.
            
            
            (3)
            
            The Throwaway, still hovering just above the roof, points
            skyward dramatically.  Capoultry and Strange gape up at him.
            
              THROWAWAY:    For yon glop, as you call it, is merely the
                                GRAVY on the feast--
              THROWAWAY:    --ladelled across your sky by him who wields
                                the POWER SULFURIC.
              STRANGE & CAPOULTRY: (TWO POINTERS FROM BALLOON) WHO--??
            
      
            (4)
            
            Wide angle shot of roof.  THE SULFUR SURFER-- grimy black
            from head to toe, but otherwise resembling the Silver
            Surfer-- shoots across panel on his surfboard, trailing a
            cloud of emissions behind him.  Strange and Capoultry are
            covered with the stuff.  It never touches Throwaway, who
            gestures at the Surfer like a ringmaster introducing an act.
            
              THROWAWAY:    BEHOLD-- men call him THE SULFUR SURFER--
              THROWAWAY:    --but he is "HAROLD" to GALACTONGUE!
            
            
            (5)
            
            Small panel.  Capoultry and Strange, blackened with sulfur
            emissions, stare awestruck at the off-panel Throwaway.
            
              CAPOULTRY:    There'th NOTHING we can do-- we're DOOMED?!
              THROWAWAY:    (OFF-PANEL) Not "we"-- YOU.  I cannot die.
            
            
            (6)
            
            Small panel.  Throwaway reaches melodramatically up to take
            hold of his cowl, preparing to pull it back.
            
              THROWAWAY:    For I am...THROWAWAY, he who is disposed to
                                WHINE.
              THROWAWAY:    Such is my fate.  As your world and infinite
                                others meet their destruction, I shall
                                bear helpless witness to the horror...
            
            
            (7)
            
            Small panel.  Tight closeup on Throwaway.  He pulls back his
            cloak, revealing a face that looks like a demented CABBAGE
            PATCH DOLL.  His glowing eyes bulge almost out of their
            sockets, and his features are frozen in an expression of re-
            vulsion-- as if someone had shoved a rotten banana up his
            nose.
            
              THROWAWAY:    ...and go "ewwwwgh."

                                     PAGE FOUR
            
            (1)
            
            THE RONALD DUCK FAMILY
            
            Ronald, his wife HENRIETTA, and his children THERESA and
            ORVILLE, huddle together on the porch, in the darkness, as
            the end comes.
            
              BLURB:        Back in suburbia, Ronald hugs Henrietta and
                                the children close to him.
              BLURB:        And in these last moments, his thoughts turn
                                sadly to his MISSING son, to HOWARD,
                                whom he will never see again.
            (2)
            
            DUCKTOR STRANGE & TRUMAN CAPOULTRY
            
            Strange holds his bottle straight up, pouring the last of
            its contents into his mouth, oblivious to Capoultry, who is
            diving over the edge of the roof.  We see Throwaway's boots
            near top of panel as he floats away again.
            
              BLURB:        Strange prepares for the coming ingurgita-
                                tion with an APERITIF...
              BLURB:        ...while Capoultry seizes back the power of
                                life and death from his would-be
                                destroyer's hands.
            (3)
            
            LARGER PANEL - DUCKWORLD SEEN FROM SPACE
            
            In foreground, the Sulfur Surfer zips away from the planet--
            which is now engulfed in glop, like a gooey bonbon.  Hover-
            ing hungrily AROUND the planet is a pair of GIGANTIC RUBY-
            RED LIPS.  A HUGE TONGUE extends out from the lips and UNDER
            the planet, ABOUT TO SLURP IT UP!  (Picture a cosmic version
            of the old Rolling Stones Records logo.)
            
              BLURB:        The predator, however, has no hands.  In
                                ever sense of the word, it is ALL MOUTH.
              SURFER:       Your supper, GALACTONGUE.
              GALACTONGUE:  Thank you, Harold.
            
            
            (4)
            
            SAME ANGLE: BUT NOW THE PLANET IS GONE AND THE TONGUE IS
            SMACKING THE GRINNING RUBY LIPS!
            
              SFX:          (AT LEFT OF LIPS) =SLURRRP=
              SFX:          (AT RIGHT OF LIPS) =SMMAAKK=
              GALACTONGUE:  Mm-MMM!  Dee-lish!

              VOICE:        (OFF-PANEL; BURST; CONNECT TO FOLLOWING BAL-
                                LOON) NO-- NOT AGAIN!!
              VOICE:        (POINTER TO BOTTOM OF PANEL)  That's the
                                47th scenario-- and every time, DUCK-
                                WORLD DIES!!
              
                                     PAGE FIVE
            
            (1)
            
            EXT. DESOLATE VALLEY ON PLANET KRYLOR - A MULTI-DOMED STONE
            STRUCTURE - NIGHT
            
            The structure rests on the floor of the otherwise deserted
            valley.  The structure looks primitive and futuristic all at
            once.  It has one large rough hewn stone dome (not in the
            center) and several smaller domes attached to it by short
            stone tunnels.  The structure should in no way look sym-
            metrical.   The floor of the valley is dull and grey-- vol-
            canic ash.
            
              BLURB:        The VALLEY OF ASHES, on the planet KRYLOR:
                                home of CHIRREEP, techno-artist in
                                EXILE.
              VOICE:        (FROM INSIDE MAIN DOME)  Mass destruction is
                                a DOWNER!  People don't want to SEE
                                downers!
              VOICE:        Why do you keep feeding the same VIDSTREAM
                                into the FICTIONATOR?
            
            (2)
            
            INT. MAIN DOME - WIDE ANGLE FEATURING CHIRREEP--
            
            --A KRYLORIAN TECHNO-ARTIST like BEREET [see INCREDIBLE HULK
            #269-287 and MARVEL UNIVERSE HANDBOOK #6, pg. 31 for refer-
            ence], but not nearly as successful.  The main dome of this
            structure is her studio.
            
            Chirreep is a Krylorian Cyndi Lauper-- cute, but weird: ris-
            ing from the very center of her head is a blue, spiky,
            feather plume, at least two feet high; she wears a one-piece
            sarong-like garment that sits on her hips at a provocative
            angle, much higher on one side than the other; on the more
            exposed leg, she wears a boot that comes up over her knee;
            on the less exposed leg, she wears an ankle-high boot and
            striped leotard-type legging.
            
            She's seated at the Krylorian equivalent of a movieola.  In-
            stead of a screen, it has a multi-faceted gem about the size
            of a basketball.  Hovering over the gem is one of Chirreep's
            techno-art creations, called POPORB-- essentially a giant
            floating eye with long lashes and heavy mascara.  A beam
            from the eye is aiming into the gem, and in the facets of
            the gem, we see scenes from the previous three pages-- the
            destruction of Duckworld.
            
            Chirreep looks angry and frightened, as she waves her arms
            at the Poporb.
            
              CHIRREEP:     What's WRONG with you, Poporb?  Why are you
                                outputting TRAGEDY, when I programmed
                                you for FARCE?
              CHIRREEP:     You can't even get a SENSOR-FIX on the STAR
                                of this movie I'm allegedly making!
            
            (2)
            
            The Poporb sadly closes its lid.  There's nothing it can do.
            
              CHIRREEP:     How am I supposed to create another "Howard
                                the Duck" TECHNO-FICTION*--
              CHIRREEP:     --without inputting HOWARD?
              BLURB:        *Chirreep's earlier "techno-fictions" ap-
                                peared in HOWARD THE DUCK MAGAZINE #1-9
                                and BIZARRE ADVENTURES #34.--J.S.
            
            (3)
            
            Chirreep gets up from the movieola, wringing her hands, now
            looking very worried and agitated.
            
              CHIRREEP:     Don't you understand?  I've lost my AUDI-
                                ENCE!  They HATE my recent work!
              CHIRREEP:     Techno-art can MOCK our complacent society,
                                as BEREET did in her HULK movies*...but
                                I went too FAR!
              CHIRREEP      In "VOID LEMON," I tried to say we practice
                                a PASSIVE form of violence-- and I pro-
                                voked Krylor's first MASS RIOT!
              BLURB:        *See HULK #269.--J.S.
            
            
            (4)
            
            Chirreep whirls around, reacts in shock to something she
            sees off-panel.
            
              CHIRREEP:     I need a HIT-- another "MALTESE COCKROACH"--
                                another "CRASH OF '79!"--
              CHIRREEP:     --or my career is FINISHED!
              VOICE:        (OFF-PANEL) It's TOO LATE, Chirreep.
            
            (5)
            
            Looking past Chirreep, who has frozen in fear, we see THREE
            KRYLORIAN ART POLICE standing in the door of the main dome,
            pointing odd weapons-- they look like flit-gun-type bug
            sprayers-- at her.  Their uniforms look like they were bor-
            rowed from Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band.
            
              1ST POLICE:   Your techno-artistic license has been RE-
                                VOKED.
              2ND POLICE:   You and your "Poporb" are hereby summoned to

                                appear before the COMMISSION.

                                      PAGE SIX
            
            (1)
            
            EXT. KRYLORIAN CAPITAL CITY - WIDE ANGLE TO ESTABLISH
            
            The art police craft carrying Chirreep-- it's an open-topped
            saucerlike vehicle-- flies toward one of the tallest build-
            ings in the city.  The Poporb flies behind it.
            
              BLURB:        In mere moments, the KAPS'* transport whisks
                                Chirreep from her lonely valley to the
                                bustling planetary capital of PLAISIIR--
              BLURB:        --seat of the august ENTERTAINMENT STANDARDS
                                COMMISSION--
              BLURB:        *Krylorian Art Police.--JS
            
            
            (2)
            
            INT. COMMISSION HEARING ROOM - LARGE PANEL
            
            The layout of the room definitely suggests a court of law.
            The design is something else altogether: the commissioners
            are also techno-artists, and the decor reflects this.  E.g.,
            the front panel of the judges' bench is sculpted into the
            huge, glowering face of gargoyle.
            
            The THREE COMMISSIONERS-- bald, like all Krylorian males--
            wear judicial-type robes, decorated with odd, alien pat-
            terns.  Each wears a different sculpted helmet: one resem-
            bles a Rolls Royce hood ornament, another a glittering
            metallic moose antlers, the third a ziggurat.  They look
            simultaneously imperious and ridiculous.
            
            SKEEB, the one with the antlers, is the presiding commis-
            sioner.  He stands between the other two, who are seated.
            
            The defendant (Chirreep) sits facing the bench in a trans-
            parent hovering globe, with one section sliced out for a
            seat.
            
              BLURB:        --the honorable techno-master SKEEB
                                presiding.
              SKEEB:        The members of this commission fondly recall
                                your EARLY work, Chirreep-- so we have
                                striven to be LENIENT with you.
              SKEEB:        Even after the "Void Lemon" incident, we
                                limited your punishment to EXILE.
              SKEEB:        But now a far GRAVER charge has been leveled
                                against you.
            
            (3)
            
            On the stern-faced commissioners.  Skeeb is standing, lean-
            ing over the bench, accusing Chirreep.
            
              SKEEB:        You are accused of employing forbidden
                                materials-- specifically, SHADOW MAT-
                                TER-- in the construction of your
                                POPORB.
              SKEEB:        Is this TRUE, Chirreep?
            
            
            (4)
            
            Small panel.  Chirreep looks pleadingly at the commis-
            sioners.
            
              CHIRREEP:     Shadow matter enabled the Poporb to probe
                                OTHER DIMENSIONS for inspiration.
              CHIRREEP:     The "Howard" series could never have been
                                MADE without--
            
            
            (5)
            
            Small panel.  Tight closeup of Skeeb.  He's taken on the as-
            pect of a hangin' judge.
            
              SKEEB:        Speak no more.  Your rash irresponsibility
                                has precipitated a DISASTER--
              
                                     PAGE SEVEN
            
            (1)
            
            START OF 3-PANEL SEQUENCE: At left of panel is Skeeb's face,
            as he narrates the following.  The rest of the panel shows
            several spiral galaxies swirling in space.  Each galaxy is
            accompanied by a half-resolved doppelganger of itself, like
            a TV "ghost" image.
            
              BLURB:        (SKEEB SPEAKING) "--a calamity of COSMIC
                                proportions.
              BLURB:        "For some time, our scientists have noted a

                                peculiar VIBRATION across the space-time
                                continuum which produced an odd IMAGE-
                                DOUBLING EFFECT on our instruments.
            
            
            (2)
            
            The same scene in space-- except that now the "ghost" images
            and the actual galaxies have moved much farther apart.
            
              BLURB:        "We did not realize, until NOW, that this
                                was no illusion-- that all of EXISTENCE
                                was in fact LOSING SUBSTANCE--
              BLURB:        "--REDISTRIBUTING its matter to form a
                                SHADOW of itself.
            
            
            (3)
            
            On one side of the panel, we see the swirling galaxies as in
            panel one.  Down the center of the panel is a ragged-edged
            rift, as if the panel had been torn in two.  On the other
            side, now completely independent of the original galaxies,
            the doppelgangers swirl through the space of an entirely
            other universe.  The rift itself is occupied by various ab-

            stract geometric shapes against a solid-color (but not
            black) backdrop.
            
              BLURB:        "The vibratory stimulation of the Poporb's
                                trans-dimensional probing has brought
                                into being A SECOND MULTIVERSE-- with
                                its own COSMIC AXIS--
              BLURB:        "--where your 'movies' ACTUALLY OCCURRED!"
            
            
            (4)
              
            Chirreep is leaning forward, almost tipping out of her wit-
            ness chair, stunned at this revelation.
            
              SKEEB:        (OFF-PANEL)  Moreover, certain of your
                                "characters" may have suffered a SPACE-
                                TIME-DISPLACEMENT--
              SKEEB:        --which divorced them from ANY reality apart
                                from your films!
              CHIRREEP:     That's why I can't locate HOWARD--?
            
            
            (5)
            
            Angle across Chirreep to the commissioners, who nod grimly.
            
              SKEEB:        Precisely-- for, at the moment, he exists in
                                NEITHER COSMOS!
              SKEEB:        He is STRANDED in the rift which divides the
                                shadow reality from our own.
              CHIRREEP:     Trapped.  In a rift he never made.
              CHIRREEP:     What are we going to DO?

            
            
            (6)
            
            Angle on Skeeb, who shakes his head in typical Krylorian
            resignation to the inevitable.
            
              SKEEB:        Accustom ourselves to life in a THINNER uni-
                                verse, for one thing--
              SKEEB:        --and for another, PUNISH the entities
                                RESPONSIBLE for this catastrophe.

                                     PAGE EIGHT
            
            (1)
            
            INT. A GLOOMY PRISON CELL far below the city.  Chirreep sits
            hunkered over on a little stool, sobbing.  The Poporb hovers
            above her, half-open, a tear about to fall from it.
            
              BLURB:        Shortly, far below the city...
              CHIRREEP:     They don't know the WORST of it, Poporb.
              CHIRREEP:     The destruction of Duckworld must have been
                                REAL, also-- and I almost surely un-
                                leashed the menace that CAUSED it!
            
            
            (2)
            
            Down angle on Chirreep as she looks up at Poporb with a hor-
            rifying realization:
            
              CHIRREEP:     Throwaway said it was a power even greater
                                than Galactongue!
              CHIRREEP:     What if it goes on to destroy OTHER worlds--
                                or that whole other MULTIVERSE, or--
            
            (3)
            
            Chirreep stands suddenly, startled at where her reasoning
            has led her.
            
              CHIRREEP:     (BURST) --OR BOTH MULTIVERSES?!
              CHIRREEP:     And what if the two are LINKED somehow?  The
                                whole of EXISTENCE could be eradicated--
              CHIRREEP:     --while Krylor's over-entertained populace
                                CURLS UP and accepts the "inevitable!"
            
            
            (4)
            
            Close on Chirreep, clenching both fists.  She's made up her
            mind to do something.
            
              CHIRREEP:     I CAN'T let it happen!  I WON'T go down in a
                                history that will never be written as--
              CHIRREEP:     --THE WOMAN WHO WIPED OUT THE UNIVERSE!
            
            
            (5)
            
            She turns to Poporb, strokes its lid gently, almost hypnoti-
            cally.  Its iris and pupil gleam with energy.
            
              CHIRREEP:     We're going to create a NEW techno-fiction,
                                Poporb-- just as REAL as the others.

              CHIRREEP:     It's about how CHIRREEP suddenly VANISHED
                                from her prison cell, on a mission to
                                save reality--
            
            
            (6)
            
            Both Chirreep and Poporb vanish in a crackling flash of en-
            ergy!
              
              CHIRREEP:     (OPEN-ENDED POINTER, TO THE FLASH OF ENERGY)
                            --and repay a DEBT to a web-footed friend.

                                     PAGE NINE
            
            
            (1)
            
            THE RIFT BETWEEN MULTIVERSES: We can see the ragged black
            edges of the multiverses on either side of panel.  In f.g.,
            two abstract geometric forms, a helix and a pinwheel, are
            locked together like a couple of clothes hangers, circling
            each other perpetually, going nowhere.  In b.g., we see a
            small shape tumbling toward us.  We can't see yet what it
            is.
            
              BLURB:        At the distant reaches of two multiverses,
                                in the rift between existences...
            
            
            (2)
            
            SAME SCENE: But now the geometric forms are moving out of
            panel, toward the left, and tumbling figure is a little
            closer.  We can just barely make out arms and legs-- and
            webbed feet.
            
              BLURB:        ...two geometric solids dance a perpetual
                                pas de deux, chasing one another's logic
                                into eternity...
            
            
            (3)
            
            SAME SCENE: But now the geometric forms have moved almost
            entirely out of panel to the left-- and the FRONT END OF A
            DODGE WINNEBAGO is entering the panel from the right!  We
            can see now, in a bit of detail, that the tumbling figure is
            HOWARD THE DUCK, wearing the same whacked-out expression as
            on the splash page.
            
              BLURB:        ...unseen by living eyes, inaccessible to
                                tourists...
              
              
            (4)
            
            WIDE ANGLE - THE SIDE OF THE WINNEBAGO: Howard slams into it
            broadside, to the left of the coach door.
            
              BLURB:        ...until now.
              SFX:          BWHOMPH!
              HOWARD:       (BURST; LETTERS OPEN FOR COLOR)
                                =WAAAUGHH!!!=

                                 PAGES TEN & ELEVEN
                                          
                                 DOUBLE-PAGE SPREAD
            
                 ARRANGED AS TWO TIERS OF PANELS THAT READ ACROSS BOTH
                 PAGES; FIVE PANELS ON TOP TIER, THREE ON BOTTOM.  FOR
                 CLARITY, MAYBE SEPARATE TOP TIER OF PANELS WITH THIN,
                 SOLID BLACK GUTTERS; USE STANDARD OPEN GUTTER TO SEPA-
                 RATE TOP TIER FROM BOTTOM.
            
            (1)
            
            The door of the Winnebago flies open to the left, squashing
            Howard against the side of the vehicle.  (Only his webbed
            feet are visible, hanging out from under the door.)  Framed
            in the doorway is the WHITE-HAIRED, WHITE-SUITED ANGEL from
            the Howard story in BIZARRE ADVENTURES #34.  (Henceforth,
            we'll call him ANDY, because he bears a strong resemblance
            to Andy Warhol.)
            
              SFX:          (DOOR SQUASHING HOWARD) THWAPP
              HOWARD:       (FROM BEHIND DOOR; LOWER CASE LETTERS)
                                =auuuuu=
              ANDY:         HOWARD?-- Howard, is that YOU?!--
            
            
            (2)
            
            Angle past Andy to the edge of the door: Howard's head pokes
            around it.  His cigar is smashed.  He looks like he could
            commit murder.
            
              HOWARD:       I dunno who you ARE, snowcap...or how you
                                knew my NAME...
              HOWARD:       ...an' to be totally HONEST, I don't really
                                give a plywood pluck.
              HOWARD:       You, on the other hand, should be aware--
            
            
            (3)
            
            INT. WINNEBAGO: Andy reels backward into the coach, pro-
            pelled by a furious Howard, who has leaped on him and whose
            gloved hands are locked around the angel's throat!
              
              HOWARD:       --that if you don't have a box o' CIGARS in
                                this clunker, you're DEAD MEAT!
              ANDY:         But-- but, Howard-- you can't kill ME!
            
            (4)
            
            Angle past How to Andy.  Andy is bent back over the stove of
            the Winnebago coach with the Duck perched on his chest.  How
            still has one hand around Andy's throat.  The other is
            balled up in a fist, poised to sock him.
            
              ANDY:         I'm ALREADY DEAD!  You know that!
              ANDY:         I'm an ANGEL!
              HOWARD:       No kiddin'!  Well, in that case, this won't
                                hurt a BIT, will it?
            
            
            (5)
            
            How stops his punch just before it connect.  His head whips
            around to look off-panel, reacting to a voice.  His beak is
            dropping open.  He's appalled at what he sees.
            
              VOICE:        (OFF-PANEL) DESIST, friend duck!  The
                                seraphim ANDY speaks the TRUTH!  And I
                                should know--
              HOWARD:       (LOWER-CASE LETTERING) =waa-uurgh=
            
            (6)
            
            LARGE PANEL:  WIDE SHOT OF THE WINNEBAGO'S INTERIOR.  Now
            we-- and Howard-- see that there are OTHERS aboard.  In
            fact, the place is packed with a strange array of characters
            from Howard's past(s): DAKIMH THE SORCERER, his apprentice
            JENNIFER KALE, and KORREK THE BARBARIAN (HTD color comic
            #22-23); MAN-THING; mechanic CLAUDE STARKOWSKI (HTD color
            comic #30-31); MASTER C'HAAJ (kung fu master from HTD color
            comic #3); and HEMLOCK SHOALS (detective caterpillar; HTD
            b&w magazine #4).
            
            Dakimh should be standing.  Man-Thing would hunched over,
            too tall for the RV's ceiling to accommodate.  Claude might
            be trying to fix a lamp or something.  Arrange the others
            interestingly on the can the Winnebago's sofas, bunks, etc.
            
            Howard is still standing on Andy's chest, gaping at the
            others in unconcealed disgust.
            
              DAKIMH:       --for I, DAKIMH THE SORCERER-- or rather,
                                his GHOST-- am also numbered among the
                                departed!
              BLURB:        With a LUMP in his throat-- brought on by
                                sudden, severe NAUSEA-- Howard scans the
                                recreational vehicle's weird assemblage:
              BLURB:        (NEAR JENNIFER) JENNIFER KALE, Dakimh's
                                protege...
              BLURB:        (NEAR KORREK) ...KORREK, barbarian prince of
                                Katharta...

              BLURB:        (NEAR MANNY) ...the macabre MAN-THING, murk-
                                dweller of the Florida swamps...
              BLURB:        (NEAR CLAUDE AND C'HAAJ) ...mechanic CLAUDE
                                STARKOWSKI and martial arts entrepreneur
                                MASTER C'HAAJ, both of Cleveland,
                                Ohio...
              BLURB:        (NEAR SHOALS) ...and, finally, a CATERPILLAR
                                the duck has never seen before in his
                                life!
              HOWARD:       Gimme strength...!
            
            
            (7)
            
            Medium-closeup of Howard.  He slumps into a pose of futil-
            ity.
            
              HOWARD:       Better yet, tell me what I'm doin' in a
                                Winnebago, nine billion light years from
                                NOWHERE--
              HOWARD:       --with a gaggle of FLAMING LOONIES I never
                                wanted to SEE again--
            
            
            (8)
            
            Medium-closeup of Hemlock at one of the RV's windows.  He's
            pointing, indicating something he sees outside.
            
              HOWARD:       --plus two I've never even MET!
              HEMLOCK:      All in good time, Howard.  For the nonce, a
                                more URGENT matter has arisen.
              HEMLOCK:      It would appear that we are no longer the
                                ONLY sojourners in this cosmic outback.

                                    PAGE TWELVE
            
            (1)
            
            EXT. IN THE RIFT: LONG SHOT OF A GIANT FIRE HYDRANT with
            windows around its dome-shaped bonnet and in its operating
            nut, so that it looks a bit like a space-station.  We see
            the Winnebago far, far in the background.
            
              CLAUDE:       (FROM WINNEBAGO) Sunuvagun-- FIRE HYDRANT at
                                four o'clock!
              DAKIMH:       (SAME) No, Claude.  Like our "R.V.", it is
                                an artificial CONSTRUCT, crafted to RE-
                                SEMBLE a common object.
            
            
            (2)
            
            INSET PANEL: closeup of Dakimh, touching his fingertips to
            his temples, concentrating.
            
              DAKIMH:       A moment, please.  I wish to determine who
                                is aboard...!
            
            (3)
            
            INT. BONNET OF FIRE HYDRANT: In this gigantic domed struc-
            ture, which looks like the inside of a spaceship, we find an
            assemblage of Howard's arch-foes, all pounding, hitting,
            kicking, or throwing magical bolts at one another-- each as-
            suming that all the others are responsible for his or her
            being here.
            
            Through one of the hydrant's huge windows, we see the Win-
            nebago floating far in b.g.
            
            The villains are:
            
                 1) PRO-RATA (HTD color comic #1);
                 
                 2-6) DR. ANGST, BLACK HOLE, SITTING BULLSEYE, TILLIE
                 THE HUN, and THE SPANKER (MARVEL TREASURY EDITION #12);
                 
                 7) LE BEAVER (HTD color comic #9);
                 
                 8) KONG LOMERATE (HTD color comic #10 and b&w magazine
                 #7);
                 
                 9) DOCTOR BONG (HTD color comic #15, et al.);
                 
                 10) BERSERK JOE (HTD color comic #22-23);
                 
                 11) JACKPOT (HTD b&w #1);
                 
                 12) WALLY SIDNEY (HTD b&w #2);

                 13) GREEDY KILLERWATT (HTD b&w #3);
                 
                 14-17) JOKESTER, PUFFIN, QUIZLING, and THE MALLER (HTD
                 b&w #8);
                 
                 18) THE NEW BLACK TALON (HTD b&w #9).
                 
            DR. BONG stands apart from the conflict, AT LEFT OF PANEL,
            hitting himself in the head with his clapper-arm, trying to
            get the attention of the others.  SPANKER is near CENTER OF
            PANEL, sitting on something, with WALLY SIDNEY draped over
            his lap; he's spanking Wally with his paddle.  DR. ANGST is
            stationed AT RIGHT OF PANEL, conjuring a GIANT RUNNING SHOE
            in the air above the combatants.
            
              DAKIMH:       (POINTER TO WINNEBAGO)  I sense EIGHTEEN
                                ENTITIES-- spanning a veritable spectrum

                                of MALEVOLENCE--
              DAKIMH:       (CONNECT TO PREVIOUS BALLOON) --from the
                                merely NASTY to the WANTONLY VIOLENT.
              BONG:         STOP this senseless brawling-- at once!
                                DOCTOR BONG demands it!
              SPANKER:      That's what YOU say, doc!  But I-- THE
                                SPANKER-- want a SECOND OPINION!
              ANGST:        Very well!  I-- DOCTOR ANGST, master of mun-
                                dane mysticism-- CONCUR with Doctor
                                Bong!
              ANGST:        Now cut it out, or I'll JOG all over you!
              SFX:          (BONG'S CLAPPER HITTING BELL) BONNNNG

                                   PAGE THIRTEEN
            
            (1)
            
            INT. WINNEBAGO: Angle across Dakimh to Howard.  Dakimh is
            removing his fingertips from his temples, turning to How--
            who throws up his hands and turns on his heel to walk away.
            
              DAKIMH:       Apart from their EVIL, they seem to have
                                little in common--
              DAKIMH:       --except that they ALL want Howard DEAD.
              HOWARD:       NATURALLY!
            
            
            (2)
            
            Howard is at the door of the Winnebago coach, starting to
            open it.

            
              HOWARD:       EVERYBODY wants me dead!  In some species,
                                it's an INBORN INSTINCT!
              HOWARD:       Look, guys-- no offense, but I'm jumpin'
                                ship.  I was actually gettin' to LIKE it
                                out there--
            
            
            (3)
            
            EXT. WINNEBAGO: TIGHT SHOT OF DOORWAY as Howard flings the
            door open-- and stops cold, his beak dropping open, stunned.
            
              HOWARD:       --and besides, even if you're dead, you'll

                                lead happier, longer lives if I'm not--
              HOWARD:       (STAGGERED, LOWER-CASE LETTERS) =wurrrgh=
              VOICE:        (OFF-PANEL) So, Howard, we meet AGAIN--
            
            
            (4)
            
            Angle over How's shoulder out the door-- to CHIRREEP, sit-
            ting calmly in "space", with the POPORB floating at her own
            shoulder.
            
              CHIRREEP:     --for the FIRST TIME.
              HOWARD:       Why...you're a featherless, hairless
                                bird-ape hybrid, aren't you?
              HOWARD:       Hi, there.
              HOWARD:       I'm a deeply disturbed duck.
            
            (5)
            
            Howard backs back into the Winnebago coach.  Chirreep and
            the Poporb also step inside.
            
              HOWARD:       I must be disturbed.  Otherwise, I wouldn't
                                think I was seeing YOU.
              CHIRREEP:     I understand your distress, Howard-- but I
                                am no DELUSION.
              CHIRREEP:     Intelligent life on my planet simply evolved
                                DIFFERENTLY than on earth-- or DUCK-
                                WORLD.
            
            
            (6)
            
            TIGHT SHOT OF HOWARD: SEEN ONLY FROM THE WAIST UP.  Double
            image of his head looking first at off-panel Chirreep, then
            down at his lower body-- in horror.
            
              HOWARD:       "Duckworld?"  What's that-- a THEME PARK?
              HOWARD:       WAIT-- what's HAPPENIN' to me?
              HOWARD:       =waaaugh=  I-- I'm-- CHANGING--
            
            
            (7)
            
            FULL SHOT: Howard looks down, gasps.  Inexplicably, he is
            now wearing pants!
            
              HOWARD:       --CLOTHES!!  I've got PANTS ON!!
              CLAUDE:       Never mind THAT, Howie--

                                   PAGE FOURTEEN
            
            (1)
            
            Small panel: Claude and the others, at the window of the
            Winnebago.  Claude is motioning for How to join them.
            
              CLAUDE:       --take a gander at what's goin' on OUTSIDE!
            
            (2)
            
            LARGE PANEL: Outside, Galactongue has appeared in the rift,
            hovering far above both the Winnebago and the fire hydrant.
            His ruby-red lips are disgorging a FLOODTIDE OF STARS into
            the emptiness.  The Sulfur Surfer flies an elaborate pattern
            of swoops and dives around the falling stars.
            
              CHIRREEP:     (FROM R.V.) It's GALACTONGUE!  He's disgorg-
                                ing an entire GALAXY into the rift!
              HOWARD:       (FROM R.V.) Maybe his eyes were bigger than
                                his stomach.
              CHIRREEP:     (FROM R.V.) He doesn't HAVE eyes.  HAROLD--
                                that sulfurous being-- is his eyes.
              HOWARD:       (FROM R.V.) He's got a seeing-eye SURFER--?!
            
            
            (3)
            
            Small panel: looking through the window of the Winnebago at
            Claude and Hemlock.  Claude literally has his nose pressed
            against the glass.
            
              CLAUDE:       Gee, Hemlock, I seen stuff like this at the
                                MOVIES lotsa times--
            
            
            (4)
            
            LARGE PANEL: Outside, as the Sulfur Surfer leads Galactongue
            away, the newly transplanted galaxy is IMPLODING at incredi-
            ble velocity, all of the stars rushing together to form a
            vast, glittering, towering...something.
            
              CLAUDE:       (FROM R.V.) --but I never figgered I'd get
                                to see a galaxy implode IN PERSON!
              CLAUDE:       (CONNECT TO PREVIOUS BALLOON)  Did YOU?
              HEMLOCK:      (FROM R.V.) Hardly, Claude.
            
                                    PAGE FIFTEEN
            
            (1)
            
            LARGE PANEL: The imploding galaxy has formed a planet-- with
            one unbelievably tall structure sticking straight up from
            its surface and rising past the top of the panel into the
            rift-space.  IT'S AN OFFICE BUILDING-- A GLEAMING TOWER TENS
            OF THOUSANDS OF MILES HIGH, WITH ODD PROTRUSIONS (WINGS)
            STICKING OUT FROM THE BUILDING WITH NO VISIBLE MEANS OF SUP-
            PORT.  An enormous banner, hung across the side of the
            building, reads: RETAIL AND OFFICE SPACE AVAILABLE FOR
            LEASE.
            
            FIVE COMET-LIKE FLARES-- one noticeably SMALLER than the
            other four-- are streaking away outward from various points
            on the structure, headed toward the Winnebago and the fire
            hydrant-- both of which are traveling toward the planet at
            incredible velocity.
            
              JENNIFER:     (FROM R.V.) Dakimh-- it's formed a NEW
                                PLANET-- and an OFFICE BUILDING!
              JENNIFER:     And we're falling straight TOWARD it!
              DAKIMH:       (FROM R.V.) Aye, Jennifer-- but I am MORE
                                concerned with the objects now streaking
                                toward US.
            
            
            (2)
            
            WIDE ANGLE, SMALL PANEL: Three of the comet-like flares
            (including the smallest one) strike the Winnebago.  The
            other two strike the fire hydrant.  Both "constructs" GLOW.
            
              BLURB:        An instant later, the mysterious flares
                                IMPACT...
            
            
            (3)
            
            "SPLIT-SCREEN PANEL" - INT. WINNEBAGO AT LEFT, INT. FIRE
            HYDRANT DOME AT RIGHT.  Both are bathed in blinding light
            that washes the panel virtually into black-and-white, and
            "breaks up" the characters' outlines, so that we can't see
            them clearly.
            
              BLURB:        ...to no apparent effect, other than
                                pyrotechnics, until:
              VOICES:       (FIVE POINTERS FROM BALLOON, THREE TO
                                WINNEBAGO, TWO TO FIRE HYDRANT; WAVY
                                BALLOON SHAPE; STAGGERED LETTERS)
                            HALLO-O-O-O!
              HOWARD & BONG: (BURST; TWO POINTERS)  WHO SAID THAT--?!?

            
                                    PAGE SIXTEEN
            

            (1)
            
            INT. FIRE HYDRANT: Suddenly, a strange, gooey, MOLASSES-LIKE
            MASS WITH A HUMAN FACE starts to flow out from among the
            villains.  Worse: it talks!
            
              MOLASSES THING: (WAVY BALLOON; STAGGERED LETTERS)  I am
                                from among.  I am the AMONGER.
              PRO-RATA:     By the stellar spreadsheet-- what IS it?!
            
            
            (2)
            
            INT. WINNEBAGO: Much to Chirreep's horror, a huge coil, re-
            sembling A SLINKY TOY WITH A HUMAN FACE ON ONE END, is un-
            winding itself snakelike from around her legs.
            
              COIL:         (WAVY BALLOON; STAGGERED LETTERS)  I am from
                                around.  I am the AROUNDER.
              CHIRREEP:     Yes...yes, I can SEE that.
            
            
            (3)
            
            INT. FIRE HYDRANT: A FLAT, ALMOST TWO-DIMENSIONAL FIGURE
            THAT LOOKS LIKE A STICK OF GUM WITH A HUMAN HEAD slithers
            out from under Kong Lomerate's foot, startling the big ape
            half out of his skin!
            
              PAPER MAN:    (WAVY BALLOON; STAGGERED LETTERS)  I am from
                                underneath.  I am the UNDERNEATHER.
              KONG:         =ARROOORRGH=
            
            
            (4)
            
            INT. WINNEBAGO: Out of Howard's wide-open beak comes a
            BOUNCING BALL WITH LITTLE ARMS, LITTLE LEGS, AND A HAPPY
            FACE PAINTED ON ITS SPHEROID SURFACE.
            
              BALL:         (WAVY BALLOON; STAGGERED LETTERS)  I am from
                                within.  I am the WITHINER.
            
            
            (5)
            
            Up-angle past Claude to the ceiling of the Winnebago.  A
            STRANGE LITTLE MAN IS SWINGING BY HIS NECK FROM A NOOSE AT-
            TACHED TO THE CEILING.  He reaches down and Claude, utterly
            bewildered, shakes his little doll-like hand.

              LITTLE MAN:   You can just call me..."OF."
              CLAUDE:       Uh-huh...pleased to meetcha.
            
            
            (6)
            
            EXT. THE WINNEBAGO AND THE FIRE HYDRANT: A voice speaks to
            them from the empty space between the two "constructs."
            
            
              VOICE:        (WAVY BALLOON; STAGGERED LETTERING; NO
                                POINTER) And I am from...between!
                                Together, we six comprise...
              VOICE:        (SAME) ...THE BROTHERHOOD OF EVIL
                                PREPOSITIONS.

                                   PAGE SEVENTEEN
            
            (1)
            
            Angle past the two hurtling constructs to the office tower.
            Both are on a collision course with the tower.  One will
            strike near the top, the other near the bottom of the enor-
            mous structure.
            
              BETWEENER:    Play both ends against the middle, and all
                                you desire shall be yours!
              BETWEENER:    Nothing you dream of is impossible for me to
                                accomplish!
            
            
            (2)
            
            The Winnebago and the fire hydrant strike the side of the
            building-- and seem to dissolve away, their matter dissolv-
            ing into crackles of energy and being tossed back into the
            rift.  The hydrant strikes the building several stories
            ABOVE the Winnebago.
            
              BLURB:        Before anyone can ask for clarification of
                                the BETWEENER'S strange remark...
              BLURB:        ...the two constructs IMPACT the office
                                tower...
              BLURB:        ...and DISPERSE INTO UNBONDED ATOMS!
            
            
            (3)
            
            INT. OFFICE TOWER: THE BOARD ROOM.  Long, oval conference
            table.  Thickly upholstered chairs.  Plush carpeting.  The
            villains are spawled all over the place.  Kong Lomerate is
            prominent in this shot, swinging from the chandelier, which
            brightly lights the room.
            
              BLURB:        Their CONTENTS, however, arrive INTACT
                                inside.
              KONG:         We're viable!  And we've landed in the BOARD
                                ROOM--
              KONG:         --the natural habitat of KONG LOMERATE!
            
            
            (4)
            
            INT. OFFICE TOWER: THE MAIL ROOM.  This is where Howard and
            "friends" have landed, sprawled amid boxes, carts, postal
            scales, stamps, a few thousand unsorted envelopes, etc.
            There are no lights on in this room.
            
              JENNIFER:     Where-- ARE we--?!

              HOWARD:       =wauurrgh=  The MAIL ROOM-- haven of lost
                                souls.
              HEMLOCK:      Yes...whatever the Betweener's game may be--
                                he obviously wishes us to start at the
                                BOTTOM.
              
                                    PAGE EIGHTEEN
            
            (1)
            
            Howard storms toward the door gesturing behind him for the
            others to keep away, let him go.  He wants no part of this.
            Chirreep in particular watches him go, looking very upset.
            Korrek, climbing out from under a pile of mail, is furious.
            
              HOWARD:       Yeah, well-- let 'im keep WISHIN'!  I'm not
                                startin' at the bottom or anywhere ELSE!
              HOWARD:       In fact, I'm not PLAYIN'!
              KORREK:       By Bharph's blood-- time has wrought LITTLE
                                CHANGE in you, fowl!
            
            
            (2)
            
            Angle on Korrek, drawing his glowing sword from its sheath.
            
              KORREK:       You would only too happily DESERT your
                                comrades in the face of these
                                prepositional FIENDS!
              HOWARD:       (OFF-PANEL) You GOT it, Korrek!  I'm nothin'
                                if not--
            
            

            (3)
            
            Howard is opening the door-- when Korrek's sword flies into
            shot just over his head (speedlines indicate its path) and
            imbeds itself in the metal.  The impact slams the door shut
            again.  Howard's eyes are rolling up to look at the sword.
            
              HOWARD:       (SMALL LETTERS, CENTERED IN BALLOON)
                                --consistent.
              HOWARD:       (LOWER-CASE LETTERS; CONNECT TO PREVIOUS
                                BALLOON) =ulp=
              SFX:          (SWORD HITTING DOOR) THWOMMM!
            
            
            (4)
            
            Howard reaches up and pulls the sword out of the door.
            
              HOWARD:       Korrek...lemme try'n put this diplomati-
                                cally.
              HOWARD:       One'a the reasons I'm not exactly EAGER to
                                fight the good fight at your side...
            
            (5)
            
            Wider shot.  Howard whirls around, holding the sword with
            both hands and waving it and yelling at Korrek.  The barbar-
            ian takes a step backward.

            
              HOWARD:       ...is that only a MORON throws his weapon
                                away before the fight's even STARTED!

              HOWARD:       Do I have to COMPLETE the syllogism, or do
                                you get the DRIFT?
              KORREK:       Anger overcame my REASON, fowl!  I am not so
                                INCAUTIOUS in battle!
            
            
            (6)
            

            Howard tosses down the sword and starts for the door again.
            
              HOWARD:       What-- you only get mad at your FRIENDS?
              HOWARD:       Look, thew-brain, if you NEED me, give a
                                holler, okay?  Otherwise--
            
            
            (7)
            
            Jennifer gives a worried look to Dakimh.  She's concerned
            not only for their lives-- but also the duck's sanity.
            Dakimh shrugs "who can say?" in response to her question.
            
              HOWARD:       (OFF-PANEL) --just forget I EXIST!
              SFX:          (DOOR SLAMMING)  SLAMM!
              JENNIFER:     I'm worried about Howard, Dakimh.  He acts
                                like we all got together LAST WEEK.
              JENNIFER:     Doesn't he REALIZE he's been lost in that
                                rift for almost SIX YEARS...?!

                                   PAGE NINETEEN
            
            (1)
            
            INT. THE BOARD ROOM: Angle over Kong Lomerate's shoulder
            down the conference table where the villains are seated.
            Kong Lomerate stands at the head of the table, playing
            chairman of the board, addressing the others.  Dr. Bong is
            seated to his right, Dr. Angst to his left.
            
            Seated on Angst's side of the table (from nearest to fur-

            thest) are: Le Beaver, Black Hole, Sitting Bullseye, Tillie
            the Hun, the Spanker, Jackpot, and Black Talon.
            
            Seated on Bong's side of the table (also from nearest to
            furthest) are: Wally Sidney, Greedy Killerwatt, Maller,
            Jokester, Puffin, Quizling, and Pro-Rata.
            
            Berserk Joe is at the end of the table, standing on his head
            in his chair.
            
              BLURB:        Meanwhile, several floors above...
              KONG:         A most impressive assemblage, wouldn't you
                                agree, doctors?
              KONG:         The Canadian super-patriot LE BEAVER...the
                                matter-sucking BLACK HOLE...SITTING
                                BULLSEYE, TILLIE THE HUN, THE SPANKER,
                                the one-armed bandit JACKPOT...BLACK
                                TALON, the voodoo priest...
              KONG:         ...BERSERK JOE, the cosmic lunatic...
              KONG:         ...clothier WALLY SIDNEY, GREEDY KILLERWATT
                                ...the MALLER and his employees--
                                JOKESTER, PUFFIN, and QUIZLING-- and
                                PRO-RATA, chief accountant of the uni-
                                verse.
            
            
            (2)
            
            Angle on the head of the table, including Bong, Angst, and
            Kong.  Kong Lomerate nods knowingly.
            
              BONG:         Surely the PREPOSITIONS gathered us together
                                for a REASON.
              ANGST:        Some grand purpose-- something to do with
                                the WINNEBAGO we saw from space!
              KONG:         Yes.
            
            
            (3)
            
            Small panel.  Le Beaver scratches at the table and snarls at
            off-panel Kong.
            
              LE BEAVER:    If vous KNOW quelque-chose, minkey-- PARLEZ!

            (4)
            
            Tight shot of Kong.  He regards the others haughtily.
            
              KONG:         Quite simply, I believe I have grasped the
                                nature of the Prepositions' ENTERPRISE.
              KONG:         This building is to be the battlefield for a
                                war of OFFICE POLITICS...
              KONG:         ...the OBJECT of which, as in any such con-
                                flict, is the redistribution of POWER.
            
            
            (5)
            
            Extreme closeup of Kong, emphasizing the hungrily glittering
            eyes.
            
              KONG:         By first dividing, then intimidating, and
                                finally DAMAGING our opponents...
              KONG:         ...the power falls to US-- and with it, the
                                Betweener's PRIZE.

                                    PAGE TWENTY
            
            (1)
            
            INT. OFFICE BUILDING CORRIDOR: Howard, hands shoved into the
            pockets of his coat, trundles down the hall, lost in
            thought.  Like the mail room, this area is also very dark.
            
              HOWARD:       (THOT) Shouldn't've railed at 'em like that.
                                They don't get it.
              HOWARD:       (THOT) Nobody gets it.
              HOWARD:       (THOT) Nobody ever did.
            
            
            (2)
            
            Another angle on Howard, seen from back, now approaching a
            corner of the corridor.  His trousers are starting to disap-
            pear-- just vanish.
            
              HOWARD:       (THOT) It's a rare bird-- let alone a
                                hairless ape-- that never really feels
                                lonely.
              HOWARD:       (THOT) Can't help it, though-- I DON'T very
                                often.
            
            
            (3)
            
            Around the corner: Howard comes shuffling around the bend,
            glancing down, noticing that the trousers have disappeared
            completely.
            
              HOWARD:       (THOT) Not that I'm in love with my own
                                company, or anything.
              HOWARD:       (THOT) Hm.  There go the pants...!
              HOWARD:       (THOT) When you get right down to it, I'm a
                                fairly obnoxious personality.
            
            
            (4)
            
            Howard shuffles up to a water cooler, reaches up for a paper
            cup from the cylindrically-shaped wall-mounted dispenser
            next to it.  (The dispenser is mounted at a height appropri-
            ate for adult humans.)
            
              HOWARD:       (THOT) I've just never encountered anybody
                                who struck me as significantly LESS
                                obnoxious.
              HOWARD:       (THOT) Thirsty...
              HOWARD:       (THOT) And suppose I did.  Why would they
                                want anything to do with me?
            
            (5)
            
            Close on the bottom of the cup dispenser.  Howard's hand has
            pulled a paper cup out of the dispenser-- and falling out
            after it (as if dropping from a gallows, though it doesn't
            seem to bother him at all), hanging from a rope that extends
            up into the dispenser, is "OF," the weird little Preposi-
            tion.
            
              HOWARD:       (THOT; OFF-PANEL) Even BEV* and I never went
                                more than 48 hours without arguing over
                                SOMETH--
              HOWARD:       (BURST; OFF-PANEL) =WAAAAUGH!!=
              OF:           GREETS, Howard!  War broken out yet?
              BLURB:        *Beverly Switzler, Howard's human companion
                                during most of his stay on earth.--J.S.
            
            (6)
            
            Medium shot.  Howard gapes at the little preposition, who's
            hanging just slightly above eye-level with the duck.
            
              HOWARD:       I oughtta THROTTLE you for scarin' me like
                                that--
              HOWARD:       --but somehow it seems SUPERFLUOUS.
              OF:           Oh, good.  It's travail enough going through
                                life as a HANGING PREPOSITION.
              HOWARD:       Uh-huh.  Now what's this about a WAR?
            
            
            (7)
            
            Small panel.  Close on Of.  He realizes he's spoken out of
            turn.
            
              OF:           Oh, nothing...nothing at all...just making
                                conversation...!
              OF:           I really...should be going...my larger
                                brothers are calling...!
            
                                  PAGE TWENTY-ONE
            
            (1)
            
            On Howard staring up at the cup dispenser.  There's a little
            puff of smoke now where Of had been hanging.  The SHADOW of
            a tall, off-panel figure is looming over Howard, as the fig-
            ure approaches from behind.
            
              OF:           Perhaps we can chat again...if you live
                                through this...!
              SFX:          (PUFF OF SMOKE)  =POOT!=
              HOWARD:       If I WHAT--?!?
              HOWARD:       Come BACK here!  I demand an EXPLANATION--!
            
            
            (2)
            
            Low angle past Howard to Chirreep, as she enters the scene
            behind him.  Howard is whirling around to look at her, again
            startled half out of his wits.
            
              CHIRREEP:     It's useless, Howard.  Paper cup dispensers
                                don't talk.
              HOWARD:       =WAAAAGH!!=
              HOWARD:       Now, who-- OH!  It's the HALLUCINATION
                                again!
              CHIRREEP:     My name is Chirreep, Howard.  And we really
                                must talk.
            
            (3)
            
            Howard and Chirreep continue down the corridor.
            
              CHIRREEP:     You see...I'm RESPONSIBLE for your being
                                trapped in the rift...
              CHIRREEP:     ...and, inadvertently, for the destruction
                                of DUCKWORLD.
              HOWARD:       "Duckworld" again.
              HOWARD:       Lady, I've never HEARD of Duckworld!  Why
                                should I CARE who destroyed it?
            
            
            (4)
            
            Chirreep looks at him, stunned.  He looks at her as if she's
            completely out to lunch.
            
              CHIRREEP:     Because you BORN there!  Because your
                                parents-- Ronald and Henrietta-- LIVED
                                there!
              CHIRREEP:     Moon of noon-- the Howard I knew was never
                                THIS callous!
              HOWARD:       Then you must'a known a DIFFERENT Howard--
              HOWARD:       --'cause MY parents're named DAVE an' DOTTY!

            (5)
            
            Small panel.  Closeup on Chirreep.  Her eyes widen, as a
            sudden realization hits her.
            
              CHIRREEP:     Oh my stars and leotards!...then  Duck-
                                world...only existed in the SHADOW
                                MULTIVERSE...
              CHIRREEP:     It only became real...AFTER it appeared in
                                my MOVIE...!
              HOWARD:       (OFF-PANEL) Hah?
            
            
            (6)
            
            Holding Howard's hand tightly (he looks a little uncomfort-
            able about this), Chirreep tells him about the creation of
            the second multiverse.
            
              BLURB:        Breathlessly, the bird-woman explains the
                                functions, intended and otherwise, of
                                the Poporb and the Fictionator...
              BLURB:        ...and how the duck's dual existence in fact
                                and techno-fiction became NON-EXISTENCE
                                when the multiverses began to SEPARATE.
              HOWARD:       Y-you're tellin' me the ANGEL-- an' the
                                CATERPILLAR-- are FICTIONAL CHARACTERS?
              CHIRREEP:     YES--

                                        PAGE TWENTY-TWO
            
            (1)
            
            Howard and Chirreep approach a bank of elevators in the cor-

            ridor.
            
              CHIRREEP:     --and NO!
              CHIRREEP:     They BEGAN as fictional creations-- but they
                                BECAME REAL-- sort of like your PANTS!
              HOWARD:       I repeat: hah?
              CHIRREEP:     In my movies, an ANIMAL DECENCY committee
                                got upset because you were waddling
                                half-naked.
            
            
            (2)
            
            Behind How and Chirreep, the doors of an elevator are start-
            ing to open.  A shaft of light from the elevator stabs into
            the dark corridor.  They don't see it.  Chirreep is too in-
            volved with her story; How is too involved in his continuing
            skepticism.
            
              CHIRREEP:     They gave you a choice between trousers and
                                LYNCHING.  You went with the pants.
              HOWARD:       Who WOULDN'T...?
              CHIRREEP:     But, Howard, if Andy the Angel and Hemlock
                                Shoals-- and your pants-- have all taken
                                on some kind of reality--
            
            
            (3)
            
            Behind How and Chirreep, the door has opened a little more.
            We can see the menacing shapes of several figures in the el-
            evator.  Chirreep grows progressively more alarmed, Howard
            progressively more skeptical.
            
              CHIRREEP:     --that means --MY VILLAINS COULD HAVE, TOO!
              HOWARD:       Uh-huh.  What were THEY-- evil GYM SHORTS,
                                maybe?
            
            
            (4)
            
            LARGE PANEL: The door of the elevator is now completely
            open, revealing several of the villains-- KONG LOMERATE,
            MALLER, JACKPOT, AND GREEDY KILLERWATT-- ready to pounce.
            How and Chirreep turn to face them, and react with shock, as
            Kong Lomerate speaks.
           
              KONG:         Gentlemen, I had assumed my background in
                                BUSINESS would prove crucial to winning
                                this war.
              KONG:         But if these two represent the CALIBER of
                                our antagonists, I am ludicrously
                                OVERQUALIFIED.
              KONG:         Let us DISPENSE with subtlety and simply--
              KONG:         (BURST) --KILL THEM!!
            
            
            (5)
            
            NEXT-ISSUE BLURB: 3/4-inch strip across bottom of page.
            
              BLURB:        NEXT> POWER PLAYS!  BACK-STABBING!  CAREER
                                STRATEGIES!  RUG-PULLING!  DEATH!  NEW
                                CLOTHES!  MORE DEATH!  PLUS-- IN CASE
                                YOU MISSED IT IN 1974-- THE ORIGIN OF
                                HOWARD THE DUCK!  ALL IN THE ASTOUNDING
                                CONCLUSION OF "SECRET CRISIS II"--
                                
                                REALITY: ITS PREVENTION AND CURE!
                                
                                ((ABOVE TITLE LETTERING OPEN FOR COLOR))

Copyright 1985 by Steve Gerber                       Reprinted by permission

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