ISSUE #1: REBIRTH
Panel 1: The comic begins with a close up of Ricardo’s eyes, closed like he’s sleeping. Black Text Box: There are over a thousand stories here in the state of Tennessee. Sound effect: KPOW!
Panel 2: His closed eyes squint a little, as if he’s having a nightmare. Black Text Box: This is one of them. Green Text Box: Ricky! Are you ok? White Text Box: I’m fine. Just fine. Zim, don’t tell anyone about this, ok? Sound effect: Kriik.
Panel 3: His eyes are soon closed harder than ever, along with some sweat coming out of him. Green Text Box: RICKY! BEHIND YOU! Sound effect: KHRAAAASH! White Text Box: AAAAAAAAHHHHH!
Panel 4: Ricky gasps awake and his eyes soon open, wide from fear. His face covered in sweat.
Full-Page Panel: Ricky is in a hospital bed, dressed in a bright blue gown and in his white boxer briefs. Beside him is a heart monitor and a vase with flowers. On the other side, there is an open window and an IV with a tube that goes to the needle in his hand.
Panel 1: He gets up and removes the IV tube, then he starts to look around.
Panel 2: Ricky struggles onto his side and grabs a walking stick, trying to get out of bed. He’s still heavily bandaged around his midsection.
Panel 3: He tries getting up by using the walking stick but he topples over and onto the floor.
Panel 4: A shot of Ricky on the floor, looking at us. Ricky: NURSE!
Panel 5: His eyes are now locked on the open bathroom door.
Panel 6: He opens the door to the bathroom still tearing sensors off.
Panel 1: Ricky stops for a moment and notices a mirror.
Panel 2: Ricky looks in the mirror and sees he has the face and skin color of an Irken.
Panel 3: Our view is taken to his POV. His eyes begin to twitch a little.
Panel 4: He then turns on the faucet and drinks greedily directly from it.
Panel 1: Ricky pulls his door open and pushes a gurney out of his way. The hall is deserted and littered with papers. The few lights are flickering.
Panel 2: He stumbles down through the corridor in his bare feet and hospital gown.
Panel 3: He sees a telephone on the middle of the counter. It is white and has a cord coming from the wall.
Panel 4: Ricky up the phone but there is no dial tone.
Panel 5: He fumbles across the hallway and the nurse’s desk.
Panel 1: Down past the nurse’s desk a bright light flickers and buzzes. Ricky stumbles toward it. The light is coming through the windows of a double set of doors, but there is a wooden plank on the handles.
Panel 2: He removes the plank from the handles. Ricky Text Bubble: What happened here?
Panel 3: Ricky grabs the handles and opens the doors.
Panel 4: Our view takes us to behind the open doors. We then see Ricky’s face in a bit of shock.
Panel 1: We are then in Ricky’s POV as he sees the hospital cafeteria already raided by two Irken Elites. He sees them at a bonfire looking at him.
Panel 2: He backs away a little, his face still in shock.
Panel 3: One of the Elites grabs a sword and points it at him. Irken Elite 1: Get him!
Panel 1: The Elites chase Ricky through the corridor as he looks at them. Ricky: STOP! GET AWAY!
Panel 2: He gets near an exit door to a staircase as the Elites close in on him. Ricky: CAN’T YOU UNDERSTAND?
Panel 3: One of the Elites grabs him and opens the door to the staircase. Sound effect FWUMP!
Panel 4: The two tumble down the stairs all the way to the second floor. Sound Effect: WHUMP 3x
Panel 5: One of the stairs snaps the Irken Elite’s neck.
Panel 6: Ricky looks at the Elite’s corpse and grabs his gun. Irken Elite 2: KINO!
Panel 7: He then runs to the ground floor door as one of the Elites talks through a wrist communicator. Irken Elite 2: Pholis to Xacto. One of my own crewmates is down. I repeat. One of my own crewmates is down.
Panel 1: Ricky soon finds the hospital entrance.
Panel 2: He opens the main entrance door to blinding daylight.
Panel 3: He continues down the back stairs of a loading dock, his face confused at what’s happened since he was in a coma.
Panel 4: He has to walk past dozens of shrouded corpses that have been lined up in rows across the parking area. Many show gunshot wounds to the head. Flies are buzzing all around them.
Panel 5: Ricky still stumbles horrified through to the grass where he climbs to another parking area. Hummers are parked among military tents. Several ammo cans and barrels still lie in place near a 7th Cavalry helicopter, crates and shrouded heaps of even more supplies. But even here he can’t escape death. Shrouded bodies lie nearby. Behind the camp and back down the hill, the front of the hospital show fire damage. Ricky doesn’t stop.
Panel 1: Ricky soon finds a black Mitsubishi motorcycle, and it’s full of fuel.
Panel 2: He lifts it up, puts the gun in its trunk, and gets on the motorcycle.
Panel 3: He drives down TN-371 Highway straight to I-40 in the city of Knoxville. All the outbound lanes are lined with abandoned cars.
Panel 4: Ricky stops the motorcycle and he sees us in fear and astonishment.
Full-2-Page Panel: On I-40 Highway, he sees the city of Knoxville, now under control by the Irken Armada. There are Voot Cruisers with searchlights in the air and Armada flags on some of the buildings. There is fire on two buildings. Ricky: What the fuck happened?
Panel 1: Ricky has made it to a neighborhood street. the streets become littered with trash, wrecked cars, abandoned cars, and even a helicopter left in the middle of the street.
Panel 2: He gets off to search for his house.
Panel 3: He somehow spots a red headband.
Panel 4: In the grass nearby is what’s left of an Irken-infected corpse. Its tail bone and entrails hang down where its legs should be.
Panel 5: As he picks up the headband and continues his search, the corpse takes a breath.
Panel 6: Ricky falls to the ground, scared and startled. It reaches for him but only inches along.
Panel 7: He quickly gets on the bike and unsteadily rides off.
Panel 1: After a time he brakes the bike, looks at his house, and jumps off the motorbike.
Panel 2: Ricky stumbles up the front steps and through the open front door of his house.
Panel 3: He goes into the entrance of the house and looks in the living room.
Panel 4: He then looks in the kitchen and dining room.
Panel 5: Ricky then sits down in his bedroom. Ricky: Nothing.
Panel 1: Ricky soon looks at his closet door.
Panel 2: He opens the door to reveal a navy green coat with spikes on the shoulder pads. There’s also golden rocket boots, a backpack with hover jets, a photon rifle, a futuristic pistol, and a laser knife.
Panel 3: Ricky comes out of the house equipped with the items from the closet.
Panel 4: A figure grabs a shovel from behind him.
Panel 1: Someone hits a shovel on the back of his head. Sound effect: KLAAANG!
Panel 2: Lori, A woman in a plaid shirt and with long hair, is seen as he falls in front of her. Lori: RICK!
Panel 3: Rick, a man in a police jacket, comes up to her. Rick Grimes: Jesus, shit! Lori, what did you do? Lori: He was gonna try to kill us. I’m gonna smack him dead!
Panel 4: He lets his guard down. Rick: No, he’s not one of them. He’s different. Help me get him inside.
Panel 1: Ricky lies on a couch, still knocked out from the blow. Shane: Got that bandage changed now. It was pretty rank. What was his wound? Rick Grimes: Gunshot.
Panel 2: Ricky soon awakens from the knockout. Shane: Gunshot? Anything else? Ricky: Whatzit?
Panel 3: He sees Rick holding spaghetti at the dinner room. In the room, there is a boy in a cowboy hat. Rick Grimes: Oh, you’re awake. We were just getting ready to have dinner. Care to join us? Ricky: Sure, but what’s going on?
Panel 4: Ricky enters the dining room. There are other people in the room such as a police officer in a cap, Lori, and the boy in the hat. Rick Grimes: Oh, sorry about my wife. She hit you on the head with a shovel. Ricky: Huh? What are you talking about? Rick Grimes: She thought you were one of those… soldiers.
Panel 5: Ricky gets confused. Ricky: “Soldiers?” You mean those assholes who were chasing me at the hospital? Who are you people? What the fuck’s going on?
Panel 6: Rick calms him down. Rick Grimes: Whoa, whoa, calm down there, buddy. This was all just a misunderstanding. We didn’t mean nothing.
Panel 7: Ricky becomes more subtle. Ricky: Then how did it happen? What went wrong?
Panel 8: Rick soon grabs a TV remote.
Panel 1: Rick turns on a flatscreen TV to reveal an image of Irken soldiers shooting at the police, military, etc.
Panel 2: We cut to a shot of Ricky’s eyes as he watches parts of buildings explode, Irken Elites taking people to death camps, and the Armada symbol spray-painted on the American Flag.
Panel 3: Cut to a side shot of Ricky’s face as Rick looks at him. Rick Grimes: Get the picture now?
Panel 1: Ricky then sits back down. Ricky: Jesus, maybe this is what Zim was trying to tell me, wasn’t it?
Panel 2: Rick looks at him. Rick Grimes: If you’re mentioning that little green fellow responsible for this shit, then yes.
Panel 3: He gets up. Ricky: I suppose you’re right. Besides, I need to stop him. I’m gonna need a radio or something to get some help, if that’s ok with you.
Panel 4: Rick grabs the car keys. Rick Grimes: Well lucky for you, we were just about ready to get supplies. Want to go shopping?
Panel 1: A silver SUV parks outside East Town Mall. In the parking lot outside, there are a few military trucks and a police watchtower.
Panel 2: Ricky, Shane, and the Grimes family exit the vehicle and walk to the mall entrance. Ricky: So, you’re both cops? Shane: Yep. Ricky: Huh, I figured you for a hunter.
Panel 3: Shane looks at him. Shane: Figures. After all, you did go through hell with that bastard Zim responsible for this.
Panel 4: They head to the entrance doors. Ricky: I appreciate that. Y’know, I don’t think I got your name.
Panel 1: Rick and Ricky shake hands. Rick Grimes: Rick… Officer Rick Grimes at your service. And you? Ricky: Ricardo. Ricky Ricardo.
Panel 2: We cut to a shot of Shane with Rick’s wife and son. Rick Grimes: This here is Shane Walsh, along with my wife, Lori, and my son, Carl.
Panel 3: They enter the mall and head to the storage closet. Ricky: You’re a good man, Rick. I really appreciate you driving me out here. You helped me out a lot. Rick Grimes: It’s worth it just to get to talk to someone. If it ain’t about sports or women, that’s something Shane talks about.
Panel 1: Ricky then smiles. Ricky: Heh.
Panel 2: He starts to frown a bit.
Panel 3: He looks down. Ricky: Damn. After everything I’ve seen today, I feel guilty for laughing.
Panel 4: Rick puts his hand on Ricky’s shoulder while he sets his backpack down on a table. Rick Grimes: Hey, it’s ok. You’ve seen some crazy shit out there. We all have. You can’t let it get to you. You just gotta keep going.
Panel 5: Ricky grabs a cyber pistol from the side pocket. Ricky: Yea.
Panel 6: Rick notices the cyber pistol. Rick Grimes: What’s up with that? Ricky: Oh, this? I figured I might as well bring it along, just in case.
Panel 1: Rick leads him to the indoor parking lot. Rick Grimes: Speaking of which, follow me.
Panel 2: They all enter an indoor parking lot. It is full of cars, trucks, SUVs, and an RV. Rick Grimes: Some people came here along with the army to hide here, like some sort of a safety camp, until the Irkens came here to capture them all and put them in death camps or worse, experimentation. You take the RV on the left. It might run good, but it’s better than that shitty Mitsubishi you were driving.
Panel 3: Rick gives Ricky a radio with a walkie talkie. Rick Grimes: You’ll be safer with one of these if you need to find others. Ricky: Thanks. Well I gotta-
Panel 4: They notice a familiar noise. Sound Effect: Clink. Ricky: What was that?
Panel 1: An Irken-infected businessman in a suit and tie clings onto the parking lot gate. It growls and snarls for a bit.
Panel 2: Ricky gets scared and reaches for his pistol.
Panel 3: The businessman then roars at him.
Panel 4: He aims the pistol at it, but Rick stops him. Rick Grimes: No!
Panel 1: He lowers Ricky’s gun. Rick Grimes: Leave it be. It can’t get to us in here. Besides, you may need that later.
Panel 2: Ricky puts the gun back in his backpack. Ricky: Yeah, you’re right. We better get out before it makes it way around the gate.
Panel 3: He gets in the RV. Ricky: Guess I’ll see you around? After all… We’re neighbors now. Rick Grimes: Sure. Hope you find whatever you’re looking for. Carl Grimes: Be safe!
Panel 4: Ricky then drives out of the parking lot and into the highway. Rick soon heads back to the mall to find food and guns.
Panel 1: The RV makes its way back to the street Ricky came from. He pulls up at his house to get something.
Panel 2: He enters his mom’s bedroom and turns the light on. Black Text Box: And so begins our hero’s journey on the road to survival.
Panel 3: He finds a picture frame of his human self with his mom covered in dust. Black Text Box: He has the tools, a vehicle, his weapons, the provisions and the fortitude.
Panel 4: Ricky takes the picture out of the frame. Black Text Box: Now he needs a way to stop a threat from ever becoming a reality.
Panel 5: He puts the picture in his coat pocket. Black Text Box: But to do so, he will need allies.
Panel 6: The RV soon leaves his house and back into the highway. Black Text Box: As for us, we must wait for tomorrow. Yellow Text Box: To Be Continued.
END OF ISSUE 1