Twilight’s Last Gleaming

(R: Violent Satire) Blade kills Twilight, bringing a sparkling franchise to a bloody conclusion.

Story Notes

I've never read a word or seen a minute of The Twilight Saga. From sheer media saturation, I think Stephanie Meyer's vampires are much more "in touch with their feelings" than Bram Stoker's Dracula. During a drunken party conversation in 2009, my friends and I thought it'd be funny if Blade took a break from his own movies to kill everyone on Twilight.

Update! Art now enhanced with DuoShade-inspired tones. Check out the technical and historical details.

I developed this joke into an actual story in June and July of 2012. The first draft had Blade killing the Twilight characters and other famous vampires, then getting away before the FBI could arrest lead actor Wesley Snipes for his real-life tax convictions. There were too many tangents to keep track of, but the clash of fictional characters and Hollywood reality created some humor.

I suffered for my art by watching Twilight in July 2012. My God it was worse than I imagined, horrible even for its intended audience of 13-year-old girls longing for the mystery of sex. This did, however, make the opening fight scene of Blade much more enjoyable. Thanks to the Boston Comics Roundtable for workshopping my script and providing inside Twilight Saga gossip I would have missed. Extra thanks to professional comics writer Chris Roberson for talking me out of bad word balloon placement.

Like "Window of Opportunity" and "Six-Year-Old Horse Thief", the original art is 12 x 18 inches (matching the most popular working size of Golden Age and Silver Age comics). My style for this story is heavily influenced by Wally Wood's EC Stories Artist's Edition. The hand lettering size matches the Silver Age work of my idol Artie Simek. Other tools include:

Tools and Materials

  • 12" x 18" live area on Strathmore 500 bristol paper
  • Speedball Super Black India Ink
  • Short-handle round #4 sable brush
  • Ruling pen (borders)
  • Speedball nib #512 (straight lines, details)
  • Speedball C6 and B5 (lettering)
  • Ames Lettering Guide (4.0 even-spaced calibration)
  • Adobe Photoshop CS5 (production, DuoShade tones)

David Marshall

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PS: In case you've wondered how tightly I script a story, even I'm the artist:

Page One (2 panels)

Panel 1

Interior of an old-fashioned diner, about 3:00 am. The diner is packed with truckers, ambulance drivers, after-hours bar crowd. A lot of them are vampires. BELLA SWAN and EDWARD CULLEN sit at the counter, having drinks.

Credit

Twilight’s Last Gleaming
A bloody conclusion by David Marshall (©2012 Rotten Kid Press)

BELLA SWAN

This place is FANTASTIC. Though it'd be DEAD at three in the morning.

EDWARD CULLEN

More like undead. Listen, about EARLIER tonight...

Panel 2

Medium shot of counter from the cook's point-of-view. Our prime characters face us, on the left-side of the panel. The booths are in the background, full of vampires.

EDWARD CULLEN (whispering, holding her hand)

In over a hundred years, I've NEVER ... you poor, innocent thing. I couldn't STOP myself.

BELLA SWAN

I GOADED you, dummy. There's a BENEFIT to you not being able to read my mind.

EDWARD CULLEN

Why would you WANT me to...?

BELLA SWAN

Our marriage got …PREDICTABLE lately. I'm still young and NEED CRAZY.

Page Two (3 panels)

Panel 1

Big panel, taking up entire top half of page. Bird's eye view of diner. Silhouette of BLADE on rafters, looking down on the diner. BELLA SWAN or EDWARD CULLEN continue their conversation.

EDWARD CULLEN

Being married to a VAMPIRE'S not crazy enough anymore? You could've TOLD ME what you …oh, right.

BELLA SWAN

(heart sign)

EDWARD CULLEN (quite laughter)

I could have KILLED you, Bella.

Panel 2

Closeup of BELLA SWAN and EDWARD CULLEN continuing their conversation.

BELLA SWAN

AGAIN? Heaven forbid!

Why do you think I left those BETTIE PAGE pictures on your computer?

EDWARD CULLEN

I thought those were ROSALIE'S!

Panel 3

BLADE jumps from rafters on a bungee cord, vertically slicing SOOKIE THE WAITRESS in half as he lands. BELLA SWAN or EDWARD CULLEN are in the background.

BELLA SWAN

So you DID look. My ass is still on FIRE--

Page Three (3 panels)

Panel 1

Close up, bird's eye view of BLADE'S feet, with fatally wounded SOOKIE THE WAITRESS writhing in shock in the puddle of her own blood.

CUSTOMER 1

My God, did that really…?

CUSTOMER 2

Holy Christ!

CUSTOMER 3

Is she…?

Panel 2

Medium shot of BLADE posing, holding his bloody sword, looking cool. He's against the wall. His back is turned to us, silhouette style, showing the terrified and confused crowd facing us in the background.

BLADE

You know who I am.

You know why I'm here.

Panel 3

Close up of BLADE with an evil smile.

BLADE

Bloodsuckers.

Page Four (4 panels)

Panel 1 (first of top row)

Close up of BLADE shooting Uzi at us in one hand, getting is boomerang out wit the other. Behind is BELLA SWAN/KRISTEN STEWART and EDWARD CULLEN/ROBERT PATTISON cowering by the counter.

BELLA SWAN/KRISTEN STEWART

What's he DOING here?

EDWARD CULLEN/ROBERT PATTISON

I don't KNOW!

Panel 2 (second of top row)

Closeup of BLADE's boomerange beheading BELLA SWAN/KRISTEN STEWART. Her facial expression doesn't change.

EDWARD CULLEN/ROBERT PATTISON

Dude--

SFX

CHOP!

Panel 3 (wide panel)

BLADE stabs EDWARD CULLEN/ROBERT PATTISON through the heart, lifing him off his feet Elektra style.

EDWARD CULLEN/ROBERT PATTISON

Dude, I think you're on the WRONG--

AAAAKKKK!!

Panel 4 (wide panel, half of page height)

Camera pulled back to reveal the diner is just a set in a large film stage. We see cameras, editing stations, equipment and caterer. Wires, ladders, stage hands. Everyone flees in terror as BLADE kills the COOK behind the counter. One uses his iPhone to post a video while calling 911. STEPHANIE MEYER is in the background, weeping hysterically holding EDWARD CULLEN/ROBERT PATTISON's body.

STEPHANIE MEYER

EDWARD!

EDWARD CULLEN/ROBERT PATTISON (dying breath)

My name is ROBERT, you crazy...

PAGE FIVE (5 panels)

Panel 1

People push on the door open to escape, but the doors won't open.

WILLIAM MARSHALL

Open the goddamn door!

TAYLOR LAUTNER

I'm trying, you idiot! It's chained up from outside! He must've locked 'em all ahead of time.

Panel 2

Outside shot of this door, handles chained shut with a Kryptonite lock. Doors open, but not wide enough for escape. Show a dead security guard by the door.

WILLIAM MARSHALL

Don't PANIC. Everybody push on ONE! Three, two…

Panel 3

BLADE stabs WILLIAM MARSHALL through the back of his head, sword coming out through his open mouth.

WILLIAM MARSHALL

…ONE--AUURKK!!

Panel 4

BLADE stabs TAYLOR LAUTNER.

TAYLOR LAUTNER

Wait! I don't even PLAY a vampire--

--krrk...

SFX

CHOK!

Panel 5

Wide panel on the bottom. Medium shot of BLADE from behind, hacking up the door people.

DEATH NOISES

Screams and/or sound effects

SFX

SPLRT!

TAYLOR LAUTNER (dying breath)

...my character is a werewolf... gahgg

Page Six (3 panels)

Panel 1

BLADE shooting security guards with one hand, grabbing a computer power cord with the other.

DEATH NOISES

Screams and/or sound effects

Panel 2

BLADE kills STEPHANIE MEYER with the power cord, while using the rest of his bullets on stage hands.

DEATH NOISES

Screams and/or sound effects

Panel 3

BLADE kills the last stage hand by stabbing him with a boom mike stand. Dying victim shoots video to the police with his cell phone.

DEATH NOISES

Screams and/or sound effects

Page Seven (3 panels)

Panel 1

Blade killing the caterers

DEATH NOISES

Screams and/or sound effects

Panel 2

Closeup of BLADE in action, still strangling the last caterer off-panel.

DETECTIVE (off-panel)

This is the police! You're completely surrounded!

FINAL VICTIM

Gahh... Gaahgg...

Panel 3

Wide panel, bottom half of page. Long distance shot of studio from the outside. Police surround the building. DETECTIVE has the bullhorn.

DETECTIVE

You've got 30 seconds to come out with your hands up! 29..., 28...

Page Eight (1 panel)

Panel 1

Single panel shot of movie set, with equipment, blood and bodies everywhere. BLADE is closest to us, standing by the diner counter where our story began (lower left). He's panting. In the background (upper right), the cops kick down the door.

POLICE

...ZERO!

Page Nine (5 panels)

Panel 1

BLADE up against the wall, surrounded by at least a dozen cops, about to fight his way through them.

DETECTIVE (Calm)

Hands over your head. It's over.

BLADE

Motherfucker, you out yo' goddamn MIND?

OFFICER (thought)

ONE GUY did all this?

Panel 2

BLADE gets tasered as he attacks the police.

POLICE

Have it your way, asshole. HIT HIM.

BLADE

YEEAARRGH!!!

Panel 3

Closeup of BLADE hitting the floor face-first.

BLADE

Uggghhh…!

Panel 4

Closeup of BLADE getting cuffed.

OFFICER

Can't blame him for snapping. Those movies ARE unwatchable.

SFX (handcuffs put on BLADE)

Snap!

Panel 5

Wide panel. BLADE is hauled off by two officers in the background. In the foreground, DETECTIVE organizes the operation. Officers look for survivors, EMTs tend the wounded. Daylight comes in through the now-opened doors.

DETECTIVE

We don't get to chose which laws to enforce. From mass murder to tax evasion, CRIME DOES NOT PAY.

OFFICER

Those weren't REAL vampires.

BLADE

I know.

CAPTION

The End

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