A STARLIGHT Yarn: I might know a little something

8 Nov

Starlight DukeMcQueen

I started writing this as a sample script for the Millarworld writer comp. That’s where this started. Then it became something else when I realized I’d misread the submission entry. Typical me, I tell ya.  I was supposed to be writing about Starlight’s young Duke McQueen. But I’d already started, was too in love with the exploits of old Duke to stop telling this story (young Duke’ll get his shot later.) I had to finish it.

And ‘it’ was borne of my interest in old Duke’s genesis; a mix of Flash Gordon and Clint’s Walt Kowlaski from Gran Tourino. In the latter Walt started off a backwards, bigoted curmudgeon. He’s a xenophobe with fond memories of yesteryear. He hates what’s become of his neighborhood and he hates the invading immigrants he feels have taken over. But through a period of enlightenment and kindness Walt ends the movie having a new found appreciation for the Hmong people and their culture, despite his initial misgivings. He becomes a guardian of it, adding what he can in his own tough, practical way.

Now I thought, what would Duke McQueen, a man of Walt’s ‘can do’ generation, think of the current race riots in America? He comes from the American golden age. Same as Walt, Duke quite likely votes Republican. He believes in hard work, grit, truth, honesty and sticking up for whats right. But culture clashes aren’t always black and white. Entrenched values and bigotries interfere in what should be straight up moral crises. They get in the way of doing the right thing.

So what would Duke think? What would he do? And what would black America think of Duke? An interfering old white guy. When it comes down to it, what really matters when humans need each others help? It ain’t color or culture or pride. It’s something far more fundamental. Far more beautiful. Mark Millar seems to capture this. It’s his thing. I tried my spin on it here.

That’s what this stories about. That and intergalactic bounty hunters.

Hope you enjoy – Mark

Mark McCann

24 Deramore Ave
Ormeau Road,


P1 EXT: A black, aqualine ship – the Shark Hook – hurtles through the cosmos – the Milky Way galaxy in the distance.

Deep space, 30 pico-minutes – Milky Way trajectory

How long? This is a diversion from the real credits.

That’s not what this is. This is honoring a glorious bargain, Grada.

P2 INT: Inside a huge, bestial humanoid un-shelfs a futuristic rifle from a rack in a lit chamber to the rear of the cockpit. In the cockpit, a lean dark shape half illuminated by the monitors in front hunches.

A good reputation hinges on kept deals. The Kingfisher might have fallen, but we took the contract. It’s paid for.

You and your codes Senitok. Waste of time if you ask me. The Kingfishers gone. We could just keep the spoils. Easy creds.

P3 INT: Senitok’s boney talon points at a picture of young Duke McQueen along with his stats on the holo panel.

Not so easy, I don’t think. We’ll take McQueen. By surprise. Honor the bargain. Win the glory.

Humph. We wrap quick. McQueen is small fry. The real currency is elsewhere. Back there.


P4 EXT: The ships rear – hyper drive flaring as it jets towards earth.


Currency is false glory, Grada. When will you learn the true value of hunting …

P5 EXT: Close up of Earth – focus on the US

… Is the prey



P1 Int: Duke McQueen works underneath his 1970 Dodge Camaro in a pair of oily overalls. His garage is stocked with tools – radio playing on a shelf – an older police officer – Ray Fernandez leans against the open garage shutter door. His squad car sits on the pavement outside.


Now KMZ News at 12. Breaking …

You got her working yet Duke?

Not hardly. AC heating systems busted. I got a new one ordered at the garage. Damn expensive too.


P2 Int: Close on the radio


The latest protests sparked by the shooting of local man Xavier Thompson in Downtown … have resulted in clashes between police and protesters. 4 Police officers were injured with over 20 arrests. The numbers are still coming in …


P3 Int: Duke from the rear – stood up from under his car – Fernandez still leaning – behind him 3 African American teens stroll past on the pavement.


More riots. Seems like all over the country now.

Goddamn savagery. Playing the victim and then listen to that, four officers hurt.

Not sure it’s that simple Ray.


P4 Ext: Fernandez calls over his shoulder to the 3 passing teens (Tyrese, James, Holland.) They look on aggrieved. Duke wipes his hands in the background, hard faced.


Sure it is. That’s right, keep walking.

Excuse me?

P5 Int: Duke looks on, stern and intense, hands pressed to his cars bonnet as Fernandez waves and walks to his car.

Gotta go Duke. Keep on trucking.

… yeah.

P1 Ext: Downtown – Duke pulls his 1970 Wagon Queen Truckster into the lot of Big Glenn’s Auto.


Downtown, 30 pico seconds – U.S. Earth trajectory.

Republican Candidate Oswald Jenner’s called the riots ‘animalistic’ while the reverend Jackson called for calm amidst …

P2 Int: Duke looks out his windscreen as he pulls into Glenn’s, the 3 teens from earlier stride in front of the car, looking in. Scowling.


In other news

P3 Int: same panel lay out – directly behind the teens, spinning to look – the Shark Hook swings into view – obliterating half of Glenn’s store in the curve and a third of the parked cars in the yard.

Sam Hill!


P4 Ext: splash panel – the Shark Hook overlooking Duke’s car – now swung sideways – all four teens crouched behind it as Duke Exit’s on their side. Forward guns unload laser shots on auto-pilot racking up destruction as Grada and Senitok exit by a side port on hover disc’s.


Get down old man.
In a second. First I gotta know something.


P5 Ext: the teens, pensive along the side of Dukes Wagon Queen. Duke towers.


Do you boys know how to fight?

Thought you was a racist?


P1 Ext: Duke gives Tyrese a hand up – both smiling – as shots bounce off his car.


Thought you was a punk. Guess we were both wrong. Can you fight or what?

Tsk. Yeah, well. I might know a little something.


P2 Ext: James grab Grada’s ankles as he passes over them firing shots wild with his laser rifle – Holland punches him in the groin, doubling him over.


Guess they don’t play dirty where you come from, huh?

And they complaining about immigration at the border.


P3 Ext: Senitok corners Duke – fists up – Senitok wielding a laser lash catches Duke’s left arm in a tight loop.

You’re an old debt McQueen. I’ll wear your death as glory.

How about I wear your face like a glove. Now kid!

P4 Ext: Tyrese tackles Senitok’s legs and Duke slugs him hard in the kisser as he descends.


I don’t know what you are, man. But earth got enough problems.

Good thing we got a pair’a problem solvers, right here.


P5 Ext: Tyrese, the other teens to his side, look on smiling as Duke load’s the unconscious merc’s into their ship.

You coming back old man? Just when I was starting to like you.

Don’t worry kid. I ain’t done with you yet. You showed me something today. So we’ll be seeing each other.



P1 Ext: Aerial view as the Shark Hook takes off from the street below – leaving dots behind


You showed me you can fight a good cause.


P2 Ext: same panel – crowds fill the street – one half police – the other protesters.


This is KMZ News and Reports are in that a fresh swathe of protests have hit downtown … after 5 black teenagers we’re hospitalized in a showdown with police …


P3 Ext: Tyrese and his friends nose to nose with the heavily armed riot police. Pensive. A hooded figure hangs to their rear. Tension builds.


Get ready, yo. I don’t think these five’oh are playing.

Go down fighting, homie.

Got that straight. Ain’t no backing down from the blues

Batter up punks.

P4 Ext: Front on – same panel composition – the hooded figure unveils himself – it’s Duke McQueen.

Holy …

Looks like you boys went and picked a fight against impossible odds. Maybe I can be the one to help you out this time.


P5 Ext: Duke lean’s in – a hard smile playing – the boys cheering to his sides. Tapping the riot shield of one of the front line cops – who lifting his visor reveals a shocked Ray Fernandez.

Stick with me boys. I might know a little something.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: