The latest issue of the Judge Dredd Megazine features the final part of FIENDS OF THE EASTERN FRONT: Stalingrad, written by me and illustrated by Colin MacNeil. Here's the script I wrote for the episode. You can have fun comparing and contrasting this with the published story, to see how Colin improved upon my suggestions. [Obviously, if you haven't seen the published episode yet, reading the script below may spoil the story for you!] Tomorrow, I'll publish the synopsis on which the Stalingrad story was based - it's amazing how much it changed in the telling...
FIENDS OF THE EASTERN FRONT: STALINGRAD #8 • Script: David Bishop • Art: Colin MacNeil • 6pp
1. A large panel, filling the left hand side of the page and depicting the Motherland statue that now stands atop the Mamayev Kurgan. February snow covers the hilltop but a few tourists are still climbing the steps up to the monumental statue. Leave room at the top for caption boxes, and at the foot of the page for the logo and credits.
FEBRUARY 2, 1968. ATOP THE MAMAYEV KURGAN STANDS THE MOTHERLAND, A MEMORIAL TO ALL THOSE WHO DIED FIGHTING FOR STALINGRAD.
SOME BELIEVE THE STATUE WILL COME ALIVE TO PROTECT US IF THE CITY’S EVER ATTACKED AGAIN.
TITLES: FIENDS OF THE EASTERN FRONT: STALINGRAD #8
2. The first of four landscape panels, stacked on the right hand side of the page. A lone figure stands in front of the statue, dwarfed by one of its massive feet. The figure is Mariya, wrapped up against the winter cold.
IT’S TWENTY-FIVE YEARS SINCE I CAME FACE TO FACE WITH EVIL AND SURVIVED.
3. Profile view of 46-year-old Mariya’s careworn face and greying hair. She’s looking right to left across the panel. Leave room for captions.
TWENTY-FIVE YEARS OF NIGHTMARES AND MEMORIES THAT REFUSE TO DIE…
4. Flashback to 1943. Profile view of 21-year-old Mariya’s young face and dark hair, inside the tent. She’s looking left to right across the panel.
FEBRUARY 2, 1943.
WAS CONSTANTA KILLED IN THE EXPLOSION?
5. Looking down past the microphone in the tent as Mariya demands answers from the blind Richter.
NOTHING HUMAN COULD SURVIVE THAT.
1. NKVD Lieutenant Kamyen listens to the interrogation via headphones in another tent nearby, as seen in Part One.
BUT CONSTANTA WASN’T HUMAN.
2. Back to Richter, pleading with Mariya. Leave room for dialogue.
EVEN IF HE DIED, THERE ARE MANY MORE LIKE HIM HELPING THE WEHRMACHT.
I KNOW THEIR SECRETS. IF THIS PRISONER EXCHANGE GOES AHEAD, I’M A DEAD MAN.
3. Mariya folds her arms, unconvinced.
HOW DO I KNOW YOU’RE NOT CONSTANTA? OUR ONLY DESCRIPTION OF HIM CAME FROM YOU.
4. Richter stands up, his chair tipped over, shouting at Mariya.
GOTTEN HIMMEL, WHY WOULD I LIE? I’M BEGGING FOR YOUR PROTECTION!
5. Richter holds out his arms, palms upwards, towards Mariya.
I’LL TAKE ANY TEST YOU CHOOSE TO PROVE I’M NOT VAMPYR, THAT I’M AS HUMAN AS YOU!
6. Mariya scowls in the foreground. Beyond Kamyen opens the tent flap.
[THE GERMANS ARE HERE FOR RICHTER.]*
* TRANSLATED FROM RUSSIAN.
1. Kamyen walks toward Richter, cocking a pistol. Mariya is surprised.
[WHAT ARE YOU DOING, LIEUTENANT?]
[GETTING THE ANSWERS YOU COULDN’T!]
2. Kamyen has pushed Richter to the ground and is pressing the pistol to the German soldier’s head.
WHAT HAPPENED TO THE GOLEM? TELL ME!
PLEASE… I DON’T KNOW…
3. Kamyen executes Richter with a bullet through the head.
4. Mariya approaches Kamyen, who has his smoking pistol in plain view.
[WHY EXECUTE HIM?]
[HE’S OF NO FURTHER USE – ALIVE.]
5. Mariya protests at the lieutenant’s action.
[BUT HIS TESTIMONY ABOUT CONSTANTA, ABOUT VAMPYR HELPING THE ENEMY--]
[NAZI PROPAGANDA, DESIGNED TO CREATE FEAR AND CONFUSION.]
6. Kamyen crouches by Richter, ripping away the dead man’s ID disc.
[I COULDN’T LET HIM SPREAD ANY MORE LIES.]
1. Looking down past Mariya to the kneeling Kamyen by Richter’s body.
[YOU DIDN’T BELIEVE RICHTER, DID YOU?]
2. Looking up past the pistol in Kamyen’s hand to a fearful Mariya.
[N-NO, OF COURSE NOT...]
3. Kamyen looms over Mariya while pointing at Richter. Her Star of David emblem has escaped from inside her uniform and rests on her chest.
[GET HIS UNIFORM OFF – QUICKLY!]
4. Kamyen brandishes a letter while Mariya strips the corpse.
[THIS IS A LETTER FROM STALIN, AUTHORISING ANY AND ALL ACTIONS I CONSIDER NECESSARY FOR MY MISSION.]
5. Kamyen removes his cap.
[YOU WILL FORGET EVERYTHING YOU’VE HEARD ABOUT CONSTANTA, VAMPYR AND THE GOLEM.]
6. Kamyen removes his glasses.
[LIEUTENANT KAMYEN IS NO MORE. YOU’LL DENY MEETING HIM. HE NEVER EXISTED.]
1. Mariya escorts Kamyen to the front passenger door of the German car. He’s now dressed in Richter’s uniform, but isn’t wearing the bandages.
“FROM TODAY, I’M PANZERGRENADIER RICHTER.”
2. Kamyen’s in the front passenger seat, his tinted window halfway down. The driver has a vampyr cap badge. Mariya stands by car window.
[REMEMBER YOUR ORDERS, AND BE GRATEFUL FOR THAT EMBLEM YOU WEAR.]
3. Kamyen peels the skin away from his face, as if it’s a mask.
[FEW OF MY ENEMIES SURVIVE A MEETING WITH…]
4. Big picture for this twist: Kamyen was Constanta all along!
[…CONSTANTA, LORD OF THE VAMPYR!]
5. A shocked Mariya clutches her Star of David as Constanta’s car goes.
1. A mirror image of this episode’s first page, with four landscape panels down the left and a big picture down the right to finish the story. The first landscape panel depicts 46-year-old Mariya in 1968, standing in the February snow, looking down at the Star of David in her hand.
THE STAR OF DAVID SAVED ME. IRONIC, SINCE IT COST SO MANY THEIR LIVES DURING THE WAR.
2. Mariya looks up at the statue towering over her, the sun peering briefly through the clouds above the statue. Leave room for captions.
I DISCOVERED THE REAL LIEUTENANT’S SKINNED CORPSE AFTER CONSTANTA HAD GONE.
THE VAMPYR HAD WORN KAMYEN’S FACE LIKE A MASK, TO PROTECT HIMSELF FROM THE SUN.
3. Cut to 1943 as Mariya searches the rubble inside the shattered bunker.
IT WAS ANOTHER WEEK BEFORE I FOUND WHERE THE GOLEM WAS CREATED.
4. Mariya holds up a tangled cradle of metal rods, the Star of David just discernible in their shape, the golem’s heart still protected inside them.
ITS BODY HAD BEEN DESTROYED, BUT THE HEART WAS STILL SAFE – READY TO BRING ANOTHER GOLEM TO LIFE, IF MY PEOPLE EVER NEEDED IT.
I KEPT THE HEART SAFE FOR MORE THAN TWENTY YEARS, BUT NOW IT HAS A NEW HOME.
5. A large panel, filling the right hand side of the page. A smiling Mariya walks down the steps set into the Mamayev Kurgan. Behind her the Motherland statue a white silhouette against dark winter clouds. The caption boxes should be at the foot of this panel, in line with Panel 4.
SOME BELIEVE THE STATUE ATOP THE MAMAYEV KURGAN WILL COME ALIVE TO PROTECT US IF THE CITY’S EVER ATTACKED AGAIN.
I DON’T NEED TO BELIEVE – I KNOW IT’S TRUE.