Butterfly - Your Next Best Comic Character To Develop For Film

A dull drive through the desert becomes a life story for our fictional Tinseltown developer. Part of the 5M Projects. Written by Rogue Saint.

    It is fairly well known that the deserts blanket a healthy portion of the Golden State and surrounding areas. Unless you're flying, you are more than likely to go through the ocean of sands to reach another continental point. I've passed through the desert many times, but this particular one was the one to remember. It happened last year when a coincidence put me on the road again. A trip through the sea of sand doesn't reek of fun, especially if you choose to drive at night. Experience has taught me that there isn't a better way to lighten up a boring night trip than ’80s glam metal. Naturally, the playlist on my radio included the heavyweights of that era. It all started with Dokken's "Dream Warriors”...

    "I lie awake and dread the lonely nights
    I'm not alone
    I wonder if these heavy eyes
    Can face the unknown
    When I close my eyes, I realize
    You'll come my way..."

    Suddenly, my mirrors were set ablaze with lights coming from behind. The engines, soaring in decibels, shook the desert out of its sleep. When they approached me, I realized these were not ordinary cars. They were mutant vehicles, right out of your favorite dystopian action flick. Before I could process the seriousness of my position, two of the mutant cars had flanked my vehicle. Heads start popping out of the cars' frames, Johnny Rotten wannabes with piercings stapled across their faces.

    Their voices, supercharged on hallucinogens, stifled the song from my radio before a flame thrower lit the road in front of me and branded the hood of my car with a nasty roast. With a spike of adrenaline and a strong will for preservation, I managed to keep the car on the road at first. Then, a toothless bobblehead from my left side pulled out a primitive crossbow. The swishing sound of a quarrel made an eerie intro to a BANG. My front tire blew, launching the car into a few violent flips before it came to a hard stop.

    After a brief stint in the world of the unconscious, I woke up with a mouth full of sand. I never thought I'd say this, but sand never tasted better. The rabid pack had already circled my demolished vehicle and pulled me into the open. They fastened a face mask on me and tied me to a pole sticking up from one of their trucks. The following ride was unpleasant but short as we entered some sort of camp. After a few rounds in the middle of the camp in front of dozens, maybe hundreds of attendees, the entire motorcade stopped. The crowd dispersed at the command of a young woman dressed in the same cataclysmic outfit and hairdo. An ogre-like follower of hers approached me.
    "You talk to a Femperor only on her request. Understand?"

    The ogre didn't even wait for my response, but ran and cleared the way for the young woman to step close to me. She took my mask off.
    "A Femperor?" I asked, breaking the rule from the get go. She responded nicely and, quite frankly, puzzled me.
    "It's a matriarchate here and a Femperor means a female—"
    "I can draw my own conclusion. Start with explanations?"
    "The large events have turned into a networking gateway for rich bros and hippie imposters. They've become infested with mainstream stuff and boring slogans, and they have become expensive. You pay an arm and a leg for some tech bro to take a shit on a golden toilet seat and wipe his ass with pampers while you're searching for your Zen."
    "What is this, then? A rogue offshoot?"
    "We've been growing. There's almost a dozen rebellious communities across the desert."
    "And your communities kidnap people?"
    "The last Friday of the event. After we do it, we disperse immediately so the cops don't catch us.”
    "What happens to the kidnapped?"
    "We give them money and let them go."
    "You give them money and let them go?" I repeated, quite astonished.
    "The entry fees go toward the reimbursements. It's all for fun. The crowd isn't dangerous. As a matter of fact, they're obedient as puppies... with a slight weakness toward acids."
    "And it works?"
    "We've got repeat customers. People get a thrill when chased and captured by a road mob. Many request us to be violent, but we stick to what we do best."
    "You're kidding?"
    "I sure am not."

    I tried to compute the whole night in my head. Despite the bizarre set of events, most of what the Femperor had said made some sort of sense. This is a time of disconnected youth worried about their long-term future. That worry leads to escapes from reality. There are a lot of freak shows popping up. There were just a few things that didn't add up.

    "So, why me?"
    "My roommate recognized your name at the agency you rented the wheels from. We tracked your car."
    "Nice research on your part."
    "The car is fully covered. The insurance will cover the damage, and you get the cash."
    "You can keep the cash, but you didn't answer my question."
    "Do you know what I do for a living?"
    "I'm eager to hear."
    "I'm a senior manager at a startup."
    "Sounds like a promising career."
    "Slice through the bullshit and it's corporate goals dressed in the shiny gown of a modern altruistic narrative for the masses. The company is soulless and empty. My opinion serves to feed the trash bins. I'm just a number for Human Resources to boost the diversity stats. I'm sick of their shtick."
    "Got it."
    "I also write in my spare time. And that's why you."
    "Why do you write?"
    "I guess I just want somebody to hear my voice."
    "I'm hardly one to offer words of wisdom on that part."
    "Perhaps that is true. However, from time to time, you can offer a decent idea. You've done it for others."
    "I'll take ‘decent’ as a compliment, but the others didn't put up a mob and run me down the freeway."
    "I thought you'd like it. Mystique of the desert. Unknown danger. The rush of adrenaline..."

The young lady was smart and very perceptive.
    "The idea. I assume it needs to be female driven?"
    "The strong female. Interesting conflict that drives the narrative. For some reason, I wanted it to be a character that appears in comics. You know, easier to market and everything that goes along with it. But they've all been taken. Even the minor characters have earned their way to the screens."
    "I'm not a big comics fan."
    "I know that. I also know that you always have something to offer."
    "Is there anybody sitting in this truck behind me?" She nodded. "Tell that person to turn on the radio. Put the local rock station on."
    "You have a propensity to insert rock 'n' roll songs and movie quotes into your conversations, don't you?"
    "It stimulates my brain. And we need some luck here."

    The brief commercial break ended on the radio. The music started. That much-disputed decade of music, the ’80s, hit the airwaves again. Not exactly what I expected, but exactly what I needed... Kim Carnes' "Bette Davis Eyes."

    "Her hair is Harlow gold, her lips sweet surprise
    Her hands are never cold, she's got Bette Davis eyes..."

    The right images appeared in my brain, but I needed just a bit more to complete the puzzle.

    "She'll take a tumble on you, roll you like you were dice
    Until you come out blue, she's got Bette Davis eyes…"

    I smiled finally, for the first time that night.
    "I think I've got it. She's everything you're asking her to be. Independent. Fierce. And she's got a lot to say."
    "What's her name?"
    "Butterfly. She appears in a not-so-widely known solo story under the same name in the Punisher MAX: Naked Kill issue of the MAX comics."
    "What does Butterfly do for a living?"
    "She's an assassin. An exceptional one."
    "There are a lot of assassin stories, so there must be a catch."
    "You asked for interesting conflict, didn't you? Butterfly's writing a book. An autobiography."
    "And a lot of people don't want to be in the book, I assume."
    "The entire crime world, people who employ her and who hate her, turns against her. They want to stop the book by any means necessary."
    "Butterfly wants what you want... to be free and to have her voice finally be heard. Every single thing. From her abusive father and first boyfriends all the way to the criminals she's hired to kill. A piece of her tortured past drives every bullet she fires."
    "What about Frank Castle? This is his comic, after all."
    "He's in Chapter 13 of Butterfly's book. The most difficult chapter for her to write.”
    "If he's in the book, that means..."
    "The Punisher wants to kill her too. That is correct."
    "Why? Wouldn't he at least... What's in Chapter 13?"
    "I think it's best you find that out on your own."


You can find more than a dozen of adventures from our favorite Hollywood developer at VillanLabs' Five Minute Projects - 5M Projects

Your neighborhood villain.

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VillianLabs by Rogue Saint: Butterfly - Your Next Best Comic Character To Develop For Film
Butterfly - Your Next Best Comic Character To Develop For Film
A dull drive through the desert becomes a life story for our fictional Tinseltown developer. Part of the 5M Projects. Written by Rogue Saint.
VillianLabs by Rogue Saint
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