Fall Before The Rise

By Egodicksy Vobusik

Several months ago, Garble Studios released the feature film Bullseye, with a standalone sequel Phoenix Wings following shortly thereafter. As we’ve come to learn through an internet forum leak, these two films were meant to start Garble Studios’  Cinematic Universe Initiative. The aforementioned leak contained several pitch meeting recordings  for the films that would take place within the cinematic universe, starting with Bullseye.

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Pitch #1) Bullseye

“So we were thinking about making another ‘rich guy realizes he screwed up and goes Robin Hood to fix it’ story, right? The protagonist, Gunman, is gonna spend the first part of the film being a rich idiot who has yet to face substantial consequences. Hell, that’s gonna carry over when he becomes a superhero: his getup is literally some bicycle padding, a bandana, and this decked out pistol he’s using. Sure obviously he’s gonna do some good, but there aren’t gonna be any real personal stakes. He blows his cover several times, but he’s gonna get involved with other people’s business and walk away with his fortune intact.”

Pitch #2) Phoenix Wings

“So our new protagonist Flyboy is gonna have a scientist best friend, who’s gonna break several conduct codes so Flyboy can see an exclusive experiment showcase without any justification. This safe, secure science lab is gonna malfunction because the plot demands it, and the resulting explosion is gonna kill Flyboy, except get this, it doesn’t. We’re also gonna pressure him to take the superhero role despite him lacking the experience other individuals and organizations have, but hey, since he’s the guy with the superpowers, he’s clearly the one for the job.”

Pitch #3) Speed Of Sound

“Now we’re going to introduce a veteran superhero, Fastrunner. We’re gonna try to make this film appealing to new audiences, even though it’s our third film and we’ve already laid down important groundwork, but since younger people like ‘ok boomer’ humor, we should focus on that instead of giving Fastrunner any actual character beyond his powers. Let’s not forget to end the film on a cliffhanger without any buildup leading into the next big film.”

Pitch #4) Triple Threats

“All of our established heroes are gonna come together to fight against this big evil, but first they can’t get along, because they all just met and hate each other for some reason. Gunman’s gonna be an asshole again, Flyboy will be ignored or yelled at despite being the voice of reason, and Fastrunner’s gonna be his old self from the last movie. They’re gonna come together and work well towards the end without any buildup because the villains can’t win. Obviously we’ll have to keep the film in America since we can’t afford the tinted lenses yet.”

Pitch #5) Bullseye 2

“The audience is gonna start griping about the lack of ‘representation,’ since that’s a big deal. I figured we could use this sequel to give Gunman a sidekick, Black Bullet. A little on the nose, but I’m sure it’s fine. I mean, he’ll also be annoying and borderline incompetent, but he’ll also be the only reason Gunman gets anything done, so audiences aren’t gonna hate him too much, right?”

Pitch #6) Phoenix Wings 2

“People probably won’t be too receptive to Flyboy’s goody two-shoes routine, so we’re gonna get him to face off against a flawed, more compelling villain, Blastburner. We’re gonna give him cooler looking powers and have him do terrible things, but we’re also gonna give him a vaguely tragic backstory so we can go for the obligatory ‘villain redemption’ route that people love. Doesn’t even matter if the execution fails, because Blastburner’s hot, so fans will be more invested in that.”

Pitch #7) Speed Of Sound 2

“Fastrunner’s still a hero, but he’s getting close to retirement. Instead of addressing his issues or accepting his fate, he’s gonna frequently throw tantrums and claim that he’s in good shape despite being the opposite. The main antagonist is going to be his fault, but he’ll take care of it and never face any sort of consequence. We’re also gonna have his old friend, DeusExMa, come out of retirement despite him stopping superhero work for legitimate reasons, but Fastrunner’s gonna give him a vaguely inspiring speech so he can come back and fix Fastrunner’s problems, even though some of the Triple Threats were probably available.”

Pitch #8) Triple Threats: Singularity

“We’re gonna take this film globally now that we can afford tinted lenses, even if we won’t accurately represent the other countries. Gunman is gonna realize the team isn’t really ‘saving the world’, so he and Blastburner are gonna create an AI to help them do that. They’re not gonna have any trial runs for the AI’s stability, and they’ll give it uninhibited internet access with a straight pathway to Gunman’s resources, so when the AI decides to kill humanity, it has the means to do so. People are really gonna hate this villain for all the bad things they’re gonna do… or because they’ll be boring.”

Pitch #9) Speedbump

“The Triple Threats managed to save the world from AI.EXE, but then Fastrunner screwed up on a job, leading to the government remembering that consequences are a thing and drafting up new legislation. Gunman is gonna be fully on board with this despite his previous actions suggesting he’d be against government interference. Fastrunner’s reluctance and involvement in the background plot is gonna split the team in two. Also, despite establishing Fastrunner’s incompetence in multiple films, he’s gonna be in the right for everything but the initial screw-up. Otherwise, we’d just root for Gunman.”

Pitch #10) Smoke and Mirrors

“It’s time we got female representation onto our roster with Knifegirl and her sidekick Telekiny-Sis. They’re both time travelers from the past that got sent to the present, but we’re never gonna establish time travel rules, so they can do whatever. Then at the end, despite showing how uncomfortable they are in the present, both decide to stay when given the opportunity to go home. Plus we can now do anything with the time travel rules and say they were always meant to stay in the present or something.”

Pitch #11) Triple Threats: Code Omega

“Finally, the entire cast across all the films is gonna come together… for roughly a few minutes. Most of the cast will assemble in fanservice groups, but they’ll spend most of their time split up. We’re also gonna make Knifegirl relive her identity crisis despite resolving that in the first movie, before killing her and every major female character except Telekiny-Sis, who’s gonna get a love interest out of nowhere because we almost forgot to include one. We’re gonna make the villain ‘win’ up until the last moment, where we’ll sloppily rush the good guys’ victory and call it a day.”
While Bullseye would be met with mixed to positive reviews, with many calling the film a “surprise hit,” Pheonix Wings would be universally slammed by critics for its bland protagonist, confusing tones, and pacing issues. The film’s failure would go on to bankrupt the whole studio, killing off the cinematic universe before it ever had a chance to truly take off.