This is a cracking page, isn’t it?  What is particularly striking to me here is the coloring of Ray Dillon.  I love the sense of heat he brings to the fat spraying from The Frying Scotsman’s gun.

It’s also a fantastic showcase for Jonathan Rector, because for me, it’s the three silent panels that really hammer this page straight outta the park.  The first one is the close-up on the little happy kid.  I love the build-up to it, where you have the adults shouting “KICK HIS ASS!”, either unaware or indifferent to the little kids who are cheering on The Standard in a more innocent manner.  With those two panels I was trying to make a little comment about how some adult comic fans rail against the idea of comics being “for kids,” seemingly forgetting that they were likely kids when they first got into superheroes, and how we need to be wary about making superhero fandom unwelcoming or inaccessible to children, the next generation of fans.  I made that point in the first two panels, but in that additional close-up of the kid’s joyful face, Jon really underlines the pure, unblemished joy The Standard brings into this kid’s life.  It’s all real and magical to that kid, which makes the phoniness of Alex and Bill’s stunt seem even crummier in comparison.

And then there are the last two panels: the statue of the original Standard, Gilbert Graham, watching over the scene judgementally, and the current Standard, Alex Thomas, undignified and covered in gloop, looking up shamefully.  In two silent panels Jon just wraps a bow around the crux of Alex’s inner turmoil as a character.  Beautiful work.

As for my contribution on the writing end, I remain infinitely pleased with the line, “Ack!  My gun, ya dick!”  Such a Glaswegian insult, always makes me smile.