I’m not sure if you’ll get the full effect of this page in isolation, as it’s one half of a two-page sequence that acts as a kind of double-page spread montage in the printed edition.  Here, our two narratives collide, each reaching a moment of climax together, past and present darting back and forth to create a sense of Alex’s life flashing before his eyes.

8 panels in a page was quite an ambitious ask, but Jon Rector pulls it off with aplomb.  The resulting images are by necessity pretty densely packed, however, and this is one of the benefits of a colorist.  Ray Dillon was able to use his colors to pick out and foreground certain elements of each panels, allowing for maximum clarity on a page bustling with content.

There are some potent moments here that I feel hold up pretty well.  I love that “Impossible!”/”Nothing’s impossible!” exchange.  For me, that’s the enduring appeal of superheroes in a nutshell.  They can do the things we’d love to do but can’t, operating in a world limited only by imagination.  Those last three panels are killer work by Jon, too.  That silhouette battle panel has a real Frank Miller vibe for me.  Then we have the match-cut from innocent, optimistic young Alex Thomas as Fabu-Lad to the older Alex Thomas, older and beaten down by life’s experience, now getting a literal beating as that famous face is pulverised.

Come back tomorrow to see how this battle develops!