And here we get the first full-fledged leap to present day action, save for the cryptic opening sequence.  That first panel was intended to create as bold and jarring a shift from the quirky Silver Age escapades that came before as possible.  Here is the Standard of the present day, and of course a superhero in today’s world would be starring in a reality TV show and have a camera crew following him around!

If Gilbert Graham was influenced by the Silver Age, this Standard seems very much to be in a 90s vein, all pouches and superfluous design.  Someone might wonder about the various circles and tabs all over his body.  That’s actually a little error.  Originally, this version of The Standard was supposed to be covered in ads for various companies, suggesting he had a bunch of corporate sponsors backing him.  We can see the remainder of that, with the “ZARTHOS” written across the S emblem on his chest.  But it was lost in translation through the production process, with Jon Rector drawing in the placeholders for the ads but them never being added in at the lettering stages.  I totally missed it until the book was in production, and it didn’t feel like a big enough deal to stop the presses and fix it.  Looking back, the fault here doesn’t lie at all with letterer Kel.  The fault was mine.  This was a sign of my inexperience, as if I was writing this script now, I wouldn’t just say “His suit is covered in corporate sponsors.”  I would describe the names of the companies I wanted to be on his suits rather than expecting a letterer to magically pull them out of thin air.