I love how Jon Rector realised this final page of the chapter.  If you were writing a basic synopsis of the narrative of THE STANDARD, it would be awfully easily to summarise this as an upbeat moment.  “The Standard reunites Amy and Jacqueline Harris, and then he smiles for the cameras as the assembled reporters declare he’s back.”  But Jon really hammers home the sombre undertones in the dynamics at play in this scene.  In that second panel, we can see that Gilbert is haunted by the horrors he has experienced in rescuing that girl.  In the third panel, his shoulders are slumped, and we can feel the weight of the world on his shoulders, we see him as this old man thrust unwillingly back into the spotlight.  And then in that last panel, we have what might at a glance seem like a triumphant reveal – the old thumbs up, the reprise of that flashback image in issue #1! – but the more you look at it, the sadder it gets.  The tears in Gilbert’s eyes were entirely Jon’s idea, not in the script, and it adds a whole other quality.  The idea of Gilbert as someone who really wears his emotions on his sleeves comes so much from Jon’s visualisation of him.

Remember, you can support THE STANDARD Ultimate Collection on Kickstarter!