I like having a varied pool of background characters that can develop into contributing characters. July started as a friend of Keris’ to fit a single scene in “New Tricks,” and over the next few chapters she’s had a supporting role in establishing Ken’s plot. Obviously she’s gone from being somewhat supportive of Ken’s group to being so against it that she’s helping to thwart them. And she’s only had three pages in total devoted to this across four chapters. These types of storytelling tricks are still new to me, but I realize I should have been using them far earlier.
I hadn’t intended for Jen to be wearing pantyhose, but this felt like a great way to show how much she’s shrunk. From what I’ve heard, women sometimes wear hose under pants for comfort or insulation, and considering there is a full-on winter storm outside, it seemed pretty plausible.
I was a bit iffy on Keris’ self-defeating attitude here. It feels almost like a step back from her growth in “New Tricks,” but given the crushing circumstances and the fact that she doesn’t have an invention that can be used against Ken, I believe her decision to stay out of the fight is appropriate for this stage of her character arc.
The page title comes from the sixth season cliffhanger of Star Trek: The Next Generation. An earlier page was titled “Redemption”, and after a bit I realized that “Redemption” was coincidentally the title of STTNG’s fourth season cliffhanger. I thought “Cool! I can foreshadow the upcoming cliffhanger by naming all of the rest of the pages with Star Trek cliffhanger titles.” But when I looked through my options, there weren’t many that could be used that matched the context of what was going on in the pages. The only one that fit was “Descent”, so that’s all that ended up being used.
I wanted Cass to catch onto what Flint and Noah were doing little by little, like a mystery. But there wasn’t enough space in this comic for a C-plot, so this had to get sidelined. The way she learns about Reed Steel on this page is far more direct than I would have preferred, but it does the job and does it fast.
I wanted this to look like a drab, run-down shopping plaza. That’s why there’s only one car and fluorescent lighting that gives everything an icky greenish-brown color. I kind of wish I hadn’t gone THAT far with the colors, because the overall page color scheme is all over the place.
Girls like these are why Cass originally chose to dress the way she did. The full explanation hasn’t been provided in the comic yet, though the subject was briefly mentioned on page LXXXIX.