I tried to make this scene as not-cheesy as possible. The “and they all get along now” ending trope is difficult to get just right without the writer coming across as a Pollyanna. It was, however, important to me that the students come together for a common cause despite the bad acts that had just been done.
It took an embarrassingly long time to think about which characters should inspect the transformation ray. I think my first instinct was to have Noah direct some random student how to tinker with it, since the ray is technically Noah’s invention. But of course, it’s Morty’s build. He and Thirteen are the most qualified ones in the room to inspect it. Thankfully I remembered that before drawing the panel!
After making this page I read up on first aid for a broken arm and one article said you should not elevate the head. I assume this has to do with keeping blood flow to the arm to a minimum. Oh well! Ash is just trying to help.
Lookit all these already-transformed characters we’ve never seen transform.
Just look. No backstories. They’re just appearing for flavor to add to the diversity of the looming fight sequence.
*sobs* What am I even making this comic for.
This is UTC’s first two-page spread! Click the thumbnail below to see the full thing.
Normally when an artist draws a two-page spread, they lay out the entire thing at once. I didn’t. I actually stumbled onto this format while drawing page 228, which was supposed to be a regular page like all the others. I realized the arcing panels at the top could be continued onto the next page to follow the trajectory of the animals, keeping that part of the action distinctly separate from what was happening elsewhere in the cafeteria but still easy to read. Demetrius was falling, so I knew his panel had to be the lowest one spatially. That left me with the question of what to throw in the top-right, and I came up with the blast to the face for poor panda guy. An unfortunate side-effect is that the extension of the final panel on page 228 leaves the bottom-left of this page pretty bare when broken off from its counterpart. But, like I said, this was a haphazard spread. I’m surprised it turned out this decent.
This is the first actual use of Morty’s (and Noah’s) transformation ray since the final chapter of Phase One. I kept it away from the students in Phase Two because it’s kind of a miraculous device. It healed Jen’s mortal wounds after transforming her into a were-poodle and back again, and with the kind of dangers the kids face every chapter, it would have become the dreaded deus ex machina of this series. At that point I started coming up with the germ of the story that’s unfolding here, where the ray is at the crux of villain Ken’s ambitions, and created the subplot that ran through Phase Two where Jen had confiscated the ray to prevent this kind of misuse.
All of Katsuko’s bears are designed to protect children, so I figured it would make sense if some of them were capable of acting as baby monitors.
This page takes its title from the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode “The Changing Face of Evil.” Because their faces are literally changing. Clever!