This page’s title alludes to Zapp Brannigan, the Captain Kirk expy from Futurama.
I didn’t want to drag out the battle any longer with explanations for why things do things, so you are probably wondering what Swanson is doing to that poor cat in panel 3. It has something to do with using the hive mentality of bees to get them to swarm at a specified target. The device Swanson is lugging over his shoulder is able to direct the bees in such a way.
It’s rare that I use color for emotional impact. I’m not a “color thinker.” (See anyone’s comment about UTC’s cartoonish palette.) Color theory was my worst subject in art school. I count myself lucky I can pick colors that are at least not offensive to the eyes. Still, I’m at least aware of how effective color can be. This moment marks such a massive shift in tone, I thought I would try going for a stylistic color shift to convey it.
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.
I don’t have much experience drawing bodies tangled in other bodies, so panels 2 and 3 were a challenge. I don’t quite think I got all of their masses properly aligned here. It seems like Kestrel’s torso has been absorbed into Chuck’s stomach.
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.”
The full concept for Katsuko’s bears was originally developed to be its own full story, but it got shelved early in UTC’s lifespan and I’ve had to resort to dealing aspects of the bears out piecemeal whenever there is an opportunity.
I don’t usually like seeing “…” balloons in comics to indicate silence–it seems like it’s overstating the point. Noah wasn’t going to have any speech bubble to indicate that he was gaping silently, but upon reviewing the page, I was worried it would give the impression that I had forgotten to put in a speech bubble. I wonder if that’s why most comics do this sort of thing?