It’s a supernatural showdown between the determined detective with the Spirit Guardian and our hapless hero’s Defending Angel!

This is one of those “frozen moment” scenes like in the Matrix or the show Constantine (when the angel Manny shows up.) Time has stopped for everyone else, but Letoa, Manaia, Sophie, and Max are all still functioning — though Max is too damaged to move much.

Since this is a comic and we don’t have the benefit of movement (or lack thereof) to create the effect, we’ve utilized lighting and color to try to accomplish a similar feel. Everything in Panel 3 is being experienced by our main characters, but the Chief and all other emergency personnel are excluded and unaware.

For this particular page, Max-The-Artist decided to portray the ever-shifting Manaia as a sort of tentacled nautilus; possibly going into defensive mode. As for Sophie, she’s definitely coming into her own; it would appear she’s starting to get a handle on this whole “being dead” thing, and woe betide any woman who threatens her man!

BTW, Sophie’s “wings” are actually flamethrower bursts; I had fun going through the footage frame-by-frame looking for particularly winglike billows, which Max-The-Artist then color-changed to a more spiritual blue and tweaked a bit to enhance the winglike aspect.

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