In action scenes, there are always more panels I’d love to put in to emphasize key moments, but it’s a balance, since sometimes those extra panels can make the moment feel longer than it should. In this case, Jayd and Sky notice the second Zahari, who immediately runs off, while Jayd quickly fires a few arrows at him. It’s all supposed to happen very quickly.

Originally, in my head, I thought I’d want to show more of Jayd conjuring the bow and arrows, not having had them previously when fighting the first Zahari. And I thought it’d be cool to have the typical hero archer pose showing Jayd aiming an arrow at the reader as she’s pulling back the bow string. Basically the classic Avengers #223 image with Hawkeye aiming an arrow with Antman on it.

But if you look at the above scene and imagine an additional panel showing Jayd conjuring the weapons and another panel with the hero pose, aiming the bow and arrow, those would be two additional beats that would draw the moment out more, as if the Zahari is running away for longer and Jayd is taking longer to react. As it is, with just the two panels, it feels much quicker, which is how I wanted it to feel.

It actually reminds me of a great scene from The Fellowship of the Ring, when Aragorn is fighting the Uruk Hai captain, Lurtz. In the theatrical version, Aragorn stabs him in the leg with his knife. Lurtz pulls it out and quickly throws it at Aragorn, who immediately knocks it out of the air with his sword. It’s a great moment that shows how skilled Aragorn is, reaction-time-wise. In the Extended version of the movie, Lurtz pulls the knife out of his leg and slowly licks it while Aragorn is also shown in a reaction shot. Lurtz then throws the knife and Aragorn hits it. But in that version, all those extra beats actually make the action feel slower. Aragorn has more time to react, so it’s just not as impressive.

So I guess sometimes less is more, as far as conveying rapid action in a fight scene.