Classic Phil Kahn subversion. I don’t always feel like I can speak for him, but I do know that he loved pranking the readers like this: here, by getting Best to perform some traditionally heroic (if violent) actions and then, well, doing this. In Guilded Age‘s early days, Phil still self-identified as a troll now and then, though he wanted nothing to do with the misogynist, racist, and generally punching-down factions that were coming to dominate trolling in 2010. (Frigg’s dialogue has a strong 4chan influence.)

On the other hand, the cold abruptness of von Carnaj’s demise feels more like my influence via the outline. Phil tended to resist anticlimactic moments like this as the series went on, but I think anticlimax can often have a purpose and does so here. Like, here’s death, von Carnaj. Was it as glorious as you hoped?

“They may OPEN FIRE, and one lucky cannon shot could DROP THIS THING DOWN LIKE A FLAMING POO-BAG ON GRAIYA’S DOORSTEP!” Again, von Carnaj’s plans? Pretty flawed.