As I’ve mentioned before, Flo and I sometimes disagreed about when to use anticlimax in an action set piece. In this case, however, we were of one mind. For one thing, two arena action set pieces in a row would’ve probably felt overlong at this point. Far better to let one of them become a sort of lighthearted parody of the other. Those reaction faces in the bottom row are great, but my favorite is Gravedust’s himself, where he’s kinda, “Oh, gods, even I didn’t think he was going to embarrass himself this much, it’s not like I can give him a mulligan, but this is kind of sad, really. I’m sorry, everyone.”

For another, the seeming anticlimax to this fight is actually a huge payoff to what Flo was planting as early as Chapter 3: the idea that Gravedust was secretly jacked under all those robes, and we’d never know that until we saw him without them since he spent most of his time archering or mysticizing. (Anyone remember how easily he snapped Sting’s neck?) The badass dialogue in panel 2 is yet another new side of him, shaped by his time in a troupe of professional buttkickers.

The FB text for this installment was a reference to our swimsuit specials, which I’m going to get around to sharing with you after this chapter. For Magda, this feels more like an Axemas special.