I don’t think there’s a well-established resource of comic-book cover tropes, specifically. If there is, though, the “unexpected fight” should be on there somewhere: a battle between two people normally allies, lovers, or at least nominally on the same side. In DC Comics’ Silver Age, these fights would usually be contrived through some trickery, mind-control, impersonation, mistaken identity, or other outside forces; in later stories from both DC and Marvel, the motives were more often internal, with characters not necessarily liking each other just because they both fit into the “hero” or “villain” Facebook group. (Admittedly, some of those “internal motivations” turned into pretty cheap character assassination, but let’s not go down that road right now.)

This fight, as we’ll see, is somewhere in between: there’s some trickery involved, but it’s entirely on the part of one of the participants.

Like our best covers, though, it’s got a larger metaphorical purpose. With HR’s scene that ended the last chapter, the purely happy fun times are over, at least until Chapter 25 or so. This unit, like the last, has a few seemingly unrelated scenes, but what ties them together is the soft drumbeat of approaching war (metaphorical in three cases, very literal in the fourth). It’s time to train. It’s time to get ready.