Original Release Date: June 26, 2012
I like this page, but it has some issues. A couple of things work well here, and a couple of things don't.
The "Hours later..." narration in panel one probably can't be taken seriously. I feel like some of the points Stu makes in his arguments logically would have arisen much earlier in the negotiations, such as The Six working with the HGA, and the fact that the Ninja Union is the last, best hope.
The other thing that doesn't work out is the word balloon read order in panel four. "You fool" is supposed to be read first, but since it appears to the right of the second balloon, it's more likely the second balloon will be read first. The idea was to read the balloon farthest from the tail first. While that is a good practice, the balloon order still needs to adhere to the cultural reading norms, and this does not.
However, there are two good jokes on this page. First is Stu's line, "Yes, you in the mask?" It's funny because everybody has masks on, if you hadn't figured that out on your own already. The second is Stu's trump card: the Hired Goon Association. The union's reaction is a parody of those old Pace Picante Sauce commercials, where the competition was always lamented for being made in NEW YORK CITY. And, in one commercial, a guy adds on at the end, "get a rope," implying they're going to hang the guy who brought in that cheap imitation. I like how Stu's body language changes too. Once he makes mention of the HGA, he knows he has the ninja right where he wants them, and the previously slumped over, noticeably exhausted Stu has new life, standing up straight with his arms crossed in satisfaction.