Original Release Date: April 3, 2012
There are some neat visuals on this page. Stu's silhouette in panel two is great, of course. I love an imposing figure--good or evil--revealed in silhouette. It's a visual that has always struck me, even when I was nine or ten years old and just starting to make comics. Needless to say, my ability to portray this effectively has improved over the years.
Renee and Stu helping Mike up and out of the compound is also an impressive group pose. I'm surprised I took the time to draw it; normally I would have shied away from such a complicated panel and tried to find some shortcut. I'm glad I didn't because it turned out great.
The silhouettes in the bottom two panels were used not out of laziness, but because I felt like I couldn't properly portray detail in the characters from that distance. They are pretty tiny.
Looking back on this story now, after being detached from it for a few years, I was confused by how quickly Stu is able to reach Mike and Renee. He was in Los Angeles, and they are in Monument Valley, which is 10 and a half hours away, according to Google Maps. We can assume that Stu will speed to get there as quickly as possible, so that would cut maybe an hour and a half to two hours off the trip. That's still eight and a half hours of travel, best case scenario, that Stu makes in what seems to be only a couple of hours. He's also driving a limo, so it will be difficult for him to remain nondescript. So what happened here?
The best explanation I can offer is that while Stu's story and Mike and Renee's story seem to be running concurrently, Stu's adventure in Los Angeles is actually running at least a half a day ahead of Mike and Renee's. Remember, he leaves the night Renee appears at Mike and Stu's apartment, while Mike and Renee don't leave until noon the next day. Also, while we see Stu in the farm truck outside of Los Angeles, that only covers a portion of his trip. He could have flown or used some other unspecified high speed travel for the rest of his journey, which would give him the time he needs to track down Paul, interfere with a wrestling event, learn about the Six/Viisi connection, and bolt for Monument Valley just in time to save Mike and Renee after they've spent at least a day and a half getting to the Viisi compound. So, taking all of that into account, Stu has at least two days on Mike and Renee, so there's plenty of time for him to get there and save them. It all adds up, right?
Not quite. One major thing is not taken into account in this explanation: Mike's communicator is already jammed WHILE Stu is in Los Angeles, which means Mike and Renee are already at the Viisi compound while Stu is still at the wrestling show. So. What can I say? I may have goofed up a bit on the timing. How long Mike and Renee are in the cell is unspecified, but it definitely doesn't seem like more than a couple of hours, just enough time for Renee to explain her story to Mike. So I think I may ultimately have to chalk this one up to a timing goof. Whoops!