In Cell by Cell, I look deeply into the panels of an issue, appreciating and analyzing the story and artistic composition.
Pages 19-20 Overview
This is it. The beginning of the end. The finale of the episode. Here comes the heartbreak.
Keeping the 2-page, symmetrical spread of the game scenes, these two pages kick off a 6-page action scene depicting the end of the scrimmage match between the N.C. team and the A.C.O. guards.
The antagonism continues to rise as a guard picks a fight with Penny. Unable to let the aggressions pass, Penny gets distracted from her defensive duty, allowing another team member to get double-teamed and escalating further violence with the guards.
Cell 1 is a close-up of a sweaty Meiko, smiling exactly like she was in the family picture at the end of the last page. To emphasize the connection, dialogue from Makoto, the closing bit of his argument with Yumi, is placed in a special box above her head: “Because she is our little girl.” If this dialogue were coming from Josephson, it would seem condescending. From Makoto, though, it captures his regret that she’s gone. He misses the simpler time of her youth, before non-compliance. In spite of her criminal label, he attempts to maintain that relationship in his heart, reminds his wife of it. All that emotion is juxtaposed with Meiko’s indefatigable spirit. Her smile and her call for Kamau to give them the next play.
Read the rest of my analysis over at PopOptiq.