See, hopefully it makes sense why I decided to combine the two half-pages. Also probably why it ended up taking me a bit longer. Pages that just contain action sequences seem like poor candidates for the half page treatment as they can’t be compressed that much without losing even more coherence, and doing them at a half page seems like from a pacing perspective it’d be a little slow. Still, hard to draw for me.

This is one of those pages that went something like this:

Writer: So, here’s what we want for the page.

Artist: You have to be kidding. I can’t draw them.

Writer: Nah nah nah, can’t hear you -> Runs away.

Artist: …

I’ve noted before that hand motions are pretty much entirely unnecessary for magic, but that doesn’t stop mages from using them. Some mages even use incantations, though that’s more rare due to being more unwieldy.

We’ve seen mana/psonic particle detection before. I’ve noted other places there’s no real way to tell if someone is a mage when they are not currently manipulating Eidos, but there are ways of detecting large distrubences in mana – I think the last time we actually saw that was the IDS Dropshop using it detect Ila. It’s why the soldiers here weren’t using magic when they were hiding behind the flipped over vehicle at first, as doing that will give away their position to something that can detect mana usage, though as with anything the more minor the usage the harder to detect.

This is also why it would opt for more manual destruction methods, as for most magic you need to actually be able to see what you are hitting (though many mages can get around this various ways, visual confirmation is usually pretty important for setting environmental variables to spells). A spinning vortex of dust and fire is not only fairly destructive to both mechanical and fleshy things, but is hell on line of sight, and as it’s such an impercise magic (it’s warping the variables of a large area to create something of a run away effect), you can effect something without in turn being able to see it.

I’ve noted a few times that most ways of fighting with magic are just different ways of hacking the physics engine into convincing it to kill your enemies for you, as directly effecting things with magic tends to pretty hard, especially for magic users of roughly equal power (someone with massive Eidos writing authority [or strength of their changes to Eidos data) can effect changes closer to other people, but even in that case it’s usually pretty hard to directly write to their data, and the best they can usually hope for is single easily changed variables (like I think we’ve seen Ila impart acceleration to someone else – movement data is one of the easiest things to manipulate as it constantly changes as is, while turning someone into a frog would be effectively impossible). I guess we’ve also seen Tyler’s magic direct effect people to, to at least an extent. And even then, the air literally freezes around them usually before they are effected (meaning their surroundings are vastly more effected then they are), actually freezing their blood would be really hard (though probably a lot more fatal for obvious reasons), but Tyler has one of the higher affinities to writing Eidos data we’ve seen, at least with his innate magic.

If it’s not clear what Arkady is doing in the last two panels, he’s collapsing the building.