The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #25 Will Die in Ultron's Jaws!

Here's a technique you don't see much any more: the after-image.

Ultron!The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #25 (December 2017), page 14 (detail).
Art by Erica Henderson, colors by Rico Renzi.

The after-image is a storytelling technique used to render a series of events too quick to be followed by the naked eye. There's usually a "before" figure, and an "after" figure, and a series of in-between figures showing how the figure changes from one state to the next. (Sometimes, especially in manga, you'll see a variant where there are just two figures, which is usually used to depcit a rapid side-step.)

When the after-images are ghosted the actions being depicted are sequential. If the after-images are solid the actions being depicted are near-simultaneous (i.e., the Flash is punching three crooks at the same time).

The after-image technique fell out of grace for a few reasons. It's extra work - you're rendering multiple figures, and the pay-off may not be worth it. When page or panel count is not an issue, you can decompress the entire sequence and make each segment of the action its own panel. It's often highly situational, so unless your comic is one where rapid motion is a common occurrence there's little reason to deploy it.

When used sparingly it can be super-effective way to punch up the a scene. Erica Henderson and Ryan North deploy it to great comic effect here to both heighten and deflate the tension of the previous issue's cliffhanger. It's almost like coming back from commercial break on Dukes of Hazzard and watching the General Lee speed up from freeze-frame.

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