Panel 1: The image in this panel – the wine, the discarded cufflinks, all on a table in a room overlooking what appears to be the ocean, is an idyllic and romantic scene, one that would typically be used for a romantic coupling such as Laurie and Dan are about to experience. This imagery sets up the ironic juxtaposition we will see in the next few pages, as Dan and Laurie become intimate.
Also note the perfume, Nostalgia – as has been used before – hearkens back to “better” days, as seen through rose-colored glasses. For Dan specifically, the nostalgia he wishes to experience is the thrill of his costumed adventuring days – days and experiences that made him feel more like a man than he does in the present.
Panel 4: Veidt’s comment: “…I haven’t done this in a while,” obviously is a commentary on what we see in the foreground, Dan and Laurie undressing as they prepare to have sex.
Panel 5: With this panel, we see more of the humorous/ironic juxtaposition that permeates this entire scene. The television’s commentator – remarking about Adrian Veidt’s acrobatic display – says, “…just look at the confidence [as Veidt begins] his maneuver.” This remark about confidence and assuredness is in direct opposition to Dan and Laurie’s experience on the couch, as evidenced by Dan’s unsure remark, “…I’m sorry. Am I crushing you?”
Panel 6: More ironic juxtaposition:
Commentator: “…there’s not the slightest tremor of effort. It’s all one smooth, seamless flow of motion…”
Dan: “Uh, I can’t seem to…” as he struggles to unbutton Laurie’s shirt.
Panel 7: Moore offers us a feint, as we hear the commentator say, “…this is absolutely breathtaking…” while Laurie seems to be in the initial throes of desire as she exclaims, “Oh. Ohh, Dan…” But, as we move to
Panel 8: we realize that her exhalation wasn’t from passion, but discomfort because Dan was sitting on her in an awkward position, evidenced by her remark – in response to Dan’s “What’s the matter?” – “…If you could just lift yourself a little, I could…”
And again, Moore juxtaposes this awkwardness against the commentary of Veidt’s acrobatic display with the remark: “The grace of each movement is extraordinary. This is a man in his forties…” The latter part of that statement is also true for Dan, who is having far more difficulty with what could be termed a much simpler exercise – at least physically – than that which Veidt is attempting.