Since pictures are static and do not change, artist have tried different methods of depicting motion and the passage of time. Both are illustrated using different methods but they also rely on the reader to interpret their meaning.
In this picture from Avengers #500, the Avengers’ base has come under attack and a large explosive has rocked the compound. To depict this explosion, the artist had do show that pieces of the base were flying through the air¬ to indicate motion, and also the passage of time to show the shockwave hitting the Avengers a short time later.
For motion, the artist uses thin lines that emanate from a common point off the scene. There is also bits of debris and dust in the air the could only be there is they had been thrown. The reader can interpret this as motion. She-Hulk’s hair is shown blowing in the wind caused by the explosion, while Hawkeye’s body is arched away as it too is push by the shockwave. The Wasp is also in the picture but there is little around her to indicate motion other than her being suspended up in the air. The artist also used colors to help show the energy transferring. The brighter colors depict actual fire and intense energy, which is concentrated next to the base in the first frame, and streaked all the way through on the second frame.
The passage of time is implied here. In the first frame, the artist drew the beginning of the explosion in the distance with the shrubs and grass in the foreground undisturbed. The second frame show the destructive shockwave up close and personal to the heroes. The reader can then assume that the wave traveled not only the distance to them, but that the time it took to get to them has also elapsed.
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