Here's a mild example:
Panels from Fantastic Four #644 (May 2015), script by James Robinson, pencils by Leonard Kirk, inks by Karl Kesel, colors by Jesus Aburtov and Tamara Bonvillain, letters by Clayton Cowles
Let me set up the context in what you're seeing here: the Fantastic Four and the Avengers are battling a team of nightmare fuel Avengers straight out of the 1996 "Heroes Reborn" era when Jim Lee's Wildstorm Productions and Rob Liefeld Extreme Studios took over creation of four top-tier Marvel comics for a year. (Short summary: it weren't that good.) That's why you've got All-New Captain America thrown' his mighty shield at all-over face-masked Hawkeye (who was supposed to be Wonder Man Simon Williams, except Rob Liefeld forgot to tell anyone). So that's why Captain America's shield is getting battered away in the third panel by another Captain America from the Heroes Reborn Pocket Universe. Clear as mud? Good.
Except...and this bothers me...
…there appears to be three shields in that panel.
Now, yes. I know there isn't. The big one that seems to be in the upper left hand corner is actually the shield from the first panel violating its panel borders, which makes the first panel bombastic and dynamic, but crosses over into another panel where there's already two identical items. Technically, there's actually nothing wrong here, and honestly, it's only momentarily disconcerting. But it still threw me for a second, and I don't think that I'm a particularly clueless comic book reader. It's just one of those panels that throws you out of the story momentarily. Or is it just me? Oh well, clear enough, fair enough.
Now let's talk about Wolverines #1 and another example that appears to violate one of those unwritten rules.
Get it? Because it says published every month except March and then it says the publication month is March!
Actually, that's not really what I wanted to point out to you in Wolverines #1, but it was just too good to ignore. Here's what I wanted to point out to you:
Panels from Wolverines #1 (March 2015), script by Charles Soule, pencils by Nick Bradley, inks by Walden Wong, colors by FCO Plascencia, letters by Cory Petit
WHOA WHAT WHO HOW WHAT
In the first panel you have Endo (Endo? Truly, all the good superhero code names have been taken) on the left and Mystique on the right, and in the second and third panels, their positions are reversed. Add to that the visual confusion that Mystique is temporarily changing herself into Endo, and the storytelling isn't clear for a second. What, did Mystique suddenly take a jump to the left to do her quick change trick? Was Endo Mystique all along or...? My point...I do have one…is that any time you change the a general rule of visual storytelling, like constancy of placement from panel to panel, you risk throwing the
Wait a minute. Let's try this, and we'll discover something interesting:
I've (very amateurly) flipped the orientation of each of the bottom two panels, and wait just one gosh-darned minute, when you do it this way the symbol on Endo's uniform in panels two and three matches the symbol in panel one. And the mountain range is in the same correct position! Which suggests that rather than Nick Bradley drawing the two characters in the wrong orientation, he originally drew them in the right orientation, but before publication those two panels were flipped. Maybe by Bradley, maybe by the editor of the comic; we don't know. The reason behind this could be that the third panel reads more powerfully (in my opinion) if you have Mystique leading on the left in the third panel. Mystique is talking throughout the third panel, and the way I've flipped it, at first glance it looks as if Endo might be the one talking. So it's appears to be a decision on the art that improves the storytelling in one place but violates it in another. At least it saved Nick Bradley from having to draw the whole thing again. But it still bugged me.
Say, is this post to be continued? Yes! Tomorrow: I try to re-write a Catwoman comic, and not just to add kitten jokes.