This goes back to the hint from last week's episode, filling on some backstory on the mysterious black diamond....
The top of the gutter around the page should be the coastline of Bengalla, the Skull Cave in the top right corner. The rest of the gutters and the space between panels should be the greenish blue of the sea, but the further down the page we go, it should transition from blue-green to near black...
GUTTER CAPTION: 1890. Bengalla, Africa.
Panel 1 - The Professor and the Mercenary have found the legendary Heart of Darkness, a giant black diamond that fell from the stars long ago, in an empty cavern. The giant ebon stone is cradled in a makeshift stone rest. We have arrived mis-en-scene, as the Mercenary has just "ensured" that he is the only one to profit from the discovery, bloody machete in hand. The PHANTOM stands silhouetted in the mouth of the cavern.
Panel 2 - The PHANTOM leaps forward, and mightily THWAKs the Mercenary across the jaw with his fabled skull ring. And yet, the Mercenary still grins.
PHANTOM: You have no idea what you are dealing with.
MERCENARY: Ah, but I do.
Panel 3 - Wide panel - On the left, the PHANTOM in a menacing stance, one fist up ready to fight, the other hand pointing at the giant black diamond, which stands foreground and center panel. On the right, the Mercenary regains his footing, rubbing his jaw, but leaving his machete on the ground.
PHANTOM: This stone poisons my country from within! My people are sick from its darkness...
MERCENARY: I offer a way to heal your land and its people.
PHANTOM: This stone...it corrupts to the soul.
MERCENARY: I am already corrupt. And its power is too great to be left whole...
Panel 4 - Zoom in, and we are seeing through the black diamond, so everything has that warped glass look about it, and the colors are varying shades of violet, inked in midnight blue. The Mercenary has his hands wide apart and low, empty an nonthreatening. The PHANTOM lowers his guard.
MERCENARY: There is a man I know in London, a cutter. He will render it down to smaller stones, a thousand perfect shards.
Panel 5 - From over the Mercenary's shoulder, we see him offer his right hand to the PHANTOM, who wears a weary, saddened look upon his face as he considers the deal he is offered.
MERCENARY: I promise, no one man will possess them all. They will be scattered to the four corners of the globe.
MERCENARY: What do you say?
Panel 6 - A ramshackle steamer leaves the coast of Bengalla, thunderclouds in the sky. They cast a shadow over the left 2/3 of the face of the Skull Cave. The cloud can hint at the shape of the head and shoulders of the PHANTOM, a guilty posture that almost says "what have I done?"
CAPTION: So the Heart of Darkness was spirited out of Africa. And the Ghost Who Walks wept for the outside world...
...to be continued...