Before you click on the above Sean Murphy page, take a moment to look at it as the thumbnail.
You can see what I like to call "the science" at work already. What "the science" is,, to me, is the nuanced technical aspects of a page that make it come together in a precise way using storytelling formulas and techniques to enhance the reading experience on a subconscious level. It makes you want to stop and look. It's done a lot in film, as well, where the way a scene is filmed, or surrounding objects add to the storytelling without being obvious.
The white "cone" at the very top of the page running through the background to indicate sky, created by the black shapes around it, leads your eye to the boy’s face. His face is also a white shape inside black shapes. The darkness of this scene, continuing from the preceding page is contrasted by the openness of the boy's face, creating innocence in his appearance.
The whiteness also maintains the downward momentum into the second panel because of it's placement: slightly off-center to the right, lining up with that of adult Kael, who is centered in the panel and tries to maintain a "center" in his life. This is the reveal that this boy is now this grizzled, tough man. His face is dirty, and covered in black with an empty panel. A nice switch in contrast. Already, in one panel, Murphy has told you this man's story. He went from innocent boy to hardened man with a dark past. Kael's face a black shape now surrounded by white shapes, and this transition causes the eye to maintain the downward momentum to that second panel reveal. Nothing gets lost in the noise, everything is clear, and a story is told to you in 2 panels, using simple black and white contrast.
Then, our eye is lead to an unboxed third part to this story that's a bit looser and not so tightly focused in on one single detail: the billboard sign that could just as easily be a third panel, giving you more of Kael's story and his purpose in this scene, as it advertises the show he's been hired onto as security. Information we don't know at this point, but the subliminal connection is put in our heads before it's explained to us. A loose detail that's part of the bigger picture.
Instead of our eye continuing the straight downward momentum created by panels 1 and two, to the reveal of Kael on the motorcycle, we’re lead slightly off to the right of the page, AROUND the big reveal of Kael on his bike, and into that connecting story aspect. The train tracks help create a nice cone of white, as well as act as a black arrow, leading us directly to Kael's face. Everything about the top portion of this page, from Kael's shoulders up, and behind panels 1 and two is designed to lead your eye to the sign, then to Kael's face. Once there, more white shapes surrounded by black shapes lead your eye down to show the rest of the page.
The entire page is also a guide on how to use cinematography in comics. Because not everyone will follow the same path through the page to the reveal, the usage of black shapes to the right of the panel, could also lead your eye from the billboard, cut to after a faded scene transition, to the bottom of the page where your eye acts as a movie camera, "panning up" in a very cinematic shot of the hero of the story. In one panel, you have 2 different hero reveal "camera pans". Your eye either gets drawn to the face, then "widens" it's field of view to see the rest of the scene (essentially a camera pulling out from a close up) or your eye is lead to the bottom of the page, where you "pan up".
This is a beautifully crafted page that plays with film cinematography and the natural movement of the eye with it’s ability to recognize shapes in order to enhance the storytelling in the page. Everything is focused and precise so everyone comes away with the same experience.