... Aaaand because of inevitably, having mulled it over via blog post I had a further go at the poster and immediately got results a whole leap more towards what I was originally trying for. These are both a bit messy but, especially the second I think, much stronger immediately. Or at least, much more firmly in the comic book/Mondo style I was heading for.
To get a clearer view I've turned off the text layers and done a quick pass on reducing the pallet of the second of the two:
And yeah, this is good. In addition to fine-tuning this quick-n-dirty rearrange, it still needs the detailing I talked about previously. In particular having upped the war dramam to hyperbolic levels I need to work on emphasising the incongruous goofy, dreamy expression on Cope's face.
The text might also need replacing or reworking as there's not a lot of negative space for such spindly writing to sit against now.