Panel 1: I find myself weirdly fascinated by the rendering scheme I used for the highlights in Treacherous Girl’s hair, as I have no idea where this approach came from—or why this technique disappeared from my visual vocabulary afterward, as I’ve never used it since (I think). Leaving the crown of her head gray-toned like this, rather than filling it that area with a darker tone as I usually did—and still do—is a bit anomalous, to the point that I assume I was riffing off another artist. Damned if I can recall who that might be, though. Skipping ahead a few pages, I notice that the effect disappears entirely, and I return to a more typical approach for the rest of the story. So what the heck was going on with these few pages of unusual hair highlights? Mysterious!
Panel 2: Yeahp, much of Goatee Dude’s previous dialogue was, in fact, a series of references to the great TV series—and personal favorite, natch—Mystery Science Theater 3000. Moreover, his dialogue was a very specific reference to an interstitial scene from the MST3K episode “Teenage Caveman,” wherein Dr. Forrester and TV’s Frank engage in a wondrously goofy fight scene with deathless quotes that have lodged themselves inextricably in my memory. (“Take the train.” “I’m looking at a dead man! A DEAD MAN!” “I’m… going… to kill you.” “Well, you’re gonna have to kill me first! I mean—”) Sadly, I am unable to locate a YouTube clip of the scene in question after an exhaustive one-minute search.
Panel 4: Wellp, after a surprisingly long stretch of pages without “damsel in distress” scenes—possibly 150 or more(!), extending well back into Empowered vol.1—poor Emp is subjected to a lengthy, humiliating sequence of bondage with this story, with “distress” further becoming her frequent if not constant companion for the rest of the volume. Gotta say, I do wonder if the series might have been received better in the long run if I had never returned to such a steady diet of “DiD” content from this point onward, but I vaguely recall that I felt like I didn’t have much of a choice at the time. Then again, the series actually has been pretty well received—critically, at least—but I am very much aware that some folks dismiss Empowered out of hand because of its apparently unsavory nature. (Not really sure that dismissal hinges on the “DiD” content as such, though.)