Panel 1’s “Bettie Page Overdrive” line still amuses me, as a fairly overt reference to William Gibson’s Sprawl Trilogy novel Mona Lisa Overdrive—though, on second thought, I sincerely doubt that Sistah Spooky would possess the proper SF-reading background to make that particular callback. Hmm… Perhaps she’s familiar with the not-that-bad soundtrack to The Matrix: Reloaded, which used “Mona Lisa Overdrive” as the title for the track playing behind the movie’s highway chase scene? Okay, that’s not very likely, either. Yeahp, this looks like another case of an author-entertaining line that’s technically out of character for the person delivering it! Oh, well.
Panel 2: Note the mysterious, unidentified, only partially visible characters seated in the background just to the right of Capitan Rivet’s nose. Could they be as yet unseen members of the SuperHomeys, perhaps? I’ve always liked the idea that the team has a huge, sprawling, Avengers-style roster, but we only see a dozen or so of its members at one time. Alternate—and more likely—explanation: This “supervill countdown” by El Capitan is being delivered to a gathering of multiple superteams, so those fellas aren’t necessarily SuperHomeys. I should note that “intel-sharing” across supracommunity lines does become a rather important issue later on in the series—and Emp herself turns out to have a key role in such matters! (Pick up Empowered vol. 9 to find out what the hell I’m obliquely hinting at, here.)
Panel 4: Amused to look at Capitan Rivet’s mechanical fingers, here, and see mecha-design riffs harvested long ago—as in, circa 1990—from Masamune Shirow’s Appleseed, imported into my artistic vocabulary and regurgitated decades later without conscious thought. Er, unless those fingers are possibly derived from hardsuit joints in Bubblegum Crisis, or Sonoda’s mecha designs in Gall Force, or—okay, maybe I don’t quite recall exactly where I picked up this particular visual riff. Oh, well, again.