Panel 1: Whoops, forgot to use white-out to indicate the proper “cruciform glitter FX” on the lurelight of Anglerfish in the background at upper left. In case you’d forgotten, this investigation is occurring because Emp told said piscine supervillain that she’d try to persuade the Superhomeys to look into Willy Pete’s murder of his son.
FWIW, I do in fact have an elaborate rationale for why a relatively young man like Thugboy would be familiar with the vagaries of first-edition Advanced Dungeons and Dragons. (The explanation has to do with his past as an anti-cape operative, as his crew’s T-shirts seen in an earlier Empowered vol. 3 flashback might indicate.)
Howeva, I’ve never bothered to work out exactly why Capitan Rivet would be able to catch an AD&D 1e reference. Just another mystery of El Capitan, whose past is never deeply explored—save, I suppose, for a certain flashback scene in this fall’s upcoming Empowered vol. 11.