Nice shot of Ninjette in panel 1, if I do say so myself about 2006-Era Me. I do rather like the more sardonic-seeming version of ’Jette that appears in these early chapters; she’s a bit more earnest and “warm ’n’ fuzzy” in current continuity, at least when she’s hanging around with Emp.
This page, I’m afraid, only complicates for me the mystery of Emp’s rarely seen SUV, as first glimpsed in the earlier Thugboy-focused story “Witless Minions.” If not for this scene of superstrength-aided muffler repair, I could claim that the previous appearance of said vehicle can be explained away as an auto rental by Emp or Thugboy. Alas, this story pretty strongly forces me into admitting that Emp must indeed apparently own a car after all, even though it’s seen only three or so times in 2000-odd pages of Empowered. Oh, well.
Alas, in panel 2 Emp isn’t lifting the SUV from a properly centered point on its underside, as she will on subsequent pages. Pretty sure I must’ve noticed this issue when drawing the panel, but I just shrugged and said to myself, “Ehhhh, this shot’s good enough the way it is.” As I’ve mentioned before, my work on Empowered is all about embracing imperfection, for good or ill.
Odd bit of character-design trivia with Ninjette: For reasons unclear to me, she’s wearing “full-fingered” gloves in this story, rather than the cutoff, fingerless—or “half-fingered”, perhaps—gloves that are part of her costume throughout almost every other time it appears in the series. Also, the shurikens that usually appear on the back of her gloved hands are missing as well. I would guess that the precise design of her “ninja cosplay” was still in flux at this time, in part because I never drew character designs beforehand for any characters in the early Empowered volumes, an omission which lends itself to unplanned variations and art glitches in their costume designs. Sometimes, alas, the organic and freewheeling nature of this series’ creative process—and its aforementioned embrace of imperfection—comes back to bite me in the butt.