Panel 1 features another appearance of Major Havoc’s fairly cheesy battle cry, which long-term readers might notice is usually heard right before things go poorly for him. In the earlier story “It’s Like This,” he yells it whilst breaking through a roof and almost flattening a trussed-up Emp with debris. Much later, in a key moment in Empowered vol. 5, he bellows the catchphrase immediately before horrific disaster befalls his hapless comrades. (Hint for new Empowered readers: That rascally ol’ Willy Pete is involved.) I’m thinking that he might well be advised to work up a new battle cry, given his current one’s track record—but the Major is a rather pigheaded individual, I’m afraid. In fact, as I hunt-and-peck this very commentary, I’m thinking that, in-universe, Emp might decide to point this fact out to him. Who says these commentaries are a waste of time? Why, I’m generating actual story content by accident whilst cranking these puppies out!
I’m a bit displeased with the fight choreography in panel 3, as bending back a superstrong opponent’s arm seems like a bit of a stretch for a (semi)-normal human like Ninjette. In retrospect, I should’ve opted for a more credible “redirection of momentum” move to follow up Major Havoc’s deflected punch in panel 2. I’m fairly sure, though, that this scene’s action was directly cribbed from one of my many, many martial arts reference books, and I might not have wanted to tamper with the original choreography, however flawed it might be when applied in a superheroic context.
One might wonder, why do I think this sequence was referenced from a martial-arts book rather than, say, a vintage Jackie Chan or Sammo Hung film? Because, grasshopper, 99.99% of the sparring examples shown in such books start off with, “First, the opponent throws a really, really half-assed punch,” followed by whatever devastating countermoves are native to the book’s featured fighting style. And yeahp, this page certainly does depict a rather half-assed punch on Havoc’s part.