Volume 3 Page 170
Posted November 14, 2017 at 12:01 am

Panel 1: Like the way this shot worked out. Not sure, howeva, where I thieved the fight choreography from. Could be borrowed from an HK (or Thai) action film, or from one of my many, many martial arts reference books.

Panel 3: No saving throw on this one, Jogging Ninja!

Panel 5: This time, I do suspect that the following bit of choreography is cribbed from a Stephen Hayes book on ninjutsu. Whatever the flaws or virtues of the oft-derided Hayes oeuvre, those old books of his do feature some very interesting and narratively useful martial arts demonstrations.

Note the straight-bladed, so-called ninja-tō” sword, which is very much an arguably nonsensical product of the 80s ninja boom that’s long been cemented into pop-cultural lore. Even if one accepts all the other goofiness of commonly accepted ninja lore, why the hell would Joe Shinobi carry a sword that immediately gives him away as a ninja? What advantage does a straight-bladed katana variant give, other than the oft-mentioned rectangular tsuba (guard) that supposedly helps the ninja climb over walls? “Rule of cool,” I guess, though I personally feel that a conventional katana’s curved blade looks cooler than a straight one. (In current Empowered continuity, Ninjette stopped using a straight-bladed sword quite some time ago.) 

Anyhoo, I drew a ninja-tō here because the Empverse’s various shinobi were supposed to be based on standard-issue ninja tropes, though I never quite got around to explaining the reason why they have to use (semi-)historical weapons. There is an in-universe, ritualistic rationale for these practices, believe it or not. If I ever get to do another ninja-oriented spinoff story, perhaps I’ll finally trot said explanation out.

For reasons I can’t quite explain, Ninjette’s right hand—that is, the one not deflecting the sword—bugs me a fair bit. Her fingers being together like that is too repetitive of the gesture of the blade-parrying hand, I feel; should’ve spread those fingers out more.  

-Adam Warren