Panel 1: Lessee, how do I put this delicately… Sometime before this story, did a commissioned sketch of Emp getting chloroformed in a similar manner. (For the record, the commissioner wasn’t a true fictional-chloroform fetishist, so he wouldn’t have cared about whether halothane was used instead.) The commissioner—a term which makes me think of Jim Gordon every time, by the way—had some very specific ideas about where the bad guy’s non-chloroforming free hand should be going, but I had to overrule him. “What with the Unwritten Rules and all, dude, no halfway-sane bad guy’s gonna be honking on Emp’s boob like you’re asking.” Yes, folks, Empverse rules apply, even in out-of-continuity sketches! (I believe a Jean-Luc Picard quote of “This far—no further!” might’ve been involved.) An under-the-rack arm placement not unlike this panel was the compromise we finally negotiated after an amusingly frustrating number of offers and counteroffers. Welcome to the thrilling world of commissioned artwork, folks! (Needless to say, requests can get considerably ickier than what I’m discussing here, believe me.) And lo, when the time came to draw Chloroformaster doing his thing, thus was this arguably dubious “push-uppy” pose immortalized in Empowered proper. Yay?
Panel 4: Also gotta say, the idea of scented choloroform is certainly a novel one. Minty-fresh, car-freshener-smelling chloroform? Bacon-scented choloroform? Alas, this was written well before the advent of the ubiquitous-in-the-fall spectre of “pumpkin spice,” which would’ve been a more apt holiday-scent reference nowadays.