Panel 8: This Western-themed, sixgun-wielding cape has previously evinced an eye for Emp’s supersuit-clad behind, as noted in the background of panel 2 in a certain page from Empowered vol. 1.
Panel 9: Captain Katana (no SPOILERS, please!) was previously mentioned way back in Empowered vol. 1 as a competitor on “Dancin’ with the Superheroes.” Up-to-date readers will recall that, as of Empowered vol. 10, he was described as the contest’s winner, which means that Spooky clearly failed to fall through on her vol. 1 promise to move to Canada in that event.
Also, in retrospect, I probably should’ve named him Kaptain Katana instead. Well, at least we were spared the prospect of an even punnier name along these lines, such as, say, Catana, who would’ve been a catgirl—or catboy, more likely—with a Japanese sword.