Behold, Empowered vol. 1’s strongly metatextual closing double-page spread, here cut-and-pasted into vertical scrolling format for your webcomic-reading convenience. Dunno what the hell I’m gonna do when we get to double-page spreads that can’t be rejiggered like this; luckily, the first such “unbreakable panorama” won’t arrive for another 400 pages or so.
Despite Thugboy’s unconscionable tease stating that the matter will be addressed in Empowered vol. 2, I never have answered the question of why Emp’s otherwise mercilessly revealing supersuit never displays so-called “camel toe”—or “moose knuckle,” to skew North American with my problematic zoological references. For the record, I long ago devised an fairly straightforward explanation for why and how this is the case, but have elected not to proffer said explanation within the series out of sheer perversity—perversely nonsexualized perversity, in fact. The tricky part, really, has to do with Emp herself recognizing what the supersuit is doing with its camel-toe camouflaging, as the rationale behind the hypermembrane’s shenanigans would pose larger story implications if Emp were to grasp it. Mysterious!
Of course, the mundane, out-here-in-the-real-world explanation for Emp’s supersuited modesty is that depicting a superheroine with visible “camel toe” would be, as they say, highly f**king problematic, folks—and besides, I had no interest in venturing such deliberately provocative depiction in the first place. (Not that Dark Horse would’ve published the book, if I had.)
Note the very, very rare signature and date in the lower right-hand corner of the final page, here, which may be the only time I’ve ever signed an Empowered interior page. Then again, I’m not even sure that I’ve ever signed an Empowered cover illo, either; I’m oddly spotty about remembering to sign my artwork, for reasons I can’t quite explain. This might be a belated, lingering (over-)response to the crazily over-the-top signature practices of comics artists during the 90s, when distractingly gigantic “sigs”—often posted on elaborate, hand-drawn, AD&D-worthy scrolls, for some reason—were all the rage. Before the fad thankfully quieted down a tad, I have a vivid recollection of a Wildstorm artist taking the ostentatious signature to the next level by inserting a “headshot” photo of himself as a jpeg attached to his already sprawling “sig.” (S**t was extreme in the 90s, y’all.)
Commentary side note: As mentioned previously, I will revisit the topic of comics-production worktime scheduling at some point—just not today, alas.