And now, my latest attempt to paste in an excerpt from another chapter of long-defunct prose experiment I Am Empowered, a Year-One-ish first-person account from Emp in 140-character Twitter format detailing her earliest days as a superheroine.
DRAMATIC ENTRANCES, FAILING DRAMATICALLY (part 2 of 2)
For bonus dramatic effect, some capes love to land on the roof of a nearby car. Nice, loud BANG, safety glass spraying from broken windows.
CapeProtip: Unless you're landing on a villain-owned vehicle, you're just being a dick by pointlessly racking up civilian property damage.
CapeProtip: If you must insist on a Car-Top Landing, make g-d sure that you can tell a convertible from a hardtop before you make the leap.
CapeProtip: Note that, if you botch a Car-Top Landing badly enough, you could wind up lodged inside the crumpled passenger compartment.
Happened to me once. Jumped down from way, way, WAY too high, so the vehicle's surprisingly crumply roof caved in and trapped me but good.
Tore the hell out of my stupid suit in the process, so I lost all my superstrength and couldn't struggle free of the mangled debris for some time.
Time enough for the baddies to get a good laugh at me, and snap a few (dozen (or hundred)) photos of the Crappy, Entrance-Botching Superhero.
I was still lodged inside the wreckage when the first cellphone images went online, mainly to My Least-Favorite Site Ever: CapeFail.com.
Yay: I have my very own keyword on the CapeFail website, a keyword that brings up a breathtaking and dismaying array of embarrassing photos.
Bonus Embarrassment Points: After the botched landing, I did not have a whole lot of supersuit left below the waist, as the photos made clear.
More Bonus Embarrassment Points: Turned out that the black, villain-y-looking SUV I'd landed on DIDN'T belong to the bad guys, after all.
I'd just barely wrenched my chubby, blushing self free, losing even more of my suit in the process, when the wrecked SUV's owner showed up.
He was not, I'm afraid, the happiest of campers. A red-faced, bellowing douchebro, which triggered unpleasant college flashbacks for me.
Many cruel, upsetting and hurtful things were said about me, things that were especially hurtful because I largely agreed with them.
As I fled the scene 50% naked and 100% humiliated, SUV Bro's verbal abuse ringing in my ears, at least I managed to stop myself from crying.
Okay, that's a blatant lie. I was bawling my stupid eyes out, snot streaming from my nose, making quite the pathetic spectacle as I made my escape.
Extra awesome thing about having a teary, sobbing breakdown while supersuited: No pockets, so I can't carry any g-d tissues with me.
Can't run up to a bystanding girl on the street and beg for a hankie, since they're always staring daggers at my costume, or lack thereof.
Lots of sniffling, snuffling, and wet, messy wiping of my nose on my hands and forearms, which makes me feel extra wonderful about myself.
As I scampered shamefully away, SUV Bro got in a parting shot re: my mostly bared backside's amplitude, a comment I'll carry to the grave.
Then again, even sticking the landing flawlessly is no guarantee of success when you're indulging in a Big Entrance, oh Caped Drama Queen.
The Dramatic Drop-In Entrance: Spoiled when I land, then notice EVERY bad guy closely observing that I can't wear a bra under my supersuit.
Hard to strike much all that much fear into the hearts of criminals when they're gazing glazedly at the parts of you that are still moving.
Oh, if only a MALE hero had to wear this stupid membrane. He's sure look silly, too, landing with his wobbly bits wobbling uncontrollably.
One time, I stuck the landing onto a (more durable) truck, surprising a bunch of minions with a big ol' "Halt, evildoers!" kind of shout.
Problem: I sound annoyingly shrill and voicecracky when I yell at bad guys; Sistah Spooky or Susan O can yell intimidatingly, but I can't.
I learned the hard way that, when you Pose Very Dramatically in full view of armed baddies, you become what is called "a stationary target."
Posing Very Dramatically before an armed man, you're not being heroic, like Indiana Jones; you're a moron, like that doofus with the sword.
I got about four words into my "Halt, evildoers!" riff before the bad guys raised their guns and, in unison, hosed me with force-beam fire.
I ragdolled off the top of the truck, slammed into a cinder-block wall, then got force-beamed plenty more. (Sore for a week, afterward.)
Supersuit trashed, powers gone, dazed and barely conscious, I couldn't even struggle when a minion trotted over and started duct-taping me.
While he was taping me up, the bad guy whispered, "What the f**k did you think you'd accomplish, striking a pose like that in front of us?"
He said I looked cute, Drama-Posing—I'm ashamed to admit I felt a little flattered, as he was kinda cute himself—but what was the point?
Thug: "Did you think we'd just surrender to you? Has that EVER happened, in the history of superhero versus bad guy interaction?"
Next time, Helpful Goon advised, I should just drop the useless dramatics and, quote, "take advantage of a successful roll for surprise."
I wasn't 100% certain as to exactly what Helpful Goon's phrasing meant, but I grasped the meaning of his Words of Bad-Guy Wisdom. (I think.)
I would've thanked him for the advice, but by this time he'd duct-taped my mouth, so I "mmph"-ed with as much gratitude as I could muster.
Security guards didn't find me until hours afterward, so I had plenty of time to mull over future tactics while struggling futilely against my bonds.
(While I appreciated Kinda Cute Thug's tactical suggestions, I certainly did NOT appreciate his notable adeptness at duct-tape application.)
That's one (rather dubious) advantage of being a frequently distressed damsel: You sure do get plenty of time for thoughtful contemplation.
<END OF EXCERPT, AND OF INCOMPLETE CHAPTER>
Editorial note: The reference to Kinda Cute Thug I this chapter was a tad problematic continuity-wise, as that arguably implies that Emp ran into Thugboy on occasion before she did so in the comic’s narrative. Ehh, just ignore this continuity glitch in an incomplete project, folks.
Wellp, if this actually worked, webcomic readers, I’ll try again shortly with another excerpt from I Am Empowered, which will skip ahead to a new chapter next time.
Today’s Patreon update: Originally done as a means of scratching out more worktime to complete the long-gestating Empowered vol. 12, I've switched over to a Monday/ Wednesday/ Friday Patreon posting schedule that won't feature the fixed content format I previously used. However, my vast archive of years of Patreon posts—extensive Empowered previews, vintage con sketches, work stages on covers, "damsel in distress" commissions, life drawings & much, much more—remains available for Patrons' perusal.