The alleged nightmare-suppressing powers of “Mellow Mr. Monkey” were cribbed from a real-life anecdote as, at some bygone birthday party or the like, I happened to hear one of my nieces discuss such a concept applying to one of her childhood stuffed animals. I thought that evocative idea was ripe for fictional application, so I immediately ported it over into Empowered. I sincerely doubt that my niece’s stuffed animal was a sock monkey, though, as that riff was borrowed in turn from someone I know who used to draw such monkeys with surprising frequency. (And no, I’m not obliquely referring to cartoonist Tony Millionaire, either.) Alas, my depiction of Mellow Mr. Monkey falls well short of those done by the aforementioned friend—or by Tony Millionaire, for that matter. Oh, well.
Panel 4: Pay close attention to Emp’s first line, here, as it will soon pay off in the volume’s final story. Mysterious!