Emp “belly-shirt” alert in panels 1 and 6! As I’ve said before, I’m a bit dubious nowadays about whether or not someone as self-conscious as Emp would be baring her midriff in this manner, even back during a time when belly shirts were still A Thing.
Must say that I’m impressed by how well this page’s unusually high panel count works. (Ideally, I’d like fewer word balloons in panels 2 and 3, but that’s not a critical issue.) While I probably wouldn’t care to continue such a barrage of panels for long stretches in an Empowered volume, it’s good to know that this denser type of layout option remains a possibility. Note also that a page featuring considerable variation in panel size like this one strikes me as a bit more pleasing than the fixed panel size of a grid-based layout like that of page 35.
Panel 1: Kinda tanked Ninjette’s figure proportions in this shot—her head’s a bit too large, for the rest of her body—but this fell within the just-acceptable range of “cartoony disproportion” that I played around with at times. Even now as I look at it, the drawing’s goofiness seems more a flourish of exaggerated artistic cutesiness on 2006 Me’s part than a straightforward error as such.
Panel 2: Yeahp, the “Ninja Rebirth” item that the Demonwolf references was a handy little artifact in the videogame series Tenchu that would instantly resuscitate Ayame (or other player character) after her death in combat. Probably not quite as handy as the poison dart your ninja could employ for one-shot kills, though, or—for comedy purposes—the poisoned balls of rice you could leave out as tempting lures for the game’s exceptionally gullible guards. (“What’s this? A nice rice ball suddenly appeared on the dungeon floor? Better wolf it down immediately… AGKKK!”)
And lo, thus ends the videogaming-intensive “Way of the Ninjette.” Next time out, we kick off an even shorter Empowered vol. 2 story which, if I recall correctly, features the first flashback appearance of 10-Year-Old(-ish) Emp. Wheeeee!