Panel 1: As I said about the previous page, having the hostage seemingly threatened with a knife was a bad call on my part, though you may rest assured that worse calls are in store later on in this story. And speaking of calls, I really should’ve tried to work more callbacks to a certain 90s TV show into Threatening Knife Dude’s dialogue, as occur on other pages in this sequence; this might’ve added a little more levity—however cryptic—to an inappropriately harsh scene.
Panel 2: While I occasionally question early Empowered shots of civilian-dress Emp wearing a “belly shirt” or “low-rider” jeans, long-time readers of the series will be well aware that the young lady in this panel (who goes on to a different and more important role in the series) would experience no such compunctions or insecurities whatsoever about wearing such fashions.
By the way, keep an eye on this dude’s character design throughout this story, as it shifts noticeably as the pages roll along. This, alas, is one of the perils of my devil-may-care practice of never working up finished “chara-design" (if you’ll pardon the Japanese portmanteau term) sheets before drawing early Empowered pages; with no fixed reference on hand, my characters’ appearances can shift considerably over time. Making matters worse was the fact that the second half of the story was drawn much later than the first, adding even more “design drift” to Unnamed Goatee Boy’s look.
Panel 5: Not a huge blunder, really, but I find it a puzzling choice to suddenly flop Emp to the right side of the panel here, while she’s been on the left side throughout the rest of the sequence. I’m honestly a bit ambivalent about the comic-format relevance of the so-called “180º rule” of which this is a technical violation, as I think other narrative issues are more critical; still, flipping characters from one side of the panel to another throughout a scene for no apparent reason seems a bit wonky. Ah, but for a strongly pro-“180º rule” take, check out Jesse Hamm’s fine, detailed discussion of its application in comics storytelling.