Panels 2 and 4: Again with the anomalous “short bang” strand of hair falling from Emp’s center-parted mane. As I’ve repeatedly established, her hairstyle doesn’t feature bangs as such, so I find this stylistic flourish a tad mysterious. Most likely, I didn’t feel like bothering with drawing full-length strands or locks of hair falling across her face and interfering with the depiction of her facial features.
I’ve long planned to tie in panel 2’s reference to supervillain “Psychoblast” to certain other telepathic characters who appear later on in the series, but have never quite gotten around to doing so.
Note also, at the bottom of the panel 2, a problem that often arises with “full-figure” shots that show a character’s body from head to toe within a given panel: I didn’t allow enough clearance for Emp’s feet at the bottom of the page, leaving the lower border to approach unacceptably close to the soles of her shoes in an annoyingly eye-catching manner. (In my defense, the original art left a bit more space below her feet, but later cropping for publication narrowed the gap quite a bit.) This sort of blunder is why I so often cut figures off at knee or calf level in Empowered pages, a tendency exacerbated by the unforgiving “squatness” of the original art’s format in comparison to conventional, “taller” comic pages.
Panel 3: Behold, the dreaded “talking butt,” a practice I normally find to be a tad obtrusive and jarring when done as a seemingly random bit of “fan service.” Ah, but one lone exception springs to mind—that is, when a close-up of the speaking character’s butt is, in fact, narratively relevant. And that’s very much the case here, as an overheated Thugboy’s capacity for rational thought is degrading rapidly at the distracting sight of Emp squeezed into a skintight microskirt.
Panel 4: Along those lines, here I played around with the lettering to further convey Thugboy’s distraction level as his distinctly male gaze takes in the whole package of Emp’s Sexy Librarian cosplay. I thought forcing the word balloons’ text off-panel was a fun way to depict Thugboy’s inability to focus fully—or, possibly, focus at all—on what Emp was saying. An alternative approach—which I recently did in Empowered vol. 10, come to think of it—would be to turn all the text into meaningless words, such as “BLAH BLAH BLAH” or the like.