The idea, here, is that ransoming a kidnapped superheroine would constitute a violation of the so-called “Unwritten Rules” governing interactions between capes and bad guys. True, the original, skeevier version of the scene included in yesterday’s commentary would’ve constituted a far more egregious breach of the Rules, but this revised iteration would likewise have invited the wrath of the Superhomeys and their peers. This scene—and a similarly problematic one from Empowered vol. 2—implies that someone might’ve tried to ransom Emp before, but we can safely assume that said incident would not have ended very well at all for the would-be ransomers.
By the way, to any fellas complaining about the changes I made to this scene: You should be aware that I didn’t make those changes because of outside pressure or criticism, as no one has ever commented on the original version of this sequence. (In fact, folks have commented on the emotionally harsher scene that takes place a few pages from now, but we’ll address that shortly.) The previous iteration of the scene was unacceptable to me both in terms of story content and in-universe continuity, as even the most foolish of foes in the Empowered universe would never dare screw around with that sorta thing. (Er, well, except for Willy Pete, I suppose, but he clearly plays by his own set of rules—or Rules, capitalized.) Remember, Empverse supervillains don't enjoy the invincibility of being corporate-owned intellectual property like Big Two characters, so bad guys playing around with Joker-style atrocities would be well aware of potentially meeting dire—and, importantly, permanent—fates. The "hard edges" of the Empverse cut both ways, let's say.
Plus, let’s be blunt, fellas: It’s a tad unseemly when dudes start blustering and harrumphing about “self-censorship” only in regard to scenes regarding very specific types of content, if you catch my drift. I’ve made other dialogue changes and minor corrections in previous Empowered drafts—and, I believe, discussed them here on occasion—but these alterations somehow don’t seem to raise anyone’s hackles. And for the record, a few minor changes in several thousand pages of comics doesn’t make me Special-Edition-era George Lucas, or Spielberg changing E.T. guns to flashlights—or suddenly, magically, instantaneously turn this series into Sinfest or whatever, for that matter.