Coloring on this cover illo by Lee Duhig of the studio Guru eFX—plus the lettering on the award statuette, as well. Thanks, Lee!
As hinted at in this cover image, two important new characters are added to the series’ line-up during Empowered vol. 4. I shan’t spoil either of ’em for newb readers ahead of time, howeva.
I’m not 100% sure why the heck Emp’s hair is so anomalously long and free-flowing in this pic, but I used to do that for two main reasons: A) As a random stylistic flourish, i.e. “looked good to me at the time” artsiness; or B) To cover up wonky elements in a less than perfectly constructed drawing that displease my artist’s eye. The pose seems straightforward enough that the latter wouldn’t necessarily be the case, but Past Me’s 2008-ish motives are often opaque to me nowadays.
I should say that, for a while, Empowered vol. 4 seemed to be some readers’ favorite installment, in part because it was the first book structured around a single plotline, as opposed to the fairly random jumble of shorter stories that had characterized our first three volumes. Alas, this new focus had a tragic side effect on my storytelling, as I’ll be complaining about on multiple occasions throughout this story. Wheeeee!