Panel 2: For newb Empowered readers, can you guess the full “supranym” of the character at far left, with the “CQ” emblazoned on his chest? A much bigger challenge would be the brain guy and hand guy nearby, which have rather less easily guessed noms de capes; if you really want to waste some time, I can give you the hint that both bad guys have names based loosely on Star Wars references (original trilogy, of course), which will be revealed six pages from now.
Panel 3: Whoops, I’d completely forgotten that the 5-labeled minions even have the number 5 on their boots, as you can see under the word balloon at upper left. For the record, that labeling ties into the name of this supergroup a whole, though we won’t actually be hearing—okay, fine, seeing or reading—said name until later in the volume.
Also, the reference to “superhuman performance-enhancing compounds” is an idea that I’ve never quite gotten around to exploring in detail, even though the concept is referred to in passing near the end of this very volume. I’d actually hoped to address such “supra-PEDs” in Empowered vol. 11, but probably won’t be able to fit that thread into an already rather overstuffed storyline.