Today, we’re flashing back to the embattled setting of San Antonio from six years ago, as first glimpsed way back in Empowered vol. 3; that’s Young(er), Hat-to-the-Back & Bandanna’d Thugboy at lower right.
Continuing this anti-cape group’s Advanced Dungeons & Dragons (first edition) riff, the “+5 HOLY AVENGER” T-shirt is a reference to a high-powered magical sword meant to be wielded by a lawful good paladin. (WARNING FOR OLD-SCHOOL TYPES: Previous link was to a 5e version of the Holy Avenger.) This would constitute a hint that they see themselves as the good guys, though probably not lawful good guys; chaotic good, maybe.
Note that the HOLY AVENGER dude is apparently hurling an M34 White Phosphorus Smoke Grenade, which boasts a possibly significant (or not) nickname. Coincidence?
No idea what the hell the distant cape’s “YS” logo might stand for, alas; your guess is as good as mine. I can tell you this definitely wasn’t a reference to the 1992-93 fantasy anime Ys, which I’m dimly aware of but never actually saw.
Note that this page is the source for the seemingly cryptic panel from waaaaay back in “Time’s Arrow, Flying Differently,” Empowered vol. 7’s opening chapter that was chock full o’ preview images from later in the volume.
Next week on the webcomic, stand by for an extensive lecture by Thugboy re: counter-cape tactics before we move on to a bedroom conversation between Emp and Ninjette,
Today’s Patreon update: Probably another dose of Vintage Con Sketches, from the late-90s/early-2000s era when I was cranking out a ton of ’em.