[[caption-width-right:350:Okay, thanks. We get the picture.]]

Y'know, for a book that began as a spoof on BDSM manga, ''Empowered'' has gotten pretty goddamned grim.

Spoilers below.

* KnightOfCerebus Willy Pete wants revenge on Thug Boy for ripping him off. How? Well, the rest of the ''Witless Minions'' were used to satisfy the [[RapeIsASpecialKindOfEvil physical lusts]] of a man who is walking flame. And because the normal orifices don't last long enough to finish the job because they burn too quickly... [[EyeScream he has a thing for eyes.]] There's a reason Willy Pete has pride of place in Thug Boy's nightmares. He's since added [[ImAHumanitarian eating bits]] of [[EatenAlive living people]] to his repertoire, and frequently alternates between eating and sodomizing his victims in order to prolong their suffering for as long as possible.
** Basically, Willy Pete is a fire elemental. His entire body [[PowerPerversionPotential (yes, ENTIRE body...)]] burns incredibly hot. Flesh melts. Bone lasts longer. The skull is mostly bone, [[CruelAndUnusualDeath and eyes melt pretty fast...]]
* Mindf██k's backstory has a fair bit of this. It seems her rather psychotic brother had similar mental powers and used them to [[PeoplePuppets take over her motor functions]] in order to induce the whole DisabilitySuperpower thing by forcing her to carve out her own eyes and tongue with a rusty pair of kitchen shears. Please note that Mindfuck was both conscious the whole time and well aware her brother thought he was doing her a favor.
** And if that wasn't enough, [[spoiler:Volume 8 shows that, courtesy of Mindf██k's additional PowerIncontinence while asleep, Spooky (and by extension, the reader) '''saw''' this very moment, as Mindf██k has a nightmare over it.)]]
*** It gets better. See, [[spoiler: Mindf██k's brother manifested his powers pretty early, so much so that the constant assault from the people around him traumatized him. He got over it when he discovered that he could edit ''himself'', meaning his personality, thought patterns, etc.]] But, [[spoiler: he kept on editing and tweaking himself until he was a teenage boy with no fear, no doubt and thus, as Mindf██k puts it, "no consideration as to what he may be doing is wrong."]] That's nightmarish in and of itself. Now consider that he [[spoiler: believed that making Mindf██k cut out her eyes and tongue were the ''absolutely right things to do'', because it would make her a better telepath,]] and doesn't help that [[spoiler: his pre-editing self perceived her sister to be a monster.]] It doesn't stop there, either (oh God, I wish it did.) [[spoiler: Mindf██k, partly in retaliation, edited herself after the event to be who she was when we saw her - she outright says that she doesn't know if the end result is her at all, and spent her life wondering if she was a monster like her brother thought before she edited herself.]]
* And then, there's what Ninjette's ex-clan had planned for her (multiple amputations and a lifetime of rape) - and what happens to the assassins they send to collect her.
** The fate of Ninjette's first boyfriend. There's not enough BrainBleach to fully describe her father's method of torture and murder.
*** [[spoiler: Ninjette's story of how she lost her virginity ends with her drunk father covered in blood standing over her carrying her lover's head stuffed with the kid's own genitals. Her father mentions he slaughtered the boy's clan members to get to him and that they're currently at war against their closest allies. A war which Ninjette won't be participating due to not being able to walk, eat solid food or piss without blood after he's done with her. To make matters even worse he tells her to take a good look at her first kill, stating it's her fault he had to kill the kid.]]
** Speaking of ninja... The Ayakami Clan. They could be anything or anyone (in fact one of them was seen disguised as a ''dog''), if paid enough they will cut you in literally a hundred pieces, and [[FeelNoPain they have a technique that makes them immune to pain]], meaning that [[WhyWontYouDie no matter if you put a blade through their balls, pierce their eye and carve open their belly, they will come at you until they bleed out]]. And if you kill one of them in self-defence, [[RoaringRampageOfRevenge the entire clan will come after you]].
*** The Ayakami's ultimate fate: [[spoiler: Ninjette ''[[KillEmAll killed every single one of them]]''. It started with a bomb, it continued with much bladework aimed mainly at vital point, and when the last three, an engaged couple and their best friend, had managed to capture her with a chain, she revealed that the girl was cheating on her boyfriend and provided convincing evidence, then, while they were distracted trying to convince the boyfriend it was only lies, she ''[[KillItWithFire made the girl explode in flame]]'', and then brutally dispatched the other two while they were looking in horror at the burning corpse]].
* The Super Dead ([[InsistentTerminology don't-call-them-zombies]]), especially when you consider that this could potentially be the fate of half the characters. Most of them are fully conscious, and their bodies are rotting in front of them.
** As if that's not bad enough, once they fall into the clutches of [=DeathMonger=] [[spoiler: who installs his necro-puppet-ware in them]], they're fully conscious with their bodies rotting in front of them ''and'' [[spoiler:forced to do his bidding like living... erm, un-living puppets]]. So much to look forward to.
** And if Spooky's infernal service provider happens to be telling her the truth about what happened to Mindf██k... poor, poor Mindf██k. Adam Warren likes his [[TheWoobie woobies]] extra-broken, but it's depressing how many horrible things have happened to (arguably) the sweetest girl in the series.
* Mayfly. Spooky spells out that hundreds of people have died horrible deaths as a result of the mutagenic substance, and it's likely we're talking people's entire body exploding with cancer.
** Chapter 9 showed us a Mayfly victim. It's not pretty. [[spoiler:Especially after Fleshmaster got his hands on it]].
* One of Emp's first times out as a cape and being buried alive and almost drowning in her own snot.
** Even worse, there is some implication that [[spoiler:she DID die and is an unknowing Superdead.]]
*** Happily, in-universe evidence, specifically her relationship with Thugboy, point away from the above being correct.
* Book 8 has, among other things, [[spoiler:Spooky being embraced and dragged down by dozens of burning Mind****s, and the terrifying flashback of Mind****'s mutilations.]] It's NOPE on an entirely new level.
** Also from Book 8, the end of the fight at San Antonio: [[spoiler: after the initial attack from Thugboy and his friends, dozens of Capes and Villains had started an all-out fight when the leaders of the heroes decided to use an alien superweapon codenamed 'Vorpal Sword' (an aircraft-sized sword-looking submunition drone with enormous penetration abilities they had used for about ten years for shock and awe), and lost control of it]]. The end result was a supervolcano, and the barely-avoided destruction of the whole American ''continent''.
* The special "Internal Medicine" is mostly a [[WhatDoYouMeanItWasntMadeOnDrugs really weird]] humorous story set in the temporally asynchronous (that is, [[BiggerOnTheInside having more floor than it appears on the outside]] due most of them being shunted in another time and space) suprahuman treatment wing of the hospital drawn by a guest artist, but the two sequences at the start and the end drawn by Warren... The one at the start is the wounded and smouldering Emp of a possible future wandering through one of the hospital floors in shell shock while the hospital personnel deals with a mass casualty event, and that at the end is the elevator containing present day!Emp and Ninjette opening and meeting Future!Emp, who is shocked by the presence of Ninjette (who she calls Kozue in public) before realizing it's the one of her past and start crying, while we hear the shouts of the hospital's personnel describing the injuries they're trying to deal with and [[CrossesTheLineTwice wondering if the guy with a powerful regenerating factor can regenerate from a pelvis and a pair of legs]].
* Comparatively small considering everything else on the page, and made mostly through applying FridgeHorror but just the scope of Spooky's [[spoiler:perma-bondage magnet curse on Emp]]. She has, through the spell, more or less passively mind-controlled every villain who sees [[spoiler:Emp]]. That is simply scary. The part that bumps it up to terrifying is [[EvilIsPetty the sheer spite that went into the spell's impetus]]. This spell did NOT need to exist and was created to serve one [[MyGodWhatHaveIDone (admittedly remorseful)]] woman's vanity.
* Emp's meta-awareness - which she employs during chapter introductions - means she is also aware that her comic's artist-writer has a history of DarkerAndEdgier plot twists where he wipes out [[AnyoneCanDie entire rosters of heroes]] on a regular basis. Emp is pretty much aware that ''she and her friends can die gruesomely as a plot point at any given moment''.
* Volume 9 sees Emp have a rematch with [[spoiler: Fleshmaster]], and not only is the torturous BodyHorror he has inflicted on [[spoiler: Manny]] horrifying and tragic, but when he restrains her it's ''very'' clear she's not facing the humiliation she normally does... she's facing death, torture, mutilation, possibly rape (given the interest he showed in her during their first battle and his [[IHaveYouNowMyPretty current behaviour]]). For all that he remains a pathetic figure, him saying "I've had weeks to plan each and every grotesque f**king atrocity I'm gonna inflict on you" is deadly serious.