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This is a "Wild Mass Guess" entry, where we pull out all the sanity stops on theorizing. The regular entry on this topic is elsewhere. Please see this programme note.
Empowered
Spoilers Below
Emp is a bargainer, with herself!
  • Emp eventually ascends to angel/god-hood (as hinted at with her wings in Volume 3) and then sends her suit back in time so she can start her superhuman career.
Willy Pete is actually an alternate personality of Maidman.
  • I'll admit, not much to go on just yet, just Spooky's statement that WP's mind can't always be found, the sheer brutality shown by MM in his special("Please stop hitting me!" said by an ex-villain who seems to have been leading a law abiding life since leaving the criminal lifestyle behind) and the fact that MM has already been shown to be an alternate personality of some unknown mundane.

The World is in an Economic Depression, and Superheroes/Alien Tech are partly to blame.
  • Where do the black capes get all these henchmen, given the likelihood of mental instability in such an employer? You must be pretty desperate to not only turn ti crime to support your wife &a child, but to do it under the leadership of some caped maniac.
    • Beyond that, book 3 has a henchman talking about his health benefits.
  • Kidnapping for ransom is apparently happening in California at a rate that one could expect in a third world country, if Ocelotina's origins are any example.
    • Come to think of it, have we ever seen any police or regular law enforcement? What if the superheroes are the only law and order anymore? There was a "capeless uprising" in San Antonio. One generally stages an uprising against the government, not against a group of vigilantes, no matter how well organized those vigilantes may be. That certainly might explain why the superheroes of this world are so bureaucratized.

Emp purposely grew Godiva Hair because she can't wear a cape.
She's stated that she's wished she could cover up her rear with a waist-length cape like other female supers, so the hair would be the next best thing.
  • Nope, sorry. In vol. 4 we see she had the hair before. (And why not, it's very nice.)
    • It's not mutually exclusive. She has been wanting to be a superhero since childhood, so it's possible she grew her hair like that as a cape substitute.

The suit's powers are relative to her self-esteem and/or confidence.
There's hints in vol. 3 where she wielded godlike powers even with the suit in tatters. Naturally, she doesn't remember any of it later.
  • That's hardly 'guessing' - it's Emp's theory. I'd say that the suit's got a good reason for not letting her recall it (remember, it's sentient) - there is no upper limit to the suit's power. If she got angry or confident enough, an Earth-Shattering Kaboom might follow; since she can't remember going Kamehameha on those mooks, she isn't confident enough to summon more power. When the suit's judged that Emp's ready to wield such power, then she's allowed to remember e.g. battling Fleshmaster.
    • Corollary: the suit's powers are governed only by Empowered's self-esteem and confidence, and Clothing Damage has nothing to do with it. The first time Emp went out to fight crime, the suit got ripped, she went into instant shame mode, and her power dropped dramatically as a result. She assumed the loss of power was due to the damage to the suit rather than the damage to her ego, and expected a drop in power every time the suit got torn from that point on. Cue Self-Fulfilling Prophecy and vicious cycle of self-esteem issues.
      • Problem: Slightly too much damage past a very specific amount can cause certain powers to suddenly cut out, like wall-crawling. So both confidence and clothing damage definitely play roles.
    • Is pretty much confirmed in vol 5. Mind*** outright said it works like this.
      • Reinforced in Volume 7, AS Nijette demonstrated it to Emp and is going to help her overcome it.

The suit is fed by sexual energy.
It's shown regenerating whilst Emp's receiving some 'tender loving care' from Thugboy. This could also be why it enhances sensation for her - it's providing an incentive for her and increasing the amount of 'food' it gets, in a classic case of symbiosis.
  • I can't help but to doubt this one. It feels more like it's the case of the theory above, related to Emp's self-esteem. While having sex with Emp in that scene, Thugboy was also doing all he could to cheer her up and remind her how awesome she is. And because of Emp's mood lifting, the suit grows stronger. Cue Emp suddenly being able to crawl-walk.
    • It could just as easily be the other way around; increasing her self-esteem makes her feel sexier, and thus makes it more likely for the suit to get "fed".
    • I checked it out: there's something magic happening with the suit, but afterwards it's still as holey as it was before. Maybe it gained another power this way? Or the suit got more reliable, even when in tatters?

The suit is a Magic Feather.
Emp herself is the source of powers, the suit is merely an "excuse" generated by her subconscious, since her conscious mind has such crappy self-esteem that she can't accept the idea that she's superhuman. This explains why it only works for her — to anyone else, it's just like gluing Emp's dead skin cells to their body and expecting it to give them powers. This also explains some of the suits more unusual properties: why it can block bullets one second and tear with a touch the next, why it doesn't show her naughty bits while intact yet constantly exposes her, etc. — the suit reflects her desire to be protected, but also her fears of injury and humiliation.
  • Alternatively (or concurrently, they're not mutually exclusive; she could be moving it subconsciously), the suit could be the alter ego of her "super side" - it's been shown to be moving without her.
  • Can't be. In volume 1 when Emp gives her infodump about how her powers work we see her demonstrating her superstrength by lifting weights in a gym, then losing her superstrength instantly when her suit gets a tiny tear. There's no way she noticed that tear when it happened, yet her powers disappeared all the same.
    • On the contrary, it's very possible she did notice it. Later (vol. 7), when she's training with Ninjette, she says that the loss of any more material from her suit would cause her to lose her powers. Ninjette then surreptitiously tears more material off, and Emp does not lose her powers, causing Ninjette to conclude that Emp's real problem is psychological.

The suit is an alternate and dead Sister Spooky
EMP when not relying on her suit is an incredibly dangerous badass normal. And would have become a powerful and dangerous super-resistance fighter. Yet the suit does behave like a more friendly Sister Spooky and even has the same name as of Vol 6. Sister Spooky is a bargain baby herself.

Emp joined the Superhomies because she was a Capitan Rivet/Superhomies fangirl.
Really not much of a stretch. She does wear Capitan Rivet panties, after all. Once she got the supersuit, I'll bet it was the first team she applied to, ignoring any other offers.
  • If I'm not mistaken, they asked her to join since they needed an Affirmative Action Girl. Granted Capitan Rivet is one of the nicest superheroes so he might have thrown her a bone.

Mind***'s brother is going to show up in vol 6 and will be a Brain in a Jar
Yeah it's a no-brainer (heh) - he's going to show up at Mindf*ck's funeral and based on what he did to her, he would do the same to himself.
  • We already had a Brain in a Jar - Psychoblast, remember? When Emp had to play Hot Librarian? Maybe they're the same person.
  • Didn't happen, but could in the future. What with the impulse to cut out all his weaknesses, he could have simply continued cutting, and cutting, and cutting...

Kaburagi Oyuki-chan is a Gender Bender who took on a new identity with Ninjette's help
The "massive debt" Ninjette mentioned was teaching him/her the technique to permanently change his/her appearance to avoid some serious crime against the clan. We've seen how they intended to treat the princess for merely running away, so the punishment for anyone lower-ranked would probably be simple and fatal.

The evidence:
  • Oyuki's face is almost expressionless, even when she's threatening bloody murder. Natural expressions could take effort, and it's mentioned that you have to expend 'chi' to maintain a disguise.
  • Ninjette successfully pulled off a female-to-male gender swap once upon a time, and is a master of hensojutsu. Who else but her could teach it? Plus, as the princess, she may have had access to secret techniques that could take it further.
  • Ninjette mentions that Oyuki needs to work on the whole "kissing like a girl" thing.
    • Doesn't count, she meant "Oyuki kisses like a girl even when disguised as Thugboy". If Oyuki was a former man, s/he should know.
      • Ingrained by habit by now. See, your pitiful logic is no match for my mad kung fu guessing!
  • It would be funny if such an obvious fan service machine was really a man.
    • Seems she'll return in vol. 6. Or 7, at least. Let's wait.
  • Jossed. The debt was from Ninjette giving her a permanent contraceptive jutsu.

Willy Pete is a military experiment gone wrong
His name is military slang for White Phosphorus and he's an artificially constructed intelligence. Kind of obvious when you think about it.
  • He is a "kludge mind". Maybe the minds / souls / whatever of several unfortunate soldiers were merged during an accident involving WP? Would explain why he's so pissed off. On second thought however, he refers to himself as "I", not as "we", as many Hive Minds do.

Willy Pete is a mix of various superheroes killed in the San Antonio disaster

We only get indirect hints about what went wrong in San Antonio, but it was bad enough to replace the city with a supervolcano. Also don't forget Thug Boy's strategy with capes was to Kill It with Fire, that capes are less than nice people even when nominally heroic, and that powers often animate dead heroes. Finally, it'd tie in well with the book's theme of the past catching up with you.

Alternatively, WP is a kludge mind of all ThugBoy's capekilling team that was created by a real D&D spell - a pact of eternal vengeance with a demon
Let's look at the hints:
  • The "Holy Avenger" in one of the flashbacks is throwing a White Phosphorous (WP) grenade.
  • Demon summoning is a feature of the setting.
  • The team were D&D-themed (and probably all part of the same D&D group).
  • Willie Pete refers to himself as a "goddamn fire elemental"; Capitan Rivet and ThugBoy ponder how many hit-dice he'd have.

The winner of the Capey for "Suprahuman Most Deserving of Recognition" was...

  • ...dWARf!. Because it'd be ironic.
  • ...MaidMan. Because they disliked him as well?
    • Nobody is ever shown disrespecting the goddamn Maidman. This doesn't mean he couldn't have won, just not for that reason.
      • No one dares to disrespect the goddamn Maidman. The Maidman will clean your house while fighting terrorist ninjas.
      • And he can speak French... in Russian.
  • Overlooking the obvious here — Emp! She told everyone otherwise because she believed Spooky's B.S. about it being a joke nomination.
    • But certainly somehow besides her will know? Strange it didn't come up yet.
    • Unlikely. Mind████ is the one who told us Emp didn't win after she plucked the answer out of Emp's mind. So either Emp was so consumed with self-pity that she hallucinated another name, or we'd have to assume that Emp is somehow able to block Mind████'s telepathic scan.

Willy Pete is an alternate personality of Major Havok
Willy Pete shows up unexpectedly, nobody sees a firey guy walking around, and his brain is an unreadable patchwork of brain patterns. Who's to say that one of them can't be Major Havok? It would explain how he may have survived the massacre at the end of volume 5. (I rather doubt Adam Warren will give up a main character so quickly)
  • More evidence in the sixth volume, where not only did he survive, but he was relatively fine after a fire that killed 8 people instantly and left a 9th with 3rd degree burns.
    • Which also explains where Pete appeared from, and how Havok survived the intense heat equivalent to the "open all portals on the edge of the Sun" scenario.

Emp is going to at least attempt to destroy that suit

Sooner or later she will stumble upon the fact that it has a mind of it's own. If she figures out the thoughtstream trick as well she is bright enough to realize that Mindf**k was reading it instead of her own doubts when she dumped her out the emergency portal. If so, she will be less than appreciative.

  • Emp's not a killer, though.
    • She's going to be pissed if she finds out that it essentially killed Mind████ in book 5, though.
      • The suit should know better than Emp whether it could survive a fall from orbit to Earth or not. So Mindf**k got killed, but the alternative was that Emp got killed.

The suit is a symbiote
I haven't read far enough in the series to see if it's explained how/where Emp got the suit (until vol. 5 included, it isn't), but it does seem to have rather a resemblance to Spider-Man / Venom's suit and indeed, it is sentient. My theory is that while the Venom costume is powered by adrenaline, Emp's is powered by endorphins, which explains why it works better when she's happy (and why she doesn't need to eat people). While of course it's not as crazy/evil as the Marvel versions tend to be, it did kill that Ninja clan in a pretty brutal manner. As far as why she is able to remove the suit, my theory is that she really isn't. The suit is on some level in her bloodstream, and that's why it regenerates no matter how damaged it seems to be.

Willy Pete is an alternate personality of Thugboy.
Because it would really hurt Emp. And because it would make sense if Thugboy's dreams of Willy Pete aren't just flashback nightmares but communication between the two personas. Also I think that if this is true, it's Mindf████'s brother's doing, and that he's going to be the ultimate Big Bad of the story. I toy with the idea that Thugboy and Willy Pete are both artificial personalities, and that he is Mindf████'s brother in reality.
  • He is shown expounding upon the virtues of fire in his capekilling days.
  • In Volume 8, we see Mindf████'s brother in a Flashback Nightmare. While his face is in shadow, his muscular torso and hairstyle are very similar to Thugboy's.

Willy Pete is an alternate personality of Emp.
...Just because it's so horribly, horribly wrong.

Willy Pete is actually Mind████'s brother
There were some hints from Mind████ that seemed to suggest Willy Pete. Maybe the Truth will come out in Volume 7....?

Or...

Willy Pete is the Suit.
That's what it does while Emp is asleep.

The suit expanded Emp's butt on purpose, to prevent Imperial Pimpotron Alpha from adding her to the Emperor's Harem
. Alternately, it just made the "voluptuometer" measuring device give a false reading, or inflated itself over her butt.

Willy Pete is the Caged Demonwowlf.
Notice what a horndog the Violator of Worlds is? Notice how he's always begging for displays of even vicarious nookie, and always having that desire frustrated? Perhaps his unsatisfied libido is strong enough to overcome the Power Limiter belt and project an energy-avatar to get some satisfaction. The avatar of a space-god might even be able to roam spacetime into the recent past, before the Demonwolf was Caged, allowing it to be responsible for Thugboy's trauma before he ever met Emp.
  • Alternately, there might be no Time Travel involved at all — Willy Pete (both nicknames for penis) may just be how CD has always gotten his, and he just never told anyone. We already know he's holding back secrets about a great many things...

Major Havok is actually a mutated cocker spaniel wearing a very clever disguise.
... It's true! I heard it from an anonymous inside source. That's the real reason why he calls everyone "dawg". (Every lie needs a bit of truth to make it believable, and Emp is smart enough to know that).

No word yet on whether Captain Rivet is a soccer mom.
  • Well, one of the ninjas disguised as a dog...

Major Havok is Ocelotina.
Havok is really a low-level biomage; he normally uses this to buff up his abilities as Major Havok, but every so often his feminine side comes out and he becomes the Empverse's favorite catgirl. That's why 'Tina acts like the male-fantasy stereotype of a female nymphomaniac; she's really the product of Havok's fratboy mentality. Havok may or may not be aware of this state of affairs.
  • Would work better if we hadn't already seen Havok and Ocelotina in the same scene.
    • He/she created an avatar out of whatever spare flesh was lying around.

Thugboy will be the one to take down Willy Pete...
By letting himself be possessed by the Caged Demonwolf. Willy Pete is too big a part of Thugboy's character arc to let anyone else handle it, and the Nigh Omnipotent Darkling Starspawn is one of the few things we've seen that could possibly out-class ol' Willy Pete in terms of raw power. And the aforementioned Eldritch Abomination is probably house-broken enough to not destroy the planet afterwards. Although I can see him having a price. At the very least he's going to want to watch the post victory celebration. Or stay in Thugboy during it.

Willy Pete is Mellow Mr. Monkey.
Somebody had to say it.

The entire series up to this point has been a dying nightmare.
Caused by when Emp jumped down the stairs as a child. She always wanted to be a super hero, but because her first attempt ended in disaster, she's been put into a worst version of her childhood desires.
  • Unlikely, for the simple reason that Adam Warren 'already did that' to a different group heroine. I doubt he wants to get his one-trick-pony-age on.

Sorry, couldn't resist.
  • As an alternative, may Emp died in the trunk on one of her first missions, but didn't realize it. But because she got her powers from a bargain, she came back as, well....

Willy Pete is Sistah Spooky's negative feedback
When Sistah Spooky made a deal with the devil, it was that she'd have a perfect body and anything that would be bad for her would be pushed off onto the people around her. But she seems to have been a part of the Super Homies for years and none of them look fat or pimply. This may be because of the excess power she was given when she made the deal, she's forcing the feedback she's giving off to not go to other people around her but to nowhere, and it combined into an artificial intelligence.

Willy Pete has telepathic powers
He shows up in Thugboys dreams, and got the drop on the team sent to attack him, when they knew EXACTLY when he'd appear. He's already got a mind made up of a bunch of other minds, so why not give him some level of telepathic powers. Works even better with the above theory that he's really Mindf** k's brother.

The "Willy Pete is _____" theories are ALL right
He's a "kludge" mind, an amalgamation of bits an pieces from multiple minds. Well each bit is from a different person on our list of suspects above.

Emp has a bondage fetish.
Seriously, she gets tied up too often for it to be mere coincidence. And don't even get me started on how she actually gives people pointers on how to tie her up. She's just keeping it a secret because she isn't sure if it'll turn out to be a Conveniently Common Kink.
  • Alternatively, she used to like it, but now it's gotten old. Costume play, however...
    • Likely. Problem is just like with Spooky's blonde fetish there are so many negative associations she doesn't want to admit that's her preferred kink.
    • V.6 confirms this, with a caveat. She said she kinda liked it when Thugboy was tying her up; just Thugboy, though. It's all about attitude.

The suit will defeat Willy Pete
The suit will wrap around him and smother him to death.

Sistah Spooky will become closer to Emp and her friends
After the events of vol. 5, their relationship has definitely improved. Which opens many interesting possibilities. Like... a foursome? The caged Demonwolf definitely will love the idea (and in-comic, come up with it).
  • Well, she has already slept with Thugboy.

Thugboy is the Author Avatar
Adam Warren isn't half-Japanese, but maybe this is a hint to his art, which is American but manga-influenced.

Thugboy's family was killed by a super
You can see an East Asian woman and a little boy/girl in the "I can't show you all the dead people" scene. Presumably they were his mother and little brother. Maybe they were killed in the havoc one superhero caused (What Measure Is a Non-Super?), and he was told to shut up and accept them as collateral damage.
  • The "family" part was confirmed in an interview, so good chance of the second. Emp confirms it was his mother and sister in 7.

Baron Womb: Case of M Preg?
It's definitely Baron, not The Baroness, so why the womb? If he can create new life in his womb, this might explain why Mind████ got confused - she was reading several minds.
  • Or he's a superfetus, and the womb was his suit. That's... freaky.

Emp will discover that she has the power to create an E.M.P.
What? Somebody had to say it!

The cape-killing group was themed after the attributes of Dungeons & Dragons.
ThugBoy often wears his STR 18 (00) shirt. One of the other guys from San Antonio had a CHA 18 shirt. One wonders whether these are somehow related to the roles of the guys in their Five-Man Band. It would make ThugBoy The Big Guy. One wonders who the others are, and which attribute (DEX, CON, WIS) is missing. (Not counting comeliness, which those guys may rather use as a Dump Stat anyway.)
  • In one of the earlier volumes, that fat guy who kidnapped Emp so he could wear her suit had an INT 19 (Supra-Genius) shirt. (Emp even ended up wearing it). An old team mate of Thug Boy's perhaps?
  • Comeliness wouldn't apply; it's an optional rule in every version except Hack Master.

ThugBoy is a superhuman
The Snake villain he shot hinted at it: A garden variety thug couldn't have shot him in his mouth from 300 yards. Now if this was true: Why the self-hate? Even more WMG: Was it his fault that his family was killed?
  • That could make a bit more sense if he was a budding supervillain and his family was caught in the crossfire when some supers busted him
  • This may also be less of a superpower and possibly another "deal with the devil", given that Thugboy's demeanor in combat and attitude towards supers seems to be an almost Expy of The Punisher, even down to the crossfire killed family, weapon fetish and marksman skills. Punisher has been hinted as having a "deal with death", himself.
Warhamster
In the mausoleum story, there's one superhero looking like a hamster with a medieval helmet. That would make him... well, I said it already. A possible Shout-Out to Dork Tower?

Mind████'s brother created Willy Pete
Making him essentially the Man Behind the Man.

Baby Bird is Calimero grown up
During his childhood, he was pretty much The Woobie. "They are big and I is small and that is not fair, oh no!" And we know what happens with some woobies eventually... Astonished that he chose a criminal career?

Ninjette is going to use the equipment Oyuki-chan gave her to...
  • ...locate (that's what the blood was for - ninja location magic) and kill the leader of her clan. Which means she may have killed her father to escape.
  • ...'persuade' some of the clan to drop the bounty. But how?
    • Killing anyone in her family ahead of her in the line of succession (she is their princess, after all) and taking over the clan.
  • Jossed. It's just extra kit, and her father's still alive.

MaidMan isn't a Split Personality
He's a man being subjected to possession, almost certainly by a female spirit and possibly by the ghost of an authentic Ninja Maid. The proof is in the fact that when he speaks (but only as Maidman), he does so in the same way as one of the superdead.
  • Really? I always assumed MaidMan's "zombie voice" (and the discussion he has with one of the superdead about it) was just supposed to be a gentle poke at Christian Bale's excessively gravelly take on Batman.

Willy Pete is a gestalt SuperDead created at the San Antonio incident
Maybe the powers/mind fragments of the supers the Cape Killers killed? Maybe innocent bystanders making a collective last-minute deal for revenge? The possibilities are endless. Still, the last scene of "Super Dirty Jobs" showing the Lotus Node portal over the vent of the San Antonio supervolcano is reminiscent of what Willy did to the d10.

What about Gary?
The one guy ("Gary") from her second story, volume #1. He looks much like Thugboy (with the hair a bit wavier), but can't be the same one, since Thugboy fell in love when he met Emp the first time.

Someone will eventually put on the Caged Demonwolf belt
I can just imagine a first time visitor seeing the cool looking belt on the coffee table and trying it on for fun — with disastrous results: the person will never be able to speak without using Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness ever again.

The Devil Lied
Mindf**k isn't actually in Hell. Think about it. What other "titles" does the devil have? Prince of Lies. Instead it's one giant, well, mindfuck, for Sistah Spooky. Thinking the only person who loved her is in hell (and it's all her fault) she's going to try and 'undo' the bargain. Cue alternate timeline where Mindf**k didn't meet Spookums and so committed suicide. Spooky still ends up in Hell (she did make the deal before and the devil still has a claim on her soul, but now Mindf**k is in hell as well ('cause suicides traditionally go to hell). Somehow Mindf**k finds Spooky, and finds traces of herself in her mind (the implanted versions were too ingrained in her mind to be completely wiped, even by having them never happen, hey it's WMG it doesn't have to make complete sense.) Somehow Mindf**k reactivates Spooky's powers and the two of them bust out of hell and join the superhomeys.
  • Warren shot down any suggestion of alternate timelines and universes in an interview, so I doubt the prediction part of this. However, you're almost certainly correct about the bargain demon lying to Spooky. We know that the bargain granter isn't what he appears to be, because he appears to be something different to everyone (unless...see below). Ergo we can probably guess that the "going to hell" bit either only applies to Spooky in a sort of create-your-own-horrible-afterlife situation, or doesn't apply at all because the part about Hell was a lie to conform to Spooky's expectations of what a Faustian bargain entails. In either case Mind███k was never part of the deal and wouldn't be bound for hell. Additionally, the justification for why she was being tortured in Hell are themselves suspicious, fitting in all too well with Spooky's self-hatred.
    • What makes you think there is only one bargain-granter appearing in multiple guises? The superdead themselves seem to think that there are any number of bargain-making entities out there.

There are at least two kinds of super-power bargains, and perhaps dozens more
About half of all capes get their powers through making a bargain. A minority of those become superdead after they die. It seems easy to assume that Spooky must be one of those who made a bargain to get her powers, but that doesn't appear to be the case. Since she is a senior member of the Superhomies, she would surely know about the superdead AND the fact that half of her peers gained their powers through a variety of deals they made with a variety of different patrons (tatted up indie Athena, quantum genie, etc,) and that none of those other capes seemed to think that they were destined to Hell. We don't know what they traded in exchange to get their powers, but it doesn't seem to have been their soul, or at least not in every case (If they did expect to go to Hell you think it would have been mentioned in the superdead exposition). So why doesn't Spooky conclude that she'd been fooled at the time she was making the deal and that she wasn't going to be damned once she died? She very clearly fears for her immortal soul, and Mind███k's, and the demon she struck the bargain with continues to contact her and act as if she really was trading with the dark powers to gain supersexyness and got superpowers as well. Mind███k wasn't a bargainer, her powers were (apparently) hereditary, and she is claimed to have been damned for her moral depravity (an obvious lie, see above), which shows that Spooky's demon for whatever reason wants to renegotiate. Because of this, Spooky seems to believe that she made a deal with an entirely different entity than the ones that make the bargains that sometimes create superdead, which implies either that the bargainer entity is deceiving her and for some reason she has fallen for it, or that there are at least two kinds of super-power bargains, perhaps many more as we don't know for sure that the super-power bargain granter is a singular entity or if there really was a tatted up indie chick Athena or a quantum genie or whatever and the superdead are mistaken by conflating them all together in a single entity with many faces.

Emp is one of the Superdead (spoilers for vol. 6).
Emp really did suffocate on her own snot on her third super-outing when she was duct-taped inside that trunk. They buried her in an unmarked grave and she dug herself out later, but because of her childhood phobia about being buried alive she repressed the memory. The "nightmare" she had when Deathmonger knocked her out was her real memory bubbling to the surface, although she didn't realize it at the time. Her supersuit is keeping her body from decomposing.
  • My problem with this theory is that we've seen several cases of her being out of the suit for prolonged periods of time. She doesn't wear the suit 24/7, so unless the suit is actively reversing her decomposition whenever she puts it on, it's highly unlikely.
    • "so unless the suit is actively reversing her decomposition whenever she puts it on" What part of "her suit is keeping her body from decomposing" was unclear to you?
      • The difference between simply staving off decomposition and actually regenerating it as live tissue? Again, considering how often we see Emp actually out of her suit, it'll need to be actively regenerating her rather than pausing decomposition so she's not falling apart when she's not actually in the suit itself.
      • Her suit blocks bullets and lets her breathe in space, among other powers. Keeping her corpse fresh seems quite well within its capabilities.
      • Its also entirely possible that the suit keeps her clinging onto life. Even when absolutely near death, the suit keeps her ticking. Therein she's Not Quite Dead.
    • Note that the rest of the Superdead aren't actually decomposed. Most of the grotesqueness coming from them is due to how they died (i.e. Hardkore having a hole in his chest, but being otherwise fine). It's likely the Superdead don't decompose, but retain their original state and are unable to grow or change their body. Being that Emp "died" a cleaner death than most would (choking on her own mucus and being buried alive), she probably lucked out and wouldn't otherwise be able to tell the difference.
      • The Superdead decompose. They themselves state as much when Emp first meets them.

Emp sent her super-suit to herself from the future.
In volume 6 we saw where Emp got her suit. It was mailed to her, apparently via magic (since it appears out of thin air and flies into her window). Some time in the future Emp will retire from superheroing and settle down with Thugboy. Not knowing what else to do with her suit (she can't give it to another superhero because it only works for her) she will send it back in time to her past self, creating a Stable Time Loop.

The death of Mind*** wasn't an accident
After Emp's fight with Deathmonger and she escapes through the portal we see a message from it, specifically, that the intense heat on the other side from the nuclear blast caused automatic shutdown. Even if there were some computer issues on the satellite the automatic safety features should have kicked in. Someone may be trying to kill Emp.
  • Except we know for a fact that, thanks to dWARf's meddling with the Lotus Nodes teleportation network (which the Homeys themselves don't even seem to understand that well), the network has been screwy for a long while. Mind*** and some of the others even explain this and there's a small amount of foreshadowing in the troubles with the network when Emp ends up in a forbidden area - then Mind*** can't shut the portal down as Willy Pete is sending his heat through. So the network just isn't working as well as it should, is screwy, and luckily works when Deathmonger decides to nuke his base.

Emp's suit will prove to be the key to defeating Willy Pete
Okay, we know Emp's suit can easily protect her from the vacuum of space, even when it's torn up. What if there's other things it can protect her from? Like, say, fire? Have we ever seen Emp's suit take damage from fire? I don't think so. What if that's not a coincidence?
  • The suit seemed not to think that it could protect her from the heat of reentry, so it probably couldn't withstand a direct hit from Willy Pete at full blast.

Thugboy's name is Dude
Either his first or last. Frank calls him "Dude" a lot. It could be this is like "Kiddo" from Kill Bill, the character's actual name, not some cute nickname.

Emp's suit only controls her mind when the cowl/hood part regenerates
Really! When the suit is on the floor in 4 it clearly has a closed head/hood/cowl that would go over Emp's hair but her hair is never covered. She must cut that part off in order to expose her hair. When it regenerates enough to cover the top of her head it controls her mind.
  • It's implied the suit goes "around" the follicles of hair, as Emp has to shave down there or else it looks like barbed wire.
    • Good point, but in Empowered #1 it is specifically stated that it "ends up looking like latex-coated steel wool", implying that the suite coats the hair and does not go around the follicles (pg 183). Also from Emp 1, pg 198, 2nd panel, Emp is show holding the hood/mask in her hand separate from the rest of the suit and her hand is through it. That said, Adam Warren has never let continuity stand in the way of his story telling so this could be nothing.
  • What makes you think that the suit controls her mind at all?

Adam Warren writes the series as sex therapy for superhero fans with misogynistic BDSM fantasies.
There's a pretty visible and nasty faction of superhero fans who follow female characters because they like seeing them sexually abused, and the series is designed to lure them in with bondage and then demonstrate to them that having sex with women you actually like can be fun as well.

How did Rubbernecker
die? He was still around on the Capeys Awards.
  • Possibility: Having ingested tainted food at The Capeys, his body didn't contract to normal dimensions when he lost his powers. With a giraffe length neck on a human torso, he asphyxiated.
    • Are you sure that was him? I saw a super with a mace for a head, but it was clearly a different character.

MaidMan's Secret Identity/Alternate Personality is a "Made Man"
Admit it works, the suit he's putting on could work just as well for a gangster as an office worker and far be it for Adam Warren to miss a pun like that.

Deathmonger is actually the Purple Paladin
According to Spooky's 'Friendly Neighbourhood Infernal Service Provider', he was contacting her via a Superdead for added scene, and in fact a few of them called out for Theresa in volume 6, so we know he was telling the truth in that and Deathmonger is a Superdead. So, why the Purple Paladin? Because it would be sick and wrong, and Deathmonger himself IS sick and wrong.
  • According to Hardkorpse, he was a science savant pre-death. They had to have known him before he became a Superdead (especially as most of that group were first-generation Superdead just like Deathmonger. They never made any indication that it was someone as revered as Purple Paladin.

The San Antonio cape massacre happened at the Purple Paladin's funeral
After all, the Purple Paladin died relatively recently, if that guy complaining about his fantasy league getting roasted by Willy Pete could complain of losing a league because the Purple Paladin died. Also, we've seen in a flashback that Thugboy planned about attacking a cape funeral because it was a target-rich environment, and the service of Willy Pete's victims was celebrated with something looking suspiciously like the San Antonio volcano in the background...

Havoc is a villain.
The reason he's spreading those rumors to Heronet? Subterfuge. He doesn't want someone sniffing his trail. Plus if someone did find out he was a villain, they'd probably take it more seriously and actually do something about it other than say, loads and loads of gossip. After all, idiocy aside, he's genuinely competent with his powers unlike Emp who has to be either steaming mad or focusing very, VERY hard for hers to work properly.
  • Is he really competent with his abilities? We know for a fact that he's actually a complete idiot when it comes to his tactics - his approach to Willy Pete being to bum-rush the guy - and he's a complete coward when the chips are down. Plus, Emp is actually far more competent with what she knows about her abilities than him, the complete moron who nearly killed both Emp and Pre-Ocelotina when trying to rescue them from TB's crew in volume one. Plus, Warren already played the "teammate is a villain" card with dWarf!, came dangerously close to doing so with Sista Spooky, and the others are at least a little dubious of her. It's more effective to keep playing Havoc as a jerkass, since as the series progresses, more people are defending Emp, so things balance out.

Spooky's prophecy really does mean they'll be "separated by death" - HIS death
All it takes is one bad day:
  • Ninjette, completely smashed, disguises herself as Emp and sleeps with Thugboy.
  • Emp is extremely pissed with both of them, as she catches the pair of them in her bed; she throws them out and completely breaks down.
  • Thugboy flat-out slugs Ninjette and storms off.
  • Ninjette, now convinced of her worthlessness, doesn't even fight the ninja who are coming for the price on her head.
  • Even as she bows her head towards the blade, the swordswoman's head explodes
  • Thugboy takes out 6 before a lucky shuriken cuts his carotid. Just then, Emp drops in and takes the rest out.
  • Ninjette watches in horror as the man she loved bleeds his life out in front of her. Only one thing to do. Grasping her knife, she slits her own throat.
  • Having two friends die in the same night finally does Emp in. Alternately laughing and weeping, she throws the suit in the incinerator, releases the Caged Demonwolf and merges with him.
  • Massive battle royale with every single hero against EmpWolf. EVERYONE DIES.

Major Havoc will snap, try to kill Emp and she (or more likely the suit) will kill him in self-defence.
Havoc has already moved from merely being a bully towards Emp to being an outright antagonist; he's already making a concerted effort to discredit her and ruin her career by spreding ruimours that he knows aren't true. But with the superdead primed to deliver a "The Reason You Suck" Speech to the Superhomies about how Emp had to save their asses from Deathmonger while the others were faffing about and Manny eventually about to come clean with the truth about dWARf/Fleshmaster, he's probably on the verge of screwing the niceties and simply trying to murder her. And of course, even if Emp wouldn't kill him, the suit would have no such qualms. (In fact, that's quite possibly the way Emp will learn the suit is alive.)

Empowered is on the same world of Kim Possible
It would explain why Shego in the end preferred working for supervillains instead of staying superhero and Kim not knowing of Shego's past as a superheroine (seriously, The Dragon of a mad scientist being revealed as a former superhero is not something that would escape the news, and Shego still wears the old uniform): both are disgusted with the superjerks, with Shego switching for the side with the tolerable people and Kim staying away from the capes as much as she could.

The San Antonio capekilling incident was responsible for creating Willy Pete
Glimpses of flashbacks in volume 7 show the Witless Minions attacking a cape with a Molotov cocktail and a white phosphorous ("Willy Pete") grenade. The WP grenade gets a lot of focus in those scenes.

The Caged Demonwolf will be released to save Empowered and the others from certain death
It's been shown he truly cares about Empowered, Ninjette, and Thugboy, so it isn't much of a stretch to say that he would be willing to save them if he wasn't sealed within the gear.
  • Or in a specific scenario, will be the one to finally destroy Willy Pete (and throw in an ironic skullfucking for good measure) because, let's face it: CD is probably the only thing in the story so far capable of completely annihilating that hothead.

Emp and Ninjette are actually half-sisters
Both of their fathers are He Who Must Not Be Seen. Maybe they're actually the same guy, and the difference in their upbringings was part of some twisted psychological experiment?
  • It is possible to use some ninja trickery to fake the demise Emp vividly recalls her father suffering, but from what we see of Papa Kaburagi it is doubtful he has the patience and self control to pull such a stunt or for that matter a convincing long term impersonation of anything sane.

Emp will die defeating Willy Pete and the world will know her as a hero.
There's some foreshadowing in an early volume about how the author tends to kill off his characters...

Thugboy's real name starts with a T.
In the flashbacks to his time in San Antonio, one of his cohorts calls him "T-Boy." Since at that time he was a member of a revolutionary cell, and not a thug, there's no reason to suppose that he had the nickname Thugboy yet. So his real name probably starts with a T. Thomas, Timothy, Theodore, Thaddeus, Trevor, and Todd are all likely candidates.

Willy Pete is the sum of several energy waves.
Consider the following facts: after the massacre, the joint super-team investigation determines that Willy Pete does not exist in their reality. Also, Mindf**k characterized him as a "kludge-mind," as if his psyche were the combination of several partial psyches that had been combined. So what if he is a combination of some sort of energy waves, each propagating invisibly in the vicinity of earth, periodically intersecting in such a way that their wave functions sum to form Willy Pete? That's what happens when he appears. When the waves are no longer in sync, that is, no long reinforce one another, but instead cancel one another out, Willy Pete disappears.

Ninjette's mother died in childbirth.
We know that Ninjette's father is obsessed with procreation, and specifically with Ninjette bearing as many children as possible for the greater glory of Clan Kaburagi. If he had many other children of his own, he probably wouldn't be as concerned with her having children. Given that he appears not to have any other children, and that we have neither seen nor heard anything of Ninjette's mother, it is probable that she is dead. As for how she died, if she died giving birth to Kozue, that might partly explain why he resents her so much.
  • Given some further support in Nine Beers with Ninjette, in which she says specifically that her father blamed her for her mother's death, even when she was very young.

The story is set in the same universe as W.I.T.C.H.
And the Capes being assholes is Cornelia's reason for wish to be normal.

Sistah Spooky received neither her beauty nor her powers from the demon she sold her soul to.
If one accepts the traditional theological notion that the forces of darkness cannot create, how could the demon have given her a new body, or magical powers? She probably had the magical powers all along. After all, how else could she have summoned the demon in the first place? At most, the demon probably triggered those powers to fulfill her wish for beauty, and then told her that he had accidentally given her those powers, so that she would think that they came from him. This was all part of a long con to lure her into damnation and hell. Telling her that Mindf**k's soul is now in hell is probably simply the next step in the con.
  • The demon could have still done that: the beauty part would be altering something already existing, while the powers would actually be the demon screwing with the amount of demonic energy to supply Spooky's body with to keep the beauty. Still, it would be an interesting plot twist...
    • But could a demon even do that? Could the powers of darkness create beauty, or, if your prefer, improve something that already exists by making it more beautiful? Also, what demonic energy? Isn't the whole point that the powers of darkness are, in fact, powerless, except insofar as they are able to deceive people into believing that they have real power?
      • Nope: they still have dominion on everything solid and on Earth, and magic, according to ancient traditions (from which the theological ones derive), comes from demons, be they spirits of nature or devils it doesn't matter, using their superhuman but still natural powers in service of a human.
      • So you say, but I don't believe that. And again, how did Theresa summon the demon in the first place without having magical powers to begin with? And why, after supposedly signing the beauty-for-your-soul pact with every other girl in Theresa's school, and perhaps beyond, would the demon suddenly screw up with Theresa? And why would he be so stupid as to tell her about her powers, when she presumably never would have used them if she hadn't known about them, and then the demon would have been able to take them away "off the books." And if the demon could take them away, why would her use of those powers make it impossible for the demon to take them back? I maintain that she always had the powers, but that the demon tricked her into believing that they came from him, so as to trick her into damning herself. After all, the fastest way to convince someone to damn herself is to convince her that she is already damned.

Icy Mike's cryobomb will be the key to defeating Willy Pete.
  • So far, the only thing that we've seen that could even slow Willy Pete down was the cryogun. Perhaps the cryobomb will stop him permanently.

Before Ninjette left the ninja village, she tried to kill her father, but had to settle for castration with a quick knife to the privates
  • Well, you have to take your victories where you can, and it was symbolic of the only thing he valued. It would also explain why there was a change in leadership (I can imagine a rule like 'only fertile males can head the clan') and a resumption of the bounty (she's the last fertile member of the main family).

Even if she isn't the best superhero, Emp would make a terrifyingly effective supervillain.
While unwillingly, she intentionally caused the death of about 10 superheroes (11 if you count the indirect death of Mindf**k) and destroyed a billion dollar space station, almost bringing the Superhomeys to their knees. Even if Willy Pete did all the "work," she instigated the event. Combined with her Genre Savvy-ness which could just as easily turn into Dangerously Genre Savvy-ness (including her knowledge of the methods of Superhero restraint and other insider knowledge of being a Superhomey), she could probably give Deathmonger a run for his money if she wasn't such a sweetheart with self-esteem issues. But, like the above posts say: one bad day...

Despite what she thinks, Sistah Spooky isn't responsible for Emp's Bondage Magnet status.
Consider this — of the four "fusion overspells" that she's shown to have cast, one ("Everybody Notice Me!") may or may not have had any effect, since she became a cape at a time when the suprahuman community was looking for new leaders, with her "meteoric rise" coming as a result of her hard work and circumstances beyond her control. The third one ("Stop doing that to Emp") clearly didn't work. The fourth ("Don't pay any attention to the Vorpal Sword") doesn't seem to have worked, given that the creatures were clearly firing on it, not her, after Emp came back for her. So then why should the spell that she thinks turned Emp into a bondage magnet have worked?
  • Point of order: the demons only started paying attention to the Vorpal Sword after Spooky was on it.

Ocelotina will suffer a severe Break the Cutie moment, and will proceed to Take a Level in Badass as a result.
...Because let's face it: A character like her wouldn't last long in a world like this. This troper bets Rape as Drama and even Slut Shaming will have something to do with it. To which she will abandon her fanservice-y costume for a more reasonably practical one and up her fighting ability so she can keep up with her colleagues.
ElfQuestWMG/ComicsEx Machina

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