Yuuup! Do me a favor and imagine the dramatic music rising as they talk, then the sting right after Dabbler says “…violence” Dunnnnnn! In fact it’s probably best if you read the remainder of the fight while listening to some track from Two Steps From Hell, who are hard to beat when it comes to god damned epic music. Actually, listening to some good Two Steps From Hell tracks makes stuff like shopping for groceries feel a lot more life and death. If the comic was movie or tv show, I’d definitely use that gag. I do have some “audio required” jokes that I’m saving for the movie version. :)
Drawing a 50 person battle royale for my first fight was daunting, but this was a big part of the reason for it. I knew Vehemence would settle for nothing less, and now the team has unwittingly powered him up to the point that he’s capable of trading blows with Maxima. In fact actually trading those blows was quite helpful to him. Like a succubus, it’s good to be near the action, but much better to be directly involved.
As villains go, I think Vehemence’s powers are pretty original, at least to my knowledge. It’s a good part of the reason why genre savvy Sydney didn’t peg him before he gave it away. After I thought him up, I was able to come up with a few other antagonists with similar abilities though. Certainly a few entities from Star Trek fed on conflict or anger. War, from the Incarnations of Immortality books owed his godhood to ongoing wars, and Ares from DC comics is powered by conflict, but I think making it akin to tantric magic is more or less unique, so I’m pretty proud of him. It also makes me think of what other abilities could be derived from a normally intangible source of energy. An angel powered by charity? An Avaristic user, powered by wealth and greed? Straight up good or evil? There’s a lot of potential there, something I’ll probably explore a bit more in the Grrl-verse. :)
Boy that last panel took a lot of work, and I’m sure it’s missing many a scorch mark and crack. I know panels prior to this haven’t really shown the cumulative damage very well, and if I have some time I’d like to go back and fix that, but like I’ve said before, drawing rubble is quite tedious. I also would have liked to have shown everyone laying unconscious where they fell for maximum effect, but I already established that Harem and Sydney were carrying them from the field of battle and sedating them. There should be more flaming bits of Shawn’s car scattered everywhere and stuff like that, but I basically worked on the panel until I ran out of time and had to start coloring. Still, I think it carries the impact I wanted pretty well.