Wait, what’s this? An on-time update? Noooooooo.
So as for director’s commentary on THIS strip, it’s all related to the last panel, and how this comic is the only real vestige of a concept I came up with way back when.
I’d already established well before this that Nya had a character in the MMO – specifically, one with armor patterned after the Insecticon Shrapnel (the username being the punny Shrapnyal). A short while after Breeze got introduced to the comic, and in an example of organic character interactions just happening, ended up becoming somewhat chummy with Nya and Samus; the three of them interacting in the coffee shop Breeze worked at. The mutual “wanting to get back at Tornado” drawing the bratty based-on-Asajj Ventress-sister and mercenary cat together, and adding Samus to the trio only made sense given how I write her.
So around when I was doing this comic I got the idea in my head that they should all be a mercenary MMO team, ALL patterned after Insecticons – dubbed the “Waywards”, in tribute to Transformers fandom member/”Insecticomics” creator Wayward (her now-ended photocomic was a fun one indeed; she’s still doing other fanworks but not that particular anything-goes Insecticon comic). And thus as a result we got the designs for Blowback (Breeze; get the pun?) and Bombelle (Samus, with a morph ball bomb reference intended there).
Sadly I didn’t really get much mileage out of the concept; not long after I used them in this 24 hour comic, I did the Dark Fission storyline and kinda deliberately closed off that MMO plotline for a bit (which ended up being for WAY longer than I’d originally intended; seriously, I was already plotting the Deej/Cicada-Chan introduction/reveal at least a year before I even finalized Deej’s design!)
It’s also worth noting as well re: character relationships that, this being well before Deej met Breeze in person, and given how she uses an alias, this whole Breeze = Blowback thing would have been unknown to both of them until the trial. (Nya, on the other hand, she may well have known of, given she’s a known quantity in mercenary/assassin circles IRL and isn’t all that subtle about her particular set of skills.)