Please go read the issue before continuing.
First off, the title. "Sign, Sign, Everywhere a Sign," is part of the lyrics to "Signs" by the Five Man Electrical Band. It has some relevance, but not much. I think I chose it because everyone was signing papers all over. Action packed paper signing!
Nasty gets to school, late, because of what happened in issue 7. This is where what Nasty perceives as reality and actual reality start separating. Little Jimmy's school called ahead to let Seward know to expect Nasty late. Nasty is expecting the worst of the school, a lecture on the merits of being late without further punishment. Oddly, that is working on Nasty, just not the way the school expects. Nasty just wants to avoid lectures, so she'll toe the line. And, yes, she's been late before without an excuse, so she is well aware of the lecture she's expecting.
Seward also uses praise as part of maintaining discipline. Do something wrong, like be late, get lectured. Go above and beyond, even if it means being late and risking a lecture, get praised. Nasty just doesn't expect the carrot, being used to the stick part of the equation. So, when she's praised by authority, she's a little out of her depth. The reality of Nasty's school is different from her perception of it.
The next scene puts the focus on Maria, with her reaction to everything that has happened in the previous issues. She and Nasty don't get along, not under the same roof. Part of the reason is the bombshell Maria drops; she is twice the age of her daughter. Maria wasn't emotionally ready to have a child when Nasty was born. Worse, she got a kid who was just like her. Her last line shows that Nasty keeps a few secrets from her; a selfish person doesn't stop a kid from being bullied.
The final scene is the big one. The last few issues have been building up to this moment, when the Consortium strikes. The commentary for issue 7 explains why the Treasury Department. Nasty suspects something's wrong, especially with Agent Walsh. The agents also manage to upset Nasty enough to trigger her power punch, then warn her about hurting others, even by accident. Then Nasty's world spins and fades to black.
Dun dun DUN!
Subject 13 Issue 9 will be up Friday evening. Over at Fan To Pro, Lost in Translation will look at superhero universes and adaptations. I may have other posts here over the coming week, too.