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Sunday, June 28, 2009


Adam Warren's excellent EMPOWERED is back with this latest all-new graphic novel, and the eight-month wait between doses was once again totally worth it.

Picking up immediately after the events at last volume's superhero awards ceremony, our heroine's life continues to spiral down the shitter while some very interesting plot developments occur. You know how when you read any superhero comics series regularly there is the occasional issue where nothing much happens, but the character stuff that takes place in lieu of world-shattering action or spandex-clad punch-ups is every bit as compelling as gratuitous sex and violence? This volume is one of those issues, and it's a 208-page tour de force of character development and simply gaw-juss artwork that more than justifies its $14.95 cover price.

This volume can't really be discussed in detail without ruining its fun, so here's as much as I can say without doing much spoiling:
  • Elissa (Empowered's real name) continues to evolve as a hero and a person, and while she's still pretty damned insecure, she's getting her shit together (somewhat) and discovering new powers generated by her flimsy super-suit.
  • Emp (and by association, the readers) get some very valuable lessons regarding duct tape.
  • Supporting character Ninjette just gets better and better.
  • The Caged Demonwolf steals the chapter entitled "When Titans Fornicate" by relating a vigorous cosplay sex session between Emp and Thug Boy in a florid style that would make Stan Lee envious.
  • The "naughty librarian" returns.
  • We learn more about Sistah Spooky and while I always thought she was a bit of a needlessly mean-spirited cunt, I am now firmly convinced that the bitch is actually crazy. And not in a good way.
  • Adam Warren is a genius for utterly subverting the tired manga/anime cliché of the cute "cat-girl" in the person of the kinky and avaricious Ocelotina. She's obnoxious as hell and she cracks me the fuck up.
  • The blacked-out "censored" profanity is so profuse this time around, the book at times resembles a particularly strange edition of MAD-LIBS.
  • We learn quite a lot about Mindfuck, the telepathic sole full-time resident of the Superhomeys' orbital space station, and in the process of reading about her she has done the nigh-impossible and eclipsed Ninjette as my favorite supporting character.
  • Major Havoc of the Super-Homeys sinks to new lows of abuse toward Emp, and all I have to say is that the wheel of Karma can be one major-league bitch...
  • Balls-out insane and literally skull-fucking fire elemental villain Willy Pete returns and shows us just how fuck-all powerful and frightening he really is. Let's put it this way: does six-figure heat-generation mean anything to you? Johnny Storm, you are now officially a punk-ass bitch.
Again, this one's mostly character stuff, but it all culminates in a final chapter that is both totally shattering and a testament to Emp's evolution as a superhero. This one ups the stakes tremendously and despite a few moments of much-needed levity, it's as serious as a heart attack. Definitely a fucking huge TO BE CONTINUED, the months of waiting can now commence and they will be agonizing. Adam Warren, you rule. You completely fucking rule. HIGHEST RECOMMENDATION.

1 comment:

Satyrblade said...

Can't wait. Getting #4 and possibly #5 with my nexy paycheck. I've been loving this book, and consider its compact storytelling and concise character development to be amonst the best in recent comics media. Who'd've thunk it?

The only thing that bugs me are the blacked-out word bubbles. Jeezus, Adam - if you're gonna have a skull-fucking incindiary device as your Big Bad, why exactly are you censoring the word "shit"? Okay, the effect is sometimes amusing; more often than not, though, it's distracting as hell.