Empowered volume 1
Dark Horse Comics
Writer: Adam Warren
Art: Adam Warren
BW, 248 pgs
$19.99 CAN / $14.99 US
Adam Warren returns to creator owned work
by Shane Hnetka
“Bahh. Like all too many females, the alpha wench fails to appreciate a well-timed movie quote!”
Adam Warren was writing and drawing manga before it was popular here in North America. In the late 80’s, Warren began drawing and eventually writing an American adaptation of the popular anime The Dirty Pair. I discovered his work after he had already completed several Dirty Pair series and found I enjoyed them immensely. Later, when he took over Gen 13, I felt he had produced some of his best work on the title. I try and pick up Adam Warren’s work whenever he does something new. Lately, he has been finding work with Marvel, such as his enjoyable Livewires miniseries, but Empowered is a return to creator owned work.
Empowered is about a superhero that gets her powers from her skintight suit. It gives her the strength of ten men and the ability to fire bolts of energy at her opponents. Unfortunately, it tears very easily. Bullets, swords, thorns, sharp corners, anything. And then she loses her powers. As a result, she’s considered a bit of joke for a superhero because she frequently ends up captured and tied up while wearing almost nothing. Despite the cheesecake and bondage themes that are prevalent throughout this comic, Warren instills this with plenty of humour, satire and his usual insightful remarks about society, superheroes and the problems of wearing spandex. (Well placed capes are useful for proper butt concealment.)
The trade paperback is broken into several little two or three page stories, telling a larger story overall. Empowered is introduced, along with the Super-Homeys, the superhero team she belongs to, along with her ex-villain, thug boyfriend Thugboy and her best friend, a ninja chick named Ninjette, and an evil overlord Demonwolf whose name is so terrible it must remain unnamed and who’s trapped in a power-belt and left in the care of Empowered. A nice part of this comic is the fact Adam Warren doesn’t bother using and making fun of the standard archetypical superheroes. So many writers use the standard Superman, Batman clone.
This is an extremely enjoyable book. In some ways it’s similar to what Jimmie Robinson has been trying to do with Bomb Queen, but Empowered is far more enjoyable. Adam Warren’s sense of humor had me laughing out loud throughout this book and his art hasn’t looked better. I can’t wait for more. (Shane Hnetka)