The laser blasts fly as costumed crime fighter Empowered battles a series of puzzlingly rage-fueled supervillains, each one armed with a bigger and more destructive “supergun” than the last. Ah, but might our long-suffering heroine’s own buried resentments and repressed bitterness prove to be her deadliest foes? (SPOILER: Yes, pretty much.)
A new, stand-alone issue of Empowered, Adam Warren’s sexy superhero series, is out next week, and this one is written and drawn by Adam himself! Click the jump for preview pages and a review of Empowered Special #7: Pew Pew Pew!
Long-suffering Emp is trying to turn over a new leaf. She’s still stuck with a supersuit that loses powers if it’s torn (and since it’s the consistency of tissue paper it gets torn an awful lot.) She’s still stuck with superhero coworkers who can’t seem to respect her no matter how hard she works. And she still deals with daily insults and catty remarks from average citizens who’d rather pay attention to how often Emp gets tied up and gagged by the villains, than to how many times she’s swooped in and saved their butts.
But. She’s trying to be the bigger person. It doesn’t help matters to be constantly angry, does it? It’s better to shrug off the sexist remarks and internet scorn than to have a chip on your shoulder, right? Better to have a calm, peaceful attitude about it than to go completely crazy with rage and destroy every last person who’s ever treated you that way! RIGHT?!
So yes, things get complicated.
I can’t really say anything about the art that I haven’t said before: the fight scenes are amazing, the faces and figures are gorgeous, and the backgrounds (which I believe Adam has said are not his favorite thing to draw) are mindboggling detailed. I enjoy the guest artists that come in to do the Special issues, but I’ve been completely hooked on Adam’s art for years.
The story stands on its on really well; it could take place at just about any time in the Empverse (though I think that’s Sistah Spooky in the HeroFuleTM commercial, something she isn’t likely to take part in anymore, but maybe the commercial was filmed earlier. Shh. Spoilers…)
It’s a testament to how much Adam has developed this character that I get so angry on Emp’s behalf at how she’s treated. Never mind the fact that she gets trussed up a lot, has a skin-tight suit that shows everything, and some folks think she’s got extra junk in the trunk. She’s been known to take out super villains by throwing a truck at them. She’s such a badass, I live for the day when she gets a little credit from the “douchecapes” she works with.
Adam takes pot-shots at the internet trend of “listicles” (articles that are really just big lists of something scandalous; we all know they’re pretty worthless but we can’t help clicking on them can we?) I think by feeling bad for Emp making the #1 spot in the “Top 20 Failcapes Who Should Definitely Find Another Line of Work” we can maybe spare a smidge of sympathy for any actress in the “Worst Beach Bodies of 2015” list, and maybe go read something more important.
The storyline about anger taking over is what can really resonate with people. Whether it’s something pretty significant (a sexual partner who treated you really badly) or maybe less significant (a bank that charged you a service fee, the bastards) there’s something a little too satisfying sometimes about being angry. If you sit and dwell on it long enough, the thing you were mad about isn’t really even part of the picture anymore, there’s just the rage that’s become a thing all by itself, an ugly little fire you feed with bits of bitterness and resentment.
CS Lewis once said we “find hatred such a pleasure that to give it up is like giving up beer or tobacco,” and that’s pretty true: when you think you’ve been done wrong it’s addictive, and unhelpful, to stew in it forever. Emp’s really trying hard to not let other people’s small-minded remarks get her down, but she’s finding that bottling it up and repressing it isn’t helpful either.
I do think she might be being a little too hard on herself though: she thinks she’s not being an adult if she can’t just shrug off the things that hurt her or make her angry. I think it’s a good goal to not be angry all the time, but I think any day you can be angry and refrain from pouring that bile all over Facebook is a win. But Emp’s goal is definitely more Zen.
Preview pages and description courtesy of Dark Horse.