It’s only two weeks till Valentine’s Day! Are you ready? Got plans? Want to see a super-powered villain with a love-gun and a rotten attitude spread chaos and destruction all over the city? Why wouldn’t you? See below for preview pages and a review of the first issue in the Empowered mini series Empowered and the Soldier of Love.
(Minor spoilers below.)
It’s just an average day in Cape City, with Emp and Ninjette having a little coffee on their way to work until a giant with a broken heart and a drinking problem starts demolishing downtown.
That could just be a part of normal supra-community weirdness, except that everybody seems to be gettin’ it on. Super capes all over are having these amazing, out-of-nowhere hookups, everybody’s giggly and distracted and nobody can stop frigging sexting.
I wondered if Emp was going to get jealous, with all the company cars rockin’ cause the boots inside are knockin’ (…sorry…) but then I remembered: she’s got Thugboy. You’ve seen him, right? Muscular Asian gentleman with the good heart and dreamy eyes and forearms carved out of a block of wood? Sorry, where was I? Oh yes. I’m sure Emp’s fine.
What everyone hasn’t realized yet is the trouble’s coming from a newcomer; a grumpy, Spanish-speaking brunette with a heart-shaped vape and a chip on her shoulder. You can see from the cover that her super-persona certainly looks different from her civilian clothes: pink ruffles and rose petals and teeny little sparkles all over the place. Yet even with the floofiest, magical-girl prettyness surrounding her, she’s still got a scowl pasted in place. Heck, the flounces are probably why she’s got the scowl.
Unlike the other guest-artist issues in Empowered, this storyline will cover a full three issues instead of just one. So there’s plenty of time left for us to find out what’s motivating the Soldier of Love and her magical pangolin (you heard me) to sow chaos all over Cape City, and plenty of time for Emp to get herself into trouble, either the tied-up-and-helpless kind she’s usually in, or another kind if anybody decides to mess with Thugboy.
As for the art, Chilean artist Karla Diaz does an excellent job, both with our easily recognized main characters and with the new Soldier of Love and those miles and miles of pink ruffles. (Not to mention some quick shots of a dozen tertiary capes gettin’ it on. Heh. “Stigmata Hari.” Hee hee hee.)
There’s some recognizable manga qualities here and there, but it’s mostly Diaz’s own style, a bit more cartoony than you’d see with Warren’s work, with exaggerated expressions (but not too exaggerated) and great background work. And the color’s gorgeous (and not just the pink.)
I’m glad we get two more chapters of this, the story has the potential to be a lot more complex than could fit into a stand-alone issue. And I really want to see more of that pangolin.
“Empowered and the Soldier of Love” #1 is in comic shops February 8. Preview images courtesy of Dark Horse.
If you’d like even more Adam Warren reviews, you should go here.