Archive for Empowered

Riding in Cars with Animals


Empowered: Animal Style

Empowered has taken a part-time job working overnight security for the 20th Annual International/Interchronal Alternate Timeline Superhero Auto Show. And as is typical for her rotten luck, it gets invaded for the first time ever by car thieves. In fact, it’s a team of villains wearing animal-themed powered armor who call themselves Animal Style. Emp is entirely outnumbered, so she’ll have to use her best superpower — brains. Will that be enough to let her save the day and avoid getting tied up again? Knowing Emp’s luck… probably not.

Verdict: Thumbs up. Extremely funny stuff all the way through — I can’t get enough of Terrorpin’s battle cry, and the glimpses we get of the alternate reality cars are just brilliant, especially Juicetice and Kato’s infamous White Superbronco and the Egyptian-styled car designed by Ed “Big Daddy” Thoth. And it’s also really cool to see Emp kick so much ass — it’s usually pretty rare, even in the full-length collections.


The Movement #2

The members of the Movement have taken some of the more corrupt officers of the Coral City Police Department into custody, which is leading to some concerns that they’re treading down the same path as the authoritarian police. And there are plenty of other conflicts tearing at the group. Mouse and Burden are thoroughly insane — Mouse swings from abject sorrow every time one of his rats dies to almost immediately wanting to eat the bodies raw, while Burden keeps flipping from emotionally abused religious fanatic to demonic hellmonster, almost at random. And all Katharsis ever wants to do is fight and kill the group’s enemies. So while Katharsis goes off on her own to fight the cops and their wealthy paymaster, the rest of the team sets out on the trail of the so-called Cornea Killer, which sets them up against the ominously-named Weather Witch.

Verdict: Thumbs up. Much better than the first issue, as we’re finally getting some clue about the Movement’s personalities. The action is quite good, too, and the interpersonal conflicts are excellently drawn. Having said that, I am a little curious how it’s going to work with two team members so thoroughly broken mentally. And I’m afraid I did let out an exasperated groan when we learned the true identity of the Weather Witch…

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Maid to Order

Empowered: Ten Questions for the Maidman

Adam Warren’s plucky, bondage-prone superheroine returns for another one-shot special, this time spotlighting the Maidman, an unpowered guy who dresses up like a stereotypical French maid but still has the bad guys terrified because he’s such an unrelenting badass. In other words, he’s Batman in a miniskirt and apron. The entire story is written by Adam Warren and part of the art is by him, but a lot of the art — specifically, anything in color — is by Emily Warren (no relation to Adam).

While Emp bluffs multiple bad guys by pretending “Hey, Maidman’s right behind you” and then using their panic to take them down solo, the Maidman himself is being interviewed by a superhero celebrity interviewer named Blitzcraig. Can Emp’s diversionary tactics continue to be successful? And what is the Maidman’s secret motive for agreeing to the silly celebrity interview?

Verdict: Thumbs up. Everything about this series is fun and awesome. I don’t know anything else I can say about it but that.

Love and Capes: Ever After #5

Most of this issue is taken up by the sudden unexpected (and offscreen) death of Windstar, a superhero who has only been seen a few times over the course of the entire series. Still, he’s been a member of the superhero community for a long time, so his death sends shockwaves around the circle of friends including the Crusader, his wife Abby, Darkblade, and Amazonia. Mark, Darkblade, and Doc Karma do a thorough investigation of Windstar’s body to find out if he’s going to come back from the dead, Abby and Mark attend the funeral for Windstar’s civilian identity, and they all visit the Liberty League Satellite for a memorial ceremony.

Verdict: Thumbs up. For a comedy book, this is all surprisingly moving. We get plenty of flashbacks to previous interactions between Mark and Windstar, and we spend a significant amount of time focusing on Windstar’s grief-stricken father and his similarly-powered niece. It’s a really nice, emotional story, and it serves as a very nice capper on this miniseries.

Today’s Cool Links:

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Sighs Matters


Empowered Special

So several years back, Adam Warren got some art commissions to create some superhero bondage fetish artwork. He ended up taking the character he’d created for the commission and turning her into a — ahem — more fully fleshed-out character. The result was “Empowered,” a sexy superhero comedy about a dishy blonde with severe self-esteem issues and a supersuit that gets torn way, way too easily. She’s a member of a superteam called the Superhomeys, but almost none of them like her at all. Her real friends are her boyfriend Thugboy, a former minion-for-hire, her best friend Ninjette, a beer-swilling ninja, and the Caged Demonwolf, a pompous cosmic monstrosity imprisoned inside some power-draining alien bondage gear and living on the coffee table in Emp’s home. There have been five volumes of this story so far, and you should go pick ’em up, ’cause they’re awesome.

Enough backstory? In this one-shot comic, Emp’s up against a villain with the spectacularly clumsy name of Irresistimmovable who wears an extremely powerful battlesuit. He’s already taken out the rest of the Superhomeys and is chasing Emp through a secret superhero cemetery. Meanwhile, Thugboy, Ninjette, and the Caged Demonwolf catalogue Emp’s vast variety of sighs as she goes through the daily trials of her life. Can Emp use a message from beyond the grave to defeat her undefeatable enemy?

Verdict: Thumbs up. Wildly, awesomely kinetic eye candy. Beautifully illustrated, fantastically well-written. Part in-depth character study, part superhero action, part comic deconstruction, and large parts of screaming hilarity, thanks almost entirely to the Caged Demonwolf (“The nigh-omniscient netherlord’s staggering sapience overwhelmingly outstrips your own merely mortal musings! Now, hearken hence, half-witten hominids!”). Probably not for kids — there’s sex and skin galore (but no actual nudity), and two of the characters mentioned are named S***house Rat and Mindf**k (both censored almost exactly like that in the comic, which is kinda cool). But the rest of y’all should feel free to go track this one down.


Madame Xanadu #17

Betty Reynolds, former 1950s perfect housewife, is going through a slow, inexplicable, terrifying transformation, and Madame Xanadu is trying to find out what’s the matter. She spies on some clean-cut ’50s suburbanites who moonlight as Satanists and crosses paths with an eerie detective named John Jones. Betty’s transformation ramps up significantly, from bug-puking to fire-breathing to claws, fangs, and culminating in something far worse.

Verdict: Thumbs up. Matt Wagner and Amy Reeder Hadley are doing really wonderful things with this comic. At turns gross, unsettling, awe-inspiring, and breathtaking — I love the way this story is developing.


Comic Book Comics #4

The history of comic books as told through comics — Fred van Lente and Ryan Dunlavey, the creators of “Action Philosophers,” take us through the high and low points of “Crime Does Not Pay” (and the real-life crime perpetrated by one of its creators), the creation of the Fantastic Four, the “Marvel Method” of comic creation, the rise of Stan Lee, Steve Ditko and Objectivism, the Texas Mafia (betcha didn’t know independent comics got their start in Austin, didja?), R. Crumb and the creation of “Zap Comix,” European comics, Herge’s run-ins with the Nazis, and the creation of comics for adults in the forms of “Metal Hurlant,” “Heavy Metal,” and “Epic Illustrated.”

Verdict: Thumbs up. Lots of stuff you didn’t know about, lots of great cartooning, and lots of excellent writing. I’m enjoying the individual issues of this series, but I gotta admit, I’m looking forward to the eventual collected edition. It’s outstanding comic history.

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Friday Night Fights: Nuclear Empowered!

Let’s make this short and sweet: Weekend! Huzzah! FRIDAY NIGHT FIGHTS!

Tonight, we’re visiting 2007’s Empowered, Volume 1 by Adam Warren, as Empowered gets good and mad — as well as, for once, good and confident and and not tied-up and not nearly-nekkid — and unleashes all over a bunch of thugs threatening her boyfriend and earns a boatload of respect besides.






Adam Warren does action and cheesecake better than any other artist I know.

Tonight’s musical accompaniment seemed obvious enough. Ladies and gentlemen, put your hands together for Aretha Franklin!

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