Monday, April 09, 2007


This just in... I've finished volume one of Empowered, and I'm going to go ahead and file this gush under MANGA...

Yeah yeah, all you mangaphobes and manga purists may argue whether it belongs under such a classification, but I'm stickin to it.

Empowered is the 243 page black and white artwork collection of shorts centered around a sexy/cute female member of the Superhomey's, named Empowered. She's a superchica with self confidence issues, who, thanks to the trickey powers that her skintight suit endows, is perennially being bound and gagged by the supervillains she goes up against. Along the way the book builds on these funny slice-of-life skewed superexploits and our heroine gains a henchman boyfriend, bad girl best friend, and one entraped essence of space demon that lies around her apartment bitching. The book is full of creator Adam Warren's trademark art and scripting. Warren has one of the most unique voices in comics, an imaginative mind and skillful touch with dialogue make his efforts always a joy to behold. Emp vol 1 is no exception. At first, the volume feels a bit lacking, as it was born from a series of shorts with no grand scheme in mind, empty bits to get our heroine in distress gradually build a world, relationship/s, and story that is totally immersive.

Reading Empowered is most rewarding because of it's unique approach, feeling more like a novel, or journal in it's expansive structure, and wide open reach. By the end of the volume things pick up considerably, and leave even more to explore for the next of what are hopefully the many planned volumes to come.

If you're not an Adam Warren fan already (shame shame), give Empowered a chance, especially if you've ever enjoyed superpowred adventure in your comics, it's a new type of mature exploration of those themes that's both sexy, and ultimately resonant. Empowered is filled with real life emotion and experiences, and Warren is tapping into a new mold of storytelling here, both in structure and scope! I loved it, simply loved it!!



Jason Berek-Lewis said...

Great review! I was keen on picking this up - now I have to get it!

Jason Martin said...

Cool, it's a great book to turn people on to, as it's one of those that may escape ya if you're not already a fan of Warren's!

Javier Hernandez said...


Man, this book was a complete delight!! I can't say I've ever read one of Warren's books (don't shoot!!) but I read so many great reviews online, that I had to check it out.

Really, the pencil art is what sold me right away. Beautiful stuff, and in a way, so very refreshing to see pure pencil more than capable of telling the story. Stunning looking, to be honest.

And of course the story was excellent. A real great romp through superhero sex and silly fun. But what really makes this an excellent graphic novel is the sheer magic Warren creates with his multiple storytelling devices in the narrative. His great characterizations for all the characters is superb. I just didn't want the book to end. Wow, this guy is damn good!

I am so ready for the next book!

Jason Martin said...

Hola Jav!
Glad you picked it up!
Yes, a pure delight... I'm with ya.
Hopefully it does well enough to support the projected multiple volumes (Warren's on record as sayin only vol.2 is for sure without proper sales and reorders)... so spread the word! ;)

Not sure what material of his to recommend next... most everything else is very sci-fi tech heavy and of course differnt in approach.
Perhaps Livewires?
Or some of the later Dirty Pair?
If you enjoy his wit and characterization, which I think is on par with the best in the biz, you'll find it abundently in any of his work...