Monday, December 12, 2011

Empowered Volume 3 Review

Empowered Vol. 3
Dark Horse Comics
Graphic Novel
208 pages
$14.95 (2008)
ISBN 9781593078706

Contributors: Adam Warren, Jo Chen, and Tomoko Saito

Synopsis: Empowered is a self-conscious superhero with a fragile hypermembrane super-suit giving her enhanced abilities at the cost of her self-esteem.  It's super-flimsy, unreliable and ultra tight giving everyone a free peek at her every nook & cranny.  She's a laughing-stock in the superhero community for being regularly captured and tied up. 

Ninjette and Thugboy help support Emp's fragile ego while she trains rigorously to become a more potent hero.  We witness the earth-shattering spectacle of 'superhero karaoke' as Emp gets sauced.  Next she gets kidnapped and used in a series of supervillain capture gadget infomercials.  A new rival emerges to steal Emp's spotlight - Ocelotina the 'capture-wench' gets tied up and her videos go viral!  Poor Emp is no longer the #1 super-hottie captive! 

Major Havoc gets turned down by a supervillain
Emp brings the Superhomeys some Japanese homoerotic doujinshi (yaoi manga - written by women for women and featuring men) starring her less-than-kind male teammates to completely mess with them.  More secrets of the suit are revealed along with Thugboy's 'anti-cape' past.  The deadly ninja assassins finally catch up with Ninjette and it's a killer battle to the finish!  Can Emp and Thugboy save their friend in time?

Pros: Warren's art remains high quality with some serious action pages at the end, Emp is hot and scantily clad throughout, Ninjette's excessive beer-chugging while maintaining a perfect physique is explained, less Caged Demonwolf tirades in all capital letters (cuz that gets old), origins of Thugboy and Ninjette are revealed

Ninjette receives a brutal kick to the face
Cons: Digest-sized (like all those manga books your niece/nephew are reading at your family reunion), black and white, price and page count remain the same as last volume (higher than volume one), Warren's inks over his pencils (thankfully few)

Mike Tells It Straight: What!? Another Empowered review? I may be showing an unhealthy bias towards this book due to two interests - 1) Japanese manga/anime and 2) hot chicks.  Warren delivers another volume of Emp's adventures with the same offbeat humor mixed with a healthy dose of T&A.  Emp's supporting cast continues to be the focus as both Ninjette and Thugboy's origins are revealed (for the most part).  Mixed with the humor are some serious situations and a brutally violent finale.  Not what I'm used to from our titular heroine's adventures and it caught me a little off-guard.  It gets dark, but overall a good (quick) read and I'm still psyched to check out the next volume.

TO BUY and Recommendations: