Review: Empowered – Pew, Pew, Pew

It amazes me that Adam Warren has so many stories left to tell with Empowered. My appreciation for the specials he’s released has grown with each new one-shot. Pew, Pew, Pew continues that appreciation and once again makes me wish that there was some kind of ongoing adventure for Emp and her supporting cast of characters. I mean The Goon isn’t monthly, but it still rolls out issue after issue at its own pace. I suppose that’s what’s happening here, but I would like more if it and more often. With all the crappy superhero books on the market, it would be nice to have one that I want to read. This issue broken up into three stories or really three crimes. Hence the three “Pews” because each pew is one story about a gun wielding maniac. What’s particularly funny about this issue is that Warren doesn’t even bother illustrating Emp with a new suit, instead she’s instantly tattered which is always where she ends up. I thought it was a nice change of pace and almost showed how beaten down the character is currently which played into the stories as well.

Empowered-Special-#7-1The over gist of the issues is that it’s not about guns. It’s about Emp trying to find some maturity and thicker skin. She’s known as the big booty superchica that’s always being captured and tied up, but as we see in this issue, she hands everyone their asses. It’s an emotional journey for her as she deals with criticism.

I don’t know if this was Warren working through his own thoughts and criticism on his work, but it’s an interesting comic in the world of comics. Especially at the end when Emp rants about herself and it’s all the things that we see. That she is a hell of a superhero and that she isn’t given enough credit. It’s great to hear all of those things, but in the context of her world… it’s very much like ours. It’s hard to change public opinion. Warren’s writing is subtle, but some of his best. The three act structure for this issue works to build up to that final scene. That and Warren uses the phrase, “Foes with benefits” which was quite funny.

The art, well it’s Adam Warren so you either like or dislike his art. I love it personally as it is the closest thing to an American style manga. Really that’s what Empowered has always reminded me of, a manga. Warren is incredibly talented with the black and white penciled look which wouldn’t fly on any mainstream superhero comic. Here though, it works because it allows the art to tell as much of the story as the dialogue. It’s a treat to see Warren’s artwork and I always look forward to the subtle changes he’s added to this style.

There may not be an ongoing or a slow ongoing series for Empowered, but I will say that these one-shots are new reader friendly. They give you a solid introduction to the world each time, but without it being an overkill like comics from the 70s. If you love the superhero genre, but you’ve never read anything outside of the big two, give this a chance. See what the world of comics has to offer because it will surprise you in the best of ways.

Score: 5/5

Empowered – Pew, Pew, Pew Creator: Adam Warren Publisher: Dark Horse Comics Price: $3.99 Release Date: 11/25/15 Format: One-Shot; Print/Digital