Empowered, vol. 1

Writer(s): Adam Warren
Artist(s): Adam Warren
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
ISBN: 978-1593076726
Price: $14.95
Page count: 248
Year Released: 2007
Status: in print
Original Source: n/a
Other Collected Edition(s): n/a
Genres: erotica; humor; romance/relationships; satire; short stories; superheroes
Recommended for Fans Of:
Possibly Objectionable Material: lots and lots of cheesecake, softcore sexual innuendo, brief nudity, and suggestive language (plus some violence)
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Also in This Series: followed by Empowered, vol. 2

Plot Summary
Empowered stars Empowered, a young superhero with low self-esteem. She's a member of the SuperHomeys, a group of obnoxious superheroes who almost without exception treat her like the red-headed stepchild of the team. Part of the problem is that Emp (as she's known) is not a very effective superhero. Her powers (superstrength, invulnerability, and a force blast) are derived from her special suit, but the suit is so fragile that the slightest touch usually rips it to shreds, and Emp's powers diminish as her suit disintegrates. As you can imagine, Emp doesn't get very far into a fight before her suit renders her useless. And her teammates don't let her forget it.

Fortunately, Emp has a few friends. First she meets Thug Boy, a supervillain's "witless minion," who turns out to be a pretty nice guy despite his choice of career. Then she meets Ninjette, a former ninja clan member. They start off fighting each other, but end up getting plastered at a bar and quickly become best friends. Then there's the Demonwolf, also known as the Violator of Worlds, whom Emp imprisons inside an alien-built restraint manacle, and now lives on her coffetable at home, watching her TV and generally being a nuisance. Not exactly a friend, but still....

My Own 2 Cents
Empowered is lighthearted, fun, and funny. It's also extremely racy. Adam Warren created the Empowered character for a series of sketches commissioned by a fan who wanted a "damsel in distress," and it shows. Emp spends much of her time only partially dressed, or bound and gagged, or both. And even when her costume is completely intact it doesn't leave much to the imagination. Warren's no misogynist (Emp is a sympathetic, fully rounded character whom he succeeds in making you care about), but he's definitely not a feminist, either. If you find the objectification of women offensive, this is not the book for you.

But it is an entertaining book. This volume focuses mainly on introducing the main characters (Emp, Thug Boy, Ninjette, the Demonwolf, and Emp's teammates, including Capitan Rivet, Major Havoc, Glorpp, and Emp's nemesis, Sistah Spooky), and many of the stories are only a few pages long. Subsequent volumes include longer stories that focus more on plot/charactger development and less on page after page of Emp losing her suit and getting tied up. Well, sort of, anyway....