Empowered Special: Animal Style 4 Review


In this special issue, Empowered sets out to prevent animal robots from stealing futuristic cars from alternate timelines. Does this issue live up to its awesome premise? Read on to find out.

TERRORPIN! POWERPACHYDERM! BRASS MONKEY! CYBERIAN TIGER! SUPERCOBRA! MAUL BUNNY! Can struggling superheroine Empowered foil a mass carjacking by these animal-armored crimebots at the 21st annual Alternate Timeline Superhero Auto Show? Can one exceedingly flimsy “supersuit” overcome fourteen hostile tons of heavy metal? This action-packed new Empowered one-shot says: “MAYBE!”

I’ve never read Empowered before. Luckily, writer Adam Warren provides a recap page narrated by our heroine, Elissa Megan Powers, aka Empowered. She describes herself as a struggling “superheroine with a really fragile ‘supersuit’ and even more fragile self esteem.” The issue is broken up between the main storyline, the clash against the robo carjackers, and flashbacks to Emp in college as a Suprahuman studies major. In these sequences, Warren’s uses Emp to discuss problems with the superhero genre.  These scenes are funny and entertaining but they distract from the flow of the story. I wish there were fewer of them. I did enjoy the one near the end, after Emp has been tied up by the robots, where she discusses the “blatant misogyny” in super heroism. I found this comic to be more clever than funny, which is not necessarily a bad thing.

If you enjoy anime or manga, you’ll probably like John Staton’s art style. Staton does a good job with action sequences and drawing facial expressions, which help to convey Emp’s self-esteem issues. The way he draws Emp’s giant eyes and pouting lips makes her look like a fish, which is somewhat endearing. The pencil sketched flashback sequences are great.

Overall, this is a solid issue with a skimpy plot.  Although it’s easy to follow, if you’re a new reader like me this is probably not the best place to start because none of Emp’s friends– Thugboy, Ninjet, and the Superhero Homeys–make an appearance. I’m intrigued by what I’ve read, but I don’t think it’s fair to make a judgment on the entire series until I read more.


S#!T Talking Central

  • Guest

    Ninjette, not Ninjet. And Superhomies, not Superhero Homeys. Also missing is the Caged Demonwolf, who is a pretty awesome supporting character.

    Anyway, it should come as no surprise that the plot was ‘skimpy’; these specials are more like breather episodes. Take a look at any volume of Empowered (especially after the 1st) and you’ll see that there is nothing missing in this series plot-wise.

    You wouldn’t introduce a new viewer to a manga by showing them omake strips, would you?