Empowered, Adam Warren

You know one of those weeks where you’re so tired you’re stumbling and your boss of course chooses to give you yet another boring but incredibly difficult project, and there is yet another freak ice storm which kills all your pansies, and you clean off your dog’s muddy foot and discover that you’ve just smeared dog poo around on your bare hand?

Yes, that would be my week.

I flopped onto my La-Z-boy one day during that awful hideous week and sighed. I was not up for another bad comic with lumpy people in spandex, I just wasn’t. I couldn’t face beautifully drawn pretty boys, either, in case there was random non-con. I just wanted something, well, fun. And funny, if it could be had. I pawed around my stack of to be read books rather listlessly, spilling them all over the floor and tossing them over my shoulder as I went. Tenant of Wildfell Hall–good, but too long. Toss. In Praise of Idleness–nice idea, but who needs philosophy? Toss. MARC 21 For Everyone–yeah, right. Toss.

Empowered. Huh.

That was supposed to be good, I thought, and wrestled off the aggressive shrinkwrap.

An hour later, I was still chortling when I had to go wrestle my Pookie back inside from where he was telling the facts of life (Thou Shall Not Look at my people, Thou Shall Not approach my yard, Thou Shall Not even think about coming over this fence) to the new yappy dog next door.

In this volume, we meet Emp, the heroine of the tale and the eponymous Empowered. She has this supersuit that gives her powers, but it’s shrinkwrap tight and very thin. When it gets torn–as it does very easily–it loses powers. She’s famous for getting taken hostage, tied up and gagged with a ball gag, wearing her torn and scanty suit. Despite this, she’s a better superhero than the rest of the Super Homeys, of which she is an Associate Member.

I found this comic incredibly endearing, direly funny, and rather feminist. Also, hot. Emp is beautiful, but she’s not hot just because she’s beautiful. I can flip through a lot of lovingly drawn bodacious babes in spandex and be bored. No, it’s Emp’s spunk and humanity that make her so hot. Also, she has a nice butt.

This is drawn by a man who likes women to have actual thighs, and unlike many superhero comics, her thighs are fat. It’s cute and hot. Emp, of course, is worried about how she looks. There’s a very spot on portrayal of her concern about the suit–which reveals everything–when Sista Spooky makes fun of Emp for having a panty line. Which means thereafter she goes without. Which means, ahem, that she has to take care of certain things down there so as not to show, well, wiry realities to all and sundry.

Emp is both brave and real–her concerns I would have and can relate to. Her bravery is amazing because she has these human feelings and failings. Supeman’s bravery is not interesting or amazing, because he’s never worried about how the tights looked on him and he’s not too worried that the train will smash him, either. Emp has to worry about both and she dashes into danger anyway.

She also has a terrible part time job in retail.

I laughed and laughed through this comic, because so much of it is so painfully true. Who hasn’t had a crappy job, struggled to make ends meet, and lied through their teeth to their mom when she’s called to ask how things are going? ‘Oh, fine,’ we say, eating consolatory ice cream, the only good thing in our lives and probably costing more per pint than half our grocery budget for the week, ‘things are going well.’ And Emp does this.

Along the way, she is joined by Thug Boy, who is a great boyfriend and Ninjette, who is a great best friend. But it’s Emp that I feel for and who I’ll be buying the next volume to get more of. There’s also a possessed alien device, superheroes who got their mutant powers through alien STDs, and some hilarious side jobs for Thug Boy. But I think Noah covered all of that.

Highly recommended if you are in need of a sexy and funny comic to cheer up your week.

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