This continues the gender satire/ soft porn theme established in the first book. All the characters return but this time the stories are longer. This is a very disjointed read if you work through the whole book in one sitting as you change abruptly from virtually pornographic sexy librarian fantasy to the tragic and emotional death of a child’s father.
Warren is very good at what he does. His art is perfect for the Manga/ Pin-up style he has chosen and he is capable of investing real emotion and drama within his storylines. The “Empowered” commentary between issues has disappeared however so you cut directly from one story to another which, considering his emotional range, can be quite a shock. If this were a weekly webcomic it would be a much more digestible format.
But interesting things are happening. We find out more about the super-suit, Ninjette’s past and future, and also more on Thugboy’s dark secret. Empowered also shares a shocking moment from her childhood. Even the disembodied Demonwolf gets setup for a future storyline. The satire has become subtle to the point of evaporating but it is there amongst the personal rants against DVD prices.
The art is identical to the first volume and there is a really fluid action scene. Most of the characters faces are Manga caricatures but he does a great job of more Western features in some of the guest stars. And the hot librarian scene (without any nudity) is probably the hottest librarian scene you could ever wish to see – if that is why you are buying this.
Story-wise the future looks great even if the short chapters have you bouncing like an emotional yo-yo. It is a Thumbs Up.
Tomorrow: Empowered Volume 3 – Adam Warren