Adam Warren lets other artists play with his creation, Empowered. Whenever a creator does so, we see how strong his stories are. I was drawn to this series when I saw Carla Speed McNeil attached to it. I didn’t delve into the first two issues, because life got in the way and all. Empowered &
Adam Warren's Empowered is one of those series that remains a unique dichotomy. Adam Warren's style lends itself to the hyper-sexualized artwork we've come to expect from super hero comics. Empowered as a character is defined by her propensity to get captured, bound and gagged by super villains. Along the way, Adam Warren has shown Emp to grow into a very confident heroine capable of defending her image and the perception of female super heroes everywhere. The latest special is entirely by Adam Warren, making it unique among the specials that have come out.
I was hesitant to continue to review Empowered Vol. 9, but Adam Warren has really gone meta with this series. I'll get into the analysis of how it approaches the role of female characters in comics in a bit. First, we all need to recognize that the window dressing of Empowered hides a creator trying to do something more than draw lots of pictures of a scantily clad super-heroine in various states of bondage, despite that being the origin of the series from some 2004 commissions. Since then, Adam Warren has been striving to make the series something more than that.
This week, Dark Horse released a collection of specials from Adam Warren's series Empowered, about a super-heroine known less for her successes and more for her failures, namely her propensity to get tied up by super-villains. Adam Warren has built a entire world of super-heroes around this characters exploits, some by dipping into archetypes and some taking ideas and giving them a humorous twist. The book is definitely for mature readers, Dark Horse recommends ages 16 and up, so be warned that some content is very mature, of a sexual nature, although no explicit nudity is shown and several curse words are censored.