Empowered Vol. 3

by Adam Warren

Publisher: Dark Horse Comics

Format: Softcover, black and white, $14.95

ISBN: 978-1-59307-870-6

Reviewed by: Library Journal

The latest volume of this sexy superhero satire (Vol. 1, LJ 9/15/07) finds the voluptuous but insecure heroine Empowered still frequently trussed up by bad guys when her fragile, form-fitting, power-granting bodysuit shreds and leaves her helpless. In the most hilarious story here, villain vendors even start using her to promote their latest superhero capture and restraint equipment. But though there's still a measure of ribaldry, witty wordplay, and intelligent superpower spoofery, manga-influenced American cartoonist Warren (Livewires; Iron Man: Hypervelocity) ups the seriousness quotient here. Readers learn more about the potential dangers left over from Emp's live-in boyfriend's villainous past, while best friend Ninjette is attacked by agents of the New Jersey-based ninja clan she deserted in a violent, gory episode that showcases Warren's action artwork skills and reveals unexpected powers in Emp's mysterious supercostume. An unresolved tale in which Emp dons her "sexy librarian" disguise to draw out a fetish-fixated poltergeist skirts dangerously close to being mere cheesecakes, but overall Warren balances titillation and humor with genuinely affecting emotion. Multifarious sex-related content easily earns the series a "Parental Advisory" label; this is one for adults. – Steve Raiteri