I'm about one-and-a-half volumes into Empowered
, and I had to recommend it to everyone. (Or maybe not everyone, but...some people?)
At first glance, it looks like a dumb fanservice book, and on some levels, it certainly is. It's pervasively sexual, cheesecakey as hell, and for about the first third of vol. 1, it really is just a one-note joke about an inept superheroine ending up tied-up and mostly naked in every 2-4 page chapter. But after you get through that, said inept superheroine starts to develop into an actual character, continuity creeps in, a great supporting cast develops, and it turns into a really funny, clever, genuinely sweet and sometimes touching story about friendship, relationships, insecurities, and lots of sex. Not sleazy sex, though. Joyous, happy-relationship sex. The sort of thing I don't think I've actually ever seen in a comic book. The whole thing actually has a bit of a Buffy vibe to it.
Aside from all that, the art is absolutely incredible. Adam Warren
is arguably the first professional American comic artist to work in a manga-influenced style, and he's inarguably the best. His draftsmanship and figure drawing are incredible, and he's a master of the comics form. The fact that he does every aspect of the book (writing, art, and lettering) allows him to pull off some really interesting things that I've seldom or never seen in comics. Also, the art is reproduced entirely from his pencils, and he has amazing pencil technique. And for you artists, there are spots where you can see tiny bits of his underdrawing, and it's really cool to see clues to how a master like this works.
I should also say that ostensibly, it's a superhero/underwear-pervert book, which may turn a lot of this crowd off, but it's really a brutal satire of the genre's tropes, and most of the actual super-heroing takes place off-screen (or off-page, as it were.)
So. If you like warm, funny comics with great art, and you don't mind (or maybe you actually like?) copious amounts of fan-service, buy at least the first volume immediately. It's only $10. I haven't enjoyed a comic this much in a long, long time. Also, if you still live at home, don't let your parents find it.