Project Superpowers #1
Writer: Rob Williams
Artist: Sergio Davila
Letterer: Simon Bowland
Review by Greg Brothers
Before I read and reviewed Project Superpowers #0 a few weeks ago, I was not aware that there had been a previous series featuring these characters. It was obvious from the beginning that these characters are based on many of the classic characters from the beginning of comic books. The zero issue established the time jump from the 40’s into current day. It set up what had been going on with some of the characters and where the difficulties arose.
Project Superpowers #1 begins with all the characters at different places in their lives. Masquerade serves as the narrator in the beginning as she is both questioning if Superheroes have a place in the world, while also doing press for a tell-all book. From there, we are introduced to a young girl on her way to visit her grandfather in the city. As her plane begins its descent into the city, disaster strikes and her plane along with all of them in the air suddenly lose power and plummet towards the earth.
As I mentioned at the beginning, before starting this I did not know that this franchise existed. Project Superpowers #1 needs no real prior knowledge to enjoy it. The characters as they appear are re-introduced, and the reader is given a run down of who they are and what their powers are. This makes the series much more marketable and enjoyable. It is something that hurts some writers and franchises who have a history because people feel that the back reading is to much and too time consuming to catch up.
The beginning with Masquerade made Project Superpowers #1 relatable in a couple of ways. First, there are direct connections to the criticism of modern day comics, where the lines between hero and villain are much greyer than they have ever been. Of course, with globalization and a more connected global society, those same issues surround the real world also. It may seem small, but this provides yet another connection that draws the reader in.
It would have been easy and predictable to have the former heroes come rushing in to save the day and move on. We instead see the team struggle as they come back together. And it seems as if the heroes may not be able to save anyone, although we do not get that answer by the end of Project Superpowers #1 . Again, that small detail tells the reader that we are looking at something more akin to Watchmen than we are Superman.
The art is bright and inviting. The lines are bold and sharp and easily define the powers that these characters have. The layout of the panels makes it easy to follow the story. I absolutely love how some of the characters bleed out of the panels into other panels or pages. It provides a unique feel to the art that is missing in some comics. It also makes the action feel like it matters.
Verdict: Buy it.
I was not too sure of this series after reading Project Superpowers #0 a few weeks ago. Project Superpowers #1 does a great job of clearing up many of those concerns that I had of the series feeling bland. Instead, Williams is able to establish an intriguing world that presents questions that have permeated current day comics and politics without feeling preachy. By the end, a hook is established that has me going all in on this book and looking forward to issue two.