Comic Book Review: Project Superpowers #1
One thing I will consistently say is that I love some of the classic heroes, pulp heroes, and just about any hero from that period of time. For as popular as Project Superhero has been, I could never get into it, but only because I also could never find the right spot to jump into the story where being new didn’t matter. This Project Superpowers #1 felt like just the right spot when taking the opportunity to show these heroes in a modern setting. A story where nothing matters but what is going on in this point in time.
This isn’t the first pulp hero story to do this either, and knowing how well that one turned out was all the more reason to see if the same result could come of Project Superpowers #1. The character they chose to lead this story, and her perspective of 2018 was perfect. Diana Adams, Masquerade, properly challenged what it would mean to be a superhero now. Where it really is that hard to see the world black and white, it get too messy in that grey area. Then you have the things that never change which makes you question why you do the things you do. All of it a great contrast to the world she came from, while at the same time quickly giving us and introduction to who she is and what she can do. Now I did feel as though it was easy to fall into a trap where you would wonder why she of all people got the chance to take some spotlight from her past. The truth is that it makes sense for heroes like her. Particularly the ones who didn’t operate in the shadows like The Shadow or the Green Hornet.
The introduction to this team was cool for the fact that a few of these faces were familiar, while the others were new. This may not have been the time to get to know all of them, but we got to see what they can do, and there was much to like about that on its own. What danger they faced in this issue to bring them together was a very good approach towards this team proving their relevance in the modern world. It’s never just a question of it you can save the day, you also have to look at the people who you are saving, where this is taking place, and how the receive you as a form of help. There’s no denying that people these days can get in their own way of being saved.
Now as for this 21st Century threat? That was a development that they kept shrouded in mystery. I didn’t mind not seeing a reveal since the crisis the heroes were thrown into was more than enough to create a thrill. Part of you wanted to assume that this all had something to do with The Death-Defying Devil because of the new appearance he takes on, but it was good to see that there was more to this than that discovery. That aside, I don’t know about this Lighthouse, but there was certainly interest in the Spirit of The American Flag taking on a new host. Who knows what role this spirit will play, or what it can do for the average person it deems worthy to wear it, but they nailed setting up the anticipation to figure this out.
Sergio Davila and Felideus as an art team made this one an instant grab from the first page, to the last. When it comes to these stories, I will always say that the dealbreaker will be the quality of the artwork. You couldn’t have asked for a more detail-oriented artist, and captivating colorist. Between the two of them, this really felt like a story that was set in the world we live in. Davila did a perfect job of creating the city this story takes place in. The buildings were unique from one another, the citizens looked real, and so did the way our heroes interact with the world around them. Then you have the color work that really anchored this down to a believable world. Nothing too flashy until the action broke loose, but overall a great sense of range that kept things tame. That aside, the display of these characters powers added a lot of appeal to them from the perspective of someone new. Their actions were quick and to the point of capturing what they can do. As for appearance, it was The American Spirit and The Death-Defying Devil that stood out the most. The American Spirit mostly for me because I loved the way they could add sentience to this living flag that carries the shape of a person, yet empty on the inside. For something so patriotic, you also could help but feel a sense of unease because of the lack of presence to the shadows.
Project Superpowers #1 is an excellent point for any reader to jump in whether new or old. The modern world comes with new rules, and 2018 was the best year to choose when things couldn’t be more different. The people are different, the threats, and the risks to the heroes who find out that it’s not as simple anymore as punching the villain and going home.