Comic Book Review: Project Superpowers #2
These days I am very happy when I can take a chance on a book like Project Superpowers, and walk away with nothing but wonder and excitement. We’ve gotten plenty of stories where golden age heroes are brought into the modern world, but this one really breaks the mold by addressing what it would mean to be a hero in the here and now. Honestly, it would not be as simple as you see in the comics, and that was exactly what they portrayed through the disaster created by and ally turned foe. As I pointed out before, 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.
Picking up with the fight in the sky above Manhattan, I was very much anticipating what would come of The Spirit of The American Flag choosing this young woman as its host. There’s not too much I know about this entity, so it was fun to be caught off guard by the importance given to this young woman and what she could now bring to the table with this power at her disposal. As I pointed out above, the added excitement to this story is that saving the day is not as simple anymore as punching the villain and going home. These heroes learned this the hard way. The way they chose to drive this message home was gut-wrenching, but at the same time this was just what we needed early on to raise the stakes of this new battle.
This new character, Imani, I felt an instant connection to her. I’m glad that this creative team took the chance to give us a character like her, and have her as the host for The Spirit of The American Flag. Even if her fate was uncertain, it never gets old being able to follow someone such as herself who opens us up to the wonders of being super. Next to this proper introduction of Imani, I would say the introduction of the big bad for this story came second to one of the best parts of this second issue. From that element of the unknown to the revelation of the truth behind this attack, they gave us all the investment that we needed to want more. Having some understanding to the situation of the Death-Defying Devil also made sense of the appearance he had now taken.
As for the rest of Project Superpowers? It was nice to get to know at least one of them who was lesser known to me. Probably the best to have chosen to flesh out in general when I would say this one hero would probably be the most known to most readers. Definitely if one who is not up to date on all of the golden age heroes like myself. That aside, it was also a treat to get to see more of what their dynamic as a team is like. They all sprung into action one by one in the first issue, but this second issue quickly gave us the opportunity to see what they are like when within the same vicinity.
Transitioning from the first issue to the second, my opinion of this art team did not change one bit. I still felt blown away by the quality of work put into these interior pages. The first thing that I loved about this second issue was the spectacular pencil work that went into the way The Spirit of The American Flag flows off of Imani. It takes form around part of her, and then flows down and in whatever direction she is moving. It takes some serious attention to detail to pull that off and have the american flag pattern properly overlap all of those folds. Then there was the way they continued to draw the Death-Defying Devil. When you understand why he looks the way he does, there was much more to appreciate about this threatening appearance he took on. Now what stood out most was the disintegration effect used to take him apart and put him back together. That may not be fully explained, but it at least shows us that there are other forces at work in controlling him. The color work was nothing short of perfect from start to finish. The range of colors used, the depth given through highlights and shadows, and much more used to set the tone was enough to hold engagement consistently. Something I should also credit the colorist to is the fact that this can get bloody, and the reds not overpower the actions. It all came naturally and looked natural.
Project Superpowers #2 wasted little time at all setting the stakes for the new threat unfolding, properly introducing our heroes, and the villain as well. What I appreciate about golden age hero stories is that they do not pull punches. You get real dangers, real consequences, and real impact from these character’s actions.