PROJECT SUPERPOWERS VOL.2 #0

PROJECT SUPERPOWERS VOL.2 #0
Written by Alex Ross and Jim Krueger, Art by Edgar Salazar
Published by Dynamite Entertainment

The second volume of PROJECT SUPERPOWERS was a book that I honestly thought I’d just let slide by. To be blunt, I didn’t think much of volume one; it got off to a decent start, but as the book went on, it got confusing, overstuffed with too many characters, and I couldn’t follow the plot after a while and just had to let it go. However…

After volume one came three miniseries focusing on the characters a bit more, and they were surprisingly strong. It was a good omen for the PS universe, but heading back in to a story that would once again encompass the entire character universe, I was dubious. Would the creators be able to keep the plot simpler and more directed? Would the focus stick to just a few characters so you didn’t feel overwhelmed by them? And for at least issue #0, the answer is: yes.

Helping matters to start, we are given a glossary inside the front cover reminding us who the characters are and what their powers can do. Then we get a well done recap of the first volume that pares things down to the basics. And after that, the plot gets put in motion, using just the right amount of exposition. Everything here is handled so much better than it was in volume one that it’s almost astonishing.

Salazar’s art looks terrific. The script is solid. And to the creative team’s credit, with the exposition and recap, they make the book easily accessible to someone who didn’t read volume one, and maybe do just enough to encourage that new reader to go out and buy the collection of that series. For a dollar comicbook, I’d call that pretty successful, wouldn’t you?

Marc Mason

PROJECT SUPERPOWERS 0

PROJECT SUPERPOWERS 0
Written by Jim Krueger and Alex Ross
Drawn by Stephen Sadowski, Doug Klauba, and Alex Ross
Published by
Dynamite Entertainment

Bruce Carter is an old man, and death isn’t far away. But it’s been a busy and full life, particularly the years he spent as the superhero The Fighting Yank. However, he’s not exactly heading towards his grave feeling totally content that he’s done the right things for the world; he’s haunted by some of his actions, even though he was sure they were the right ones. The ones that haunt him the most? Let’s just say that Bruce is responsible for taking his fellow superheroes out of action, believing it was for a higher purpose. But now a spirit has arrived to tell him that he’s wrong and has been a tool for the world’s evil. And that spirit might just be right.

Ross and Krueger’s first major collaboration away from Marvel and DC gets off to a pretty decent start here. The book costs a dollar, but unlike other “sampler” type comics, this one has a full-length story in it, along with some art demonstrations and information pages, making this a solid bargain. Then, you get a story that’s solidly interesting- the “hero with one last chance to put things right” formula is always one ripe with possibilities, and no question this book is fertile. By using characters that had slipped into the public domain, there’s an enormous amount of freedom in how the creative team can use them that would not exist in a book being published by one of the big two.

Artistically, the book looks terrific, despite being a bit of a mutt, and much of the credit for this has to go to the production quality. The panels really pop of the pages, and the colors add a lot of life to the work. Krueger’s script really doesn’t do much in the way of exciting the reader, but it does it job in moving things forward. Really, he has one job, and that’s to stay out of the way of the art, not to be Mamet, and he does it.

I would expect this, along with Matt Wagner’s upcoming ZORRO, LONE RANGER, and RED SONJA, to become one of the four cornerstone pieces of DE’s publishing schedule for the foreseeable future.

Marc Mason