PROJECT SUPERPOWERS #1
Plot
Characterization
Art
Summary
PROJECT SUPERPOWERS offers a new take on the superhero genre, with style. This homage to the Golden Age of superhero comics is off to a great start, with more intrigue and action sure to follow.
88 %
A SMASH

It’s 2018. Superheroes are legends from a time long gone. Yet, re-emerging from the year 1945, the legends return to protect Earth’s people once again. Retaining their youth and their powers, they fight for a world that is not quite as black-and-white as it once was. PROJECT SUPERPOWERS tells the story of how these heroes out of time deal with a mysterious new threat. The first issue of this awesome series is written by Rob Williams with art by Sergio Davila and colorist Felideus.

While PROJECT SUPERPOWERS is a continuation of the 2008 series of the same name, Williams does an excellent job introducing readers to this pre-established world.  As someone unfamiliar with the original run, I can safely say that PROJECT SUPERPOWERS #1 is an excellent starting point to what’s sure to be an exciting and fascinating story.

Golden Age Heroes Face Modern Age Problems

The first issue mainly focuses on the lovely superheroine Masquerade. She has the power to read minds and take over people’s bodies. The story catches Masquerade just as she’s gotten used to the modern world, but there are some things that still don’t sit right with her. It’s not clear who the good guys and bad guys are anymore. It’s easy to see who the enemy is when you’re fighting Nazis, but the U.S. has since lost its nobility.

Project Superpowers
Image courtesy of Dynamite Comics.

What hasn’t changed is the media’s tendency to focus on a woman’s looks, not her accomplishments. Masquerade is interviewed at an Oprah-type show. Despite the knowledge that this is a super-powered war hero, the interviewer just wants to talk about her outfit. It’s frustratingly realistic. I hope this dynamic is further explored with Masquerade and the other superheroes, as it is by far the most unique and interesting aspect of this story.

 

Project Superpowers
Image courtesy of Dynamite Comics.

PROJECT SUPERPOWERS Brings the Action

The action is equally engaging. When you have almost a dozen planes falling from the sky, it’s hard to make that boring. Williams also uses this as opportunity to introduce all of the characters. A common tool in scriptwriting is to have your main characters approach the same problem in different ways. This gives the audience an idea of what they’re like. Masquerade takes over the pilots’ minds to tell the passengers to calm down. The Superman-esque Black Terror rips a malfunctioning door off its hinges with a cocky smile. Samson uses his raw strength to just catch the plane as it lands. This is a clever way of showing off the characters’ powers and personalities without resorting to exposition.

However, there are a lot of characters in PROJECT SUPERPOWERS, and there simply isn’t enough space in a single issue to get to know them all well enough. I’m sure that as the series goes on, we’ll learn more about their pasts, personalities, and how they tie into the larger story.

Super Art

The action wouldn’t be nearly as good without Davila’s artwork. The rippling of a cloak in the air, the crunching of metal in a fist, and other feats of super heroism convey a powerful sense of movement. Davila provides this motion without sacrificing the exquisite details given to every aspect of the artwork.

While the overall style aims to be more realistic, the superheroes are still as anatomically perfect as we’ve come to expect. I have no issue with this. After all, this is a superhero comic, so overly muscular men and perfectly pretty women are not out of place. The same level of detail extends beyond the characters and into the backgrounds. There isn’t a street sign, building, or background character that doesn’t get some love. This helps the overall story feel more grounded, without betraying its fantastical nature.

Project Superpowers
Image courtesy of Dynamite Comics.

Powerful Colors

While many artists use muted colors to convey realism or grittiness, the colors of PROJECT SUPERPOWERS are bright and bold. Felideus captures the warm feeling of New York City on a bright summer day. The colors wonderfully compliment the details and shading on each of Davila’s illustrations. Felideus’ work really stands out during the scenes with the airplanes falling out of the sky. The pinks, purples and blues blend so well together, creating a realistic and beautiful image of a stormy yet sunny sky.

Final Thoughts on PROJECT SUPERPOWERS #1

PROJECT SUPERPOWERS #1 is the beginning of a fascinating, mysterious, and action-packed journey. Any fan of the superhero genre is sure to enjoy this amazing first issue.

You can buy the first issue now at Dynamite’s official siteComixology, or at your local comic shop.

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