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Project Superpowers #5

Posted: Friday, August 1, 2008
By: Ray Tate

Alex Ross & Jim Krueger
Carlos Paul, Wagner Reis, Marcello Mueller, Debora Carita (colors)
Dynamite Entertainment
The Superpowers spectacularly whittle down the ranks of the robotic Dynamic Family but in so doing make themselves an enemy to the press. Two old heroes reintroduce themselves to a presumably new audience. Green Lama continues to punt the Black Terror around the world to gather his eagles. Miss Masque a.k.a. Masquerade reveals a weird, new power, and fate gives the Fighting Yank an almost comical ending.

I can't tell you how happy I am to have learned that Dynamite will be producing more comics featuring these characters. I've been looking for an alternative to DC's dismal, hopelessly confused universe and Marvel's paranoid one, and I think I've found it with the heroes of Project Superpowers.

These guys and gals act like super-heroes. They behave like human beings, even those who can turn their bodies into water, and they display camaraderie that I only wish the Avengers had. I want to get to know these characters. I have confidence in them.

Project Superpowers proves that you don't have to have super-heroes fighting each other, distrusting each other and losing to evil in order to produce drama. Drama works best when it's surrounded by wit, and the witty dialogue in this book is a product of the heroes' familiarity with and their trust in each other. They also have relatively the same goals and the same regards for the future they see but without losing uniqueness.

Carlos Paul gets a lot of help this time around, but the art still stays consistent, an element no doubt aided by Carita's colors, to spotlight moments of daring-do, high-speed, hallucinatory heroics, individual body language and distinct often subtle expressions. The artists take the time to highlight a moment for the villains of the piece that's affecting. Can a robot cry? Can a robot feel emotions? These are questions the reader is forced to ask.



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