Thursday, June 23, 2022

Comics Review: "PROJECT SUPERPOWERS: Fractured States #3" is Super-Powered


STORY: Ron Marz and Andy Lanning
ART: Emilio Utrera
COLORS: Arthur Hesli
LETTERS: Tom Napolitano
EDITOR: Brian Cunningham
COVER: Mike Rooth
VARIANT COVER ARTISTS: Scott Kolins; Paula Andrade; Geraldo Borges; Rus Wooton
32pp, Color, $3.99 U.S. (June 2022)

Rated Teen+

Project Superpowers was a comic book limited series published by Dynamite Entertainment beginning in January 2008.  The series resurrected many superheroes from the “Golden Age of Comics” that were originally published by now-defunct companies like Crestwood Publications, Fox Comics, and Nedor Comics.  Many of these characters were in the public domain.

The series was set on an Earth where a twentieth century conflict gave rise to the age of “the Superpowers.”  These Superpowers protected the world, especially the United States.

The characters return in the new comic book series, Project Superpowers: Fractured States Volume 1.  It is written by Ron Marz and Andy Lanning; drawn by Emilio Utrera; colored by Arthur Hesli; and lettered by Tom Napolitano.  The series is set in 2052 and finds the United States of America, post-disaster, fractured into warring regions.  Into this world, a mysterious man awakens, unkempt, naked, and abandoned in an underground base.  This “John Doe” finds the world turned upside down, but does he bring salvation … or doom?  And where are the Superpowers and can they rise again?

Project Superpowers: Fractured States Volume 1 #3 opens in the “Zombie State,” in the year 2052.  Aboard her jet-propelled boat, Bobbi, the new “Black Terror,” tells John Doe what happened to America in the twenty-first century.  It all started in 2025...

At last, the secrets are revealed.  The origin of the new Black Terror is told.  John Doe learns how the United States of America fractured into warring powers.  In the middle of it all, the mysterious John Doe holds the key to what happened, and why the heroes of Project Superpowers failed.  Now, in the year 2052, can he gather the survivors and save America?

THE LOWDOWN:  In July 2021, Dynamite Entertainment's marketing department began providing me with PDF review copies of some of their titles.  One of them is Project Superpowers: Fractured States Volume 1 #3, which is the third Project Superpowers comic book that I have read.

Writers Ron Marz and Andy Lanning are writing a spectacular superhero comic book.  This blend of superhero fantasy, mystery, conspiracy, and science fiction is shockingly good.  I was surprised at how good the first issue was; now, I'm just dumbfounded by the third issue.  Project Superpowers: Fractured States Volume 1 is proof that writers that know what they are doing can create a plot-driven narrative that is great without being bogged down in dull psychological drama.  Does Dynamite have other superhero properties for Marz and Lanning to write?

I don't want to leave out artist Emilio Utrera; he is turning Marz and Lanning's scripts into addictive graphical storytelling.  Utrera captures the spirit of classic, old school superhero comic books filled with a sense of discovery and wonder.  Arthur Hesli's moody colors create an alluring world of mystery and thrills.  Of course, a superb superhero comic book needs a superb comic book letterer, and of course, that is Tom Napolitano.

I am writing this review in a state of nerd ecstasy.  Please read, Project Superpowers: Fractured States Volume 1, dear readers.

I READS YOU RECOMMENDS:  Fans of Project Superpowers and of superhero comic books will want Project Superpowers: Fractured States Volume 1.

[This comic book includes “Dynamite Dispatch” June 2022, which features an interview with writer Christopher Priest.]


Reviewed by Leroy Douresseaux a.k.a. "I Reads You"

The text is copyright © 2022 Leroy Douresseaux. All Rights Reserved. Contact this blog or site for reprint and syndication rights and fees.


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