Sunday, October 2, 2022

Comics Review: "PROJECT SUPERPOWERS: Fractured States #5" Closes with a New Hero


STORY: Ron Marz and Andy Lanning
ART: Emilio Utrera
COLORS: Arthur Hesli
LETTERS: Tom Napolitano
EDITOR: Brian Cunningham
COVER: Mike Rooth
32pp, Color, $3.99 U.S. (August 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 #5 opens in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania in the year 2037.  John Doe is trapped in a void with the other missing heroes, and the one who imprisoned them is the “American Spirit,” who is in the thrall of a mysterious adversary.

Who exactly is John Doe?  Is he a hero, a villain, a friend, or a foe?  All is revealed, including the ultimate fate of all the missing patriotic heroes.  And this climactic finale will determine if a broken country will be healed or if it will be swept into the ash bin of history.  Plus, a brand-new hero is born.

THE LOWDOWN:  Since July 2021, Dynamite Entertainment's marketing department has been providing me with PDF review copies of some of their titles.  One of them is Project Superpowers: Fractured States Volume 1 #5, which is the fifth Project Superpowers comic book that I have read.

Fractured States #5 is the final issue of this superb superhero comic book series.  Writers Ron Marz and Andy Lanning offer a satisfying ending that suggests more to come.  Their finale is a bit surreal, but they give us a powerful new hero to face a malevolent entity with bad intentions for what is left of the United States.

Artist Emilio Utrera, colorist Arthur Hesli, and letterer Tom Napolitano present an eye-popping and trippy graphical storytelling package that carries us rapidly to the end of this series.  I hope they also come back for more.  Again, please read, Project Superpowers: Fractured States Volume 1, dear readers.  It is a really good superhero comic book … and hopefully a really good trade paperback.

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


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

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