Blog of Aestheticized Violence.
Cornell University, Classes: One Girl in All the World and American Flow
Tuesday, October 18, 2011
WHEN my friend and comic aficionado gave me the first issue of Empowered I thought it was a sick joke. Within the first ten pages Empowered, the titular heroine, was kidnapped, sapped of her powers, bound and gagged, all while wearing a skin-tight body suit that had been less that tastefully ripped to sheds. I asked me "friend" why he bought me this "comic" he simply told me to read on. And so I plowed through clishe after clishe, fan service after fan service until one day I was just delirious enough on lack of sleep to see the true meaning of Empowered. Little had I noticed that Elissa Megan Powers (Empowered's civilian name) had grown into a full fledged superheroine. With each passing battle no matter how battered she got, no matter how many times the powers of her super suit failed her (and believe me the shoddily crafted supersuit is a plot point in itself) she kept trying. Her affiliates, the Superhomeys, would relentlessly tease her on account of her uselessness, but where others would storm off in angry huffs, Empowered would stays true to her desires; to protect civilians. Empowered is so much more than a tasteless parody (although based on the art alone one could argue this), it is a commentary on all of the societal pressures, expectations, stereotypes and fears that are heaped on women. The tightness and fragility of her supersuit leaves her almost naked, and vulnerable, but she presses on. The fact that she is a bit of a ditz makes others call her stupid, but she presses on. The fact that she has never once been praised by her team keeps her pressing on. Although a few of the latter volumes got a bit to sexually graphic for my tastes, *cough* I still have respect for the author clever enough to empathize with women while reminding them that when society says you can't, keep pressing on.