This Empowered chapter was, I must admit, arguably one of the more tossed-off and throwaway stories in a first volume that’s veritably chockablock with tossed-off and throwaway stories. Looking back, the freewheeling spontaneity—a phrase I’ve often used in these commentaries—and lack of overarching ambition in the series’ initial installments is one of the charms of early Empowered. Ah, but that’s also a limitation of starting with these dawn-age stories: New readers are, I’m afraid, rather a long ways off from experiencing the more complex and intense narrative that Empowered gradually evolves into as hundreds—and, eventually, thousands—of pages roll onward.
Of late, I’ve been wondering whether or not I should’ve kicked off this webcomic serialization with all of Empowered vol.1 accessible as an archive at launch, and then proceeded straight on into serializing pages from vol.2. (Instead, we launched with the first 108 pages of vol.1’s 248 pages archived, which seemed a decent enough starting point to me at the time.) You see, Empowered vol.2—which we’re presently about 100 pages away from the start of—kicks off two narrative trends that are now critical to the ongoing series: intense, high-powered scenes of action, and intense, high-powered moments of emotionalism. (Specifically, a Big Action Scene starts the volume, and a Big Emo Scene ends it.)
Launching the webcomic with all of Empowered vol.1 archived, howeva, would have precluded me writing much in the way of these commentaries. As it is, despite having noodled away at these puppies on my improvised treadmill desk off and on since early August, I’m operating only a few weeks ahead of schedule as the webcomic’s queue inexorably posts day after day. Generating an entire book’s worth of page-by-page commentary ahead of time was out of the question, alas.
Well, my hope, here, is that new readers could witness Empowered slowly deepening and progressing into its modern form, while long-time readers might get a new window on the evolving project through these commentaries. Am I wrong in those assumptions? Lemme know what you think in the comments below, if you like.
I’ll close with a final bit of crass commercialism: Of course, new readers, if you wish to skip ahead to “the good stuff” of the next nine(!) books worth of Empowered, you can always click on the Dark Horse or Comixology links above (for digital-comic editions) or, eventually, the Store link (for print-comic editions). Wheeeee!