Volume 10 Page 76
Posted January 18, 2023 at 12:01 am

This chapter's not likely to be well received by many readers, as it not only delivers two volumes' worth of "damsel-in-distress" content (due to a lack of same in the upcoming vol. 11) but does so via a character displeasing to most commenters so far.

OTOH, you webcomic readers can perhaps pipe down on the negativity re: the Empowered vol. 10 experience, given that you will enjoy a massive degree of privilege in contrast to what the (literally) long-suffering print comic readers had to endure at the end of the book. (No SPOILERS please, long-time readers.)

And now, time for another commentary excerpt from the decade-old, defunct prose experiment I Am Empowered, which was a Year-One-ish exploration of Emp's earliest days as as a superhero, told in Twitter-formatted first-person narrative for reasons that will eventually be explained.



So, to restate: As a strident Suprahuman Studies major deeply insecure about her body, I was appalled by exploitative superheroine costumes.

With that in mind, let me now tell you more about the unearthly "supersuit" that renders me quite literally—if inconsistently—"Empowered."

My superpowers, if you'll please pardon the rather grandiose term, derive from a mysterious, enigmatic, seriously "WTF"-y alien hypermembrane.

Clarification: I don't actually know for certain that the supersuit is truly of alien origin, but I consider that a fairly safe assumption.

I'm pretty sure that my supersuit isn't, say, an especially sweet military—or even Apple—prototype that somehow escaped into the wild.

The suit's übertechnology isn't a precise match for any known alien race's godware, but who knows about aliens and their techno-shenanigans?

To quote Arthur C. Clarke's all-too-frequently overquoted Third Law: "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic."

More appropriate to my situation, I'm saddened to admit, is the law coined by another SF author, Ted Sturgeon: "90% of everything is crap."

Anyhoo, the suit does indeed endow me with a nice little arsenal of legitimately cape-worthy Unearthly Powers, however modest they might be.

Wearing a fully intact hypermembrane, I'm as strong as ten men, easy. (Or maybe fifteen to twenty men, if measured in wan, effete hipsters.)

Side note: The metric of "as strong as (blank) men" is a crude, imprecise, and—let's face it—backwardly sexist form of measurement.

This biased assessment not only privileges the male as the preferred default value, but implicitly demeans and devalues women's strength.

As a strong(ish) woman with a degree in Suprahuman Studies, I'm appalled that I'd measure myself using such clearly discriminatory phrasing. 

Less sexist, but more abstract: Wearing a fully intact hypermembrane, I'm about ten or twenty times stronger than the average human being. 

Formerly unopenable pickle jars tremble with fear at my approach, knowing their unyielding seals must now yield to a Powerful Woman's Will.

Ended, too, is the tyranny of once-invulnerable plastic clamshell packaging everywhere. My inkjet cartridges and light bulbs must be freed!

(Seriously, I've actually had to use my suit's superstrength to open recalcitrant jars and clamshell packages more than a few times, now.)

<End of Excerpt> 

Next time on I Am Empowered excerpting, we wrap up Emp's discussion of hypermembrane-granted superstrength, before moving on to a heretofore mostly unaddressed aspect of the supersuit's powers.

Note that the entirety of the serialized (if incomplete) I Am Empowered experience can be perused at the relevant hashtag on me ol' Patreon. Speaking of which:

Today’s Patreon update: Originally done as a means of scratching out more worktime to complete the long-gestating Empowered vol. 12, I've switched over to a Monday/ Wednesday/ Friday Patreon posting schedule that won't feature the fixed content format I previously used. So, who knows what today's post might feature? Could be Life Drawing or Distressed Damsels content (both of which are featured at least three times per month), or something in the Work Stages, Vintage Con Sketches or Design departments, or possibly something entirely new. Golly!

-Adam Warren

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