Volume 4 Page 55
Posted March 2, 2018 at 12:01 am

Not much to say about this page, folks, so a quick update on other matters: For one thing, the third issue of the six-part miniseries Empowered and Sistah Spooky’s High School Hell should be out by now, featuring script by me and art by the great combo of writer/artist Carla Speed McNeil and color artist Jenn Manley Lee.

I would have to recommend that project more to long-time readers than newb webcomic readers, though, as it involves a number of long-term plot threads that have yet to appear. (For one thing, it hinges on a rapprochement of sorts between Emp and Spooky, which takes most of the regular Empowered series so far to set up.) Not like the story would be incomprehensible if you jumped on board with this miniseries, I hasten to clarify, but certain SPOILERS for several long-term plotlines would abound.

Gotta say, when new volumes of Empowered come out, I occasionally hear reviews or comments stating that new readers shouldn’t—or even couldn’t—start with that particular volume. That’s somewhat unhelpful, given that I’m very careful to include recaps with each book; in fact, by Empowered vol.9, the opening recaps had grown so lengthy and cumbersome that I switched over to “in-story recaps,” in which a “HeroNet” newsfeed or the like supplies the reader with just the info he or she needs for the particular volume. (Note that HeroNet will soon be introduced in our current webcomic storyline, folks!)

There’s a big difference, however, between “new readers won’t be able to follow the story”—which is generally untrue—and “new readers won’t quite get the full emotional resonance of what’s happened before”—which usually is true. The comments and Amazon reviews usually mean the latter, but could be interpreted as the former. Then again, maybe I’m the exception, but throughout my lifetime of reading comics, I’ve often jumped into long-running comics and manga well into their respective runs, and survived the reading experience largely unscathed. In fact, I joined many of my old favorites in mid-stream, whether referring to the complexities of vintage alternative American comics like American Flagg!, Swamp Thing, and Love and Rockets, or almost-as-old-school manga such as Akira, Urusei Yatsura, and Be Free! Honestly, trying to figure out what the hell was going on with these series’ complicated plot threads was part of the fun for me, especially when dealing with the inscrutabilities of untranslated manga. (I get the impression that I may be in the distinct minority, howeva.)

-Adam Warren

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