Overview

Project Superpowers #12

Review

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Project Superpowers #12

Credits

  • Words: Alex Ross and Jim Krueger
  • Art: Edgar Salazar and Doug Klauba
  • Publisher: Dynamite Entertainment
  • Price: $2.99
  • Release Date: Sep 22, 2010

T.S. Eliot wrote: “This is the way the world ends/ Not with a bang but a whimper.” Well, the world didn’t end in this last issue of the second chapter of Project Superpowers but the series did come to a close with a bit of a whimper.

After defeating one giant in the form of Captain Future/Zeus last issue, the Black Terror, Green Lama, and the rest of the lost heroes of the Urn rush to Washington, D.C. to do battle with another gargantuan menace in ‘Devil’s resurrected arch-nemesis the Claw. “Rush” would be the operative word, here.

In my review of the previous issue, I praised Dynamite and the creative team for having the foresight to build their answer to the cosmologies of Marvel and DC with patience, thought, and a little bit of cunning. This still holds true of the franchise on the whole but this particular issue fell a little short of the hype befitting the conclusion of a major story arc. While I understand the concept of denouement, I expect a lot more than a flat deus ex machina resolution.

Now that a true status quo has been established in the Project Superpowers universe, it will be interesting to see what the future holds for these heroes turned gods. In a recent interview Alex Ross stated one of the goals of the series was to explore the nature of heroes as legends. For the most part, this has been a successful venture, as Krueger and Ross have laid the foundation for an expansive, colorful pantheon of superhuman champions. In this final issue though, it feels as if they were in a bit of a rush to get to the next chapter in the lives of their legends. Admittedly, the next leg of the journey will likely be just as fun and exciting as the current series – if not more so – but defeating your main villain with a single magic word seems weak, after twelve issues of build-up.

On a more positive note, the artwork of Edgar Salazar has been something of a revelation. One of my biggest complaints about the Project Superpowers franchise has been the interiors rarely live up to the quality of Ross’ covers. This was particularly evident in volume one, in which Carlos Paul's art looked muddy and indistinct for much of the series. In Chapter Two, Salazar's work shows much more patience and maturity. His linework is sharper and more defined, relying less on the colorist to bat cleanup. Reminiscent of another Project Superpowers artist, Stephen Sadowski, Salazar is a huge step up from Paul.

At the end of the day, this last installment of Project Superpowers Chapter Two may have been a bit of a letdown but like the creative team and the publisher, I’m also a little anxious to see how these classic, forgotten characters are developed in the future. Questions remain concerning how each of these reborn “gods” will adapt to their new roles in a world that has until recently forgotten they ever existed. Perhaps even more pertinent to the Project Superpowers universe’s ability to compete with the well-established realms of the Big Two is how Dynamite will find the time and space to adequately develop so many characters.

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