When the announcement for Project Superpowers came out, I was kind of excited. It was essentially described as pulling all the public domain superheroes from the 1940s into one comic book.
For one thing, I’m not at all familiar with most of these guys, and that makes it all the better. More than just a tip-of-the-hat to these old-time concepts, it pretty much sticks to their original concepts and polevaults them into the 21st century.
Thus far, the story has been interesting: An old man named Fighting Yank has been haunted for years by an ancestor who died in the Revolutionary War suddenly finds he is haunted by a new ghost, this one wrapped in an American flag. The new ghost compells him to break open a mystical vase that frees superheroes from the past.
These heroes were, in fact, trapped in the vase in the 1940s by Fighting Yank himself in an effort to contain a great evil.
With the heroes free, they find that a new evil has taken root in the world and now, up to issue No. 4, the heroes are starting to come together to battle the menace.
According to the Wikipedia entry about the series, it’s very likely that this series is setting the stage for a whole new superhero universe to be published by Dynamite Entertainment.
It’s this idea that has me falling for Project Superpowers hook-line-and-sinker. You see, I’m a total sucker for new superhero universe. Back in the 1990s, I tried them all — Valiant, Ultraverse, Broadway, CrossGen, Tekno and probably a few more. More importantly, for the most part, I liked just about everything I tried.
The question is why? For me, I think it’s kind of exciting to see how they’re set up. Who are the antagonists? What will the tone be? How realistic will it be? What are the “rules of the universe?” Who will turn out to be the stars? Who will be the duds? What creators will make a name for themselves?
More importantly, it’s all fresh. Yes, there’s something to be said for a brand-new, spotless, continuity-free, fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants universe to explore.
Sure, the Marvel Universe has a lot of great characters, but how many times can Spider-man get yelled at by J.Jonah Jameson.
Sure, the DC Universe has an amazing history, but how many Flashes do we really need to have?
So every once and a while, I get sucked in by the newbie. How can you blame me?