It’s the final showdown with P:Andora! He’s already killed heroes and seems invincible. Can Project Superpowers pull together and stop him before he destroys the world?
Writer: Rob Williams
Artist: Sergio Davila
Colorist: Ulises Arreola
Letterer: Simon Bowland
Publisher: Dynamite Entertainment
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: February 6, 2019
Previously in Project Superpowers: We learn that even as a child, Imani had a strong sense of fairness and was not afraid to take on bullies. (That is going to come in handy.) She is about to be crushed by P:Andora when the Scarab flies by and grabs her. She realizes that, for some reason, P:Andora is after the Flag. Indeed, he sends his minion Hesiod after the Flag. The Black Terror flings Masquerade toward the Flag (at her request, of course) and doesn’t quite aim right, but the Flag somehow reaches out and draws her in. The Flag is a portal – and it is the hiding place for P:Andora’s box!
FORGED IN BATTLE
We start out right in the thick of things in Project Superpowers #6. P:Andora has the box – which is his heart. If he can get it back in his chest, he will be unstoppable. Fortunately, as Manhattan is being torn from Earth and floating upwards, he monologues for a moment.
Maskerade and the Scarab come across the Death-Defying Devil, sitting, stunned and repeating, “No!” P:Andora has released him, and now that he is back to being himself, all the things P:Andora forced him to do come flooding back. It’s painful, but I like to see this happening in a book; his experience had to have been quite traumatic, and it is human and appropriate to have such a reaction. If I have any misgivings about it, it’s that everything coming out of this happens in such short order, it loses any connection it had with realism. It takes time to process serious trauma, and we only have about ten seconds or so.
Hesiod has also been released, but is handling it much better. Maybe it was not as traumatic for her, but it’s a good thing because she can explain things, such as P:andora being able to destroy anything he wants, as well as being able to change the shape of the entire universe.
This gives Maskerade an idea. She needs a shapeshifter, and asks the Devil to help, which he does. Hesiod also volunteers. Maskerade asks Imani to help – with the Flag, she can help them get the drop on P:Andora. There’s a moment where Imani feels she’s not a hero; she’s just a girl, but that, too, is overcome quickly. She gets P:Andora’s attention, and as he goes to swat her away, all the other heroes pop out from the Flag and attack!
Imani flings the Flag over his face and kicks the box away from him. He throws his sword at her, and the Flag interposes and surrounds her again. P:Andora grabs her, pulls the Flag off her, and shreds it into small pieces. He then picks up the box and puts it directly into his chest first, and then continues with his grandiose speeches.
And this is where Maskerade’s trick is revealed. That was not the real box; it was the Death-Defying Devil shapeshifted into it. He changes shape again, and P:Andora has to rip him out of his chest, and then blasts him away.
In a really dramatic moment, Imani comes to understand some of the power of the Flag. Tearing it into pieces won’t destroy it. It means something to everyone, and everyone is going to take a stand against P:Andora. For a moment, we see crowds of people in Manhattan, each wrapped in their own version of the Flag. Imani then makes the point that if he wants the box so much, he doesn’t control it; it controls him. And she opens the box and it sucks him in.
There is an epilogue, framed by Maskerade recalling how she felt at the beginning, lost and tired, feeling like this was no world for heroes. But she was wrong – it is the first meeting of the new Project Superpowers, in their new, if rather empty, headquarters. And then they hear a familiar voice – the Green Lama? No – he is gone, but now there is the White Lama, and perhaps new problems only they can deal with.
This story arc was solid overall. There were some ups and downs – there was a lot of action and a lot of characters to introduce. I really like Imani’s part in this issue and the way she now understands the Flag. But there have been moments that felt rushed, or that we’re being flung from Earth to outer space and back to Earth in short order. Despite the rough moments, I do like this team, and I hope we get to see more of them.
RICH COLORS AND LOTS OF LOVELY, FLOWING FLAGS
The art continues to be solid in Project Superpowers #6. This is a huge battle, and P:Andora is much larger than humans. This is represented well with good use of long and close shots, and a variety of panel sizes. There are some terrifically poignant moments with the Death-Defying Devil – we really do see that he is tormented by what he’s done. It is an unfortunate side-effect of the pacing that this doesn’t go anywhere, other than leading to his making the ultimate sacrifice, I’m assuming, since we see a statue of him in the new Project Superpowers headquarters.
All along I’ve loved the depiction of flowing capes and other fabrics, and this issue does not disappoint. Not only is Imani flying around in the Flag, but at the end, there is a multitude of them, and they all look terrific. Speaking of terrific, I also really like the choices in colors. They’re deeply saturated, so this is a very colorful book with great use of complementary colors and a gorgeous palette. But they’re intense rather than being bright, which feels more serious and fits well here. This is a beautiful book to look at.
I appreciate the new headquarters being sterile and empty except for the obligatory conference table. This is a new organization, and they haven’t been in place long enough to start doing any decorating. It makes it look like they just moved in.
BOTTOM LINE: A SATISFYING CONCLUSION
Project Superpowers #6 is solid and comfortable as a conclusion to this arc. The outmatched heroes win by teamwork and cleverness, and having the quiet epilogue is like taking a deep breath after all the action. They’ve left us with a lead-in to another possible arc, and it sounds interesting. I hope we do get to see more of Project Superpowers in action.