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Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Project Superpowers: The Owl (Superhero)


by J.T. Krul  (Author), Heubert Kahn Michael (Artist), Alex Ross (Artist)

Publisher ‏: ‎ Dynamite Entertainment (January 4, 2017)

Softcover, 166 pages

Amazon Listing

This is part of Dynamite publishers Project Superheroes line where the writers took nearly every single public domain superhero from the forties and fifties and shoved them all in the same comic, creating an instant universe with a self-built backstory. While the line is almost defunct, if not actually defunct by this time, it managed to reassert a lot of old characters who were left out in the cold. The problem that a lot of people seemed to have - based solely on what I’ve read online, none of my friends even heard of it, but then they’re all illiterate - is that most of the characters had been in limbo so long, most modern readers had no idea who they were. Second, a lot of them had redundant powers, backstories, and even costumes. I remember the original series lacked differentiating one from the other - in fact most of the time they didn’t even try to give some backstory.

Which is where I supposed these spin-off volumes come in. To tell and reflect on the personal tales of those characters involved in the bigger picture dynamics. The Owl is their latest, and probably last, addition to this group. The character of the The Owl was first published by Dell comics in Crackajack Funnies #25 and had a brief popular flourish for about three years, before being dropped and forgotten for decades.

The character was really a generic makeup of other superheroes. A policeman who found being a vigilante foiled crime much easier than following the law. He was fitted with tons of gadgets, including a “black light” which threw darkness instead of light, and a specialized Owl Car. His girlfriend discovered his secret identity and then joined him as Owl Girl. I mean, how many other superheroes fall into this category? In reality, The Owl comes across as a poor man’s Batman and that is nearly impossible to shake off, but the tale in this book does raise some interesting questions about moral absolutism.

The story presented in this volume, deals with The Owl being literally a man out of time. All the heroes having emerged from their magical prison after eighty years, threw him for a loop. He especially misses his fiancĂ©e, Owl Girl, and then discovers that her granddaughter has become the new Owl Girl. Unfortunately, her style of vigilantism does not match his. This new owl Girl is violent, nearly unhinged, and plunders the crooks to support her lifestyle. Worst of all, she does not hesitate to kill.  The Owl has a difficult decision ahead of him.

  For more readings, try books by Rex Hurst

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