Oct 032007

Back in the day when I started writing Usenet porn, I started with what I knew. The first stories I had read were about characters I knew, which meant it was all about superheroes. I read so many of them because of the novelty of actually seeing corporate characters get some action. The ones I was drawn to the most were the bondage/damsel in distress stories. Superhero fiction is already crammed with bondage so sex was just the next logical step.

Notice how I said ‘drawn’ and not ‘enjoyed’. Most of superheroine bondage fiction is frighteningly misogynistic. They lose the essential tongue in cheek attitude and became very ugly stories reveling in likable characters’ downfall. It was one thing to read about a spoiled rotten arrogant woman be taken down a peg, it is another thing when the writer acts like you want to see Wonder Woman get molested because she’s a bitch who thinks she’s special. It is too easy to read such stories and speculate a little too accurately on what the writer’s romantic life is like.

So a lot of my first stories were superheroine bondage parodies. I ridiculed the genre and had too much fun doing it. After making deliberate fun of the people who write such stories, I tried being a good example and write a few stories that had the bondage, the distress and the sex without the underlying fear/hatred of women.

That shit is hard. My character, Kiko, was forbidden from having sex by her controlling father. So she was a walking time bomb of sexual frustration. She was also supremely talented at being the faux Ninja she was, so the underlying conceit was that she was allowing things to happen to her till she climaxed, and then she would kick ass. Even with a ‘willing victim’ gimmick, it was very hard to explore themes of capture and bondage without skirting too close to the very unentertaining subject of rape.

Which is my long round about introduction to Adam Warren’s Empowered. Adam did what I had long given up on and made the superheroine damsel in distress genre work. Not only work, but thrive. His heroine, who goes by the name Empowered, is a beautiful woman who gets all of her powers from her skintight costume. Sadly, the costume has the durability of edible panties and when it tears, she loses her powers. She has become the butt of jokes within the superhero community but damn it, she keeps trying.

The first part of the book is familiar territory. Empowered gets captured, tied up, threatened and then rescued. It is sexy, funny and a little heart breaking to see this gal try to be effective. But then something happens in the book that is amazing. She picks up some confidence, she picks up a bad buy boyfriend, an Intergalactic Overlord as a roommate and a best Ninja friend. She gets a life. Even though she is still the same ineffective superheroine, she manages to be the envy of her rivals and the beloved of her friends. Best of all, she didn’t change to do it. she was just appreciated for who she was.

This is a great sexy book. Although there is no actual nudity, this book drips with sex appeal. Clothes are shredded, sexy positions are assumed and bondage abounds. I was amazed by how dirty this book feels without actually getting explicit.

This book also got passed around by my non-comicbook reading friends. This book does not require that you know how many Robins are in Batman continuity. It is it’s own self contained sexy universe that anyone can step into. Right now there is one thick 240 page book out and a second comes out this week.

I am tempted to tie the fact that this is a black and white book into the previous discussions of darkness and shadow but I am resisting. Instead I will direct you to Adam’s wonderful art on Deviant. Go take a look.

P.S. Not all superheroine Usenet fiction was bad. ‘Batgirl Vs. The Crime School for Girls’ was one I remember for not only having some great bondage traps, but also having a quantum cat deathtrap. Too bad I can’t seem to find a copy anymore.

P.P.S. If you want to snicker at some of my younger writings, complete with typos, bad sentence structure and weirdness, go read ‘Battle of the Heroines‘. It is the only story where a faux Ninja, a warrior princess, a Chosen One, and a busty archaeologist battle it out in a series of competitions to become the unwilling bride of an alien overlord.