[Comic Book Review] Dark Horse Comics’ ‘Empowered and Sistah Spooky’s High School Hell’ #1 by Adam Warren, Carla Speed McNeil & Jenn Manley Lee

PopCultHQ received a review copy of Empowered and Sistah Spooky’s High School Hell #1 from Dark Horse Comics. Available December 20th, 2017, the creative team for this series features writing from Adam Warren and art and lettering from Carla Speed McNeil and coloring from Jenn Manley Lee.

Here’s PopCultHQ’s spoiler-free review of…

Empowered and Sistah Spooky’s High School Hell #1

Writer: Adam Warren

Artist: Carla Speed McNeil
Colorist: Jenn Manley Lee
Letterer: Carla Speed McNeil
Cover Artist: Carla Speed McNeil

In Shops: December 20, 2017
SRP: $3.99

Empowered’s “frenemy” Sistah Spooky was once a schoolgirl who sold her soul for hotness, but was granted even more magic than beauty. Now, both superheroines find themselves trapped in a high-school hellscape by Spooky’s Infernal Service Provider–with her blonde ex-classmates plotting ritual murder to claim her magic for themselves!

* First Empowered comic-book series in standard comics format.

* Over 250,000 Empowered volumes in print.

* Artist Carla Speed McNeil is the acclaimed creator of Finder and artist of No Mercy, Queen and Country, and many more. Finder won an Eisner Award, Two Ignatz Awards, and a Los Angeles Times Book Prize.

 PopCultHQ’s Comic Book Review:
Empowered and Sistah Spooky’s High School Hell #1


Adam’s writing on this book was bizarre but enjoyable. A lot of the script reads like something out of a sitcom or daytime TV show. Yet it is interwoven with material that is pure superhero goodness. His protagonists are strong and dominant heroes, yet they find themselves suddenly pushed into a nightmare world that will prove a real challenge for them. This first issue is a mixed bag of delight and danger, horror and humor, making it an ideal fun read for Dark Horse fans.


Carla pulled a major workload as both artist and letterer for this book. The dedication shows throughout, especially when the art and letters really meld together. A lot of the art has the vibe of something from a dark horror or monster comic, tinged with classic superhero elements. Lettering-wise, her work stands out just as much. Particularly the lettering for Empowered and Sistah Spooky. Both these superheroines have distinctive voices, with Spooky’s being the primary voice for the internal thought dialogue. Whatever surprises are in store with the rest of the series, it is a safe bet Carla will keep everyone on their toes.

Jenn’s coloring in issue #1 was mind-blowing. Rich and vivid and eye-catching colors on every page. There is a lot of mixes of black with dark reds and other colors to emulate fire and brimstone. Not to mention Jenn’s use of bleak colors to detail the ‘high school hell’ that Empowered and Sistah Spooky fine themselves trapped in. It’s clear to see that Jenn had a fun time working on this first issue. That means every subsequent issue in this series will be full of fine and excellent colors, all courtesy of Jenn and her gifts as colorist.

PopCultHQ’s overall assessment:

What happens when a sitcom like Gilmore Girls or Buffy the Vampire Slayer gets paired with superhero comics? The end result is this latest in the adventures of Empowered and Sistah Spooky. Make sure to lock your doors and keep your loved ones close, and get ready for one wild and horrifying ride through High School Hell. Don’t stand there and delay, make sure to get a copy today.

PopCultHQ’s Rating:

5 Out of 5 Stars

Empowered and Sistah Spooky’s High School Hell #1 can be purchased on ComiXology
or at your local comic shop and online retailers on December 20th!

Be sure to follow the creative team!

Writer- Adam Warren






Artist/Letterer – Carla Speed McNeil






Colorist: Jenn Manley Lee






Publisher – Dark Horse Comics