Powerless #3

Reviewer: Tim Stevens
Story Title: N/A

Written by: Matt Cherniss & Peter Johnson
Artist: Michael Gaydos
Colored by: Lee Loughridge
Lettered by: Dave Sharpe
Editor: Axel Alonso
Publisher: Marvel Comics

In the world of the Powerless (think the Marvel Universe if everything happened the shame, but the laws of science actually worked), Psychologist William Watts continues to have visions of a different version of his world (think the actual Marvel Universe, laws of science be damned). More disturbing than the visions for the good doctor, however, are his increasing comfort with them. They are beginning to feel more real to him than reality.

Both Logan and Peter Parker makes plays for their independence this time out, but the thrust of the issue belongs to Matt Murdock. It seems that the more things change, the more they stay the same. So, for going up against him last issue, Wilson Fisk sets out to ruin Murdock. However, in a world where our protagonist’s lack any superhuman skills, it proves a far less intricate, (but no less brutal, in its way), affair than it was in the seminal DD story, Born Again.

I won’t go into the hows of Fisk’s lashing out beyond saying that they are so benign (for the most part) that it reinforces the casual cruelty of this alternate universe kingpin. He is not loud and flashy about it and expels not more energy than is absolutely necessary to complete his desires. It is as strong a portrait of Kingpin as criminal that you are likely to find.

Murdock hardly gets short shifted on characterization either as, despite his internal monologue, he displays a resistance to Fisk’s machinations. That’s not to say he triumphs over them, but the fight never really leaves Murdock either.

Gaydos art is just excellent. Between this and Alias, it is clear that Marvel has hooked up with a true talent. The art nails the “real” world and the flashes of the “powered” world with equal skill. I’m a writing first type of comic book fan so it takes a lot for me to say an artist is worth following project to project. Gaydos is such an artist.

The Final Word: This miniseries continues to be a surprise, an intriguing ride through a powerless Marvel Universe, with great art to boot.

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