Powers #5 Review

Reviewer: Tim Stevens
Story Title: N/A

Written by: Brian Michael Bendis
Art by: Mike Avon Oeming
Colored by: Peter Pantazis
Lettered by: Ken Bruzenak
Editor(s): James Lucas Jones and K.C. McCrory
Publisher: Icon/ Marvel Comics

Often times there are reviews that I just cannot seem to get a handle on. Most of the time, it is because the issue is so achingly mediocre that it is difficult to be inspired one way or another. After all, we all have read, “decent story, decent art” reviews and found we quickly just scan to the bottom to read the grade and the reviewe’s closing paragraph (what we here at the Nexus call The Final Word, pomposity definitely intended). I try hard to avoid that, but sometimes it is just inevitable. On other occasions, a book is just so consistently excellent it is nearly impossible not to simply regurgitate the words of all the reviewers that have come before you.

Powers #5 is definitely in the latter category, so I apologize in advanced if you have read this all power. Still, I did mention breasts in that teaser so this review might be worth slogging your way to the end for. (Look at me, blatantly using sex to rope in the readers. My mom would be so proud).

This issue picks up right where the last left off (obviously) as Walker frantically tears apart the city looking for his kidnapped partner Pilgrim. While he hits dead end after dead end, she is being tortured at the hands of the Bug. Seems that Pilgrim put The Bug away some time ago and with his new position of strength in the post powers banned world, he has decided to enact his revenge on her.

The twist to Bug’s powers is a smart one, a kind of brutal expression of what drugs can do and why people still cannot seem to pull themselves away. His demeanor only serves to make the torture sequences all the more unnerving as, despite his claims, he does not seem to be motivated by a long held desire for revenge. Instead, it comes across as merely something he does. You get the feeling that no matter which cop had reached him first, this would have been their fate.

Meanwhile, Walker reveals the layers behind his stoicism once more in his citywide interrogation, the lengths he will go, and the people who will barter with in his quest to find Pilgrim. There is one stop along the way that is shocking in its suddenness and brutality. It is rare to be stunned by a comic, but Oeming’s art certainly does it here.

Bendis does not sacrifice the sense of the world of Powers (or anti-Powers as it is now), however, to focus exclusively on the search for Pilgrim. There is a well done aside amongst some former heroes in exile that reveals how the legislation has affected them all differently and what the “return” of Retro Girl does to them.

The ending also promises a possible role shift in the Walker/Pilgrim partnership as the story banks in an unexpected direction.

Wow”¦guess I had more to say about this issue then I thought. Good for me.

Oh yes, and lest I forget, this issue has more breasts per square inch than any (non pornographic) comic you’ll read this month. And perhaps next. Trust me on that.