Reviewer: James Hatton
Story Title: N/A
Created by: Brian Michael Bendis & Mike Avon Oeming
Colored by: Peter Pantazis
Lettered by: Ken Bruzenak
Design by: Keith Wood
Editing: James Lucas Jones & KC McCrory
Publisher: Icon > Marvel Comics
Lately, on the forum boards (you should go check them out), there has been some loud and abrasive arguments about the writing of Brian Michael Bendis. It is true that the bigger someone gets, the more they will be questioned – but one point I’ve noticed that has not been refuted once, is that Powers is a great book. The people that aren’t reading it aren’t commenting, and the people that are, won’t say otherwise – because it is. Powers is, pound for pound, one of the most fun stories in comics today.
I was worried when Bendis brought his book over to Marvel, the new Icon imprint would be nothing more than a new place for stories to be told THE MARVEL WAY – but they have kept their promise of making sure Powers doesn’t change. Not only has it not changed, but I really think that these last two arcs have been the best of the series.
Powers have been outlawed. Retrogirl is dead. So who is that girl stopping that bank robber?
That’s our new Retrogirl, who is doing her damndest to be the city’s new protector and number one supergal. We start off the issue with her doing just that, by stopping a crazed badguy on the loose. Retrogirl saves the day, and then we watch as she and Agent Walker argue over how she did it, in classic ‘lots of text’ Bendis style.
This issue is the first issue of the arc, so it suffers from quite a bit of action lag after that first fight scene, but what you get in response is a novella’s worth of story. You have Walker and Calista (the girl underneath the Retro-Goggles) arguing, you have television pundits talking about the legality of outlawing powers, and then… someone dies.
Blackguard, a hero from the old days has turned up with no head. Pilgrim and Walker go on about their detective like way to find out what exactly happened, and the answer is another one of those odd moments in Powers. It takes the basic ideals of comic cliche, in this case the jewel that allowed Blackguard his power, and takes away the superpowered element so what you are left with are people reacting to superheroes. What we are left with at the end of this issue is the plot that I assume will lead us through the next arc – all the while the story of the illegality of Powers, Retrogirl’s new beginning, and Agent Pilgrim dealing with the repercussions of what happened to her in issue #5.
Lots of great stuff on the horizon, and I can’t tell you enough how I really believe that if you love super heroes, that this is title you should be reading.
Oeming has mastered this style of storytelling. If you pick up an Oeming book, there is no question who you are reading. His angular faces and cartoony style make this book feel more like an adventure that could be fit onto television than one that is told in flat panel. The coloring in this particular issue comes across a bit dark and shadowy, but so is the world that these characters are living in. Nothing is safe, nothing is taboo – and the art reflects it.
There aren’t enough ways to say how much I look forward to my monthly dose of Powers. It is one of the first books I grab off the pile, and it never disappoints. Do yourself a favor, if you haven’t, and go grab a copy of ‘WHO KILLED RETROGIRL’ because whether or not you are enjoying Avengers, or Daredevil – this is Bendis at his finest.