America’s Got Powers #1
Story by Jonathan Ross and Bryan Hitch
Script by Jonathan Ross
Art by Bryan Hitch, Andrew Currie, Paul Neary, and Paul Mounts
The short of it:
Seventeen years ago a crystal appeared in the skies over San Francisco, and upon landing released a glowing light that caused every pregnant woman in a five mile radius to give birth without issue immediately. Every baby born that day had a talent of some variety, a power. A year ago, during the Strength Tournament Final of America’s Got Powers, Bobby Watts came from behind to win, only to fall after the fight. Fast forward another year and we’re introduced to our main character, Bobby’s twin brother Tommy. The only one without powers. He still works for the America’s Got Powers people though, along with other people sharing his birthday (but who have powers), selling merchandise and later acting as a mascot. The new season kicks off, and the new rule changes turn it into a slaughter, leading powerless Tommy to try and be a hero and…maybe not be so powerless after all.
What I liked:
- I looked up Jonathan Ross before I started this review, just so that I could try and talk about him with a bit less ignorance. What I discovered is that he’s a star in the UK, a radio personality, and that he wrote a book named Turf for Image. I still can’t really claim to know who he is, but I can say that he does a damn good job here. The book is well paced, well characterized, and the action is great.
- Bryan Hitch is on art, so I don’t think I really need to go into how awesome it is. It’s a Hitch book, he doesn’t do second rate work.
- I’m astonished by just how original this book wound up being. Sure, I can find similarities between it and other things I’ve read, but I haven’t read a book executed quite like this. New is always better, right?
- Part of me wanted to complain that Hitch’s art is covered up at least a bit in almost every panel, but then I realized that I love how dialogue heavy this book is. We get explanations without painful exposition, and we get feels for all of our presumably main characters because of how they act instead of just being told that they are a certain way. It might make for a heavier debut issue, but I personally like that a lot.
What I didn’t like:
- Maybe it’s just Hitch’s take on uniforms, but every body in costume makes me wonder if I saw that same character in an issue of Ultimates. I’m not sure if it’s the uniforms or poses, but I can’t shake it.
- You have a massive and dangerous sporting event with a live crowd and have no emergency shut off switch in case something goes horribly wrong? Like if a kid were to wind up in the middle of the battle field after something went boom? Really?
- I hate reality television style announcers in damn near any medium. “We’re going to watch this and tell you how horrible it is and why it shouldn’t happen!” Like, really, these are people I wish were real so I could slap them.
- I actually went to americasgotpowers.com to read the details after checking out the press recap that opened the book, and I mean, yeah, I didn’t expect the site to exist, and it didn’t, but it would have been cool!
Rising Stars meets X-Men meets Reality TV. I never thought I’d see the day, let alone enjoy it. And yet….here I am. This is so much better than what I was expecting when I heard about this book and imagined some sort of talent show done in a comic book.
The fact that they call the kids with powers “Stoners” cracks me up every single time I read it, even now on the third time through. Who knew that the “Stoners” had all the power? Who knew “Stoners” would inherit the Earth? Awesome, right?
I think my biggest issue with this is actually the Rising Stars concept I keep seeing. In Rising Stars it made sense that there were only a hundred and thirteen people with power. The finite amount made each one more important and led to a lot of plots throughout the series. Here, however, I don’t know how many women were pregnant within five miles of the crystal, but I’m supposed to believe that there were enough to cause riots and internment camps within fifteen years, and a reality show that’s been going on for an unknown amount of seasons. Everyone with powers is the same age and there’s an unknown amount of them, but really, how many pregnant women are going to be in a five mile radius of a select point in San Fran?
I know we’re only one issue in, and for all I know this mini could wrap up having explained every possible thing about the series from how it all began to what led to things being like this, and even end with a clear cut “it’s over” ending. But you know what? I think this could be the start of a new franchise if it’s handled well. The universe we’ve seen debuted here looks big enough to spend multiple minis exploring just how everything got the way it was. Hell, they could do minis showing how various characters wound up where they are. A potential new and interesting franchise always gets me giddy.
One of these days I’m going to make a proper list of how many books I read in a given week that have Paul Mounts on colors. That man is a work horse!
So I’ve been blue stars, and I’ve seen green stars, and I saw a few gold ones as well. So, million dollar questions….which issue is going to tell us what they mean?
How many issues will we get before we get a Hitch delay? Please say he won’t give us a delay this time!
Tags: America's Got Powers, bryan hitch, Image Comics, Jonathan Ross, Reviews