By Brian Michael Bendis, Michael Avon Oeming, Pat Garrahy
Powers is an innovative and exciting new comic
that keeps getting better. With one foot firmly planted in the classic
crime noir/police thriller world, and the other kicking its way into
the superhero community, Powers creates a cool hybrid-genre and
comes closer to the feel of a movie than any other current comic
(Preacher is an exception.) The basic premise behind the
series is, "What's it like to be a city cop who investigates superhuman
The first eight issues of the book are a complete storyline,
focusing on the murder of a beloved superhero, Retro Girl. What's her
relationship to our protagonist, grim-faced detective Christian Walker?
And how will Walker's new partner, spunky rookie Deena Pilgrim, fit into
an overwhelming, dangerous world of inexplicable powers?
Bendis has become a celebrity in comic coteries mainly
for his preternaturally realistic dialogue, and Powers is his best showcase
for that. The speech balloons are laid out so you can really tell more
than one person is speaking at once, mimicking the reality of a busy
street or crowded police station - a sensation that is taken for granted
in movies, impossible in prose, and rarely harnessed in comics. Bendis
and Oeming also take advantage of timing, freezing a panel for pauses
in the dialogue and using empty black space as silences. The series is
both suspenseful and often humorous.
The collection itself is probably one of the best ever
put together in comics, akin to a DVD Director's Cut of the original
issues. Not only is it bound and printed beautifully, with a new cover,
but it includes every extra you could imagine. An Oeming sketchbook,
a series of Powers strips that ran in Comic Shop News,
a gallery of unused art and covers, and more. And the best added feature?
Bendis's original script for issue one. All together, a nice package
for a ridiculously low price. Truly a gem.