Saturday, October 29, 2011

Powers v13: #2

Z: Part 2 by Brian Michael Bendis (writer) and Michael Avon Oeming (artist) - The plot thickens. The most interesting developments come at the end of Part 2 when Christian confronts some people from his past. The encounter and the scenes leading up to it help to add some depth to the flashbacks in part 1.

The bulk of Part 2 focuses on a flashback to 1944 when Christian, Z, Billy, and Goose were costumed heroes. They didn't stay on the home front. They went toe-to-toe with the Nazis, including a giant robot. The flashback helps to fill in some of the gaps, adds background material, but doesn't seem to provide any vital pieces to the puzzle. They are fun, cool pages that are big on action.

Rereading Part 1 helped to illuminate what was happening in the first three pages of Part 2. Christian's girlfriend is receiving visions from his past. It is tough to say at this point why or how the visions are coming to her but they aren't all pleasant visions. These three pages may actually have been part of the previous issue. There are no clear chapter breaks in this or any of the other Powers collections.

Powers is a creator-owned series published through the Icon imprint of Marvel Comics

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Powers v13: #1

Z: Part 1 by Brian Michael Bendis (writer) and Michael Avon Oeming (artist) - Although it starts with a chase scene (excitement! right?) the opening segment of the 13th collection of Powers fizzles a bit. The lights have been flipped on but they are flickering a bit. It's a slow start. Hopefully the pace and intensity of the story will pick up as more information is dropped into place.

Is the reader supposed to sympathize with Walker in the flashback sequence? Doubtful. Bendis and Oeming are probably just messing around, casting Walker in a negative light so that later he will seem to shine that much brighter. Even in the present he acts fairly aloof. The best character moments involve a couple of unnamed cops arguing over what they ate for lunch. Walker maybe in the spotlight, Pilgrim is mentioned but nowhere to be found, but he doesn't act or seem like he deserves it.

Not withstanding Walker's attitude, the flashback sequence is cool; a rare look into the past of the world that Powers takes place. Set in the post-WWII era Walker and company, of which the arc's titular character Z is the leader, do as they please. They see themselves as better than those around them and act accordingly. They aren't cops, the law probably considers them to be robbers, but they see themselves as being something else: Robin Hood and his merry men.

Powers is a creator-owned series published through the Icon imprint of Marvel Comics