By Davey Nieves
Story: Brian Michael Bendis and Michael Avon Oeming
Colors: Nick Filardi
Letters: Chris Eliopoulos
Powers by Brian Michael Bendis and Michael Avon Oeming is a book that’s moved around a lot. It started as an initial pitch to DC, then came to life at Image, and found a home under Marvel’s Icon imprint. With the book getting ready to make its big move to PlayStations everywhere, (We got a quick peek at the debut episode and it’s dynamite) the powers behind Powers are back with a new ongoing series that doesn’t miss a beat.
This newest Powers series is set a few months after recent events. Having barley survived the most harrowing case of her career and government corruption, Deena Pilgrim has written a cash cow tell all book. Not everything is roses for Pilgrim as she still continues to investigate crimes involving people with superhuman abilities otherwise know as powers. The force is in the midst of a new powers boom with loads of new cases when a never before seen ability is discovered in a gruesome murder at sea.
Bendis called this first issue a perfect jumping on point for readers new and old. However it doesn’t quite feel that way if you’re brand spanking new to the Powers universe. That’s not to say this issue is a bad story in any form because there’s so much to enjoy from cover to cover. While Deena Pilgrim is a vital character in this universe; the book doesn’t do much to set up the conscious of the series, Detective Christian Walker. In fact you really won’t see him in MOST of these pages. It’s a bit odd that the detective doesn’t take center stage in this new number one when Sony and Bendis have made a huge deal about Sharlto Copley(District 9, Elysium) playing Christian Walker on the show. The way the premiere of Powers TV show goes down; Walker will definitely be a character reading about if you’ve never picked up Powers. A monthly publishing schedule doesn’t leave much time for this new series to put its best foot forward with Walker’s PlayStation original debut on March 10 and not capitalizing on how huge this multimedia endeavor could be would be criminal.
This new number one feels so far along in the world and it slightly stumbles in letting the exposition grow naturally, but even a flashback or more context would have helped anyone who’s new to Powers care about the characters. Just the opposite, if you’re a fan of the series there’s loads for you in this book. The procedural drama flow of the series is as spot on as ever and the dialogue is solid witty repartee. There’s even a spread with a ton of Easter egg jokes about current events by both of the big two publishers.
Powers universe would be hollow without the visual storytelling of Michael Avon Oeming. He hasn’t lost a step with this book. Oeming’s work continues to have an emotional noir appeal to this gritty world. His art plays so much with expression that it never feels like any characters make the same face twice. That’s a very rare thing for an artist who has to draw twenty something pages on a deadline every month. Pay particular attention to the boat scene, it may not be very gruesome but the subtlety there makes it gut-wrenching.
We’ll talk in the next few weeks about what we saw from Powers TV debut. As far as the first issue of this new series goes; it isn’t a jumping on point new readers will understand right away but it is definitely worth adding to this weeks haul for anyone curious about the property.
Dave is currently in the middle of a Lego Batman 3 binge on PlayStation 4. Bother him on PSN and Twitter @bouncingsoul217