Powers is back...for the 5th time.

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Powers (2015-) 1

Written by: Brian Michael Bendis

Art by: Michael Avon Oeming

Colored by: Nick Filardi

Lettered by: Chris Eliopoulos

Cover by: Michael Avon Oeming

Published by: Marvel (Icon)

Cover Price: $3.99

Note: This is a review of the digital version which can be found on Comixology.

Warning! This review contains quite a few spoilers!

Summary (contains spoilers): In Powers: Bureau saw police detectives Deana Pilgrim,  Enki Sunrise, and Christian Walker were working for the federal government investigating superpower-related crimes.  At the end of the series, it seemed like Pilgrim had walked away after they discovered that the Federal Powers Bureau was corrupt, and the very people who had been responsible for the murders of FG-3 (and Walker's fiancé) way back in the Supergroup story arc.

This issue starts some time later.  Sunrise and Pilgrim are back working local Powers cases.  Walker is nowhere to be seen.  It seems like a bunch of new super-powers beings have started to show up.  The issue starts with Pilgrim chasing down a Powers, taking him down by shooting him in the ass.  We find out that since we last saw her, she has become an author writing a book called Powers Corrupts.  She's also become pretty wealthy by doing this. There is a mysterious red car parked outside her house, which is make her nervous.

Meanwhile, out on a yacht, a man named Roland Gabriel is throwing a party when he's interrupted by one of the guests developing superpowers and accidentally killing everyone.  A dark shadowed figure is watching this.

Pilgrim and Sunrise are given the case.  Gabriel is a wealthy man with a lot of highly placed friends, so this case has become a top priority.  If they can't solve this case, there is a good chance the Powers Division will be shut down.

The Medical examiner says that the guests were killed by some kind of chemical compound that caused their bodies to stop working.

Meanwhile, the Captain tries to convince Walker to come back to work.  But Walker seems to have given up and has set up court in a strip club.

Review: It was kind of strange that this volume of Powers started the same way Powers: Bureau did.  We see Pilgrim and Sunrise working a case together while Walker has stepped aside after suffering a personal tragedy.  Not sure if this was a clever parallel, or just lazy and repetitive.  I'm going to give Bendis the benefit of the doubt on this one.

When comic series start with a new #1 (this is the fifth volume of Powers), it should be a good jumping on point for new readers.  But, Powers #1 never quite achieved that.  They don't do a very good job explaining who any of the characters are or how they are connected.  That is my biggest gripe about this issue, and it's one I've often had when Marvel relaunches a title.  Just recently, Captain America and the Mighty Avengers did the exact same thing.

I also thought there was a strange disconnect from the end of Powers: Bureau. The end of the last series seemed pretty clear that Pilgrim was fed up with the work, but here she is like nothing happened.  I assume they will explain it better over time, but it did make this issue feel a little off to me as a reader.

I also think that it's time to retire Sunrise.  She's not even a bad character, but she's never served much of a purpose in Powers other than a temporary foil for Walker or Pilgrim.  When you buy an issue of Powers, you're looking for the great interplay between Pilgrim and Walker. That is exactly who they put on the cover, so this was just a huge bait and switch.

Powers continues to push the envelope with nudity, violence, and cursing. Actually, this issue was pretty tame for an issue of Powers, come to think about it.  I think more police dramas need to feature this kind of gritty material.  It helps ground everything in the real world. I especially loved that there was a superpowered being calling themselves "The Fuck" and Pilgrim thinking that would have been a great superhero name for here,

Michael Avon Oeming is the perfect artist for this series, and I'm glad he's drawn every issue.  It gives the book a consistency and you always know exact what you are going to get.  I also think he does a great job drawing violent scenes.  This is the stuff of nightmares here:

At its core, this issue was an average issue of Powers.  Which isn't necessarily a bad thing.  Powers is a great series, but I'm not sure this issue is going to pick them up any new readers, and veteran readers might be turned off by finding just "more of the same" here.

Title:

Powers (2015-) #1

Written By:

Brian Michael Bendis

Art By:

Michael Avon Oeming

Company:

Marvel (Icon)

Price:

$3.99

Pros:

  • Pilgrim is still one of my favorite characters in comics.
  • Oeming's art fits the series perfectly

Cons:

  • Sunrise needs to go.  She adds nothing to this series.
  • Not a lot new to see here.

Is it worth your $3.99?

3/5  – There was nothing particular wrong with this issue, but it also didn't blow me away.  Pretty much the definition of an average issue of a series that often puts out great comics.  I definitely would have liked to see a lot more in this one.

 

Grade: 
3.0 / 5.0