Powers #13


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Powers #13


  • Words: Brian Michael Bendis
  • Art: Michael Avon Oeming
  • Inks: Michael Avon Oeming
  • Colors: Peter Pantazis
  • Story Title: N/A
  • Price: $2.95
  • Release Date: Oct 5, 2005

As a Powers-based murder occurs in the suburbs, Internal Affairs visits the Powers homicide division.

Civilization is a cesspool of miserable liars. That is the general idea brought forth by a nightclub performer throughout this issue of Powers. The premise of this jaded figure is that the world is full of despondent people--like himself--that just go around saying they’re doing great, when in fact, more often than not their life sucks. So, what does this have to do with the story? Well, Powers have been outlawed the world over in response to the devastatingly deadly events (see the Supergroup trade for specifics) perpetrated by one of the most powerful beings in the world. Now all Powers are basically forced to live a lie if they are living according to the law, but there are a few that are making headlines. While many are cheering the resurgence of Powers in the public spotlight, community leaders are vocally dissenting in favor of the law. Central to this paradox is Deena Pilgrim, the Powers homicide detective who has recently "contracted" powers from a villainous abductor, subsequently murdering an ex-boyfriend reflexively and getting rid of the evidence in a calm, collected fashion.

While the plot of Powers seems to be less refined since relaunch, the story is unmistakably candid and real. There are no longer any distinguishable events taking place where Bendis and Oeming must tell their story in a streamlined manner. Powers has always been unpredictable, but now there is an underlying sense of urgency that wasn’t so noticeable in the past. The Internal Affairs lady is checking in at homicide. Is she there for Deena? I wouldn’t be surprised if she isn’t, but what if she is? What if Walker is hiding something that’s only been hinted at? What if she’s there to take the captain to lunch because they went to the academy together? The possibilities are pretty diverse. And this is just one scene on one page out of twenty-two. Bendis also gives us a nice little social commentary as well as a fairly interesting new mystery and mixes in some funny little quips (mostly from Deena) per usual.

Oeming has been seeing quite a lot of writing work for Marvel lately (mostly Thor-related titles) that has garnered some acclaim, but I get the feeling that he just loves drawing Powers more than any of that. He’s probably not going to win any awards for draftsmanship, but he’s going to make sure you remember his contributions. It shows especially where the script calls for a death scene; as if Oeming sees it as a challenge to make it the most undeniably shocking thing you will see in a mainstream comic that month. Needless to say, one of those scenes makes its mark in this issue. It doesn’t hurt that he has Pantazis, one of the industry’s finest colorists, makes Oeming’s art jump out of the page at the reader.

Another quick note: if you want to read funny, there is absolutely nothing better than the letters column...even though this month’s isn’t actually letters but a Bendis Q&A session about his Marvel work.

Since the beginning of the Forever arc, Powers has been consistently wonderful. There is a level of honesty and often heartbreak (sounds like life, huh?) that you’d be hard-pressed to find anywhere else in comics.

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