Overview

Powers #20

Review

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Powers #20

Credits

  • 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 11, 2006

Queen Noir is the lead suspect in her husband and former arch-nemesis’s death. Powers detectives Christian Walker and Deena Pilgrim are on the case.

Thank goodness for recaps. After a two-and-a-half month hiatus (damn that Oeming for being a good writer, too!), Powers returns with possibly the most gripping issue since the relaunch under the ICON imprint. Finally, the focus has shifted away from Deena’s investigation by Internal Affairs and back onto the crime mystery aspect of the book. Not that I don’t want to see how the predicament with her newly contracted powers that caused her to "accidentally" murder an ex-boyfriend goes, but this issue focuses directly on what made the title so popular in the first place--Pilgrim and Walker solving murder cases specific to super-powered individuals.

What makes this issue so strong, besides refocusing on crime investigation, is the dialogue. Bendis uses witty, conversational banter on this title probably better than any of the other sixty-eight books he’s currently writing (note: sarcasm). The Walker/Pilgrim team has a classic dynamic that is rarely seen in comics. Bendis has also given each of these characters a fascinating secret that they are hiding from each other and the rest of the world, which has previously amped up the tension a little. Here, however, the detectives are back to their old, professional antics of trying to crack a case, and Bendis has at long last seemingly crafted one worthy of these characters’ efforts.

Though his writing has been in pretty heavy demand of late, Oeming gives another solid effort on art with this issue. Hisangular, heavily lined and graphically detailed work is unmistakable and perfectly matched for a crime "indy book" like Powers. And while I gush over Pantazis’ colors every time I speak of the art on this title, I must do so again. While the colors are more or less muted throughout this issue--thematically darkened by the murder--the closing pages call on his amazing talents and he delivers as usual.

The only down side to this issue of Powers is that there weren’t any fan letters for Bendis to rip on, but when the actual book is this strong I can’t complain too much. With a cliffhanger that promises an explosive, possibly secret-shattering confrontation/payoff, Bendis, Oeming and Pantazis are in top form once again. Hopefully, we won’t have to wait so long to see where they take us next.

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