Overview

Powers Vol. 2 #9

Review

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Powers Vol. 2 #9

Credits

  • Words: Brian Michael Bendis
  • Art: Michael Avon Oeming
  • Inks: N/A
  • Colors: Peter Pantazis
  • Story Title: N/A
  • Price: $2.95
  • Release Date: Feb 23, 2005

The plot in Powers #9 thickens, twists, and proves yet again why Powers is consistently one of the best comics being published today.

The fact that Powers is good is going to be a completely irrelevant detail in this review.

Of course Powers is good. Powers is always good. Even the people who hate Brian Michael Bendis, who will damn him publicly for what they feel was a rape of whatever the hell it was they liked about Daredevil or Spider-man or the Avengers or ya-ya-ya, will probably shrug their shoulders and mutter quietly “but Powers is pretty good.”

I have just used the word “good” four times in four sentences. Just in case you were counting.

But, as I’ve said, that little detail (namely the quality of Powers, a comic book about homicide cops whose beat happens to be the killings of superheroes) is not going to be relevant to the majority of the text that follows. In the interests of still being a functional review however, this is the current story:

Having powers is now illegal. Calista, the little girl Walker befriended in the very first issue, has gotten herself some powers of her own and is the new Retro Girl. Deena has a terrible secret, namely that she also has some powers after a nasty kidnapping, and there have now been two homicides involving the illegal sale of a retired superhero’s mystical gem. A trip to the coroner’s office, some trademark Bendis banter, a witness interrogation, and another plot twist wait for Detectives Walker and Pilgrim this issue.

Since the launch of Volume 2,the comic has been simply astounding. Instead of falling into a Law and Order-esque trap of doing stand-alone murder after murder, Bendis continues to build an increasingly complex world of fascinating characters with drama and consequences for actions.

By now, Michael Avon Oeming has made sure that in the event of his death, the comic will simply have to explode rather than have anyone else handle art duties on the title. Even if all the fanboys who went psycho over Avengers Disassembled make some extraordinary pact with evil or simply bury Marvel editorial under so much ridiculous and misspelled hate-mail to the point that Bendis is stripped of his writing duties and cast into the streets, I have faith they won’t be able to kill Powers. There are very few comics that are so fundamentally the territory of two people. This is one of them.

So if you read Powers regularly, you probably know a few things. First of all, you know that the final issues in any story arc are always the best. We’re getting to the final issues in the arc, folks. If you’ve been slacking, it’s time to fundraise in the sofa cushions and get thee some backissues.

You also probably know that Bendis has this bizarre ability to jam one page so full of dialogue you’d swear you were reading a novel (admittedly a foul-mouthed one), leave the next two pages with no words at all, and somehow make it all seem perfectly paced.

You are also probably aware that 47 issues into this thing, the man is still trying to convince us that he can break two facing pages up into about a million little panels, cram them full of words, and somehow it’s going to be perfectly obvious to us that after reading all the pages prior to this layout experiment top-to-bottom, that we’re expected to read these pages all the way across instead. What’s really uncanny is Bendis’ ability to always choose the two pages in any issue that, thanks to some terse banter-y dialogue, can be read and make perfect (albeit totally different) sense when read top-to-bottom. Many inches of press have been devoted to this man’s other writing gifts, but this dubious talent and his persistence in trying to get us to accept his unorthodox layout schemes are unsung virtues.

If you read Powers regularly, the latest issue will not disappoint on any of the usual fronts. It’s crime drama, it’s superheroes, it’s comedy, and its letter column is one of the reasons I gladly surrender my hard-earned dough each month. If you don’t read Powers regularly –

Start.

- Jesse Vigil

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