Supreme Power #18


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Supreme Power #18


  • Words: J. Michael Straczynski
  • Art: Gary Frank
  • Inks: Jonathan Sibal
  • Colors: Chris Sotomayor
  • Story Title: Exhibit R: The Statement of Mark Milton
  • Price: $2.99
  • Release Date: Aug 31, 2005

Hyperion’s extraterrestrial origin is leaked to the public, and the blueprint for a superteam comes into clear view.

First, I’ll say that I didn’t really get the title of this issue. Exhibit R? Then I counted off which letter in the alphabet R is and came up with 18, the number of this issue. Some people may have overlooked that, not being as curious (geeky?) as me, so there you go.

Now on to the story presented here. After such a lengthy wait between issues, many series would have been killed off; only the exceptional would survive. This is such a series. While seemingly a long and drawn out process (eighteen issues to get a team together?!), Supreme Power has been consistently fascinating to read. While I found the nature of the writing to be a little repetitive in this issue, it was still better than most other things out there. Straczynski really brings things together for the future of the team, while having Hyperion voice over his frustration in a letter to U.S. leaders who have basically brought about a witch-hunt of sorts. It is a pretty powerful statement on its own, but again, it more or less echoes what we’ve heard before.

I love JMS’s writing on this series, but this is arguably Gary Frank’s book. I’ve decided he is my favorite regularly contributing artist in the industry. He has a clean, active and realistic style that can be matched by a few artists out there right now like McNiven and Hitch. He also has the ability to create expressiveness in the characters on a level that even fewer can match (Mark Bagley comes to mind). When matching these two together with his ability to tell a visual story without the aid of dialogue or prose, he is virtually unparalleled. What especially struck me in this issue was the page full of President Bush addressing the nation about Hyperion. Frank not only exhibits a near perfect likeness of the prez, but even more, he showcases the many famous faces of our esteemed leader. I envisioned that he was having a good time, laughing to himself through that entire page.

This is the last issue of Supreme Power under the adult content MAX line. The story continues on in a few miniseries over the next few months before the title gets relaunched under the tamer Marvel Knights imprint. Many, including myself, are more than a little put off by this move even though it will likely bring more readers to the series. I’m sure it will remain a high quality book with all the same creators returning, but I still don’t care for it. Superbly rendered scantily clad women aside, Tom Thumb won’t be the foul-mouthed comic relief he’s been established as. It is a disheartening change that may take some time getting used to, but in the end I have come to trust the JMS/Frank team.

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