08 August 2005

Powers vol. #1 - "Who Killed Retro Girl?"

Premise: a pair of homicide detectives (Christian Walker and Deena Pilgrim) investigate superhero murders.

On their first case together, Walker and Pilgrim are assigned to investigate the murder of Retro Girl, a Wonder Woman-type heroine whose popularity is equivalent to that of Princess Di in the real world. The two detectives have to brave the resulting media circus, various lawsuits, and uncooperative superpowered colleagues of hers to get to the truth.

Brian Bendis (who is writing many of Marvel's best comics these days) delivers solid, noirish scripts with sharp, spiky dialogue. Michael Avon Oeming's art is bold, simple and full of contrast, and is reminiscent of the Batman cartoon from the early 90's. If you want to follow the series month to month, the creators are very good about alerting the reader when a brand new story arc begins on the cover; however, I recommend picking up the collected volumes instead. Not only do you get the complete story, but Bendis, a notorious film buff, treats each collected volume like a DVD, and loads it with extras: interviews with the creators, Oeming's original sketches, and some of his original scripts, which are almost as entertaining as the actual issues.

Recommended for: Fans of any of the Law & Order or C.S.I. shows; regular readers of The Smoking Gun.
Not recommended for: children (there's lots of sexual references and strong language, and the murders can be rather grisly).

No comments: