Powers: The Definitive Hardcover Collection Volume 1 - Brian Michael Bendis & Michael Avon Oeming

I read Powers: Who Killed Retro Girl? last year, and then came across this massive volume at the library. Even though it wasn't my favorite comic, I thought I'd give it another shot to see what other stories Bendis et al had in store. The "Who Killed Retro Girl?" storyline is the first in this book, followed by a one-issue story called "Ride-Along," and then another story arc titled "Role-playing." This being a "definitive hardcover collection," there's a little more background info included, and I discovered that Oeming also did some work for the Batman animated series, and used that style of illustration for this book.

The series continues with Detectives Walker and Pilgrim, working in the "Powers" division of the police force, investigating any cases involving superpowers. In "Ride-Along," comic-book writer Warren Ellis gets to be a comic book character, riding along with Walker as he goes to investigate a case. Apparently most of his dialogue was taken from other interviews and publications, and it's funny to hear him ranting about superhero comics ("The notion that these things dominate an entire culture is absurd ... Superhero comics are like bloody creeping fungus—and they smother everything else.") while basically being in a superhero comic. "Role-playing" is about a bunch of college students who dress up as superheroes and then start getting killed off by a real supervillain.

This collection also includes a bunch of supplemental material, including a parody coloring/activity book, the script for the first issue, and a collection of fan mail with Bendis' smart-aleck responses to them. The fan mail section seems much longer than necessary, and shows that, whatever you may think from the comic book and Bendis' remarks about comic book cliches, he'd fit right in at comics conventions with a bunch of fanboys.

Again, it's not the best comic in the world, but it's not your typical Marvel or DC superhero book, either. It's nice to get some variation in style, even if it's still peppered with misspellings and bad punctuation. (The bad spelling really bugs me, though.)

Fed to jonathan's brain | July 26, 2006 | Comments (0)


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