We-view Wednesday – The Powers That Be!

“I hope our wisdom will grow with our power, and teach us, that the less we use our power the greater it will be.” ~Thomas Jefferson


Why is there a police department when there are superheroes to protect the population? That is a question answered in Volume 1, of Powers: Who Killed Retro Girl written by Brian Michael Bendis and Michael Avon Oeming.

Enter Christian Walker, a chiseled-faced homicide detective in the local police department. His story is classic. He has been assigned a new and fairly inexperienced partner named Deena Pilgrim who has recently been transferred from the SWAT team.

As their story unfolds, we get an inside look at their relationship. And she could not have arrived at a better time because someone has murdered one of the world’s most respected superheroes, Retro Girl, who is found dead near an elementary school. Walker and Pilgrim are called up to track down her murderer. Their task is not an easy one because of the interference of numerous characters from the busy-buddy Detective Kutter (Walker’s former partner) who seeks glory at every turn to the press, as well as an impossible autopsy. After all; how do you do an autopsy on a superhero who is seemingly indestructible?

Trust, in the beginning, is the focus of the Walker-Pilgrim partnership. Type-A personalities with different investigative styles, the new team clash as outspoken, gung-ho Pilgrim and quiet, by-the-book Walker work together. At one point their relationship is tested when Pilgrim gets too nosey and looks into Walker’s personal life with Retro Girl, after a mysterious package arrives for him (props to Laura Petrie and the inflatable raft).

Bendis certainly has a gift for dialogue, which is pithy, tense, and highly entertaining. The back and forth banter flows with humour and intensity, making Retro Girl quite a fun reading experience. At times the art panels supersede the dialogue totally, creating dramatic visuals. Through the entire volume, I had difficulty navigating the pages, filled with word balloons and panels, some times needing to read across two pages but getting lost in the gutter. This does not, with my limited knowledge conform to other volumes/comic books that I have read, but I contribute my difficulties to this being a large book and not an individual comic book issue. The pages with the news casts were particularly troublesome for me as they moved from horizontal to vertical and then back again, but as the book progressed the rhythm became apparent and my difficulties lessened and then ceased altogether.

I think this is the first time a review of mine will not include a detail of the artwork, because the art work takes a backseat to the words with its simplicity. This book was much more entertaining because of the story itself which would make an ideal movie in my estimation

Powers is a very good read with well written characters who live in an exciting universe filled with superheroes and supervillians, and characters that are murky fun to encounter. Check this out and I can almost guarantee that Volume 1 will deliver!

I give this 5 PRADAs and I can’t wait to begin the next volume.

rating-5

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