Powers Volume 4, Numbers 15 - 20
Created and Produced by: Brian Michael Bendis and Michael Avon Oeming
Color Art by: Peter Pentazis
Typography: Ken Bruzenak
Editor: KC McCrory
Business Affairs: Alisa Bendis
Published by: Image Comics
Supergroup is an incredible powerful story-arc in the Powers series, and perhaps unfortunately for the sake of reviewing, many of it's most powerful moments occur soley in moments of silence. As in, there are cool quotes in this bit, but far more cool images that will simply ground you.
Fittingly, the only extra stuff included in this collection is an interview with Michael Avon Oeming, describing how he goes about setting up the illustrations for each issue of Powers.
In this section of Powers, everything falls apart, the whole world comes into question. A sacred image of American culture turns out to be an engineered product, and one that is killing people. And in order to find the truth and justice of it, one of our team will have to sacrifice their career as a police person.
FG-3 is a stunning 3 person super-hero group. Everybody's seen their movie...how they grew up together in The Hood, discovered that they had powers, and decided that they needed to use them to protect the weak and defenseless.
So when the group publically outsts Wazz, who then sues them for billions of dollars in merchandizing rights, the nation is shocked. Even more shocking is when the third member of the group, Benmarley, is found exploded in the bathroom of his home, chared and sizzled from the inside out.
Pilgrim and Walker are flung into the case, trying to investigate who killed Benmarley while dodging Federal interference, because FG-3 were a federally funded Supergroup. Discovering a web of federal coverups, billion dollar product deals, and background to Boogiegirl suggesting a scandalous coverup of mental illness, the entire episode winds down to a terrible, tragic climax, ending in the death of Walker's fiance, and numerous others.
One begins to realize at this point that Bendis is systematically attacking every aspect of the Superhero genre...where they come from, how we view them. He addresses themes that have been seen previously, in Kingdom Come and Rising Stars, about how Superheros influence and affect the world around them, and how we as normal people would react to them...or to superstars.
But it also continues to address them as real people, with real concerns. More than any other series I've seen, besides perhaps Rising Stars, Powers really goes out of it's way to show these Superheros as very normal, with their own rules, identities, etc. Not extreme angst and out there stories, but very normal, down to earth, every day concerns. And that makes these characters terribly more real, and affecting. No resurrections here to boost sales, or stupid plot twists with mind bending cross overs. It's a powerful, affecting story.
Unfortunately, so much important stuff happens here that I can't quote it. But if you haven't read any of these books, if you're unfamiliar with the series...I seriously suggest you start with this one. It's only 19.95, and you can find it at your local book store, or order it.
This is the kind of stuff that you can show to other people who aren't into comics, and be proud of.
Powers | Powers: Who Killed Retro Girl? | Powers: Roleplay | Powers: Little Deaths