Summer's Reviews > Powers, Vol. 1: Who Killed Retro Girl?

Powers, Vol. 1 by Brian Michael Bendis
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's review
May 11, 2007

did not like it
bookshelves: 2007, graphic-narrative

Powers is to Watchmen and Astro City as The DaVinci Code is to Foucault's Pendulum. The anemic and obvious writing is only overshadowed by the nauseating copy-and-paste art of the "Anatomy? What's that?" school.

If you want to read a good heroes-and-cops book, pass this one up completely and read Alan Moore's Top 10 instead. It's got fantastic writing and gorgeous artwork. Finishing Powers was seriously a chore.
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Comments (showing 1-7 of 7) (7 new)

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message 1: by MkB (new)

MkB I've never seen Powers as a top-of-the-heap comic (though really, anything suffers in a comparison with Top 10 or Astro City), but I'm a little surprised you reacted so negatively to it; I always enjoyed it pretty well, though I suppose that might be because I tend to skim comics when the writing gets too long-winded or annoying.

Summer Well, I guess it wasn't the writing as much (though that was annoying in that it had the feeling of "I'm Alan Moore and I'm writing a Death of Wonder Woman story", except that it was really not handled nearly as well as Moore would have) as the shitty, shitty artwork. "Stylized" doesn't mean "proportions and faces change with no reference to anything in reality", and there were entire pages that were the same frame copied-and-pasted, and two page spreads where the progression of frames wasn't at all clear.

So, between a story that was derivative of the sort of meta-superhero themes Moore and Miller and Busiek have already done a lot better, and pages that look like this:(, I was pretty angry about having wasted time on Powers.

Actually, it was more of a 2 or 2.5, but I was in a bad mood and trolling for a fight :D

message 3: by MkB (new)

MkB I do particularly remember the poor frame progression problem, which made me have to re-read a number of pages.

message 4: by Brandy (new)

Brandy Bendis does have some really great panel layouts in Powers. He also has some remarkably shitty panel layouts. Sometimes I like the art; sometimes it drives me bugfuck. On the whole, I like Powers, and I read it in our stack of comics whenever we get around to picking them up, but if it randomly disappeared I'm not sure I'd notice.

I'd probably give it a three. And then I'd clean up my apparent pottymouth. It's just hard to even think about Powers--or any Bendis writing besides Spider-Man--without swearing.

Summer but you guys



message 6: by Benjamin (new)

Benjamin interesting -- he also uses a lot of cutting-and-pasting in Alias, but mostly of Jessica Jones listening, which I thought was the point of the repetition of the same panel (which structure is also repeated whenever she is listening to a new client).

have you read Fortune and Glory? That was my intro to Bendis -- it's the true-life story of how he tried to get a movie made from one of his early, indie, noir comics. I remember liking it, but it had a different feel from the other stuff of his that I've read.

Summer Is Alias the same artist?

I haven't read any Bendis besides Powers, but I can't say that I'm moved to put any effort into finding any more. Also, my laziness limits me to Harvard's comic book holdings, which aren't as good as they could be (I've passed this along to the American Literature bibliographer).

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