J.G. Keely's Reviews > Powers, Vol. 10: Cosmic

Powers, Vol. 10 by Brian Michael Bendis
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Dec 01, 2007

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bookshelves: comics, reviewed, crime, capes
Read in October, 2007

Bendis' storytelling remains strong, and with the addition of a new colorist, Oeming's art gains a subtlety along with its more simplistic representational style. The vaguely disconnected frame story of various Spoken Word performers comes too close to the truth. I have never attended such a performance and been impressed with either the wit or use of language, and usually end up annoyed by the self-centered, angry, ill-informed practitioners. Without a drink in your hand and a friend to suffer through it with you (and to make snide comments to), the whole experience simply feels like being talked down to; and while I may accept that from someone with the mind of Stewart Lee, Louis C.K., or Chris Rock, Bendis is of no such caliber.

His rail upon the cowardice of anonymous internet critics is particularly sad, and one cannot but think of Jay and Silent Bob beating up twelve-year-olds, door to door. It is not the worst of these interludes, either. It seems that anyone invested in this as either participant or fan must be too invested in the concepts of being 'hip and edgy' to actually achieve either.

There is beyond this the fact that Bendis begins to pull out all of the superhero cliches, one after another. It seems every character we meet is destined become a super sooner or later. Of course, it is necessary to confront these when making a more conscientious hero story, but Bendis seems to alternately nudge at the fourth wall and then fall into the same indulgence that he so recently satirized.

There is somewhat less emotional content as the series progresses, and much of it ends up coming out in narration, which is always the sign of a desperate or unpracticed hand. The earlier issues indicate it is not the latter, but why the former would come about, I cannot say. Perhaps Powers is beginning to lose some of its verve.

The word 'advertise' is also spelled incorrectly in this volume. Twice. Where are the editors? Can someone be paying me for this?

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