Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Book-A-Day 2010 # 146 (6/29) -- Powers: Secret Identity by Bendis and Oeming

The Powers series continues to get flabbier and flabbier, more and more obvious, and to drift ever further away from everything that made it interesting and special in this eleventh collection -- see my extended lament about volume ten from a couple of months ago for the details of what was good about Powers, once upon a time.

Even the writer -- Brian Michael Bendis, as always, though now finding time for Powers in between writing giant crossovers for the "real" superheroes for the big companies -- doesn't seem to believe in his story, having a villain at one point tell the hero, Christian Walker, "you're as old as the world and now you're an intergalactic space cowboy." And that's exactly right -- and exactly what's wrong with Powers. It started off as the story of two cops, trying to do a good job in a world of superheroes. By this point, they're both superpowered, and the fact that neither of them are very good cops anymore -- which should be the core of the series -- keeps getting pushed aside for more eyeball kicks and punch-fests.

Powers has become a generic superhero comic, with slightly more violence and sex, and the characters who once were interesting are now parodies of themselves. Bendis amps up the violence level to cartoonish in this volume, like a junkie increasing the dosage again and again in a useless attempt to get a new rush, and it works with Powers about as well as it works with heroin.

All in all, I think I'm done here. There's a twelfth volume out, but I'll just leaf through that at a store, if anything. There's no reason at all to read Powers now -- it's just the same thing that Bendis is doing in his other books, and those have the advantage of being about the "real" characters -- the ones the fans care about instinctively.
Book-A-Day 2010: The Epic Index
Listening to: Vague Angels - The Vague Angels of Vagary
via FoxyTunes

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