Shiny Shelf

Powers: Supergroup

By Mark Clapham on 04 June 2003

‘Powers’ has always equated superheroes with celebrity, and this fourth trade paperback gathers together the series’ inevitable story about a ‘manufactured’ team of superheroes, FG-3.

As I said, it’s an obvious premise for the series to address, but no less rich for that. The members of the team are a backstabbing, unpleasant bunch, and slowly being killed off – this isn’t exactly unfamiliar territory for ‘Powers’, although there’s a twist in the murder narrative. On a wider canvas, this storyline sees numerous developments for the regular characters, and concludes with a good few shocks.

As with most Brian Michael Bendis series, the joy with ‘Powers’ is in his finely crafted dialogue and inventive gags – one dream sequence in particular is a scream, although you’ll need to have read the previous instalments to get the context.

Bendis is matched by the other players on the book, whose abilities are catalogued in a neat ‘Making of…’ feature. Michael Avon Oeming’s artwork continues to develop, with Peter Pentazis adding a rich colour pallete that gives each panel a celluloid glow in keeping with Oeming’s pseudo-animated style. Oeming and co handle both the small character moments and the big action splashes well, with a consistent style and high quality of composition throughout.

This is another great installment in one of the current comic book set texts. Read and absorb – there may be a test later.

Buy ‘Supergroup’ at Amazon, or start from the beginning with the first ‘Powers’ trade, ‘Who Killed Retro Girl?’.

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By Mark Clapham

Mark Clapham is a Devon-based writer and editor. You can find out more about him at the egotistically named

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