cover image Powers Volume 4: Supergroup

Powers Volume 4: Supergroup

Brian Michael Bendis. Image Comics, $19.95 (184pp) ISBN 978-1-58240-309-0

In what looks like yet another vision of the future in which the sun never shines, all the residents of a city that vaguely resembles New York are mystified by the seeming murder of one member of the popular superhero trio, the Supergroup FG-3. Apparently, the victim was detonated from the inside out, making a fine mess in his bathroom and giving artist Oeming a chance to really let loose with the pencils, depicting a two-page spread of gore that somehow maintains the clean and stunning lines of the rest of the book. Enter our protagonists, detectives Walker and Pilgrim. Pilgrim is a no-nonsense blonde and her partner, Walker, a retired superhero, sports the squarest jaw since Dick Tracy. As the two are having a look around the murder scene, a second member of the Supergroup, Boogie Girl, spontaneously combusts. Now the investigators have a real mystery to unravel-what is causing the members of the Supergroup to implode? Popular mythology has it that the group members were the best of friends, a trio who shared a childhood incident in which they drank a potion that gave them magic powers.The truth is revealed to be something far creepier, and Walker and Pilgrim are drawn in further and further, until personal tragedy is almost inevitable; sure enough, one of Walker's loved ones meets her destruction, further muddying the waters. Bendis has given us a very modern film noir, complete with tough talking detectives, confusing plot twists, and deep-seated corruption. Oeming leads us through this dark vision of the future with brilliant lines and blazes of light that provide a perfect counterpoint. Powers packs a stunning one-two punch.