Powers 1: Who Killed Retro Girl?

powers volume 1 who killed retro girl cover trade paperback tpb
9.0 Overall Score
Story: 9/10
Art: 9/10

Great story, great art


Comic Info

Comic Name:  Powers (Volume 1)

Publisher:  Image Comics/Marvel Comics

Writer:  Brian Michael Bendis

Artist:  Michael Avon Oeming

# of Issues:  6

Release Date:  2000


Powers (1) #1

Reprints Powers (1) #1-6 (April 2000-October 2000).  Agent Christian Walker has a new partner on the day of one of the biggest cases of his life.  Walker and his new partner Deena Pilgrim have been assigned to find the killer of an extremely popular Power named Retro Girl.  In addition to all the crisis and the new partner, a young girl named Callista has been left in Walker’s care.  While Walker and Pilgrim search for clues by interviewing suspects like Johnny Royalle and Triphammer, Pilgrim begins to suspect that Walker is keeping secrets as well.

Written by Brian Michael Bendis, Powers Volume 1:  Who Killed Retro Girl? is a superhero police procedural comic book series.  The series illustrated by Michael Avon Oeming was awarded an Eisner for Best New Series upon its release and became the basis for a TV series.  The issues in this collection were also collected as part of Powers—Volume 1, Powers Omnibus, and Powers—Book 1.

Powers has a lot of basis in both Kurt Busiek’s Astro City (check out Astro City:  Life in the Big City for another good read) and Marvels and Alan Moore’s Top 10 series.  Those series featured humans in a world where superheroes were rather common place and as a result, law and order had to ready for a superhuman response.  Here, crime is crime and the police have to deal with it regardless if a Power (which is technically illegal) is involved.


Powers (1) #2

I have been highly critical of Brian Michael Bendis because I think that much of his Marvel work is a failure.  His smaller more creator based series like Alias and Daredevil worked, but The Avengers (in all forms), his cross-universe events, and new work on X-Men has been almost unreadable for me.  That being said, Powers is a score for BMB and one of his best creations.

The story in Powers 1:  Who Killed Retro Girl? is short and sweet, but also manages to set-up a lot of future storylines while being a self-contained story (something Bendis usually struggles with at Marvel).  I think creator owned characters always read better because the writer has had them developing in his mind…possibly for years and that is why this comic reads so well.

The story is aided by great art by Michael Avon Oeming.  Oeming does a great job capturing Christian and Deena.  There has been a lot of criticism of Bendis for the talking head with repetitive art, but at least Oeming’s art makes it visually interesting.

Powers 1:  Who Killed Retro Girl? is a must.  Originally published by Image, Powers is now an Icon imprint which is owned by Marvel.  Powers 1:  Who Killed Retro Girl? is followed by Powers 2:  Roleplay (which does not include Powers (1) #7 which was included in Powers 3:  Little Deaths).

Followed By:

Powers 2:  Roleplay

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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