Powers 2: Roleplay

powers volume 2 cover roleplay
8.5 Overall Score
Story: 9/10
Art: 9/10

Clever writing and great art

Wish the volume was longer

Comic Info

Comic Name:  Powers (Volume 1)

Publisher:  Image Comics

Writer:  Brian Michael Bendis

Artist:  Michael Avon Oeming

# of Issues:  4

Release Date:  2001


Powers (1) #8

Reprints Powers (1) #8-11 (December 2000-May 2001).  Pilgrim and Walker are on the case of another superhuman murder.  A student dressed as Walker’s former identity of Diamond has revealed a series of roleplayers that dress as their favorite outlawed heroes.  When it was revealed that a real superhuman is hunting the roleplayers, Pilgrim and Walker must find the killer before more kids die.  Plus, the city is rocked by the murder of a major criminal…but who is responsible?

Written by Brian Michael Bendis and illustrated by Michael Avon Oeming, Powers Volume 2:  Roleplay collects issues #8-11 but skips the stand-alone “ride-along” issue Powers (1) #7 (November 2000) which is collected in the third volume.  Following Powers Volume 1:  Who Killed Retro Girl?, the series continued to garner praise.

I am often critical of Brian Michael Bendis, but I can’t be critical of PowersPowers is where I first really discovered Bendis and learned to like him (before falling out with him over The Avengers, New Avengers, and other titles).  Powers, however, is Bendis at his best.

I generally find creator owned comics are often the best.  I imaging comics like Powers have mulled in the head of their creators for a while, and the stories hopefully have developed into something great.  Powers 2:  Roleplay continue to show how Powers can take a detective story and switch it around.


Powers (1) #9

The big event in Powers is treated as a secondary event.  The murder of Johnny Royale is what changes the series.  With Royale’s death comes suspicion, and it creates a silent wedge between Pilgrim and Walker.  This division eventually comes to a head but it creates a crack in their partnership that changes things…I love that it isn’t the thrust of the story, but something almost casually mentioned.

I also love Michael Avon Oeming’s stylized art.  The use of light and dark gives the story a noire crime thriller feel, but despite the cartoony appearance of the characters, they carry real weight and dimension.

Powers is a great series.  With slick storytelling and stylish art, the comic is one of the most interesting looks at superheroes and the people that exist in their world.  With a fun mystery/cop drama tied in to the story, Powers is a winner and this volume’s cliffhanger will leave you scrambling to pick up the next collection (though you should not expect immediate resolution).  Powers 2:  Roleplay is followed by Powers 3:  Little Deaths.

Preceded By:

Powers 1:  Who Killed Retro Girl?

Followed By:

Powers 3:  Little Deaths

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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