Powers 5: Anarchy

powers volume 5 anarchy cover trade paperback tpb
8.0 Overall Score
Story: 8/10
Art: 9/10

Powers is fun, Oeming's art

Short collection

Comic Info

Comic Name:  Powers

Publisher:  Image Comics

Writer:  Brian Michael Bendis

Artist:  Mike Avon Oeming

# of Issues:  4

Release Date:  2003

powers #23 cover anarchy

Powers (1) #23

Reprints Powers (1) #21-24 (July 2002-October 2002).  Christian Walker has quit the force and Deena Pilgrim finds herself with a new partner as the group calling themselves Kaotic Chic increases there war against the Powers.  When a woman named Harvey Goodman is identified as one of the faces of Kaotic Chic, Christian Walker finds him pulled back in to the world he was trying to escape.

Written by Brian Michael Bendis, Powers Volume 5:  Anarchy is an Image Comics procedural superhero comic book collection.  Following Powers Volume 4:  Supergroup, the series features art by Mike Avon Oeming.  The issues in the collection were also collected as part of Powers—Book 2, Powers—Volume 1, and the Powers Omnibus.

I was pretty deep into Powers when Powers 5:  Anarchy came out.  I was buying the volume as they were released (I skipped the physical issues) and waiting for each collection was a painful process…especially in a world that was just catching up to the whole trade paperback craze (Powers was one of the first trades I really kept up with).  Powers 5:  Anarchy isn’t a bad story, but it is the type of story that I dreaded when it was released.

The story itself is fine.  Powers was at a bit of a cliffhanger moment after Supergroup with Christian gone and appearing to be almost banished, and Powers 5:  Anarchy looked to answer some questions about the group dogging superheroes while holding Walker’s fate in their hands.  It is a little anticlimactic in that sense, but it does bring Walker back into the fold.

powers #24 cover anarchy

Powers (1) #24

What is frustrating about Anarchy is the length.  Powers reads very, very quick.  Bendis isn’t always doing a lot of dialogue and things like the interrogation panels often are a lot of staring, yes/no questions, and minimal on development (generally leading to a WHAT?!?! type moment in this comic).  Powers 5:  Anarchy is only four issues and can be read quickly.  As a fan who read it as it came out, I can remember reading Powers in a short sitting…and feeling a bit ripped off about it partially because I’d have to wait so long for the next volume.

Mike Avon Oeming’s art continues to really develop the series.  The blocky chiseled superheroes of the comic have a classic style to them, but the storyboarding and use of darks and lights is very anti-classic comic.  I can always come back to Powers and enjoy the art.

Powers 5:  Anarchy is a quick read and now there are volumes and volumes of Powers after Anarchy, it isn’t as painful for being a four issue read (if you even read it as a four issue collection with the multiple bigger run collections existing now).  It feels a bit like a reset in that status quo has been restored by the end of the volume, but Powers has a way of changing the status quo quite quickly.  Powers 5:  Anarchy is followed by Powers 6:  The Sellouts.

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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