There are few folks in the comic book industry that could doubt, or question, the work ethic of Brian Micheal Bendis. As a figurehead at Marvel, Bendis is currently working on several varying titles for this titan in the comic book industry, and he’s widely known for churning out more than a few comics on the side, even as his workload grows.
One of Bendis’ most noticeable side projects, currently printed under the Marvel’s creator-owned label, ICON, is a comic titled “Powers.” This comic, launched a decade ago, follows two cops on the beat, Christian Walker and Deena Pilgrim, as they attempt to solve crimes specifically dealing with folks who possess superhuman powers; and though the book has bloomed and grown with truly exciting stories and phenomenal writing, one problem has plagued this comic: consistency. From periods when the story seemed to drift off in ten different directions, to inconsistent release dates that could stretch from one month to nearly half a year, being a fan of “Powers” is hard, unless you’re a truly dedicated follower.
In 2013, though, Bendis and Micheal Oeming, his longtime partner on” Powers,” appear to be trying to change this book’s rocky consistency with “Powers Bureau,” which is supposed to be a stepping stone for all of the characters in the book as they advance to loftier heights and, hopefully, stable ground.
The direction of “Powers Bureau” seems to be just as jumble as its preceding story arc -- jumping from one day, event and scene to the next -- but it is certainly an improvement from where the former arc was drifting. Following in the wake of Gods trying to destroy the world, “Powers Bureau” introduces new readers -- and those who have drifted off -- to Deena Pilgrim as she details, in her patented style, the events of the past several issues; and for the most part, it’s actually a fairly informative read.
Now for those who have not read “Powers,” this book is full of witty bantering, cursing and adult content that makes it edgier than most other comics, though restrained enough to remain tasteful. “Powers Bureau” exudes all of these characteristics as the reader follows Deena, who lays down the groundwork for future issues and answers questions lingering from the latest hiatus, all the while bringing in plenty of action and gross sequences that make it hard to put down.
And if you’ve been plagued with questions about what happened between Deena disappearing and then showing up as an F.B.I. agent, this premier issue fills in all of the blank areas from the last lull.
As far as the art goes, Michael Avon Oeming displays why he has been tenured as the illustrator on “Powers,” with artwork that is both cartoonish and visually piercing. Omening has shown time and time again why he is one of the most indispensable parts of this book; never ceasing to ease up on the artwork with great detail in every panel.
What grade would “Powers Bureau” earn in its opening issue? Well, since this is more of a renumbering than an official first issue, this book would probably earn a three out of five stars. This is due to the fact that it’s a fun book to read if you’re a longtime fan of Powers, but for anyone hoping aboard this rich and detailed story, it would be hard to imagine a newcomer latching on easily.