Friday, April 13, 2012

America's Got Powers #1 (of 6)

I should admit up front that I'm not much of a fan of reality television. I watched the first few seasons of Survivor and a couple of seasons of American Idol - and that's about it. I've never seen an episode of Jersey Shore.

The problem, at least for me is that so much of it feels fake and pre-scripted - you can see the hand of the producer and director, trying to create good guys and bad guys, and enticing you to support one player over another. (And I know, millions out there love those shows, so your mileage may vary.)

I worked in TV for a couple of decades, so that may have something to do with it, too.

That thin veneer of entertainment over a more seamy reality is the clever basis for the new comic mini-series, America's Got Powers, which is set in a world where an extraordinary event leaves a significant portion of the population with super-powers.

Instead of going out and fighting evil, those super-powered characters instead fight each other in a battle arena. We're not sure if that's by choice, or if this is a Battle Royal / Hunger Games sorta thing.

The main character is an (apparently) powerless young man named Tommy Watts - he's struggling through life as a regular guy in an extraordinary world. But there's more to the games - and the powers - than meets the eye.

The story is written by Jonathan Ross, who's best known for his work in television for the BBC - and here he shows a gift for plot and dialogue. It doesn't hurt that he's working with one of the best and most distinctive artists working today, Bryan Hitch, who turns in stunning work here, loaded with emotion, detail and near-photographic renditions in some panels.

I'm not sure where this series is going - there are lots of mysteries set up to explore - but I'll definitely be tuning in for the rest of the series.

Grade: A


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