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Powers: Little Deaths

Powers Volume 3, Numbers 7, 12, 13, 14, Annual 1, Powers Activity and Coloring Book, Jinx True Crime Confessions

Created and Produced by: Brian Michael Bendis and Michael Avon Oeming
Color Art by: Pat Garrahy, Peter Pentazis, Brian Michael Bendis
Typography: Ken Bruzenak, Pat Garrahy, Brian Michael Bendis
Editor: KC McCrory
Business Affairs: Alisa Bendis
Published by: Image Comics


As noted by Atesh, the third Powers story arc is actually titled "Groupies", but there is a heck of a lot more content in this TPB than just that arc, so they called the whole thing "Little Deaths". Feel free to ponder the many variable possibilities of what is intended by that title as we move on.

The first thing to understand and appreciate is that the entire "Groupies" story arc is done in extreme style, that of the tabloid. The cover has a wrinkled, much read look, and is covered with pictures and headlines that refer to events inside the comic, but in an entirely appropriate manner.

Then we return to the ever present skyline, and the credits, and drop straight into the story.

Olympia, who is basically The City's own version of Superman, is found dead, and very naked in a bed in a slum apartment.

    Pilgrim: That's a big, damn dead body.
    Landlady: I had no idea that he even a'lived here. How you say? I not know this man was big American super-person of note. No one a'told me nothin', I just rent'a da room, he pay in the cash.
    Pilgrim: This is what my Mom used to call 'very naked.'
    Walker: You know who that is?
    Pilgrim: Not off the top of my head.
    Walker: Look careful.
    Pilgrim:...Oh no, is that Olympia?
    Walker: Yep.
    Pilgrim: Awww, man. My Dad really admired him.

There is no sign of how or why he died, just the landlady's profession that there was a brilliant bright light, and when she came up afterward, there was Olympia, as he's now been found. No sign of why or how he died.

Just for the record, Walker has lost his powers, Retro Girl was killed, and Olympia is now dead. Not a good record for the Powers crew.

One whole issue of the comic is, essentially, a magazine in and of itself, along with advertisements for products, movies, etc. and a very cool interview with Olympia.

Perhaps one of the greatest things about the interview is that it is the only real exposure we get to what Olympia was like as a person...he's not in the other comics, and he's mostly dead in this one. But it really paints him as a real person, with cares and desires, and he really seems to be a very likable person, the kind of guy you'd want to be the local version of Superman.

Which I think is an accomplishment, in and of itself. That takes some neat balancing.

Following the Olympia arc are two smaller stories. One is a stand-alone issue called "Ride-Along", wherein Warren Ellis comes along with Walker to see what it is really like to be a cop as research for a comic. He spends the entire time going off on Super-heros and comics, much of it quoted directly from his earlier work Come In Alone, and really comes off as a pompous ass. Then at the end he winds up in a life and death situation with Walker...and they don't tell you how it ends. *grin* Tis fun.

Then there's a story called "The Shark". It involves a former 2nd rate hero who meets up with the only criminal he ever put in jail, and winds up killing him, and the resulting police investigation and trial. A mix of sadness and interesting plot points. The second half of the story is done entirely as a court transcript.

Then there's the real gem of the collection, the "Powers Coloring/ Activity Book". This thing is absolutely hilarious.

According to the header before it, this is what the cops would hand out to kids who wound up at the Police Station for whatever reason. It's full of the usual stuff you'd expect...connect the dots, draw your own face here, word searches, coloring, etc. But the captions are a riot.

The intro contains a little contract, to be signed by the kid filling out the book.

    I ____________, promise to use caution and safety wherever I go. I will remind my relatives and friends how important it is to use safety all day long because this world is filled with super-powered maniacs hellbent on destroying the Universe. So I will look both ways before I cross the street, always use a safety belt, and never touch anything in my house that has the word "NULLIFIER" written on it. Signed....

I think that my favorite coloring item is one with a brave looking superhero beckoning a group of kids, as the girl in the caption says "Costume or no costume, never talk to strangers", and in the bottom picture, the brave looking superhero cheerfully immolates all of the kids. Neat.

I will refrain from quoting the entire issue. My, how sharp my fingernails are.

Next, there's a comic called "Mall Outing, A.K.A., Keys, which is the first thing that Oeming and Bendis did together. It's an entirely black and white effort, not humorous, reprinted from 'Jinx: True Crime Confessions'. It is a story of a shoplifting attempt gone terribly wrong.

Lastly, there's a reprint of an interview with Brian Michael Bendis from herorealm.com, discussing where they got the idea for Powers from.

Altogether, a TPB jam packed with stuff. Go ahead, pick it up, you know you want to.

Powers | Who Killed Retro Girl? | Roleplay | Powers: Supergroup | Powers: Little Deaths | Powers: Anarchy

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