X Reviews … America’s Got Powers #1 (of 6)

Since every comic is someone’s first, the books have to be able to stand on their own. X Reviews one new issue each week based on their own merit (and yes, “review” can mean spoilers!) A good story is a good story, no matter how long or short the run. This is where we draw the line for…

America’s Got Powers #1 (of 6)

story by Jonathan Ross
art by Bryan Hitch,
Andrew Currie & Paul Neary
colors by Paul Mounts
letters by Chris Eliopoulos
cover by Bryan Hitch
published by DC Comics

I love reality television. It feels so good to finally get it off my chest. It is a guilty vice I have tried to hide for years. Dancing With the Stars, The Voice, Big Brother and Deadliest Catch just to name a few are all programs I eagerly await every season and I cannot get enough. I will even admit to watching an episode or two of Storage Wars and American Pickers. Do not judge me.

Why do we watch this stuff? Sit in front of the television night after night, week after week and watch other people doing ordinary, everyday things we could do ourselves … albeit maybe not as well, but we could do them regardless. As consumers have we gotten so lazy that we are content to sit by and watch others live our lives for us? I have. Do not judge me!

It would appear the folks over at Image Comics have either observed this phenomena or they have a huge divot on the right side of their couches too. America’s Got Powers is a tour de force providing reality-TV junkies a new avenue to consume their required amount of voyeurism. DO NOT JUDGE ME!

The premise of the book centers around a reality-TV franchise called America’s Got PowersI wonder if NBC will like this title??? The show is a media tool serving a dual purpose. First, the show is on opporunity for super beings to prove they have what it takes to be the new hero du jour to the governmental powers that be. Second, it offers John Q. Public the chance to watch some good old-fashioned ass kickery on a meta human level. Anyone have questions, concern or outrage over my use of the term meta in a book published by Image Comics can forward their hate mail to noob@alt3redegos.com.

According to the story, seventeen years ago a mysterious crystal landed in San Fransisco, California. The crystal emitted a light so bright, it’s like has never been seen before or since. Following its arrival, every woman in a five mile radius suddenly gave birth, regardless of how far along they they were. In each case, the births were painless and the children healthy. Every mother’s fantasy for sure. Each one of the children also gained an ability.

Every one of the children, refered to as “Stoners,” was taken to a special camp where they could learn how to use their abilities. Some were entered into America’s Got Powers, the contest to find the best candidate for a government group called the Power Generation. In the first season of the show, Bobby Watts fought back from the brinke to become the champion, only to fall dead moments later. His twin brother Tommy was in the stands that day and watched his brother die.

A year later, the story picks up as the producers of the show are preparing for season two. All stoners are identified by a star on their shoulders and are employeed by the government in some form or another. The ones with great abilities are entered into the show. The ones without get menial jobs to perform. Tommy is rated as having 0% power so you can pretty much guess he gets the short end of the stick.

The story establishes Tommy, our main character, as a teenage ne’er-do-well who deals with his lot in life as best as he can. Working in the television show’s gift shop, Tommy is also not afraid to ignore his own problems to hand out free action figures to kids that can’t afford them. Because he is somewhat of a screw up, Tommy is forced to work overtime dressed as a mascot during the season premier of the show. He is on hand when the updated rules put a young boy named Baxter in danger during the program. Tommy risks his own non-powered life to try and save the boy.

It is no secret I am a DC Comics guy and tend to keep to my own. I do read many titles from many publishers both great and small, but I am quick to go back home more often than not. For me, this book is the embodiment of X Reviews. I almost passed this title over as a gimmick. DO NOT MAKE THIS MISTAKE! Writer Jonathon Ross and artist Bryan Hitch have created an incredible story I cannot recommend enough. The premier issue is full of backstory without feeling bloated. Instead of telling us Watts has a “heart of gold,” Ross shows us through interactions with other characters. It isn’t easy to convey seventeen years of history in four pages. Mission accomplished Mr. Ross.

Hitch’s pencils are well done. They are not as crisp and clean as I would usually prefer, but this is why they make strawberry ice cream as well. The art is descriptive and detailed pairing well with the story. Oh, did I mention letters by Chris Eliopoulos? It would be irresponsible to forget to point out the accomplishments of a fellow Greek in coimcs. Overall, I give America’s Got Powers #1 (of 6) an A for both story and art. If this limited series is not on your pullist, then you made an increadible mistake. Run to your local comic shop and fix it right now.

America’s Got Powers #1 (of 6) has a $2.99 cover price. You can find more information on this and other great Image Comics titles by visiting their website at www.imagecomics.com.

Why are you still reading this? Go buy a copy of this book already. Do not worry about me; my feelings can take the hit. Just be sure to come back and finish reading this later… Do not judge me.

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