Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Review - Power Up #1 (@boomstudios)

"Their math was...a little off."

What do you get when you bring together four seemingly normal individuals in a group and add in a cosmic ordaining? A group of superheroes determined to be the most unique group possible is what. That's what BOOM! Box is aiming for in Power Up #1. The issue is written by Kate Leth and illustrated by Matt Cummings.

It has been foretold that four noble warriors of incredible strength would be gifted with cosmic abilities at a moment of planetary alignment…which, yeah, something definitely went wrong here. Amie is a disaffected twentysomething with a lot of attitude, Kevin is a washed-up athlete way past his prime, Sandy’s a mother of two teenagers, and Silas…is a goldfish. Just a normal goldfish. Are we sure we read that prophecy right?

The formation of a supergroup usually brings with it rather interesting circumstances, but it's likely none are as interesting as those in Power Up #1. Leth's progression in the story is pretty straightforward, as she focuses largely on Amie and her day-to-day as an employee at a local pet shop. Keeping the attention on Amie provides the reader with an anchor of sorts for the context of the entire story, giving readers someone to gravitate towards in terms of understanding what's happening. Amie is pretty likable as a lead character as well, providing ample comic relief throughout the story. It's her amiability that provides much of the story's heart, providing readers with a character who isn't shy about who she is.

Accenting the zany story is Cummings' art style, which is generally lighthearted. Characters are rendered with the same carefree attitude that the story itself wears like a badge of honor, as Cummings stays away from characters who fit defined stereotypes. And despite the relatively simplistic nature of the character illustrations, Cummings ensures that each character is easily distinguishable from one another. Those differences are further accented by the vivid and bold colors chosen for the book. There's very much a Bravest Warriors sensibility to the style, which makes sense considering the talent involved.

Power Up #1 starts off pretty simply, but snowballs to something a bit more complex by the end of the issue. At its core, it's a superhero origin story, but the origins behind the superheroes are the real focus of the series. Leth doubles down on the eccentricities in Power Up #1, offering up a superhero team of the unlikeliest characters. Cummings' art style is quite jovial in nature, refusing to take itself too seriously. Power Up #1 is an all-ages book with a lot of charm going for it.

Power Up #1 is in stores now.


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