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Powers: Roleplay

Powers: RoleplayOrder this bookStory: A group of college students impersonate Powers in a live action role playing game, breaking the laws that prohibit non-Powers from wearing costumes. When several of them are murdered, Walker and Pilgrim get the case. The trail leads to a long inactive former associate of suspected criminal Johnny Stompinato. The detectives’ efforts to enlist Stompinato’s cooperation go seriously awry, threatening the investigation and Pilgrim’s career.

Review: The second Powers collection is an interesting follow-up to Who Killed Retro Girl? The aftereffects of that story still clearly linger over the entire city, and the roleplaying imitators open up an interesting perspective on how regular humans make sense of a world with superhuman beings floating around. One of my favorite exchanges in the series actually covers that topic and takes place in this story, as Walker and Pilgrim banter about the nature of time and subjective sensory perception. But Bendis makes it a lot more entertaining than that last sentence might suggest. Continue reading

Powers: Who Killed Retro Girl?

Powers: Who Killed Retro Girl?Order this bookStory: Homicide detective Christian Walker specializes in cases involving the superpowered individuals that operate in the city. His new partner, Deena Pilgrim, is eager to work with Walker – and just as eager to learn what secrets he may be hiding. As the two get to know each other, they must solve the murder of one of the city’s most popular heroes amidst growing media scrutiny and take care of a child Walker rescued from a hostage situation.

Review: This is a book that clicks on all cylinders, with excellent dialogue, evocative art and crisp plotting. The story opens with homicide Detective Christian Walker being called into a hostage negotiation – the guy holding the hostage has powers, and he asked for Walker specifically. The pacing and dialogue in this opening scene are excellent. The build-up of tension is great, Walker really shines as a tough cop who can nonetheless empathize with a guy who’s so at the end of his rope that he’s ready to do something desperate and foolish, and the little asides between the cops have a world-weary wit about them. Continue reading