HOME ABOUT SUPPORT US SITES WE LIKE FORUM Search Fanboyplanet.com | Powered by Freefind FANBOY PLANET
Comics Today's Date:

Powerless #1
writers: Matt Cherniss & Peter Johnson
artist: Michael Gaydos

For three days, Dr. William Watts has lain in a coma, dreaming. In his sleeping fantasies, marvels stride the streets of Manhattan, colorfully-clad characters in constant clashes over good and evil. But these are only illusions, and the world Watts wakes to is one quite a bit more mundane.

Still, everywhere Watts goes, something reminds him of his dreams. In the hospital, a husband and wife team of doctors by the name of Richards spur a vision of a giant warrior in purple here to eat the planet. Though in his psychiatric practice a self-absorbed socialite named Emma Frost does nothing but bore Watts, first-time patient Peter Parker seems to co-exist with a naggingly familiar masked hero. But that couldn't be, for one of Parker's issues is an arm withered by a radioactive spider bite. Nothing heroic about this guy.

Something just doesn't add up for William Watts, and the beauty of Matt Cherniss and Peter Johnson's story is that we don't know which way it's supposed to go. Did the Marvel Universe somehow get changed into a more realistic world, and only Watts remembers how it should have been, or did he just get a glimpse of a shining reality better than his own?

Either way, evil still exists. Two major villains lurk in these pages, one identical to his more marvelous identity. Unfortunately, it seems that the heroes are the ones who have come out short-changed, as witnessed by Parker's arm and blind attorney Matt Murdock's difficulty navigating the furniture of an unfamiliar courtroom. Thankfully, James Howlett didn't become a gay nightclub entertainer.

Years ago, Marvel Comics offered another mini-series that looked at a world where heroes never really developed (yes, my memory fails me on the title - anyone?), but it was brutish and best forgotten. Cherniss and Johnson present the subject soberly, but Watts clearly has a confused sort of hope. If he cannot find his way back to the world of Marvels, he may at least be on a journey of discovery in which he will find his own strength and bravery.

On the art chores, Michael Gaydos makes sense. Used for the same effect on the late Alias series, he has a style that kind of sucks the wonder out of superheroes. Gaydos brushes thick inks and blocks of shadow that bring out the flaws in his characters' appearances. Even Galactus looks like a thug - one fifty feet tall, but thuggish nonetheless.

Still, the scenes set in the Marvel Universe proper look brighter than those in the "real" world. Thor may look a bit baggy, but he's still a better sight than the deranged street magician that harangues Dr. Watts. If they're not exactly the brightly colored eye candy we think we often get, those panels at least make it clear why Watts would rather live in that world.

A decent mystery, complex art and an intriguing storyline add up to a good read. Powerless may end up being powerful.


Derek McCaw

Our Friends:

Official PayPal Seal

Copyrights and trademarks for existing entertainment (film, TV, comics, wrestling) properties are held by their respective owners and are used with permission or for promotional purposes of said properties. All other content ™ and © 2001, 2014 by Fanboy Planet™.
"The Fanboy Planet red planet logo is a trademark of Fanboy Planetâ„¢
If you want to quote us, let us know. We're media whores.
Movies | Comics | Wrestling | OnTV | Guest | Forums | About Us | Sites