This is the second volume of the superheroes in a realistic setting story from J. Michael Straczynski. The hard work of the first book in introducing the characters, setting and hooking you in is over and this book puts the pedal to the metal. To say this work is a page turner is an understatement. Everything but the plot is put on the back burner as Hyperion finds out the truth of his origin and sets about kicking arse.
That’s not to say the thorny and emotive issues that exemplified the first book are abandoned. In this chapter we see what happens when bad people get superpowers and what it takes to join lonely heroes together. Some of the background characters we saw earlier also come to the fore and complicate things.
The art is just as capable as ever and it seems the artist is getting a bit more freedom to flex creative muscles. The last chapter sees an unusual presentation technique. Each page contains four panels and each panel is telling a different story in a different place at the same time. I am all for innovation in storytelling but reading this page per page is very confusing and you end up reading each story to the end then going back and starting on the next whilst trying not to look at the other three panels on the page. I am not sure how successful this technique is but it is not something you could do in a film or traditional novel. Only in a graphic novel where the reader can choose their path could this be appropriate so I applaud Straczynski for maximising his medium; something few writers bother to do. Considering how riveted I was reading this it is absolutely Thumbs Up!
Tomorrow: Supreme Power: High Command – J. Michael Straczynski