Brilliant – Brian Michael Bendis

This is one of those normal people get superpowers ideas. The twist is these powers were created by a bunch of college kids. The secret of which entered the corporate world becoming a commodity – making the whole story more of a political thriller. At least this would have happened if the book hadn’t been cancelled after 5 issues. A pretty weird thing since this is a creator owned work.

Maybe this is because most of the work is talking heads. Not straying too far from his Power’s style this is mostly kids standing or sitting talking. They are smart kids so the dialogue is smooth and sharp and not a chore to read but a definite waste of the medium. Then we take a twist and things get interesting – just in time to be cancelled.

The art is classic modern comics. Not a great deal of detail but plenty of colour. Another Bendis trademark is switching the panel read order. One minute you are going across both pages, then one page, then down each column and there is nothing to help you navigate. There is one clever sequence where this is actually turned into a good thing but mostly you read each page twice to see if an altered order makes a difference.

As a cancellation commiseration the five issues that did appear are in a hardback volume. There is a huge cover gallery – maybe the cost of all the variant art bankrupted the book – and full script for the first issue. Bendis’ notes to the artist are actually fascinating reading and give a glimpse into where this book would have gone.

Thumbs Up!

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