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Powers Vol. 5: Anarchy Paperback – July 9, 2009

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

This strong collection explores questions raised decades ago by Alan Moore and Frank Miller: how would ordinary citizens feel about sharing their world with people who have superhuman abilities? And what responsibility accompanies extraordinary power? Multiple award-winners Bendis and Oeming have some original answers, beginning with their choice to tell the story from the viewpoint of police officers who are trying to solve the murders of a string of superheroes. With their limited human abilities, the detectives are hard-pressed to figure out the seemingly irrational behavior of the murderous vigilantes. Their investigation forces them to sort through wads of nonsensical ramblings in hopes of finding a clue, but readers will soon realize the killers are in fact giving pointers. In the world Bendis and Oeming have createdâ€"where detectives are dismissed from the force for giving interviews about corruption in law enforcementâ€"how can anyone trust people who claim power? What if we're letting our lives be controlled by unworthy self-appointed guardians, superbeings wearing masks? The nature and legitimacy of authority is the real issue here, as experienced by a couple of do-gooders who are just trying to keep the peace. Oeming's loosely brushed art is scrupulously streamlined into what looks like storyboards for a TV cartoon, but that works well with Bendis's convincing script. It would be unbearable if the action were depicted more realistically, since people are killed or severely injured throughout this story, and Bendis and Oeming have created real people whose pain matters.
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Product Details

  • Series: Powers (Book 5)
  • Paperback: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Image Comics (July 9, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1582403317
  • ISBN-13: 978-1582403311
  • Product Dimensions: 10.1 x 6.6 x 0.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.9 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,097,951 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Brian Michael Bendis is an award winning comics creator and one of the most successful writers working in mainstream comics. For the last eleven years, Brian's books have consistently sat on the top of the nationwide comic and graphic novel sales charts.
Brian is currently helming a renaissance for Marvel's popular AVENGERS franchise by writing every issue of the NEW AVENGERS plus debuting the hit books MIGHTY AVENGERS and DARK AVENGERS along with the wildly successful 'event' projects HOUSE OF M, SECRET WAR, SECRET INVASION, and SIEGE.
This summer will see the blockbuster new line-ups for AVENGERS and NEW AVENGERS.
Other recent projects include the groundbreaking SPIDER-WOMAN MOTION COMIC, that debuted number one on iTunes TV sales chart and the New York Times best selling HALO graphic novel.
Brian is one of the premiere architects of Marvel comic's Ultimate line of comics. A line of comics specifically created for the new generation of comics reader. He has written every issue of ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN since it's best selling launch in 1999, and has also written ULTIMATE FANTASTIC FOUR, X-MEN, MARVEL TEAM UP, ORIGIN, SIX and the ENEMY trilogy.
He is creator of the JINX line of crime comics published by image comics. This line has spawned the graphic novels GOLDFISH, FIRE, JINX, TORSO (w/ Marc Andreyko) and TOTAL SELL OUT.
Brian's other projects include the Eisner award winning "POWERS" (w/Mike Oeming) from Marvel's creator owned imprint ICON, and the Hollywood tell all "FORTUNE AND GLORY'. Entertainment Weekly gave both projects an "A." SONY and FX networks are currently developing POWERS for series with Brian as exec producer.
Brian is currently adapting his spy graphic novel FIRE for Universal Pictures as a starring vehicle for Zac Efron.
Brian is a member of Marvel studios creative committee, which consults on their numerous ongoing film projects. He has consulted on IRON-MAN and IRON MAN 2 and is currently consulting on THE FIRST AVENGERS: CAPTAIN AMERICA, THOR and THE AVENGERS
Brian has won five prestigious EISNER awards, including 'Best Writer of the year' two years in a row. He has also won over two dozen Wizard comic awards. Brian is the recipient of the Cleveland Press 'Excellence in Journalism' Award and was named "Best Writer of the Year." by Wizard Magazine and Comic Buyer's Guide for three consecutive years.
He lives in Portland, Oregon with his wife Alisa, his gorgeous daughters Olivia and Sabrina and his dogs Lucky, Max and Buster.

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#81 in Books > Teens
#81 in Books > Teens

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on March 12, 2004
Format: Paperback
The series by Bendis and Oeming appeared, at first light, to be a police procedural applied to superheroes; "NYPD Blue" cops exploring superhero-related murders. That was interesting enough for the first several story arcs. With this particular story arc (collecting Powers issues 21-24) the focus widens to reveal a widespread antipathy towards the Powers. It's what would have happened if extremists like the Ku Klux Klan or the Weather Underground found popular support for their murderous plans. It's no longer just "murders with capes" - it's a society turning against people it once adored. It's like the stories of "celebrities in trouble" that fill our news. (It's also much like comic book fans who have "outgrown" the superheroes of their youth, and how they hate their early obscession.) The author and writer have said the "Powers" story is building up to a final conclusion - although they insist they aren't even half finished with the stories they want to tell - and this volume, slimmer than most of the "Powers" trade paperbacks, is an important step on that road.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By B. Bukowski on February 10, 2004
Format: Paperback
Deena Pilgrim must solve a new mystery involving a series of brutal murders on superheroes, but these deaths also bring a new perspective into the forefront concerning how superheroes affect everyday lives.
Bendis and Oeming have produced one of the best arcs yet in this innovative title. Bendis' writing is, of course, very good as we see the best characterization yet of the series in a story that is darker and more serious than earlier stories. Bendis pulls out all of the stops as we see Deena when she is pushed to her limits, but we also see a tender, caring side as she confronts her relationship with her partner. Also, many of the past story arcs finally come into play as well as some heavy foreshadowing that alludes to future arcs. Oeming's cartoon noir art matched with Pantazis' dark, yet at times very vibrant colors combine to create visuals that perfectly match the story. Also included in this book is an interesting interview between the creators on their own careers. With better storytelling and improved artwork over the first storylines, "Powers" continues to be one of the best, most original titles in years. Keep them coming!
NOTE: This book is recommended for older readers due to strong language and violence/gore (a comic book equivalent of an R-rated movie).
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Rac A. Powsky on March 29, 2011
Format: Paperback
I must now stop saying that Alan Moore and Frank Miller killed the superhero genre. Michael Bendis and Mike Oeming have given us a great world building series in which superpowered beings mess up, kill each other and go into some very dark places. The cops for superheroes trope seemed rather silly in Powers, Vol. 9: Psychotic (v. 9) but now that I've grown accustomed to the series, I find it rather brilliant.

When it comes to this particular storyline, the authors have been quoted as saying that this is the Sex Pistols of the series in which punk rock comes to the forefront and fight the power takes a literal approach as the murderers are idealists who see Powers as an evil - not a necessary evil - just evil - and they choose to throw molotov cocktails at flying heroes and burn them to death.

Knowing where this series is going, it's not hard to sympathize with the perspective but like all dogmas, it can't be taken to the extremes. Beyond that, this is a tight and powerful storyline in which things blow up, people die and the punk verges on splatterpunk.

Great stuff.
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Format: Hardcover
First, a warning: You absolutely must read the previous Powers volume, Who Killed Retro Girl?, before taking on Anarchy. In classic Brian Michael Bendis fashion, the plot of the previous story interweaves and is referenced so much in the next story that it rewards careful reading.

For decades now, comics have been taking on the meta question of what would really happen if there were actually superheroes in the world. Would we trust them? Vilify them? Elevate them to godlike status? In Powers, the world is turning on them and questioning their need to exist.

Even worse, someone is murdering them viciously. Previously, Detectives Christian Walker and Deena Pilgrim were heading up the homicide investigations, but with Walker now retired for a year, Pilgrim is forced to take on a new partner. It's an interesting mystery, but the real joy of the book (and the previous ones) is watching Bendis's sublime storytelling unfold and realizing where the story is going. The surprises are plentiful.

This ongoing story is fascinating and riveting (and definitely for adults). This is good, compelling, thought-provoking stuff. If you're not reading it, you're missing one of the best series in comics today.

Reviewed by John Hogan
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