When comparing America’s Got Powers to Marvel’s Avengers vs. X-Men or DC’s The New 52, it’s easy to wonder what went wrong with the big name titles. Here, Jonathon Ross and all of the wonderful artists involved have created something that is so familiar that it feels like home while being so original, creative and beautiful, it reminds us why we love the titles we love.
As expected, Jonathan Ross went a little deeper into the back story this time. After turning the title page readers are provided with news stories documenting a bit of the aftermath of the Power Riots. It seems that rather than blowing all his chips on one hand, Ross is spreading the back story out and letting the readers absorb it a bit at a time. Ross has opted to portray the events as happening in the near future in a society that eerily similar to ours. Tommy is still the focus but most of this issue delves into the action that surrounds him, giving the reader all of the side stories and sharing information. Ross introduces us to some new characters, including a few who attend a “Living with Powers Counseling Group”, a support group for kids with powers. The members of this group are called “Objectors” by the government, leading the reader to believe that at some point there will be conflict between the two. We also meet some of the players of the games, including the player that killed Tommy’s brother Bobby. Ross writes dialogue like he is living in that moment, which in turn puts the reader right there with him. While a bit of this book was told in flashbacks, it still moved right along to the surprising twist at the end.
Ross has given us an America that is almost a mirror image of our world. Here, we see an America that immediately reverted to bigotry and segregation the moment a new level of diversity has emerged. We are witnessing an America who’s military may detain individuals without trial, where school’s are only recently integrated and where the public watches a televised death match for entertainment. In short, it seems that this is almost a take on Ross’ view of the society we live in and where it is headed. While that opinion is only thinly masked, it is still hidden enough for the book to remain entertaining for those that may not necessarily agree with him.
Bryan Hitch continues his brilliant run in this issue. It doesn’t seem that there is much he didn’t try with this one. Action shots, stills, landscapes…they are all here. Some of the best shots in the book are images of people talking with total mayhem going on behind them. It was an interesting approach to take and it paid off well. As with the first issue, Currie, Neary and Mounts are right there in Hitch’s mind. Mounts really shines here again, using his choice of colors determine the mood of each panel. He had plenty to play with here, considering this issue introduces us to new characters with unique abilities, and he stood up to the challenge.
After the first issue, it was a gamble to see where Ross’ “less is more” technique would take him. That gamble has now paid off. As he gives readers tidbits of back story and fractions of foreshadowing, we have no choice but to follow the breadcrumbs to see where they lead. If they can continue this momentum, this series will be one of the biggest superhero series of the year.