An advance review of Bryan Hitch's newest comic!
Credits & Solicit Info:
Story by: Jonathan Ross
Art By:Bryan Hitch
On Sale:April 11, 2012
Welcome to AMERICA'S GOT POWERS! It's the biggest TV show on Earth, where the chance to win fame, fortune and get laid are dangled in front of a generation of super-powered teens. All they have to do is WIN. Who is the fastest, the strongest or the greatest? Who survives? Young Tommy Watt's dreams of being the greatest hero of them all might just be shattered when the greatest show on the planet begins to reveal its dark heart.
There are three factors that are mandatory in order for one to have a truly great story, regardless of your medium: relatable, sympathetic characters; an original and thought-provoking story; and a natural flow of events that perfectly complements both. When you read "America's Got Powers," you get all three.
Admittedly, the cover leaves something to be desired. The logo is original and has a unique and downright marketable look for the title. However, the background makes it remarkably difficult to discern what is going on, and the main child in the foreground looks absolutely nothing like the main protagonist or any other character that we follow in the story. However- although it is always a relevant factor, particularly in a comic book- you should never judge a book by its cover.
Our story begins with a recap and a flashback to San Francisco, as seen through the eyes of our story's protagonist, Bill Watts. What is so refreshing about this story is that, although it is shown to be either the near future or modern day in some alternate reality, it isn't a dystopian or bleak view of the Earth. It is much like the world of today in that it is cynical and slightly depressing, but with a lot to see and do, with a general prosperity among its inhabitants.
In San Francisco, seven years before the main events of the comic, we see a giant crystal descend on the city without rhyme or reason. It releases a giant luminous pulse, which causes all pregnancies to come to term and beget healthy but mutant children. It also apparently either accelerated the aging process for these infants or granted powers to others as well, because we fast forward to six years later, where two powerful boys in their mid-to-late teens are shown fighting tooth and nail for the right to be a part of a America's next super hero team, resulting in the deaths of both.
At this point, it has to be mentioned how well done the artwork is in this comic. The colors are bright and vibrant, the dialogue boxes clearly indicate who is speaking to whom and- despite large, deeply involved action sequences- there is never a point where it is impossible to know what is going on. It is easy to distinguish one character from another, and all of the proportions are drawn accurately. There is a lot of time and love taken to make sure that this is done well, and it shows.
The dialogue was also treated with great care. Although there is a lot of backstory needed to fully appreciate everything that is being said, it isn't expounded through painful monologues and lengthy expositions. We are brought into the details of this world through natural exchanges, and it feels as though it were a completely normal conversation occurring between people of that age group.
This comic feels much like a hybrid of X-Men and The Hunger Games with the attitude of Kick-Ass. Although it is hard to tell the order of panels from time to time, there is a great flow to the story itself, the characters are thoroughly developed, and the ending teases the reader and leaves them hungry for more.
This is a great comic that could find a home in any collection. Three and a half stars out of four.
Review by: Dan Buckley