Comic Review – “Supreme Power Vol. 2: Powers and Principalities”

JMS has done it again, with considerable help from
Gary Frank.

General Information

Title: Supreme Power Vol. 2: Powers and
Principalities

Author: J. Michael Straczynski

Penciller: Gary Frank

Original Publication Date: Issues 7-12 originally
shipped in the first
half of 2004. The TPB collection of them was
originally released on
October 20, 2004.

ISBN: 0-7851-1456-4

Cover Price: $14.99 US

Buy from: Amazon.com
or Amazon.ca

Past comic reviews can be found here.

Premise

Hyperion gets proactive about the lies he’s been
told.

High Point

Doctor Spectrum searches ground zero. It looks like
any comic relief
we get in this title won’t come from the character I
was expecting.
(Or at least, it won’t all come from Stanley.)

Low Point

The painfully long wait for issue 13. It looks like
complete issues
of this title are being held back until the
late-running Doctor
Spectrum
miniseries finally wraps up.

The Scores

The more we learn about this version of the JLA, the
more
original it seems. (Princess Zarda couldn’t
be further
removed from Wonder Woman, for example.) These are
not the things
that heroes tend to do, but it feels perfectly
natural. I give it 5
out of 6.

The artwork headed up by Gary Frank is still
incredible. The
expressions are wonderful, and the storytelling works
even if you
ignore the words. Frank and Alex Ross are the two
artists who produce
poster quality art with every panel. I give it 6 out
of 6.

The story is still progressing at a natural
pace. People
complain that it’s slow, and that nothing happens in
this title. I
couldn’t disagree more. While it’s true that we
don’t get our first
hint of a supervillain until the end of issue eleven,
things happen on
every page. Straczynski didn’t give us the
characters in their prime,
and then backtrack to fill in their histories.
Instead, the histories
are built right in front of us. (This works well,
considering how
interesting those histories are.) We get to see the
events that
shaped them into the group they will become, and how
these disparate
individuals became a group in the first place. (They
are just
starting to band together in this collection.) The
attention to
detail is excellent, and the details are interesting
in their own
right. I give it 6 out of 6.



The characterization is the core of this
series to date.
It’s the creation of personalities that are backed by
the ability to
act with impunity. We see who they are based on how
they interact
with each other. The team is finally starting to
come together. I
give it 6 out of 6.

The emotional response is good. We’ve got a
great story with
fully developed characters backed by excellent
artwork. I don’t see
how it wouldn’t resonate. We’ve got great issue
cliffhangers, as well
as mid-issue moments like “I felt that,” “Who would
stop me?” and
“Gone now.” that just send me reeling. I give it 6
out of 6.

The flow is clear and methodical. It broke
down a bit in
issue 12, where we have four stories told in
parallel. It works very
well artistically, but shifting gears after every
panel is a bit
disruptive. I give it 5 out of 6.

Overall, it is another unhesitant
recommendation to anyone
old enough to buy this MAX-line product. I give it 6
out of 6.

In total, Supreme Power Vol. 2: Powers and
Principalities

recieves 40 out of 42.

Additional Notes and Comments

Next week, Exiles Vol. 8: Earn Your Wings
should be
shipping. I’ll have that review done no later than
next Wednesday.

2 replies on “Comic Review – “Supreme Power Vol. 2: Powers and Principalities””

  1. hitch says:

    Hmmm….
    I’m not entirely sure it’s going to be the “team-up” that some are expecting. When I started reading this I went back and read up on what the “old” Squadron Supreme was about/like/had done…and I get the impression that the less superhero-ish things that were done by “alternate reality” versions of themselves are what the writers of this title find more interesting…and indeed are going to make into continuity actions of these characters. I would expect a few surprises…and some less than stereotypical plots here.

  2. ineffablebob says:

    Better as a TPB
    I completely agree with the review, Supreme Power is a great series. I got the first 6 issues in the first trade paperback, and the second 6 individually. I have to say that I liked the TPB better. When a story moves a bit slowly like this one, it’s a much better read when you can see the patterns forming across issues.

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