Or – “Repercussions And Resolutions.”

Walker.  Deena.  Excrement.  Rotating blades. 

This shan’t be pretty.

Previously on Powers:  Adult content warnings abound, and here’s no different.  All the king’s horses and all the king’s men, can’t put Deena Pilgrim’s career together again.  After a chance encounter with a villain called The Bug left her infected with his strange electrical powers, Detective Pilgrim (mostly) accidentally killed her idiot boyfriend.  Covering up his murder, she took her first step down the path that led to suspension, discreditation, and a series of killings.  Having fallen as far as she can, Deena now finds that she’s Walker Christian’s last hope of finding adoptive daughter Calista (a.k.a. Retro Girl) who has gone undercover to find the source of the powers virus and the mysterious murderer of cute blonde teenage girls.  Add to that that fact that one of the victims was the daughter of disgraced hero Triphammer, who has shown no compunctions about blowing people right the #&$@ up when they displease him, and we’ve reached that level of screwed that we can only call “Catch-Twenty-Oh-$#!+.”  Can the former partners find common ground long enough to save the girl who brought them together lo those many years ago?

We start the issue with a sequence that really makes me righteously angry, as the mysterious murderer uses his abilities on Calista, and prepares to kill her…   But the interaction of her massive Retro Girl powers and his cause a massive feedback, which apparently also feeds the addictive rush of the powers virus.  As the various skags and skeeves gather around for a taste of the real stuff, the creepy pedophile murderer smiles and remarks, “We are very glad to see you.”  I hate him.  I seriously do.  I want him to die, screaming.  Thankfully, it’s a Bendis book, so chances are quite high that he will, but I hope Calista doesn’t get offed for a cheap sentimental bump along the way…

We cut to the downtown precinct, as Deena Pilgrim sits silently in a questioning room under the green lights (they disable powers, y’see) and knows that her life has finally hit rock bottom.  Outside, Walker Christian, his new partner Enki Sunrise, and their Captain discuss what to do with her, when Internal Affairs bitch Officer Stone arrives.  “I’m not asking permission, sweetie,” she says over Walker’s protests, “I’m telling you how it is.  I’m Internal Affairs, and this IS and HAS BEEN my case.”  The Captain tries to reason with her, and Stone flies way off the handle, linking Deena to the murders, to the death of Johnny Royale, basically accusing her of being everything this side of Ed Gein, not aware that another has joined them in the room.  The Captain cautions her that he can go over her head, and she foams at the mouth, “You really wanna make that play?”  He smiles, and looks to the newcomer.  “Absolutely,” is his reply.  “Commissioner?”

Oh, snap.  The Commish steps in, releases Stone, and gives Walker the go-ahead to talk to Pilgrim.  “Close it, and close it fast.”  Before he can, though, Deena freaks out, smashing her chair, and screaming, falling to her knees in tears.  In a really beautiful sequence, Walker silently enters, offers her his hand, and helps her up…  He tells her that people think she’s the killer, and she isn’t surprised.  Pilgrim finally spills the beans on the origins of her powers, where she’s been and what she’s been doing, but when she finds out that Calista is on the inside, she freaks out again.  She knows that the powers won’t protect the girl, and that the people that have her are complete bastards.  Deena offers to go underground for them, and Stone again goes off the handle.  “Detective Stone,” intones the commissioner.  “You’re dismissed from the Pilgrim case…  Any word of this to the press between now and our now-scheduled appointment in my office at 10 am Monday morning, and you’re fired.”  He turns to Deena…  “Ex-cop-powers-junkie…  DO something.”

Deena goes underground, faking a case of the DT’s and getting her friend Ray to lead her to the haunt of the Powers’ murderer.  The jackass leader makes me want to see him die even more by offering to auction off the right to kill Calista a little at a time, for two grand a shot.  Deena is stunned, until Retro Girl throws her a little wink, and both women cut the fuck loose!  Calista makes me love her more by decked Murderface hard enough to make Gil Kane go “Damn!” while Deena begins cooking crackheads from the inside with a quadrillion volts of whatever the hell it is she does.  Calista reveals that she was just playing along to get information (“I’m Retro Girl!  I’m GOLD!”  Heh…) as the cops race in to help.  Deena powers up even more, and literally blows the various power addicts to pieces with electrical feedback, splaying bodies like tenpins.  The effort overloads her own powers, and Deena hovers, completely consumed with the energies, ready to explode… when suddenly the roof is ripped open and Triphammer descends from the sky.  He blasts her with a ray from his gauntlet, and Deena’s juice gets cut off at the source.  “What did you DO?” screams Enki, and Triphammer kneels beside Deena, carefully scanning her with his armor…  “I cured you.”

Fade to black…  This is the issue we’ve been building up to for months, the big reveal, the capper of the “Deena gone rogue” storyline, and while I like how it went, I’m troubled.  The reveal that Calista was just messing with her “kidnappers” was wonderful, and I enjoyed the interplay between Christian and Pilgrim (ooh, never noticed that parallel before) but I’m afraid that Deena’s redemption will immediately lead to her returning to the force.  Yes, I know that has nothing to do with this issue, but this issue doesn’t really have much to complain about.  Michael Avon Oeming (how the hell do you pronounce that, anyway?) does his regular sizzling job on art, and Bendis nails both plot and dialogue spot-on, with nice moments for everybody, and a big “F You” to the I.A. jerk who has been a minor villain in the book for months.  This is the climax of a loooong chunk of story, dating back to before series II started at Icon, I think, and as such, it’s very satisfying.  Powers #29 really only suffers in the Deux Ex Machine ending (and Tripphammer swooping in to finish the storyline isn’t even really NEW for this book!) and the unpleasant opening of the book, with it’s overtones of both pedophilia and rape.  Still, it’s a solid 4 out of 5 star book, and I’m really intrigued by what will come next…


The Author

Matthew Peterson

Matthew Peterson

Once upon a time, there was a young nerd from the Midwest, who loved Matter-Eater Lad and the McKenzie Brothers... If pop culture were a maze, Matthew would be the Minotaur at its center. Were it a mall, he'd be the Food Court. Were it a parking lot, he’d be the distant Cart Corral where the weird kids gather to smoke, but that’s not important right now... Matthew enjoys body surfing (so long as the bodies are fresh), writing in the third person, and dark-eyed women. Amongst his weaponry are such diverse elements as: Fear! Surprise! Ruthless efficiency! An almost fanatical devotion to pop culture!

And a nice red uniform.

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  1. July 27, 2008 at 6:54 am — Reply

    Eurgh, I’m STILL waiting on Powers Definitive HC Vol 2…I feel like I’ve been waiting for that forever.

  2. hermit
    July 28, 2008 at 3:02 am — Reply

    still waiting for a trade, dang it

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