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Power of 6: The Twisted Apples Part One
posted December 4, 2006

imageCreator: Jon Lewis
Publishing Information: Alternative Comics, Comic Book, July 2006, 48 pages, $4.95
Ordering Numbers: 1891867873 (ISBN)

Power of 6: The Twisted Apples Part One reads like the comic one imagines a lot of independent creators who have worked in mainstream comics have in them: an oddball superhero story fueled by ideas much too squirrelly for most mainstream work. The plot skeleton should be familiar to anyone who's ever read the first issue of a superhero team book: a relatively innocent character called "Convenient Boy" (his powers replicate various aspects of your local 7-11) meets an already-existing superteam and then after some conveniently worked up superheroics joins their squad. The superheroes are all super-odd, as one might expect, such as Heurqueque, whose language only has female pronouns (no male, no impersonal), and Modulisa, who can detach her limbs and head and have them fly around and do things independent of the main body. So far so good.

Unfortunately, there's very little in part one that provides entertainment beyond Lewis' ability to riff on standard superhero models and render them strange. The extended action scenes, which build on the kind of rolling, detached violence and what-the-heck outbursts that one could argue is alt-comix' main contribution to the capes and cowls genre, are hampered more than a small amount by Lewis' limited range as an artist. There's very little flow, and no single drawing stands out in dramatic fashion. This makes a normally visceral experience more of a conceptual one. If that doesn't bother you, and if you've enjoyed recent alt-superhero books like The Secret Voice, then this may be the book for you. Lewis remains skilled with affected dialog, and some of the moments of Convenient Boy's cluelessness are reasonably funny. If Lewis continues the story, the best we can hope is that he'll introduce more thematic touchstones and give them a similar twist, elements of the genre beyond costumes and powers and combat.

P.S. -- For you format fetishists out there, this is a nice one: 5.5 by 8, 48 pages, black and white, cardstock cover, $4.95.