Powerless is the first time in a while that I went outside of Marvel or DC for a comic review. Vault Comics has a good premise going; interesting enough for me to give it a go and love to go to the next page after every frame. Powerless is a reversal of NBC’s Heroes TV show, where the world is a dystopia not because of superpowered humans but because of people losing their powers due to a virus.
The premise is Powerless is intriguing, where a future with no superheroes exists as everyone has special abilities. This delicate balance is being slowly threatened by a virus going around, infecting and removing people’s abilities or making them so strong that they implode on their own abilities. In atypical fashion, we see the world before the eyes of the Quarantine – a squad of law enforcers trying to contain the virus, the “Infected” – trying to show the world they are still humans and Billy Bannister – your every day average highschool kid who is trying to fit in.
David Booher’s first foray into writing stories for comic books feels organic and fresh. The way he wrote Powerless made me smile. He made me remember why I like comic books again. His take on this alternate reality is very smooth that his dryly written bio on his Vault Comics profile does not do him justice. The way he showed the world in the eyes of the characters makes it authentic, even if the purview is of the misanthropic variety. It helps as well that Nathan Gooden’s art is clean and easy on the eyes.
The idea of Powerless has been used many times in the past, particularly in an alternate future of NBC’s Heroes, but I’ve never seen the idea utilized like this. To see a world with powers so naturally like our own, it just means that Booher and Gooden have set the world naturally in this pilot chapter. There is no pushing the world forward. There is no contrivance of the world against the main characters. It’s the norm and it feels like it. The characters are not overly sold to be relatable, but not undersold to feel like they are pieces of a story. These kinds of simple pilots draw people like me to worlds like this. The mystery is there and you would want to know more, because this is a seemingly normal world that is breaking apart at the seams and you can watch it unfold.
Powerless is like a melonpan in a world filled with delectable chocolates and pastries. It is sweet, it is fresh and it is rare. It is a new offering that needs care and attention, but promises that everything it offers will be good from start to finish. Powerless is something I’ll pick up in the months to come and any half-decent comic book fan should as well. It is a new story to enjoy, and a budding world to press our hands into once it is fully developed.