America’s Got Powers is exactly what I look for in a comic. It’s an original concept, beautifully drawn, with plenty of twists and turns in the plot to keep the story exciting and make me want to read the next issue. Jonathan Ross is proving himself to be one hell of a writer. I’d never read any of his work before this series, and now I’m wondering where he’s been hiding! His brilliant modern day mash up of super-heroes and reality TV crossed with government conspiracy and misdeeds makes for a compelling and page turning read. Add in the fact that AGP is drawn by master of action and detail Bryan Hitch, and this is one mini-series you should be asking for at your local comic shop.
Jonathan Ross likes to jump around time in his story. Its timeframe spans decades from when the mysterious crystal first arrived to give all the unborn children superpowers. Even though this is a six issue series, Ross and Hitch have a very large, sprawling story to tell. The hook of a super-powered version of Survivor brings you in, and then the mysteries, lies and secrets keep bringing you back. Issue three opens with some shocking revelations about what the US government has been up to. They definitely aren’t out for the best interests of the people affected by the crystal. The pacing of the story is incredibly fast. It’s only been a little over 24 hours since issue one began and yet there is what feels like a completely realized fictional world in the pages. Besides all the new insight to a possible large government conspiracy, issue three focuses on Tommy getting ready and competing in the brutal reality show the series is named after. Much is made about Tommy being a Zero and not having powers despite the display he put on in issue one. The build up to, and finally seeing what happens when Tommy steps into the arena is spectacular. Ross refuses to let his story go down any sort of standard, predictable path. The end of the book not only rocks the series, but will have you rereading previous issues looking for hints and clues.
Bryan Hitch’s art was originally the sole reason I gave this series a shot. The level of detail he brings to the pages of AGP is remarkable. It’s one of the few books on the shelves that deserves a second reading just to pour over the art. Hitch’s actions scenes are fast paced and full of movement. Ross’ script gives Hitch plenty of opportunity to showcase his incredible ability to make every hit feel like it’s jumping out of the page. Buildings shatter and Hitch draws every single pebble that rains down with a realism not many comic artists can bring.
After reading issue three I can be sure of one thing: No one knows where America’s Got Powers is headed but Ross and Hitch. The last two issues have ended with jaw dropping last pages that make me impatiently await the next one. AGP’s mix of smart, sharp dialog; gripping, unpredictable story, and eye meltingly gorgeous art make it a must read for fans of the comic medium. If you are one of those only Marvel or DC readers, this is the book you need to branch out and try. You will be glad you did.
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