Review: Power Up #1

I’m always on the lookout for something new, so when I saw the previews come in for Power Up, by Kate Leth (Bravest Warriors, Adventure Time: Seeing Red) and Matt Cummings (Adventure Time), I was sure to give it a shot. How is it? Read on, preview pages follow the review.

PowerUp_001_A_MainPower Up #1 (of 6)
Imprint: BOOM! Box

Writer: Kate Leth
Artist: Matt Cummings

What’s To Love: New York Times bestselling author Kate Leth (Bravest Warriors, Adventure Time: Seeing Red) and artist Matt Cummings (Adventure Time) create a new, original series that takes the magical girl story where it’s never, ever been before. Combining a deep love of Sailor Moon with the tongue-in-cheek humor of Scott Pilgrim, Power Up is the story of the most unlikely people (and goldfish) taking on the roles of Magical Girl, whether they want it or not.

What It Is: It has been foretold that four noble warriors of incredible strength would be gifted with cosmic abilities at a moment of planetary alignment…which, yeah, something definitely went wrong here. Amie is a disaffected twentysomething with a lot of attitude, Kevin is a washed-up athlete way past his prime, Sandy’s a mother of two teenagers, and Silas…is a goldfish. Just a normal goldfish. Are we sure we read that prophecy right?

The story was slow to get started, but Amie’s character is quickly established and when the planetary alignment event happens, things get very intense, and we’re made aware that Amie and Silas have been affected, as the story closes we’re introduced to Sandy and Kevin, two people that just happened to cross paths with Amie, and have also been affected, although we don’t get much development in their character. As a matter of fact, the solicitation tells more than than the issue actually does. It ends with my curiosity piqued enough to read the second issue when it comes out, and that means the story is a good premier issue. Kate Leth is a good writer, and fans of Bravest Warriors should definitely give this a try.

The artwork by Matt Cummings is very good and gives the story very easy entry since it looks like much of the all-ages stuff that BOOM! puts out in their KaBOOM! imprint. However, this is part of their BOOM! Box imprint, so I’m hesitant to recommend it as all ages, but so far, especially with the art, it’s very accessible. The line weight seems a little static, but the best part is the use of black, so sparse in the story that when it’s used it seems so dark that it practically draws in light. Very wise choice to keep the deepest shadows for when they’re truly needed.

The scene jumps are a little confusing, but given that I read this digitally, I’m hoping that these are page turns that make use of the action of turning the page to demonstrate time. Otherwise they give the story a feel with cuts that work better in animation than in comics. However, the story is strong enough that it helps me get over those scene changes. The first page also poses a problem for me, as it seems so cryptic that it makes the story confusing as an opener. It also is rendered in such a colorful and celestial way, that it almost doesn’t match the rest of the story. Given how well the story works, though, it doesn’t bother me as much as it would from a lesser comic.


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Variant Covers:

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