Monday, October 26, 2015

Comic Review: Power Cubed #2

I picked up the first issue of Power Cubed just because it was a #1, and it turned out to be a really fun surprise. I've really been looking forward to this second issue, which manages to avoid the slump many second issues fall into. It keeps everything that made me love the first issue and avoids showing the cracks that many stories would by this point.

Cover of Power Cubed #2, Courtesy of Dark Horse ComicsLast issue had me slightly worried that it would go too far in its sense of irreverence, which has tampered my enthusiasm for another series before. This manages to avoid going too far, instead teetering on the end. Last issue I was specifically concerned with Agent Covert, which is actually what she calls herself in this issue, but she's used just enough for comedy to make it work. It's also on the edge with Doctor Cruel's small appearance, which just reinforces his utter buffoonery. It's the one area the series might be tripping up, since he needs to serve a purpose more than a punchline, but for now it's working.

The one thing I ask for out of a comic like this is that it have a sense of humor and a sense of fun, and that continues on here. The surprising thing is that it even works when it falls into what would otherwise be an exposition dump. In the middle of the issue, Kenny's father starts explaining the backstory that he's been trying to keep secret, and it should be pure exposition. What makes it work is that it doesn't fall into the problem that most exposition runs into: being slow and boring. It comes about because of impending alien invasion, which is always a good way to get characters moving quickly. It's also a kind of funny story presented like that, even though Kenny's father is very serious throughout, the fact that it's funny carries the story forward quite a bit. The final reason it works is that it doesn't take up a lot of pages, so it feels short because it is short.

Interior Page of Power Cubed #2, Courtesy of Dark Horse Comics Of course, all of this is missing the highlight of the issue: Power Blaster, a robot that Kenny creates with the cube. He reminds me a lot of Baymax from Big Hero 6, and he brings just the right sense of humor to the issue. He's hilarious in that he's not actually funny at all, just a robot doing what he thinks that people around him would want him to do, and it's an old and commonly used joke, but some things become running jokes for a reason.

Power Cubed managed to pull off a great second issue after a great first issue. It's a lot of fun, and any cracks that there might be in the storytelling or execution are well hidden. It's not perfect, but it's exactly what it needs and wants to be.

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