REVIEW: Shadowland: Power Man #1
Thursday, August 19, 2010 - 22:34
SHADOWLAND: POWER MAN # 1
WRITER: Fred Van Lente
PENCILER: Mahmud Asrar
INKER: Scott Hanna
COLORS: Bruno Hang
LETTERS: Dave Sharpe
COVER: Mike Perkins & Dan Brown
Emerging from the rubble that buried one-hundred and seven citizens in Daredevil: The List comes an all-new, all-different Power Man! And his explosive debut will rock the streets of New York!
Fred Van Lente gives us a brand new street-level hero, Victor Alvarez as Power Man, but does this teenager deserve to use the classic moniker? Well, he definitely is a "hero for hire," going as far as advertising his skills on Craig's List, and he does have the cockiness and arrogance associated with Luke Cage -- but does he have power? Oh yeah, and Mahmud Asrar's action sequences prove he can level any opposition. Asrar's art brings a level of fun to the book, even going as far as giving the new costume chains as a nod to Luke Cage's original outfit. With bright colors and bombastic fight scenes, the first time we see Power Man enter the fray atop the hood of a tractor trailer is awesome!
Van Lente's story is a good one, but he makes Victor Alvarez a hard hero to care for. The first quarter of the book is done exceptionally well. We get enough background through Alvarez's inner monologue to be drawn in to his story and when he debuts as the new Power Man you get excited to see this kid in action. The juxtaposition between smartly choreographed fight scenes and the struggles of home life prove the caliber of Van Lente's writing, but the amount of arrogance that he writes into Alvarez's character becomes grating after awhile. I was glad for the break from Alvarez as Lente brought Luke Cage, Danny Rand and Shang-Chi to the forefront of the story.
Though annoying at times, it does fit the character as a teenager who is given great power with his sole responsibility being making money for his family. Van Lente has created a good character with a history that is intertwined with Luke Cage and has compelled me enough to see exactly what Cage did to his father; that, plus I want to see the new Power Man take a well deserved beating at the hands of Cage after what happened on the final page of the book. Maybe then we won't have to deal with the oppressive amount of arrogance throughout the book.
Good read, good art, explosive ending! Everything that I need to get in line next month for issue #2. See you there!