I’d been wanting to read this one for a while now. It caught my eye back when it was solicited because it seemed pretty far outside of Bendis’ usual comfort zone. Sure he’d written age-appropriate superhero stuff with Ultimate Spider-Man but this felt different, mainly because of the graphic novel format and the fact that he was bringing along his Powers co-creator Michael Oeming for the ride. The plot was supposedly hatched in cooperation with Bendis’ daughter Olivia and the characterization of the two leads is indicative of some input from people their age. The bickering, the energy, all of that adolescent experience seems quite genuine despite the outlandish story where they wind up getting superpowers in a freak accident.
The story doesn’t break any new ground. To anyone who has every read a superhero story the tropes are there and evident in spades. The humor is reminiscent of Bendis’ work on USM, which I don’t have a single problem with because I loved USM until the wave of Ultimatum came crashing down and destroyed not only the character’s world but my own interest in the title. That having been said, the early issues and just about anything written featuring the high school environment was quite entertaining and that really carries over here, with the two sisters having a relationship that anyone with a sibling will be able to identify with. Superpowers or not.
As for the book itself I can say that it reads rather quickly, but for the price tag it feels like a good value. I think I was expecting more in the style of Powers where we get much more dialogue crammed in than is probably necessary which makes the narrative feel vibrant and constantly moving. Instead we get a narrative structure that allows for the artwork to tell the story for good chunks of time, which is fine because Oeming is one of the finest working artists we have right now, but it does make it feel as if the book is travelling in slow motion at certain points. But once again I say that with what they charged for a hardcover edition of the book, the value is superb. If only Marvel could learn to translate some of that value into their monthly books maybe I would be able to do weekly reviews of their books again. But if it comes down to $3.99 for a regular sized book or $9.95 for an occaisional hardcover digest, the digest comes out looking much more appealing.
I’m not sure when the next volume is set to hit, but when it does I’ll be the first to rush out and get it because at the end of the day the book entertained me and I felt like it was a good value, which is something that is becoming more and more of a rarity nowadays.