Skip to main content

REVIEW: 'Power Lines' #1 by Jimmie Robinson



★★★★☆ (4/5)

Anytime Jimmie Robinson (Five Weapons, The Empty) has a new comic book series out you know it's going to be special because he pours every bit of himself into each project. As writer, artist, colorist, and letterer, it's all on Jimmie Robinson. 'Power Lines' is at first glance a superhero origin story but as you look closer it's also about the empowerment of a young black man who's given a chance to turn his life around. 

D-Trick is that young man who along with his tagging crew hit up the upscale white suburb across the bridge to make their mark. While applying graffiti, D-Trick is approached by police officers and suddenly is imbued with powers. An ancient Native American source of mystical power called "power lines" forms a triangular shape that cuts across the mostly white California town and it's also the only place D-Trick can use his powers. Placing the kid from the other side of the tracks, a disenfranchised  urban area, in unfamiliar territory but now with higher aspirations. 

Robinson touches on socially relevant issues like racism and police brutality. The unarmed D-Trick's thoughts as he's evading the police is hoping not to be shot to death. A poignant reminder of the realities of black lives lost at the hands of the police. The racism is clearly embodied by the lady whose purse was stolen by D-Trick's partner and her rant, while it almost makes her a caricature, isn't too far from reality considering what we've seen in this current political climate. This is a more grounded comic book story about characters we don't usually see especially a young black man as the primary hero. 

Let's not dwell too much on that aspect because there's more going on as the use of powers has a mysterious figure hidden in the shadows worried. A Native American man is concerned as the power lines have existed for thousands of years, often dormant, but it's return has raised an alarm. 

Robinson as usual does a wonderful job of bringing a bright world to life with sketchy drawings and bold pastels to infuse his panels. The characters convey so much in their expressions that emphasize their words even more. He has a style all his own that is always clean and clear. The layouts provide a wide scope of backgrounds and angles. It's almost unfair that Robinson does all his art and lettering and does it so well. He's making other artists look like slackers. 

'Power Lines' is a unique and important series that uses familiar superhero tropes to inform about the real world. Robinson is blazing a trail mixing real issues with fantastical supernatural powers in a premiere issue that teases at darker forces. It raises some questions and places a person of color in the limelight for once. 'Power Lines' is definitely worth picking up. 

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

NEW COMIC BOOK DAY: Notable Releases 4/5/17

NEW COMIC BOOK DAY 4/5/17 by Slidely Slideshow
Happy new comic book day. On tap this week is a lot of girl power - Goldie Vance, America, Faith, Hawkeye, Jyn Erso of Rogue One, Batgirl and the Birds of Prey, Eve Harper of Courier, Motor Girl, the ladies of Giant Days, Zelda of Black Cloud, Shade the Changing Girl, and Paper Girls. See, I wasn't kidding. Check out these and much more of our recommendations plus a slideshow featuring music from Beyonce! Happy reading!



(W) Gabby Rivera (A) Joe Quinones OKAY, LADIES, NOW LET'S GET IN FORMATION!! •  America Chavez's first semester of college is off to an epic start. That's right...homework on the first day! The assignment? A field trip to the frontlines of World War II! •  Most freshman would be intimidated - but most freshman aren't dimension-hoping heroes with Captain America as their wingman!  •  Meanwhile, unexpected fallout from an Ultimates' mission begins to wreak havoc on not only America's life but also the …

'Bingo Love' Graphic Novella Offers New Gail Simone Kickstarter Stretch Goal

The Kickstarter campaign for the Inclusive Press graphic novella, Bingo Love, by Tee “Vixen” Franklin, Jenn St. Onge and Joy San was fully funded in 5 days, and now with just a week to go, is celebrating with new tiers and stretch goals. Backers of this warm-hearted romance about two Queer Black women rediscovering their love for each other after decades apart, can now receive two softcover copies of Bingo Love for a $44 pledge or donate copies to LGBTQ youth centers. 



Bingo Love is currently over 210% funded and quickly approaching $45k. Once Bingo Love reaches $60k, digital and physical backers will receive a short story, set in the Bingo Love world, written by Gail Simone (Clean Room, Batgirl, Secret Six).

"It is not exaggeration to say this [Bingo Love] is absolutely going to be a smash," said Simone. "It's one of the best comics of the year. I ADORE IT TO PIECES."

During the third week of the Kickstarter, it was announced that Tee "Vixen" Franklin…

REVIEW: 'Spencer and Locke' #1 by David Pepose, Jorge Santiago, and Jasen Smith

★★★★★ (5/5)
It takes some courage and confidence to take one of the most beloved comic strips ever and reinvent it as a dark crime noir comic. Yet, David Pepose and Jorge Santiago, Jr. find a way to honor Bill Watterson's seminal work while creating a pulpy murder mystery that stands on its own. 

'Calvin and Hobbes' follows the humorous antics of Calvin, a precocious, mischievous, and adventurous six-year-old boy, and Hobbes, his sardonic stuffed tiger. In that same vein, Spencer is a stuffed panther that Detective Locke carries with him, apparently unnoticed by others, and interacts with him as they investigate the murder of Locke's grade school love. Pepose walks a thin line between parody and drama but finds the perfect balance in tone and dialogue. The scenes with Spencer and Locke conversing are humorous but doesn't overstep the importance of the investigation. In fact, the story is dark and only lightened by Spencer's observations and the flashbacks but tho…

REVIEW: 'Karma Police' #1 by Chris Lewis, Tony Gregori, and Jasen Smith

★★★1/2 (3.5/5)
The monks of the Karma Grove Monastery try to ease spiritual suffering and promote peace, but when an evil that spans lifetimes challenges them, they’ll have to call upon their skills to liberate it from existence.

Karma Police is a unique story that positions monks as a sort of evil spirit-busters. The world is under siege and only a reincarnated Buddhist master and her elder can cleanse the world of them. A flashback sets the stage for what happens in the present. The duo is tasked with hunting down a major threat and it leads them to a strip club in Oregon, naturally. There is a certain sense of fun and quirkiness that shows Chris Lewis isn't taking it all too seriously.

The result is a colorful universe that includes a possessed toddler, luchador demons, and fiendish strippers.  There's also an enchanted dagger from her previous incarnation’s bloody past. She’ll have to resist its power and concentrate on stopping the reckless spirits from any more violence. 

Wi…

NEW COMIC BOOK DAY: Notable Releases 3/29/17

NEW COMIC BOOK DAY 3/29/17 by Slidely Slideshow
This week is loaded with so much comic book goodness we had to cut off the recommendations at 23. Let's start with the #1s. Vault Comics has come out strong with titles like Heathen and Fissure. Karma Police #1 byChris Lewis and Jasen Smith is the fledgling publisher's latest gem. Dynamite has Doc Savage: Ring of Fire #1, Marvel debuts X-Men Prime #1 and Inhumans Prime #1, and DC Comics has some crazy crossovers with Hanna Barbara icons like Green Lantern & Space Ghost #1.
Check out this week's trade paperbacks like Henchgirl, The Hillbilly, Black Hammer, and more. Happy Reading!



(W) Greg Rucka (A/CA) Michael Lark "Cull," Part Five Vassalovka strikes. The Beast is unchained. Forever suffers a devastating loss.

(W) Marguerite Bennett (A/CA) Ariela Kristantina As the mystery of the Parisian Monstress lures Lady and Mariah deep into the catacombs beneath the city, our heroes discover that the Medusa is not the only evil …