The PQ Archive: ‘Power Up’ #3 Feels Slow, But Oddly Warm

Oh hi, you’re probably wondering what I’m doing posting a review for an old issue of a comic. You see, I’ve decided that it’s time to save all of my reviews from my time at PopOptiq from the website that is just a hollow shell of its former self. Y’see, when the website changed EICs a little more than a year ago, the new editor decided he wanted to make the website more like Buzzfeed and then proceeded to fire most of the staff. He then also claimed copyright ownership of our work.

Well, I know I never signed a contract with you or the previous EIC that said that was okay and my name is on the byline, so…


Written by Kate Leth
Illustrated by Matt Cummings
Published by Boom! Studios

The Leth/Cummings magical girl miniseries has hit its midpoint, and our heroes celebrate this by stopping at Sandy’s house for tea, trying to parse out their powers. Much like ascending into adulthood, neither Amie, Kevin or Sandy really what to do with their powers, or where they came from. Sandy knows that she’s really strong and that she can fly (which her two teenagers wish was genetic). Kevin has some magical girl type uniform and powers that swap out with his regular clothes whenever he transforms, but the swap doesn’t work in reverse. Amie, however, can’t seem to understand why her powers haven’t come back. This meeting at Sandy’s house gets cut short by another attack on the pet shop that they come across when they go to get a tank for the superpowered Silas. This leads to Amie getting fired from her job. Poor girl…

While the character moments and interactions in this issue were nice and made the characters more relatable, especially with Sandy being a totally adorable and sweet mom and Amie’s struggle to get by as a former art student in debt, the pacing of this issue just felt off. With only one action scene starting 12 pages into the comic, it doesn’t feel like the reader is any closer to understanding the backstory. Hopefully, later issues could prove that wrong with the reveal at the end that video was captured of the three earlier that day. At least put an interesting spin on the typical magical girl story.

PowerUpFI

Cummings’ art is gorgeous and dynamic as usual, but his strengths definitely lie in action scenes. His colors on the quieter scenes in Sandy’s house feel warm and lived in and the character designs and expressions are absolutely delightful, but it doesn’t feel like (and pardon the pun) the full blast of what Cummings is capable of. Once the characters start fighting with the Toriyama-esque villain of the issue, and Silas turns into a killer blast whale again, the issue picks up considerably.

Between the odd pacing and quieter moments, Power Up #3 doesn’t feel like the best representation of what the comic could be capable of. There is potential for the story to pick up further in the last three issues, but it feels slow for a story that only has three issues left. With the ending of Amie getting fired and their identities leaking onto the Internet, Power Up still has potential of picking up before it ends.


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