- Posted by Johanna on July 11, 2011 at 9:28 pm
- Category: Graphic Novel Reviews
- CREDITS: written by J. Torres; art by Dean Trippe
- PUBLISHER: Oni Press; $12.99 US
You might remember this concept from Oni’s all-ages Free Comic Book Day offering this year. As we learned there, Joey has the unusual ability of getting superpowers from whatever he eats, so most of the time, he only eats boring white food. (It’s the anti-Atkins kids’ comic.)
This volume is much more a buddy story than a superhero tale, and that’s the source of its charm. The emphasis is on making a friend and then protecting him. Joey’s the new kid, and his new friend is Jerome. It’s hard not to like Jerome, since he introduces himself like this:
Hey, you’re the new weird kid.
I’m the old weird kid.
Jerome also looks remarkably like the Silver Age Jimmy Olsen, with his freckles, V-neck sweater, and bow tie. The bad-guy bully is Bug, giving Joey someone to safeguard Jerome from.
While the story is a bit predictable, given the setup, Dean Trippe‘s art is outstanding. I’m thrilled to see his work in a sequential format, after enjoying his single figure designs.
For a book aimed at the younger audience, I expected some of the plot points to be spelled out a little more clearly. There’s no problem with an older reader figuring out what Joey is talking about, when it comes to his powers, but I’m not sure a kid will put it together. I suppose it depends on the kid and their age. Key elements are similarly left to implication — Joey dreams through half the book of trying out for the soccer team, questioning whether he should, given his abilities, but we don’t see it happen, only hear about it in a throwaway line after. I felt like space was spent on scenes I already understood, while events I wanted to see were skipped over. But I don’t want to turn this into “I would have told this story differently.”
I was also unsure about the messages in the story — I would have rather seen Jerome be inspired by Joey to stand up for himself instead of having their friendship become unequal. On the other hand, the relationship shown is more traditionally “hero and sidekick”. I found myself wondering what, exactly, the connection is between what Joey eats and the powers he gets. Maybe, in a future story, that will be spelled out more — something to look forward to.
Power Lunch can be ordered from your local comic shop with the code JUL11 1193. An online preview has been posted. It’s due out October 12. (The publisher provided a digital review copy.)