BENDIS & OEMING’s POWERS Returns – And Its Bigger Than Ever

Powers: The Best Ever
Credit: Michael Avon Oeming (DC)

The Eisner-winning series Powers will return in March, but this time it’s an all-new, original graphic novel that writer Brian Michael Bendis is calling the “massive last story of Christian Walker.”

The new hardcover, titled Powers: The Best Ever, will reunite Bendis with Powers co-creator Michael Avon Oeming. The book and its extra material will celebrate 20 years of Powers, while the story will also age the characters to 20 years older than their debut in 2000.

Powers was originally published by Bendis and Oeming at Image Comics, then moved to the Icon imprint at Marvel. Last year, after Bendis became a DC exclusive writer, Oeming announced that Powers would next be published in graphic novels at DC.

Here’s an early look at the solicitation for March’s new graphic novel:

art and wraparound cover byMICHAEL AVON OEMING
To celebrate the 20th anniversary of Eisner Award-winning cops-and-capes comic POWERS, series creators Brian Michael Bendis and Michael Avon Oeming reunite to tell the most significant POWERS story ever. Really.
Spanning decades and genres while hearkening back to its origins, the story of superhero-turned-homicide-detective Christian Walker hurtles to its fantastic conclusion. This graphic novel incorporates remastered pages from POWERS (2015) #7 and #8, celebrates the comic-book series’ entire run, and features a new series-spanning retrospective interview with Brian Michael Bendis, along with revisiting the cult-classic TV show and providing an exclusive look at the third season that never was!
This title is resolicited with an expanded page count including more bonus features, more previously unpublished material, and more Powers!
ON SALE 03.25.19
$29.99 US | 264 PAGES
AGES 17+

Newsarama talked to Bendis about the return of Powers with The Best Ever, how the extra material was inspired by Mike Allred, and whether readers can expect any future stories in the Powers universe.

Credit: Michael Avon Oeming (DC)

Nrama: With a title like The Best Ever, this must be something special. Is this picking up from where you left off, or does it jump into a whole new story?

Brian Michael Bendis: It’s both things. It is unto itself a full graphic novel – it’s actually 228 pages of brand new material. And for people who want to know how big that is, a movie is about 120 pages. So it’s an enormous storyline.

We’ve been taking our time with it, and I wanted to make sure it’s of value to those who waited so patiently. So on top of the giant storyline, we’re actually adding a couple of dozen pages of anniversary content.

We have a lot of very special pieces and artwork, and a look back on the TV show and everything.

So not only is it a 20th anniversary storyline, it’s a brand new graphic novel from me and Mike.

It actually takes place 20 years from the day of Powers #1. So we did something unique where we actually aged the characters, so the characters are actually 20 years older than when we first met them.

I got really excited about that idea. You don’t really see that a lot in comics, and boy, was that the right choice for us creatively. Mike really charged into it.

Nrama: So would this be something a new reader could still pick up?

Brian Michael Bendis

Brian Michael Bendis

Credit: DC Comics

Bendis: Yes! Because of the time jump, if you’ve ever just wanted to read Powers, you always heard about it, you can read this.

It’s a full graphic novel experience.

But for people that have been reading it since the first day, let me offer you a closure! The last story of Christian Walker.

I’m not saying it’s the last Powers story ever. But it is a massive last story of Christian Walker.

Nrama: What’s his status at the 20-year mark?

Bendis: Yeah, it’s 20 years since he lost his powers.

The story of Powers is the story of Christian Walker, who is an ex-superhero, one of the big ones, and he does not have his powers anymore.

And instead of giving it up, he became a homicide detective so he could still help – a homicide detective that works specially in a world of powers with his partner Deena Pilgrim.

So throughout the years, a lot has happened. And he lost his powers. And with that came some sort of mortality. So he’s aging.

But the villain that took his powers away reincarnated, as has been hinted about many times in the series and in the TV show.

So Wolfe has come back in a new form, and he’s faced with a world where powers are not what they used to be, and the one power that took him out doesn’t have his powers anymore.

So they’re going to be basically facing their biggest fear, and we get to explore the world of Powers – and the world of superheroes – in the most unique way possible.

Nrama: It’s got to be a blast for you and Mike to look back, not only at 20 years in the past of Powers but even how much you have evolved and experienced since you first wrote this series. Did this give you the opportunity to also look at the way your world has changed?

Bendis: Oh, dear lord, yes. And I’m also doing this in deep partnership with Mike Oeming, who lives here in town and is one my best friends and brothers. When we first started Powers, we were just friendly, getting to know each other.

We’ve been through literally everything you can go through together, and we’re closer than ever. And he was here last night working on it.
And so we have a lifetime of friendship and experience to now call upon.

Credit: Michael Avon Oeming (Image Comics)

The first thing that stands out is that where we were in our careers, where we told a very large story in Powers about a character called Supershock, which was a very large superhero who had lost their way after a few years – sort of a mental breakdown. You know, kind of an archetype of Superman, in a way. But to think that I would one day actually be the writer of Superman? And be writing Powers? It’s amazing. And crazy.

Mike and I went through this crazy experience with the TV show being on a non-network, and it was just the craziest experience. We wanted to reflect on that a little bit too. Mike Allred did this in Madman – he did a really great job exploring the history of the character and how much fun it’s been. So we’re kind of stealing a page from Mike … again.

Nrama: You mentioned that you’re “not saying this is the last Powers story ever.” But … you’re not saying it isn’t the last story. Could this be the last one?

Bendis: I must say, I’m torn, because as people will see when they get to the end of the graphic novel, we’re kind of set up really good for something next level in the Powers universe.

So I don’t want to close the door on that.

But at the same time, Mike and I are very involved in a couple other universes we’re building, one of which is The United States of Murder Inc., which will be coming out next. We’ve already sold that to TV, so we’re interested in keeping building that world – because we’d like to have it happen in the comic first.

And there’s a couple other things we’re working on too. So I want to do the new things, but oh boy … we ended Powers on such a high note, I hate to close the door completely.

But everything comes to an end. Twenty years is a hell of a run.

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