Powers: The Bureau #8

It's always fun to dig into a new arc of "Powers," and Brian Michael Bendis and Michael Avon Oeming's "Powers: The Bureau" #8 delivers the heart-pounding start of an arc that has Detectives Christian Walker and Deena Pilgrim investigating the brutal death of The Circle in Hollywood, California, while something has gone horribly wrong with Retro Girl back home.

Bendis continues to excel at mixing detectives, superheroes and good character work into one delicious cocktail. As always, Bendis is at his best when writing two of his best characters in Walker and Pilgrim, whose flawless tête-à-tête is both charming and vulgar, comforting and shocking. Reading "Powers" when Walker and Pilgrim are on a compelling new case is like visiting old friends and knowing that you're in for an awesome ride. This new case has all the markings to be one of the greats.

As always, Oeming brings an intensity and style to "Powers" that is riveting. His sharp exaggerated style has defined the look of powers since its inception, and that continues here unabated. Moving effortlessly from talking heads in offices and stark noir contemplation to gruesome crime scenes, Oeming tackles it all effortlessly. His double page spread reveal of the fate of The Circle is particularly powerful, though even it is outdone by the final pages revealing Retro Girl's panicked expression as she begs for a missing Walker's help.

"Powers: The Bureau" is a dense enough world that at this point that jumping on board as a new reader is not effortless. However, a new arc is the best time to give such a thing a try, and with a little effort, even a new reader can come on board with "Powers: The Bureau" #8 and get what makes it such a great book -- and more to the point, such a fascinating world worth exploring.

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