Pick of the Week

May 30, 2012 – America’s Got Powers #2

What did the
community think?

Avg Rating: 4.2
iFanboy Community Pick of the Week Percentage: 1.7%
Users who pulled this comic:
Story by Jonathan Ross
Art by Bryan Hitch
Cover by Bryan Hitch

Size: 24 pages
Price: 2.99

As new comics and new ideas are presented, we’re constantly looking for ways to describe them. Not even just us reviewers and pundits, but I even hear fans at the comic book store doing it. We’re always looking for something familiar to compare it to. I’m as guilty of this as anyone. When Saga came out, I was one of the people waving the “Romeo & Juliet meet Star Wars” flag, and more recently when America’s Got Powers from Jonathan Ross and Bryan Hitch was released, I called it “Heroes or Rising Stars meets The X-Factor.” Now, these comparisons can be helpful to set a frame of reference, but let’s be honest, it’s a crutch and it’s lazy. But still, it happens and then it becomes the creators task to break free of that comparison and prove that their creation is unique and demands attention. It’s almost not even fair to those creators for us to set them up this way, forcing them to break through to the audience, but every now and then creators can rise up and do just that. In the case of America’s Got Powers #2, artist Bryan Hitch does this literally with the cover image of the main character, Tommy, punching through the trademark rubble and knocking my preconceived notions about the book.

When explaining the premise of America’s Got Powers, you can see why I navigated into the comparisons I did. To catch you up to speed, in case you’re not reading, the world of America’s Got Powers is a world where a generation of children born were born with powers thanks to a mysterious crystal that landed from outer space and triggered the spontaneous birth of all pregnant women. Fast forward 17 years, and now those kids compete on a game show on TV in the public spotlight. Clearly Ross and Hitch have taken the tropes of reality TV and super powers in the “real” world (or a world without super heroes), which normally would make my eyes roll. But after issue #1, I couldn’t help but be impressed at how good it was.

With issue #2, Ross and Hitch keep that momentum of energy from the first issue going and keep me on my heels, by making the second chapter of the story as unpredictable and enjoyable as the first. The story picks up after our protagonist, Tommy Watts, a seemingly non-powered kid, just shocked everyone by his explosive debut during the televised event. Immediately we’re thrown into the mystery of what Tommy’s powers may be. At the same time, the darker origins of the America’s Got Powers television show begin to be revealed and we see that this whole situation is much more interesting that we may have thought. After reading America’s Got Powers #2, I’m completely throwing away any comparison to Heroes, Rising Stars, The X-Factor or anything else. In just two issues, America’s Got Powers has proven to be nothing like those at all, and to be honest, right now I have no idea what direction the series will be going in next. And that’s a very good thing if you ask me.

While reading that first issue of America’s Got Powers was first released, I was intrigued. Writer Jonathan Ross has already shown he’s capable of big ideas with his first comic, the vampires meet aliens meet gangsters in Turf with Tommy Lee Edwards, but it was clear the was just getting started and I was curious to see how Ross would fare in his sophomore effort. I was happy to see that Ross has continued with his big, epic scale ideas but has shown improvement in his dialogue, moving from the overloaded dialogue of Turf to a more concise dialogue style that isn’t as heavy to read. Additionally, Ross seems to be really clicking with artist Bryan Hitch within the key storytelling moments, balancing the movements and actions of characters while moving the story forward, almost cinematically.

It’s that cinematic take on comics that Hitch made so popular more than a decade ago with his “widescreen” approach on The Authority, and it was on that book that I was first exposed to him and added him to the list of artists who’s work was a must read. He continued to dazzle at Marvel on The Ultimates, setting the standard for the look of the Ultimate Universe for years to come as well as influencing Marvel’s movie universe. Most recently though, his work at Marvel has been a bit off for me. It almost seemed to lack that burst of energy his earlier work had. That spark, whatever it is, is here in droves on America’s Got Powers. Each panel is bursting with energy, be it the action of the powered individuals, the intense arguments of those in charge, or the quiet, emotional moments of Tommy and his mother. I’m still not a big fan of the white panel borders style Hitch adopted with his run on Fantastic Four with Mark Millar, but aside from that, I can’t really complain about his work. In fact, with each page, I found myself lingering in, soaking in all that widescreen awesomeness.

That last feeling I got after reading America’s Got Powers #1 of “Wow, that was really good!” has been followed with issue #2 by “I can’t wait to see where this goes!” That’s probably the best thing any creator can hope for, that once they attract attention with the concept, to then lead the reader on an adventure that’s unpredictable and hopefully satisfying. If these first issues are any indication, it sure looks like the full 6 issues of this mini series will definitely pay off.

America’s Got Powers #2 was the moment I realized that Ross and Hitch make a great team and are in the process of putting together something special. They’re tapping into the cultural tone of our society, but adding something unique to the mix unlike any other comic on the stands.

Ron Richards
Seriously though, the white borders need to go.



  1. This sounds really cool, always makes me bummed when I read reviews for stuff I’m trade waiting on. Nice review Ron!

  2. I’m kind of surprised by the relatively low number of pulls on this title, but hopefully this PotW status will encourage more people to check it out.

    So far I’ve been really enjoying this title, and Ron is absolutely right in saying this surpasses your expectations. When I first heard this was going to be starting, the concept sounded mediocre and Bryan Hitch was what had me give this a more-than-cursory glance. And let me just say, Hitch is on his A-game with this title. As far as story goes, it seems Jonathan Ross learned a lot about writing for comics since his initial endeavor with Turf.

    In conclusion, if what you’ve heard of America’s Got Powers sounds even remotely interesting to you, pick it up. You’ll probably like it a whole lot more than you expect.

  3. Issue 1 didn’t do a lot for me, but that was because it seemed exactly like a Rising Stars/The X-Factor mash-up, without much more to it. I was going to be happy enough to leave it at that as something that just wasn’t my jam, but now I’m torn. I guess I’ll give it another shot… what else am I going to do with 3 bucks?

  4. Hate the title (and the type of tv shows it’s referencing), and the idea doesn’t thrill me, but dammit… Now I gotta pick it up.

  5. I’m torn on this. The review makes me want to try it out but it screams ‘Trade Wait’ for me.

    Seriously Ron, is Hitch’s art much better then what we’ve seen lately? Cause, like Cassaday, I haven’t seen much good to go on in the last couple of years by him.

  6. ron really likes ross . i knew this would be the pick. wolverine and the xmen is my pick im just loving avx event I’ll be in the minority.

  7. Wow, I thought issue #1 was nothing but a string of silly cliches…this review made me consider issue 2 but then I remembered Ron loved #1 as well. I’ll just chalk it up to Ron and I having different tastes and move on.

  8. Kind of an ehhh week, very few stand out book, FF #18 was my pick, just a fun issue.

  9. Wildguard: Casting Call by Todd Nauck did it better. And, you know, back in 2003 when it was topical.

  10. Graham Norton should write a comic. Do Americans know who Graham Norton is?

  11. Trade waiting on this too. Always slow to pick up minis by “celeb” writers. Been burned way too many times. Turf was really good, especially from issue 3 on when Ross got past over-writing the book, so I’m looking forward to getting it in trade.

  12. Yeah, ok. I’ll buy it.

  13. The guy that works at my LCS and that push different books in my direction cause he’s spot on on my tastes in comics recommended it greatly to me. Unfortunately they ran out of issues but they’re waiting on the re-order to arrive this week. Will definitely check it out! 🙂 Thanks Ron!

  14. I got this and issue one, and surprisingly, I love it! Can’t even tell you why, it just worked for me.

  15. Jonathan Ross? The UK TV talk show host?

  16. I am enjoying this little series, the concept is so make fun of reality; just awesome. The artwork is above average and the story line and plot are very fresh. If you are not reading this and you are looking for something new then this would be the series to read.


    • I should have added it makes fun in a rather real serious to the death kinda of thing, sorta running man however; put together all little more based on the how to use these kids it seems then just kill.


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