Review: Power Comics #5

Power Comics #5 cover
Cover by Mike Gustovich

Power Comics #5
Published and © by Power, December 1977

Title: “Big Time”
Synopsis: Bluebird – “Detroit’s most exotic private detective!” – retrieves secret space-warp documents from the clutches of Pigtails and Orson.

Writer: Joe Zabel
Penciler: Mike Gustovich and Aaron McClellan
Inker: William Messner-Loebs (as William Loebs)

Review: Much like the previous installment of Power Comics (see review of #4), this issue – which would prove to be the series’ last – is long on desire and short on execution. There is an earnestness to writer Joe Zabel’s story; he obviously cares about the Bluebird character. But that earnestness just doesn’t translate into an entertaining comic. The not-quite-ready-for-prime-time quality extends to artists Mike Gustovich, Aaron McClellan and William Messner-Loebs; all three would go on to bigger and better things in the 1980s and ’90s, but their work here lacks much needed consistency.

Grade: C-

Cool factor: Still loving the DIYish, self-cover format.
Not-so-cool factor: The typeset lettering adds to the amateurish look.

Notable: There’s several mentions of The Justice Machine in this issue, which creator Mike Gustovich would bring to print for other publishers in the 1980s and ’90s.

Character quotable: “ ”!+?&$!+?&” yourself, Sergeant Bradshaw!” – Bluebird, private eye (and potty mouth)

Editor’s note: This review was originally published by Comics Bronze Age on Nov. 20, 2009.

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