DKN Spotlight Review: DC Power: A Celebration

DC Power :A Celebration
Writers: Evan Narcisse, Lamont Magee, Stephanie Williams, Brandon Thomas, Dorado Quick, Jordan Clark, Morgan Hampton, Chuck Brown, John Ridley, N.K. Jemisin
Artists: Darryl Banks, Chriscross, Juan Castro, Alitha Martinez, Mark Morales, Natacha Bustos, Clayton Henry, Valentine De Landro, Petterson Oliveira, Olivier Coipel, Jamal Campbell
Colour Artists: Hi-Fi, Wil Quintana, Alex Guimarães, Marcelo Maiolo, Marissa Louise, DJ Chavis
Letterer: Andworld Design
Review by Davydh Tidey

DC Power: A Celebration is exactly what it says in the title. Highlighting some important characters that have fallen by the wayside in recent year, this one-shot acts as a preview for series to come, a preview for series already finished, and as a refresher on some of these lesser-known heroes.

Pride 

Despite serving with the All-Star Squadron and the Justice Society of America, Amazing Man is not exactly a household name. However, he is an important part of DC’s history, and it’s always great to see a story that involves him. 

In this tale, we find Will Everett long retired and living in a neighborhood under threat from the city government. He’s forced back into action as Amazing Man when a villain from his past comes to threaten his, and his community’s, future. 

Evan Narcisse, Darryl Banks and Hi-Fi tell a brilliant story of one man fighting for his friends and family the only way he knows how; by being Amazing.

Identity

Thanks to his TV show, and his stint on the Outsiders, Black Lightning is DEFINITELY a household name!

Fighting to keep metahuman children attending regular schools is a job for Jefferson Peirce, but when a pair of metahumans attack the meeting? Well, that’s most definitely Black Lightning territory! 

Lamont Magee, Chriscross, Juan Castro and Wil Quintana deliver a true hero embracing both his sides, and fighting for what really matters. It’s easy to get lost in the bright colours and antics of being a superhero, but when it comes down to it, why not use all the resources you can to make peoples lives better? 

Community

This is an unlikely pairing, Bumblebee teams up with the new Queen of the Amazons Nubia for thrills, action and… classical music?!? You’ll have to read it to find out more!

Unlikely friends coming together in a time of need isn’t an unusual story, but Stephanie Williams, Alitha Martinez, Mark Morales and Alex Guimarães manage to put a unique spin on it for DC Power: A Celebration. Together they deliver a silly look at how superheroes have the worst work/life balance in the world, and how being there for each other will always be important.

Peace

DC Power: A Celebration also highlights truly classic characters and John Stewart is an interesting one. The fourth Green Lantern was, for many years, put in the position of having to fill Hal Jordan’s shoes. I don’t see this as fair as he’s more than his own character, and is arguably a more adept Lantern than the hot-headed Jordan. His architecture-centric mind comes up with intricate constructs and always has a solution to the problem, no matter how hopeless it looks. That’s why this story was as refreshing as it was. 

Brandon Thomas and Natacha Bustos seem to have a great understanding of John. Some of the touches in here are inspired, and Bustos’ art will always make me happy. This is a great little story, and I sort of want this creative team on John moving forward. 

Friendship

Wallace West, Kid Flash, is opening a community centre for under-advantaged kids, but obviously that’s not how it goes when a superhero is involved. Guest-starring the new Aquaman! 

I’ve got love for Kid Flash, Wallace is a great addition to the Flash family, and I’ll always give books he’s in a chance. Dorado Quick, Jordan Clark, Clayton Henry and Marcelo Maiolo prove that chance once-again right, showing more depth to Wallace then we’ve seen in a while, and introducing newer readers to Jackson Hyde as Aquaman. 

Acceptance

Accepting who you are is never an easy feat, especially when what you are is half machine after an accident. This is what Cyborg has to do, while attempting to protect a new state of the art power source from someone who would misuse it.

Morgan Hampton, Valentine De Landro and Marissa Louise knock it out of the park with this one. Cyborg is a hard character to get right, and I’ve been surprised to find that he’s been perceived as quite boring in a lot of peoples minds. He is anything but in this story! We see an empathetic, relatable man, who just so happens to be a superhero, struggle on his late mother’s birthday. More stories like this one please, DC. 

Love

Vixen & Batwing. My, oh my. It’s been a while since we’ve seen either of these characters. Our two protagonists attempt to foil an assassination plot. They’ve got the tools, they’ve got a strategy, they’re ready… but things never go to plan, do they? 

Chuck Brown, Petterson Oliveira and DJ Chavis bring these characters back for an exciting spin, and there’s more promised in the future! Dawn of DC seems to be the gift that keeps on giving.

Legacy

A reprinting of a story from Batman Black & White #3, this shows why Jace Fox deserves the Batman mantle, even if he got it under less than ideal circumstances. Taking on the name and mantle was never going to be easy, but Jace is up to the challenge. 

John Ridley and Olivier Coipel, the creative team behind Jace’s solo book I Am Batman, prove exactly why everyone needs to give Jace a chance in this short story. I Am Batman is a brilliant title which you should all read. It’s such a shame that it’s ending.

Responsibility

Wait, no, read this first. Read Far Sector then I Am Batman. Trust me. ..

Far Sector is one of the best books I’ve ever read. A bold claim, I know, but this series about a rookie Green Lantern getting to grips with her powers and investigating intergalactic crimes is utterly brilliant. 

This excerpt shows you who Sojourner (Jo) Mullein is, and how she came to get the job with the Corps, and serves as an excellent preview for the series as a whole. N.K. Jemisin and Jamal Campbell created something very special in Far Sector, and I will forever campaign for its success. 

Conclusion

In a world where racism and homophobia still run rampant, despite how much popular media would have you believe otherwise, books like DC Power: A Celebration are essential. Specials like this, the DC Pride anthologies, and the Marvel Voices titles  all have a common goal; awareness for a different culture. As the Marvelous competition eloquently put it, it’s about giving everyone a voice. Let’s hope that people listen.

Images Courtesy of DC Entertainment


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