Power UP #1 (of 6) Boom! Box Written by Kate Leth Illustrated by Matt Cummings Reviewed by Derrick Crow
Summary: Amie Bloom is a 23 year old store clerk at a pet shop working under a stressful boss and simply going through life. She seems to have a good outlook on it though, and takes everything by the flow. Until one day she gets struck by a mysterious light along with one of the goldfish in her shop. After that, things became much more complicated...
Review: The magical girl genre. A genre of heroes popularized by Japan that showcases girls fighting crime in outfits that they magically transform into. For many years it was a cut and dry genre, monster shows up, girl transforms, fights off monster, everyone goes home. Much like the Power Rangers which is essentially of the genre but mixed with men/women.
However, in recent years there's been a push to circumnavigate what we once knew of the genre, creating new elements to it so that the life of a magical girl story is still there, but it becomes something... more. This is where Power UP comes in, obviously inspired by these stories, but creating a modern twist around it. Instead of frilly, seemingly perfect women who look super skinny doing the fighting, we have an average looking woman with an average life finding herself pulled into a wholly un-average situation.
In this story there are four “magical girls,” Amie, her goldfish Silas who transforms into an awesome tiny Whale, a mysterious construction worker – male – who transforms into attire more close related to what is the staple of the magical girl outfit (frilly pink tutu and skimpy outfit) and a mysterious woman with super strength. No word yet on what Amie's powers really are, but they look energy related.
This, ladies and gentlemen, was a really solid first issue. Introducing the cast in a fun and unique way as well as giving us something to help relate to all of them, it also gave us our first real glimpse at the villains – and boy the way they talk has me all sorts of excited.
The art is great too, once again falling into the Adventure Time/Steven Universe area of art style that has been popularized in the last few years. Nothing wrong with that obviously, it's a great style. Very bouncy and cartoony, fun and energetic, and colorful.
Since this issue is mostly about introductions, not a whole lot actually happens, but what it does manage to accomplish also entertains. I'm really looking forward to the next 5 issues to come out so that I can read them and see how Amie's story unfolds. This is the magical girl genre taken in a “realistic” way without being grim'n gritty, and I like that. That's something a lot of story writers need to look into trying: Fun. Final Score: 4.5 Magical Girl Tropes out of 5