Power Up TPB
Writer: Kate Leth
Artist: Matt Cummings
Letterer: Jim Campbell
Review by Josh Canales
Kate Leth and Matt Cummings’ Power Up is a fun, all-ages, and diverse book that has an interesting take on the Magical Girl genre. Four unlikely heroes must come together to save the world after being imbued with magic randomly. Or so it seems.
Starting off, we are introduced to our team leader, Amie. She is your average twenty-something old millennial, living on her own paycheck-to-paycheck. We follow her on what seems like an average day in her life. Her day is a normal, unexciting day at her pet shop until her boss leaves her to watch the store. Then, BOOM! A beam of light suddenly shoots through her and… a goldfish? Soon after her boss returns and sees her shop destroyed. Assuming it was a robbery, Amie gets sent home. What follows is where the story really gets rolling, Amie gets attacked by some type of monsters.
That’s when he comes; Kevin. Kevin is the absolute best because he is a strong, rugged, construction worker who feels empowered while wearing a Sailor Moon-esque outfit. The outfit itself came with his powers and allows him to change into it in a similar fashion of Sailor Moon, it’s the coolest thing. Kevin saves Amie, but not without the help of the middle-aged mother with super strength, Sandy. All of these characters have such a great dynamic and are all so distinct, making for an interesting team, to say the least. The four of them, Amie, Sandy, Kevin and the goldfish, Silas all join together to find out what exactly happened to them.
Between getting attacked by monsters and missing friends, our team is really unsure what has happened to them or why. Soon enough, a team of aliens from far off in the galaxy made their way to them; those powers were meant to be theirs, or so they thought. The aliens in question had spent their entire lives getting ready to receive these powers after a misinterpretation of a prophecy. Needless to say, they’re very confused as to what has happened. These seemingly useless humans (and goldfish) were somehow the recipients of their powers, powers meant to bring the universe into a new age. Rather than try and take them or anything like that, they realize they need to help these confused would-be heroes.
Kate Leth really seemed to be having so much fun writing this book, it really shows in her writing. Her characters are true-to-life while being interesting and fun to read. The personifications of each is fantastic, they each seem like real people you could meet in life. Of course they’re a little more animated than most people in life, but they’re completely believable. Her story is a lot of fun as well, a Magical Girl story with a very strange cast that simply works in a way I would never have guessed. The fact that a goldfish is one of the main and most interesting characters should tell you that this is a fantastical story.
A comic wouldn’t be a comic without the artist, and Matt Cummings just brings the book to the next level. His art is reminiscent of a Steven Universe-type style and it fits perfectly. From his character design to his color palette, it’s hard to use any word other than flawless. He breathes so much life into the book and you can’t help but notice. Cummings very clearly is excited to illustrate this story, his passion bleeds through each page.
Buy it. Boom! Box brings us another exciting iteration of the Magical Girl genre. This creative team is so obviously passionate about this project and I hope to see another chapter soon. If you haven’t picked up Power Up yet, you are really missing out.