What if you could create anything, using only your mind and a nifty little bit of alien tech? That’s the premise of Power Cubed, an extremely pretty new book out this week from Dark Horse Comics, written and illustrated by Aaron Lopresti (Incredible Hulk, Captain Marvel, Wonder Woman).
This first issue introduces us to Kenny, an 18-year-old kid with a strained relationship with his dad, who is raising Kenny alone following the death of his wife. However, their relationship is about to get a whole lot more complex thanks to Kenny’s dad’s ‘unconventional’ birthday present for his son – a cube which allows you to create anything you think of.
It even comes with a robot helper, in case you have any questions. A bit like a more entertaining version of the paperclip that pops up when you’re trying to use Microsoft Word.
Inevitably, with something as powerful as this cube, there will be outside agents who also want to get their hands on it, including my favourite character of this first issue, the evil Nazi scientist Dr Cruel. You just cannot go wrong with a Nazi baddie.
I really enjoyed this first issue of Power Cubed. There is plenty of comedy in there, ranging from the daft comments of the useless evil henchmen to a cracking little acronym joke when Kenny runs into the incredibly named Clare Covert. It’s an instantly likeable comic.
It’s also very well observed. The pages where Kenny and his dad attempt to have a proper conversation are achingly uncomfortable, but very true to life. It makes you immediately buy into their relationship, difficult though it may be. The panel of the two of them, silhouetted and awkwardly silent, is perfect.
While the story is plenty of fun, it’s the art that makes the biggest impact. Given Lopresti’s resume it shouldn’t be a great surprise that this is a gorgeous book, but seriously, it’s glorious.
The designs of the characters are great. Dr Cruel is clearly the star, but everyone looks terrific.
There is some lovely inventiveness with the panel layout too, while the page of Kenny’s dream conversation with his mum is simply breathtaking.
This is a comic where you will linger on each page, just to drink it in. And that’s not just down to Lopresti’s lines either – the colours from Hi-Fi Design are absolutely spot on.
We are left with a great little cliffhanger for issue two, which I’m already looking forward to. Power Cubed is well worth checking out.