Imagine a world where everyone has superpowers and it is harder to feel exceptional. There are no heroes, just people going about their lives with strange abilities. And then, a virus pops up that not only strips them of those abilities, but kills them. That is the set-up for Vault Comics new sci-fi series Powerless from writer David Booher and artists Nathan Gooden and Mike Spicer.
Seeking a new way to tell stories about people with powers, they succeed in making a moody, dramatic story that does feel unique in its presentation. I am a sucker for good sci-fi, and the world they have built here is interesting to say the least. Shadowy government Quarantine soldiers, interesting new power sets, and a dose of humor go a long way in this book. I am curious where it will go in future issues.
I also got to have a brief chat with the creative team.
Bleeding Cool: Tell me a little bit about how you came up with the concept of the book.
David Booher: Well, I love superpowers but to find a story at this point that is told in a unique way is very difficult at this point. So I came up with this idea to sort of take what we know and flip it on its head. Almost every person in the world has some sort of superpower, and we focus in the story on the handful that don't.
BC: How did you determine what sort of powers you wanted to focus on more so than others?
David: The world has sorted itself into different classes and groups. The main characters in the story are virtuosos with their powers, because if 7 million people on the planet can start fire with their mind for example, you have to stand out more, you have to be the best at it to be recognized. So dividing everyone into classes let my play around with the main characters in ways we haven't seen before. The main character Billy has the ability to go back in time repeatedly but only 37 seconds, which becomes really important down the road. The other main character Switch, her ability is interesting because she can swap places with anyone see. I am really excited about it because I personally that I can recall have never seen this types of powers presented in this way.
BC: What's it like for you to draw all of these unique powers then? That has to be fun.
Nathan Gooden: Yeah, because of the unique way we present them, I have to come up with some original ways to show these powers off. Switch in particular, it take several panels to show how exactly she is switching places with a person instantaneously. I figured out to use a sound effect like a pop to signify that she is using her ability at certain points. The story is very unique so that gave me a great challenge in how to tackle these characters.
BC: Yeah, I noticed in the book that there are not a lot of traditional layouts used.
Nathan: I really chose that style so it would stand out. Again, the story really stands out to me and I wanted that reflected in the look of the book. I wanted it to be a little bit more loose, a little more edgy. I think it works well in that we make the reader uncomfortable as the characters get more uncomfortable in the situations they are facing. I chose a really heavy cross-stitch style to the inking as well; to give it that edge the story itself is calling for. We got Mike Spicer to jump on-board on colors as well. He got really excited after reading the scripts and I loved his work on Black Science so it was a natural fit for the gritty and grimy nature of the story.
BC: Obviously you have been thinking about this idea for quite a while, what has it been like to see those pages coming in and the idea come to life?
David: As a new creator, and as a writer, stories are so much in our own heads. SO to see the first few pages come in when they did was mind-boggling. I have been picturing these characters for years now, and seeing them interact with each other and having collaborators helping bring it to life has been amazing.
BC: How long do you see the book running for? Is it an ongoing, and mini?
David: Oh it is an ongoing. We have stories as many issues as we are able to put out in the world. The story is very episodic and we were very conscious of that from the start.
Nathan: For me I Just had to make sure I love it since I plan on being on it for the long haul. From pitch document forward it has been really great. As long as the fans are eating it up and enjoying it, I will be drawing it.
BC: A company like Vault is looking to make a name for themselves right now, how has it been working for them on this?
David: I love it. Vault's editorial staff is exceptional, and holds everything to the highest of standards. They won't accept anything less than your best, and as a new creator that the kind of push I need to become better. I can already feel myself improving as a writer and a lot of it is because of who I am working with. I feel pretty spoiled having my first experience being with a company like Vault.
Powerless hits comics shelves on March 8 and can be pre-ordered at your LCS now.
Jeremy Konrad loves Star Wars and collecting action figures and collectibles. He also watches wrestling, maybe more than Jude Terror. Follow him on Twitter @jeremyohio