I am a Hip-Hop head who constantly listens to MF Doom. I am frequently visiting my comic book store searching for new and old books to add to my collection. I am a cartoon watcher, vinyl record digger, comic book collector. I am also building a website that will be launching very soon called; HipHopUndead.com where i bridge the gap between Comic Books and Hip-Hop and feature both of these amazing mediums! I play a Tribe Called Quest and read Spider-Gwen to my kids, raising my own Hip-Hop Nerds! Thank you for reading, lets discuss whatever you want, reach out to me on twitter. Peace!
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The first issue had gotten much deserved attention and rightfully so.
Power Lines quenches the thirst that mainstream comic books is missing: a super hero of color! So if you’re not familiar with this title go out and grab a copy or catch up on issue #1 here. Thank you again for joining me and ComiConverse for the review on Power Lines #2!
Derrick struggle’s to understand what is happening to him and his new “unlocked” powers. He begins to look for answers that lead him back to the city Benicia, back to the scene of the crime. Sarah, the middle-aged mother who also shares the same power as derrick may have answers. Does Sarah gain perspective and reverse her stance on the black community?
With derrick’s power only working in the suburbs and Sarah’s only working in an urban city, will they be able to find a happy medium?
This issue answers a few questions that some of us fans had for this series.We know where Derrick now lives. With his aunt and uncle while his mother is in jail for reasons not explained. His uncle seems to always expect the worst out of Derrick, assuming he is going to end up like his mother.
But you can always suspect a deeper meaning and human aspect when it comes to Jimmie Robinson and his characters, they all seem to be hiding from some sort of pain and they vent it out on one another.
These characteristics keep these characters grounded and give this book a realistic touch to it. The way uncle jay said “family dont shoot itself in the foot either now do it?” has my theory’s running wild.
As Derrick is out the door he crosses paths with a new character to the series, Tanzia, Derrick’s ten-year old sister. During their conversation between brother and sister, Tanzia suspects that Derrick is hiding something from her. She explains that he is beginning to act like their mother when she was hiding something. Derrick softens at this remark and promises candy. She quickly lets up on the questioning and bargains for her favorite candy.
After which, Derrick returns to Benicia and returns stolen property to Sarah in hopes that she can help explain what is happening to them. She refuses but she almost shows regret when she tells Derrick to leave. Did she want to share but is too stubborn?
Derrick waits at the bus station and being the only person of color in a suburban area, people begin filling in the blanks with stereotypes as to why he is in the city. There is a scene where two people waiting for the bus scoot over and away from Derrick. suddenly something goes wrong and the bus they are waiting for nearly hits a boy on his bike and begins driving towards residents of the city, the same ones that were afraid of derrick and moved away from him. Derrick saves them and then while the bus catches fire and begins to look like it was going to explode derrick then rushes the people on the bus out. He’s a hero! Right?”
“Get on the ground!!” the police scream at Derrick. Derrick begins explaining that he didn’t do anything and just like that the police find a reason to taser him and beat him. “Stop resisting arrest!” one officer screams as he’s beating him with a baton. The Power Lines seem to be protecting him from harm which make the officers even more angry. This all eventually leads to his arrest.
Now, comic books often reflect our society in our times; with the X-Men and how society rejects them you could compare that to any race or the LBG community. How professor X reflects Martin Luther King Jr ideology and Magneto reflects Malcolm X.
But Power Lines reflects it like a mirror image. Racism is very much alive and the police brutality scene in this book shows a side some people are not exposed too. The angle and dialogue the some police use to get away with brutality.
Jimmie Robinson has used his position as a writer, artist and comic book creator to show the black community side, the latino community side, and any other race that live in lower class community’s.
The story also begins to take a page out of The Wire and show every side of the events and how they impact our society as a whole. The reporters begin exploiting the “black” angle, the police spreading word around about “the alley” incident (where derrick levitated) and everyone in America has an opinion on what was Derrick’s true intentions.
Sarah catches a broadcast of what happens and is shocked that Derrick did the right thing. She bails him out of jail and begins conversation a with him about how he did good . Driving him home she begins talking to Tanzia. Sarah is finally coming around the way we all want her to. Tight shows up with a brace and his crew begins shooting at Derrick’s front yard where Sarah, Tanzia, Louise and Derrick are standing.
Just like that, issue #2 ends.
Power Lines isn’t without its faults, at times the art on the characters faces are not consistent. Also the very first page where Derrick was basically reviewing issue#1 for readers would have been better with showing and not telling. I feel this was maybe because this series is limited to only six issues. Now just imagine if Jimmie Robinson had a whole continuing series where he could pace himself.
That would be amazing!
Sammy Rendon is a Contributor to ComiConverse. Follow him on Twitter: @Hip_HopNerd
Power Lines continues to shine in this issue. With complex characters and its reflection of society with a Sci-Fi twist, this series is turning out great! A captivating read.