FIRE POWER VOL 01: PRELUDE
Writer: Robert Kirkman
Artist: Chris Samnee
Colorist: Matt Wilson
Letterer: Rus Wooton
Created by: Kirkman & Samnee
Once again Robert Kirkman continues to experiment with new ways of publishing comics. He put out a new series without telling anyone (Die,Die, Die!),he ended one abruptly (Walking Dead) and now hes got a new strategy. First it was announced the he Chris Samnee would be debuting their new series, FIRE POWER, on FCBD. It wasnt just preview though, it would be ther complete first issue. But then he upped the ante, FIRE POWER was also getting a Vol. 0 Prelude graphic novel that would be released the week before FCBD. It's ideas like this that continue to make Kirkman one of the most interesting creators in the business.
From the minute I heard the idea for this book, I thought it seemed awesome. It felt similar to Iron Fist but different at the same time. It's one of the things Inlike best about Kirkman, every book is completely different than his last. He does a great job of world building in this prelude volume and Samnee's art is breathtaking.
The book focuses on Owen Johnson and he journeys to China to discover more about his parents that abandoned him at at a certain young age. His travels take him all the way to a mysterious Shaolin Temple, where he immediately meets Master Lun and from there the story never lets up. Owen had traveled the world teaing under many of Luns former students so hes no slouch in the fighting department, but he still had a lot to learn. Throughout the steoybhe seeks to learn not only about his parentage but also the elusive Fire Power thar the Order of of the Flaming Fist are known for. It takes him on a path of self discovery that at times seems predictable right before it hits you with a surprise.
Samnee does some of the best work of his career in this book. Every page is a work of art. Those opening pages devoid of dialogue, as Owen traverses the mountain to reach the temple, send a clear and decisive message of who Owen is. The fighting scenes are perfectly choreographed and the action is some of the best I've scene in a Kirkman book since Invincible.
The diverse cast of characters are so enjoyable to read and fully fleshed out. From an unsuspecting love interest to the typical "alpha" who hates the outsider, this book has it all. Master Lun is an interesting teacher and is absolutely hilarious. His loyalty to Owen, even after learning the truth about his parents, made me like him even more. But Owen is really the wild card of the book, yeah he's the main character but we still have so much to learn about him. He eventually learn how to harness the Fire Power after the temple is attacked by the Scorched Earth Clan. Then the unexpected happens, we flush forward 15 years and Owen is back in the city.
This is already my second favorite Kirkman book. The pairing of him and Samnee is brilliant and a match made in heaven. I have no idea what path this book will take, but one thing is for sure, I'm all in.