POWER LINES is one of the surprise hits for 2016 with its inventive plot and vivid characters. I have to hand it to the trifecta talent of Jimmie Robinson who draws, writes, letters, and colors this comic. Wait, that’s more than a trifecta. This guy is an Orson Welles of comics. He does it all and he does it well. Very trippy magical realism at play here.
Our story involves some ley lines going back many thousands of years. Oh yeah, I am hip to ley lines. They are only referred to as power lines here but all the better for the double meaning. Basically, when the planet and humans were still in sync with, say, supernatural elements, people could find themselves charged with formidable energy in a time of crisis. But, as we humans trampled upon the earth and each other, that magic was lost. It seemed like it was always to elude us. Until now.
In a wonderfully rendered style using pencil, Robinson brings to life a story of struggle, a struggle for power amongst those who might be disenfranchised or vulnerable in some way. I think the softer and smoother quality of these pencil lines helps to bring us closer to this quirky tale so full of emotion and humanity.
For this first issue, Robinson provides us with a fascinating cast of characters from diverse backgrounds. We meet a group of friends eager to make their mark on the world. They are African-American, lower income, and sensitive to feeling marginalized in society. While they may be tough, they have dreams of their own too. Then we have an Anglo-American family with a misguided matriarch ready to blame all her problems on the Other, whoever that might be. Finally, we get a teasing look at a mysterious Native American who is hip to the re-emergence of the mighty power lines. So, lots to take in for a first issue and Robinson delivers at every turn. This is an impressive debut and I am ready for more.
POWER LINES #1 is available as of March 30, 2016 and is published by Image Comics.