Book # 29 - A Once Crowded Sky by Tom King
I really loved the premise of this book; that there was a world-ending threat, and in order to defeat that threat, all of the superheroes give up and combine their powers and give it to one hero, who goes into the the threat and seal it off.
The plan works, Ultimate saves everyone and all the heroes are now without their powers.
Except for one who didn't answer the call...
Ultimate's (the Supermanesque character) sidekick, PenUltimate had retired from superheroing years before the threat (an all-encompassing energy field called the Blue) appeared, and so when the call went out to all the heroes, Pen did not answer.
So I liked the idea of all the heroes having to live as shadows of what they once were, some of them completely unable to let go of the lives they had before, and the idea that the one lone superhero who still has powers doesn't want those powers and is reviled by the others as a coward.
But of course, as always in comics, everything comes back.
There are new threats and new problems that force Pen back into heroics. New mysteries connected with old and betrayals and hidden truths and everthing else that makes a comic book good.
So there are lovely ideas and some lovely turns of phrase, but I sometimes found this book very... muddled. Almost as if King were writing a comic script but somehow, the pictures didn't full get added.
I do think that, pared back, this would've made a magnificent graphic novel. But as an actual novel... something just doesn't quite fully work.