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‘Power Cubed #1:’ Advance Comic Book Review

I think, therefore, I am AWESOME.

What if you had any implement you ever needed at hand, like a cartoon character reaching behind their back?  And yet somehow didn’t need to be all pure of will and such?  And whatever it was stays that way and doesn’t fade away once you stop concentrating?  This is the world that Aaron Lopresti brings to life in his new Dark Horse series, Power Cube.  Having a father who lacks in the communication department but manages to make an overpowered MacGuffin can be emotionally difficult but provides for a heck of an action title.  Knowing its trope-heavy nature and having fun with it, Lopresti makes a smart and fun contribution to the world of comics.

This title has a lot of influences, and to me the main conceit sits between Green Lantern and Fullmetal Alchemist.  With the power of the first with the limitations and emotional depth of the latter, we encounter an average kid with a lot of imaginative creativity who gets a magic rin . . . uh, non-wearable box that can change any object in the world into something else, even things that live.  But, this power is in the hands of a young man just turned 18, so I’m sure every choice we see will be entirely ethical and practical.  And, that’s where the fun really lies in this work: within the self-lampooning humor found within.  This book reads like an early Bruce Willis action flick, with deft comic timing and just enough anti-authoritative snark to make for some great gags.  From the super evil antagonist (He’s wearing a swastika, because of course he is.) and his hired goons to the very real connection with his father, Lopresti manages to balance the absurdity of the action and concept with some solid and interesting subtextual plotting.

I really dig the animation style; it’s clean without being empty, and there’s a great sense of every moment of action.  The artwork supports the story beautifully and gives us the nostalgic vibe of ’80s action movies (without the bold color blocks and overteased hair), where taking your shirt off was the first step to getting control of the situation.  The transformations are fun, and Lopresti has an active and full imagination, so we’ll get to plumb those depths of possibility with a good deal of surprise and humor.

Anyone who likes a “boy with magic thingy,” a la Transformers or the franchises I mentioned earlier, with a somewhat tongue-in-cheek vibe that knows precisely what it is will thoroughly enjoy this issue.  The series has great promise.  If it runs like this first issue, I’ll be checking it out.

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*Power Cubed #1 will be available for sale on September 23.  Be sure to pre-order your copy by today, August 31, at your local comic book shop.

Erik Cheski, Fanbase Press Contributor



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