Luke Ryan is the anti-Spider-Man. If he heard the phrase, “With Great Power, Comes Great Responsibility,” Ryan would laugh and ask if responsibility accepts invoices. Ryan is a little too sure of himself, quick to anger, and very self-focused. The presentation of Ryan's selfishness is subtle but powerful. The fact that he is running a business is never forgotten, with Ryan even continuing a meeting over speakerphone while rescuing a client. Fortunately, his business isn't the only thing in his life; he is also a single parent. Ryan and his daughter's interactions are adorable and provide a source of humanity for the character and a levity that will no doubt be critical in future issues. And, lest you think that Ryan's life sounds easy, The Provider writer Brett Rounsaville wastes no time in complicating things and keeping Ryan off balance.
It's not just Ryan that is self-absorbed, all of the non-superhero characters make it clear they are looking out only for their best interests, which is usually about them getting paid. The art favors more reds and browns and a style that makes heavy use of shadows, which gives the book a grittier, more lived in feel, and artist Bruno Oliveira nails facial expressions, with Ryan's smirk being one of my favorite things in this issue. Between the book's art style and more realistic portrayal of superheroes, I was reminded somewhat of Powers. Where Bendis' book focused on the mortality of superheroes, The Provider shows us what most people as poor as Peter Parker would do if they had powers and what effect cashing in would have on a hero.