Image Comics Pick of the Week: Fire Power #3 Reviewed

Photo Courtesy of Image Comics

Picking up right from the end of Fire Power #2, Fire Power #3 (written by Robert Kirkman, art by Chris Samnee) is another example of why Robert Kirkman is one of the industries best at telling genre stories. While a story about a fire throwing kung-fu fighter could be told at a breakneck speed, jumping from conflict to conflict, Kirkman takes the time to really develop his characters. 

After fighting off ninjas that have invaded their home, Owen Johnson and his wife must get back to their regular life: getting the kids ready for school, taking the dog out, and heading to work. It is in these moments that Fire Power shows it’s brilliance. The dichotomy of having a main character who is able to summon fireballs and possesses agility that rivals Spider-Man using those skills to fight off ninjas at night and then using them to climb a water tower during his lunch break the next day makes for relatable reading, even if it is still fantastical in nature. 

Owen is truly haunted by his past in this issue, showing that despite trying to leave his past behind, he will never truly escape it. A dense splash page showing the story of his past lover from his days training at the temple, and a wholesome scene where Owen trains his kids in the basics of kung-fu show the complexities of the memories that Owen keeps. 

This issue of Fire Power really starts to expand the world. We get a glimpse of Owen’s wife, Kellie, on patrol as a police officer (with her partner who may have some nefarious motives nonetheless). As anyone that has read The Walking Dead or any of Kirkman’s other stories knows, Kirkman is a master of introducing new and interesting characters. A cliffhanger ending serves to add to what is already an interesting cast with a splash of intrigue. 

Fire Power #3 strikes the best balance so far between action and characterization and world building. As the characters are sucked deeper into the building conflict it is these moments of characterization that will be valuable for enhancing the reader's connection and commitment to the characters, just like Kirkman did with the giant cast of The Walking Dead. If you haven’t been reading Fire Power, now is the time to start. Things appear to be getting interesting. 

- Neil Hazel