Superficially, the fourth volume of the Powers series appears to have borrowed heavily from the Fantastic Four mythos. Sure, the government-backed group is named FG-3 and has only the three members such a name would imply, but the long history between its members, their popularity, the wealth and merchandising, the times when the team is in some kind of interpersonal crisis? All quite familiar. The good news is that the similarities really do fall apart once the plot of Supergroup has proceeded beyond the surface. Down there in the muck, the story is chock full of dark conspiracy, several stripes of bravery, and some pretty big changes to the series’ dynamics, all while inching closer to the as-yet unrevealed underlying truths of the Powers world.
Which is a good thing: only four books in, and already most of the recognizable secondary characters have bitten it. Either Bendis intended to show a world in crisis all along, and this is a good way to make his character realize it and start working towards the solution, or else this kind of change is the only way to slow down the grinding wheel of destruction and give us a chance for alternative storylines. I think I prefer the former but expect the latter, since there are quite a few of these books left. But at least my interest in them is renewed by this solid entry, so, we’ll see!