Comics Time: Powr Mastrs Vol. 3

Powr Mastrs Vol. 3
CF, writer/artist
PictureBox, October 2010
112 pages
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When thinking of CF’s revisionist-fantasy series Powr Mastrs, two things usually spring to my mind: Its psychedelic visual flourishes — both the precision and strength with which his wire-thin pencil line imbues them and the way such visuals feel like a natural part of any fantasist’s vocabulary — and its graphic sexuality — equal parts disturbing and erotic, serving perhaps as a substitute for violence, one that’s actually capable of shocking a modern audience. Unfortunately for me that’s often all I think about when I think about the series. But in re-reading all three volumes in preparation for this review, lots more jumped out besides. For one thing, this is a funny comic! From Subra Ptareo’s would-be monasticism to Jim Bored’s futile attempts to get someone, anyone to free him from his prison to the Sub-Men’s shenanigans, it’s frequently LOLtastic. It’s also a lot less rambly and more focused than I remember it: The overarching plot, about Mosfet Warlock’s weird science and various other characters’ attempts to use it for their own ends and/or seek revenge for having been its unwilling guinea pigs, establishes itself right quick and is a constant presence. And back to the sex for a second: It’s hot stuff! And it’s kinky in a way that feels genuine, which takes guts as well as perviness — the naughty part of this volume feels like it emerges from considered contemplation of dominance and submission and how much fun they can be even as they look fairly awful to outsiders. Meanwhile the specifics of CF’s SFF here — the biomechanics, the spellcraft, the bestiary, the economy, the worldbuilding, the whole nine — feel singular and yet still intelligble. What a pleasure to watch an artist make genre come to him and his interests and obsessions rather than the other way around.

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