Writer & Artist: Daniel Warren Johnson
Colors: Mike Spicer
Letters: Rus Wooton
The seventh and final issue of Daniel Warren Johnson’s epic Do A Powerbomb! picks up where last month’s issue left us, with our heroic tag team squaring off against GOD in one final, desperate attempt to save Yua Steelrose from the afterlife. From the start, Johnson’s premise has been simple and existentially compelling; the odds of Lona bringing her mother back to life by winning a magic wrestling match never seemed likely, but how would Johnson author her failure? And would Lona grow from the loss, or would it break her? Johnson has successfully answered these questions, while at the same time managing the revelatory nature of Lona and Cobrasun’s complex relationship.
Johnson’s layouts have served his story from the start, dynamic and cinematic, but over the last few issues Do A Powerbomb! has elevated to a new level. The pages of Sun and Steel wrestling with the alpha and the omega are, simply put, some of the most spectacular this year. Johnson puts so much scale and scope into his panels, effectively conveying the brutal weight of every blow. He implements furious action lines and adopts a flexible style that is both cartoony and brutally visceral. It’s also clear the writer is an ardent fan of the sport; Johnson nails the fevered madness of a pro wrestling announcer narrating the setup to a finishing move.
Even outside the action of the ring, Do A Powerbomb! remains one of the most distinct, best looking books on shelves. Memorable images this issue range from God’s swole champion’s pose, rippling with strength under a roaring crowd, to the loving gaze of Yua Steelrose, a gentle, empathic character always depicted with a tactile humanity. Johnson’s art is praiseworthy, but it’s hard to imagine his lines without Mike Spicer, whose painterly colors find a perfect harmony with the emotions and bedlam that only a handicap match against the lord and creator can generate.
Lona Steelrose is a standout character for comics in 2022. Not since Lyra Belacqua has a protagonist been so lionhearted, resilient, deeply caring. One of the book’s chief successes is how Lona consistently blames and challenges Cobra without hating him. She never lets him wallow in his guilt or take the burden on himself, nor is she too stubborn to learn from a veteran of the ring.
It’s hard saying goodbye to a character like Lona after only seven issues, and the inherently bittersweet nature of mini-series coming to an end is exacerbated by the final images of Do A Powerbomb!, a stirring marriage of love and loss. For now, all we can do is await the trade this spring and eagerly wonder what’s next from Daniel Warren Johnson!
Do A Powerbomb #7
- Unique, visceral art.
- A sweet, sad ending.
- Do A Powerbomb is over.