Owen Johnson has been through a lot over the two previous volumes. Fifteen years in the past he honed already considerable martial arts talent, learning to pull energy from the air to create balls of fire, the first in a generation or two to master the skill. However, he sensed something rotten in the Himalayas and quit. In the present day he’s learned his beliefs about the right side in an ages old conflict were wrong, and he and his family are now being hunted by skilled warriors wanting to abduct them.

Home Fire proved there was more to Fire Power than Robert Kirkman playing homage to his favourite martial arts scenarios. Owen’s family are essential components, the eyes of ordinary people through which the magic is viewed, although sharper readers may predict one particular turn of the screw as far as that’s concerned. Circumstances mean Owen learns new ways to focus his power, and even so the situation is desperate.

After three volumes it’s perhaps redundant to point out again what a phenomenal artist Chris Samnee is. Is there anything he can’t draw comfortingly well? He uses a few tricks here, a couple of pages where Matt Wilson’s colours apply the flash of explosions, or power unrestrained, but it probably has to be pointed out, and if that frees time to spend on some amazing spreads, that’s a good deal for everyone.

It has been the case in other series that Kirkman’s plots roll out slowly, but both in Home Fire and Flame War there’s a rapid transition, and where Owen is at the start of a volume is far removed from where he is at the end. If you want, you can look at Flame War completing the story, very satisfactorily in fact, but Kirkman has planted a serpent in Owen’s happiness, and that’s the hook to take you into Scorched Earth.

The first three Fire Power trades are combined in hardcover as Fire Power Book One.