Power Girl was the character that no-one knew what to do with after DC's legendary Crisis on Infinite Earths and she's been mucked about with ever since without a stable role found for her in the DC Universe. Recently, however, it seems to have been agreed that her original origin is still the real one -that she's Superman's cousin from a now non-existent universe. Let's hope it sticks.
Let's also hope that the new and more likeable personality given to her by writers Gray and Palmiotti also sticks. No longer hypersensitive, obnoxious, serious and dull, the new Power Girl has a sense of humour, has come to terms with the fact that people (men) are going to stare and her most visible assets (see cover), and is busy building up her business under her secret identity. Okay, on with the show.
Apart from the lighter touch with the writing, the main asset to this book is Amanda Conner's attractive cartoonish but substantive art style which emphasises the humour in the writing. Ironically the first story arc, at least at the beginning, is a touch grim as the Ultra-Humanite kidnaps Manhattan inorder to blackmail PG into giving him her body -not for sex but to put his brain in it. There's a team-up with the new teenage Terra whom PG appears to be mentoring and an encounter with a trio of hedonistic super-powered alien women on the run and looking for fun but which seems to result in chaos and mass property damage. Plus stuff about life in her secret identity as she attempts to rebuild her business.
So, not an earth-shattering book (though Manhattan gets pretty shaken) but a lot of fun and I'm looking forward to the next collection in a few months time.
on 28 July 2010
First and foremost Power Girl: A New Beginning collects the first six issues from her recent ongoing series.
Amanda Connor's art is a wonder, though not to all people's taste (art is fairly subjective), but what she brings are wonderful touches. The art doesn't feel static, and the panels crackle with activity. You feel the characters move and live. Body language is captured nicely.
Palmiotti and Gray's writing is fun. Again, it isn't what everyone will like. If you like your comics to be dark, grim where people get beaten to a pulp and death is raining down upon you, then this won't be for you. Go read something like Blackest Night. Power Girl is very much about the fun, though some may find the humour somewhat juvenile especially when the issue of Power Girl's ample charms are involved.
It also isn't particularly superheroey either which has annoyed many a fan. There isn't a dastardly supervillain which Power Girl goes up against all the time, and she doesn't have her own rogues gallery. As a superhero this might be a weakness as superheroes are generally considered only as good as their enemies (how many Batman villains can you think of?). And if you were to pick this up as a superhero title then I would imagine you'd be disappointed.
I think Power Girl here is better thought of as a slice-of-life comic about Kara Zor-L (our Power Girl) who happens to be a superhero. Sure, she still punches things, she is Power Girl after all, but not everything ends with her having punched harder than the opposition. The superhero element is kept in check by her having a life to live. Seriously, hasn't anyone wondered what superheroes do when they're not beating up bad guys? As a fan of the slice-of-life genre (particularly in manga) this is a wonderful treat.