May 19, 2009

Girl Power of a Different Kind

Much like fellow blogger Dave Campbell, I am an aficionado of Power Girl....and not just because of the obvious reasons.

Power Girl has had, admittedly, a very convoluted history (including an urban myth about her design). In fact, one of her last recent "solo" appearances (I believe in JSA Classified) had her reveal that the reason she had the infamous "window" in her costume was that she was trying to fill it...or, in other words, to either identify or distinguish herself from her otherworldly (in more ways than one) cousin.

However, one of the great things about Power Girl # 1 is that it shows her starting to do so. It's not a perfect issue, but does provide some pretty good starting-off points.

Perhaps it was after the whole "Let's-Revisit-Kingdom-Come-In-JSA" arc, but Jimmy Palmiotti and Amanda Conner provide a really interesting take on the character. And, of course, there's the obligatory robot punching.

There's a one page origin recap (which takes a turn that seems....well, slightly cruel), and then we're back into the life of the Kara Zor-El of Pre-Crisis Earth 2. (Right now, one of my many co-workers is, most likely, reading this entry and shaking their head). But it also focuses not just on obligatory action sequences, but also as Kara Zor-El attempts to "reconnect" with humanity via her previously discarded "secret identity" of Karen Starr, and these sequences seem slightly forced, as if Palmiotti said, "I need to get all this exposition crammed into one page!"

But even despite that, there's a slightly playful humor, and a knowing sense on Kara/Karen's part that yes, men will always have trouble maintaining eye contact with her. The 'big bad' in the book is an interesting twist...but in many ways, fits perfectly. There's a knowing sense that things are just about to start that makes this book a pretty good (if not perfect) read.

However, Amanda Conner's art - rocks. Great sense of humanity in her drawings, and it really helps Power Girl become a little more three dimensional (if you'll pardon the pun). I didn't care for the last panel of page one (thought it was slightly needlessly cruel), but it was a pretty good start.

Hmmm....a superhero trying to establish her own identity? Engaging on a journey of self-discovery while battling evil?

I'm sold.


Note - forgot to mention that Justin Gray co-wrote the book with Mr. Palmiotti. My sincerest regrets at the omission.

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