Power Girl #1


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Power Girl #1


  • Words: Justin Gray and Jimmy Palmiotti
  • Art: Amanda Conner
  • Colors: Paul Mounts
  • Story Title: A New Beginning
  • Publisher: DC Comics
  • Price: $3.99
  • Release Date: May 6, 2009

Power Girl is creating a new life for herself.  Let’s see if she lives long enough to enjoy it.

It seems surprising that one of DC Comics’ most celebrated legacy heroes has never had her own solo, ongoing title.  Despite this (or perhaps because of it) Power Girl has seen many changes in characterization, history and continuity over the years.  Now writers Justin Gray and Jimmy Palmiotti take a stab at creating a completely new world for ther character built on some of those past foundations.  Is this Power Girl’s chance for superstardom?

After discovering that she no longer has a place in her original home of Earth-2, Power Girl has decided to fully embrace her place on New Earth.  This means recovering her old civilian ID of Karen Starr, setting up a home in New York, getting her old company back, hiring new staff, and setting up a new direction.  She is busy, yet happy with her choices… but she’s about to get busier as a robot attack in the city sends her into battle.  The who, how and why behind the attack, though, is about to ruin her day… possibly on a fatal basis.

Gray and Palmiotti have been very vocal about their recent desire to create heroes and stories that are a bit of a throwback to the Silver Age at least in terms of motivation.  They want to construct heroes who do good things not out of guilt or angst but because they want to help people – because it is the right thing to do.  This motivation sits well on Power Girl’s shoulders. 

Even more, it is refreshing to see the character acknowledge that there are problems in the world which cannot be solved by “punching” and therefore decide to devote her civilian ID to working on those problems as well.  It was a canny and smart decision by Gray and Palmiotti to take this tack.  They also work subtly to show what makes Power Girl a good leader – in or out of costume.  She knows her own boundaries and therefore reaches out to others to fill in the gaps.  That is not to say that the character comes off as a perfect saint here.  There are traces of her trademark temper and a feeling that she has maybe bitten off more than she can chew.  In addition, there is a general feeling that her expectations and illusions that she has everything under control and that all of her plans are going to work out just right are merely setting her up for a fall – and therein lays the potential for dramatic tension to come.

As for Amanda Conner’s art – the consumate proffesional brings her “A” game here.  Her cartoony style looks great where the emphasis is on action, adventure and light drama.  Her style is deceptively simple but each time you look at the page you find more and more things that you missed in the background.  There are subtle nuances and in jokes in the foreground, background, and even hiding around corners in many of the panels.  She truly excels at facial expressions and body language and under her pencil Power Girl truly seems to express the emotions in the dilaogue.

For all those who have been complaining about how “dark” comic books have become lately, this is a title for you.  Lots of action and adventure are balanced by dramatic potential as well as a bit of sly humor revolving around a character that can be tough, no-nonsense, sweet, gentle, and funny by turns.  Power Girl has taken off and the sky is the limit!

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  • Lee Newman

    Lee Newman May 9, 2009 at 10:43am

    Nice review for a solid book. I look forward to this title if it maintains this quality. I also hope that Palimiotti and Gray stay away from needless (and, more importantly, lengthy) explorations of her origin that bogged down the Supergirl title for so long.

  • Eric Lindberg

    Eric Lindberg May 9, 2009 at 4:20pm

    I think lengthy explorations of Power Girl's origin are pretty much played out, Lee. Most of her post-Crisis history has revolved around that so hopefully, we can move on. I enjoyed this issue. A solid start. I really want to know how the villain cheated death though. Last time we saw him, he'd been shot THROUGH THE BRAIN!

  • Tonya Crawford

    Tonya Crawford May 10, 2009 at 12:15pm

    Thanks guys. I really liked this one. A saw a bunch of people complaining elsewhere that is was too "wordy" but I actually like comic books that take a little while to read. And, like I said, most of all I really like the mature way Justin and Jimmy are approaching the character. They get the "boob" comments out of the way early and show PG as handling it with a calm maturity. I also like that they've balanced her personailty. In recent years she tends to come off too "one note" and that note often seems to be either 'witchy harridan', 'angst', or 'autocratic'. Here she shows a sweet and even playful side but can still verbally rip someone a new one if the situation calls for it.

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