Overview

Power Girl #2

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Power Girl #2

Credits

  • Words: Justin Gray & Jimmy Palmiotti
  • Art: Amanda Conner
  • Colors: Paul Mounts
  • Story Title: Unleashing the Beast
  • Publisher: DC Comics
  • Price: $2.99
  • Release Date: Jun 18, 2009

The Ultra-Humanite’s plot is revealed but does even Power Girl have a chance at stopping him?

After a fun and stellar first issue the second installment of this ongoing series makes a couple of missteps. The question is, can it rebound and find its footing again?

Ultra-Humanite has found what he believes is the perfect cure for his condition – he intends to transplant his brain into Power Girl’s body. Provoked by her taunting, however, he reveals to her what he purports to be the true story of his origin – a tale fraught with tragedy, hubris and insanity.

Longtime DC Comics fans will likely be upset here as the Ultra-Humanite’s back-story gets a major reboot. Theoretically this change in the past is a result of either or both Infinite Crisis and Final Crisis but the fact that this isn’t really made clear leads to some serious head scratching as fans try to figure out how all of this might or might not fit in with what has gone before. The bigger question is, of course, whether Ultra-Humanite even necessarily needed a new origin but, in all fairness, Gray and Palmiotti do streamline things quite a bit here which is always good for newer readers and those who do not have an encyclopedic knowledge of DC’s characters. The biggest problem here is that the whole thing comes across as a little too cliché. The entire issue is really devoted to Ultra-Humanite and his rant-filled excuse for a flashback is something straight out of the Silver Age… and not in a good way. It feels more like an info dump than a natural outgrowth of the story. Along those same lines, the sequences where the title’s new supporting cast huddles in safety inside Starrware’s new headquarters building and fearfully contemplate the madness outside goes on entirely too long and the dialogue gets repetitive. This leads to the sequence feeling like padding to try to bolster a thin story.

Amanda Conner’s artwork is, in contrast, as flawless as ever. She makes the fight scenes look harsh and brutal despite her cartoony style. As always she also does excellent work on the facial features. Even when Power Girl is effectively gagged and unable to speak Conner’s work perfectly conveys everything that the character is thinking and feeling and not a single word of dialogue is even needed there.

While this issue had some serious pacing problems Gray and Palmiotti have proven time and time again on other titles that they know how to tell a good story, that they know how to draw readers in, and that they know how to keep the action and the tension up without resorting to obvious clichés and tropes. Here is hoping that the problems with this issue are merely a minor blip on the radar and that, with the next installment, the story will again find its footing and finish with a bang – after all, could you expect anything less from the blonde bombshell that is Power Girl?

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Comments

  • Eric Lindberg

    Eric Lindberg Jun 20, 2009 at 10:38am

    Yeah, the Humanite retcon was kind of odd. If they took out the modern clothing styles and reference to PETA, it would have worked fine. Not sure why they wanted to update it and potentially screw up his history. We could always chalk this up to the Humanite's garbled memories. Transplanting your brain around that much has gotta cause some damage.

  • Andy Oliver

    Andy Oliver Jun 21, 2009 at 11:11am

    Yeah agreed on the Ultra-Humanite front. The first coupla issues have been a little disappointing.

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