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Friday, April 29, 2011

Comic Book Review: Power Girl v2 (Issues 1-12)

Written by Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Gray
Art by Amanda Conner
Covers by Amanda Conner and Adam Hughes
Published by DC Comics

Never thought I would find myself reading a comic book with a superheroine as the main protagonist, let alone reviewing it, but here I am folks, writing quite a long review to express my thoughts on this title.

Power Girl is one of the hottest (yes, pun intended) ongoing titles that DC Comics is offering right now and it started with the first twelve issues helmed by the husband-and-wife team of writer Jimmy Palmiotti and Amanda Conner together with Justin Gray in July of 2009. At first I was a little bit skeptical about reading the series mainly because I was never a fan of Peej - except for her big boobies - but I'm glad I gave it a chance. 

It starts off with issue # 1 titled "New Beginning" with Power Girl (Kara Zor-L) once again assuming the identity of Karen Starr (this could be a great pornstar name to be honest), a business-woman and CEO of Starrware Industries - her own company which she decided to revive in the city of New York. She's also got a new friend named Atlee who is actually the superhero-in-training named Terra, who has the ability to control anything made of rock or earthly substances at her will. 

Over the course of the series, we get to see  super-villains and other alien beings coming over taking their own shot at PG. Her first encounter was with an intelligent monster named Ultra-Humanite who is holding the entire city hostage hoping that Power Girl would give up her body so that he can transfer his brain to Peej's more powerful bod. Right after that she's got to deal with 3 alien princesses who started wreaking havoc on Earth, and then, in my most favorite arc in this series,a guy named Vartox (who I'm damn sure is a Peter North/Ron Jeremy hybridfrom an alien planet called Valeron comes crashing in and tries to seduce PeeGee into being his mate so that his "impotent" planet could survive  (thus preventing his race's extinction) after being blown completely by a "contraceptive bomb" courtesy of a hostile race, and... so much more. 

Though some of these stories and plot devices are pretty nonsensical, Palmiotti still was able to make  it entertaining, as evidenced by his effective use of crazy, over-the-top stories and the very light-hearted and well timed humor in dialogues even when the busty hero is kicking some alien ass. There's  a lot of obvious inside jokes, especially when it comes to Power Girl's breasts, but he handled it very well and I thought it was a nice balance to all the slamma-jamma action that PeeGee goes into most of the time. 

Speaking of action, there's definitely a couple of slugfests where PeeGee just straight on unleashes the monster in her but then gets pasted-with-her-butt-kicked pretty hard in return, which brought to me to one interesting observation: she is actually getting more "hardcore" action scenes than any other superheroine - or superhero for that matter - in the DC Universe. Not even Supergirl or her popular cousin Superman ("Grounded storyline, anyone?) gets the same kind of treatment from writers and artists in that department. 

Let's move to another side of PG's identity - Karen Starr. The CEO of her own business who's trying to make it to the mainstream with the goal of making the Earth a better place to live in. This is where we see the more charming and intellectual side of the brash and smart-ass superheroine, who actually works and cares for her "other job" as much as her superhero thingy.  She knows where she wants her company to be, and therefore she keeps a rather hands-on style in running Starrware with her trusty employees. This makes her very appealing  as she suddenly is this kick-ass babe who isn't afraid to play with the big boys in any situation and field. A symbol of female empowerment.

Karen's dynamic with the young heroine Terra is something nice to see too, as she teaches her the do's and dont's of being a hero while being a good friend to her as well. This is a nice angle made by the writers in my opinion. A sort of laid-back and cheerful sidekick to counterbalance Karen's aggressive and busy character who seems to be doing something all the time like punishing perverted wimps, saving some random stranger, giving out errands at her office, giving her pet cat a bath, taking her clothes off to tease the reader , or just plainly saving the world in between all of that. 

To top it all off, Amanda Conner's top-tier art throws in the true eye-candy to this as she brings her A-game in every issue. She really knows how to make Power Girl as sexy and voluptous as any model posing for FHM and Vanity Fair. PeeGee's hips, ass and titties are spot on alluring, and to top all of that, her facial expressions and body languages are all masterfully done by Conner as she is able to relay stories even with the smallest amount of thought-balloons.  She  had some pretty bad panels too, where some of her illustrations were bland, too cramped up, or very "cartoony" at times. But other than that, she has done a superb job overall and gave PeeGee some justice.  Actually, I never heard of Amanda before, but its because of her work in PG that I became an instant fan of hers.  

Then there's another plus you can dig yourself in this series:  the AWESOME covers from pin-up cover artist Adam Hughes. 

Now, after reading all of that, you gotta run to your nearest comic shop now and get this Palmiotti-Gray-Conner PeeGee run because trust me, this is one of those rare titles that you can just simply enjoy and smile  to. Period. If you're doubting whether to get this or not , please give it a shot because I'm betting on my ass that as you hit the first issue, you would be screaming for more Karen Star(r). 

Note - Issue 12 was the last time Conner and Palmiotti would do Power Girl and has then turned the duties over to writer Judd Winnick and artist Sami Basri, who by the way, is doing one hell of a job keeping the momentum alive starting with issue #13 up to the current issue #23.

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