Sunday, May 30, 2010

Power Girl #12

This issue sadly marks an end to the creative team that launched this new title for Power Girl - writers Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Gray, artist Amanda Conner and colorist Paul Mounts.

I've bragged about Amanda Conner's art before, and this issue is merely another outstanding effort with amazing layouts, animated characters and expressions, top-notch storytelling and just an overall sense of fun and joy throughout the comic.

The storylines in this series have been somewhat overshadowed by the art - that's how good Amanda is - but Palmiotti and Gray have done an excellent job of giving Power Girl a life outside superheroics, they started building an effective rogue's gallery (which is not easy with a character this powerful), and also gave PG a supporting cast of friends and co-workers, with lots of potential for growth.

This issue is unusual in that it tells a non-traditional story. It gives PG some downtime with her friends, it ties up loose plot threads, updates us on the whereabouts of friends and enemies, gives us quite a few laughs and leaves the house in order for the next team.

It's been an outstanding series and as much as I hate to see this team go, I appreciate their good work, bringing PG to the forefront of the DC Universe where she belongs.

For too long, this character has been on the back burner, and she's just (you should excuse the phrase) bursting with potential. She's incredibly powerful, and in this team's care, she also proved she could be funny, caring and an interesting character.

Power Girl gets a lot of attention because she's such an over-the-top, Marilyn Monroe-esque, unapologetically sexy character. Most comics companies have similar characters, but most are treated merely as sex objects - not "real" heroes.

It would be easy to leave this character there - that's where she's been since her first appearance, frankly. But she has Wonder Woman-level potential as a character (and perhaps more, since her origin has been streamlined). Visually, she's already there - her stature, her sleek, peekaboo costume and (let's face it) her big boobs make her impossible to ignore. The creative team just needs to keep her a sympathetic character - and craft some good stories.

The outgoing team has made her into a (sorry again) rounder, more complete character - and here's hoping the next team can pick it up from there and keep building.

Grade: A-

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