The Princess and the Frogs


Power Girl #7

We start out on the planet Valeron, where Vartox, a Superman-like hero who made his original debut in the 1970s (and who dresses like Sean Connery in the utterly mad sci-fi flick “Zardoz“) fights off a bunch of alien yeti space pirates. But the battle was just a distraction for the pirates’ real attack — the detonation of a contraceptive bomb! A contraceptive bomb?! Yep, and everyone on Valeron except for Vartox has been sterilized — their race is doomed to die out… unless Vartox can find himself a suitable mate. And of course, he chooses a certain busty, superpowered blonde living on Earth.

And speaking of Power Girl, she and Doctor Mid-Nite are chasing a supervillain named the Blue Snowman, who is some crazy person in a powered armor suit who shoots ice from her cyber-hat and cyber-pipe. Unsurprisingly, the Blue Snowman is no great challenge. That’s when Vartox shows up in a giant floating robot head (Just like “Zardoz”! You think they’re going with a theme here?) and shoots Kara with something called “Seduction Musk,” which, luckily, doesn’t work on her. And then Vartox unveils a big fang-faced monster called an Ix Negaspike, which he intends to defeat to win Kara’s love. This doesn’t work out at all — it’s entirely indestructible and ravenously hungry. Can PeeGee beat the Ix Negaspike and fend off Vartox’s unwanted advances?

Verdict: Thumbs up. This is awesomely funny from beginning to end, with lots of silly touches, like the ridiculously 1960s-70s culture of Vartox’s homeworld (His chancellor is named Groovicus Mellow and the leader of the military is named General Peacemonger) and the ineptness of Blue Snowman. The dialogue between Power Girl and Doctor Mid-Nite is also fun. And as good as Gray and Palmiotti’s writing is, Amanda Conner’s artwork really sells this — great, funny, beautiful art here, everything from facial expressions and body language down to the details of the buildings Vartox gets punched through.


B.P.R.D.: War on Frogs #4

It’s the conclusion of this extended miniseries (just four issues, but spread out over many, many months) as disembodied medium Johann Kraus leads a team of agents from the Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense against a cult of the amphibious froggy monsters called the Frogs. While they manage to wipe them out easily, Johann discovers that he is able to see the spirits of the recently deceased Frogs, and they want his help in finding out where their afterlife is. He doesn’t think he can help them — who knows what on earth Heaven is like to murderous unnatural frog monsters? — but once they start making other BPRD members deathly sick, he agrees to try to help them. Can Johann lead them to their monster paradise successfully? And even if he can, will he be able to escape the other hungry monsters that dwell there?

Verdict: Thumbs up. This was one of my favorite issues of the BPRD series in a while — most of the stories focusing on Johann are interesting, but this one was especially fun, with the focus on trying to find the spiritual realm of things that shouldn’t have souls at all.

No Comments

  1. Maxo Said,

    December 17, 2009 @ 11:23 am

    I agree with you completely on Power Girl. This was the first issue I’ve picked up (I have fond memories of weirdo Vartox) and just loved it. The sense of fun is great and I’ll more than likely start picking it up from now on.

    Do you know if a trade is out yet?

  2. Scott Slemmons Said,

    December 17, 2009 @ 11:54 am

    I thought it was out already, but Amazon says it won’t be released ’til April.

    I wish this was the version of PG that showed up in JSA. They’ve already got stiff-and-cranky Magog — they sure don’t need PG to act the same. :/