Astro City #27
Strange monsters are attacking all over the world, and while Honor Guard beats them, they always vanish into thin air, only to return later. But at last, American Chibi reveals that she knows what’s happening. She takes the heroes to an apartment where a woman is collapsed unconscious on the floor and then merges into her. It turns out the woman is Marguerite Li, a computer game designer, and the epic fantasy game she’s been working on for years has been co-opted by an eldritch interdimensional force that intends to use her monsters to over-run the world. But American Chibi was created as the game’s hero, uniquely qualified to destroying the villain’s plans. So Chibi leads the charge into the game’s fantasy world, followed by Honor Guard — who are all turned into adorable chibi versions of themselves. But can a bunch of big-eyed kawaii superheroes save the world from ultimate evil?
Verdict: Thumbs up. American Chibi has been a seriously weird character, so even though she’s appeared only rarely, there’s been a lot of mystery about what her big secret was. The story really hits its high points when everyone is cute and cartoonish — guest artist Joe Infurnari is extremely good with cartoonish art, though his depictions of the real world are disappointingly scratchy and ill-formed.
Harley Quinn and Power Girl #4
Vartox is still evil, and when he gets the upper hand, temporarily, over Power Girl, Harley and her newly discovered Caticorn — like a green-furred lolcat Capricorn — ride to the rescue. The combination of Harley’s puppy-dog eyes and the Caticorn’s purring breaks the spell over Vartox. Meanwhile, it’s revealed that the Ex-Girlfriend Force survived their various traumas — but then Oreth Odeox himself attacks! Can anyone save our heroes?
Verdict: Thumbs up. It’s cute, it’s funny — it doesn’t really aspire to much more than that, but I still enjoyed it.