Archive for Power Girl

"Do you like Kipling?" "I don’t know, I’ve never Kipled."

The Unwritten #5

Tom Taylor doesn’t appear in this issue — instead, we visit a previous century and take a look at the life of British author Rudyard Kipling. We follow him as a young reporter in India, frustrated that he can’t tell the stories he wants to. He ends up making a deal, almost entirely by accident, with Mr. Locke, who tells him that he’ll arrange that Kipling will be able to spin his stories for the glories of British Imperialism. And Kipling’s books, like “Gunga Din,” “On the Road to Mandalay,” and “The Light that Failed,” enjoy uncommon success. He is disturbed when, after Locke expresses his disdain for Oscar Wilde’s work, Wilde is unexpectedly arrested and put on trial for sodomy.

On a tour of America, he meets Mark Twain, who warns him that Locke may be a dangerous man, and Locke later tells Kipling that he wants him to remain in America to chronicle America’s rise, instead of England’s decline. Kipling, ever the loyalist, refuses, and soon pays the price, as his daughter Josephine falls ill and is then murdered by Pullman, the seemingly immortal assassin. Unable to write for a year, Kipling eventually turns his attention to fables and his “Just-So Stories” — his own simple declaration of war against Locke and his cronies. But the world continues as Locke had predicted — World War I swallows England whole, and Kipling’s own son joins up to fight and is soon reported MIA. Desperate, he begs for his son’s life from Locke. Will the old fable-teller be able to pull off one last bit of literary magic?

Verdict: Thumbs up. A nice change-of-pace, and a nice look at the strange history of the world that this comic resides in. Kipling lived an interesting but tragic life, but I never saw him as a fantasy hero before. It’s a sad story, but a fun one at the same time.

Power Girl #5

A spaceship has crashed in Prospect Park, and Kara heads up for the apartment roof to change into her costume — hey! Is someone taking pictures of her? There’s gonna be trouble later. Meanwhile, the spaceship almost shoots Power Girl while aiming at a pursuing ship, and while she tears her way inside, the three beautiful alien women inside come out to meet the New Yorkers gawking at the ship. PeeGee meets up with a hunky male android just before the ship self-destructs. Something — possibly Power Girl herself — somehow contains the explosion, but she’s left severely injured in the aftermath. Luckily, she recovers fast once she gets a little sunlight. After bonding with emergency personnel, she returns to her company, where she learns the shocking truth about why her horrible, horrible cat changed color, interviews a new PR employee, and gets in the middle of a minor war between the three alien women and a space cop sent to apprehend them.

Verdict: Thumbs up. There’s a lot of stuff shoehorned in here, some of it a bit weird (Why did Power Girl forget her gloves and boots in the first battle? Was there a plot point behind it?). But there were a lot of cool moments, sometimes very small, sometimes a bit larger. The scene between Power Girl and Pete the fireman is really cute, the alien girls discovering hot dogs is funny, and getting PeeGee’s horrible, horrible cat washed is a small comedy miracle. As always, Amanda Conner’s art makes everything even better.


Hellboy: The Wild Hunt #6

Hellboy and Alice are in the castle of Morgan Le Fay. She tells them about Mordred, the son she bore for King Arthur. Though he died in the Battle of Camlan, and his three sons were killed, he had a daughter who escaped death, and who continued his bloodline through a long line of female children, culminating in a woman named Sarah Hughes, a witch who married a demon, died, and went to Hell to deliver the first male heir in the Pendragon bloodline in hundreds of years — a big, red-skinned guy with a stone hand who likes to file his horns down. In other words, Hellboy is not only the reluctant Beast of the Apocalypse, he’s also the rightful King of Britain. So Morgan gives him a choice — he can take the Sword from the Stone and lead an army of dead elves and fairies into battle, or he can let Nimue, former consort and betrayer of Merlin, destroy the world as the new blood-soaked Queen of the Witches. But Hellboy fears he is slowly becoming the demonic Great Beast — will he end up wearing both crowns at once? Is this just a struggle to decide whether Nimue or Anung un Rama will call an end to creation?

Verdict: Thumbs up. Very big stuff going on here — epic and apocalyptic in every sense of the word. Is Mike Mignola really getting ready to end his own comic-book universe?

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Girls Night Out

Power Girl #4

Power Girl treats Terra to a night out at the movies, beats up trolls and an environmental supervillainess, takes care of company business, and gets a new apartment. I mean, those are the main plot points. I guess that leaves out funny details like Terra’s overblown fear of horror movies, Power Girl shooting down the guys from the “Big Bang Theory” TV show, Terra fighting giant monsters without her pants, Pee Gee hiring the supervillain after she beats her, and Pee Gee’s famously horrible cat pooping on someone’s sportcoat.

Verdict: Thumbs up. Just extraordinarily funny and awesome. And how cool is it to have one of those “Day in the Life” stories that actually involves someone headbutting a giant lizard?


Marvel Divas #2

I know, I know, the title is just awful, but it’s really a lot better than it sounds. Angelica “Firestar” Jones has been diagnosed with breast cancer, and her physicians include Night Nurse and Dr. Strange. She gets an appointment to see Dr. Hank Pym, but she’s still pretty flat-out terrified, no matter how brave she tries to be. Felicia “Black Cat” Hardy can’t get a loan to start her new detective agency, which is making her consider returning to a life of crime. Monica “Captain Marvel” Rambeau is trying to fend off Doctor Voodoo’s romantic advances (at one point, he sends a zombie to her apartment to deliver flowers) and agrees to help him acquire the actual fer-realz Monkey’s Paw from the new Baron Samedi. And Patsy “Hellcat” Walker meets up with an old boyfriend, Daimon Hellstrom, better known as the Son of Satan, who offers to cure Angelica’s cancer for the low, low cost of Patsy’s soul.

Verdict: Thumbs up. Good soapy superheroics that’s both dramatic and funny. There’s tons of emphasis on Angelica’s cancer, at the expense of the other characters’ subplots… but on the other hand, none of them have any subplots that are as scary as Angelica’s, do they?

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The Sun Never Sets on the British Vampire


Captain Britain and MI-13 #15

Siiiigh. Yet another outstanding comic book gets cancelled.

The final issue of this series also concludes the “Vampire State” storyline. Though Count Dracula and his vampire army have been thrown into disarray, they haven’t been beaten yet… but they’re a lot closer to defeat than they really expected. See, Pete Wisdom has been thinking about a dozen moves ahead of Dracula, most importantly about one little, important piece of misdirection — when Dracula destroyed the skull of Quincy Harker, the relic that kept all vampires out of England… he’d really only destroyed a fake. With Captain Britain battling Dracula’s pet necromancer, and Meggan showing up to sow dissent among the vampiric army, Dracula is completely unprepared when all his vampires start bursting into flame. He retreats to what he thinks is a safe position, only to get attacked by the S.A.S. and a whole bunch of guest stars. And it all comes down to Faiza Hussain, physician, superhero fangirl, and wielder of Excalibur, to take on Dracula in the final showdown.

Verdict: Thumbs up. Man alive, am I going to miss this comic. As always, beautifully created characters, fantastic plotting, so much wonder and excitement. The last three pages of this issue are the best farewell to the readers that I can imagine. Paul Cornell and Leonard Kirk created an awfully fine comic — I wish they could’ve kept it going for much, much longer.


Power Girl #3

Power Girl ends up settling Ultra-Humanite’s hash pretty quickly in this issue — in fact, she accidentally roasts him like a hot dog. After that, she and Terra have to figure out how to set Manhattan back down without wrecking everything, and then PeeGee has to try to get Ultra’s ship down safely, without either wrecking New York or dropping into the ocean and causing catastrophic waves.

Verdict: I’ll give it a thumbs up, though the biggest feat is performed by Terra, a guest star… and I’m still a bit irritated that Ultra-Humanite is depicted as an over-the-top sexist. His best-known host, other than the giant albino gorilla, has been Dolores Winters, the fictional film star he transplanted his brain into during the Golden Age. And he’s always struck me as a villain whose primary prejudice was that he thought he was superior to everyone, and that only he had what it took to rule the world. He may hate women — but in fact, he hates them just as much as he hates men. Still, pretty good action and as always, excellent artwork by Amanda Conner.

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Thank Heaven for Super Girls

Power Girl #2

The Ultra-Humanite has captured Power Girl and is holding New York City hostage — by suspending it high above the earth and threatening to drop it. Ultra’s plan is to transplant his brain into Power Girl’s head, which PeeGee is not real happy about. Extended fisticuffs occur, the Big Apple panics, the Justice Society tries to maintain order, and Ultra tells Power Girl the latest version of his origin, in which he started out as a very sickly genius but, with the help of the kinkiest femme fatale ever, was reborn in the body of the mutant albino gorilla he now lives in. Finally, Ultra has drained her of enough solar radiation to allow him to start cutting into her skull — is there any way for Power Girl to get out of this?

Verdict: Thumbs up, but I gotta quibble about the Ultra-Humanite’s new origin — it leaves out a lot of the creepiest elements of Ultra’s traditional origins, like his co-opting of Hollywood starlet Delores Winters’ body in the ’40s. However, I love the characterizations of the employees in Starrware Industries while they worry about the world falling apart around them.

Wonder Woman #33

Wondy’s gravely injured, but she’s made it back to Themyscira — just in time for an attack by giant monsters. The Amazons fight the monsters, and eventually, Wondy joins them, after having her lasso and an ax taped to her hands, ’cause she’s too injured to hold them properly. In the end, the monsters are driven off, Ares apparently takes a mortal wound to the face, and Zeus appoints Achilles as the new ruler of Themyscira. Will Wonder Woman bother sticking around after all this?

Verdict: Thumbs down. The storyline was far, far, far too long, and for very little payoff. No one expects the Amazons to be out of power on Paradise Island for long, so this whole diversion is particularly pointless.

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Blondes Have More Fun

Power Girl #1

The bestest blonde bombshell in comics finally gets her own ongoing series. And it’s got art by Amanda Conner! This is fantastic news all around.

Power Girl is settling in at her new hometown, New York City, and re-starting her old secret identity as Karen Starr, owner of Starrware Labs. But the Big Apple gets invaded by rampaging robots that transmit — for lack of a better word — bad vibes, and PeeGee gets captured by the Ultra-Humanite. What’s the evil brain-swapping super-ape gunning for?

Verdict: Numerous enthusiastic thumbs up. Yay, an ongoing series for Power Girl! Yay, art by the impossibly awesome Amanda Conner! All that plus lots of great character moments for Karen Starr and her employees. And a nice cliffhanger with the Ultra-Humanite, too. Go pick it up!

Supergirl: Cosmic Adventures in the 8th Grade #6

A great series ends here — hope they eventually pick it back up for an ongoing.

The school principal has revealed his big secret — he’s secretly Mr. Mxyzptlk in disguise! And he plans to destroy both the Third and Fifth Dimensions to give himself ultimate power! Belinda Zee has been turned into a statue, Supergirl’s time-traveling future self has been pulled back to the future, Superman and Lex Luthor have been turned into two-dimensional crayon drawings, and it’s all up to Supergirl and Lena Luthor to put their differences aside and save the world. I’d say more, but I don’t want to give away too much, ’cause it’s awfully good.

Verdict: Another colossal thumbs up. Vast, insane fun. I’m pretty irritated that this one is over already, and I really hope they come back with a good sequel. Landry Q. Walker and Eric Jones deserve tons of credit for crafting this impossibly charming and fun series. If you haven’t gotten it already, keep an eye out for the trade paperback.

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Red Hot Super-Powered Cheesecake!

Terra #2

It turns out that the new Terra is an exact genetic match for the old Terra — namely, the crazy one who had underaged sex with Deathstroke and tried to kill the Teen Titans. Power Girl and Dr. Mid-Nite try to calm her down while she runs around Mid-Nite’s lab in her birthday suit. When she and Power Girl finally leave, they have to deal with an attack on a subway by Silver Banshee. She’s after a guy who’s stolen a mystical artifact, and when he accidentally steps on the third rail, his death allows the ancient Sumerian god who was inside the artifact to take over his body, grow to giant size, and try to take over the planet. Meanwhile, Richard Whozits, the wealthy geologist guy who got turned into living rock in the first issue, hangs out with his nekkid girlfriend and tries to decide what he’s going to do with his life. And finally, zombies invade Markovia, and Terra shows up to help Geo-Force fight them all off.

Verdict: Thumbs up. The story’s pretty good, and the dialogue is fun and funny, but the best part of this is Amanda Conner’s wonderful artwork. Yes, she has a near-perfect eye for classic good-girl art (you did notice that cover up there, right?), but she’s also stellar at action, facial expressions, body language, and everything else she decides to draw. She’s one of my favorite artists out there, and I hope she gets lots more comics work.

Kull #1

Dark Horse continues their recent trend of making awesome comics out of old Robert E. Howard stories with this new series about Howard’s barbarian king. We get a story about siege warfare, political intrigue, and a really ugly monster. Can Kull, Atlantean exile and new king of Valusia destroy the monster and unite his kingdom?

Verdict: Thumbs up. Excellent story, excellent action, excellent monster. Hope they keep making this one, ’cause it’s fun.

Ambush Bug: Year None #4

Dan DiDio is dead, Jann Jones is the ultimate romantic manga heroine, Argh!yle is running around bothering people in the “52” mega-series, and Ambush Bug gets kicked in the jollies by Batwoman.

Verdict: Dan DiDio is dead? Thumbs up!

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Friday Night Fights: Stop Hitting Yourself! Stop Hitting Yourself!

Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, another workweek is over, and that’s as good an excuse as any for… FRIDAY NIGHT FIGHTS!

From this year’s Justice Society of America Annual #1 by Geoff Johns, Jerry Ordway, and Bob Wiacek: It’s Power Girl vs. Power Girl!

Mercy gracious!

Wow, that’s one way of kicking off a weekend, ain’t it?

(Edited to deal with me forgetting to edit this one properly before)

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Friday Night Fights: Girl Power!

Wow, what a week. I don’t know about y’all, but I’m really feeling like a little gratuitous comic-book violence would be just the thing I need to get my weekend started right. You guys know anywhere I can find some gratuitous comic-book violence around here? Maybe right here, ’cause it’s time for FRIDAY NIGHT FIGHTS!

Tonight’s dose of brutality comes from 2005’s JSA Classified #4 by Geoff Johns, Amanda Conner, and Jimmy Palmiotti: Power Girl vents her frustrations on the Psycho-Pirate’s gold-plated jaw:





Hmm, someone’s gonna have to get the extra-absorbent tissues to clean up this mess…

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