Monday, 25 July 2011

Power Girl #26 review


Last month regular writer Judd Winick ended his current association with Power Girl with a story that paid tribute to Karen Starr, as a hero and a person. If the next two issues of the series, fill-ins before the post-Flashpoint DC Universe wipes out this book, were stinkers, we could easily pretend the comic ended as of #25.

Well, #26 is here and it's anything but awful, as Matthew Sturges writes his own tale making it perfectly clear that Power Girl is one of DC's best.

The cover had me expecting jokes at the expense of cosplayers, a soft target if ever there was one. Instead, the story gives the convention-goers credit for the way in which they respect Power Girl. They're not wearing the costume and working the hair because they dream of being a busty blonde powerhouse - they want to emulate her heroism (click to enlarge images).
They get the chance when one attendee, Rana, turns out to be an alien with an agenda 
- she wishes to steal Power Girl's Kryptonian mojo. She says her reasons are pure, but Power Girl sees through her attempts at self-justification. What happens next is thrilling and heartwarming, making for a pitch-perfect, done-in-one superhero story.

Sturges's script is a little gem, masterfully plotted and executed. He captures Power Girl's voice and makes the new characters people I'd love to see again. Especially L'il Pee Gee ... and if the current continuity were continuing, I somehow think we might see the wee dynamo.

Hendry Prasetya's illustrations are beautiful, there's a sincerity about them that perfectly suits this story of people choosing to be the best they can be - or not. He makes everyone individuals, with players showing the facility for acting that has become one of this book's trademarks, from Amanda Conner to Sami Basri to Prasetya himself in Winick's last two issues. The fight sequences are a joy too (click to enlarge).

Sturges and Prasetya get to close out the series next issue. Power Girl couldn't be in better hands.



11 comments:

  1. It's a great comic in a series that has generally blown my expectations out of the water. Power Girl could easily have been exploitative, but from the first issue and Amanda Connor charming, beautiful artwork it never was. And the trend continued with Winnick's issues. I have to say, he's a writer that's been hit and miss for me, and all too interested in writing his Checkmate story in whatever series he was assigned, but he did right by PG. And this "fill-in" is easily one of my favorite books this month.

    And in the shadow of that huge discussion on objectification on Colin Smith's blog, the fact that all the girls in the comic look completely different, not just the same inflatable doll with recolored hair, is amazing in and of itself.

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  3. Thank you! I meant to make that very point and forgot. This is why everyone should read (your) Siskoid's Blog of Geekery. If anyone doesn't know it, the link's on the right, along with the aforementioned Colin's Too Busy Thinking About My Comics.

    And lots of other great blogs. And one podcast, the fine Speeding Bullets.

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  4. I generally like Matt Sturges, and with your review, I think I'll pick this up tomorrow.

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  5. I thought it was god awful. It was boring, pretentious, predictable and stale. you may have your opinion but mine is that the only good thing about this issue was the cover. Female empowerment is fine but Sturges writes empowerment about as well as Gingrich runs a presidential campaign.

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  6. Sturges just keeps getting better, and this issue, I agree, is a gem!

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  7. I thought it was a cute issue. At times I wished that the way these girls viewed Peege could have been translated into WW idolatry, but there's room enough in the DCU to have strong female images to admire. (But when WW's been lacking in the masses' admiration for so long...)

    I was disappointed that all the cosplayers wore the same outfit. Especially in these End Times (cue ominous music), it would have been nice to do a tribute to the many costume variants Karen has worn. And it would also have been nice if the cosplayers had come in a variety of builds and maybe even genders.

    But it was sweet, and I liked L'il Peege as well. Reminded me of Wonder Tot.

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  8. Glad to see most people enjoyed this issue ... sorry it wasn't to your taste, Elitist! I really do think Matt Sturges is proving the king of the fill-ins, with tales like this and the recent Zatanna #12, which I reviewed over at FA Online:

    http://comiczine-fa.com/reviews/zatanna-12-2/

    Carol, I'd like to have seen a few of Karen's old looks too, but a boy Peege? >shiver< I've still not gotten over Wonder Warrior and SupergirlBoy in that ancient Superman issue.

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  9. Missed my comics last week so had to wait before I read the issue before reading your review!

    I enjoyed it - I like Sturges's work and I really wish he'd been tagged to continue the series. It may have been a little twee but it was meant sincerely and that helped it work.

    As to a male Power Girl - click here! (SFW)

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  10. Chuffed you liked the book, Gary.

    Is that you as Power Person, then? Brilliant stuff. I love cosplayers.

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  11. Ha! No, not me at all! Found that ages ago and (if you'll pardon the expression) admired the guy for having the balls to do it!

    Am really going to miss this title once the relaunch happens.

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