Power Girl #1
POWER GIRL STARS IN HER OWN EPIC ONGOING SERIES! Pretty, punchy, and powerful! After the events of Knight Terrors, a long-dormant Kryptonian threat has returned to take down Superman and his family. Who could possibly stop it? Well, according to the Man of Steel, it’s Power Girl! Witness a road trip race against time as Paige reconnects with her roots to save the world from her deadly past.
Power Girl #1 sets up a drastically new status quo for its titular hero, while also paving the way for a whole new possibility of stories for the character. Unfortunately this issue does require a bit of homework to be able to catch up. To start with, Lazarus Planet has changed Power Girl, giving her the ability to “Astral Punch” which is similar to Marvel Comics’ America Chavez’s powers. In addition, the events of the current Action Comics run and Power Girl Special #1 also have a huge impact here, mainly explaining why Power Girl is going by Paige and why she is now best friends with Omen. All of this sounds like a lot but thankfully, Power Girl #1 explains a lot of this in an abbreviated manner, though it is recommended that you read the issues explained in the footnotes in order to get a more well rounded story.
One fear anytime Gary Frank and Brad Anderson take on cover duty is that the main art team are not going to be able to keep up with the momentum. Frank and Anderson absolutely knock it out of the park with this cover, which is definitely going to make this book fly off the shelves; however, this thankfully does not overshadow the interior work. Eduardo Pansica’s pencils look to be on par with Frank’s, looking very similar to his style while also infusing a more comic like ambiance. Julio Ferreira’s inks are what really give this book a more comic-like feel, highlighting the facial features and eyes almost in a Todd Nauck-esque manner. This all gives the book a familiar feel which gets ramped up once the action kicks in. Romulo Fajardo Jr. then rounds this out with solid colors that highlight the fun personalities of Power Girl and Omen.
Leah Williams definitely has done a lot of leg work in order to give Power Girl this new persona, which definitely pays off in this introductory issue. This is a universe where Supergirl and Power Girl are supposed to coexist, so it makes sense to give Power Girl her own identity that doesn’t require her to live in Supergirl’s shadow. There is a ton of fun interplay between Power Girl and Omen here, which offers some comedic moments. This gives the book a sense of authenticity, while also giving lesser used characters like Omen and Streaky in fun ways. It will be interesting to see how this relationship impacts the rest of this series as the focus shifts over to Power Girl’s relationship with Krypton, but it is off to an excellent start.
One particular point of social discussion here is the idea that Power Girl is aiming to solve the world’s sustainability issue by fighting against the use of slave labor and ecological destruction. While it is good to see a powerful figure comment on poignant issues in today’s world, this concept is bound to have diminishing returns. Much like Tom Taylor’s initial run on Superman: Son of Kal El, the idea of solving real world issues within a comic book can become a bit problematic if not executed correctly. In that series, Taylor was able to maneuver his argument so that the universe shattering question of “couldn’t Superman just fly around the world and topple evil dictators all day…” doesn’t break the world fans have grown privy to. Hopefully Williams is able to maneuver this in the same way, or else Power Girl may look wholly ineffectual or the series could break the uncanny valley.
Another logistical question that comes up after reading this issue is about the relationship between Power Girl and Superman. Power Girl definitely has one of the weirdest histories in comics, but her relationship with Superman here seems to complicate it even further. Superman talks down to Power Girl in a strange manner, questioning her choices as if she is his subordinate. The real question here is what Power Girl’s actual role in this universe is, and whether or not she has a relationship with Superman like she’s not had in prior continuities. Thankfully, Williams promises to explore this relationship with the rest of the series, hopefully solidifying any confusion surrounding these characters.
Power Girl #1 sets up an entirely new status quo for the alternate reality cousin of Superman. This new status quo promises to be a fresh start for this character, with this serving as a great jumping on point.
Power Girl #1: The New Me
- Writing - 8/108/10
- Storyline - 8/108/10
- Art - 8.5/108.5/10
- Color - 8.5/108.5/10
- Cover Art - 9/109/10
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