Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Comic Book Review: Power Girl #10

Book Information
Written by Jimmy Palmiotti & Justin Gray
Art by Amanda Conner

The world of Karen Starr/Power Girl never slows down.  This month’s issue brings us another barrage of chaos as Power Girl deals with peeping toms, her arch enemy’s pissed off girlfriend, keeping her identity a secret, killer Manhawks, and her best friend going “ape” on her.  Will Power Girl ever get a break?

My Thoughts
As always, the current (soon to be retired) Power Girl writer/artist team shows off their unique talents at creating a serious, yet funny storyline.  If I were to make a list of all the reasons why the Power Girl title is so great, you might have to set aside some time and sit for a while.  This months issue brings a combination of humor, action, sex appeal, incredible art, and thought provoking dialogue.  To lay everything out, I’ve decided to take a new approach and divide my reviews up into sections.  Please indulge my nerdy writing approach….

Palmiotti and Gray are incredibly gifted at creating dialogue that has nothing to do with the situations going on around them and somehow making it work.  There are so many plot lines going throughout this book that any other writer would stretch it out over a twelve issue miniseries.  The two writers, however, jam everything into a 22-paged “illustrated magazine made up of narrative artwork accompanied by dialogue and descriptive prose,” to quote Power Girl.

The humor within the book is an absolute gem, almost poking fun at the comic book genre itself.  Satanna calling out Terra asking “why can’t you people create your own names and identities?” was a lovely comedic approach seeing as how over 50% of the heroes in the DC universe is stemmed off of already existing heroes.  But even more so, the brief fight Terra and Satanna have is in and of itself a mockery of the stereotypical comic book battle sequence where both the hero and the villain duke it out while maintaining fairly hefty conversations and seemingly don’t break out into a sweat.  And I literally fell on the floor with laughter at Power Girl's solution to the vulgar male exhibitionist, I'll let you use your imagination as to what her freezing breath was targeting...

This issue is all about preparing the inexperienced youth for the future.  Power Girl, instead of beating her young peeping tom to a pulp, decides to indulge her new found stalker and give him a chance to shine and show him that big name heroes do actually care about them.  This happens an increasing amount in today’s society, where children’s mistakes are thrown out by adults as mischievous acts of rebellion and lack of respect for their elders.  We far too often look at the “what” and forget to look at the “why.”  Power Girl recognized that the young Fischer boy needed something to help boost his confidence in himself, so she showed up at the apparently “hapnin” place, the local comic book store.

But of course, this selfless act (and annoying one of PG’s part I’m sure) doesn’t only transcend to Mr. Fischer here, but to everyone around.  An example is being portrayed by our breastful heroine, showing that we should care about our youth and how they view the older generations.  Are we just going to yell and scream at children’s mistakes or are we going to try to use those inappropriate actions as educational and impressionable moments, showing them that we aren’t mad, they just need to be educated.

Amanda Conner has always displayed her ability to make both light hearted and creepy artistic displays, but never better than in this issue.  The slow change that Terra makes throughout the book is definitely noticeable, but it isn’t realized until that penultimate moment where her face becomes crookedly evil where the gothic shimmer of light gleams behind her.  Conner has never done anything so terrifying than that small panel towards the end of the book.

In addition, one of the reasons the comedy of this title works so well is 50% due to the writers, but also 50% due to Conner’s unbelievable facial expressions in her characters.  Most of today’s comic book characters are drawn seriously, seldomly ever showing any type of expression other than “intense” and “angry.”  Conner has an arsenal of expressions that she draws brilliantly and effortlessly.  She is one of the last comic book artists in the field that really knows how to utilize the multiple emotions within the human brain and visualize them in her work. And is that cover stupendous or what?
Other Aspects
I did appreciate the fact that this issue wasn’t so chest heavy.  It still maintained its sexy appeal, but it didn’t go over board this time.  I understand that the constant attraction to Power Girl’s boobs is part of the running gag, but it was nice to know Palmiotti and Gray don’t have to rely on that all the time.  There was still much boobage flaunting around, but it wasn’t the focus.  But I do have to make a comment…did Terra seem extra gorgeous in this issue, or is it just me?

Fantastic!  Everything in this issue came together beautifully.  I think Power Girl will be making my top ten list for March, and be in the top five!

Rating: 10 out of 10 stars

Next Issue Coming April 21, 2010
Power Girl's life has been torn apart, and the last thing she needs is to find out that one of her closest allies is now one of her deadliest enemies! But, we're sorry to say, that's exactly what Satanna has managed to serve up!

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