The Gray/Palmiotti/Conner run on Power Girl is something that I’ve heard about since the start of the run in 2009. It’s been wildly celebrated, and now I see why.
These twelve issues are jam-packed with great stories, a strong heroine, and a touch of silver age that helps the comic emanate charm.
I heard about different premises for issues, like an alien seeking out Power Girl to mate with her (I am seriously under-selling its excellence) and another tale in which she is hoodwinked into accompanying a prepubescent boy to a comics shop. I tried to convince myself that those stories couldn’t be as fun as they sounded, but they really were.
I took all of the advanced praise to mean that it would be a perfect comic for me, but that isn’t completely accurate. There were girls everywhere. First off, I should mention that that is very refreshing. At the same time, those women seemed pretty two dimensional. There were the bad girls from another planet and the cute and infallibly-innocent protege. Shopping and jewelry and accessories were on the top of every girls list. Except the enemy, but she just seemed to have perverse sexual habits, so I wouldn’t look to her as a saving grace. Maybe with more than a 12 issue run I would have seen more to the ladies featured, but as it is, I would take more personality with my Power Girl.
What I wasn’t prepared for was the twinge of silver age that came with the story. It wasn’t campiness, but there was certainly a levity to the comic that I wasn’t expecting. I usually like my comics to be either one end of the spectrum or the other, very immersed in the silliness that the Golden and Silver Age can hold, or more true to life, with more risks at stake. There were few times during Power Girl where I really felt the pressure of the situation.
You know what that did? It really helped the strenuous moments shine. I found myself easily glossing over the troubles of a city plummeting to the Earth, but then my throat clench up when side characters were in trouble. When Gray and Palmiotti wanted my attention, they had it. Mix the rest of the comic with great moments of Power Girl’s business, every day problems, and her stinky cat?
I would be remiss if I did not mention the astounding Amanda Conner. Hands down a comic artist that I want to emulate. And yes, I say that a lot but when I think of Amanda Conner’s work, I think, “This is what comic books should look like.” I love strong lines that still have enough flexibility that you can squeeze a huge range of expressions from them. Amanda Conner is one of those artist that I’ll take the time to copy off of. Her, Stuart Immonen and Humberto Ramos are tops in my book.