Back to Full Power
Oh Power Girl. Just when I think things are headed in an undesirable direction, you manage to right the ship. Yeah, I hadn't reviewed the last couple of issues of Power Girl because, honestly, I couldn't get excited about them either positively or negatively. They were both pretty... meh filler issues that kinda cancelled one another out as far as story progression. However, Power Girl's 20th issue is a return to what makes reading about this Kryptonian power-house so much fun.
Power Girl has been cloned, she's mad as hell, and she's not gonna take it anymore. Over the last couple of issues, PG has fought a clone of herself, remembered everything about Maxwell Lord and his return to life, subsequently forgotten all that again thanks to Lord's powers, and is now on the trail of the people involved with her cloning. This leads her to the site of a new Project Cadmus led by one Professor Ivo and facing down several deadly GELFs (Genetically Engineered Life Forms) standing between her and the proof that can lead her to the master plan behind Max Lord's seemingly random acts of violence.
PUNCH. KICK. IT'S ALL IN THE MIND.This issue is a lot of action spliced in with some lightening fast story exposition, but writer Judd Winick handles it in stride. Part of this is because the dialogue he writes sounds extremely natural. Power Girl is an extremely relatable character because, despite the fact she's nearly invulnerable and can shoot lasers from her eyes, she reacts to situations in realistic ways. When she's fighting a group of mutated creatures, she doesn't hesitate to point out the absurdity of it all. The interplay between the more down to Karen and her techno-babbling tech support, Nicholas Cho, is positively hilarious. Of course all of this wouldn't matter if there wasn't a strong narrative thread to latch onto, but Winick does a really impressive job of mixing the care-free brawls and dire story developments. Just when you're enjoying a care-free romp with Karen and a clone of Krypto the Superdog, the conflict comes roaring back into the story with a vengeance.
The other half of the creative team, Sami Basri, continues to impress me with his art. His strengths still lie in his ability to draw tons of life from his characters using their eyes and facial expressions. It also doesn't hurt that, as the series has progressed, he's gotten more comfortable with drawing intense action sequences, and now they're positively a joy to look at. Throw an uncanny ability to make every panel significant, and Basri's become one of my favorite artists in comics today.
Not perfect, but pretty darn closeLooking back on this issue, I'd love to do my, "NO COMIC IS PERFECT" schpeel and point out the nitpicks and flaws I found with this issue, but I honestly couldn't think of anything that made me dislike this ish. I suppose it's not a good jumping on point at all, but that's hardly a negative worth pointing out.
Winick and Basri are making this series a blast to read. It's frenetic, fun, and amazing looking. Power Girl is a series that deserves your attention.
Issue #20 gets 5 star out of 5.