I’ve been casually reading Power Girl ever since it was launched a few months ago – first with a kind of tentative curiosity, but more recently with genuine enthusiasm. As a die-hard Marvelite (can’t say Marvel Zombie anymore, unfortunately…) it’s rare for me to get involved with a DC book on a month-to-month basis, and yet even though it’s snuck up on me a bit, these last two issues made me realise that I’m actually finding Power Girl more entertaining that almost any other superhero book I’m reading right now.
The tone of the book has definite shades of She-Hulk about it, a little bit funny, a little bit sexy, but never particularly reductive or titillating (indeed, no more so than any other superhero comic). This issue is the second part of a 2-part story in which Power Girl fights off a beast accidentally brought to earth by the hilariously 70s-influenced alien, Vartox, who is attempting to woo Power Girl so that he can repopulate his race. The idea of an aliens needing humans to mate with is an idea almost as old as sci-fi itself, and this issue is as much a thoroughly wry deconstruction of the idea as it is a pastiche of it – Vartox’s light-heartedly chauvinistic attitude actually works as a pointed reference to the normal course of this plot, while his fashion sense makes a similar mockery of the way female aliens are presented in series like Star Trek.
As funny as Gray and Palmiotti’s plot and dialogue are, it’s Amanda Conner’s artwork that makes a book like this really stand out. The comic timing is note-perfect, the emotional range vast and nuanced, and the storytelling easily stands alongside the best in the business. Admittedly, the art is fairly cartoonish and not quite as on-trend as some would like – but that gives it a timeless, rather than outdated quality. People often complaining that they want classic superhero books rather than event-driven, mega-crossover titles that take themselves far too seriously, so if you’ve ever found yourself agreeing with that sentiment, then take it from someone who barely ever even reads DC comics: give Power Girl a try immediately.