By Justin Gray & Jimmy Palmiotti (writers), Amanda Conner (artist), Paul Mounts (colorist)
Some Thoughts Before the Review: I like the Earth-2 orphans; and although Power Girl has always had the potential to be an intriguing character, she’s become best known for only a couple of features, so I have to admit that I approached this issue with pretty low expectations.
The Story: Power Girl is setting up shop in New York, re-establishing a secret identity, setting up a company and creating the potential for a social circle. Then, robots drop out of a vortex in the sky as a wave of fear starts driving New Yorkers psychotically bananas. PG does her best to stop the robots, but is eventually overwhelmed and pulled into the vortex, where she finds the Ultra-Humanite.
What’s Good: I loved the interweaving of Karen Starr’s personal life and Power Girl’s struggle with the robots and the Ultra-Humanite. It takes a skilled writer to weave themes together through action and flashback without losing any of the tension or messing up the pacing. Gray and Palmiotti succeeded.
As for the art, it is first-rate. It has a bit of a cartoonish feel, but without any loss of detail. In fact, the facial expressions were great as they told a lot about the story and the characters without narration or dialogue. All in all, some pretty impressive strengths.
What’s Not So Good: When dealing in superheroes, writers have to walk a fine line between giving the reader a sense of wonder and awe, while not drifting into the absurd. When the Ultra-Humanite’s fear effect had people killing each other all over New York, I thought of the trigger for Marvel’s Civil War. A bunch of deaths are no small thing, so the blasé treatment in the book left me wondering how seriously to take the story. When the Ultra-Humanite lifted all of Manhattan into the air, I felt we’d crossed a line.
Conclusion: I think Gray and Palmiotti did a great job with this first issue. PG was introduced into her new environment and an insane killer is sicked on her. It will take a few issues to figure out how Gray and Palmiotti want us to take the series: whether it is meant to provide eye candy and laughs or whether they intend to cement a multi-dimensional character into the center of the DC mythos.