Recollecting issues #13-18 of Power Girl‘s self-titled series prior to the New 52 reboot, Power Girl: Bomb Squad features our heroine dealing with a hidden enemy out to not only destroy Kara but her alter-ego Karen Starr as well. The run also reintroduces Maxwell Lord as the hidden puppet master who has made everyone but a handful of the former Justice League International members including Booster Gold forget his existence.
Along with the slow rediscovery of who Max is, and what he’s capable of, this six-issue run from writer Judd Winick and artist Sam Basri pits Power Girl against the living bomb Crash out to destroy New York City, a clone of Kara named Divine, and features cameos from Booster Gold and Dick Grayson as Batman (during Bruce Wayne’s lost-in-time storyline).
It may not be the title’s best arc (although it leads up to those issues), but there’s plenty for Kara to tackle here and I quite enjoy her interactions with old friends (especially with Dick Grayson’s Batman). Worth a look.
With Power Girl‘s wild power fluctuations becoming more frequent and dangerous, the Huntress decides it may be time for the pair to consider finding help. After a year-and-a-half of the title focues on the pair to themselves (other than Helena’s friendship with Damian, and Power Girl meeting Supergirl) it appears Worlds’ Finest is finally ready to introduce Earth-2’s Robin and Supergirl to this world’s heroes.
Much of Worlds’ Finest #19 is set-up as Kara’s latest power freak-outs leave Helena stuck in a public park in her pajamas and almost burn down Starr Industries’ board room. Realizing her friend needs all the help she can get, Helena breaks into the Batcave hoping to convince this world’s Batman to help the daughter of another world’s Batman.
I”m glad the pair’s isolation is coming to an end, but I would have preferred the issue to move along quicker rather than simply set-up events for confrontations which apparently won’t even take place in this title (as DC plans to begin the pair’s introduction to the wider DCU in Batman/Superman #8). Worth a look.
After finding a way to temporarily de-power her out of control partner by dunking her in the East River, the Huntress still has to continue her search for the the super-powered tattoo killer (who DC Editorial has unfortunately decided to name “Tats”) who has a personal vendetta against the city’s more glamorous population. Meanwhile, Power Girl continues to try and get her bearings and come to grips with the fact that her powers are now completely out of control.
Because so much of the issue is spent resolving the cliffhanger and Huntress finding a way to stop her best-friend from going nuclear in the middle of the city, little progress is made in the search for their killer. However, the issue does introduce the woman’s boss, a priest of the demon Xazdi whose gifts have allowed her to wreak havoc in the city.
As always the best parts of the comic are the interactions between our two heriones which we get quite a bit of to both open and close the issue. I’m not sure where this Tats/Xazdi storyline is going but I’ll keep sticking around for more of Helena and Kara who next month are finally going to earn their first annual. Worth a look.
As Power Girl heads off for a space adventure hoping that closer exposure to the sun may help stabilize her wonky powers, the Huntress continues to track down the super-powered arsonist targeting models and high-priced galas. Power Girl’s little space voyage isn’t cheap, and despite her hopes things don’t go exactly according to plan as the sun overwhelms her and sends an out-of-control super-charged heroine hurtling back towards Earth.
Helena doesn’t fair much better as the villain strikes another event before the Huntress can stop her. While pursuing the arsonist, Helena gets a front-row seat of her friend returning to Earth which makes Huntress give up her pursuit of her query to save her friend while questioning how someone with Kara’s power-set gets into so much trouble.
With Kara’s powers still on the fritz it may be time for the ladies to call in help, even if it means exposing themselves to possible questions about their origins. Worth a look.
With Power Girl‘s powers on the fritz, Huntress goes it alone trying to bring down a super-powered arsonist targeting models, fashion designers, and the wealthy elite. Over-powered, Helena eventually calls in her best friend who is able to help put out the latest blaze but isn’t strong enough to stop the super-villain from making her escape.
The revolving door on artists for this title continues as R. B. Silva steps in to do the artwork for Worlds’ Finest #16. Although I like Silva’s work, here it has a sharpness and edge to it that doesn’t always fit the characters, particularly the panels of Karen Starr out of costume (which I can’t say for sure is the fault of Silva or the heavy inks of Joe Weems).
Although Power Girl is able to hold it together for the issue’s fight with a New 52 villain who isn’t named, it appears the story of the hero’s wonky powers is going to continue for at least the next few issues. Given Karen’s issues, Huntress carries the bulk of the story well on her own, even if the bad guy gets away. Worth a look.
When the Huntress is abducted by Desaad and his minions, Power Girl jumps through the Boom Tube to rescue her friend. Despite not being a big fan of Desaad, I really enjoyed this issue as it allowed writer Paul Levitz and yet another new artist Emanuela Lupacchino (who has a knack for drawing our heroines, particularly Power Girl) to showcase a determined Kara’s impressive power set without worrying about collateral damage.
Other than a few panels of Desaad torturing Huntress (thankfully nothing too graphic), and her escape and reunion withe Kara, most of the comic features Power Girl ripping through the secret base of the stranded Apokolips‘ scientist. The comic ends on bit a twist as Kara and Helena make it home, but not before Desaad’s final move to screw with Power Girl’s powers.
Over the years Power Girl’s origins and powers have been tweaked several times. I’m assuming this latest move is to try and separate her a little from the New 52 Supergirl, but I’m hoping we aren’t going to see any huge lasting changes to the character. Worth a look.
With the fate of the entire universe at stake Alanna Strange evacuates all life on the planet Earth and gathers its greatest warriors to stand with Hawkgirl against the oncoming force of Sinestra and her legion of Black Lanterns. Although I’m not the biggest fan of the DC’s original Black Lanern arc, writer Jimmy Palmiotti and artist Justin Gray offer their own version of events featuring lots of action.
To help them survive, Power Girl, Supergirl, Batgirl, Robin, Hawkgirl, Green Lantern, Wonder Woman, Flash, Steel, and Strange are all gifted white rings by Metra. Even with the power boost the group of heroines still eventually fall to the never-ending onslaught of death causing the New God herself to get involved and create a new stalemate between life and death with the creation of a new crisis.
Things fall apart for me in the final pages where Metra gets directly involved. I would have preferred the ladies to win the day on their own but the (unsubtle) Motherbox metaphor works okay and sets up new possibilities (albeit for a comic whose days appear to be numbered). Worth a look.
I’ve been less than ecstatic with the increased role Apokolips and Desaad have played in this comic over the past few months. Although Worlds’ Finest #14 continues that trend, it refocuses the book better on our two heroines and their friendship (and less of Desaad’s weird experiments and shadowy plans) in a way that’s been lacking in some of these issues (and reminds me a little of what I miss from Gail Simone‘s original Birds of Prey series).
Robson Rocha seems firmly in place as the title’s new artist and he does a pretty good job here (although he gets a little too liberal in the Power Girl boobs shots even when she’s out of uniform in his issue, and the inking is a little sloppy in terms of definition of the characters’ eyes in a handful of panels).
The story finds the pair still under attack as Desaad’s warriors continue to burn down their safe houses and try to grab all of Karen Starr’s research on travel to parallel worlds. The ends in a very public attack on another Starr Industries headquarters as Huntress and Power Girl split up to deal with soldiers and Parademons out for their heads.
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The latest issue of Worlds’ Finest picks up with Power Girl and the Huntress looking for answers as to how long Desaad has been masquerading as as Michael Holt and how his illegal takeover of Starr Industries was allowed to continue. Oh, and they fight a really, really big dog.
While working to create a new evil minion (a gruesome subplot I could have done without), Desaad sends a giant hell beast after the heroines. Fighting it off once, the pair are later attacked a second time in Helena’s favorite safe house when the dog tracks them down.
For a series that has been schizophrenic with its art, we finally get an issue with a single artist. I don’t love Robson Rocha’s art but it’s passable and he certainly has a flair for drawing Power Girl in action. The idea of the pair fighting a giant hell dog sounds more fun that the actual adventure, and I could do with less Apokolips-centric storylines (which at this point doesn’t seem likely). Hit-and-Miss.
Influenced by the Star Sapphire bequeathed to her by a dying alien on the moon, astronaut Carol Ferris returns to Earth and picks a very public fight with Power Girl over the heart of Jimmy Olsen. Unprepared for the situation, Power Girl is saved by Earth’s new Green Lantern, Jade (the young blind Chinese woman who was introduced in last month’s issue).
The second-half of the issue deals with the introduction of a new villain to the Ame-Comi Girls Universe. This means we get Sinestra, a female version of Sinestro who was banished to the Anti-Matter Universe after nearly destroying her own, as well as the introduction of the yellow power ring and the Black Lantern Corps (which the character led before her exile).
Personally, I’d have preferred the comic to stay away from the various rainbow corps other than Sinestra (especially the Black Lanterns), but the introduction of the backstory of the character is certainly no more ridiculous than Geoff Johns‘ original concept. Worth a look.