It’s not many four-star comics that begin with a woman sitting on the toilet and her cat sticking its butt in her face, but “Power Girl” #9 is definitely one of them (or the only one of them). Beginning with the morning after last issue, this one creates a sense of business by cramming a lot of information and events into the first six pages before transitioning to a fight between Power Girl and Satanna and her animal army that’s slightly more relaxed, but not by much.
Beginning with the frantic pacing establishes just how busy Power Girl is in her civilian life as she tries to get her company off the ground and contend with a mysterious person who keeps having envelopes with pictures of her removing her clothes to reveal her costume. The latter leads to some hijinks involving a towel and a little boy running away as fast as he can. All of this would be very difficult to read were it not for Amanda Conner’s ability to get the most visual humor out of any sequence and to fill the page with panels without getting lost.
The shift from a hectic personal life to a more relaxed pacing inverts the normal expectations well since fighting a bunch of animal warriors robbing a bank almost seems like a break from that other stuff for Power Girl. She doesn’t exactly see it that way, but at least this is the sort of problem she can handle with too many difficulties. That is, until Satanna shows up with a weapon specially designed to bypass her invulnerability. It’s a pretty clever idea and executed well, particularly Satanna’s back-up weapon, which is probably the funniest play on the giant hole in the chest of Power Girl’s costume that I’ve seen.
A lot of the issue is playful about Power Girl’s looks and sexuality, but doesn’t fall into a dangerous area, thankfully. Gray, Palmiotti, and Conner all work to make those parts as funny as possible without being too lewd or degrading. Kara losing her towel is less a chance to show a conveniently-covered Power Girl naked and more a ‘look at how bad her day is beginning’ moment. This comic is definitely more “Empowered” than “Tarot.”
The action, while more relaxed, isn’t depicted in a series of splashes or two-panel pages. Aside from one or two instances of that, most pages have four or more panels as Conner deftly draws the progression of the fight between Power Girl and the bad guys, creating a sense of quick movements and frenetic energy, while maintaining clarity. As always, her facial expressions are amazing throughout the issue, but stand out during the fight sequence as she avoids the typical gritted teeth look that so many artists rely on.
This is a fun, entertaining issue of “Power Girl” that reminds me of a Spider-Man comic if you ignore Kara’s lack of romantic problems. Her personal life is a mess and her superhero life isn’t much better. To anyone who claims to hate the overly violent and darker superhero comics out there: this is the book for you.