With only one more issue left in their run, Justin Gray, Jimmy Palmiotti, and Amanda Conner deliver a powerful climax to the ongoing Ultra-Humanite saga, and set up what's sure to be an explosive finale.
"Power Girl" #11 isn't as funny as some of the previous issues, and Amanda Conner doesn't get a chance to provide quite as many visual gags as usual, but this is an issue that resolves some of the larger plot threads and provides a good, old-fashioned superhero fight sequence that rages underwater, through molten lava, and into the sky. Something big and bold and beautiful, unrestrained and yet emotionally relevant.
For in this issue, Power Girl fights her friend Terra -- or Terra with the mind of the Ultra-Humanite -- and it's not as easy as punching her lights out. Some problems can't be solved with fists, and Power Girl has a plan.
What's impressive about the Gray/Palmiotti/Conner "Power Girl" is the apparent ease with which the story is told. This is an issue that features a multitude of strange characters, alien landscapes, superheroes and villains, mind-swapping, and the highest of the high-tech, yet it feels like a natural unfolding of events. This thing reads incredibly smoothly, and that shows the charming directness of the writing and the clean storytelling in the artwork. Conner, in particular, displays her astonishing talent on every page, whether she's asked to draw three panels or twelve. She's great at creating large, imposing images and equally adept at showing expressive body language in tiny little tableaus.
Though this isn't one of the funnier issues, it's not without its sense of humor -- and moments of surprise -- like the quick heat vision blasts that disarm her opponent or the hairless ape sidekick.
With the creative team leaving the series after next issue, "Power Girl" is effectively coming to an end. It may limp on with a new writer and a new artist, and it may even be a good comic, but it won't be the kind of comic it has been for the past year. Comics like this are hard to come by -- smart, funny, whimsical, emotionally-charged, energetic, and bold. Enjoy it while it lasts.