When I started this review, I did a “Save As. . . “ from my “Supergirl” review for the week and only had to change three letters, one number and add one space for the name of my new document. Both issues have new starts for their characters. Both are trying to reach out to new fans. Both feature young ladies from Krypton, yet they couldn’t be more different.
As if speaking to the difference between the characters, the art between the two books is vastly different in style, hue, and tone. This issue is non-standard by comic terms, looking more like a manga story than a superhero story.
The art IS fabulous, but pale for Power Girl. Power Girl’s personality is bold and brash, so the colors should be, too. Power Girl doesn’t hold back, something that Amanda Conner’s art captured perfectly. This isn’t Amanda Conner’s art, though. This is Sami Basri, and it surprised me how well Basri’s style works for this book. There are no black lines in this book, which gives it a more cozy feel, a less brash effect. That said, Gho’s colors perfectly complement Basri’s art, and I could easily be swayed from my call for bold, primary colors.
Basri’s art meets Winick’s writing to give us what is essentially issue #1 of the second season of “Power Girl.” Winick has titled this story “The Lord Hath Taken Away,” a clever play on words and characters as Power Girl is drawn into a fight she doesn’t realize yet. The complications of her heroic life and her corporate life seem set to converge, which puts the staff of StarrWare on the page. Winick is defining the characters who will be important when Karen Starr isn’t wearing her cape, something Gray and Palmiotti did, but not in the same fashion as Winick does here.
The end result is the most introspective Power Girl has been, which falls short of whining and undecisive -- two things Power Girl should never, ever lapse into.
The gist of the issue is a recap of “Brightest Day” #0 and #1, but through a perspective we haven’t seen yet. We’ve seen Max Lord wiping his existence from the memories of the world, but we haven’t seen what that experience was like on the receiving end. Until now. The experience gives us a nice, well-placed recap of who Power Girl is, allowing Winick to move past PeeGee’s often convoluted history and focus on her adventures now.
All of us who spent time griping about the earrings Power Girl is wearing in the preview, that’s covered. Spent some time grousing over Booster Gold being portrayed as a moron? That’s covered too. Other heroes do still think Booster’s just in this for Booster, but Winick does let us in on the fact that some of those heroes actually care abut Booster Gold the person.
I’ll admit, once I saw Jimmy Palmiotti, Justin Gray, and Amanda Conner were leaving this title, I had every intent of walking away as well. Basri’s cover and the preview art I’ve seen convinced me to give this issue a try. I’m glad I tried it. DC did a good job acknowledging that no one could -- nor should anyone -- try to emulate Palmiotti, Gray, and Conner. The best thing to do here was to just go in a different direction. So far, that plan is looking like a great idea.