Tuesday, September 26, 2023

Power Girl #1 Review


Written by: Leah Williams
Art by: Eduardo Pansica, Júlio Ferreira
Colors by: Romulo Fajardo Jr.
Letters by: Becca Carey
Cover art by: Gary Frank, Brad Anderson
Cover price: $3.99
Release date: September 26, 2023

Power Girl #1 picks up from the short stories in Action Comics with Karen... err, PG... err, Peej... err, Paige Stetler settling into her new secret identity as a tech researcher raising money for sustainability. Unfortunately, a space pirate comes calling to interrupt Paige's charity work.
Is Power Girl #1 Good?

Color me shocked, flabbergasted, and (briefly) speechless. Power Girl #1 is pretty okay. It's not a game changer, and it's not going to set the world on fire, but it's a perfectly decent Power Girl comic. Sure, there are one or two annoyances, but if a new reader wants to get to know Power Girl, this issue is a decent start.

Leah Williams's script centers on the recently renamed Power Girl, Dr. Paige Stetler, who works with her partner, Omen, to do some good in the world. With Superman's help, Paige created her new identity to work in the tech sector with Steelworks and build a better tomorrow for Earth.

During a charity event featuring an auction for an assortment of alien wares and Atlantean art, space pirates attack, led by new villain Amalak, to relieve the wealthy auction attendees of their wealth and the auction of its artifacts. Power Girl ultimately wins the fight, but Amalak escapes, and Power Girl carries off a self-destruct bomb to the wrong place (the Ocean), causing an International incident with Atlantis.

A bad night leads to bad news when Superman, in a heart-to-heart, reminds Paige she has to think more and panic less. Superman also asks Paige to go to South America to investigate a lethal virus that appears to come from Paige's Krypton.

That sounds like a lot is going on. Perhaps too much for a single floppy, but Williams paces the issue well, doesn't get bogged down in excessive dialog and narration, and hits all the story beats to keep the energy up. It's no secret Leah Williams has yet to produce a successful comic at the Big 2, despite an excessive number of opportunities, so to be blunt, I was expecting the worst. However, I'll admit Williams did a decent job here.

What's great about Power Girl #1? Beyond the technical basics of plotting and pacing, the new villain (Amalak) is intriguing, the possible connections between Amalak's hatred for Kryptonians and a new virus present an interesting mystery, and Paige is positioned well for character growth.

What's not so great about Power Girl #1? Admittedly, the down points aren't show-stoppers, but you'll notice them. The recurring presence of the Blue Earth movement is becoming a DC trope that adds nothing to the story. Omen, surprisingly, adds nothing to the story except a bad attempt at comic relief. And Paige's charity seems ill-conceived from the start (Why would you auction off alien tech from a supplier you don't know when the potential for danger is obvious?). Collectively, these down points are nitpicks and boneheaded creative decisions, but they need to be bigger to interfere with the main plot.

How's the art? Maybe I'm getting soft in my old age, but the art team makes William's decent script even better. Pansica and Ferreira give readers excellent figure work, clean lines, and power-packed action. Combined with Fajardo Jr.'s coloring, this art team is a winner.

About The Reviewer: Gabriel Hernandez is the Publisher & EIC of ComicalOpinions.com, a comics review site dedicated to indie, small, and mid-sized publishers.

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Bits and Pieces:

Power Girl #1, surprisingly, is not bad. With a new alter ego and a new purpose in civilian life, Power Girl #1 is a solid mix of personality, action, and intrigue. Mix a good script from Williams with an excellent art team, and you get a decent comic.


1 comment:

  1. So as a long time comic reader, I can’t say I’m happy at all with the direction PG is going in. I hate the new name and I hate how they’ve dumbed her down. Karen was ALWAYS confident and ready to hold her own. She never needed Superman to guide her or tell her how to be.a hero. The original Superman already took care of all that, Instead, she has been turned into Supergirl, with less reader interest. She did not need to be changed. A good writer would know how to use her. If you’re going to change everything about her, then just start a new character and leave her be. Plus, who exactly is she? Is she from Earth 2? Is Earth 2 destroyed? It seems like DC can’t make up their minds, by the recent Justice Society comic. Now, they are apparently all from Earth Prime but just lost in time or something. PLEASE make SOMETHING cannon! Pick a planet already. Tell us how the JSA fit into the new Earth, because otherwise, there are TWO Powergirls! WHO IS SHE? WHERE HAS SHE BEEN? DC has two VERY different books out about her. Clean this up ASAP! The best parts about Powergirl, was she was fiercely independent. She was reliable and trustworthy, if not lost and missing her Kal-L. She would never feel she was a lesser Supergirl. I’m very disappointed in this. I would have rather they sent her back to Earth-2 with the entire JSA. Give her a home or just tell a Supergirl story already. It doesn’t seem like DC is able to do either. What a waste.