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Reviews for Jan 19 comics Part 1

January 24, 2011

I’m having trouble getting back in the writing horse, but here are two reviews, I’ll try to do the rest on Tuesday when we also look at which member of the Fantastic Four bites the bullet.

So here are Power Girl #20 and Supergirl #60

Supergirl #60


Written by: Nick Spencer & James Peaty
Art: Benard Chang
Colors: Blond
Letters: Travis Lanham
Cover Art: Amy Reeder, Richard Friend & Guy Major
Associate Editor: Wil-Moss
Editor: Matt Ildeson

Supergirl #60 and Introduces the new creative team of James Peaty and Bernard Chang to the the title of Supergirl (though this issue is also co-written by Nick Spencer who was originally slated to take over), and introduces a number of new story elements, and sets the tone for the post-New Krypton Supergirl.

Chiefly is the introduction of a new kind of villain for Supergirl a mastermind, named Alex a Harvard University student has invented a social network application that allows people to track Superheroes in real time for fun, though it’s true purpose is to allow villains to ambush and kill superheroes.

Alex holds the philosophy that Earth is being held back because heroes keep stopping it from being taken over by alien empires and those empires could bring advancement to civilization the same way Rome built roads across Europe, the Middle East and Africa. That it is shortsighted to look at the negative effects on one or two generations as opposed to the long term positive effects of colonialism.

This thinking combined with his incredible intelligence and the fact that the comic consciously draws a connection between Alex and Alexander the great, almost makes it painfully obvious that he is supposed to be Kara’s Lex Luthor and most likely has some connection to Lex. Personally if that is truly the case I would have much rather seen Lena Luthor used for this purpose to keep the book more tightly girl oriented.

Alex is also blackmailing a trio of fellow students into helping him with his plan and has apparently murdered another for revealing his plans, I’m assuming they will eventually switch sides and help Supergirl shut Alex down.

Meanwhile Lois Lane, is investigating Cadmus who are apparently experimenting with Kryptonian DNA.

Notably absent from this issue is Lana Lang, It seemed like there were plenty of opportunities to have her present at the Daily Planet to at least show us she was going to continue to be utilized as Supergirl’s main support figure. With Sterling Gates run neatly capping itself it’ll be interesting to see if the new writer keeps the Linda Lang personae as a viable part of Supergirl’s life, or builds on her affiliation with the Bat and Wonder families.

The issue ends with Supergirl going toe to toe with the deadly quartet of Metallo, Kryptonite Man, Silver Banshee and Parasite, possibly the most effective team you could put together to slay a Kryptonian (missing only Reactron and his Gold Kryptonite).

The Art by Bernard Chan is perfect for this book… Supergirl looks great and she’s not drawn like some impossible barbie as some artists have a tendency to do. My only complaint is one panel where the art is reused but is made to look out of focus in the second panel so as to hide it… it’s gorgeous art though, and fits the character perfectly.

I do have one question, why is the S-logo on the cover for the “January special treatment” pink? The color Pink is not associated with Supergirl in any way and her logo is exactly the same as Superman’s, it’s rather irksome.

Quality Rank 4/5 -Very promising new direction for the character, but could have a few minor improvements-
Out of the Fridge Rank 4/5 – Alex makes some disparaging remarks about women, but then he is a villain. It’s good to see Supergirl’s character development over the last two years isn’t being derailed and she’s fully grown into the role of Metropolis’ defender, as always Lois Lane is extremely competent. But I’m subtracting a .5 for that pink logo on the cover, really?-
Bechdel Test: Pass, Lois discusses the affairs going on at Cadmus with a woman who has left and is playing whistle-blower.

Powergirl #20


Written by: Judd Winick
Art: Sami Basri
Colors: Sunny Cho & Jessica Kholinne
Letters: John J. Hill
Cover Art: Basri & Cho
Associate Editor: Rache Gluckstern
Editor: Mike Carlin

It’s been a long time since I’ve read an issue of Powergirl, not since I did my previous article on Powergirl’s transformation from a feminist in the 70s to a boob joke in the 2000s, but luckily the current creative team seems to avoid that kind of humour so I might give the book a second chance.
Kara’s company Starr industries is on the verge of bankruptcy but she’s unable to attended the court proceedings, in her secret identity as Karen Starr, because she is investigating a Cadmus Lab. Seems Cadmus has been experimenting with Kryptonian DNA (just like Lois found out in this weeks Supergirl, can we possibly be building up to a major event?), and Powergirl has come to find out what’s going on.

The book still retains a lot of humour but now it’s about playing with Superhero tropes instead of Powergirl’s body. “Don’t clone the dog, dog’s are weird,” Maxwell Lord says, as the Krypto clone turns on it’s masters to side with Kara.

This issue ties into the continuing storyline of Justice League Generation Lost and sets up a cameo for Powergirl in their next issue.

The art is great and not very exploitative, especially for a Powergirl comic, I’m pretty impressed by this creative team.

Quality Rank 4/5
-Some great humor and fun fight scenes-
Out of the Fridge Rank 3/5 -Powergirl is smart, strong and savy.. but she’s the only woman in this book other then a female lawyer on the first page, and she ends the comic mind controlled.
Bechdel Test: Fail.

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