After a series of character driven one-shots that collected the digital first episodes, all of which were connected into one big story, DC (it seems) decided to make Ame Comi girls an ongoing team book. And so last week we had Ame Comi Girls #1, the beginning of the Rise of the Brainiac story.
As I have said before, I had no plans to read this book mostly because the costumes are so ridiculous I felt they would detract from any story that was being produced. Enough people whose opinions I respect recommended the book as a fun and wild ride, showcasing heroic women (even if they are barely dressed). And, somewhat surprisingly, I have agreed with their assessment. This is a crazy book which is very entertaining.
Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Gray continue a breakneck pace bringing all the heroic women and villainous women of this Ame Comi Earth together to save the world. The art this issue is by Eduardo Francisco and he takes advantage of the Ame Comi dress to show lots of half-butts right smack dab in front of me. I know I shouldn't be surprised ... this is Ame Comi. Outside of that, his art is very good. He is called upon to draw wild big action shots with many characters as well as some quieter moments and does both with a nice anime flair.
The big loser in this issue? (sigh) Supergirl. She spends the issue brainwashed by Brainiac, tossed around by Wonder Woman, and eventually hog-tied. I guess I shouldn't be surprised.
Here is a brief review.
The Dark Supergirl arrived last issue and sort of wiped out the lower tier heroes. That explains Steel, Flash, Catwoman, and Robin all unconscious or trapped on the background.
With the undercard out of the way, the main event starts: Wonder Woman versus Supergirl. This is pure warrior Diana as she vows to bury her sword in Supergirl's chest.
Meanwhile, Batgirl sneaks onto Brainiac's ship in hopes of shutting things down. Since the computer has organic components, Batgirl realizes she can shut this thing down the same way she would shut down a human's nervous system. A jolt from a taser does the job, temporarily short circuiting Brainiac and her drones.
It is a nice moment and pretty smart and brave of Babs.
As I said, Supergirl gets treated pretty shabbily here. Screaming her death threats, she gets tossed around by Wonder Woman for several pages. I was hoping Supergirl would be the hero here somewhere.
With the pause in the fight, the others regroup. In a nice moment, Catwoman confesses she is probably down to 7 lives after this.
And, as I said above, after getting tossed around by Wonder Woman, Supergirl is tied up and remains helpless for the rest of the issue. Should I be surprised with this treatment by Jimmy Palmiotti?
And there are Diana's cheeks! I don't know if I needed to see them.
And I shouldn't be surprised that Power Girl is the main hero in the story either. Palmiotti loves Power Girl. Heck, I love his Power Girl.
At the center of the Earth, she meets Brainiac's central core drones. Their mission is to start the destruction of the Earth. The Brainiac towers (as seen in the above panel) will suck all the knowledge from humanity, giving Brainiac the information she craves while reducing mankind to neanderthals.
Of course, Karen can reason with the machines, convincing them maybe they should stop this needless act of mayhem.
And there are Karen's cheeks!
One part I did like was the core drones downloading Karen's memories. We see some important moments from her life including a classic Superman-esque shot of her lifting a tractor.
What caught my attention was this kiss. Who is this guy on Ame Comi Earth? Have we met him?
And I shouldn't be surprised that seeing her life convinces these things to break their programming and agree not to destroy the people of Earth.
It is a heroic act and shows how a life helping people can inspire.
Despite the revolt of the her drones, Brainiac isn't done fighting. She thinks she can still win. And she ends up capturing Power Girl with the transfer of information ongoing. Hmmm ... maybe Power Girl doesn't get to do all the heavy lifting in this story.
And we get an even closer look at Karen's cheeks!
I am of two minds with this book.
This issue continued a very fast pace with lots of action and fun moments. I finished the book and was entertained. Power Girl is treated very well. And Wonder Woman also has some nice moments showing her strength and her unwillingness to admit defeat. So that is the good.
Those nice moments contrast sharply with Supergirl's treatment. She is a villain in this book. Maybe I could look that other way a bit more easily if this wasn't happening as the H'El on Earth debacle happened. And, unfortunately, comics are a visual medium and reading this book with these skimpy outfits and gratuitous shots makes me feel just a bit icky. The fun aspect of the story so far has outweighed these downsides. And I suppose I shouldn't be surprised by either of these things.
I think Franscisco's style perfectly fits this book.
Overall grade: B