Friday, August 9, 2013

Review: Ame Comi Girls #6

It was recently announced that Ame-Comi Girls was being cancelled and I have to say I felt a bit down when I heard that news. I picked up the first issue because of the Amanda Conner art. I stuck around because I knew Supergirl was going to be featured. But around the Power Girl solo issue I was hooked. One thing that I always say is that comics are supposed to be the fun part of my life. And part of that means that I occasionally want to have a book in my folder which is pure fun, something without the albatross of 'continuity', something funny and filled with action and written and drawn with zest. Ame Comi Girls has been a book like that.

Ame-Comi Girls #6 came out this week, ending the first long arc that book has gone through. And this would have been a wonderful last issue, a way to end the series with a massive opening for a sequel. I suppose I should be happy there is a little more to come after this.

Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Gray write a fun wrap-up, bringing in elements of the DCU from Crisis on Infinite Earths to New Gods, but always with the popcorn fun feeling that has been synonymous with this book. Art is handled by 2 teams, Eduardo Francisco pencils and inks the bulk of the book and brings an elan to the proceedings. Hector Domingues and Ruben Gonzalez finish the book and bring a very polished look to the book.

Given this is a Supergirl blog, I might lean towards covering the story through her actions. But I felt I needed to showcase her efforts given that she was either evil or comatose for most of this book.

With Brainiac defeated, the book opens with the Girls relaxing a bit.

I liked the interaction between Supergirl and Power Girl on the opening page as Karen talks about saving the environment of Eaeth naturally. But before they can get too settled, they are zipped away.

Another thing I liked about this book was the personality that Palmiotti and Gray have given each character. This could have been a superficial book done solely for cheesecake. But instead we get a bit of depth for each of the characters. Sometimes that can be accomplished with just a couple of lines.

Hearing that Batgirl is attracted to Tim Drake lets us know something about her. Hearing that Robin is attracted to Kirk Langstrom and thinks he is a 'badass hottie' tells be volumes about her.

The characters who have had some time devoted to them - Wonder Woman, Power Girl, Hawkgirl, Supergirl, these two, Jade, even Duela - they felt three-dimensional. That is pretty impressive.

But all the characters are whisked away like Power Girl and Supergirl were. They are 'needed' and find themselves on Rann where Alana Strange and Hawkgirl tell the heroes about the upcoming universal threat of Sinestra.

I am a sucker for these 'united against a common threat' storylines. But this scene, while a bit smaller in volume, reminded me of another famous comic scene.

With the title of 'Earth in Crisis' and heroes teleported to discuss a threat to everything. It reminded me of this famous scene from Crisis on Infinite Earths #5 when the Earth's heroes are brought to the Monitor's satellite to discuss the Anti-Monitor's plans.

Anything that reminds me of Perez Crisis art is a good thing.

Alana has a plan. With Sinestra speeding to Earth, Alana is zeta-beaming all life from Earth to 'Eden', a world she created to temporarily house all of Earth's life while the planet is defended.

And she has a back-up plan. Metra, a new god, a powerful 'sentient big bang' lies in waiting.

Hey, this is Ame Comi ... I can roll with the fact that Strange could create such a thing. That's the freedom of living outside the DCU, a place I monitor more closely.

And in an homage to Blackest Night, Metra's power (even while she stays in a sort of hibernation) spills forward converting the heroes into White Lanterns, powered up to fight the yellow and black lantern troops of Sinestra.

I also get a kick out of these sort of scenes, showcasing each character as they power up. The difference in pose and proximity is a nice touch. I like Hawkgirl's the best. Perfect for her character. I see this page playing out on a big screen in a movie style showing each character.

Sinestra arrives on Earth only to find it empty of all life except the heroes. The zeta beam rescue effort worked.

The Ame Comi Girls split into two factions, half taking the fight to Sinestra's fleet into space. The other half stay on the ground to fight landing troops.

It was great to see Supergirl in action here, focusing her efforts on disabling the troop ships. It is hard to get Hawkgirl's respect so I liked that she recognized Kara's efforts.

But this is a losing battle. The girls are massively outnumbered. And if a Yellow Lantern falls, it simply rises as a Black Lantern. Slowly, one by one, the heroes all fall, becoming zombie minions of Sinestra.

I did like this moment near the end of the battle when Supergirl is glad that she isn't going to die alone, that the fight was worth fighting. This is so different from recent interpretations of Supergirl where she has wanted to isolate herself.

All this self-sacrifice finally spurs Metra to action.

In a classic yin-yang, 'there can be no life without death', 'there can be no light without shadow', Metra fights Paralactic (the fear/death demon inside Sinestra), embracing her and realizing that both are necessary components of the universe, but equals. Paralactic cannot dominate as she has. The scales need to be reset.

I really like the Kirby-esque design of Metra. And given the nature of this book, this design is almost dowdy.

Sometimes small things in comic art make huge difference in the story telling. This is the only panel where one of the characters breaks the borders of the panels. Even that slight breakthrough, just the tip of Metra's hair, lends her power, makes her feel bigger and more powerful. That wouldn't carry that much clout if it was happening throughout the book.

With Metra and Paralactic now merged or realigned, the universe is recreated! There is Earth, a planet of good. And there is another planet, one of darkness. While not named New Genesis and Apokolips, it has that sort of feeling.  It also feels like Crisis on Infinite Earth 11, where a new Earth is formed from the

I wonder if the 'new universe' is an excuse for Palmiotti and Gray to put the characters into any variant Ame Comi costumes they have been dressed in for the merchandise line?

So fast, fun, and surprisingly strong on character development, Ame Comi Girls has been way way way better than I anticipated. Kudos to all the creators.

Overall grade: B+/B


Anonymous said...

This was a series with potential, a universe where the Legacies are the only heroes at all...and still somehow Supergirl gets sidelined amidst all the PowerGirlmongering. I hope DC revisits the universe again, so many interesting stories to tell....


Anj said...

I agree that there is a lot of stories that could be mined from this world.

I hope it can be revisited as well. Maybe a once a year special?