Thursday, January 31, 2013

More Morrison On Action

It had been rumored before but DC made it official this week, announcing that there will be one more issue of Grant Morrison's run on Action Comics. Here is a link to Newsarama's coverage:

Action Comics #17, the original 'last issue' of Morrison's mega-arc, has been pushed back a couple of weeks and trimmed from 48 pages to 40. This will be the issue with the Terry Dodson variant cover.

Action Comics #18 is the 'new' last issue of the run, is solicited to be released in early March (2 weeks after Action #17) and carries the cover at the top of the post. This book will be 48 pages.

As a huge fan of this Morrison run, I can't complain about getting a whole other issue. I also think this will allow Morrison space to not only tell a satisfying ending but also maybe add a coda or epilogue of sorts, expanding this story into something more cosmic, something more messianic.

Here is a peek at the Dodson cover which looks great.

This arc keeps growing and that makes me a happy reader.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Mike Maihack Supergirl/Batgirl Commissions

I have showcased Mike Maihack's Supergirl/Batgirl comics and commissions a number of times on this blog. Maihack seems to capture the essential characteristics of these characters while keeping an unshakeable feeling of joy and humor. I have been very happy to see more SG/Bg stuff from Mike Maihack now and again.

Recently on his blog, he has posted a couple of commissions which I thought I would share here.
Here is the link to Maihack's blog and the first commission:

One thing I like about these little webcomics and commissions is how Maihack is able to showcase the differences in approach to super-heroics between the two heroes while making it feel completely natural for them to be friends.

Here a more serious Batgirl looks over her shoulder while Supergirl flies by smiling. I think Maihack's Supergirl is always smiling.

I will also say that this commission is a little ... um ... cheekier ... than usual Maihack fare. There is a sense of coy 'come hither' from that Batgirl.

Maihack also posted this second SG/BG commission here: 

I like this one a lot. It has the feel of a post-adventure moment of zen, Kara elated at victory, Babs just soaking it all in. Again, smile abound.

I can only hope that Maihack makes it to an eastern seaboard comic con so I can meet him.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Review: Legion Of Super-Heroes #16

Legion of Super-Heroes #16 came out last week and I thought it was a very good issue.

I have complained in the past that the main problem of this title has been its inability to build momentum, to have big stories, to get somewhere. While there has been great characterization, a staple of writer Paul Levitz' books, the plots have been troubling. Where it was the Legion of Super-villains last volume, or the Dominator problem, or rest issues about Chemical King, or the Dragonwing stories, these have all been muddled or forgettable.

So when another 'rest issue' was announced, another issue where we 'checked in' on the Legionnaires, I initially cringed. Wouldn't that just slow things down more?

Instead this issue continued to move some plots forward, while peeking in on some members we haven't seen in a bit, and lastly has a great surprise ending. There is nothing like an old-fashioned Legion leader election to stir the pot a bit. And maybe after the lackluster Super-titles this week, an issue like this was like a warm bath, comfortable.

The art is by Scott Kolins and it is fine here. His rough style actually works quite well on Validus.

The election is the backdrop of the story as we peek in around the Legion HQ, hearing snippets of conversations. It was fun to hear Ultra Boy joke about his being elected once. It was reassuring to hear Chemical Kid stump for Element Lad. I would think that Kid might have run himself earlier this year, thinking he knew it all. So nice little growth there.

But this line stuck out a bit. Now I know that Dream Girl has always been a bit of a vamp. But she has also been fiercely loyal to Star Boy. During the Dominator arc, I thought for sure a Dreamy/Brainy ('Drainy'?) romance was going to happen. So for her to say something like she is 'available', even in the context of being elected, makes me wonder if she is ready to move on from Thom. Again, probably something that only long-time Legion readers (are there any other) might pick up on. Subtle.

And I thought that Brainy was going to end up with Dreamy back in the Dominator arc too. Instead he is seen walking arm in arm with Harmonia Li. I guess I can understand his interest in her. She is a scientist. But there is as much wisdom in her as there is intelligence.

Still I wonder if she is ready for romance with someone so rigid in his assessments. Wisdom means bending sometimes. Here Harmonia looks visibly steamed that Brainy sort of disparages Dragonwing's upbringing.

Meanwhile the Espionage squad continues its research on the Fatal Five. If the Persuader's axe was an illusion, maybe Validus himself is an illusion on Takron-Galtos.

The team of Cham, Vi, and Ayla head there to investigate. And Cham and Vi head into the Inertron cube prison cell that Validus is constantly banging against. Meanwhile Ayla stays outside.

I thought this was a great exchange. For one, the smile on Ayla's when talking about 'her Vi' was sweet. And Gravity Kid, now working on Takron Galtos, wonders why Lightning Lass, one of the most powerful Legionnaires, isn't in the cell too. So, as an Ayla fan, I was glad to see her recognized as in the upper echelon of Legion strength.

But the best thing was her saying that her power would be meaningless in the cell. That raw power isn't always the answer. I wonder if that simple lesson, or Gravity Kid's still ignorance of it, is what kept him off the Legion roster.

Back on Earth, Star Boy sounds like he is a tired man, maybe ready to retire from the Legion.

It has been a tough couple of years for Thom, insane in the 21st century, returned as a physically broken man to the future, and then pulled out of rehab to rescue Dreamy, fighting off Dominator hordes. I don't think this moment in the Hall of Heroes is a foreshadow to his death. I think of it more that he is ready to retire before he ends up there. I wonder if that will be the final straw in breaking up this longstanding romance.

As an aside, I liked seeing the 'Legion Lost' members immortalized in statues here. It shows that they aren't forgotten. I still hope they make it back to the future.

And how about a peek at another troubled romance? It looks like Mon-El is ready to rekndle his romance with Shadow Lass.

This scene also showed me that Levitz is great when it comes to characterization. We are less than a year out of Earth Man's death. While it would be very easy to settle back into the status quo of Mon-El and Shady together, it wouldn't make sense. Even Mon-El telling her to move on and trying to get cozy like this seemed a bit oafish ... almost sleazy.

Shady squelches any ideas of a reconciliation. She storms off telling him support for him a Legion Leader will be there, but romance is out of the question.

And while the Fatal Five seems to be in the on-deck circle for the Legion to fight, I think we all know that something Glorith/Time Trapper related has to be slated soon thereafter. Glorith is cornered by Brainy into undergoing more tests and, as expected, things swirl a bit crazily. I think there is a lot brewing under the calm and innocent exterior of Glorith.

Really what I want to see is some Black Witch time now. There is enough happening that the Legion should be asking Mysa some tough questions about Glorith.

I don't exactly understand why Cham uses this strategy. But he takes the form of Validus and that somehow makes the 'real' Validus fade away as an illusion. So it seems the Fatal Five seem to be reformed ... but for who knows how long.

It is interesting that this was not only a visual illusion, but one with sound, and tactile as people felt the tremors of this thing's pounding on the walls. That is more than a simple hologram. Sounds almost Sensor-Girlish.

And is Vi being possessed by the Eye as seen the early 2011 Legion Annual still in continuity?

As I said, the best thing about this issue was sort of cruising around and reading these small moments.

I thought that this conversation between Cos and Mon-El was great. At the potential end of his time as Leader, Mon-El wonders if he was effective. Looking back at all that has happened, including the current Fatal Five stuff, it hasn't been a peaceful time.

Cos has always been the sort of backbone of the Legion, the sounding board, the voice of experience. So I thought this brief bit, about how things aren't simple any more, that there is a full cemetery of Legionnaires, that they don't always win, but that they have saved lives ... I thought that was poignant. I can imagine that running the Legion has to be extremely stressful.

And then, a nice surprise ending. Phantom Girl has won the election!

I don't think I would put her at the top of my ballot but I think, in retrospect, it makes perfect sense.

She is intelligent. She is a lifer. She seems to have a solid core, rarely getting flustered. And I think she has common sense never getting to high or too low.

I look forward to seeing how she runs the big board.

So what can I say. This issue was exactly the sort of issue that I have complained about in the past. And yet, for one of these 'catch up' issues, it was meatier, had more great character moments, and moved some of the plots ahead, much better than ... let's say ... this Legion rest issue. I do wonder if newer readers might like the smaller moments less than I did.

And Tinya running the show! That should be fun!

Overall grade: B+

Monday, January 28, 2013

Review: Superboy Annual #1

Superboy Annual #1 came out this week, a sort of ancillary chapter to the H'El On Earth storyline.

There is a lot to talk about in regards to this annual, unfortunately not much of it revolves around the story. This is an annual, a bigger issue than the standard monthly book, but the story seems small. It feels like this could have easily been told in 20 pages (or less) but instead we have a sort of retread of scenes and even dialogue within the issue itself. As the two heroes battle monsters in several 'dimensions', Superboy states he is snarky many times, he says Superman lectures several times, Superman denies lecturing but then wonders if he does twice. Superboy says "egocentric much" and "paranoid much" within a 3 panel sequence.

So even though there are some nice scenes where Superman and Superboy are getting to know each other, revealing some of their backgrounds to each other, and maybe appreciating each others' viewpoint a little, the problem is these scenes seem to repeat themselves here, as if the story needed to be stretched to fill the page count.

And I don't think I am wrong in my guess that there were some last minute rewrites and finagling of this book. For one, look at that art list. Could some of these artists be brought in last minute to redraw some pages to fit the new script?

And let's not forget the original cover and solicit  for this book.

Written by TOM DeFALCO

• As the battle to stop H’El rages on, Superman learns the truth about just what Superboy is...But is it the whole truth?
• Rose Wilson of The Ravagers crashes back into Superboy’s life — and she’s got some dangerous new ideas about his destiny!
• And if you thought the drama between Superboy and Superman was intense...Just wait until Rose’s father enters the mix!

While Rose appears in one flashback panel, there is no Deathstroke to be seen here. Now there is a man/woman pair within the story that might just be placeholders for the Deathstroke/Ravager spots in the original story.

So what we get is a book which only touches on H'El on Earth tangentially. It is a muddled story. And in the end, this feeling that things aren't quite right here takes away from some interesting introspection by Superboy.

I'll also add that Tom DeFalco's script has Superboy talk in some places like an older guy trying to sound like a young kid. The slang and sarcasm seems forced in some places.

As for the art, you can't get that many artists on one book without it feeling disjointed in some places.

I'll try to focus on the highlights.

We open up with a warped Superboy realizing that he has done something important. He has made a choice, on his own, to do something good ... to do something for someone else.

I think about Superboy right now as a sort of character in a Philip K. Dick novel. He is trying to figure out is he a human or is he an automaton, is he in control or being controlled, is he 'real' or not. And so these critical moments where he takes a stand, breaks out of his 'I am a weapon' speeches show some growth.

Superman reveals this place is a prison used by a space pirate named Garso, someplace he could send his enemies. And, the conversation is being observed by someone from afar.

Now why this first dimension had to have warped physics, stretching the characters like taffy, I don't know. It doesn't seem to impact things other than to let the artists have some fun with perspective. Because soon after landing here, they end up in another dimension.

I think I have mentioned in some places that Supergirl is being treated shabbily in this arc.

Even here she wonders out loud why Superman would be against the resurrection of Superman. You would think she would want to ask him his reasons. You would think she might ask H'El how he is going to save things.

And the irony of her constantly talking about how the fate of a world is in the balance knowing that it is the fate of Earth not Krypton just makes her sound that much more doltish.

I want an intelligent and strong Supergirl. Someone taken in so quickly by a stranger is neither.

Leaving the warped dimension, the two heroes end up in something more Kansas-like. However, the soil itself comes alive and attacks them. And here is the first of the 'lecturing' back and forth.

What is nice is that Superman reveals his background, growing up on a farm, living his whole life on Earth. In return, Superboy reveals his clone origins, N.O.W.H.E.R.E., and the subliminals he was raised on.

Superman, naturally, has questions about how his DNA got taken and who Superboy is supposed to kill. So I thought these interactions were good as the two seem to be engaging in some camaraderie, Superboy taking in the good things about Superman and Superman listening to how he is perceived. But it is weighed down by some fairly stilted dialogue.

"Paranoid much" just sounds forced, especially one panel away from 'egocentric much'. And this leads Superman to talk about how snarky Superboy is.

This whole aspect of Superboy becoming more independent and recognizing his self-worth is probably the thing I am most intrigued about with his character.

Throughout his stay in this place he feels echoes of pain and sorrow which turn out to be from the place itself. Originally built to be something good (a hospital) she has been corrupted by the pirates into a 'murdering prison', basically weaponized. Of course Superboy is going to feel that this place is a kindred spirit. And of course he is going to want to help her if only to give himself hope.

I don't know how I feel about him having latent telepathy though. This weird version of tactile TK still confuses me.

But those moments seem lost in this rushed and repetitive narrative.

Even simple things like Kara's s-shield being backwards just stand out as this being a rush job.

When it becomes clear that Superboy can communicate with the planetary entity, the two criminals who were peeping decide to show up, hoping Superboy can free them.

Now it is a man and a woman, Garso's brother and his consort, who have been trapped there for years.

Could this pair have been Deathstroke and Rose in some prior incarnation of the script? Could that have been part of the rewrite?

Luckily Superboy can still communicate with this thing and together they send the two criminals away, marooned on some distant asteroid. With them gone, this place can begin to heal and become a healing place again. And now in control of its functions, the planet spits the Supers out, back on Earth just a couple of minutes after they were sucked in.

In the end, it is sort of a 'whatever' moment. We don't know these villains. We don't know this place. It is unlikely we will ever see them again. And the two Supers are back too soon for their disappearance to really effect things.

So does a couple of good character moments between Superboy and Superman save this book? Does Superboy helping someone in his predicament reach independence elevate this? No matter how good those moments are, I just don't think so. There are too many repetitive scenes, too much disconnects in the art flow, too much that makes this just read like a rush job.

And, most of all, it just doesn't progress H'El on Earth at all.

Still, Superboy seems to be moving along on his hero's journey while Supergirl is taking some steps back.

Overall grade: C

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Amazing Heroes #18 (1982)

Amazing Heroes #18 included the second part of the 'Supergirl in Action' character retrospective. I wrote about the first part of this article here. As I said there, Amazing Heroes was one of the first ways I got to learn about the 'behind the scenes' stuff of comics, hearing from the creators for the first time.

This Supergirl article is a bit limited. And while the first part of the article included some more historical elements that were interesting, this part is more of a listing of the stories. I suppose that back in this time, these stories weren't collected and reprinted like today. Those stories appeared occasionally in Superman Family. So this run-down probably served a better purpose back then.

And I suppose I should take this article's title to heart. The title is Supergirl in Action which I suppose means that the writer, Dwight Decker, only wanted to review her time in Action Comics. The secondary title of A Heroine Herstory (ugh) implies more that this would be a true look at all of Supergirl's history to that point (which was early on in the Daring New Adventures time period).

I do find it interesting that Decker, all the way back in 1982, is asking for a more in depth look at Kara's loss and how grief would be a big part of her life. I suppose he was prescient and 30 years ahead of his time. That sounds a lot like what Mike Johnson and Mahmud Asrar are doing now.

Decker does point out that changes are made in Supergirl's history when some of her stories were reprinted in Action Comics and other spots. The details of Argo City slightly change. And there are more severe ones like seen above. Originally Supergirl meets the children of the Legion that met Superboy. Later, when reprinted, they become the actual Legion.

I was hoping for more than a blurb about the stories in each issue of the first couple of years of Action Comics in this second installment. Much of the later Action issues are just glossed over.

Even more disappointing than that was that the entire run of Adventure Comics, her first solo title, and all the Superman Family stories, are reviewed in a cramped short paragraph. I was hoping for more of her story (not Herstory) and how those titles were done.

I have come to believe blog friend Diabolu Frank that the pictures by Jaime in the article are bu Love and Rockets' Jaime Hernandez. I had to post this nice piece showing Supergirl's original costume and the then current hotpants look.

If I had to pick one of these issues to look for, I would definitely pick Amazing Heroes #17. Supergirl is on the cover, looking all 80s snazzy by Kevin Nowlan, and the article is a better historical retrospective.

Happy hunting!

Friday, January 25, 2013

Review: Supergirl #16

Supergirl #16 came out this week and was another chapter in the H'El on Earth storyline. I have complained in the past that Supergirl is being treated pretty shabbily in this arc, falling for everything the villain is saying just a bit too easily and sliding a bit too close to the Jeph Loeb/Joe Kelly bad girl who stands alone, hates everyone and is hated by everyone. Sadly, not only does this issue continue that trend but adds another low for the character, making her fight a hero in a rather inane and inefficient manner.

Now this issue isn't all bad for Kara as there are a couple of nice moments where you can see that Mike Johnson has a grasp of who he wants Kara to be. But I fear that there is an edict from above to make Supergirl the patsy here, isolating her further from the DCnU while Superboy gets closer and closer to Superman. 

Supergirl characterization aside, I also have to say that I am getting a bit tuckered out with the H'El story. We are now 7 issues in, 2+ months of chapters, and while there has been a lot of bluster and some grains of backstory we still don't know much of what is happening here. Who is H'El? What is his plan? Besides going back in time, how does he plan to save Krypton? Why the El connection? I know we still have a whole other month to go in this arc and that revealing too much too soon is just as troublesome as a reader. But it seems all we are seeing here is fights and bickering and not much progression.

As for the art here, Mahmud Asrar continues to do a superb job here. In particular, some of the super-speed scenes are well constructed. And the quieter moments with Kara always seem to shine. On to the review.

The issue starts with a flashback, the arrival of H'El on Earth, staggering bloody from his ship. I still don't quite know what to make of the backwards S on H'El's chest. At times it is there, at times it isn't. Here, it looks like it was scratched in, maybe by H'El itself.

As if things aren't nutty enough in this story, as if the writers and editors don't have enough to explain and wrap up in a satisfactory way, now we have added the Stormfront Horn-Blower and his announcing/signaling the Oracle to arrive as well.

Is H'El part of the Oracle's plan? Or is this coincidence?

As we saw in Superboy #16, the Flash has been sent into the Fortress to try to 'rescue' Kara, to get her out of there and away from H'El. Of course, the heroes don't know that Supergirl is there of her free will, having bought into H'El's plans to go back in time and save Krypton. Now I have lots of questions about this, but they are better asked later.

Right now, Supergirl just wants to toss the Flash out. At the very least, Mike Johnson has her realize the seriousness of her situation. Supergirl says that if she attacks the Flash there is no turning back. Unfortunately, despite realizing that, she attacks anyways.

As for the Flash, too much of his dialogue in this issue starts with 'Superman said' or 'Superman told me'. Still, I liked how he brings his power set to bear against Supergirl.

Here is Asrar at his best, a nice splash page showing Supergirl and Flash sparring. Nice composition all around.

Now I do think it is a bit odd that Kara would decide to fight the Flash on the ground in a test of speed, a fight on his terms with the advantage all his. You would think she might fly above, bathe him with heat vision, solar flare him, or use any other of the powers she has. Perhaps she doesn't want to win here?

In the end she does win, by kneeing the Flash in the face.

Again, Kara says the right thing here, says she doesn't want to hurt anyone. But it is just words since she follows it up with an emphatic 'I will do anything to stop you'. I just think it is a shame that this bright intelligent and strong Supergirl has become such a pawn here.

Realizing that Supergirl won't go willingly, the Flash resorts to Plan B, remove her by force.

That initially takes the two into Superman's intergalactic zoo.

There is something endearing about the Flash being surprised about this.

Again, Kara actually helps the Flash here, zooming him out of the pens before he can be hurt. There is this underlying belief in the sanctity of life in Supergirl, a desire to do no harm. And that makes it all the more frustrating that she is in so deep with H'El.

Here was my favorite moment in the book.

While stomping through the Fortress, Supergirl and the Flash get the attention of Krypto. He initially runs in to defend but that all changes when he sees Kara. What a great reunion, maybe even more meaningful than his reunion with Kal. After all, Kara was old enough to pet him, play with him, cuddle with him back on Krypton.  Look at how happy he looks in that first panel.

But this makes matters worse. Reminded of more things she has lost, Supergirl seems more determined than ever to get back Krypton.

I told you there was a lot of 'Superman told me' dialogue here.

Krypto or no, the Flash is going to bring her in. Even if that means using a super-weapon from the Fortress armory. But before he can use it to any great effect, the Flash is teleported away by H'El.

A bit too easy of an out.

And so here is my big problem with this Supergirl characterization. Not once has she asked H'El exactly what his plan is. How is he getting the energy for this thing? (We know it is by imploding our solar system.) What is he going to do to save Krypton once he gets there?

Don't you think after everything we have heard that Kara would stop this plan if she knew the price was everyone's life on Earth? Shouldn't she be asking this stuff?

Moreover, maybe one of the things Superman should have told the Flash was to tell Kara about H'El's plans. Maybe that would sway here more than being shot at.

And H'El's romantic lines, slathering on stuff about being in awe of Kara, knowing he won't be alone ... all that stuff ... seems a little bit too much too soon. I can't believe she is buying that stuff so easily either.

Still, before attacking her cousin and his friends, a line she knows is a big one to cross, you would think she might want some details.

Oh yeah, and the Oracle is heading our way.

I think I have already said everything I need to say. I just can't stomach Supergirl being played as the patsy here.  Regardless of her love of Krypton, of her grief, I just can't believe she hasn't demanded more from H'El. And I can't believe that Superman told the Flash to rescue her, to use force to remove her, and even where a special gun is hidden, but didn't tell the Flash to clue her in about exploding the sun.

If DC was hoping for that alienated, isolated, angry young Supergirl, this story arc will get her there. And it is a shame because I don't think that is how Mike Johnson sees her. I keep wondering if Johnson has her saying the right thing while the powers make her keep doing the wrong thing.

Just where will this Supergirl be after H'El on Earth? I get the sense in a worse place than she was before.

Overall grade: C

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Brief Review: Ame Comi Girls Featuring Power Girl #4

Much like with Smallville, I am behind the times with 'digital first' releases, waiting until the print copy comes out. I wasn't planning on getting Ame-Comi Girls but after some high praise by Saranga of the Pai blog, I picked up the first three issues.

I will say up front, the costumes are insane, almost idiotic. But once you get past the slips of cloth and navel windows, the story has been a lot of fun. I especially love how in this world women are the only supers - whether it be hero or villain.

Ame-Comi Girls #4, featuring Power Girl, deserved a mention here from me for a couple of reasons. One, it was interesting to see a world where Power Girl exists in the Superman role. Next, it includes the Ame-Comi Supergirl. And lastly, I have to say I wanted to see Jimmy Palmiotti write Power Girl again. I loved the Palmiotti/Conner PG title. And I wanted to see how Palmiotti would handle any Supergirl again. I loved his Wednesday Comics Supergirl but didn't like the party girl from last volumes Supergirl #12.

The art here is done by Mike Bowden and is a highly stylized, thick lined romp. The style completely befits the fun tone of this book. And, I suppose, his Power Girl is ... ahem ... well-rounded enough to be worthy of the Ame-Comi book.

This will be a brief sort of review.

This is a great panel showcasing Bowden's art style. Power Girl is quite buxom here. And people's feet seem pretty chunky. But it has a sort of wild animated feel to it that works here.

And since we can't have a Superman/Lois romance on this Earth, we get a Power Girl/Jimmy Olsen romance. I thought that was a nice touch here. He has a signal watch to get her attention. Lucky for him she is around to save him from some pirates.

Later, just as Karen Starr is about to showcase her clean energy corporate headquarters, she is attacked by a crew of Silver Banshees and a giant robot which sounds like Lex Luthor. Since male heroes/villains aren't the norm here I am guessing. We never actually see whoever is driving the giant green and purple Lexbot.

But what I liked here is Power Girl talking about humanity to these villain.

"I love humanity for all of their ingenuity, their capacity for kindness, and their ability to love". Yes there is a pizza joke in there making it a Power Girl line. But that first part is pure classic Superman. And we haven't seen the current Superman say anything like that.

It is clear that Palmiotti has an affinity for Power Girl. But I love that he sort of ratcheted her up a notch into that Superman level of authority on this world.

And the citizens love her and trust her. Imagine that. When the Lex-bot blasts her into the moon, the citizens of Metropolis rush to her defense, throwing debris at it.

But listen to them: "Power Girl loves out World! Se has done nothing but make our lives better!"

I don't know. I want to see that sort of relationship between hero and city in the Superman books. I have to look for it in Smallville and Ame-Comi Girls.

Power Girl ends up coming back, mopping up the Lex-bot and sending it into the Phantom Zone.

But the issue doesn't slow down there.

A rocket crash lands on the Kent's farm. And inside is Supergirl.

One thing I like here is that Power Girl here truly embodies the Superman story. She was the rocket that crash landed on the Kent farm years ago and was raised by them. So why would another Kryptonian rocket also land there? Hmmm ...

That is a pretty ridiculous costume.

Power Girl is Kara Jor-El. Supergirl is Kara Zor-El. And, unfortunately, the whole 'Supergirl is older' origin is trotted out here too. Couldn't I get Argo City here? Nope, Kara Zor-El looked after infant Kara Jor-El.

At least they didn't attack each other.

But before all the origin details can be hashed out, female Manhunters show up to fight the cousins.

Alas, Supergirl doesn't do to well, being bottled up in some energy bubble early on. I suppose with a whole issue devoted to her next month, Supergirl will have plenty of time to shine. This is Power Girl's time for the spotlight.

And the big bad is finally revealed. Here comes Brainiac. I love the last line by Power Girl, talking about how this the worst day of her life.

With no worries about continuity, with a lot of action and snappy dialogue, and a great take on the 'Power Girl as Superman' switch, I have to say I enjoyed this issue a lot. It was pure simple comic fun. The series as a whole has been more up than down. The Wonder Woman issue was very good. The Batgirl and Duela Dent issues were okay. And now this fun issue. Next issue, we get Supergirl.

So if you are looking for a unique take on the DCU that is funny and action packed and can overlook the absolutely ridiculous costumes, I would give this title a try.