Friday, December 8, 2023

Review: Power Girl #3

Power Girl #3 came out a couple of weeks ago and continued to showcase a Power Girl who doesn't seem like the Power Girl I have read for a long time.

Writer Leah Williams continues to show us 'Paige', a hero who is uncomfortable on Earth, feeling out of place and alone, and lacking confidence. This issue shows us how she feels most akin to a dying lion, the last feline survivor of Krypton. This should feel poetic or emotionally powerful but it falls a little flay because it makes little sense.

The main villain of the story is Power Girl's Symbioship program, the computer which fed her an AI history in her trip to Earth. I have any number of issues with this. The first is that there hasn't been much background information about the symbioship in the story. I don't know if I actually knew that it was a villain. Superman talks about having destroyed it in the past ... but when? And what is it? 

If the device that controlled Amalak was a symbioship drone (which I think it is), didn't 'Paige' bring that to the auction from issue #1? Why didn't it attack her then? 

And what is it's goal?

I have read a lot of Power Girl in my time and I am lost here. Add to that a couple of pages of Omen which make me dislike her a lot and you have little going storywise for me.

The art is by Eduardo Pansica and I like his sort of rough scratchy are here. But he has little to work with here in this issue. There isn't much action to let him shine. 

On to the book.

The book starts with Superman visiting Power Girl in the Fortress. She brings up her concern that the Symbioship is behind all that is happening to her. 

He asks why she is having this conversation is being held here. She thinks about how she doesn't want this elderly lion to die alone so she is spending all her time around the cage.

It is clear we are supposed to see some connection here. The art is moody. But it isn't impacting me the way I think Leah Williams wants it to.

Pansica does convey the emotions well.

As for Superman, he sort of waves away 'Paige's' concerns and tells her to call her friend instead. That also feels way wrong.

So we cut to Omen. 

She is too cool for school, roller-skating through town with her matching green outfit. She runs into a Blue Earth protest/riot. While it is true that the Blue Earthers are vandalizing the street by spray painting grafitti and protesting Kryptonian presence on Earth. They are the bad guys.

But Omen just mind-wipes them. Like erases their minds, leaving them kneeling empty vessels.

That's chilling.

The punishment should be based on the crime. This seems super-villainous to the extreme. 

Remember that 'Paige' is investigating some epidemic, a series of deaths that are from an Earth-2 Kryptonian virus in origin.

Turns out it is 3 deaths. Three! 

Thankfully Paige figures out it isn't an infection or it would be more. Perhaps these deaths are from something burning out their bodies. 

I find it a little shocking that no one has realized this before.

Perhaps sooner than I expected, the lion dies.

Again, 'Paige' feels some connection to this creature. She is also the last of her race, Earth-2 Kryptonians. It devastates her.

But I'm just not feeling it.

Solid expressive work by Pansica. Like that middle panel a lot. And the pullback in the third panel accentuates her loneliness.

While the lion might be dead, it is re-animated presumably by the Symbioship given reddened eyes and the computerized font of the roar.

Great page by Pansica. 

We end on a cliffhanger.

Power Girl told Kelex to get Superman to return. 

He arrives to Power Girl now being possessed. 

'Paige' is gone.

Well, I still don't understand the villain or it's goal. I don't like Omen. I don't quit understand this new direction for Power Girl. And I don't quite feel the angst. 

Overall grade: D+


Martin Gray said...

This issue was offensively crap I didn’t even review it at my blog. They say no one sets out to make a bad comic but Power Girl hits it out of the park every time.

PrydefulHunts said...

The mischaracterization of every character here is one of the reasons why I was pulled off from Williams' Power Girl after the Special in May. Omen is so annoying, their forced and random friendship is best forgotten after this series ends. From the pages I've seen Power Girl looks depressed and maudlin. I'm still questioning why a character named POWER girl is so miserable to read.. this new direction is baffling. I can't wait for this Paige experiment to end so we can get back to the good Power Girl stuff.

Steve said...

The symbioship first appeared in Power Girl's time in Showcase and was the villain there as it tried to get her back in VR. That ended with no Superman, either the E2 version extant at the time or this one. It also gave us the lame love interest Andrew Vinson and (I believe) debuted her Karen ID.

Anonymous said...

Definitely not the Power Girl I remember. It’s like they had an idea for a new character, but didn’t know how to market her so they threw a Power Girl coat over her and called it good.