Monday, January 29, 2024

Review: Power Girl #8

Power Girl #5 came out this week and is a Streaky focused issue written from the super-cat's perspective. He doesn't understand the human language outside of his name. The word balloons from the humans are therefore gibberish. In essence, this is a sort of silent issue.

I have struggled with this title since it's inception in Action Comics. I have been reading Power Girl since the 70s and I have never seen her portrayed in this way. Writer Leah Williams presents us a character who is almost the opposite of the strong, confident, brash Karen Starr. Instead we have the non-confident, nervous, out of touch 'Paige Stetler'. And 'Paige' doesn't have much of an opinion, kowtowing to Lois and being saved by Omen. 

So while I have enjoyed animal issues like this before ( Super Sons Annual for instance - ) and I don't mind breather issues between arcs (like Mark Waid is doing in World's Finest), I don't know if this title has earned a silly issue so early. 

Do I like Streaky? Yes. But as Supergirl's cat. Not Power Girl's. Did I find it a little off-putting that she calls Streaky 'Stinky' in this issue, given that PG had an actual cat named Stinky in her history? Yes. Do I think that I am not going to be buying this title much longer? Yes as well although a Supergirl crossover means I will be on this book for the next couple of months.

David Baldeon is on art here and brings a sort of cartoony feel to the proceedings which works for a cute animal issue. I think this style fits the tone of the book perfectly. He draws animals very well.

This will be a brief review. Hang in there.

The book opens with a silly scene where Streaky walks into the bathroom and sees Omen with a cold cream/facial mask on. Not recognizing her, he lashes out with heat vision. She washes off the soap to reveal who she is.

Here we see the text vibe of his not understanding what she is saying.

But a couple of things.

One, Omen has telekinesis. She has telepathy. She now has force field generation powers. Truly Omen is the powerhouse of the book.

Second, why not give Power Girl this scene? It is a Power Girl book after all. Instead, Omen gets the funny scene. Omen saved the day last issue. Omen mind-wiped the bad men earlier. Is this an Omen book?

The story plays out silently that animals in the city, stray or otherwise, are being grabbed by clown-masked bad guys. Streaky, on patrol, 'talks' to cats in the city and decides to go undercover, ditching his cape so he'll get nabbed.

He gets taken to a weird lab where this goggled woman is experimenting on the animals. With some panache, Streaky breaks the whole thing up and sends them running.

I do like the idea that Streaky is the super-hero for the pet community in the city. Cute.

In the end, we get some dialogue setting up the next story arc.

Kara shows up and asks 'Paige' to help her on a side mission where 'astral punching' will be needed.

So Power Girl's big moment in the book is a spit take in the last panel. 

Even if we get past the character de-evolution done by Williams, even if we say this is the new Power Girl characterization, is this a Power Girl book??

And again, I don't know if this book has 'earned' a funny animal issue this soon into the run. 


I'll always have the Palmiotti/Conner book.

Overall grade: D


Martin Gray said...

This truly is a case of you reading this so we don’t have to.

PrydefulHunts said...

I'm under the impression that Leah Williams truly wants to write an Omen series all along. The therapy backups in Action Comics, this issue has far more Omen than Power Girl despite being a Streaky special issue, and Omen saving the day last issue. Power Girl feels second to her title, which is a huge problem. People are buying Power Girl for the titular character, not Supergirl's cat or a Teen Titan. This series is all over the place, even without Power Girl's characterization issues.