Its no secret I’ve been looking forward to this. Power Girl’s been a fun character for a while, probably shining most recently in her pre-Infinite Crisis mini-series, that re-established her Earth-2 origin.
The series picks up with Power Girl having decided to rebuild her life on New Earth. After discovering (the new) Earth-2 has its own Power Girl (in the JSA annual) she’s realised she needs to build a life for herself outside of the JSA and so has set about rebuilding her Karen Starr secret identity, along with her Starrware company when New York is attacked by robots which seem to instil fear in anyone near them.
As an introductory issue this works well. I’ve only really read some of the early Power Girl stuff from the recent trade, and her later appearances around Infinite Crisis, but Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Gray do a good job of quickly re-establishing the character, who she is, and her motivations following recent events. Her company looks like it’ll be a good backdrop as well, with it being a large R&D company attracting its fair share of experimental technology and nutter scientists.
As always, Amanda Conner’s art is perfect for this series. Her art was the real highlight of the mini-series and shone in the recent Terra mini as well. She’s got a great style which really brings out the facial expressions of characters and really adds to that fun feeling and the more comedic moments in the series. The colouring is really brilliant as well and adds a lot of extra pop to the art.
Things are going from bad to worse for everyone in the Invincible Iron Man title. Despite escaping Namor last issue, Tony is finding his Iron Man suit increasingly difficult to pilot as his intelligence deteriorates. To that end, he is trying to put together the parts he needs for a scaled down version, when he comes under attack from someone looking to cash in on the bounty Osbourne’s put on his head. Thankfully its a rookie, so Tony easily out maneauvers him and escapes.
The main focus of this issue I found was more on the supporting cast. We deal with Maria Hill having stumbled upon the Controller, and more interestingly, Pepper, after she’s been detained by Osbourne and HAMMER last issue. Osbourne is keen to get his hands into Pepper’s armour, however its automatically shut itself down. Here we learn that despite finding Tony’s armoury in Avengers tower, Osbourne and his team are struggling to unlock Tony’s technology, and so Norman is incredibly keen to get Pepper’s repulsor unit. Again, we see Norman start to loose his grip, as he’s quick to start threatening Pepper’s family when she rightly points out that Norman’s allegations of her suit’s weapons are empty. Its a great scene for Pepper, as she comes across calm and in control, despite being surrounded by Norman and his troops. Of course, Norman is eventually forced to let her go, as her suit contains no weapons, and Tony ensured she was registered before he lost his position.
As I’ve said before, I’m really intrigued by how Matt Fraction plans to wrap up this story arc. It really feels like our heroes’ backs are against the wall here. This series is doing a great job of showing the danger everyone’s in from Norman’s authority and in these days where you’re used to the safe knowledge that our heroes will win through, I think its a testament to Fraction’s writing that I really am seeing no way out for Tony.
The final issue I’ll mention was Strange Adventures #3. Adam Strange discovers that the Weird (or at least, a being that appears to be the Weird) is behind the missing stars. After finding himself overpowered, he makes a beeline for Comet to recruit his help. Arriving on Hardcore Station though, Adam finds it not as easy as he thought, and soon finds himself beaten and mugged for asking about where to find Comet. I must admit, I found this quite amusing, and it did help to underline just how dangerous a place Hardcore can be. Heck, even Comet spends most of his time in the Hole these days. We’ve very rarely seen him using his flat.
The mystery regarding Synar continues. We know his plans have gone wrong, as his essence has ended up merged with the Weird’s physcial form. However there’s also what appears to be the Weird causing Stars to vanish, and a more familiar Synar turns up at the end of the issue in Comet’s flat. Exactly what the ramifications of the events of the end of Holy War were clearly have yet to be fully explained.
Meanwhile there’s some nice scenes with trouble brewing on New Rann with Sardath and Alanna starting to really question Adam’s sanity over the missing stars. Fortunately when Prince Gavyn finally has time to look at the readings as Adam asked, he also confirms the stars are going missing. Obviously its all related to Prince Gavyn and Adam being part of the Aberrant Six, but what exactly the Aberrant Six are, I presume is going to be key to this series.
I’m still greatly enjoying this series. The reduced cast has helped immensely, bringing the story squarely to focus on Adam and Comet, the two characters I enjoy the most. Its given the book a tighter focus that I think was maybe missing in Holy War, which just had too many characters to juggle.