Pick of the Week

Pick of the Week – 01.20.2010 – Power Girl #8

What did the
iFanboy
community think?

293
Pulls
Avg Rating: 4.7
iFanboy Community Pick of the Week Percentage: 20.0%
 
Users who pulled this comic:
Written by Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Gray
Art and Cover by Amanda Conner

Size: 32 pages
Price: 2.99

Sometimes you try a book on a lark and that book becomes one of your very favorites. I love when that happens. I love that I can still be surprised and I love when taking a chance pays off. I also love it when a plan comes together, but that’s not relevant to what we are talking about here.

I took two blind chances on books in 2009 that paid off for me in a big way: I got two new books that I would put in my Top Ten, I’d probably put at least one of them in my Top Five. The first was with Chew. The second was with Power Girl. Lots of people took a chance on Chew and it’s a book that is gaining a lot of momentum, at least around here. It’s time that people did the same with Power Girl.

There was a time when comic books were read for fun. I know. Crazy, right? They weren’t read so that you could tear every page apart looking for a line of dialogue or a plot point that didn’t match up to the 40 other books that came out that week and/or the decades worth of stories that came before. You read them because you liked them. They were fun. They were exciting. They were entertainment.

There is no single comic book that I read right now that is more fun than Power Girl.

Written by Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Gray (if he is, in fact, a real person) and drawn by Amanda Conner, Power Girl is many things all at once. It’s a super hero book. It’s a single girl in the city book. It’s a comedy. It’s an action-packed adventure. It has aliens. It has monsters. It has giant robots. It has, in just 8 issues, created the most likable and relatable version of Power Girl that I have ever read and I’ve been reading stories with Power Girl in them for over 20 years.

In Power Girl #8, we have the conclusion of the current two issue arc in which the hot pants wearing, uber-macho alien Vartox (based, quite clearly, on Sean Connery in the film Zardoz) has come to Earth to seek out a suitable woman who can help repopulate his planet after, in the midst of war, a contraceptive bomb was dropped, rendering everyone infertile. Vartox set his sights on Power Girl and, in the course of trying to court and impress her, he has wrecked havoc throughout New York City. Power Girl #8 opens with Power Girl and Vartox cleaning up the mess he created by unleashing unstoppable alien monsters on the city. With that crisis safely averted, Vartox makes one final plea to Power Girl: Have dinner with him. Hear him out. And so Power Girl agrees and what transpires is a dinner date that is both hilarious and heartwarming. Really, it’s hilarious. Vartox’s dinner attire must be seen to be believed.

The greatest strength of Power Girl (aside from Amanda Conner’s art, which I will get to in a minute) is the characterization. Palmiotti and Gray have not only created in Power Girl one of the best characters in comics, but they excel in bringing to life, quite vividly, everyone around her. When Vartox first appeared last issue he was boorish and overbearing in the way that you would imagine a mustachioed straight guy with a hairy chest wearing only a vest, hot pants, and knee high boots would be. But throughout these two issues, and especially in Power Girl #8, both the reader and Power Girl start to see more sides to Vartox. And by the end of this issue, not only is Vartox sympathetic, but you feel for him and, hell, you downright root for him. That’s strong character work and Palmiotti and Gray achieve that without skimping on the punches and explosions.

The art. Oh, the art by Amanda Conner. I’ve always been a big fan of her work, but up until now I’ve never read anything that she has done monthly like this. Getting new pages from Amanda Conner every month is like a gift from the comic book gods. Her style is completely up my alley: It’s slightly cartoony (in the vein of Darwyn Cooke) and she excels in having her characters act (a la Kevin Maguire). While Power Girl and Vartox are on their dnner date, you don’t need the dialogue balloons. Everything that is going on in their conversation is portrayed on their faces. It sounds like a simple thing, but doing it well is actually a rarity in comics. Amanda Conner has created what is, for my money, the definitive look for Power Girl, so much so that when I see her show up in other books I wonder what the hell is going on. Where’s the stylish hair cut? What’s with the super muscles? This is not Power Girl! Amanda Conner’s Power Girl is stylish and sexy.

There simply aren’t enough comic books on the rack these days like Power Girl. And that’s because they aren’t burning up the sales charts. Power Girl is a throwback to a time when the comic book reading audience was big enough for second and third tier characters to support their own solo books. Power Girl is a book I desperately do not want to see canceled. The first trade is set to hit the shelves in April, and while that is astonishingly fast by DC standards — which could be an indication that DC is behind this book and is going to push that first trade — I want that trade to come out now. I want people to be able to catch up to this book like they did with Chew.

If you like fun superhero comics that are full of action, humor, great characters, and fantastic art then Power Girl is for you. Head over to your store a pick up Power Girl #7 and 8. Hell, just pick up Power Girl #8, there is a handy little “Previously in Power Girl…” blurb on the first page of this one. If your store doesn’t have any issues available, ask them to reorder a few copies for you. You will not be disappointed.

Seriously. Don’t make me write my own version of the article Jim wrote this week.

Conor Kilpatrick

I need to get me a vest, some hot pants, and some boots
conor@ifanboy.com

 

Comments

  1. Fail!

    Nah, just kidding. I love connor’s art as well.

  2. Great choice.  I’ve been a fan of the series since the first issue

  3. Any time a comic book can fit in a Zardoz homage it is OK in my book.

  4. Conor, I’m starting a rallying cry that Vartox is going to be your halloween costume next year.

  5. You’ve convinced me, Conor. I just preordered the trade through DCBS, which has it on sale for half off. It doesn’t get much better than that.

  6. @JeffR – Good on ya.  You’ll love it.

    Thanks, Conor, for picking my favorite under-the-radar book.  Amanda Conner is indeed a great cartoonist, and the writing of Palmiotti and (maybe) Gray is stellar every month.

  7. Conor thank you for picking Power Girl as PotW. Now I’ll admit that I read everything in trade(reason being lack of space and no LCS) and this is a series I want to see have at least 10 trades released. With your review hopefully it get more readers to give this series a chance.

  8. "Power Girl" is awesome. It’s tongue and cheek done right! Great pick!

  9. Paul Montgomery (@fuzzytypewriter) says:

    Loooooooove this series. 

  10. Alright, maybe it is time I check this out. It was another week of 75% of my comic purchases sucking, so I’m willing to give anything a try at this point.

  11. Any idea what # issues will be in the first trade?

  12. @HailScott: 1-6

  13. @Conor, I love it when the POTW comes out before I’ve gone to the store. I’m just leaving now, and will make sure to pick this up.

    You stay on the east coast, and I’ll stay on the west, and these "early" (from my point of view) POTWs should continue. (Now if we can just get Ron back to NY.)

  14. Thanks for the tip on the TPB!  I will be sure to pre-order that. 

  15. http://www.zimbio.com/pictures/v1XHfv0YY2p/Hills+Have+Eyes+At+Comic+Con

    That is the only evidence I can find of Justin Gray being a real person.  I’m not buying it. 

  16. boobies!!!!!!!!!

  17. I think Conor picked it because of PG’s boobs. 😉  No, he’s talked about the book before, so you knew it was going to happen, the stars just had to align (and that is no way a complaint, why people complain about what the iFanboys pick is beyond me, you don’t have to agree with it, but don’t berate them for it!).  Anyway, a first trade out after about 5 months, that is fast!  Considering R.E.B.E.L.S. Vol. 1 just came out after 6 months (another book the iFanboys should check out, I feel like I’ve been championing that book lately, but it is good, and like Power Girl, more people need to read it).

  18. ok ok no need to keep asking.  I just preordered the first trade, and also added issues 7 and 8 to my next comic order.  🙂

  19. I am kicking myself for never picking this series up. I dismissed it for being nothing but ‘cheesecake’ and I wouldn’t hear otherwise. But with this great review, and friends telling me it is a fantastic comic….I want to read it so badly now. But my LCS has no back up issues and I most likely have to wait for trade from here on out. Shame.

    My pick was Green Lantern Corps #44 fyi.

  20. How could this not have been POtW? http://i50.tinypic.com/2qlwc3b.jpg

  21. You guys picked my book of the week YEAH!!!  Conner’s art is awesome too.

    Matthew

     

  22. Great review, I actually would never have dreamed of reading this series until reading reviews for the first few issues on this site.  I went and picked them up and now I’m hooked on this book, hope it lasts for a long time.

  23. Great now that you have picked it as POTW I’m actually gonna have to buy it. I’ll get 7 & 8 and then wait for 1-6 to be released
    in trade.

  24. I have never been more ENTERTAINED by a comic in recent memories as I was by this issue of Power Girl. Just fantastic. I’ve loved this series since issue 1, but this issue just had me smiling from Ear to Ear. 

  25. @heroville… is that real? 

  26. i’ve been dancing back and forth about weither to read this or not, but I think I am going to make a late new years resolution to pick up every pick of the week so tomorrow I got to my lcs and buy powergirl

  27. This is just a great and fun book.

  28. do you think Amanda loses her shit when somebody spells her name "Conor?"

    Because Conner is the obviously correct way the spell that name

  29. I’m pretty sure that Justin Gray was on a panel at NYCC in 2008, sitting next to Jimmy Palmiotti*.  Sorry if that ruins anybody’s theory! 

     

    *Or, you know, that’s what they want us to believe!  It could have just been some dude! 

  30. I have been on the edge of trying out this book because I get so many a each week. (I get about 16 comics a week.) But reading your review has convinced me to try it out. You were right about Batgirl, so I will give this one a shot too.

  31. Interesting. Dear iFanhosts, don’t gloss over the elephant in the room…

  32. Totally agree! I wish more comics were like this. Just plain fun!!!!

  33. You’ll miss another 3 issues of fun, awesome comic if you wait for the trade. Jump on this title now!

  34. BEST. SEAN CONNERY. PICTURE. EVER.

    This series falls in the same category as Secret Six for me. I keep hearing great things about it but when i pick up a random issue, it doesn’t wow me. Moreso for Secret Six than with this book though. I gave the first issue a try and it did nothing for me, then i tried again with issue 5 i believe and again with issue 7. Granted the Vartox stuff last issue did make me smile, that’s why im going to try out this issue as well, but i don’t know, maybe i just hate "fun."

    Although i have to admit Amanda Conner is someone deserving of being among comics top-tier artists. I always felt she never really got the credit she deserved and now im glad to see she’s doing a monthly book where people are actually noticing how fucking amazing her work is. Also, i met her and Jimmy Palmiotti at last year’s NYCC and they are quite possibly the nicest and funniest people in comics. Truly, they are comics’ power couple!

  35. Good pick (not that there can be a bad one).  The question I pose is this: Does Supergirl ever interact with Power Girl?  You’d think that would come up at some point.  It should have come up in the Blackest Night Superman mini.  If I knew that there was an Earth-2 ato220 I would probably look him up every once in a while, but maybe Supergirl has some sort of inferiority complex because let’s face it, Power Girl is a whole lot of woman.

  36. @ato220 check out the first JSA Classified arc (also by Amanda Conner, but written by Geoff Johns). He lays out her origin there and she comes to blows with Supergirl. It’s a pretty solid read, you can find it here: http://www.amazon.com/Power-Girl-Geoff-Johns/dp/1401209688/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1264087148&sr=8-3

  37. Yay! Power Girl!

    Despite the blonde and the breasts and the sexy, sassy core of the chararcter, she’s a powerful, intelligent fun superhero who is nothing but a pleasure to read.

    This Power Girl team is an absolute triumph!!!

    Been on since #1. Hopefully many more to come! 

  38. I was going to pick this up this week, then some unforseen expenses came up. But I fully intend to pick up the next issue! And maybe if i get a light week I’ll pick up these last two.

  39. Great Pick!

    I would also say that all the people that love Incredible Hercules, of which their seem to be many on the site(me included), should check this out. The writing is on par and in a similar goofy vein and the art is superb.

    Totally agree with the Conner/Maguire comparison.  The changing facial expressions on Satanna’s tiger guard behind her while her badger sidekick is ranting are priceless.

  40. Since issue 2 this has been one of my favorite books, easily my favorite DC book. Since issue 4 or 5 I think it is absolutely my favorite super hero book.  Issue 1 was a classic set up issue, for which you should be required to forgive almost any book.

  41. See a book like this, if it was a Marvel product, would’ve been cancelled four issues ago.

    DC has taken the time to let this title fluorish and it’s become one of the biggest books for DC. Maybe not for sales (then again I don’t know the sales for PG off hand) but I hear nothing but great things from everyone who reads this.

  42. @TheNextChampion  I don’t know if we can generalize about what Marvel would have done to a similar book (or whether they would have even launched it in the first place); every property and every audience is a little different. 

  43. If he ain’t a real person I submit to you the conspiracy theory that Justin Gray is the nome de plum for Joe Quesada.

  44. @ohcaroline: Well SWORD and Power Girl are sorta similar. Not fully but:

    Both focus on character(s) no one really cared about before.

    Both involve writers and artists that are good, but not really well known to most readers. (Well Palmiotti is a big name, but the stuff he works on aren’t really A list)

    Both have very loyal readers. Both also have mainly had good to great reactions critically.

    Again they aren’t the same in terms of context but I see a connection between the two. The other big difference is that Didio seems to be a bit more lenient on letting a title go. While Joey Q will see sales for the second issue and decide to cancel it.

  45. I didnt buy this particular issue, but I have just started with the beginning of this series. I picked up issues 1-3 a few days ago, and just after the first issue, I was immediatly hooked. My favorite aspect is Amanda Conner’s amazing art, but I’m enjoying the fun loose scripts as well. Now I just have to catch myself up to this point and I’ll be good!

  46. @TheNextChampion  I see a difference between a single character book and a team book (particularly a team book that you would have to do research about in order to know if you wanted to order it or not since the title doesn’t give any indication what characters are in it), but maybe we’re splitting hairs.  Anyway, this is derailing the conversation a bit, I just meant to say I wouldn’t draw that equivalence without having more information. 

  47. I’m with ohcaroline on this. I knew who PG was before this book, but very little else. No background, no history. I just knew I loved Amanda Conner’s art and genrally liked Jimmy’s writing. So, I read it. Couldn’t be happier with the result.

  48. yay BOOBIES!!!!

  49. Boobies was the exact reaction my wife had when she saw the cover.  Still it was a fun read that had me laughing throughout the story.  my pick of the week as well.

  50. Power Girl has been one of the most consistently solid titles for the past 8 months.  I’m really glad to see it get some POW love.

  51. Thanks Conor! My tastes normally align quite closely with a theoreticall Josh and Ron parfait,  but you’ve convinced me to jump on your bandwagon for this one. This book sounds hilarious! I would’ve never considered picking up anything Power Girl related if it weren’t for the accolades presented in this POW review. I’ve been enjoying Palmiotti enough on Jonah Hex to where, coupled with this review, I can’t justify not picking up a few issues of this book next time I’m at the LCS. I look forward to hearing the podcast discussion this Sunday.

  52. Alright to stop this ‘Is Justin Gray real or not?’ jokes I proclaim a challenge.

    IF Justin Gray knows of this site and reads these comments. I challenge Justin Gray to sign in, and proclaim he is real. Not a joke, not someone fooling around on here claiming he/she is Gray. The real deal.

    Alright…..pretty sure he doesn’t exist so I will win this challenge. 🙂

  53. I don’t think the words "pregno-ray" could be used in any other comic as well as it was used here.

  54. I have a theory that Justin Gray is actually Jimmy and Amanda’s cat.

  55. Picked this up on Connor’s recommendation, also preordered the first Batgirl, and Power Girl trade. Just with DC was faster with the release of their trades.

  56. This is such a great series and example of how comics can be written smartly and with a sense of humor.  So many of the mainstream superhero books are so drab and depressing.  They’re like a never ending look of the TV show Law & Order SUV.

     

    Glad to see that Jimmy, Justin and Amanda fight the good fight and let others know that fun comics can still be had.

     

    Beau Smith

    The Flying Fist Ranch 

  57. cover’s phenomenal. if the interior art’s half as good, this is at least worth looking at.

  58. Zardoz!? that movie created so many strange teenage dreams for me. 

  59. I just picked this up for the first time based on it being th PotW (how’s that for power, Connor?). I usually don’t go for comics that are this light-hearted, but I did enjoy it. I’ll pick up the next issue too, and consider the trade when it comes out. BTW, does this actually take place in the DCU?

  60. @HailScott: Yes.

  61. You rock Conor, but while Power Girl is awesome and underrated, I think you missed out on Joe the Barbarian… The first issue was of another world.

  62. Well, just the last few pages.

    And no one missed out on it. We all read it.

  63. This cover offends my crotch.

  64. @ultimatehoratio – Just keep repeating "It’s not cheesecake, It’s not cheesecake."  It worked for me.

  65. @stu: What kind of cake is it then?

  66. @jumpingjupiter "Dammit, Jim. I’m a comic cover, not a cake."

  67. Picked it up yesterday b/c it was PoTW and WOW the art doesn’t disappoint at all, where has Amanda Conner been all my life? I never got into powergirl b/c of the ridiculous costume (the boob holed 1 piece with the shoulder guard) but I’ll definitely try and pick up back issues (don’t want to wait for the trade if I don’t have to) and next months issue. Thanks for intro to powergirl!! 

  68. I have no idea, but I’ve been told (repeatedly) that it isn’t cheesecake.

  69. It’s definitely cheesecake, but it’s fun cheese instead of exploity crass cheese, if that makes sense. 🙂

  70. hey guys–

    I picked this up and you all are right–Amanda Connor’s art is fantastic! I really, really, really liked this issue.

    Cheesecake is probably in the eye of the beholder, but the term comes to mind if I see:

    – more than a few shots of some girl bending over for no particuarly good reason

    – one pagers that seem more pinups than anything else

    – singleminded obsession with taking showers, usually drying off with handtowels instead of full on shower towels

    – bath scenes

    – belly shirts that strain to contain

     I really didn’t think of this as typical cheesecake, to be honest…

     

    -m

  71. @mikeromo: It’s not at all.

  72. sexy cover, i’ll wait for the trade. i love Power Girl’s design, glad she has a book worth reading.

  73. No this isn’t cheesecake at all. They need more of her cat, love that cat.

  74. I don’t know if anyone noticed this too, but the dress Powergirl ends up wearing in the issue is straight from the DC Women poster from a while back.

  75. Nice catch!

  76. @ MikeRomo: How ’bout Boob windows?

    Sorry folks, PG will never ever ever not be cheesecake with a boob window. Never. It’s almost math. Boob + window = retarded.

  77. The cat is just about my favourite new character in any book, and you’ve got to love Amanda’s ability to imbue it with personality.

    As for the boob window…(for the record I hate that it always has to devolve to this when talking about this book)  In the JSA:Classified arc, also by Amanda Conner but with Geoff Johns instead of Jimmy Palmiotti, there’s a well thought out explanation for it.  You either buy it or you don’t, but the explanation is out there.  Plus, lots of women show cleavage, when they do, do you immediately yell "boobies"?

  78. @Cam: Yes, I do. Then I get slapped.

    But seriously. You make my point perfectly clear. It’s unfortunate for the character and those creating stories for PG. No matter how awesome she is, she will always be the character with a boob window.
    Regardless of where you stand on the issue, the issue would be fixed by simply redesigning the costume. It’s kind of stupid to leave it as is when it is obviously an obstacle for the character. That’s my point. PG will sadly never ever escape her boob window (even though many of us would love to see her do just that. Zing!)

Leave a Comment