Friday, February 27, 2015


Writers: Jimmy Palmiotti & Justin Gray
Artists: Santi Casas, Eduardo Francisco, & Derec Donovan
Colorists: David Lopez & Santi Casas of Ikari Studio, Randy Mayor & Wes Hartman
Letterer: Wes Abbott

Art: Eduardo Francisco
Last March, I wrote a bit about DC's AME-COMI GIRLS, volume 1. While it didn't blow me away, it was a fun alternate universe story where the only superheroes are female "manga style" versions of various DC luminaries. In some cases these are the existing distaff characters standing in for their male counterparts (Power Girl for Superman, Batgirl for Batman, etc.), while in other situations we simply have (to my knowledge, at least) new female versions of existing characters such as Steel and the Flash.

AME-COMI GIRLS volume 2 picks up where volume 1 ended, with the assembled heroines facing off against Duela Dent and her gang, along with Brainiac, in rural Kansas. The battle has just been joined by Wonder Woman, but even she seems unable to turn the tide against Brainiac and her mind-controlled pawn, Supergirl. However Duela and friends defect in order to preserve themselves, while Power Girl meets up with a race of beings beneath the Earth's crust who also oppose Brainiac. Together the heroines save the day, but the villainesses escape. In the aftermath of Brainiac's invasion, Power Girl and Wonder Woman lead their allies in forming a "League" to defend the world against future threats.

Art: Santi Casas
I'm not entirely sure why this book is titled "Rise of the Brainiac" since that storyline accounts for barely half the volume's content. The remainder of AME-COMI GIRLS volume 2 is devoted to a new storyline titled "The Chosen", along with some set-up for the next story arc. In "The Chosen", a Chinese girl named Jade Yifei is picked to become the Green Lantern of space sector 2814, while near the same time, James Olsen's ex-girlfriend, astronaut Carol Ferris, meets a dying alien who bestows upon her the power of Star Sapphire. Naturally, Star Sapphire immediately uses her abilities to head for Earth and attempt to steal James back from Power Girl. But Power Girl defeats Star Sapphire with some aid from the neophyte Green Lantern.

The volume closes out with a short story in which Power Girl enlists the aid of Professor Avril Palmer -- the Atom -- to deprogram Supergirl from Brainiac's control, and then a subsequent teaser in which Sinestra, former wearer of the Black Lantern ring, gains the power of the Parallax ring and uses it to retrive her black ring as well. Banished to an anti-matter universe years before, Sinestra is now poised to return to the real universe for revenge on the Guardians of the Universe.

Art: Santi Casas
I like the direction Palmiotti and Gray have gone here. Initially, AME-COMI GIRLS followed one single storyline, albeit forwarding the plot through one-shots dedicated to individual characters. But now, presumably knowing they aren't going to be canceled too early, the writers have begun to develop sub-plots and set up future story arcs. Power Girl remains the main protagonist of the series, receiving the most page time as she thwarts Brainiac, battles Star Sapphire, and saves her cousin, Supergirl.

Indeed, the majority of the cast from volume 1 disappers following the conclusion of the Brainiac story, to allow the series room to introduce new characters. In a funny way, it kind of reminds me of the licensed toy-based comics and cartoons I read as a kid, where there was a core cast of regular characters, but older characters were swept aside to make room for the latest toys on store shelved. Given that this series is based on a line of collectibles from DC, the concept doesn't seem entirely inappropriate.

Artistically, I'm pleased to see that AME-COMI GIRLS volume 2 retains the two most genre-appropriate artists from the first volume, Eduardo Francisco and Santi Casas. Their work best evokes the "manga/anime" style this series is shooting for, and in particular, just like last time, the cel-shaded coloring of Casas really helps to sell this thing's premise more than almost anything else.
Art: Eduardo Francisco
AME-COMI GIRLS continues to provide a fun alternate universe take on the DC Universe, replete with scantily-clad girls duking it out all over the world, and beyond. The light continuity and fun style ensure that I will take another dip in this pond with volume 3, next week.

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