Wednesday, December 30, 2015

POWER GIRL #9 - 12

Writers: Justin Gray & Jimmy Palmiotti | Artist: Amanda Conner
Colorist: Paul Mounts | Letterer: John J. Hill
Assistant Editor: Rex Ogle | Editor: Brian Cunningham

My Thoughts: Power Girl's final story arc brings things full circle and wraps up all the major Palmiotti/Gray plot points as they depart the series. First Satanna comes after Power Girl to get revenge for the Ultra Humanite's fate, but she's defeated with aid from an increasingly bloodthirsty Terra, who is eventually revealed as the Humanite himself, in a new body.

Power Girl defeats Terra-Humanite and tracks down Satanna, dismembering her with heat vision in order to get her to reveal the whereabouts of Terra's brain, which is trapped in the Humanite's badly burnt ape body. PG takes both Humanite and Terra to Terra's homeland of Strata, beneath the Earth's crust, where Terra is restored to normal and the Humanite's brain is transplanted into a clone of his original human body, now without the genetic defect which had forced him to transplant his brain into an ape all those years ago.

Sub-plots are wrapped up as well, with the mystery of Power Girl's photographic stalker solved (it was a teenage kid), her company receiving funding from the space princesses and their caretaker, and PG naming her cat "Stinky". Vartox even puts in one final cameo appearance, hitting on Power Girl again.

These dozen issues of POWER GIRL form a pretty consistent narrative "novel", and overall the experience is enjoyable. The Ultra Humanite bookends help the whole thing feel cohesive and planned out, while the lighthearted middle chapters serve to develop the lives of Power Girl and those around her.

There are a few misses in POWER GIRL, notably the overly dark opening arc and a peculiar eleventh hour sub-plot featuring Satanna and Captain Marvel's enemy, Dr. Sivana, which goes nowhere; but overall, combined with TERRA, this is all one fun, relatively seamless story from Palmiotti and Gray, with absolutely beautiful artwork by Amanda Conner (and breathtaking colors from Paul Mounts as well, which I have thus far failed to note).

I don't know why this creative team left POWER GIRL after only a dozen issues, but it's unfortunate that they did. This run could easily have lasted another year or two without getting old. The characterization of Power Girl as a strong, independent female character (but still the occasional subject of some tasteful cheesecake) is great, and her "big sisterly" relationship with Terra really forms the heart of the series.

POWER GIRL continued for another fifteen issues under writer Judd Winick, but from the pictures I've seen online, it looks like a lot of the charm was sucked out of the series as it became more heavily involved in DC's ever-ongoing crossovers. So for me, this is it. I'll leave Power Girl, Terra, and the rest right here and remember them fondly, rather than risk reading further to see them changed and possibly tarnished.

Except for...

Writer & Artist: Amanda Conner
Colorist: Paul Mounts | Letterer: John J. Hill
Editor: Brian Cunningham

One month after POWER GIRL #12, Amanda Conner returned to the character for a five-page story in the milestone WONDER WOMAN #600, also reprinted in the POWER TRIP trade paperback. In it, Power Girl recruits Wonder Woman, who apparently has the ability to speak with animals (!!), to tell her what's irritating her cat. It turns out that PG is the cat's favorite possession, and it misses her when she's gone. It's a cute little story which rings completely true for anyone who's ever owned a cat.


  1. Who is Satanna ? For some reason I keep confusing her with Zantanna. The names are rather confusingly similar.

    Also, I took the liberty of including Not a hoax, in my links section:

    1. I actually don't know who Satanna is; my DC knowledge is pretty limited. But basically she's a woman with one leopard arm. Looking online, it doesn't look like she ever appeared much. She was in six issues of HAWKMAN, one issue of TERRA, and five issues of POWER GIRL between 2004 and 2010. It appears Palmiotti and Gray created her.

      Thanks for the link! I'll return the favor today.

    2. Huh, no wonder I have no idea who Satanna is.
      She is brand new.
      And in the sea of DC tights, she probably disappears quite easily.

      Thanks, I plan to make the links more visible one day.
      But I still have to figure this blog lark out.