I’ll admit it – I bought this largely because I love Adam Hughes covers and Amanda Conner art. I almost never buy a book because of the art, but between those two, I did. I also tend to at least try and support new books, especially with characters that deserve a shot at the limelight or creators who don’t do nearly enough work.
The book, largely set-up, reacquaints us all with Power Girl – after a brief one-page rundown of her origins, Palmiotti and Gray are off, stepping deftly between two different timelines. In the first, Power Girl is flying throughout a Manhattan that is under attack by an army of giant robots while the entire city comes under increasingly intense psychic assault. In the other, they have her restarting her secret identity of Karen Starr and buying back Starrware Labs, an up-and-coming R&D thinktank that she feels will give her focus and allow her to try and save the world in a different way.
Both segments are fun and at least a little frivolous. The action is well-paced and beautifully illustrated, never resorting to cheesecake shots of the titular heroine to keep us interested, and the Karen Starr scenes are treated with the same level of respect… though with significantly more humor from both sides of the creative team. Each segment has its ups and downs, but it is the Karen Starr scenes that really shine. As the action plot moves forward quickly, Power Girl meets the mastermind behind the attack, the Ultra Humanite, but the confrontation between the two is as bland as possible, offering the issue’s weakest moments.
Despite its flaws, however, the opening issue of Power Girl was, by and large, a success. Conner, Gray and Palmiotti are clearly having fun, and regardless of the issues flaws in plotting, invite us to join them. There may not be a great deal of thematic depth, big ideas, or huge crossover appeal, but it is a fun, engaging superhero story throughout, with promises of more to come. If Palmiotti and Gray can cut back a little on the excessive narration and refine the plotting, the series may have a great deal of life to it.