DC This Week

Review – Power Girl Special #1: New Destinies

Power Girl Special #1 variant cover, via DC Comics.

Power Girl Special #1 – Leah Williams, Joanne Starer, Writers; Marguerite Sauvage, Natascha Bustos, Artists; Marissa Louise, Tamra Bonvillain, Colorists

Ray – 8.5/10

Ray: Concluding the Action Comics backup and setting up Power Girl’s future adventures, this surreal main story finds Karen—or Paige, as she now wants to be known—taking on one of her fellow survivors from Earth-2, the sadistic Johnny Sorrow. This supernatural being is obsessed with Power Girl, and has gone so far as to create a quartet of supernatural beings—clearly patterned after the Four Horsemen—to terrorize humanity, attack them psychically, and place most of Metropolis in a coma. This even affects the Super-family, as their brains are just as vulnerable, and leaves Power Girl and Lilith as the sole combatants left to stop the psychic plague. It’s a compelling and creepy setup, boosted by some great Sauvage visuals.

Twisted love. Via DC Comics.

However, the heart of this issue is definitely Power Girl’s personal journey, as she confronts her own sense of inadequacy and questions about where she fits in with the Super-family. This leads to some unexpected guest-stars, including the surprise return of Streaky the Super-Cat to continuity, as well as an emotional vision involving the original Golden Age Superman. The ending is a little bit abrupt, sending off Johnny Sorrow with a bang, but the story leaves Power Girl in a great place for her upcoming solo adventures and finally gives her a status quo that seems workable—something that she and Donna Troy have been sorely in need of for a very long time. Dawn of DC has been great for troubled characters like this.

Trouble in paradise. Via DC Comics.

I’m less sure about the Fire and Ice backup, which sets up their own miniseries launching the same month as Power Girl’s. The main thrust seems to be that the two can’t get along, mostly driven by Ice’s strange, codependent relationship with Guy Gardner. When Guy is called in to bail them out in a battle in Baltimore, this leads to a nasty blowup that brings in Superman—and the two wind up politely exiled to Smallville. It’s an odd setup for the series, and feels strangely sitcom-esque even for the popular JLI heroes.

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This post was last modified on May 28, 2023 5:43 pm

Ray Goldfield

Ray Goldfield is a comics superfan going back almost thirty years. When he's not reading way too many comics a week, he is working on his own writing. The first installment in his young adult fantasy-adventure, "Alex Actonn, Son of Two Seas", is available in Amazon now.

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