Review: Power Girl #20 By Judd Winick

Power Girl #20

Written by Judd Winick

Art by Sami Basri

Power Girl has been an easy book to write off since Amanda Connor left. I mean, Connor helped the book establish the momentum that kept it on the bubble and in peoples minds because, well, she’s Amanda Connor and the way she draws Peeg is awesome. Even though Palmiotti’s writing was great, Connor was the selling point of the duo, and honestly, I was surprised that the book didn’t end when they were done. The last two things I expected were for the book to continue on as a companion piece of Generation Lost, and for me to still really enjoy it every month. In fact, aside from the loss of Connor, the only other big sizable loss that this title has suffered is Atlee no longer hanging around, because I adored the way she and Karen played off each other.

Under Winick this book has taken a more serious approach, while still only taking itself somewhat seriously. What this means is that the plots are more serious, like Peeg’s company being driven to the brink of bankruptcy after someone embezzled and ran off with the cash….only to be found the victim of an apparent suicide. There have been a ton of big fights as well, as Peeg has fought everything from the new villain C.R.A.S.H. To another new villain, her own clone, Divine. The real thing though, the real villain, is Maxwell Lord.

One thing Winick has done extraordinarily well with Power Girl is building up Max without making the heroes look bad, and yes, I say heroes as Peeg does have a regular supporting cast hero in Dick “Batman” Grayson. It’s gone from obnoxious, to frustrating, to downright heartbreaking what Max has driven Karen through over the past handful of issues, as he keeps appearing, she keeps seeing him, he keeps confessing everything, and then right when she figures it out…it’s gone. Deep down in the back of her mind, Power Girl knows that Max is the bad guy, that she’s been so close to stopping him, and the fact that she’s powerless to do anything or even remember it is worse than any defeat.

That isn’t to say she doesn’t get her fair share of hits in, and that’s a nice consistency to this book. Power Girl punches things, often and typically, and in most cases in a very entertaining manner. This issue sees her take the fight to New Cadmus, where she fights off hordes of Anthony Ivo’s G.E.L.F.’s (genetically engineered life forms), and even outsmarting the classic DC mad scientist in a moment of nice and simple humor. Lots and lots of freaky homemade monsters come out of the woodwork, not that her letting them all out did her any favors, but without that she wouldn’t have wound up with the best one of all. A clone of Krypto who proves that loyalty is coded in a dog’s DNA, and who I would love to see stick around. Something about Peeg and a bigger version of Krypto fighting a bunch of other cloned animals just made me smile.

The art is smooth, and while Sami Basri is no Amanda Connor, he does a great job in not trying to emulate her style, and instead bringing his own to the table. This title may have been launched as a vehicle for Amanda to showcase one of her favorite characters, but Basri is doing a great job in making this title his own, which is very impressive when you consider the fact that I had no idea who he was last year. His Power Girl looks great, both Batmen that he’s drawn look fantastic, and his Max Lord? Well, his Max has a weird face sometimes…a little bit long, but that could be just me. Regardless, Basri brings a lot to this book, and he deserves a lot of praise for the great work he’s done. Now I just hope DC leaves him here for a little while instead of shunting him off to another title, as I really like the way this book looks.

The issue may be playing a little catch up to Generation Lost, but it looks like Karen is finally ready to be entrenched deep within the plot instead of just skirting across the outsides. After last weeks issue we already know where she’s appearing next so it’s really just a matter of her finally maintaining her memories of Max Lord and joining the JLI. Thankfully, the journey to that outcome has been well paced and the wait has been worth it. Judd Winick has been turning in some of his best work in years lately between this and Generation Lost, and it’s refreshing to be reminded just how well he can write characters. Power Girl, if you’ve been reading and loving Generation Lost, has quickly grown into a must read title, and if Gen Lost isn’t your thing, then it’s still on the cusp. Well done characters, great art, and a well paced story have made this book one to check out.



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