Punching with Power Girl, Pt. 1

You’ve had a tough week, huh?  Know what would make you feel better?  Lots of superhero brawling, right?  Good, because we’re going the rest of the week with Karen Starr (Power Girl) beating up and getting beat up by a whole bunch of evil dudes.

I’ve covered Power Girl’s history in a previous article, but I would like to reiterate that if you haven’t read the Power Girl series that started in 2009, you’re seriously missing out.  Easily one of the best Superman family series in a long, long time.

Besides the common problem of writing stories for the Kryptonians, since they all have a dozen powers and near invulnerability, how does a writer make a literal Supergirl clone interesting and unique?  Most writers decided on a bigger chest and that wildly uncomfortable “boob window” you’ll see shortly.  But while Superman has that unwavering morality, Supergirl has anger problems, and Superboy wears jeans, the dear Power Girl oozes humor, wit, and self-deprecation.  And trust me, it works.

Today, we explore two scenes from Power Girl #14-17, written by Judd Winick and drawn by Sami Basri.  No need for context or introduction here: Power Girl’s fighting a giant purple monster.

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To make Superman family stories more interesting, most of the supervillains have insane levels of strength and durability.  Makes for spectacular property damage and thrilling battles.  Plus, I enjoy when hulking beasts swipe at each other.

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What makes this battle so great, besides the crashing through buildings part, is Power Girl’s commentary.  Think of her as an eloquent football player narrating his own sacks.  Power Girl’s getting her butt kicked — we know it and she knows it.

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I wish I could say that Power Girl pulls off a brilliant tactical maneuver to overpower her foe and bring peace back to the weary city.  Nope, instead, like many things in life, this battle’s about endurance. Her tech guy gives her the following advice:

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If only most supervillains could be defeated that easily.  As long as she’s still standing as the clock strikes sixty, she emerges victorious.  Sounds easily enough — at least easy enough for a double spread montage:

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As always, you can click the image for a larger version.

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To be fair to you, the reader, I automatically assume you’re a Nobel Prize winning scientist, taking a break from cracking the secrets of the universe to learn more about superheroes who don’t wear pants.  A single slugfest can’t possibly be enough for you to fully appreciate and fall in love with dear Power Girl.  I understand.  Before you put your goggles back on and head off the nuclear testing site, how about some quality Power Girl/Batman time?

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I know that sounds like Bruce Wayne, but this issue takes place during the Dick Grayson era. Luckily, the original Robin has had plenty of time practicing the mannerisms and attitude of his mentor, especially the being rude to civilians part.

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Remember, the main difference between Bruce and Dick remains that Dick allows himself to be happy sometimes.  Also, Power Girl reacts to minions the same way most of us would if we shrugged off 99% of attacks.

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Y’see, Power Girl’s far more charming than her other Kryptonian allies.  Probably because of that matter-of-fact way she summarizes situations:

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Seriously, the fact Superman even has supervillains says more to the insanity of his enemies than to the caliber of their abilities.  It’s like fighting a tank with a rock, except the tank can move at lightspeed, fly, and juggle jumbo jets.  But if you’re worried about the new Batman, Dick inherited the most important part of the Batman identity: he frightens the crap out of bad guys.

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It says a lot when the man in a bat costume instills more fear than the woman behind him with the power to destroy the planet singlehandedly.  Friday, we’ll catch a few more fights.  You can never have enough superhero punching in your life.

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3 Comments on “Punching with Power Girl, Pt. 1”

  1. Oh man, flicking that helmet off was PERFECT. So good.

  2. wwayne says:

    I love when a superhero has a sidekick who, instead of fighting crime next to him, as the various Robins used to do with Batman, prefers to help his/her mentor behind the scenes as a tech guy. Oracle definitely is the most famous tech sidekick ever. Microchip is another good example: later on he became a villain, and the Punisher killed him. Green Arrow recently hired a tech guy as well, and in the current story arc Lemire is developing Oliver’s tech guy is held as a hostage by Komodo. I hope he won’t be killed by Oliver’s latest villain, because I think that their relationship has a great potential.

    • Jason Levine says:

      I agree! Especially for the solitary superheroes, it gives them support but doesn’t take away from that whole I’ve-got-this vibe that they give out. Even better, I imagine it also eliminates a lot of deus ex machina that spawns from having multiple people in a fight.


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