cover image Power Girl: Aliens and Apes

Power Girl: Aliens and Apes

Justin Gray, Jimmy Palmiotti and Amanda Conner, DC, $17.99 trade paper (144p) ISBN 978-1-4012-2910-8

Endowed with the same Kryptonian abilities as her cousin-from-an-alternate-universe, Superman, Kara Zor-L, aka Power Girl, is essentially Superwoman with an attitude problem and a famously exaggerated cup size. Saddled with too-familiar powers, a hopelessly convoluted backstory, and a tiny costume that flirts with self-parody, the character is always perilously close to being a one-note bore. Luckily, Gray and Palmiotti mitigate these handicaps with a generous dose of humor and a knowing wink at the genre's excesses. Over the six issues collected in this volume, our heroine wards off the unwanted advances of Vartox the Hyper-Man, has her secret identity uncovered by a blackmailing 14-year-old, and faces off against old foes Satanna and the Ultra-Humanite. Vartox, a super-powered blowhard who refers to himself in the third person, is an especially entertaining addition—a comic foil in the tradition of testosterone-addled DC "heroes" like Lobo and Guy Gardner. Conner's crisp, cartoon-inspired illustrations are perfectly suited to the title's abundant humor and its wild menagerie of mutant pachyderms, superintelligent badgers, and self-replicating space monsters. Perhaps in spite of herself, Power Girl is a powerful reminder of just how much fun superhero comics can be. (Oct.)