A little over two months ago, I took a look at Ame-Comi Girls I: Wonder Woman. This title was the first in DC’s Digital First Ame-Comi series and I enjoyed this story of an alternate Wonder Woman. Ultimately, however, both the second and third characters introduced, Batgirl and Duela Dent, respectively, failed to grab my interest and I ignored these releases. This week, however, Ame-Comi IV: Power Girl was released and there was no way I could miss the debut of one of my favorites heroines.
Ame-Comi IV: Power Girl #1 begins off the coast of Kenya where some Somali pirates have attacked an unfortunate ocean liner. Among the passengers is Daily Planet reporter James “Jimmy” Olsen, best known as Superman’s Pal in normal comics continuity. Jimmy actually wants to interview the pirates, but given the weapons pointed in his general direction things are looking grim…until Olsen pulls out his trusty signal watch and calls on Power Girl to come and save everyone! They return to Metropolis is short order where Power Girl, as head of Starr Enterprises, attempts to better the world through employing Kryptonian technology. There are, however, those that see her as nothing more than an alien invader and soon she’s set upon by foes from all sides. A battle ensues which tests the limits of Power Girl’s skills.
Justin Gray and Jimmy Palmiotti, of All-Star Western renown, are the minds behind this incarnation of PG. It’s hard to fault the writing, since there aren’t any glaring faults and the cheesy lines are delivered in such a tongue-in-cheek way that it’s hard not to smile. By the same token, it’s difficulty to commend the writing. The characters aren’t given much time to express themselves, and we’re only really given a bare portrait: Power Girl is “good,” Jimmy has a crush on her, and the bad guys are evil. I have to say this take on Jimmy Olsen is actually pretty creative, since he’s less of a starry-eyed kid and more of a man desperately trying to win affection; if explored properly in the next few issues, this could be really interesting twist on his character. It’s also pretty creative that, since there’s no Superman on this world of all-female heroes, that this Power Girl is Kara Jor-El, meaning she is the daughter of the Superman’s parents from the standard DC continuity. For now, I can neither defame nor extoll the writing.
Michael Bowden provides the art for Power Girl and he does a fairly good job. The character designs retain the anime-inspired feel of the figures and the earlier issues, but still have a distinct flair that prevent them from seeming outright copies. Power Girl’s design is pretty cool, though I find the fact she wears sneakers a little bit strange. The designs for her enemies are also interesting, taking a standard comic villain and altering her. Jimmy is drawn as older, which for the character traits I mentioned earlier makes sense and works well. The backgrounds and scenery are rather good, too.
Colorist Randy Mayor backs up Bowden exquistely, giving a great colorful vibe to this light-hearted series. The characters practically glow on the “page” (a screen, in this case). I like the hints of blue Mayor added to Power Girl’s costume, allowing more differentiation from her classic appearence. The cover, by Emanuela Lupacchino, is great and filled with an exuberance that can probably convince some people on the fence to buy this comic.
Ame-Comi Girls IV: Power Girl #1 is a fun read. It’s not thought-provoking or mind blowing, but it’s a nice way to pass fifteen minutes and at only a dollar is worth the cost. Though the writing is a lacking, the art more than makes up for this shortcoming. I’m not really sure who I’d suggest this title to specifically; I’d say if you like light-hearted series and anime-inspired artwork then this issue is for you. I will say that I expect the writing to improve given Gray and Palmiotti’s track record and can forgive this issue’s shortfall because of page, time, and scope constraints. I’ll eagerly await the next release to see if my portent proves correct.
Brett Simon is a twenty-two year old comic enthusiast. He’s wondering if Lois Lane exists at all in the Ame-Comi Universe.