“Ame-Comi: Power Girl” #1 was surprisingly disappointing considering Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Gray were two-thirds of the creative team that powered a wonderfully enjoyable run on the first twelve issues of the “Power Girl” series from just a couple years back. Taken on its own merits and dispensing any further story comparisons, this adventure looks to set up Power Girl as a cross between Superman and the slick businessman version of Lex Luthor in the Ame-Comi Universe’s version of Metropolis.
Gray and Palmiotti force a wide range of information into this twenty-screen story. They introduce Jimmy Olsen, establish a flirtatious relationship between Jimmy and Power Girl and reveal Power Girl has forsaken a secret identity in order to employ technological advances to help humanity. After that some villains are introduced and a cliffhanger ensues. I’d like to see more of Power Girl making her way in this world, but this format doesn’t seem to lend itself to it.
This issue, while rather abbreviated in comparison to a standard comic, simply isn’t given the room to make Kara an interesting figure, choosing to celebrate an absurdly curvy (moreso than usual, even for Power Girl) figure and her ridiculously fussy excuse of a costume instead among the wide range of story notes. After all, why have a chain on your costume if not to have an anchor for it above your butt? Weird.
Which leads me to say that find Mike Bowden to be an awkward fit for this assignment. Bowden’s art is extremely cartoony, which works to an extent for Power Girl, but her bizarre anatomy, fueled and accentuated by that cartoonishness becomes more of a distraction than asset. Beyond the ridiculous curves, Power Girl’s nose changes more than few times throughout the issue. Granted, Bowden has to pour particular attention into the odd costume details, but the artwork, with unnecessarily heavy coloring book-like outlines encircling the characters, does nothing to inspire me to return to this series.
This “Ame-Comi” concept stood out as an oddity from the start, but the Wonder Woman story gave me hope that there would be some fun to found. Granted, I haven’t checked in on the two stories in between, but this issue is nothing like what I found in “Ame-Comi: Wonder Woman.” I’m going to dig through my back issues and remind myself just how good a Justin Gray and Jimmy Palmiotti “Power Girl” comic can be.