Current Reviews


JSA Classified #1

Posted: Thursday, August 25, 2005
By: Shawn Hill

"Power Trip"

Writer: Geoff Johns
Artist: Amanda Conner (p), Jimmy Palmiotti (i)

Publisher: DC Comics

Plot: Karen Starr/Kara Something-El still doesn't know who she is (again/always), but an old foe shows up to remind her.

Comments: Johns is the appointed keeper of the JSA flame, and as such he's had guardianship over whatever's become of Power Girl since the JSA revival brought her back under their umbrella (where she, after all, began).

This story pretty much admits we no longer know who she is. Narrated in first person, it's a confused self-analysis by a confusing character. Is she Kryptonian, or mystical? Is she from the present, or the past? What are her actual powers, and how do they work? Why do they fluctuate so, and how is it that medical exams turn up contradictory information?

The promise here is that answers will be revealed. So far in this chapter we see that kryptonite affects her, that she is some sort of alien, that her powers seem tied to her moods, and that she feels at a loss for a personal life without an accepted connection to Clark Kent.

Fair enough. But what matters is where this will take her. Everything hinges on this origin being a good one. Everything but the art, I suppose, which is playful, clear and captures at least the rambunctious, fun side of Kara's personality. There's a funny quotation of the old Supergirl debut issue at one point, and a balance of cartoonishness with naturalism that recalls Phillip Bond. Conner seems a good match for the character.

In sum: There are two books featuring Superman's cousin on the market right now. Both are trying to formulate an origin that makes sense and explore the character of Superman's fun loving and more innocent distaff partner. This is the one that isn't crap.

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