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Power Girl: Power Trip Paperback – February 18, 2014
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About the Author
Jimmy Palmiotti is a multi-award-winning comic book creator with a wide range of experience in advertising, production, editorial, film writing and production, media presentation, and video game development. He has created and co-created numerous series and characters, including The New West, THE MONOLITH, 21 DOWN, THE RESISTANCE, Gatecrasher, Beautiful Killer, Back to Brooklyn, The Tattered Man and Painkiller Jane. Currently he is co-writing DC’s ALL-STAR WESTERN with Justin Gray.
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Top Customer Reviews
Very nice collection! It is about the size of a graphic novel, but about twice the thickness since there are so many comic issues collected here.
If you like Amanda Conner's artist style, as I do, I would say you'll probably enjoy this!
This collection's main problem, among many, is its lead character, who is defined by a bust measurement that makes Dolly Parton look flat-chested by comparison. Said bust measurement fills one full panel, or 25 percent, of a four-panel layout early in this collection. Accompanying it is this gem of wit from Our Heroine: "Green Lantern used to ask me why I never wore a mask. It's because most of the time, they ain't looking at my face." No kidding.
A short time later, Our Heroine confides in Superman about why her costume-such as it is-features a very prominent display window for said bust measurement. "They think I'm showing off-or just being lewd!" Gee whiz, why would we ever think that?! "But the first time I made this costume, I wanted to have a symbol like you! I just...I couldn't think of anything. I thought, eventually I'd figure it out. And close the hole. But I haven't."
Our Heroine also made her alleged costume to feature as much of her derriere as the creators can show without this collection getting bagged and displayed with Penthouse and Hustler. Artist Amanda Conner certainly ensures that as much of Our Heroine's anatomy is on display as possible while she performs her super-feats.
She gets plenty of help from the male writers, who load their plots with plenty of scenes of Our Heroine undressing. For even more fun, there's a sequence where she forgets her alleged costume's gloves and boots so she can be even more underdressed. And if that weren't enough, we're also treated to a sequence where she's chasing a 14-year-old boy who looks like Jimmy Olsen's younger brother through the streets of New York clad only in a towel. And-surprise, surprise-she loses her towel, resulting in a panel where the kid's arm and the celery leaves in a passerby's grocery bag are all that's camouflaging the Naughty Bits. Oh, the humor is so rich here.
Writers Justin Gray and Jimmy Palmiotti compound the sleaze later in the collection by giving Our Heroine a teenage humanoid alien sidekick named Terra who is as amply endowed and as scantily clad as she is. This results in a trip to Terra's homeworld, where Our Heroes unburden themselves of both their cares and their clothes in the alien equivalent of a spa.
In addition to the rampant almost-but-not-quite-nudity, Gray and Palmiotti also serve up helpings of sniggering dialogue that sounds like it was written by two cases of severely arrested development. The alleged story "Lust in Space," in which Vartox the Hyper-Man travels to Earth to enlist Our Heroine's aid in repopulating his home world of Valeron, features two whole pages of so-called discussion about Valeronian mating rituals, which involve such things as "fertilizors" which can fire-I swear I'm not making this up-"pregno-rays." Oh, the humor is so rich here.
And before all this, we are treated to the title storyline, "Power Trip," in which Geoff Johns shifts Our Heroine's personality so radically and so often between cockiness and self-pity as she tries to reconcile her tangled backstory-which involves being related at various times to both Superman and Arion, Lord of Atlantis-that readers may want to consult their family physician regarding symptoms of whiplash.
I hated this collection. Hated hated hated hated hated hated it. Hated it. Hated every sleazy, juvenile, misogynistic page of it. (And the fact that a woman illustrated it makes it no less so.) Hated the notion that anyone other than cases of arrested development would be entertained by this sleazy Supergirl knockoff.
The real tragedy here is that Conner is a talented artist, capable of balancing both naturalistic illustration and cartooniness. In addition, color artist Paul Mounts employs bright, vivid colors, rather than the dark teal-and-orange-dominated palettes which scream "gritty movie-like realism!" And Johns has done much better work elsewhere-notably, on the aforementioned Green Lantern.
"Power Girl: Power Trip" is a bad graphic novel-one of the worst ever, and one to be avoided at any and all costs. But it is not made by hack creators. Hopefully they've recovered from this sleazefest. It will take me a very long while.
Power Trip contains JSA Classified #1-4 and the first twelve issues of the Power Girl series--Power Girl's entire run under this particular handful of creative folk. Amanda Connor draws her art in an unusually whimsical, cartoonish fashion by modern superhero comic standards--which admittedly looks a bit weird when a familiar face such as Superman shows up, even if it fits characters like Power Girl, Ultra-Humanite, or Psycho Pirate just fine. The writing focuses on witty humor and playing Power Girl as a hot-headed, sarcastic, and entertainingly flawed character. The stories in this graphic novel, while not exactly tied together into a single cohesive arc, for the most part flow into each other to form a fun "day in the life of a superhero" routine that I find refreshing considering DC Comics' tendency to start superheros with really established lives and personalities. The exception is the first story arc in this collection, the titular "Power Trip," which is the first four-issue arc from JSA Classified and takes place some time before the twelve-issue chunk of the Power Girl series. Annoyingly, it ends with a cliffhanger that I suppose gets resolved in another series and another graphic novel collection under other writers and another artist prior to Power Girl #1. But that kind of thing is par for the course with superhero comics; it just prevents this collection from feeling as self-contained and self-sufficient as it could have.
If there's one irritating complaint I have for this particular story it's that it tries too hard to justify having a super-feminine, somewhat over-sexualized character design for Power Girl by hammering in feminist messages all over the place, something the Power Girl solo series in particular never really found a good balance for until very late in its two-year run. This includes but is not limited to: people always staring at Power Girl's chest and her being annoyed by it, guys hitting on her and her friend at the movies and being sassed for being disrespectful, an entire short story arc about an interstellar manly man traveling to Earth to fake a victory over a planet-eating immortal monster to woo Power Girl (admittedly one of this collection's more amusing entries), and Ultra-Humanite being generally disdainful of female intelligence whenever he gets the chance. As with the 2009 animated Wonder Woman movie, I'd be happier with this stuff if it were dialed back. The message about women being allowed to wear what they want without being viewed as objects is particularly iffy; it doesn't translate as well when it involves a *costume* like Power Girl's as opposed to street clothes. I appreciate the attempts to be progressive, but the design of the character clashes with that progressiveness to a point where it sometimes feels like Power Girl exists to shove boobs in your face and then make you feel bad about it, especially since Amanda Conner isn't shy about drawing Power Girl or her sometimes-sidekick Terra in pretty fanservicey situations at times.
Overall that's a small complaint that didn't really hinder my enjoyment much, hence the five-star rating. This collection of issues was overall more fun than the second half of Power Girl's solo run (collected in the graphic novels "Power Girl: Bomb Squad" and "Power Girl: Old Friends") and turned out to be one of the best times reading a superhero comic that I've ever had. Unless Power Girl's costume just offends you that much, I can't not recommend this one to any lover of superhero comics.
This book collects all of Amanda Conner's PG run in one volume. In this collection, you get to see several of her different techniques. She drew PG and Terra in one style, Satanna in another, Sivana in still another.
Her small vignettes that are usually happening in the backgrounds are always fun to find, and hysterical.
The writing was great, and the stories clipped right along.
One of my favorite sequences is Stinky getting a bath. I'm guessing Ms. Conner has/had a cat. She drew Stinky's reaction precisely the way my cats reacted to baths.
Well worth the price.