Wednesday, January 19, 2011
Power Girl #20 (“Beasts of Burden”)-DC Comics-$2.99
4 stars out of 5
Lawyers are meeting with Simon Peters. He is representing Karen Starr (aka Power Girl) of Starrware, since she is unable to make it to the meeting. The lawyers are angry that Karen is missing another meeting, but Simon tells them that she couldn’t make it because “something of great importance needed attending to and it couldn’t be rescheduled.” The company is in trouble because it’s missing a lot of money, which Starr is claiming was embezzled by an employee, named Donna Anderson, who was found dead. The lawyers need Starr on record saying this or all of Starrware’s assets are going to be seized by the bank for their defaulted loans.
Karen’s more important engagement is fighting a giant white four-armed monkey-like monster named Caspian. After fighting Caspian, more monsters arrive to fight Karen. These monsters, including Caspian, are the G.E.L.F.s (Genetically Engineered Life Forms) of Professor Anthony Ivo of New Cadmus, a genetic research facility. Karen fights off the monsters and then flies into and through the wall of New Cadmus. New Cadmus is a thorn in Power Girl’s side. They have created her villain, C.R.A.S.H, and made a clone of her called Divine.
Inside New Cadmus, Karen gets her friend, Nicco, access to the company’s computer files. She also finds a kennel filled with New Cadmus’ monster creations. She comes upon a clone of Krypto, Superman’s dog, after he attacks her with heat vision. However, Clone-Krypto seems to recognize Power Girl and starts licking her face. Nicco has Batman store all the stolen intel in his files, while Clone-Krypto and Power Girl fight off more monsters. Max Lord shoots Clone-Krypto and paralyzes Power Girl using his mind. He “convinces” her to go after the Justice League International, who he says is harboring the man who killed one of her teammates.
Writer (Judd Winick): The key to a great storyline, especially in a comic book, is suspense. Winick has this key in the ignition and is driving on the highway of “What Happens Next.” The reader wants to know what is going to happen to Starrware. Is the company going to lose everything or somehow prevail? The reader also wants to know if Power Girl really is going to fight the JLI or if she will snap out of the spell that Max Lord put on her.
Illustrator (Sami Basri): Combat is typically where a comic book artist’s talent comes to light the most. Action is what people want to see in comics. Pow! Wham! Bam! Thank you Ma’am! Basri does deliver this with Power Girl’s battles with Ivo’s bizarre monsters. However, the battle scenes are not where Basri’s best work can be seen. Caspian is Basri’s best creation. His emotions appear the most real, mainly anger and pain. He is also a great depiction of what the human mind can imagine. As Nicco puts it, he is “an albino King Kong with four arms.” Now that’s an image that will stick your mind.