Writer: Leah Williams
Penciller: Eduardo Pansica
Inker: Júlio Ferreira
Colors: Romulo Fajardo Jr.
Letters: Becca Carey
Publisher: DC Comics
Release Date: September 26th, 2023
Power Girl and Omen are back in Power Girl #1 and Power Girl, now going by the name Paige Stetler after ditching her Karen Starr alias, is starting a whole new life as she changes the focus of her company to sustainability. When she hosts a charity night with various alien and Atlantean artifacts (thanks Arthur!), it draws the attention of an alien assassin called Amalak, who hates humans and hates Kryptonians even more. How lucky for Power Girl that Amalak has a weapon specifically designed to take down Kryptonians!
Through the years, Power Girl has been through nearly as many variations as Hawkman. Originally she was from Earth-2 in DC’s Pre-Crisis era. After the Crisis on Infinite Earths, she was retconned to be Atlantean, a descendant of Arion. Infinite Crisis and New 52 linked her origin back to being a Kryptonian from the universe of Earth-2 before Doomsday Clock blows it all away and brings her back to her original Pre-Crisis version. Yep, I’m a bit dizzy too from it all. Her power set still seems a bit muddled these days. She appears to have lost the psychic abilities she gained in The Lazarus Planet storyline, but after Power Girl Special #1, she gained the ability to punch gateways to the astral realm, similar to Marvel’s America Chavez. In addition, she still has her Kryptonian heritage and powers, though they’ve been reduced a bit.
Now that that’s out of the way, I’ll say that Power Girl #1 is a solid beginning for her new series, establishing her new identity and giving us a good adversary in Amalak, though it didn’t have quite the punch (no pun intended) I was hoping for. Visually, Amalak is stunning. With his dark crimson skin, massive dreadlocks and silver gauntlets, he’s striking. His power seems to be conjuring weapons from thin air and he has a massive arsenal of them, including a weapon specifically designed to kill Kryptonians. He also seems to have invulnerability too, because he takes a punch to the jaw from Power Girl that would have brought down a skyscraper and he just shrugs it off. I wasn’t sure what his full abilities are, but hopefully that will be explored more in future issues.
Power Girl and Omen’s friendship is the most enjoyable aspect of the series. The two have become very close and though I don’t think it’s going to turn romantic like Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy’s relationship did, there definitely seems to be a deep connection between the two. I always loved Omen back when she was Lilith, so it’s great seeing her featured prominently in a series. Her powers come in handy too as she deals with Amalak’s soldiers while Power Girl takes on the boss. They make a great duo. My main issue with the book is that Power Girl seems to have no personality. I suppose that’s better than the over the top ferocious “let’s beat up and destroy everyone” personality she had back in the days of Justice League International, but I hope as the series progresses, she develops a voice and personality that’s uniquely her own and sets her apart from the other people in the Superman Family.
Eduardo Pansica and Júlio Ferreira’s art on Power Girl #1 is bombastic and really shines in depicting the battle between Power Girl and Amalak. Power Girl isn’t drawn grotesquely busty as she’s been drawn in the past (I’m talking about you, Bart Sears) and her costume (as well as Amalak’s) look both modern and classic.
Power Girl #1 is a good start to the series but has room for improvement. Amalak’s a good nemesis for Power Girl but I was never sure what his power set was and the fight between them is over way too quickly. Power Girl also needs to have a personality that’s more than just a template. Still, I’m looking forward to next issue after this issue’s great cliffhanger ending.