Review: Power Girl trade paperback (DC Comics)

Saturday, January 20, 2007

I'm often struck, having been introduced to the DC Universe largely through the Super Powers cartoon, and then through post-Crisis on Infinite Earths comic books, when reading a trade like Power Girl, at the deceptively long history of this character. As of last year, Power Girl's been around for thirty years.

Given the somewhat historically nebulous status of her origin, as this trade shows -- the fact that it took three years before they revealed who she was, a wait time unheard of in this day and age, leads me to believe the original creaters weren't quite sure what to do with her, either -- and her generally modern-seeming costume and personality, it's hard to believe Power Girl predates even the Reagan era, but she does.

It's kind of like reading the Superman vs. The Flash trade, and seeing Barry Allen fight Professor Zoom back in the sixties and seventies -- nowhere more than the in longevity of these characters, and the fact that we're essentially just telling the same stories over and over again with the same characters, is it more brought home to me that these characters truly are our society's modern mythology. So take that in favor of Grant Morrison's living, breathing, DC Universe.

The Power Girl trade features a fun, rollicking story by Geoff Johns with plenty of cameos and guest starts, and fantastic, also fun art by Amanda Conner; I hadn't been exposed to Conner's art before, but it's great, and I'm glad she's doing the upcoming Terra miniseries -- with her rendition of the Justice Society, I'd be happy to see her on a team book sometime soon.

CHUD: "The Year the Floppies Died"

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Lest you all think the commentary aspect of Collected Editions has fallen by the wayside, I was thinking hard today about the conversation I had earlier this month with one of our anonymous commenters, and about how far the collected editions industry has come as a whole since this blog started--I mean, now there are consistent Superman trades for gosh sakes, when during the Casey/Kelly era just a few years ago, that would've been unheard of. And browsing the news these past few days, I see we've lost both Manhunter and Firestorm--both of which had trades solicited very recently, so if this isn't frighteningly obvious to everyone so far, pre-ordering is your friend! I guarantee both those titles got the axe as soon as the trade orders came in--but what'll be interesting to see is whether we get more Manhunter and Firestorm trades--both apparently related to DC's next big crossover--even though the series have ended, a la Gotham Central. Because if a cancelled series can live on past it's demise in trade form, that's an interesting direction indeed ...

Meanwhile, Devin Faraci has a column over at CHUD regarding a decision to switch to "wait for trade," and whether 2006 was the year that killed the floppy.
"A move to longform comic books is completely overdue ... Comics used to contain multiple short stories, and eventually the stories filled out to full book length. The stories soon became bigger than the individual book’s page counts and thus was born the multi-part story, but there’s been no change in pages to keep up with the expanded storytelling ..."
Read the whole thing at the CHUD website.


Review: Supergirl: Power trade paperback (DC Comics)

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Gratuitous cheesecake reigns galore in Supergirl: Power, which should come as a surprise to no one, but if you can take that as simply the cost of doing business, this volume actually houses another competant Jeph Loeb mystery.

The questions left unanswered by Superman/Batman: Supergirl are answered handily here, and Loeb does a great job staying true to Supergirl's pre-crisis origin, while at the same time turning elements of it on their head, despite a somewhat quick, truncated ending after the mystery's solved.

 This volume also serves as an interesting sequel to both Loeb's Superman/Batman: Public Enemies, as he handles - -is this a spoiler anymore? -- both Lex Luthor and some of Lex's old Public Enemies heroes team, and to Geoff Johns' Teen Titans/Outsiders: The Insiders, even if some of the continuity gets stretched a little bit (see the trade paperback timeline).

Too bad Loeb doesn't remain with the character any longer; we'll see next time around how Rucka, Kelly, and others handle her.

52: Volume 1 TP solicited

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Well, consider me surprised. Here's the latest from Newsarama:

Written by Geoff Johns, Grant Morrison, Greg Rucka, Mark Waid
Breakdowns by Keith Giffen
Art by various
Cover by J.G. Jones
After the INFINITE CRISIS, the DCU spent a year without Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman — a year in which those heroes were needed more than ever as the fate of the world hung in the balance.
Don’t miss the first of a four-volume collection featuring the lead stories from 52 WEEK 1-13 of the unprecedented, critically acclaimed weekly series of death, danger, romance, terror and the never-ending search for heroism in the DC Universe’s most eventful year ever.
52: A year without Superman; a year without Batman; a year without Wonder Woman…but not a year without heroes.
Advance-solicited; on sale May 30 • 304 pg, FC, $19.99 US

Well, now we know it's four trades, ostensibly of thirteen issues each. And trade paperback, for only twenty dollars per? (That's $1.50 per issue, for anyone counting.) A bargain, to boot! I'm going to guess one trade a month for the next four months. Anyone else?