Posted on: December 16th, 2009 Comically Challenged: Power Girl #7

Pamela Anderson Superhero MovieI’m not about to stand here and preach how hard it is to be girl. It’s not. That, and I know we’ve got some female readers so whatever I say is not going to be anything new for them. However, do any of you realize how hard it is to like comic books and want a female role model? It’s difficult, friends…

Why is that do you suppose? There are a whole lot of powerful women in the comic book universe! You get to a point though when you recognize that all of them are either whiney or crazy or a little bit of both. Much like life, I suppose. Why is it so hard to make a decent female character? This isn’t a “Women in Refrigerators” post; this is a sad comic geek searching for a decent read.

First of all, I don’t want to read about how she’s just an average woman at heart. Sure, she has sweet ninja skills or awesome super powers, but isn’t it nice just to watch a chick flick? Stop it. I don’t read comics because they’re like real life. I live in real life. Give me something that’s at least 60% more awesome than my life. Next, I don’t want her going around trying to prove herself. Yeah, I get it. You’re a woman in a man’s world. So what? Think that makes you special? It doesn’t. Just because I own the necessary genitalia does not mean I can relate to your plight. Generally speaking, those are the two niches a female character will fall into.

I like Wonder Woman because I see the potential she has. I didn’t always like her. In fact, it wasn’t until Gail Simone took on her ongoing that I even started to warm up to her. We went from a man-hating, pretentious outsider with mommy-issues to a woman that can accept her role in the universe as a warrior, protector and friend. She struggles with her religion and her heritage. That’s what I’m talking about. That description can be gender-neutral. I just want a hero that just happens to be a woman.

Simone also rocked it on Birds of Prey in my opinion. Three girls: the smart one, the moody one and the closed-off one. Did they all have the traits of regular women? Sure did. Did they face some obstacles that an equal male character would not have faced? You bet. But did they beat that fact over the head with a stick? No. No they did not. Her run was mostly about respect and human needs-needing people and balancing work and your personal life. That’s a legitimate problem everyone faces, regardless of gender. I know Gail Simone doesn’t want to be the “woman writer that writes women characters” but I’ll be damned if she’s not good at it.

Now let’s stop there for a moment. I like to read the sexy and ridiculous characters as well. Not everyone has to be a champion. I’m crazy about Harley Quinn. There’s nothing inspirational about that character. She was smart and then she chose to be the dumb blonde stereotype. I can get on board with that; I’m really not that picky. All I want is a little variety.

To wrap up this rant, I know it’s hard to write a female character because the writers get too hung up on the fact that she is female. Don’t try to get into the mindset of a woman. We’re not actually all that different from guys. Sounds crazy, but I promise it’s true.

powergirlLet’s go over how Justin Gray and Jimmy Palmiotti are doing with the Power Girl ongoing. Issue 7 dropped this week and let’s just say this has been one hell of a ride. I feel bad for Power Girl, I really do. She could be a great superhero except that she’s riddled in boob-jokes. That’s okay though; Diana’s got her culture shock to overcome, Power Girl’s got her rack. It’s who she is and I think Palmiotti and Gray do a great job recognizing it but not belittling her with it.

Amanda Conner’s art is great. She really brings a fresh-faced innocence to not only Karen Starr but every other character in the book. She gave monkey-man Ultra-Humanite a genuine sense of expression. To be able to bring personality to your artwork from everyone to the main character to her cat, that is talent.Power-Girl-7

What disappoints me in this run is that while you have great character development and a solid grasp of making Power Girl tolerable, it’s all set in fluff-piece plots. So far we’ve seen P.G. almost have her body taken over by a crazy monkey-guy (body image jokes), chase down three interplanetary heiresses (spoiled daddy-girl jokes), and now we’ve got a sleazy guy, talking in the third person, chasing after Kara Zor-L in order to repopulate his planet (dating/sex jokes).

They’re obviously having fun with the run and the books themselves have actually been getting pretty high praise. I see what they’re trying to do and I respect that this isn’t supposed to be a hard-hitting reflection of a super-powered being trying to make a fresh start in New York. It’s funny, it’s light but it’s a little too sweet for me. I’m glad that Power Girl has her own title. This is certainly better than casting her aside until someone in the DC Universe wants to make a boob joke. However, it’s basically like reading a comic book about Mary Tyler Moore in a cape. It stays on my pull list but if I’m ever hard-up for cash, this will be one of the first titles to go.

6 Responses to “Comically Challenged: Power Girl #7”

  1. Andre Says:
    December 18th, 2009 at 7:37 am

    Powergirl will never get over her breasts, the fans won’t let anyone forget them.

  2. Jules Cressman Says:
    December 19th, 2009 at 5:04 am

    It’s safe to say that no at DC comics gets how appeal to a female audience. It’s also safe to say that it pisses me off that they canceled Simon Dark, but let Powergirl carry a series.

  3. Andre Says:
    December 20th, 2009 at 5:15 am

    “It’s safe to say that no at DC comics gets how appeal to a female audience.”
    I doubt that.

  4. Auburn Says:
    December 20th, 2009 at 10:22 pm

    Yeah, I’d probably disagree with you there, Jules. Thing of it is, I’ve always been more drawn to DC as opposed to Marvel. That may be because DC is far more likely to let a female character have her own ongoing. Right now Ms. Marvel has her own title and Spider-Girl has the spot in Web of Spider-Man; I can’t even think of another though. Not saying there aren’t strong female roles at Marvel, they’re just usually along with a team (ie. Emma Frost, Storm, Sue Richards, etc). Meanwhile, over at DC we have Wonder Woman, Power Girl, Batgirl, Gotham City Sirens and Bat Woman heading Detective.

    It’s a little one sided when comparing the two companies because on one side you have WW, on the other you have Models, Inc. (an abomination to the world of comics).

  5. Dru Says:
    January 8th, 2010 at 1:54 am

    Well said Andre. Dc easily out classes Marvel in feamiie characters who have thier own comic. I apologise, i cannot get behind power girl because part of her selling point is sophmoric. I dont see why she cannot have a uniform whch covers her entire body. Im not overly impressed with the writing of her comic, it’s okay. Her uniform reminds of much of fantasy art . A lady with very large breasts fighting a dragon with a thong on. Hunh?! I get that this is just art but, please. Anyone going up against a dragon needs to be fully clothed in armor regardless of gender.

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