Sunday, April 29, 2012

What happened to the Maid of Tomorrow ?

Today Uma Thurman celebrates her 42nd birthday and since she was one of my first candidates for the SEARCH FOR POWER GIRL series ( back when there WAS a Search for Power Girl series on the blog ) I think it´s appropiate to write this rant I have been putting off for a few days now.

Uma´s exposed Umammaries don´t leave much to the imagination.

I try to focus on the positive things of comics on the blog from time to time there are just some things I have to get of my chest and this is one of them.

Now Power Girl never had an easy standing ( no pun intended ) in the world of comics. While she was an interesting character and immensly popular with the readership - especially the female readers which you can see by how many women dress up as Power Girl - her own series suffered from bad karma.

Or more from a curse. Although sabotage also might have something to do with it. Because somehow DC never had the idea to put somebody who can draw hot women on one of her series. Which sounds like a no - brainer.

I mean when you are looking for a new artist for Iron Man you sure don´t pick the guy who can´t draw tech stuff even if his life depended on it. If you´re looking for a new artist for Hulk you sure don´t pick the guy where it looks like somebody glued two loafs of bread in a wet paperbag together when he tries to draw muscles. And if you´re looking for a new artist for a western comic you probably pick the guy who can draw a horse.

Well, apparently logic like that doesn´t play any role when a big comic company is looking for an artist for a comic book with a female lead. According to Comic Geek Speak DC is very aware that whenever they do a Nightwing series the artist has to be capable of drawing certain cheesecake shots of Dick Grayson or else this secret coven of female Nightwingfans will descend on them and destroy them.

Somehow nothing like that happens with Power Girl and there seems to be the idea that it won´t sell anyway.

It doesn´t exactly help that Power Girl´s history is - seemingly - one of the most complicated histories in the DC universe and most all writers on her book deemed it necessary to give her a new origin.

I´m saying her history is seemingly complicated because when you look at the beginning it was really simple : she´s the cousin of Superman from Earth 2. What Supergirl was to Superman on Earth 1 Power Girl was to Superman on Earth 2. Only she was a grown woman ( and not only in the chest area ), she was more pro active and liked to punch things in short she was more her own character than just the female version of Superman.

She was a member of the Justice Society and the seeds to Power Girl´s enourmous rack was sown when artist Wally Wood began drawing her breast bigger in every issue to see how far he could get away with it and nobody noticing. Or so the urban legend has it. Anyway, all was good and fine with Power Girl.

And then there was a crisis. Worlds will live. Worlds will die. And the DC universe will never be the same again.

And Power Girl will never be the same again. Because she was so popular that DC decided to keep her as a character. Which shouldn´t have been difficult because the original Supergirl had died in the crisis and there was no new Supergirl in the new DC universe for many years to come. When John Byrne had the unenviable task of relaunching the SUPERMAN franchise he decided that anything derative of Superman would make him less unique. So in the beginning there was no Kandor, no Krypto, there never had been a Superboy ( which caused it´s own avalanche of problems in the Legion of Superheroes universe ) and there was no Supergirl. Now you would think this would be easy : there is no Supergirl, there is Power Girl so you just say that Power Girl is Earth 1´s Supergirl. But by John Byrne´s decree there were supposed no Superman - ish other superheroes so if DC wanted to keep Power Girl they had to come up with something else than her real origin.

After the crisis nobody remembered that there had been a multiverse and something like Earth 2 ( except the poor Psycho Pirate who ended up in a psychiatric asylum because his memories of the crisis were intect ) and suddenly whenever Power Girl arrived somewhere all the other heroes were like : " Who are you again ? Are you Superman´s wife ? " And it´s because of this that she got all those ridiculous new origins to shoehorn her into the new continuity.

Her first bouts of glory were in the Keith Giffen / J. M. DeMatteis league where one of the few artists who was born to draw her - the incomparable Bart Sears - should cement her look for the next decades.

There were a few artists on the Justice League books in the 80s that drew a really fetching Power Girl like Kevin Maguire or Adam Hughes which should tell you what a crazy comic decade the 80s were. A babe artist on a book with babes ? It´s mad I tell you !

Anyway, I never understood why DC didn´t just go and put Bart Sears, Kevin Maguire or Adam Hughes on a Power Girl book. Okay, keeping in mind the time it takes Adam Hughes with his stuff he´s probably only doing the covers ( he did two for the Amanda Conner series ) but Bart Sears back on Power Girl would have been really something. Kevin Maguire did 2 series with the Justice League international cast after DC railroaded the Giffen League so he could have done a regular Power Girl books as well.

Don´t tell me he doesn´t need money. Just have Power Girl as the main character and team her up with Guy Gardner and the stuff practically writes itself. And if that becomes repetetive you can have one of the other guys like Blue Beetle, Booster Gold, Fire or Ice make a cameo appearance. Dude, that´s like printing money.

Anyway, back to Power Girl´s history when DC launched INFINITE CRISIS it brought back the multiverse and suddenly everybody remembered who Power Girl was. Which was kind of weird, everybody going like : " Hey, I remember you. Where have you been all this time ? " and you might think that all the complications were over. But nothing´s that simple where quantum mechanics and comic continuity is concerned and so it wasn´t that surprising that in one of the best Justice Society of America stories ever written - THY KINGDOM COME - Power Girl went up against Power Girl.

Say whaaat ?

In the story Gog, a god from the Tird World that preceeded Jack Kirby´s Fourth World, tries to make everything better so he sends Power Girl to Earth 2 even if most heroes don´t know there is something called an Earth 2. Power Girl arrives on Earth 2 and after the usual misunderstandings and battles between allies she has finally come home again.

And then Power Girl comes home to Earth 2.

And she finds this other Power Girl has been eating her cookies, drinking her milk and sleeping in her bed and she´s pissed.

Yes, I also was confused by this. Apparently when the multiverse with its 52 parrallel universes was reborn during INFINITE CRISIS a Power girl was needed on Earth 2 and since Power Girl was on Earth 1 the universe created another Power Girl that wnet looking for Superman since she didn´t know he had gone to our world and died during INFINITE CRISIS. Nice way of the multiverse to say it has gone on without Power Girl.

So Power Girl´s history was once again pretty confusing but at least we got a new series were the first 12 issues were done by Amanda Conner. Now my choices for an artist are known but Amanda Conner really rolled up her sleeves with that one and knocked it out of the ball park. The only bad thing I can say about it is that it only lasted 12 issues and that they weren´t bold enough to do the book without any superhero stuff. Because really, in this book you could have had an entire issue of Power Girl going to do the laundry and it would have been entertaining.

There were some issues afterwards but nothing to really write home about. And when the NEW 52 came around Power Girl was the first fatality of the new multiverse - less universe. There was the MISTER TEERIFIC book where a Karen Star ( Power Girl´s secret identity on many occasions ) was a cast member but it didn´t interest me enough to follow the book. Power Girl´s time was apparently over.

Until the second wave of NEW 52 books was announced and WORLD´S FINEST starring none other than Huntress and Power Girl was announced. And the icing on the cake was that the artists on the book would be Kevin Maguire and George Perez. I thoguht I had died and gone to geek nirvana and wanted more of this cake.

What I didn´t know was that this particular cake was a cake like in the THINNER novel by Stephen King because from then on the hits just kept coming. First they changed the costume on Power Girl who suddenly looked more like a teenager than a grown woman ( this blog reported indignated ).

Well, it seems there was a tidal wave of indignation by comic fans because then DC claimed that the two superheroines on the cover were not really Power Girl and Huntress but rather the Supergirl and Robin of Earth 2 who are stranded on our world and adopt the names of Power Girl and Huntress. Really ? That´s not helping and it sounds a lot like keeping your cake and eating it at the same time to me.

It´s not even been a year and the multiverse is back again. Talk about being consequent. I´m not sure but wasn´t one of the reasons for the whole FLASHPOINT thing and the NEW 52 to start from scratch with only one universe ? And now Earth 2 is back and probably the multiverse too. I keep hearing how there is this big masterplan behind it all but the more I see of it the more it looks like DC is making it up as they go.

So Power Girl is now Supergirl ? That´s weird because there is a Supergirl book in the NEW 52 and apparently it´s the first Supergirl book that doesn´t suck since, well, since the first crisis. And believe me I´ve read them all so I know it must be true. For the moment I have no first hand experience with the new Supergirl book becuase so far I have only issue 8 which is drawn by George Perez and I haven´t read that yet.

Another fact that lends credibility to DC making it up as they go is that Power girl´s costume has gone through another alteration as can be seen on the actual cover of WORLD´S FINEST and although not as much of her breasts are cover up as befoe there still is no magical cleavage window which is one of the MUSTS where Power Girl is concerned.

I have to say I don´t want to dis Perez but Kevin Maguire´s variant cover really looks better.

But you know what the ugliest part of the cover really is ? This.

From all the logos DC has had over the years, from the bullet to the swirl this is really the greatest abomination. And to think they paid somebody actual money to come up with this.

Now if you are against the new WORLD´S FINEST or can´t wait till the first issue comes out I have to say the art by George Perez looks a bit strange in the preview pages I´ve seen so far.

The thing is the smaller the art gets reduced the worse it looks. There are a few websites where you can get the preview pages but so far has the best preview with the biggest size and it doesn´t take forever to load. You can check the pages out for yourself and you can see that in the bigger size it doesn´t look strange at all. In the printed version it surely will look great.

In closing, the new wave of NEW 52 books doesn´t look like it´s going to be different than the first wave and me, I´m still kind of waiting that it´s over. I´m thinking about finally getting the FLASHPOINT hardcover but right now I´m much more interested in the JIM APARO - LEGENDS OF THE DARK KNIGHT hardcover that has been finally released. It´s a 50 dollar book but at amazon it goes for 33 EUROS so I´m tempted to get it even if I probably have all the issues in this one in the spanish or SHOWCASE version. Still it would be a treat to have them all collected in one book and in color.

Which is another thing about DC that gets me worked up. I mean, it took them almost seven years to do a commemorative book about one THE defining artist of the 80s and for many comic fans the reason why they became DC fans in the first place.

Time to wrap this up for Today before it becomes even more depressing. After our excursion to the parallel worlds of Power Girl the next post will be also a bit out of this world as we finally begin our journey with THE INCAL.

Since we´re ending this post with one of the greatest Batman artists Today´s video is with the one who started it all. I think I haven´t posted BATMAN AND ME : THE BOB KANE STORY before.

New to the blog ? Everything you need to know about TALES FROM THE KRYPTONIAN : top ten posts / more posts of interest


Geier said...

Hmm... Seit wann hat die Uma solche Hupen? - Seltsam...

SUBZERO said...

Das war bei den Oscars 2002 gleich nach ihrer Schwangerschaft. Da wachsen glaub ich gewisse Teile des weiblichen K├Ârpers.....

Aber ich war damals auch erstaunt.

Terry Hooper-Scharf said...

Hi. Couple problems. Until Infinite Crisis which returned 52 parallels (hence a series titled 52) there was NO EARTH 1. It went in Crisis On Infinite Earths. So the REAL Power Girl having been on Earth 1 does not work.
Second: "Continuity"? I just got an email response from DC querying this. Apparently they cannot find the word in the taschenworterbuch!
And I refer you to my CBO Posting "The Days DC Comics Died.."
A nice posting from you again!