I meant to get these up a day or so ago, but wasn't feeling well. And now I've gotten deeply into reading an actual book that might slow down my comic reading even more than usual. I'm abut 160 pages into The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson and despite a slow start and plodding writing style, which might be a function of the translation, it's quite engrossing.
On to the comics....
Power Girl 13 and 14
Nice cover on 13, although I'd prefer to see her soaring upward. Sami Basri's art is a nice transition from Amanda Connor's, but lacks the full range of facial expressions that's Connor's specialty. The cover of 14 is nice, too. So far, the good Winick seems to be writing the book. Karen's company is now bankrupt thanks to a thieving Head of Finance. Obviously a plot device to 1) provide some personal life angst for PG and 2) to possibly minimize the use of her company or eliminate it completely as an element in her life, it nonetheless is used fairly effectively to keep her off-balance while she deals with more typical superhero goings-on. I'm reserving judgment on the new team until the first arc is completed, but I'm heartened that so far, it doesn't suck.
Jimmy Olson takes center stage for a fair amount of this issue, which surprisingly to me, was a good thing. I've never much liked Jimmy, but he's used well here, getting himself captured by the Bizzaro Supergirl. The art by Igle and Sibal is especially nice, with some wonderfully expressive faces. I'm not sure why the opposite of being able seeing through someone would be to make someone solid, but that's a minor quibble and I look forward to seeing how Kara is desolidified in the next issue.
And thus ends the first year of this remarkable book. Remarkable in the sense that I've enjoyed it so much. I hadn't really read much about Steph til the storyline in which she'd been supposedly killed and didn't have an opinion about her one way or the other. But curiosity, a love for the Batgirl identity, and the face that Babs would be in the book got me to read it and I've been rewarded by a thoroughly entertaining book with nice art, engaging characters, and well-written stories, with the drama broken up by light moments and a marvelously self-aware narrator in Steph. The use of Wendy, Calculator's daughter, in the book has been great and I'm happy to see her becoming part of Oracle's team. I hope Gail works Wendy into the Birds of Prey book sometimes, for continuity and to see what she would do with the character. Some coordination between the two books would be much appreciated.
Speaking of Gail Simone...
Birds of Prey 3 continues to deliver the goods. The plot thickens, with a typical Gail Simone plot twist. Savant and Creote are the baddies with the goods on Babs, reports of their deaths not only greatly exaggerated but designed to throw Babs off the scent until they could nab her. But the assassin's identity is still a mystery, but the possibility of a suddenly aged Sin is possible. Or someone else from that time Dinah spent perfecting her skills when she met Sin. As for the Penguin, it looks like he's orchestrating some if not all the plot. Or is it someone else yet to be seen? Gail feeds out the clues slowly and it's hard to know for sure if one is guessing correctly. She's one of the best when it comes to building suspense.
Streets of Gotham 13
The Carpenter is a fun antagonist -- I can't bring myself to call her a villain -- but it's the Manhunter story that keeps me reading this book. Ramsey is quite a kid and Kate's got one of the best families/supporting casts you can find in comics, with each quirkier than the other. A nice end to the story and Dick Grayson inviting Kate to dinner at the end was an intriguing development I hope is explored.
Green Arrow 1
I have no idea where this book is going and I hate hate hate the state of the Arrow family right now, with Roy pretty much dead to me and Dinah and Ollie split up. That said, J.T. Krul is writing an intriguing story that ties into Brightest Day (or so says the banner on the cover) and with Green Lantern showing up, this could turn out to be an entertaining book.