Power Girl #23 review

Power Girl and Superman are fighting magical dinosaurs, who they gonna call? Zatanna, stage magician and real-life enchantress. But as she’s all tied up with power leech Siphon, she’s bound to be silent. Her unavailablility tips the Kryptonian cousins off that she’s in need of a hand herself, so dispatching the dinos, they’re off to free Zee. Siphon’s a natural with the backwards magic, though, and he unleashes a hilarious spell on the heroic trio – let’s just say things get rocky for them. Then it’s a sasquatch attack, hell on Earth, talk of magical bras, the world’s biggest glue gun ….

Writer Judd WInick is having fun here, with a light hearted tale that packs in plenty of entertaining tussles and character beats. There’s Power Girl and Superman convincing themselves of the true nature of the dinosaurs as they don’t wish to kill living creatures, before their fakeness becomes very evident in Sami Basri’s glorious splash. There’s Siphon’s reaction to Zee’s just-perfect ringtone. And fight over, there’s the resolution to Power Girl’s secret identity crisis.

This last surprised me, as Karen Starr suddenly becomes a red-wigged, bespectacled boardroom babe. I was sure Peege would take Superman’s advice to make Karen more different from her superheroic self, but via a change of hairstyle and character acting, not this full-on disguise. Still, surprises are good, and I can’t see the new look taking.

At one point Zatanna begins narrating the story, which had me checking the cover to see whose book it was – perhaps this two-parter was originally going to be a crossover between this book and Zee’s own. Not to worry, as this is a wonderfully fun storyline, a perfect diversion that won’t cause any headaches after the fact. Winick’s dialogue is top of the range, easily as amusing – without being silly – as anything from the book’s brilliant first year, when Justin Gray and Jimmy Palmiotti were writing.

And Basri’s artwork is just excellent, and I’m amazed he’s not yet been pulled away by a bigger book or publisher (oops, mustn’t give them ideas). He not only gives us his usual proud, pretty Power Girl, but a strong, steadfast Superman and a zippy, zoftig Zatanna. The pages are superbly coloured by Jessica Kholinne and lettered by John J Hill. The dazzling cover is down to Basri with Sunny Gho – it’s a shame there was no room for Superman, but then, he did make last month’s front.

I’ve said it before, I’ll likely say it again – for a great mix of drama and humour, few comics can beat Power Girl.

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