Jan. 5th, 2011

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1. Girl Power: The Nineties Revolution In Music by Marisa Meltzer.
2. The Patriot Witch (Book One of the Traitor to the Crown trilogy) by C.C. Finlay.

3. Power Girl: A New Beginning and Power Girl: Aliens and Apes by Justin Gray, Jimmy Palmiotti, and Amanda Conner. I got a Barnes & Noble gift card for Christmas, and this is what I spent it on. The reason for that is Amanda Conner, pure and simple. Her art is dynamic and expressive, with elements of pinup art, but Frank Cho she's not; the emphasis is on expression more than poses, and at times the words don't need to be there at all to bring across what the characters are thinking and saying. One of the artists Conner reminds me of most is Kevin Maguire, which is appropriate, since he put his own stamp on Power Girl during the Giffen/DeMatteis run on the Justice League titles. PG herself (I like the nickname Peej, myself) strikes me as one of DC's most challenging characters; she's a female analog of Superman who's best known to many comics readers (and non-comics readers) for the size of her chest. Conner embraces that part of the character without exploiting it (much), and the team takes every opportunity to ding the male characters who can't keep their eyes on her face. Personally, I don't think the problem is that Peej has big boobs; it's that sometimes it seems like every woman in comics has big boobs, even those who were originally written explicitly to be less endowed (Jubilee springs to mind--during the New Warriors reboot her chest inexplicably ballooned). Conner herself talks about trying to show the variety of female body types in this interview. Anyway, enough about boobs. Conner's art is really the highlight of this run; the story is enjoyable enough, but it's crowded and scattered, and Peej's secret identity subplot doesn't really go anywhere--mostly it leaves me wondering why she has a secret identity at all. I guess the Ultra-Humanite doesn't do much for me as a villain, either. On the whole, though, this is light, fun stuff, and presents a very likable and believable (if that word applies, here) version of a character that's still a bit undefined after 35 years.


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