When DC Comics had its original Crisis on Infinite Earths, the idea was to "clean everything up," so it was more understandable for new fans. And for a lot of characters, it worked. But there were a few, like Hawkman, who just got kicked in the nuts by the new continuity. For these few, these muddled few, this band of discordant brothers, things just spiraled out of control, getting progressively worse with each new "fix." Hawkman was one. Donna Troy another. And, of course, we can't forget poor Power Girl.
Power Girl was originally Superman's cousin -
yes, the exact same character as Supergirl, but with a different name. The difference was that her cousin was the Superman of Earth-2, the home of all DC's 1940s characters. He was a middle-aged guy with graying hair. No surprise that he's the one wiped from history when it all goes pear-shaped. Since the new edict was that Kal El was the only survivor of Krypton, they couldn't have Power Girl be his cousin any more, but she was also too popular to get rid of. And that's where the problems started.
Since Power Girl was a pretty major player in Infinite Crisis, she showed up in Series 1 of the IC toys. Based on the artwork of Phil Jimenez and sculpted by Jon G. Matthews, the figure looks great. Power Girl has had a DCD figure before - at the end of 2001 - but it was... well, pretty terrible. The design was outdated in every way, and she looked retarded. We really needed a better version, and now we have it. Right away, she's got a better face and a cuter haircut.
No longer does Power Girl have the physique of a midwestern milk maid. The Earth-2 Superman was always a bit more doughy than muscular, so that look (almost) made sense for her then. But now the "power" in "Power Girl" is conveyed by muscles rather than by... nothing. Her musculature doesn't go into "female body builder" territory that Alex Ross seems to favor - more "beach volleyball." And thus, still feminine. Her hips are a bit narrow and her feet are too small, but such is life.
Though it wasn't part of her character when she debuted, Power Girl has, over the years, become increasingly sexualized.
Not slutty - just an object of desire for all the guys. Well, most of the guys. Her fellow heroes, supervillains, random people on the street... everybody's attracted to Power Girl. And conversely, all the women hate her; she doesn't have any friends and all the other heroines treat her like she's a bitch. Just like in real life. Citizens of the DCU may think Wonder Woman's hot, but nobody's ogling her on the street - that sort of public sexual harrassment is reserved for PG.
The current trend in comics is to make costumes look like they're made of actual material, rather than just coloring the heroes' skin. Power Girl's wearing a white bodysuit with the magical window in the front, and blue boots and gloves. Her costume has seams, while her boots and gloves have zippers. Her red belt is a separate, floating piece with a gold buckle. Her cape is the modern style, attached at one shoulder with a braided cord wrapped around her chest.
The figure is 6 3/8" tall and moves at the knees,
hips, elbows, shoulders and neck. It's a shame, really, because her boots and gloves look tailor-made for joints. The head and shoulder balljoints have a good range of motion, at least. Her hair is sort of a dirty blonde, so it almost looks greenish, but only because we're so used to seeing pure yellow as the comicbook equivalent of blonde. Power Girl has no accessories (other than her "Power Girls"), but she does have the IC logo base that's standard for this line. Works much better for her than it did for Mongul.
There's a rumor that during her stint in the Justice League, the artist and writer conspired to draw her, uh "Power Girls" bigger every issue, until someone told them to stop.
Can't say whether or not that's true, but the cleavage-window on her costume was recently turned into a fairly poignant character touch: she was waiting to choose a symbol, like Superman had, but never found one that felt right. Probably because she never knew what her real origin was.
So the first story was that she was Superman's cousin, but thought that "Supergirl" was too derivative. Then Crisis happened, and suddenly she was the granddaughter of an Atlantean sorcerer king (from the past). That didn't stick, so she was alternately rumored to be the daughter of two members of the Legion of Superheroes (from the future) or the cousin of Ultraman, the evil version of Superman who belonged to the Crime Syndicate of America (parallel universe). The cartoon just cut corners and made her a clone of Supergirl. But none of it worked as well as the original, so DC asked Geoff Johns to tell her definitive origin in the pages of JSA Classified. What he came up with? She was Superman's cousin, but thought that "Supergirl" was just too derivative. Her Earth-2 origin was back and intact, setting up some of the problems of Infinite Crisis. It's either a clever plan or a big "eff you" to the fans, depending on who you ask. Either way, Power Girl is the best Supergirl figure DCD has ever released.
Which potential Power Girl origin works best? Tell us on our message board, The Loafing Lounge