It was after I got the books signed (and just ended it there, I had variant covers by Adam Hughes, but he sat at his table behind a sign saying he wouldn't sign any more books until 530PM. Much as I love his art, I frankly am not interested in waiting around that long) that I started mulling things over. Conner has said in interviews that she will now have the time to work on this new project. She is an in-demand artist, so I'm not faulting that.
It's just that....
...something's not right here.
If the concern is the workload, there are a lot of ways around that. When DC revived Plastic Man with the wonderful art of Kyle Baker (still my favorite work by him), he would do a storyline, then there would be an issue or two done by a fill-in, then it would be back to Baker. The fill-ins I have for completeness. They were a good imitation of Baker's cartoony take on the character (a true return to the series' roots), but were just kind of general in their focus. Not bad, but not great.
The point is, there are plenty of ways to handle the workload and keep an artist who is ostensibly one of the selling points of a title around (everyone I heard in line and have read online has said that, when Conner is gone, so are they).
I wonder if this might be the answer: below are the sales figures for Power Girl since the regular series debuted. The tale of the tape?
05/2009: #1 -- 47,322 (regular issue and variant cover)
06/2009: #2 -- 36,756 (-22.3%) (regular issue and variant cover)
07/2009: #3 -- 35,163 (- 4.3%) (regular issue and variant cover)
08/2009: #4 -- 32,140 (- 8.6%) (regular issue and variant cover)
09/2009: #5 -- 29,497 (- 8.2%) (regular issue and variant cover)
10/2009: #6 -- 27,060 (- 8.3%) (regular issue and variant cover)
11/2009: -- (I noticed there wasn't an issue in my pull that month)
12/2009: #7 -- 22,533 (-16.7%) (after an issue missed a month. What a shock)
01/2010: #8 -- 21,760 (- 3.4%)
02/2010: #9 -- 20,900 (- 4.0%)
For those of you who don't do The Maths, this constitutes a 35% drop in readership. Now, that's not bad, most of your titles pray for only a 33% drop between issue 1 and 2. Power Girl only lost 22%. However, the readership has been declining steadily. I will be the first to admit I'm not thrilled with the general direction of the stories -- lots of interactions and plots hinging on Power Girl being a dish (you don't see Batman getting crushed out on by a fan girl) instead of being heroic. Maybe if she was given stories that were heroic like the original miniseries from 1995, where she's the focal point instead of acting as an outside influence, it would help. But the book's sales are now below the rumored PNR. With Conner and Palmiotti gone, lots of people will drop it, pushing figures lower. Whoever is taking over is on a suicide mission. If Power Girl makes it to issue #16, I'll be amazed.
It's a shame. The character of Power Girl has so much potential for great stories due to her isolation even when surrounded by superheroes. Another player in the big leagues who never really got off the bench.