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A week or two ago, it was announced that Amanda Conner and her husband Jimmy Palmiotti were going to leave Power Girl, effective issue #12.  She does the art, he does the writing.  (Side note:  I don't have proof of this, but supposedly, Palmiotti read The Supremacy  #1 and said it was one of the best written comics of last year.  Excuse me while I do the Cabbage Patch for a moment....)  They were both at C2E2 this weekend.  I missed Palmiotti, but I caught Conner and she graciously signed every last Power Girl book I brought with.  Her line moved slow because she wouldn't just scrawl her name, she would talk with the fans (she also had multiple pens and would sign each book in a color that complimented it).  With her departure from Power Girl, she and her husband have been talking up a creator-owned project they have been working on.  She told me she was excited, but was hoping they'd be back on Power Girl before too long.  She liked Power Girl and agreed with me that she was like Supergirl but without the continuity-based baggage.

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.


( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Apr. 22nd, 2010 12:35 am (UTC)
Oh Noes!

I've enjoyed PG since my days as a kid, reading the 70's ear All-Star comics (own a complete set, plus the TPB's...highly recommended), bought the Showcase series...the mini's and this series has me disappointed because it's more of the same.

She is and always has been, Supergirl with big knockers and an attitude. Not a character many guys can warm up to, nor one you can do much with. That's why the Earth-2 Huntress appealed to me more...

Come to think of it, I prefer Bats to Supes anyhow....
Apr. 22nd, 2010 03:17 am (UTC)
Power Girl was one of my favorite characters, too. I started reading her about the time of the mini, when she thought she was the daughter of Arion The Immortal (I have all her All-Star appearances, too).

What appealed to me initially was her assertiveness. She held her own quite well. Yeah, great physique, although it didn't look anything like it does now (I said it before and I'll say it again -- I'll bet that rope going over her tits and under her armpit is REAL comfortable). When they started changing her origin every few years after Crisis, the character really took on a special resonance with me. She had no past, and any past she thought she had, she couldn't be sure was real. Even among other supers, she was alone, she had nothing but the now to build on.

But she just hasn't been handled properly. For example, Giffen couldn't do right by her in JLE (drunk on diet sodas? Srsly?). Because of her unique situations, there is so much that can be mined if only writers were up to the challenge. Her revised appearances before Geoff Johns wrote her in JSA Classified had her more bratty and punkish instead of assertive. And then, of course, there's her pneumatic physique.

I'm just not sure anyone really knows what to do with her aside from fap material. Once again, female heroes seduce while male heroes inspire.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

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