Power Girl Index

1978

All-Star Comics #70: Jan-Feb. storytellers: Paul Levitz, Joe Staton & Bob Layton; editor: Joe Orlando

Showcase #97: Feb. writer: Levitz; artists: Staton & Joe Orlando; editor: no credit; "with special thanks to Gerry Conway, her godfather"

#71: Mar-Apr. writer: Levitz; penciller: Staton; inker: Layton; editor: Orlando

Showcase #98: Mar. writer: Levitz; artists: Staton & Giordano; editor: Orlando

# 99: Apr. writer: Levitz; artists: Staton & Giordano; editor: Orlando

All-Star Comics #72: May-June. writer: Levitz; penciller: Staton; inker: Layton; editor: Orlando

#73: July-Aug. writer: Levitz; penciller: Staton; inker: Joe Giella; editor: Orlando

#74: Sept-Oct. writer: Levitz; artists: Staton & Giella; editor: Orlando

1978 covers


This was a big year for Peege as she got a three-issue solo shot in Showcase, a revised, semi-original origin, a secret identity, and instant computer skills. Still despite the origin she does not have her true name revealed.

All-Star 70: During the team's off-time PG proposes what seems to be a poker game and, when left with too few players, calls S-SK's suggestion of Monopoly "Infantile." She, SSK and Wildcat find themselves bored since their only remaining identities are the super kind. PG goes out to find what results in the Showcase tryout run:

Wearing boots that have grown simply GIGANTIC tops, PG stops the robbery of an electonics firm. She demonstrates that bullets bounce off, she's faster than a speeding bullet, more powerful than a speeding locomotive, and leaps tall buildings in a single bound. Yeah, yeah, we get it.

Andrew Vinson of the Daily Globe demands to know her origin story. PG overreacts, physically threatens him and tells him to stay away from her. She equates all reporters with her cousin: "Hovering busybodies."

Zor-L and wife

PG dozes in the woods and dreams (that's some memory!) of Krypton when she was an infant. PG was born in unshrunken Kandor (remember, this is Krypton-2 and not Krypton-1) to Zor-L and his wife, an unnamed blonde. Zor-L modifies his brother Jor's plans for a spaceship and is only able to build a small one in time to send PG off at the same time Kal was.

PG wakes, wondering at her unnatural sleep and dream, and jumps away. Vinson just misses catching her.

Returning to her home town of Gotham City, PG encounters another group of criminals related to the first group. They're trying to free their buddies and get the electonic parts being held as evidence. It takes a lot of effort to stand up to strange laser guns, but PG keeps on coming while the gang members mention a mysterious "boss." A later interlude shows us that this boss is Brain Wave.

Suddenly Vinson appears, flying encased in bulky Kryptonian armor which emits rays which batter PG off her feet. (Note: Vinson's paper is now the Gotham Globe.) Vinson has been captured by the armor, which announces that it is in control and that its mission is to capture PG. The armor is called the "Symbioship."

The cops give PG enough of a breather that she can free Vinson. The armor converts to a spaceship. PG apologizes to Vinson for the spacehip's behavior and tells him it won't happen again. But since she won't explain further, Vinson jumps on her as she jumps away.

Andrew VinsonVinson demands an explanation from PG. She tells him that her trip to Earth took a different, longer route while she was kept in suspended animation. Her symbioship gave her the illusion of a normal Kryptonian life as she grew up to the age of 20 while 60 years had passed in real time.

"Then I landed on EARTH... and entered the REAL world... I... I... managed... I guess."

She had crashed outside Gotham City. "Luckily Superman found me then, and HELPED me along... and UNLICKILY he never let me FORGET it until I finally struck out on my own!"

symbioship The symbioship suddenly comes to life again and imprisons PG within it. PG asks Vinson to help her as the symbioship's dream world envelops her. The ship has her fall in love with an illusion and she rejects the idea. PG experiences two years, graduating and beginning a career on false Krypton "...and both [scenarios] are REJECTED, by sheer, unimaginable, force of WILL.

"But even as Power Girl's body twists and contorts, battling the LURE of what might have been MICROCIRCUITS designed by her father ACTIVATE -- INCREASING power levels and pulling her DEEPER into the future he envisioned for her comfort, if the voyage between the stars lasted a LIFETIME... Yet even though the ADDITIONAL POWER is being channeled to hold her more tightly, the effect is the REVERSE -- as a girl who thinks of herself as just past the first blush of youth REJECTS a reality of motherhood -- and TWISTS the dream, envisioning herself alone and deserted... the LAST living being on dead Krypton!"

PG crashes out of the ship, but still receives the images. She gathers Vinson up and jumps away. The visions stay with her, but weaken with distance. She lands at the Superman Museum, where the ship grabs her again.

Vinson gets the curator to project scenes of Krypton at the ship so it seems as if the ship has returned to its home planet -- cancelling its programming. PG busts out and reduces the ship to scrap metal.

PG says that this episode has taught her that she needs to express her thanks better -- and she thanks Vinson -- and to work better with people.

first day of work as Karen StarrIn the final issue of her Showcase run, PG borrows a memory teacher from Wonder Woman to become a computer expert. Vinson helps her get a job as a software expert named KAREN STARR at Gotham's Ultimate Computer Corporation (UCC), the world's largest computer service corporation. UCC's director, Dr. Ginsberg, has hired her from Vinson's recommendation on a "no questions asked" basis. How exactly does such a deal get made?

At any rate, this deal alllows her to take off work (before she even sees her office) to investigate the sudden disappearance of Keystone City. Brain Wave announces that he'll destroy each city that is home to a JSA member until the JSA surrenders to him for execution.

With the threat of more deaths, PG surrenders to find Green Lantern and Flash already captured. Though Brain Wave thinks his prison is unbreakable, PG uses brute force to escape. Brain Wave throws a powerful creature at her but she tricks it back to captivity.

Brain Wave partially surrenders, but says he'll never restore Keystone, which he's put in dimensional limbo. Luckily, PG now understands the comptuers that keep it there and restores everything as well as frees her comrades.

Note that in the first Showcase issue, the cover shows her neckline stretching against her to make a kind of sweetheart-neckline effect. This style neckline would be utilized by several future artists, particularly Dick Dillin, but here it seems only to be a trick of perspective. Back to All-Star: In issue 72, PG and the JSA go up against the Thorn and Sportsmaster. (Note: SSK leaves and Huntress joins the team.) There are instances of the male members trying to protect PG with misguided chivalry from threats she can easily handle.

73: PG seems to be as fast as Flash. She concentrates on bringing Sportsmaster in.

74: PG and Huntress begin a close friendship as they lunch in their secret IDs. A military shell stuns PG during an action sequence. Otherwise she battles various magical and natural disasters against the Master Summoner.

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