Power Girl Index

1988

Power Girl #1: June; writer: Paul Kupperberg; penciller: Rick Hoberg; inker: Arne Starr; editor: Robert Greenberger

2: July; writer: Kupperberg; penciller: Hoberg; inker: Starr; editor: Greenberger

3: Aug; writer: Kupperberg; penciller: Hoberg; inker: Starr; cross channeler: Greenberger

4: Sept; writer: Kupperberg; artist: Hoberg; inker: Starr; lord of order: Greenberger

Doom Patrol #13: Oct; writer: Kupperberg; penciller: Erik Larsen; inker: Alan Gordon; editor: Greenberger

14: Nov; writer: Kupperberg; penciller: Larsen; inker: Jim Sanders III; editor: Greenberger

Firestorm #80: ??Nov? Dec??; guest writer: Greenberger; penciller: Tom Grindberg; inker: Sam delaRosa; editor: Denny O'Neil

Starman #5: er... ah... Pretty Much Complete, remember?

1988 covers

Power Girl #1: This series is set a few months after the Secret Origins story. Unfortunately the series had no bite, not even a bark -- it may as well have concerned Supergirl during her more boring eras in disguise. Uninspired art and uneven inking balanced a bland script and downright bad dialogue. No wonder PG didn't get a permanent series later on.

HOWEVER it did continue and very much deepened Peege's connection to the mystic side of the DCU, further differentiating her from Superman and his many clones and making her a worthy solo character. She was now supposedly on the side of Order in the universe and through the years (fifteen? more?) fought many, many, MANY champions of Chaos.

When DC decided to give Peege back her Kryptonian heritage, all this was wiped out or forgotten or.... well, it was UNUSED. Hacked away from her. Peege lost a HUGE and ORIGINAL portion of her very being.

But that hadn't happened yet...

Karen Starr now works in New York City and is founder and president of StarrWare, "Still a SMALL company," she says. The company produces business and scientific software and Karen is very much anti-computer games. The company's newest and very lucrative project is "Data," a spreadsheet program.

Brooks and DraperHarlan Brooks is a major stockholder with a bad attitude. Andrew Draper is corporate counsel who is infatuated with Karen. (Does Kupperberg think all Karen's beaux should be named "Andrew?") He sees her as a workaholic.

Kara still has her false Kryptonian memories, as she still remembers Superman-2, so the world is still in a transitional state after Crisis. She describes the place her crystal was for 45,000 years as "some sort of supernatural DIMENSION."

PG determines that she needs to pay attention to her company or she's going to lose it.

Heading home to Brooklyn, Kara stops a reckless, entranced cyclist. When police join her, a villain called the Force leaps out of the trunk of a police car. He says he is power incarnate and his target is PG.

Their battle extends over the city as the two exchange punches. Force has an energized touch that can cause her great pain, but still she fights back.

And for future reference (see Sovereign 7 and others), as Force bashes a boulder on top of her, she says, "Sticks and stones can't break my bones."

A reporter gets in the way of the battle and Foce throws PG into him, injuring him badly. PG pulls down an electric pole and fries Force with the powerlines.

PG bitterly blames herself for the reporter's injuries -- she should have been faster, she should have seen to his safety instead of bringing down Force, etc., but witnessing cops assure her that things happened too fast for her to have done anything else.

Kara accompanies Force to Louisiana to Belle Reve Prison for supervillains.

meet the neighbors PG returns to her apartment in Brooklyn to find that bad luck has hit. Neighbors Liz and Joyce have had their place burglarized. Another neightbor, artist Garth McGarth, was mugged on his way home.

Kara's problems are coming from an old man with a living web spewing from him. Ages ago Arion had consigned him for all eternity into Darkworld and now he seeks vengeance on Arion's line.

A text piece in this issue by Bob Greenberger explains that PG was spared from Crisis "because of her popularity and Gerry Conway's insistence that he could find a way to explain her once the parallel world she came from ceased to exist." Greenberger also says that it was the DC Implosion just after the Showcase tryout that stopped PG's chances of getting her own title.

Conway's work schedule moved him more to animation and Kupperberg was left with figuring out PG's post-Crisis origin.

2: PG seems to be on very good terms with all police. Dept. of Justice Larry Gonzales (garish literally olive skin, blue hair -- I think he's supposed to be ethnic) treats her to hot dogs as they discuss the case a week later in Central Park. There are no leads as to who Force is or who's behind him.

PG doesn't like having an unknown threat hanging over her, but she assures Larry that she appreciates all the effort that has been expended on the case.

On her way to the office, PG runs into Hydra, a woman with power to control water, milk, gasoline, etc. (Then why does she call herself "Hydra?") She cites a boss behind her crimes. Though Hydra sets Harold Square on fire with gasoline, she also sends water to douse the fires before she disappears.

Batck at StarrWare, Brooks is turning the board against Karen so he can put someone in as president that he can control.

The jinx seems to be spreading outward from Peege. Her neighbor Liz has just had her car stolen, then found totalled, and now she's getting an IRS audit.

Joyce is now called Carrie (more of that worlds-settling, I suppose) (a text piece this issue shows character sketches of the two female neighbors. One's labelled "Liz Joyce" and the other, "Carrie Phillips"; she's the one called Joyce last ish.) and takes Liz and Karen out on the town that night for major R&R. The reader discovers that Carrie's placed a Personals ad in the paper for Karen.

a gob of villains

A "thee-thou"-speaking villain named Hurricane (pwoers self-evident) strikes the singles club. Despite his powerful winds, PG trusses him in electric cable and when he escapes, she strikes the ground to fell him. Still he recovers quickly while telling PG that his master is looking for vengeance.

He'd known she was going to be at the club; therefore these villains are able to track her as Karen Starr. It would also explain why Karen's friends are being hit with so much bad luck.

Walking through dark Brooklyn streets, Karen bumps into a Ted (Wildcat) Grant-type, "Mongo" Krebs, a martial arts instructor with 12 years experience teaching Marines.

As she walks alone again, a flying villain named Pyro burns off Karen's dress to reveal her PG costume (no, I don't know where she'd hidden boots, gloves and cape). Kara berates him for trying to scare her, but he disappears. Kara thinks, "If the idea behind all this's to drive me CRAZY, it's WORKING! I don't know how much MORE of this I can TAKE... and what makes it even WORSE is that I don't know WHAT to do about it!"

She returns to her apartment only to find a message that there's been a major fire at her office -- obviously Pyro's work.

Kara determines to find a way to fight her fright -- and looks up Mongo.

3: It's a month later. Karen finds the concentration required of learning karate relaxing. (It's a mystery why Mongo was used when he's such an obvious Wildcat wannabe.) (And every time I see the name "Mongo," for some reason I want to receive a candygram...)

Mongo tells her, "You've got all the moves of a CHAMP -- but the ATTENTION SPAN of a CHIMP!" Still Mongo says he's never seen anyone make the kid of progress she has in so short a time.

An unnamed reptilian monster awaits Karen at her apartment, zapping her with energy that hurts her. The creature departs without being beaten.

Karen's neighbor Garth reports that his watercolors have been hung at a local gallery -- just in time for waterpipes to burst and ruin them all.

Her tormentor watches her from Darkworld: "I would CRUSH her where she stands, save my powers are INSUFFICIENT to reach from my confinement here unto Earth -- but they are ENOUGH to taunt her... to draw her into MY realm, where VENGEANCE can be made MINE!"

Later a mysterious energy frees Force from his prison at Belle Reve.

"Grandpa may've been a magician, but I know ZIP about that subject," Karen thinks as she enters an occult bookstore. The bookstore owner gives her a free (!) book about Arion, "penned, it is said, by Druids over 700 years ago." Druids in the 14th Century? Okay, this is the DCU after all.

Kara picks up a convenient English-Old English dictionary and takes the book home with her. We find this isn't the first Old English lit Kara's read, but we don't know what that was or why she'd been reading it. Perhaps from her adventure in Camelot with Vandal Savage?

Larry Gonzales tells PG that Force is now at large and at her request directs her to Mme. Rossilli, a witch who has a bit of a bad record with the vice squad. Rossilli gives Kara a protective amulet with the symbol of Arion, supposedly touched by the old guy himself. She refers Kara to a "practicing sorceror," Blaine, who turns out to be a denizen of Darkworld.

Phantom Stranger looks on as Blaine blasts PG with energy. Then Force joins in and PG must remember her martial arts training. She defeats the duo.

The Stranger finally steps forward and tells her that this isn't just a battle between her and this Weaver guy but one between the Lords of Order and Chaos. Stranger says he and Kara are on Order's side.

Kara does not like the idea of her being a pawn. She just wants the Weaver to stop his harrassment. The Stranger opens a door to Darkworld and PG enters.

Ghy4: A barrier between magic and reality stops PG and her best blows as it repairs itself instantly. A smart-talking cat-like creature named Ghy appears as PG's guide to Darkworld. Ghy explains that the Weaver's "the LAST of the OLD gods with any power left in Darkworld. Er... You DO at LEAST know that Darkworld's a source of MAGIC in your universe, don't you? Anyway, ever since SCIENCE replaced magic as the dominant force in the cosmos, Darkworld's space and power have been SHRINKING. I mean, you should'a seen us a couple'a EONS ago!"

In the meantime we see that Karen Starr has missed yet another critical meeting with her board of directors, leading them to think she's unable to manage the company. Andrew Draper does his best to defend her, but he knows he needs a miracle.

As Kara continues through Darkworld, her thoughts manifest Mongo, her fellow employees and neighbors -- all of whom attack her while she seems to have lost her invulnerability. (Note: Carrie is now Joyce again.) She sees her make-believe parents and then an illusion of Arion. All her insecurities are manifested.

Weaver

Finally she falls into the web of the Weaver, who proclaims himself a god of madness and a Lord of Chaos.

As Kupperberg's dialogue varies from Weaver using "thee" to "you" (as he'd done for a previous character), and as Karen's neighbors (including the renamed Joyce) begin to wonder what's happened to her, Kara breaks from Weaver's trap only to be faced with a now-grown, now-brunet brother Khater, who proclaims himself an ex-lord of Atlantis. He comes after her with a sword containing some of Arion's magic.

Energy from the sword sends Kara through a hole in the sky to where she becomes distorted, tortured by flying demons. Khater beheads her but she awakens to new illusions.

It isn't until Kara's karate instruction helps her to free herself from fear that she breaks free completely. Turns out "Khater" is really the reptilian demon she fought last issue.

Ghy tells Kara that Weaver conveniently has to obey anyone who touches him, and to prevent her from doing that, Weaver even more conveniently casts PG out of Darkworld.

Ghy tells Kara that Weaver shouldn't be any threat in the future, for he's used up most of his energy. What's left will need to be used to fulfill obligations to his fellow Lords of Chaos.

Ghy also tells Kara he likes her because she reminds him of "ANOTHER kid I used to know...your GRANDFATHER. He would have been PROUD of you, kiddo."

Phantom Stranger is waiting for her. After congratulating her, he warns that the rising battles between Lords of Chaos and Order will increasingly take place on the Earth plane.

As Karen Starr greets her neighbor Garth, she's told that a sudden surge of good luck has swept her world. The StarrWare board of directors has voted in her favor. The IRS auidit was a mistake. The watercolors dried good as new.

The story ends with Cassie or Julie or whatever her name is presenting Karen with a blind date, Jack. Comparing him to the depiction of all the other men in this series, he's a regular Mel Gibson. Wonder what ever became of him?

Doom Patrol 13: StarrWare is located in NYC's Soho District. From this location, Power Girl sets out to stop the latest supervillain wreaking havok on the city: Pythia, who has come to punish PG from defying the Lords of Chaos.

Pythia

"You were CHOSEN as a servant of ORDER -- and FOR that honor, Chaos has chosen you as WELL... your BATTERED BODY to serve as a WARNING to others who might choose to --" she tells Peege before PG's feet connect hard to her stomach.

The coming era will be Chaos's to rule, and its lords are eager to speed up the scheduled change.

Pythia boils over with raw magical power and Peege takes a hard beating with little chance to get in a punch. Battered and bleeding, PG keeps trying.

At the very end of this issue, PG's badly-injured body falls from the sky to crash through the roof of the building that houses the Doom Patrol.

INTERLUDE: Okay, according to Secret Origins Annual #1, which has a cameo of PG in it (so I hear; don't own a copy yet), the story from the pre-Crisis Daring New Adventures of Supergirl 8 & 9 (June & July 1983; by incredible coincidence, Paul Kupperberg was the writer), now happened to Power Girl instead. For your edification:

In that era, the Doom Patrol consisted of Robotman, Celsius, Negative Woman, and Tempest I (ie, not the Tempest that would be Aqualad's adult nom de guerre). Supergirl was living in Chicago at the time, having been de-aged without explanation to being a college student again. Anyway, Supergirl helped the DP fight Reactron, the living reactor, a guy who can direct the radiation within himself out by means of control rods on his wrists.

The story's got a bunch of comic book atomic science in it, like having Reactron exploding in an atomic blast, which is treated as if it were merely a chemical blast -- right above Chicago, ho hum. Reactron allied himself with a group called the Council, "your basic INTERNATIONAL CARTEL of power-brokers aiming for world domination," which had been bugging Supergirl during earlier issues of this lackluster series, so perhaps these have been PG's foes post-Crisis? Reactron somehow recovers from his blast, but Supergirl concentrates his power so that he blows himself up at the edge of space, apparently annhilating himself.

Doom Patrol 14: PG wakens, banaged and shaky, to explain the threat to the members of the Patrol. As the DP discuss their various soap opera situations, Peege exclaims, "Jeez, there's a WAR going on between the cosmic forces of GOOD AND EVIL in the universe! WHATEVER the hell you're arguing about, it's SMALL CHANGE compared to that!"

Peege explains that Pythia had attacked her in the air, dishing out such a fury of an attack that Peege, who had targeted the DP as possible allies, since (now) she'd worked with them before, had crashed into their building (in Kansas?).

A Pythia who has morphed into a full-fledged demon teleports PG and the DP onto a farm to kill them. They put up a good fight. On the run after being bashed about, Pythia manifests as a huge, grasping hand, which pulls them all into a magical dimension. PG takes as many as she can to safety and then fights her way through demons to rescue a little girl who was sucked in with them.

But the DP begin to (literally) come apart. PG shouts at them to calm down; that things are not as they seem.

It turns out that Pythia embodies the entire demon dimension. PG counsels the DP to seek their spiritual centers and dictate their own reality.

The girl -- Dorothy Spinner -- discovers that convenient white rocks thrown at the image of Pythia weakens her. Everyone attacks, using the rocks to injure Pythia until they're expelled back to Earth.

The DP tell Peege that they'll help her keep an eye out for more threats from the Lords of Chaos.

Karen StarrFirestorm 80: This is part of DC's company-wide crossover called "Invasion." This issue's very creative-thinking artist gives Karen Starr Clark Kent glasses, and the writer tells us that StarrWare now produces computer games -- the thing Kara swore StarrWare would never do.

I really am, like, zero up on my Firestorm except for the basics. Is this story saying that Ron Raymond, aka half of Firestorm, has a stepmother who is in Karen Starr's employ and the one who holds the fort when Kraen's gone?

At any rate, Karen changes to PG to help out with Invasion and spots Firestorm's familiar vapor trail.

Apparently Firestorm's suffered a personality change (literally) since PG knew him, but he vaguely recognizes her. PG introduces herself to Firehawk, who's with Firestorm, and welcomes another powerful woman to the ranks of superhero-dom.

PG tackles an alien spaceship and pulls it apart before it can hit anyone. Inside they find a bedraggled Starman. Introductions are made all around. After a short while when Starman talks about family, Peege tells him she's an orphan. When he apologizes, she tells him not to worry, that she's got lots of friends. "You'll be one of them, won't you?" she asks and he accepts.

Peege taps into satellite signals to get them news updates. She also goes out of her way to make the awkward Firestorm be socially comfortable even as she pilots the alien ship.

Note that the art in this issue varies widely, from a fair Neal Adams rip-off to barely-legible scratchy. PG's hair goes through alarming metamorphoses!

Starman 5: I don't have this issue, which is the continuation of the story. Sorry. I'm not going to lose any sleep about it.

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