Missing Karen Starr

comics & beer
Kryptonite: The New 52

Some time last year, DC Comics discontinued my favorite comic book, Power Girl. Evidently the larger publishers re-do everything, every few years (I’m a late comer to comic reading and collecting), and in this shake-out, she no longer has her own title- and thus far has only been spotted once, in a title called Huntress. I’ve been on the hunt for a new superhero to inspire me to greatness and good Halloween costumes, or at least, for a new comic to read regularly.

Oddly enough, I wasn’t enjoying the PG title a whole lot, in its last several issues. The story lines were so-so, and I didn’t really dig Sami Basri’s visual rendering of her face, as much as I loved the art done by Amanda Conner, before she moved on. But really, going to Uncle Sven‘s each month to get the new issue had become a ritual for me, and not only because there was good beer and pierogy to be found next door, and a willing companion for the foray, in my husband.

Acquiring my comic book was my monthly check-in with some things that are important to me but are not part of my daily or weekly routine: gazing upon or even fondling original art, lapping up a new or continuing story line, stepping away from the internet for a dose of 3D pop culture, and admiring any fancy new costumes or elegant weapons. Above all else, it was revisiting what inspires me, regularly. In Power Girl/Kara Zor-L/Karen Starr, there were brains, strength, humor, nerve, maturity with a dash of attitude, and she faced challenges worthy of some empathy from mere mortals. She cultivated friendships and alliances. She had confidence in herself. She was a woman, taking on big issues and helping people.

This all was in addition to stylish hair and great costume with a cleavage window that proudly mocked the “girl” part of her name but also featured classy medieval-armor reinforcements (from her and my amazing comic- and battle-savvy husband I learned about spaulders). She made me smile.

Current candidates for my new comic: X-Men Legacy, Suicide Squad (though I really wish it had a different title), the Unwritten, Ex Machina, Batwoman, Saucer Country, Avengers vs. X-Men, and Dominique Laveau: Voodoo Child. All-Star Western, Birds of Prey, and Batgirl haven’t made the cut. In all of them, I’m having trouble identifying a truly inspiring character. Perhaps I can look to other characters for that – Amelia Earhart, Julia Child…

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