Six books for four weeks. And four of those books came out last week. It's a slow, sad time here, but oh well, make do with what we have. Quality, not quantity, I hope.
Harley Quinn and Power Girl #4, by Amanda Conner, Justin Gray, and Jimmy Palmiotti (writers), Stephane Roux (artist, pages 10-22), Elliot Fernandez (artist, pages 1-9), Paul Mounts with Alex Sinclair (colorists, Sinclair for pages 18-20), Marilyn Patrizio (letterers) - In another second, Power Girl will open her eyes, realize she was only dreaming about (insert character of your choice), and throw up in Vartox' facial hair.
Evil Vartox appears to have Power Girl on the ropes, only to be freed of the mind control by the purring of a caticorn that decided it liked Harley because she lured out a giant, carnivorous fish for it to eat. Vartox tries to explain where he knows Power Girl from, though no one bothers to explain to him this isn't that Power Girl. Oreth Odeox arrives with his gun-toting space nuns, which accomplish nothing, though he does blast Vartox' clothes off, which is much more an impediment to the bad guy than to Vartox. All seems well, but a force called the Harvester of Sorrows is about to arrive, and that will probably be bad.
Back when Annihilation: Super-Skrull was going on '06, someone explained to me Harvester of Sorrows is a reference to a Metallica song. it was used to refer to a planet-destroying weapon there, and I assume it'll be much the same here, though probably a much sillier one, given the tone of this series. Having both Power Girl and Harley to interact with Vartox is a good plan, since Peeg tends to be disgusted with him constantly, whereas Harley just keeps egging him on. It's a bit different to have a character who pretty much encourages Vartox to be himself at all times, but if anything, she's pushing him to be more Vartoxish than normal. And he's the sort who doesn't need much pushing on that score.
This was a fairly good issue, maybe because I felt like it tried moving the story forward a little more, instead of wasting so much time on drug hallucination sequences. Not that there's much of a plot, but at paying lip service to it is nice. I still wouldn't say any of the jokes made me laugh, though some of the expressions Roux gives Vartox are pretty great. His big grin when Harley compliments his "evil" wardrobe, and his haughty look when he's lecturing Oreth while wearing no clothes in particular. Power Girl said Harley had no shame, she just as easily could have been speaking of Vartox.
Starfire #5, by Amanda Conner and Jimmy Palmiotti (writers), Emanuela Lupacchino (pencils), Ray McCarthy (inks), Hi-Fi (colors), Tom Napolitano (letters) - I notice the rest of the sea life as unsure of how they feel about what's happening as I was. Good to know.
Kori has some drinks with the killer guy, they trade toasts, she touches his hand, and someone gets a flashback of his life. Wherein we learn he was a doctor with the power to cure cancer, except it made the tumor in his head grow, which eventually made him the crazy serial killer he is now. He flees, Kori doesn't follow, and isn't sure whether she should tell the sheriff. About the serial killer. Kori, you're an immigrant, not an idiot, c'mon now. The guy her sister hired to find her is approached by the Citadel, who want Kori dead, and they captured the guy's wife and kid. The guy agrees, but only after blowing up one of the Citadel's ships, which might have had said wife and kid. O-kay. Little nuts, though I did appreciate his wife's smirk after the Citadel guys started freaking out. I guess you don't marry a dude like that unless you're prepared for that sort of thing.
Back on earth, Kori goes to her interview at the aquarium, but a lack of experience leaves her out of luck. Isn't that always the way? You need experience to get the job, but need the job to get experience. Anyway, Kori does wind up getting the job, because the bounty hunter guy shows up and kills all the other applicants. I'm JOKING! Actually, she makes out with a sad dolphin so she can speak its language and find out why it's sad. The ability to communicate with sea life gets her the job. There's a big party, the sheriff seems to have been roped into Kori and Atlee's trip to visit Atlee's home (whenever that happens), but when Kori gets home, she finds Dr. Killer waiting, having already attacked the sheriff's brother. Oh, and one of those jewels she had was an egg, and hatched into a star-thing that flew off. It spoke in musical notes, so maybe it's from the same sector as that one Green Lantern? Probably not.
So the dolphin thing. It seems weird, but I know this is because I associate kissing as primarily a romantic thing - and not something done with animals - whereas it isn't that necessarily for Kori. It has been at times - I'm pretty sure she wasn't kissing Boone in issue 1 just to learn 'more English' - but that needn't always be the case. So I wonder if this wasn't Conner and Palmiotti trying to drive that point home in a particularly direct fashion. She wanted to communicate with the dolphin, that would enable her to do so, so she did it. Still, not something I was expecting to read in a comic this week.
There are certain panels where Kori's hair looks like something Lupacchino drew separately, then cut and pasted into place. Note I'm not saying he isn't drawing it, just that there's something about it that makes it note seem to be part of the same picture. Like the hair and her face aren't interacting like they should. The panel on page 3 where she makes her toast in particular. Something about the color of the hair (which I guess would be more Hi-Fi's doing than Lupacchino's), or especially the dark line around the outside boundary of her hair compared to all the lines inside the mass of her hair, just really make it feel like it came from something else. Of course, the dark line might be McCarthy's doing, in which case I need to stop blaming Lupacchino. So someone on the art side of things is making Kori's hair look out of place.