As much as i like Powergirl visually, it was her likeable, confident, independant and mildly put upon character that made me a fan, her outfit was secondary, which is why i'm happily using her Gold and white one in my artwork ( it looked good to me back then, it still looks good to me now, with slight adjustments ). A while back i posted an entry on why it is a mistake to write Powergirl off as just a Supergirl from another Earth, having finally read the first collected edition of Powergirl and Huntress, or 'Worlds Finest' i think i was spot on [link]
. although i was taken aback by the fact this New 52 comic has done something i didn't think possible, it has made me dislike Powergirl, which is pretty impressive really.
'Worlds Finest' covers the adventures of the Supergirl ( Kara Zor L ) and Robin ( Helena Wayne, daughter of Batman and Catwoman ) from 'Earth 2', who have become trapped on the New 52 DC Earth and are trying to find a way back, having adopted new identities as Powergirl and Huntress to avoid their New 52 Earth counter parts and sort-of relatives. Which strikes me as a curious way to make these characters more accessible to new readers.
It's odd really but Paul Levitz has pretty much taken Powergirl and reversed her, removing the aspects of her personality i liked and taking all of the stereotypical assumptions made by those unfamiliar with the character and fusing it into being. In a complete reversal of personality she's now more covered up but her attitudes seem rather more akin to that of an attention seeker, which is quite different from her previous incarnation ( previously this was an incorrect assumption about her character ). One of the accepted things about Powergirl was that in spite of her eye catching outfits, she seemed to find the attention tedious ( though she did seem to appreciate and understand the effect she had, which made sense given she wasn't stupid ), hence the amusing "My eyes are up here" thing that had emerged over the last few years. How fans of Powergirl missed this i can only put down to them being blinded by her classic costume being absent, unless they prefer her like this, which is possible, a pity, but possible.
If the New 52 Powergirl were male, i would describe her character as having a fairly chauvinist attitude, she has the same type of personality that Powergirl despised in some Men in the old DC Universe ( It was weird as anything to read Powergirl refer to a man as a 'cute souvenir' in the comic ) she also displays little interest in people other than to use them to get home to 'Earth 2', or to pass the time, as it's kind of implied this version is happy to go through men like cigarettes. If this version had been forced into the 2009 Palmiotti written series ( which is increasingly looking like a masterclass version of the character ), she would probably have bedded Vartox. But maybe i'm reading the character wrong.
As i see it, the Paul Levitz take on her is so far, frankly awful. He firmly pins her as being a former Supergirl which feels like an instant failure of understanding with the character really ( but then this is just my opinion, what do i know ? ). It is strange really given that he has been at DC for longer than i've been alive, i would have thought he would have a better grasp on her, but he writes her as i would have my own Fanstories hero hating News Media try to present her as. But then this version does come across as much younger and more immature in personality, and not nearly as bright, while the old universe Powergirl came across as a more mature minded young woman. Perhaps this New 52 version will eventually grow up.
I did notice that Levitz portrays the Huntress as the more sensible one, though given that he created the Helena Wayne Huntress back in the 1970's i shouldn't be surprised by that. Though I was surprised by the off screen killing of the 1989-2011 version of the Huntress, handled in a short conversation on the first page, given that this universe is 'New' they didn't even need to kill off or even mention Helena Bertinelli, it felt unnecessary, and a little mean spirited ( and wouldn't Batman look closer into the matter ? ).
Finally, the lines from in the origin story made my heart sink with Earth 2 Supergirl and Robin now trapped on the Main DC Earth ( before they adopt new identities ) Powergirl - "Name's Supergirl by the way--or Kara to my Friends"
Huntress - "Helena. And i think were going to be friends forever"
So.. no chance of these two going their separate ways any time soon then ?
Ultimately I guess this series will possibly appeal to brand new readers, and maybe readers who prefer the Huntress/Powergirl team of the 1970's over anything Powergirl and Huntress did from 1986 until 2011. To be honest if anyone actually wants to read a good Powergirl comic, i recommend hunting down the old DC universe Palmiotti/Gray/Conner comic collected volumes.