When it comes to my two favorite characters in the DC Comic’s universe I know most of my time has been spent talking about Zatanna. With the recent Mr. Terrific launch I was able to give Ms. Starr some of my attention, but the question remains; why only just now have I mentioned her?

Well, quite simply, try as I might I just couldn’t get into her most recent ongoing book. Something about it just never got me excited to read it. But every series has its highlights, and I want to finally touch on two issues of Power Girl I really enjoyed.

The cover to my copy of Power Girl #22

Power Girl #22 opens in media res as Power Girl and Superman battle dinosaurs and other prehistoric beasties in the middle of Manhattan. Dinosaurs in New York City are a strange deal (although if I lived in a comic book version of any city this would probably be old hat to me by now…I bet the subways don’t even shutdown), but what PG and Supes start to find stranger is that they aren’t winning – and when they realize the Triassic threats have caused them both to bleed it is clear something is up.

Well, beyond just dinosaurs in Manhattan.

We now do a flashback – to two weeks earlier! Karen Starr is celebrating the grand reopening of StarrWare (with a seemingly magic banner where the visibility of the letters is unaffected by the wrinkles of the cloth) where she orders all her employees to get drunk. She then takes off her shoes and puts her feet up on her desk (so fans of stockings/pantyhose may want to take a look here). Her assistant(?) Nicco voices his concern that the company is still missing a lot of…okay, honestly I stopped caring. One long-standing problem I’ve had with this comic is that the office bits have never been interesting to me. I’m skipping ahead a few pages to the dinosaur stuff.

The story now flash-forwards to earlier in the morning before the dinosaur attack, where Supes and Power Girl are chatting…atop the Daily Planet in Metropolis. Power Girl is talking about her plans to go public with StarrWare and make herself the face of the company. Superman is concerned about this, as PG has always had issues handling her secret identity and he doesn’t think she can actual keep her two identities separate and secret.

Power Girl assumes his concern is because, unlike Superman, she crash landed as an adult who had to quickly establish two lives, while “Clark Kent” was a real identity before “Superman” ever became a factor.

Superman corrects her and explains he’s concerned because it won’t take long for the average moron to realize that if Karen Starr and Power Girl both have big tits they must be the same person. He doesn’t exactly phrase it like that, but read the exchange and tell me I’m wrong.

Meanwhile, in New York City a hooded figure summons dinosaurs. Superman and Power Girl hear them from Metropolis and we catch up with the story where we started on Page 1.

Distracted by the investigation of their injuries Power Girl is nearly swallowed whole and Superman…is. But he quickly bursts out of the creature, in the process discovering that they are not alive but constructed from nearby material. Magic can be the only explanation.

From high in a skyscraper window the hooded figure watches, saddened that they’ve figured out magic is the cause. He turns and we discover that Zatanna is tied up in a chair behind him with her mouth taped shut.

The cover to my copy of POWER GIRL #23

Issue #23 picks up with Superman and Power Girl recapping the situation to each other (it’s sort of amusing), and includes a pretty cool visual gag involving Axe Cop‘s Wexler.

Knowing they’re in over their head regarding magical threats Power Girl uses her phone-earrings to call Zatanna’s “magic line” – a phone that she’s suppose to always pick-up unless in deep shit. Of course, we know she’s been captured by a random punk in a hood so the call goes to voicemail, which says that if anyone actually gets her voicemail she’s in trouble and to track the GPS signal.

While Supes and PG track Zatanna the hooded figure’s background is explained. One day Manuel Carlito – a.k.a. “Siphon” – discovered he could temporarily duplicate the magical powers of those he encounters. But – and no explanation of how he knows this is given – if he sticks around someone for more than three hours his power duplication becomes permanent. However, because he decided to play with his powers early and attracted attention Superman and Power Girl arrive and free Zatanna.

Of course, for two characters who could hear dinosaurs from another city they certainly seem to have issues understanding that perhaps they should have also captured the bad guy after his explanation of how his powers work. Nope, instead they stood around like idiots which leads to a giant magical battle between Siphon and Zatanna.

This fight involves a number of spells, one of which involves turning all three heroes into stoney rock people. Zatanna quickly undoes this and continues the fight, until Siphon realizes that duct taping Zatanna’s mouth again and trapping her arms is more helpful than “summoning yetis.” But as he gloats about the ticking clock Power Girl grabs him, eventually covers his mouth, and drags him up into the sky until there’s so little oxygen he passes out. With loss of consciousness his spells disperse.

Of course, the battle wraps up in time for Power Girl to make the press conference. Once on stage it’s revealed to the readers that she’s decided Karen Starr is a redhead with a little more meat on her in other places than just her chest.

Oh, and glasses. She is related to Superman, after all.

THE BOTTOM LINE: The issues present a pretty entertaining read, recommended for those who like light adventure and miss the old DCU’s Zatanna and Power Girl.

Other then the usual goodguy/badguy logical oversights that seem to be necessary to create an actual fight in a comic featuring characters as powerful as Power Girl and Superman…and other than the outright boring portions of the comic dedicated to StarrWare…I enjoyed Issues #22 and #23 a lot.

The problem with this Power Girl series is that the two qualms I just mentioned get very tiring very fast over multiple issues. I really like Power Girl/Karen Starr, but I want to read the interesting parts of her life. And seriously…is no one who works for her going to be like “hey, why is that Rubenesque redhead claiming she’s the trim blonde whose been in that office which says ‘Karen Starr’ for all this time?” I mean…how is that supposed to work? How did Superman and the supposed genius Nicco both sign off on this plan?

Fortunately this two-part tale features unique battles and some entertaining back-and-forth with Superman, even if it is a little out of character in my opinion. The excellent art also goes a long way to having made these issues worth a purchase.

If your aching for a little more classic Power Girl or Zatanna adventure, definitely go find these.