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Off My Mind: Characters Vs. Creative Team - Power Girl Edition

What happens when the creative team leaves a book?

Last Friday it was announced that the creative team of Power Girl was leaving the series. Amanda Conner, Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Gray are all leaving after issue #12. It was to be Amanda's final issue and Palmiotti and Gray made the difficult decision to leave as well. They couldn't imagine trying to write the book for another artist. Power Girl has never been one of my favorite characters. In fact, way back when I reviewed the first issue, I only gave it a 3.5. The creative team did interest me and Amanda's art is what really drew me in. As the series progressed, Gray and Palmiotti did something I didn't think could be done. They made me actually care about and want to read Power Girl. Now that they're all leaving, there's a chance that I will be as well.
 
The new creative team has been announced. It sounds good. Judd Winick writing along with Sami Basri doing the art. I really dug Basri's art on the Witchblade issues a couple years back. We've seen what Winick can do but I'm still not sure how I feel about this change. I know I should give them a chance but this brings up my question, what matters more, the character or the creative team?
 
I know most people might say the character is what really matters. In most cases, I would agree. Amazing Spider-Man, for example, has a rotating creative team to work with the three-times a month schedule and I read them regardless of who's writing. But what happens when it's a character that may not be one of your favorite characters? Power Girl has been fun and funny. As much as I like Winick as a writer and Basri as an artist, Power Girl just won't feel the same. I know I have to give it a chance. It's just in this case, it was clearly the creative team that made me want to read the book. 
 
Often when reading comics, I have wondered how different an issue would feel if it was handled by someone else. It's great when the creative team gets a vibe going and it shows in the story. With a character like Power Girl, I'm just not really sure if I'll continue reading her book.
 
What are your thoughts on this matter? What has a higher priority when it comes to deciding whether or not you're going to read a series, the character or the creative team? Again, if it's a favorite character, there may not be a question. But if it's a character you like but don't love, that could be another matter.
13 Comments
Posted by couzinit99

Great Off My Mind. I saw this in this and was wondering when it would be talked about on Comicvine lol :P. I totally agree that the book's going to have a totally different attitude and atmosphere now that Amanda Conner, Jimmy Palmiotti, and Justin Gray are leaving.  Loved this article :)!
Edited by TwilightThunder

I've been reading this new POWER GIRL series since it started (and I've been enjoying every darn issue), and now that the current creative team is leaving, I'm going to bail out as well. It'll never be the same. For me, it's always about the creative team, look what Ed Brubaker did with CAPTAIN AMERICA back in 2005, hell, nobody wanted so spend money of Captain America before his run! I don't understand why people buy Superman, Spider-Man, Batman, or the like, regardless of who's behind it, it might be tradition or something, but I, for one, won't be ripped off because it features my favorite character at the risk of being poorly executed (and at the risk of losing some money buying it!).  I started caring about Astonishing X-Men when Warren Ellis got onboard, I started caring about Iron Man when, again, Ellis (bless!), unleashed Iron Man in Extremis, and I've been picking up Uncanny X-Men since Brubaker and Fraction started pumping goodness out of it.
  
Look at what they did with THE IMMORTAL IRON FIST! He was a two-star character before, used for comic-relief with Luke Cage, but then, Fraction and Brubaker took him to another level, a noir kung-fu epic with that "comeback" feeling that everybody loves. And the same happened with the Thunderbolts, I stopped caring about the avengers (unless they were The Ultimates as portrayed in Ultimates 1 and 2) when Warren Ellis, Christos Gage (His Avengers: Initiative is pretty cool) and Andy Diggle were on, they literally warped that title and turned it into a black-ops blockbuster epic filled with super-villains with nothing to lose, with high-stake missions and story arcs as blazing as a pair of M4A1 grenadiers! It happened with Punisher Max when Garth Ennis started, it became one of the best ongoing titles of its time.
 
And don't get me started about Werewolf By Night by Duane "the man" Swierczynski and the Devil-Slayer by Brian Keene! Those were mind-blowing.
 
Charlie Huston and Gregg Hurwitz showed me that Moon Knight, was the shiznit. And Jason Aaron, a newcomer with great ideas, turned Ghost Rider into a grindhouse, no-holds-barred road movie. 

But, again, that's just me. I have a certain taste in comics that others might/might not share.

Posted by Adam Michaels

I've always been more about the character than the creative team. There are a few writers and a few artists who I really am a fan of and am happy to check out their projects. But, I don't get caught up in the who's writing and who's penciling business. I'll be encouraged when someone whose work I really enjoy gets on the book, but I won't be discouraged or ready to throw the towel in if it's someone whose work I'm not crazy about.  
 
But different strokes for different folks.
Posted by johnny_spam

I think the creative often matters in these books when Geoff Johns left Flash the book fell into such disrepair he had to come back to save it, I wonder when Johns leaves Green Lantern will the same thing happen?

Posted by Green Flash

Great stuff G-Man 
  
I agree that in this case it was totally the creative team.  Amanda Conner's just fits the character so well.  What I think is interesting is how this creative team has now made it a dilemma for me whether or not to keep reading the series. 
 
I think another great example of a creative team book turned sweet characters book is Birds of Prey.  I bought initially because of Gail Simone and Ed Benes, but will now be buying it again both for them and because I enjoy Black Canary, Oracle, and the rest. 
 
On a side note, does anyone know what projects Conner is working on next?

Posted by Marshal Victory

Read sevrial comic boards about this switch up.looks like Power Girl title will lose about 1/3rd or more of subs an pull lists after issue 12.never seen so many post their leaveing with the creative team.
Posted by G-Man

Thanks everyone.
@TwilightThunder:
You did nail it on the head with other titles like Immortal Iron Fist and Moon Knight. I really liked those characters but those books just got really hard to read. At least Moon Knight has gotten better with the new series.

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Posted by Kid_Zombie
@TwilightThunder:  Totally agree! 
 
I agree the creative team is a big thing when it comes to certain books. take Thor for example. I don't care about thor at all, but Straczynski wrote an amazing run that got me interested in the character and me buying the book. But when he leaves and Fraction takes over, I don't care enough about the character to keep buying the book. I LOVE Fractions work ( i know i'm a minority here) but a new thor book with a new creative team dosent intrest me the slightest, drop that book and save for other books. But there are some books i would pick up dispite the creative team (unless its horrible) Like the new "Avengers tilte" I love Bendis but hate JRJR's work with a passion. But will I pick this book up? Of course because i absoulutlty love the avengers titles. 
 
But there are many titles I wouldn't have ever read if it wasn't for the creative team behind it. imortal iron fist, thunderbolts, incredible hercules to name a few.
Posted by xerox_kitty

The one thing that manga has a better graps of is the 'creator owned' style of producing comics.  One creative team creates consistancy.  You don't end up with a series that drags on for years after being reworked, retconned and pimped out by the 'creative team of the year'.   
 
I often think that US comics should adopt a similar pattern.  Instead of dragging something out and constantly 'reinventing the wheel', they should let things finish with each creator.  Not for everything... but for most titles.    

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Posted by Dipic

I'm super disappointed with this announcement. This was easily one of my favorite books out now and it just won't be the same without Amanda, Jimmy and Justin.
 
Word is already out who will be taking over: Judd Winnick & Sami Basri
 
According to the article, "The story is tied to JUSTICE LEAGUE: GENERATION LOST. Not CHAINED to it, but tied. Power Girl has a history with the JLI that will be explored. A lot."
 
 http://dcu.blog.dccomics.com/2010/03/18/unveiling-the-new-power-girl-creative-team/
 
Dropping the book... this is going to fail hard.

Posted by Nova`Prime`

I think its alittle bit of both for me, if someone else was going to take over Nova or Guardians of the Galaxy (my favorite titles right now) I think I might actually stop collecting them. I just feel the creative team has a good grasp on the characters and putting them in good stories.

Posted by G-Man
@Dipic: It's mentioned in the original post about the new creative team...
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Posted by achilles100

Looking back on this 8 months later; it's clear that the expected drop-offs on pull lists didn't happen---people still buy and read Power Girl.  Mostly because they still like it.  Still fun, but not as obviously silly.  Tied to GL, but very definitely a Power Girl book starring first, last, and foremost Power Girl.