Power Girl's lost "new" secret identity

#1 Posted by Owie (4959 posts) - - Show Bio

I know a lot of people, including me, are annoyed that Power Girl lost her own title and now seems to be relegated to a supporting role in Mr. Terrific.

But one thing that annoys me more than almost anything, maybe because it's such a small thing, is Karen's now-lost new secret identity. To me, this symbolizes what's wrong with the New 52 revamp. There are some good things about the revamp, but also some bad things, and to me, this is a symbol of what's wrong with it.

Towards the end of her now-cancelled series, they made a big deal about her really coming into her own. She talked with Clark and decided that she was really going to own the idea of a secret identity in a new way--so no more fooling around with it, she was going to go all out and make changes to who Karen Starr really was.

They make a big reveal. She now has reddish-brown hair and wears glasses. This was a couple issues before the end, if I recall. After that, they didn't really

deal with it for the last couple issues.

And now, in the New 52, she's blonde with no glasses again in her identity as Karen Starr in Mr. Terrific.

Old "New" Look
"New 52" New Look

If I had to guess, I would say that when the original story arc was written about her new identity, the writers had no clue about the upcoming revamp. Then the last creative team came on and didn't bother with it because they knew it was all going down the toilet.

So the reason I don't like this is that it does exactly what DC said wouldn't happen--it makes the last several months pointless, at least in a continuing-story kind of way. Sure, I can still enjoy the old issues. But the whole point of a big new change in the character is that we get to see it continue, we get to see it play out, to see if it works or if it doesn't, to see if glasses and a wig will fool anyone, to see if she feels like it's too fake and she wants to stay a blonde. Basically, it just cuts the story, and thus the character, off at the neck.

And honestly, I didn't even care for the new red-hair-and-glasses look. But I was still interested in seeing what happened with it, and then that chance was taken away.

What do you think? Am I making a mountain out of a molehill, or was this annoying to you too?

#2 Posted by Jonny_Anonymous (41771 posts) - - Show Bio
@Owie: As far as I know Karen Starr does not need a secret identity in the DCnU because she is not a superhero and she has no powers 
#4 Posted by fodigg (6211 posts) - - Show Bio

@aztek_the_lost said:

I think Power Girl is ruined altogether, although I don't even think she is Power Girl in The New 52, didn't seem like it to me, I think she's actually just Karen Starr...like, that's it and she was made blonde as an homage to the character Kara Zor-El that no longer exists

Yeah, she's no longer Kara Zor-El. But hopefully this new Karen Starr will be a good character.

#6 Posted by ComicMan24 (147494 posts) - - Show Bio

She might appear in the new Justice Society book that takes place in Earth-2. It seems somewhat weird to make her disappear.

#8 Posted by ComicMan24 (147494 posts) - - Show Bio

@aztek_the_lost:I get what you are trying to say, it just seem weird than DC had a title with her until last August and suddenly she disappeared.

#9 Posted by Owie (4959 posts) - - Show Bio

@spiderbat87 said:

@Owie: As far as I know Karen Starr does not need a secret identity in the DCnU because she is not a superhero and she has no powers

@aztek_the_lost said:

I think Power Girl is ruined altogether, although I don't even think she is Power Girl in The New 52, didn't seem like it to me, I think she's actually just Karen Starr...like, that's it and she was made blonde as an homage to the character Kara Zor-El that no longer exists

Good point, although I am holding out hope that she will turn out to be Power Girl again eventually.

I just don't see the point in cutting the heroic part of her character from the company's point of view, other than to make things simpler so new readers can understand what's going on. Which to me is the dumbest reason to do something, because I think we all know that in comics, things get complicated pretty quickly, and by the end of a year, there will be so many new story complications for all their characters that it will be like they never "simplified" it all in the first place.

#10 Posted by ReVamp (23014 posts) - - Show Bio

@spiderbat87 said:

@Owie: As far as I know Karen Starr does not need a secret identity in the DCnU because she is not a superhero and she has no powers


#11 Edited by fodigg (6211 posts) - - Show Bio

@Unwritten Duck said:

@aztek_the_lost said:

I have zero hope of that...her "Supergirl" persona is off to a bad start and her "Karen Starr" persona is a supporting cast member in what is possibly the worst book in The New 52...so, you know, Power Girl no longer exists and her legacy is pretty awful IMO

I really don't think that Mr. Terrific is the worst book and quite honestly I personally think it's too early to tell where that book will go. I'm quite interested to see where the relationship between Karen and Micheal will go. For now though, I don't think we should look at Karen as Power Girl because as of right now she is not.

I agree that it's not the worst book, but I guess that depends on your opinion on if "forgettable" is worse than "obscene" or "outright bad." I would say it was the most forgettable book. (I'd say Red Hood is the most obscene and that Green Arrow and OMAC tie for outright bad.)

#12 Posted by TheCrowbar (4397 posts) - - Show Bio
Well Said!
#13 Posted by ltbrd (649 posts) - - Show Bio

The removal of Power Girl was an unfortunate evil and to be honest I really don't see how Karen Starr is going to be an influence in the Mister Terrific titles at this point but perhaps they are setting her up to be a major contributor to the hero community (setting up technological and funding responsibilities between her company, Wayne Enterprises, Queen Industries, and Terrific's company to the hero community at large). However I will flip that statement and make the point that Power Girl could still exist. Karen Starr could have superhuman strength and invulnerability but not have any of the other kryptonian-based powers. She could simply be a metahuman with a standard human upbringing for an origin. However she's choosen to focus on her company rather than be a superhero like Michael or Bruce Wayne. Its very possible, would explain her still very toned and muscular physique as well as clear up any confusing about being from another realities krypton and such. This could be a cool way to go where her role in the Mister Terrific series is to occassionally help out Michael on a mission by wearing a mask and red wig and going by the handle Power Girl but not be a full time heroine. Probably not gonna happen but could be cool.
#14 Posted by fodigg (6211 posts) - - Show Bio

@Unwritten Duck said:

@fodigg: Obscenity would be the worst part, but it depends on how you define obscenity. Some would probably define the new Catwoman as obscene, but the difference between Catwoman and Red Hood is that there was more in the context of Catwoman than Red Hood. As I said in my review of Red Hood is that what Lodbell had done to Starfire is risk the complete and total destruction of the character.

In Mr. Terrific though, the Karen Star we see is, as of now, a new character with blatantly placed resemblances to Power Girl, but for now she is just Karen Star, friend and rival of Micheal Holt.

I don't want to derail the topic, but I would say that I was talking about obscenity for offensive writing, not necessarily destroying a beloved character, although that has certainly been done to Starfire and that makes it all the worse. I don't think Catwoman was obscene, just gratuitous, which hey, if it sells then sure.

If we're talking about ruined characters though, I'd have to go with:

  • Amanda Waller
  • Starfire
  • Power Girl

Hmm, I might even upgrade Suicide Squad past OMAC and Green Arrow to my #1 "just bad" category.

#15 Posted by Mega_spidey01 (3080 posts) - - Show Bio

i would just give the series a couple of issues to see where the story is going and to understand the characters. i don't mind power girl and mr. terrific together just focus on the story and characters.

#16 Posted by Owie (4959 posts) - - Show Bio

I don't mind a relationship between Karen and Mr. Terrific. If she's going to be whatever it is she is, then I think it makes sense for her and Mr. Terrific to be together, personally or professionally, given their mutual tech businesses.

But I do think it is super annoying to have a big plot/character change like a new-but-never-to-be-used secret identity right before rebooting the character so that the character is now only a secret identity, which is different from the old/new secret identity!

#17 Posted by achilles100 (311 posts) - - Show Bio

It seems almost certain that Karen IS in fact Power Girl, and already has her powers, but just hasn't shown them to us yet. At least from the comments Wallace has made on the subject. We'll likely see Power Girl in issue 4 or 5, from what he said, and it seems silly to think that there would be a Power Girl in the same book who isn't Karen Starr. As well, the dress she's wearing is a not so subtle clue as to who she really is.

Now, the Earth 2 Kryptonian thing is a bit more tenuous at this point, but it seems likely to me that it is still in force. For several reasons. The first is that we know Earth 2 and the Justice Society is coming back soon. And we know that Mr. Terrific is messing with tech that allows him to access other dimensions/universes. Not too much of a stretch to supposed that either he's responsible for bringing and Earth 2 Power Girl from that universe's Krypton to the DCnU, or he's going to help her get back.

And of course the fact that Johns, one of the guys in charge, GAVE her back her origin on Krypton-Two probably doesn't hurt. He had his reasons for doing so that likely jibe with the stated goals of the DCnU, (to provide the most "iconic" version of each character), and DC is unlikely IMO to reverse that.

In any case, judging from the fact that Wallace mentioned that after the first several issues, Power Girl fans are going to be very happy, it seems almost certain that we'll see PG soon, and she'll be Karen.

#18 Posted by fodigg (6211 posts) - - Show Bio

@achilles100: I wonder if the issue 1 Karen Starr will die and be replaced by PG from Earth-2.

#19 Posted by katanalauncher (1075 posts) - - Show Bio

You know what would be the perfect secret identity for her? A porn star!

#20 Edited by KainScion (2992 posts) - - Show Bio


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