With the rise of new 52, female sexuality has become more expressive in DC comics than it has in the past. This first became evident in early issues of Catwoman and Red Hood and the Outlaws. Readers were surprised to see Catwoman having sex with Batman on a rooftop in such graphic detail, while fans saw Starfire seemingly becoming a creature of sexual promiscuity that had no real care of who she slept with, or recollection afterwards. Thankfully for Starfire things were explored within deeper detail, and we came to see that Starfire was much more than what we originally were presented with so the shock value was initially forgiven. With Catwoman though, it sort of faded from the minds and forum posts of readers as time passed.
DC Comics seeming need to express more sexuality in comics has not ceased though even in the newest waves of new 52 that have come out. In Worlds’ Finest we see Helena Wayne (Huntress) and Kara Zor-L (Power Girl) strives to find a way back to their home of Earth 2. Many things about this comic have had fans torn. You have fans upset that Huntress is now Helena Wayne instead of the now gone Helena Bertinelli, and on the other side you have fans that are upset about Power Girl’s change in costume. That is not all that has changed though.
Longtime fans of Power Girl will notice that much has changed with the beloved character. Before we talk about what has changed we need to first mention what fans came to love about the character, or acknowledge the character as being. Since she was created Power Girl has been exploited, and been a sort of running joke for writers and artists at DC. The largest source of the joke lies with Power Girl’s original costume, which contained a circular hole in the chest of the costume that exposed much of Power Girl’s excessive cleavage. At the time of her creation there was a rumor going around that her creator Wally Wood was intentionally changing the size of her breasts as sort of a running gag to see if the fans would notice.
Since then the joke continued, and in the 2009 run of Power Girl the sexual nature of the joke became integrated into Power Girl’s character making for an aloof character that wasn’t meant to be taken seriously and often times was even a little funny. In doing that Power Girl became loved by even more as more readers flocked to her book. Even when the book changed creative hands, and took on a more serious tone fans still enjoyed the new Power Girl and loved how she had developed.
With the new 52 though, a sort of exchange happened in most books where sex was only just mentioned was actually pushed to the forefront of a character. With Power Girl it was as if a direct exchange was made. The “Boob Window” was done away with and replaced with a full body suit, and her breast sized was reduced, so far so good right? Wrong. Instead of a running gag, the sex became a serious part of the character. In Worlds’ Finest Kara has been represented as beyond promiscuous in her attitude. At times she is even comes across as slutty, and I really hate using that word, so that’s saying something. Since her arrival in the New 52 she has slept with Michael Holt (which was fine, and was actually even an interesting development in the relationship of two character that have been associated with one another), and several other un-named persons as suggest by Kara herself in issue #3 of Worlds’ Finest.
So what is DC’s game plan with all of this? It would seem to me that DC is stick to the old “Sex Sells” approach. Now in my opinion I think there is nothing wrong with sex in a story, but it can be overdone, and DC in my opinion has definitely been over doing it. When sex intrudes on a character, and overrides the very fabric that has long been associated with that character the fan base will shift, ultimately leaving that character with fewer fans than it initially had. In the case of Power Girl it’s still early in the game for Worlds’ Finest, so hopefully things can pick back up by taking the focus of the promiscuity of Kara Zor-L, and judging by the actions of the creators with other books that probably will happen, but the question remains: will it develop into a mediocre book, or something that is actually decent? Most likely, but for fans of Kara Zor-L this will remain one of the less than stellar moments in the history of Power Girl.