DC’s latest major event, Lazarus Planet, kicked off last week, and this week, readers got to go deeper into the story with Lazarus Planet: Assault on Krypton. The tie-in comic featured stories starring a variety of fan favorite characters including Power Girl. Written by Leah Williams, the Power Girl story in Lazarus Planet: Assault on Krypton leads into the character’s upcoming appearance in Action Comics and marks a major return for the beloved character. ComicBook.com recently had a chance to sit down with Williams to talk about her Power Girl story and what’s ahead for Power Girl.
Nicole Drum, ComicBook.com: I am an old school hardcore Power Girl fan. A moment in your story that hit me like a ton of bricks. And it’s when we see Karen kind of falling and tumbling and then we get into these things where she’s, the whole story just hit me, but there’s a moment where she’s facing her mortality and there’s a line near the start says, “I wish I had mattered.” And if you know Karen’s story…
Leah Williams: Then you know that’s her deepest insecurity. That’s it. Her cross to bear. She does not think that she matters. The opening of that story with Power Girl is pretty raw. And it’s because she thinks that she’s dying. She thinks that her life is flashing before her eyes. And the reference that I used in the script for Marguerite was the broken neck lady crashing down through time in House on Haunting Hill. I’m like, that’s what’s happening with her memories. She is not in control of this movement. It is physical, it is frightening, and she thinks she’s dying. So, her inner monologue reflects that. And as she’s looking at her life literally flash by as she’s plummeting down, she’s filled with regrets. I never learned to connect to other people. I wish I had mattered. I wish I had endeavored to find my place in the world instead of just kind of wandering alone for so long. So, it just puts her in this really vulnerable minds when she crashes into someone else’s mind, someone else’s vulnerability. And it’s something that she connects to because of that. She and Omen formed this sort of permanent telepathic bond in Lazarus planet. It’s like an open radio channel between the two of them. And it’s really beneficial for Power Girl in particular because she doesn’t know how to connect to people. And Omen is a people person. So now she gets this sort of people person symbiosis via telepathy.
There’s also something else I really love about this, with Karen in this, she’s literally living in what I feel is my personal work nightmare of all my intrusive thoughts screaming at me while she is down there,
Literally screaming at you.
I feel her and I feel Omen so much in this, but there’s this gorgeous moment where she’s just like, well, screw this. Yeah, okay, maybe this is all true, but this person is hurting and I’m not going to let that happen. And she takes that and turns it into power to help this other person. And I think that is just, she’s like, yeah, I’m all those things. Screw you. I’m good. And it feels like a restart both for this character and the concept of your weakness being a thing to hold you back. I just thought that was such a powerful moment. Power Girl already kicks so much ass. I just feel like that moment just if there’s ever been a reason to love Power Girl, that’s the moment for me.
Oh, that means so much to me. That just made me melt. Thank you. Yeah, that’s probably my favorite moment in that story, which the approach to it is kind of like a pilot episode. What I’m doing there is I want people to fall in love with Power Girl immediately. And I want them to want more. I want them to immediately want more stories with her. So, I’ve got 10 pages to do it. What is the maximum impact I can have with that? And I knew it was going to be emotional resonance over punching. I knew it was going to be punching heartstrings instead of faces, but then I was like, but also Power Girl solves problems with punching. So, let’s best of both worlds. She’s going to literally punch her inner demons. And the moment that you’re talking about where your intrusive thoughts are screaming at you, and what we’re seeing in this short is kind of the intrusive thoughts of both Omen and Power Girl screaming at them simultaneously because they’re the same.
This is a point of connection between Omen and Power Girl. It’s something they have in common. For Power Girl, she is afraid of getting close to other people because they’re just going to abandon her anyway. And she’s going to be on her own, so why bother? And with Omen, she’s like, I’m afraid of getting close to other people because I’m the problem. People wind up dead when I get close to them and I have a lot of guilt about it, so why bother? And then of course, these women are forced into telepathic proximity to each other and they’re going to be close regardless of whether they want to or not. And the intrusive thoughts get worse and worse and worse and more and more heart wrenching and darker. These are her own insecurities. This is what that looks like, trying to eat her alive. And then she just has this moment where she’s like, you know what? F-ck this. F-ck you. And she punches her way out of the Astral plane and it’s gorgeous.
We know this is leading into Action coming up and that’s a book that, first of all, I read it as a fan anyway, but I also cover it professionally. So, I am so excited to see where Power Girl and Omen’s story goes.
Well, I’ve already talked about it pretty liberally today. So, if I wasn’t supposed to just be transparent about what happened then, that’s already out of the bag on that one. But she and Lilith, they team up. They kind of formed this partnership because Omen is a licensed counselor. She has a degree in psychotherapy, she has gone to medical school and also, she is a psychic who now has teamed up with somebody who can physically punch her way into somebody mind scape and then battle their inner demons. So, Omen is like, we can do real good here. We are uniquely qualified to counsel superheroes and deal with kind of metahuman or superhuman problems of the mind and that they might not have anywhere else to go to. So, trauma, dealing with trauma, confronting it, acknowledging it, finding where it’s put down roots in you is a big theme. And kind of the first person we see them working with on this front is Beast Boy.
Lazarus Planet: Assault on Krypton is on sale now.