Credits: Written by Judd Winick; art and cover by Sami Basri; lettered by John J. Hill; coloured by Sunny Gho; edited by Rachel Gluckstern (associate) and Mike Carlin.
Synopsis: Power Girl (Karen Starr) is still having a very bad day. She thought she’d defeated the synthetic purple-android with the stolen memories of the arms dealer Randall Mikavic, but she’d only been keeping it busy whilst its programming rebooted. That completed, the android grows in size and announces – chatty as every – that its primary objective is the destruction of New York City. Power Girl calls Nicholas Cho – an employee of Karen Starr’s R&D company – and blackmails him into digging up whatever secret information about the android is available (Cho had been a hacker who was caught by the FBI and then spent his conviction by working for them). Cho discovers that it the android is called “C.R.A.S.H.” and is a weapon designed to be dropped into a city where it goes on a four-hour rampage before shutting down. Power Girl simply keeps it occupied for another hour and then lets it power down naturally. However, she suddenly weakens and collapses from exposure to kryptonite radiation as a teleportation portal opens. A man steps out and leads Crash away. The last thing Power Girl sees as the portal closes is the stranger introducing himself to Crash as “Max.” Back at the office, Cho tells Karen Starr that he knows that she’s secretly Power Girl.
Continuity: Max is of course Maxwell Lord which ties these events with Justice League: Generation Lost. It had already been established in Power Girl #13 and Justice League: Generation Lost #4 that Power Girl’s company worked on the same type of technology that Max was interested in.
Opinion: As a character Crash is less that interesting. The opening monologue of Randall Mikavic had potential, but as the protagonist for a two-issue brawl he’s over played. That said, I find the concept of a weaponized-monster interesting. He’s effectively Godzilla or Mothra turned into a weapon of mass destruction – drop the monster into a city, let it rampage for a couple of hours, and then send in your conventional forces to mop up any remaining resistance. No radiation, no chemicals, just a very large rebuilding bill. Nice idea, but I’d have preferred Godzilla. The running exchange between Power Girl and Cho was fun – I particularly liked the bit about throwing the evidence into Starr’s office. Something I just realised – this issue is using sound effects (“Ka-Boom”, etc). They work really well as part of the art.
(Crash is a skinny purple thing, that swells is size, gives Power Girl a pounding for four hours before collapsing, flaccid and spent. Best not to comment on that I think. )