Personally, I prefer "Falcon Crest" Gold Digger v2 #36-39 (1997-1998)

Gold Digger v2 #36 cover

When we last saw Prince Stripe, he'd postponed his wedding, stuck some dangerous alien artifacts under his skin, and blasted an entire city into outer space so he could go fight the spacefaring villains known only as the Dynasty. These issues pick up where we left off before "Time Warp" with the Diggers sisters and their allies (Ace, Penny, Charlotte and Vaultron) heading off to help Stripe with his fight.

By examining the Dynasty's technology, Gina is able to make a stunning discovery - the Dynasty were once members a race known as "the Gardeners" who tended to planets and spread life across the universe. One family went rogue, killing the other gardeners and draining planets of life to gain power, Galactus-style. But, as it turns out, the Gardeners and Dynasty don't have many powers of their own - what makes them truly fearsome is the bio-mechanical symbiots they've bonded with. And those symbiots have evolved a level of intelligence and remorse, and Gina is able to convince them to finally turn off that power once and for all.

What I'm trying to say is, the Dynasty goes down way too easily. They've spent three issues eradicating most of the life on planet Aebra, kicking the butts of everyone who isn't named Stripe, and plotting to reduce the planet to a pile of smoking asteroids, only to get their butts kicked by Gina with her pocket calculator and one punch from Cheetah...

Gold Digger v2 #39 p. 19Gold Digger v2 #39, p. 19

That's a gross oversimplification, but it does highlight one of the consistent problems with this era of Gold Digger - sudden endings. It's not that the stories don't end, or even that the ends are thematically or dramatically unsatisfying. It's just that they're never really given enough space to play out. Villains are just blasted away on the last page, in a way that seems to devalue the struggle against them.

On the plus side, both "Time Warp" and the Dynasty storylines have emotionally satisfying endings that help compensate for these deficiencies - Professor Peachbody gets smacked down but good, and Stripe's reunion with Cheetah is actually kinda touching.

These issues are also notable for introducing two new sets of characters into the Gold Digger universe:

  • Running with the joke that Brianna likes big weapons way more than she should, issue #36 introduces "peebo," the self-aware bomb! The peebos later evolve into generic self-aware utility droids, with variants including Peebochu, PeeBri, PeeGee and PeeBrit. The peebos never get old - they're so completely innocent, guileless, and stupid that they have no idea what they're doing, and also they happen to be hooked up to some serious weapon systems. Comedy gold.
  • Also in that vein, issue #37 introduces "Vaultron Force," a leprechaun version of Voltron assembled from robot shoes, with pilots like "McKeith" and "Princess O'Lura." Again, this is pure comedy gold - even the most hackneyed or melodramatic plot line becomes side-splittingly hilarious when your protagonist is a six inch tall leprechaun.

Print Run: 5200

I think this is what you call "plateauing."

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Gold Digger v2 #37 p. 12Gold Digger v2 #37, p.1 2

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