Monday, December 14, 2015

Review: DC Comics Bombshells #6

DC Comics Bombshells #6 came out last week and was another fabulous issue in what has been a fantastic run. I have said all along that this Elseworlds look has been surprisingly engaging and interesting. In this issue, writer Marguerite Bennett continues to give us a nice mix of action, humor, historical significance, and randy fun.

But for me, the best part of this issue is that it feels like the characters are finally starting to move in a way that will bring them all together soon. While I like hopping from one character's story to another (the diverse locales and characters are a strength of the book), I am eagerly awaiting the 'Justice League' moment when they are united against a common foe.

The art in this issue really sparkles. Ming Doyle continues to give us a noirish look at Batwoman's adventures in Germany. That style complements the story very well. The rest of the issue is drawn by Maria Laura Sanopo and Sandy Jarrell. They both bring a very clean style to the page. All of the characters are just beautiful. The style is so lovely that I wouldn't mind seeing either doing all the pages of an issue!

The book opens with several gorgeous pages of Mera stopping some Nazi U-boats which are manned by the Tenebrau inky zombies we have seen cropping up in the last few issues.

Mera is one of my favorite characters in the book. She is fun and fresh and just seems to love life. While just as driven as the other Bombshells, Mera also seems to enjoy what she does. It doesn't hurt that she sings to gain access to her powers.

Here, called Aquawoman (love it!), she boards an American destroyer, bringing cheer and hope to the crew. They all love her but more importantly respect her. They don't hit on her, despite her summery outfit, instead showing her pictures of the significant others they have left behind.

Again, Jarrell really shines here. This page is just eye-melting gorgeous. There is something akin to Darwyn Cooke in that first panel.

The R&R on the cruiser is interrupted by the arrival of Stargirl and Supergirl whose path for defecting takes them right over the fleet. Mera skirmishes with the two Russians and briefly gains the upper hand. But before Mera can further pound on Kara, Stargirl steps in the middle. She won't let anyone hurt her sister.

Despite that breezy exterior, we know that Mera is hiding something from her past. In silhouette, we see someone about to get run through with a spear. My guess is that Bennett is going to bring in Siren, Mera's sister, and have her be killed. Who could be the killer? Arthur? Orm?

But adding this deeper background to the 'fun one' ramps up my interest in the character. Is she ignoring that event? Is the fun personality a facade?

Meanwhile, in Germany, Kate has decided to don the Batwoman outfit and go out adventuring. I thought this was supposed to be an undercover mission? It seems odd that she would want to do anything out in the open which might jeopardize the bigger strategy.

While in the Batwoman gear, she disables some tanks. She then runs into some resistance fighters who play in a band including the Huntress. This Helena plays the cello, shoots a crossbow, and is a German opposed to Nazi rule. Kate loves her spirit and decides to take her on as an ally/sidekick only if Huntress will be trained. I like the addition of Huntress but I would have liked it more if she was an Italian opposed to Mussolini, leaning on her traditional origin.

It might be an overread, but the panel focusing on Kate's shoes as she talks about the Holocaust was quietly powerful. The image of piles of shoes is so evocative of this tragedy that showing us Kate's shoes and knowing she is Jewish, all while she talks about the horror in Germany at the time was a gut punch.

But after that heaviness, Bennett gives us a little laugh.

Selina and Lex arrive in their motor car to whisk both Kate and Huntress away.

As a joke, Kate asks if it is a rescue or an invite for a menage a trois. The panels of Lex and Selina considering it are perfect. Kate may have been going for a laugh but they're into it! In particular, Lex's look in the second panel is perfect.

Like I said above, there is some bawdy fun in this book.

And then we get game changer. Lex has some Kryptonite. He wants this to be a human war.

I still don't know if I can count Lex amongst the good guys.

The rest of the issue is Bennett and Jarrell moving the pieces on the chess board, bringing everybody together a bit closer.

On the cruiser, Supergirl and Stargirl join the Bombshells and agree to work for Amanda Waller to defend their country. They won't don the stars and stripes though. They are loyal to Russia. They will change their colors though, aligning themselves more with the Allies.

I love that smiling Supergirl.

Meanwhile, Diana and Steve Trevor have been arrested for mutiny after they ignored General Lane's orders to kill the prisoners of war.

Deciding she can no longer follow Lane, Diana uses her powers to break out. Diana is something of a wild card now. She'll need to link up with the Bombshells soon.

And Harley and Ivy are racing through France towards Germany, killing any Nazi they have the luck of running across (or over).

Everyone seems to be on the move towards the front. It can only be a matter of time before they all get together.

The last part of the book focuses on Zatanna. I get a complete kick out of Rabbit John Constantine. (Who rolls those tiny cigarettes for him?).

John tries to inspire Zatanna to break away from the Joker's Daughter. Zatanna has been blackmailed and forced to work for the Nazis because she fears for her life and her family's. But John tells her that her magic dwarfs what the Joker's Daughter can do.

Zatanna is the only character who seems to be in the same place at the end of this issue. But that is okay. We get a lot of backstory and character moments for her here.

All these pages are by Maria Laura Sanapo and Marc Deering and everyone is just fresh, strong, and beautiful. The art sings here, working with the words.

So I continue to love this book. It is a guilty pleasure, an Elseworlds based on statues of scantily clad characters. But Bennett brings so much more to the table. This is a nice romp.

Overall grade: A


Wayne Allen Sallee said...

Grant Morrison left seven Earths unused in his map of the Multiverse. I would love for this to be one of those Earths, and not an Elseworlds.

Anonymous said...

You'd smile too if you just quit on Stalin er...Arkayne's Soviet Russia....



Martin Gray said...

'The Harley and the Ivy' - brilliant!