DCU Bombshells #7 came out 2 weeks ago so sorry it has taken me this long to get to this book to review.
Writer Marguerite Bennett and artist Mirka Andolfo put together this Batgirls specific issue, a sort of change of pace taking us away from the European front of the war and showing us the threats that lingered stateside. I have really loved the war stories that Bennett has been weaving, slowly bringing all those characters together so I don't know if I loved this issue as much as others.
Don't get me wrong, I really liked this issue, a fun romp of youthful heroes with some great patriotic moments. And the art is vibrant and electric, the right style for these heroes. But it did take me away from the front and stories I have become invested in.
The issue starts with an unscrupulous landlord evicting a family for housing Jewish illegal immigrants who have fled the horrors of Europe.
It just so happens that the Batgirl squad of Nell, Kathy, and Harper shows up to batter the landlord and the police officers who are helping as well as shuttle the immigrants away in this 'Batmobile'. This panel, with its bright colors and high energy is a great representation of what you'll get here.
The 'na na na' riff, evocative of Batman '66, was also great!
But there are more threads to this opening scene.
The family which was safely taken away is the Smoak family. Can Felicity far behind?
And the owner of the building, the minor Bette Kane, is shocked by what she sees. She may own the land but due to her age, she can't make legal decisions about it.
The girls decide that the time is right to break Harper's brother out of the Pinkney Orphanage. It was a promise Harper made to him when he was taken. She has been waiting to be old enough to declare herself his guardian. But the time seems right now. The orphanage is more of a prison or indoctrination center.
Knowing the will need more help, the three Batgirls recruit another member Alysia Yeoh. There is no doubt the multicultural makeup of this team is both intentional and wonderful.
Breaking in, the girls are joined by another young female hero, dressed up in a professional baseball uniform akin to Batwoman's.
We as readers can recognize this as Bette and she has concerns about her family's Foundation. It is supposed to be giving money to this place to keep it a wonderful place for the children. But the squalor is evident.
The crew runs into the Headmistress Webb. Alysia has first hand knowledge of the place having escaped it in the past. She comments on Webb's particular political outlook, a warped look at America as being a homogenous land.
It is funny how so much of this story, set in the early 40's still resonates in these times.
I don't usually post whole pages but this one was so wonderful it was hard to tinker.
The girls reunite with both Harper and Alysia's brother. The uncover Webb's plot to use the children as manual labor to create killer robots. And then we get this wonderful page where we get a nice patriotic American moment.
Webb goes on about how she thinks the Axis idea of racial purity is the right one, that the biggest threats are from within the country.
And then Kathy turns the tables. There are threats and evil within the country, in people like Webb. That small panel of the girls' eyes is great, again showing the makeup of this team, a contrast to Webb's dreams.
Webb is thwarted.
The robots are destroyed.
And Bette reveals who she is and joins the team.
In fact, things are much more rosy on the way out of this issue. Bette turns 18 and takes control of the Kane Foundation. She'll clean everything up.
The brothers are free from the Orphanage.
And there is a nice group team shot of all the Batgirls and even a couple of Robins.
I guess I would call this a rest issue, a way to pause the bigger story of the action at the front and show us another element of this world. And it was executed in a fun, wild manner. I like that this is a newer sort of Newsboy Legion. But I am eager to head back to Europe.
It is a high compliment that I want to see what is happening to other plot threads. I shouldn't damn this issue for the quality of the rest of this book. And the tone here, a bit more lighthearted, is a refreshing change of pace.