Monday, April 18, 2016

Review: DC Comics Bombshells #11

DC Bombshells #11 came out last week and finally brought all the characters together, on the European front, and fighting Nazis, Atlanteans, and demons. I have been waiting for this since the book began. While all the different plot threads have been gripping, I have been hoping we would see a League style brawl. And thankfully we got there.

Writer Marguerite Bennett has talked about how each thread have had a different sort of feel. Wonder Woman was a romance story. Supergirl and Stargirl starred in a propaganda film. Batwoman was in a spy story. Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy starred in a humor short. But now, together, they all are in a war story.

And we get to see everyone involved. I have been waiting to see Big Barda and Dr. Light jump in the fray and those two might have the best moments in this issue. As a long time Barda fan, this made me very happy.

The art on the book is done by Mirka Andolfo and Laura Braga. Both have shined throughout this book. And their styles are close enough to make this book feel like a consistent effort. The action is wild. The romance is sweet. Everyone is beautiful and strong. Just great.

If I have one quibble, it is that Supergirl seems a bit off here. She doesn't have much to do in this issue. She seems timid and frightened at times. While we have seen the fears of loneliness she has kept hidden before. But she is a warrior. I would hope she could move beyond her insecurities when the moment called upon it.

On to the book...

The battle is over London. Tenebrau ink demons and underwater monsters have joined forces to try to bring down the allies. The plan will be once the war is over, Tenebrau will rule the surface and these monsters will rule the seas. From infantry to tossing bombs into the city, the villains look sure to win.

But the Bombshells arrive. Supergirl, Stargirl, and Mera are already there. Amanda Waller arrives with Barda and Dr. Light. And Wonder Woman streaks in on her monstrous pegasus. Get ready for a throwndown.

We open with Barda wading into the fight. Wonderful!

I love that second panel, looking up at Barda heroically while being placed on an extreme angle. There she is cracking her knuckles. And then, like a true Fury, she dives right in, ripping apart a variety of Pokemon-like sea demons.

We hadn't seen Dr. Light manifest her powers in this book before.

There is a nice scene where she pleads to the citizens of London to turn on their lights. Remember, in bombing runs, people were told to douse their lights to not be a target. Begging them to go against their training, Kimoyo convinces them to bring the light, which she then absorbs and uses to fry the Tenebrau.

Her speech is interesting to me. My Dr. Light is a scientist who understands light rays. Here, while she talks of mastering photonics, she talks of philosophy and enlightenment.

And Amanda Waller is named as the 'first Bombshell'. Flying her fighter plane, wielding sidearms, and generally being badass, Waller is just as effective as her super-powered team.

Barda, Light, and Waller have been lurking a bit on the sidelines of the book. So it was great to finally see them get into the action.

Wonder Woman arrives to help out.

One thing I have liked about this book is that the character of Steve Trevor is really a broken man. The horrors of the war have overwhelmed him. He can barely hold himself together. Diana is his angel and has tried to help him heal.

In London, he is able to pull himself together. He heads to the streets to help some citizens in peril. He isn't going to let what happen to him happen to others. No more broken people. No more nightmares. I think Diana has inspired him and helped him.

With the battle raging around them, the two finally kiss. It's about time!

I will nitpick a bit. Can't someone get Steve new clothes? Tattered civilians and flip-flops? Can't someone get him a set of fatigues??

Right after the kiss, Mera has to make sure that Steve knows that she has smooched Diana too.

What a great little funny moment.

I love the sassy Mera in this book.

The tide seems to be turning on the streets as Barda and Dr. Light clean up the riffraff.

Barda gets slightly injured during the fights and Kimoyo  runs to her side. It turns out these two are also romantically linked. They kiss.

There is a line how Barda traveled through space to be with Light. Interesting. Is there a Bombshell Apokolips?

Can this romance survive? It'll take a miracle, mister.

The bombs the Tenebrau are tossing into the city were brought to the outskirts of the city by Edward Nygma. He is working for the demons.

Batwoman has been tracking him and is able to capture him. But rather than batter him herself, she leaves it to the Londoners he has threatened. Barda ends up punching him into the sky, sending him far from the city.

Somehow he survives ...

I must sound like a broken record when I say I like all of these characters. But Kate Kane's Batwoman is fantastic in this book.

There is a fight in the skies. Amanda Waller, Supergirl, and Stargirl are all trying to stop any bombers from making it into the city.

Once Stargirl sees all the powered Bombshells fighting, Cortny is concerned she doesn't belong. She has the Cosmic Rod but no true powers. There is a nice Batwoman moment where Kate is able to bolster Stargirl's confidence, telling her that it isn't powers that make the woman. No one can tell Cortny what she can and can't do. Again, we see Stargirl outside the stencil of a propaganda picture. She isn't the star in someone else's script. She is in charge of her own destiny.

I have to say, we have seen Stargirl be much more strong than this. We just saw her reject her birth father and fly to the front on her own. So this feeling of inferiority felt a little off. This moment might make up for that.

And Supergirl also seems out of sort.

The Tenebrau send Kara's old Russian regiment, the Night Witches, to the front. But instead of Russian women, we see female Tenebrau demons flying the planes.

Supergirl is so shocked by their appearance, she is momentarily scared, unable to act.

I want my Supergirl to be fierce. I don't mind her being shocked. But why not have that make her doubly determined to fight.

Beautiful art though. I am not a big fan of this Bombshell costume but it works here, especially the 'scarf as cape' effect.

At long last, all the Bombshells at the front come together. They are the Justice League.

This was an action packed issue, as a war issue should be. And yet, throughout, we see these small moments of character. Whether it is romance or inspiration or even humor, Bennett is able to let the characters breath and be three-dimensional even as the chaos happens around them.

So, outside the Stargirl and Supergirl odd moments, this book shined, another chapter in a great saga. Given the lack of #Rebirth news, I have to assume we are nearing the end. That is a shame.

Overall grade: B+


Anonymous said...

Thanks for the review Anj, can't wait to pick up this issue! And yeah, the Supergirl-specific character gaffs are
forgiveable if only from the overall plotting and characterization so far. Sad that all indications that DC will
be stopping this title at issue #12, I'd LOVE to keep reading this series if TPTB would continue it!


Starsaber said...

The next print issue is the end of Bombshells Year 1. We just hit the end of what will be the first print issue of Year 2 on the digital side of things.