Friday, August 18, 2017

Bullet Review: DC Comics Bombshells #33

DC Comics Bombshells #33 came out this week, the last issue of this volume of the characters and my last issue reading this. When this series started out, I was very impressed at writer Marguerite Bennett's ability to weave a very solid story about World War II and the arrival of super-women fighting the Nazis. The first year was fabulous.

But since then, since the battle of London around issue 12, it has felt like the book has lost its way. There are a lot of ideas in this book but the stories haven't read well. It's like those ideas haven't gelled into a narrative. As a result, the book has been something of a mess. On top of that, there has been a bit too much cutesy dialogue recently ... something that I might have tolerated more of the story around it was stronger.

And so this last issue wraps up the story. Bennett has brought a bunch of subplots together into a large battle in Russia. So Supergirl's grief and Raven's familial issues and Lois's optimism are all here. But it seems so scattershot. So much happens with little explanation. The moments in the story where I have said to myself 'I guess I have to roll with that' were numerous. Now I will admit that I haven't been paying significant attention here. Perhaps my laziness as a reader because I haven't been engaged has been part of the problem.

One of the things that hasn't been a problem on the book has been the art. In particular, I discovered Mirka Andolfo, Laura Braga, and Sandy Jarrell in this book. All three are here and shine. In particular, Mirka Andolfo has become a favorite in my mind.

On to the book.

There were some surprises, something always welcomed by me.

There is some plot that Hugo Strange has the ability to meld magic and science and create a super-race. Faora Hu-ul would then rule the world with her new army. Early in the issue, The Reaper kills Hugo Strange.

Realizing that without Strange the plan can't work, Killer Frost freezes the Reaper solid and kills her. Okay, that was unexpected.

But the moment is then followed by a depowered Lois Lane forcing Frost into a circus cage and then calling on a Firebird to stay over the cage and keep Frost there. So ... huh. I get how we want Lois to be a hero but I find it odd that Frost could be overpowered by her here. Remember when Faora was incapacitated by a biplane last issue? It is things like this that are hard to deal with as a reader.

 In the meantime, Raven goes kaiju because her father has died. Zatanna pleads with her to regain control. But it is Faora Hu-ul who gets the better of Raven. Using a syringe, she grabs a blood sample from Raven which somehow depowers Raven. (I suppose perhaps that moment and Zatanna does it.) I don't know if I understand it.

Faora injects Raven's blood into herself and this magical transfusion changes Faora into Doomsday.

So maybe Strange wasn't needed? Is this what Faora wanted?

Okay, I'll roll with it.

Remember, much of the last few issues have really focused on Supergirl. Her grief over her sister Kortni's sacrifice has tremendously effected her. Kara has interacted with Luthor, Lois, and Diana  each of whom has tried to impart some wisdom about Kara needing to find her way. Luthor tells her she needs to kill her enemies. Diana tells her that grief keeps Kortni alive. Lois tells Kara not to battle monsters lest she becomes one.

With Doomsday now a major threat, Kara calls upon all that to come up with her plan.

 She pulls out the Kryptonite dagger Luthor gave her. (Surprisingly she seems uneffected by it. Another thing I need to roll with.)

She says she cannot kill Doomsday. She cannot be a murderer. I like that. The Supers should always find another way. But then I'm not sure if she is simply saying someone else needs to. That would be pretty lousy. I can't sully my own hands but I'll be complicit in the murder.

Thankfully, Doomsday isn't killed. Swamp Thing shows up and swallows her. You would think that Doomsday could just break out of vegetation but she can't. (I guess I have to roll with that.) Then the Kryptonite dagger is melted by Power Girl and Superman's heat vision. The melted Kryptonite is then taken up magically by Swamp Thing's roots making the elemental a worthy prison.

 But then there is this odd subplot about how three people need to sacrifice themselves to keep the evil Doomsday imprisoned. I suppose, given all the talk, that this was supposed to be the three magic characters who had been captured by The Joker's Daughter including Raven and Zatanna.

Instead, Kortni's parents - both her Russian parents and her biological father - decide they must follow in their daughter's footsteps.

Okay, I suppose this is a nice wrinkle. But I don't know if I have known these characters well enough to think this was a big loss.

With Doomsday gone, it seems like all is well with the world. We get another song motif as we see how all the Bombshells are in a better place.

Of all the team, Kara has suffered the most. She has been completely weighed down by her grief to the point of near catatonia. With all this behind her, with a better understanding of herself, she can sit down with Lois, enjoy an apple, and contemplate a better future.

I do like how the seeds in the apple look like a star, symbolically bringing us back to Stargirl. And I am glad Kara is in a better place. In fact, this whole arc of Supergirl having to deal with the hardships of war and dealing with sadness has been a decent read.

But this whole last year of this title has felt a little too rushed and a little too precious. Perhaps the break and the new focus of the next title will allow Bennett to tighten things up a bit. I'll wait to hear from others if I should be collecting.

Overall grade: C


Anonymous said...

incoherent to the last issue, "The DC Bombshells" never fail in that regard. The continuity howlers described by our host strongly remind me of the Empire Days of Bob Haney in "The Brave and the Bold" wherein Bruce Wayne has a crazy older brother or an unpowered Diana Prince gains a Amazon Bodyguard...we get writing like that when the creatives "don't pay attention and think we aren't paying attention either"...
and that leaden pseudo-poetic dialogue! AWFUL! and more singing (its a silent medium the music doesn't register is everyone else on Crazy Pills Here??)...I'm not gonna buy the successor title I paid too much attention to a misfire of a book as it is. I'd sooner see Supergirl in the "Dingbats of Danger Street" than The Bombshells...worst team affiliation everrrrrr



Anonymous said...


Have you given any consideration into reviewing Gotham City Garage?

Kara Gordon seems to be Supergirl in all but last name.

Also, good review.

Anonymous said...

Hey Anj on a discursive note, any comment on the rumors that Supergirl shows up (if in passing) in the JLA Movie?


Anj said...

The plan will be to review Garage (at least first issue) when in print.
Don't know about DCEU. I'd rather not think about it.
Maybe in a bit.