In Review: DC Comics: Bombshells #1

I'll be along for this ride for as long as it's as good as this premiere issue.

The covers: The artist whose work I credit with giving DC Bombshells’ line a major foot in the door is Ant Lucia and he’s the artist of the Regular cover. “United for Victory!” shows Wonder Woman speeding forward on a motorcycle and Batwoman leaping with her bat poised for action, as Supergirl flies above looking concerned at what she sees. Above them are several WWII planes in silhouette flying to do battle. The women look awesome and the coloring of the background — a mustard yellow — makes each character shine. I also like the yellow speed lines giving the image movement. This is terrific, and if you want to see more of Lucia’s work, check out his website at antlucia.com.  The Variant cover is by two extremely talented artists, Emanuela Lupacchino and Tomeu Morey. This features Wonder Woman in the foreground looking focused as she begins to spin her lasso, Batwoman not far behind with her weapon pulled back to make a lethal blow, and just behind her, up high, Supergirl flies into action. Each character is flawless and the coloring is magnificent. These are both covers to own. Overall grades: Both A+

The story: 1940, Gotham City. A wealthy couple and their son are leaving a cinema’s showing of Zorro. As they go down a back alley they are accosted by a man with a gun. Just as it seems the thug will make the boy an orphan, the Batwoman appears. She leaps down upon the criminal and knocks him out with one swing from her Louisville Slugger. The young boy is instantly smitten with the vision that has saved his parents from untimely deaths. The scene then goes to the “local celebrity” on the mound, participating in a baseball game since most of the men are off to war. She and partner Bette discuss the annoying announcer and the heat, but are soon interrupted by a gang of sports themed criminals. The two break into action with the expected results. “Enlisted” by Marguerite Bennett is a fun story. After the action on the field, the scene introduces a character who’s supporting the vigilantes’ work, and then some home life is seen of the heroine. Her life mirrors that of the more well known Batwoman nicely, and she’s anxious to help the citizens of Gotham all she can. There’s a nice reveal on 10 that had me audibly laugh — this was a welcome addition to the book! The story then transitions to “Miles off the coast of Greece” where Steve Trevor is encountering some trouble. A familiar character comes to his aid, though in initially rocky circumstances. Moscow held the biggest surprise, in location and character, and I loved every moment there. The ending of this book has a solid cliffhanger. It’s so nice to read a book that has heroes being heroic and not mopey, somber, introspective buzzkills. Thank you, Ms. Bennett! Overall grade: A 

The art: Before even opening this book I had concerns. After all, this is a series launched on the highly collectable variant covers that DC did just over a year ago (and is currently following up on). Would the excellent art on those variant covers be matched on the interiors of this book? The answer is a resounding yes. The heroines of this book are beautiful and strong. However, the story does not have any of the characters in the costumes from the covers of this issue or from those covers of 2014. This is a story that has the characters merging as a team, so they’re not in their expected garb. However, artist Marguerite Sauvage does an excellent job even in the lead up. Batwoman is wearing her familiar outfit, but she looks just as sensational, if not more so, when wearing “normal” clothes. Diana, and friends, have a killer scene in the skies that I’ve never seen Amazons participate in. They’ve suddenly become a lot more fierce than I’m used to seeing. It was really good to see Steve’s reaction to the Amazons and I loved his shocked demeanor. The Moscow sequence blew this book into the stratosphere for me. I loved every character and every setting, with Pages 22 and 23’s bottom panels incredible. If the entire book was set there and Sauvage were to be the artist, I’d just sell my house to DC now. The colors on this book are very soft, giving it a dated look. It’s not got the typical aged yellows or oranges, but soft pastel coloring that suggests the 1940s. There’s no colorist credited in this book, so I’m assuming it’s also Sauvage. I really like the colors on the flashback in the beginning and how they’re contrasted with Batwoman. The coloring in the apartment is perfect, the Amazons’ battle nicely darkened for its location, and Russia has the perfect combination of bland and bold totalitarian colors. Overall grade: A

The letters: Narration, sounds, scene settings, opening title and credits, delirious speech, a song, and the “To Be Continued!” are crafted by Wes Abbot. The sounds on this issue are particularly fun, with a good time to be had if they are read aloud. The issue’s title on Page 3 is a really nice stand out. It instantly captures the time period and is so unlike anything else in comics. Overall grade: A

The final line: A fun beginning as the players are introduced. I’ll be along for this ride for as long as it’s as good as this premiere issue. Overall grade: A 

Patrick Hayes was a contributor to the Comic Buyer’s Guide for several years with “It’s Bound to Happen!” and he’s reviewed comics for TrekWeb and TrekCore. He’s taught 8th graders English for 20 years and has taught high school English for five years and counting. He reads everything as often as he can, when not grading papers or looking up Star Trek, Star Wars, or Indiana Jones items online.

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