In Review: DC Comics Bombshells

The team is finally forming and infamous villains are starting to appear.

The covers: Another fantastic Main cover for this series by Ant Lucia. This has Zatanna having just produced a rabbit, complete with cigarette, out of her top hat. She looks gorgeous and the coloring on her, the wand, and the rabbit fantastic. However, there’s more in the image that readers should look for: take a gander in the upper right — there’s a familiar set of smiling teeth and pale white eyes that are watching the magician perform, and might herald the arrival of a major Bill Finger creation into this series. I wish DC would put down some hard money for Lucia to illustrate an entire story. The Variant cover this month is by Kate Leth with colors by Paulina Ganucheau and it knocks one out of the ballpark with two characters about to share a passionate kiss with a baseball diamond framing them. I’m keeping the identities of the characters a surprise, because I’m impressed that DC went with this cover. Both characters look terrific, the coloring is aces, and the emotion is bursting out of the image. A home run! Overall grades: Both A+

The story: In Kane Warehouse at Gotham City Harbor, Batwoman confronts a man who sold information to the Nazis: the names of Jewish families and what ships they’re on. This don’t improve for the man when Batwoman reveals she’s Jewish. Another man sneaks behind the hero to do her harm, when a “Batfan” swings down from the second level, singing a theme song and adding sound effects as she pummels the villain. The young woman asks for autograph made out to her, Harper Row. Batwoman obliges the fourteen year old and gives her the autograph and a souvenir: her bat. Back at Desolation Row, where Harper works as a mechanic, she shows her co-workers what she has and says, “I’ve got an idea. But we’re gonna need uniforms.” The story then follows two characters having a last night together, as one has enlisted in the war effort as a member of a new team. Writer Marguerite Bennett establishes why this series has its title and does so by introducing three new characters into the series. This story takes a major swing in a new direction when another character, a potential villain, is introduced and she is going to make things really interesting for Batwoman. The story then shifts to Germany where the Joker’s Daughter is about to bring something old back to the earth with the reluctant help of Zatanna. I enjoyed this story as well, but it didn’t have the upbeat tone of the first story and made the reading experience a bit jarring. The final third of the story focuses on Wonder Woman and Mera trying to take Steve Trevor home and end up enlisting as Bombshells. This was an excellent read, with Bennett getting the team together and establishing a future foe. Overall grade: A-

The art: I’m not loving a different artistic team on each story. Should one story have art I really enjoy, I want to see that team on every page of the issue, and if some art falls short of another, it really stands out as poor, and that’s exactly what happens in this issue. The first story is illustrated by Marguerite Sauvage and she is a major talent. I love the look of her characters and her action is very strong. Her story gives her the opportunity to draw an emotional pair of pages, 5 and 6, and they are tremendous. She also gets to introduce the four new characters and they are also great. Sauvage should be given an entire book to draw. The middle story is where my love falls on this title. The Joker’s Daughter sequences are just too rough for my liking. Garry Brown draws in a pretty thick line and doing so makes the art come off as sketchy and not finished. This is really true on Page 16: the new character is not clearly rendered and just looks unfinished. When this character undergoes a visual change on 19 he’s too far away from the reader to have any impact, and the background behind him is a random collection of wispy smoke. The visuals on this story hurt my enjoyment of the story and the issue. Thankfully, Laura Braga takes over for the Wonder Woman story and things look good again. She gets several different characters to illustrate, two opposing armies, and the most action. She renders all superbly. The visuals on the middle story really bring this book down. Overall grade: C+

The colors: There are also three different colorists, one for each story: Marguerite Sauvage, Doug Garbark, and Wendy Broome. Sauvage does a stellar job coloring her work, bringing a bright color that adds clarity and intelligence to her urban settings. Garbark does what he can in the Joker’s Daughter story, but it’s in a cavernous location, and things are dark. I think if the art had been stronger, he would have been able to insert some brighter colors. For example, Broome’s scenes are all set in night, on the ocean and an island, yet the colors are bright. This can be done by any colorist if they chose to do so. Broome is knocking it out of the park! Overall grade: C+

The letters: Scene settings, dialogue, sounds, singing, signage, scream, a specific individual’s speech that starts on 17, outstanding closing story title and credits, and next issue’s tease are created by Wes Abbott. This is a sensational job by Abbott. I love the sounds, the speech that starts on 17, and the fabulous credits. This is a superior job. Overall grade: A+

The final line: The team is finally forming and infamous villains are starting to appear. The story is terrific, but rotating artists hurt the flow of the book. Still, a fun read. Overall grade: B+

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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