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"Gotham City Sirens" #1 Review

In Comic Reviews on June 26, 2009 at 12:31 am
Gotham City Sirens #1

Gotham City Sirens #1

Union

Writer: Paul Dini

Artist: Guillem March

Colors: Jose Villarrubia

Paul Dini seems to be consuming the Batman universe whole.  Not only is he writing the new Streets of Gotham on-going, he’s also been given another go with the femme fatales of Gotham, characters whose current iterations are largely due to his work on Batman: The Animated Series.  And despite some ill will towards the initial previews, the good news is that Gotham City Sirens isn’t nearly as bad as you would think.

The story focuses on Catwoman, now having recovered from having her heart cut out by Hush during the “Heart of Hush” storyline in Detective Comics.  Thanks to the medical prowess of Doctor MidNite and a magical ointment from Zatanna, she’s now recovered enough to take on the mean streets of a radically changed Gotham City, but is still experiencing weakness due to the trauma.  She’s nearly killed by newly minted Z-grade villain Boneblaster, but is thankfully saved by an intervention from Poison Ivy.  Ivy saves the day and brings Catwoman back to her house, which is actually the home of Edward Nygma, hypnotized by Ivy’s plants.  There she discovers that Harley Quinn and Ivy have both been living there for some time, having squandered the 30 million that Catwoman gave them for helping to destroy all of Hush’s fortunes rather than leaving town and turning over a new leaf as she had hoped.  Quinn and Ivy contact Zatanna, who informs them that her ointment would have healed Catwoman physically, but wouldn’t have resolved any emotional trauma.  Boneblaster attacks again and is bested, Nygma is freed of the mind control and beats the hell out of Boneblaster, and the trio of Sirens move in to an abandoned Animal Shelter, where they want to help Catwoman get her confidence back, but not without a cost….

Oh, c’mon, I’m not gonna spoil everything.

Dini is obviously the perfect choice for these characters, as his work on B:TAS reinvented Ivy and Catwoman, and he had a hand in the creation of Harley Quinn.  Here he’s picking up where he left off, and as always it’s fun.  He’s always done a fantastic job of making these characters sympathetic villains, and seeing the interactions of the three is enjoyable.  Nygma would have been a nice addition to the cast list too, but this being Gotham City SIRENS, he regrettably only shows up in the book’s final pages.

Artwise, its passable.  Guillam March does a very good job rendering the ladies here, but there are some curious facial expressions and body types, including most everyone being slack jawed and squinty-eyed; Harley in particular has quite a few moments where she resembles a blow-up doll (which seems to be an unsettling trend among artists lately).

Mistuh Jay Loves It!

Mistuh Jay Loves It!

The even more over-sized than usual goggles on Catwoman both work and don’t for me, but that’s just me being nitpicky.  And aside from the cover, we don’t get to see Harley in her costume; instead she’s in a school girl outfit for the few pages of the book she actually shows up in, but it suits her personality well enough.

Ultimately, Gotham City Sirens is a fun read, showcasing characters that Dini helped to flesh out for a new generation of fans.  The first issue may not be anything great, but its not anything bad.  This one flies under the “Batman Reborn” banner , but its unlikely that this title will actually play a large part in that story as a whole.  Gotham City Sirens gets a respectable B+.  Its nothing spectacular or astonishing, but its not bad either; its solid story telling that’s setting up for a fun series.

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