Reviews and Recommendations by Mel Odom, Professional Writer

GOTHAM CITY SIRENS #1 by Paul Dini and Guillem March


All that’s missing in eye-catching details from the cover of Gotham City Sirens #1 is a stripper pole, and I’m not sure that wasn’t drawn in originally. I think my mind kept subconsciously filling it in. Women in tight-fitting, nearly nonexistent clothing that looked ready to peel off at any moment? Check. Cleavage and nearly-naked cheeks? Check. There’s even an S&M hint in Catwoman’s whip. Oh, and all three women (Poison Ivy, Harlequin, and Catwoman) are all wearing stilettos. Definitely eye-catching.

But a comic can’t just be eye candy for long in this day and age. Readers want something that engages them and has a bite to the plotting. Paul Dini provides that in the script among all of artist Guillem March’s pretty panels.

The book opens with another eye-catching visual, this one of Catwoman doing a one-handed handstand over a fall that would surely kill her. However, I don’t understand how the gargoyles remained on the building ledges because the heavy weight of the body of the statues, but they are some of the most macabre I’ve seen depicted in Gotham City.

Through the first-person dialogue, the reader quickly learns that Catwoman is still trying to get back to fighting form after taking a knife to the heart. (Man, there have been a lot of changes in the Batbooks since I stepped away for a while!) March delineates the combat action really well, and does a lot with facial expressions. I liked how we get a hint that Poison Ivy has arrived on the scene by the growth behind the villain Boneblaster then the splash page with her saving Catwoman. Great visuals run all through this book, and March evidently loves drawing the female form.

I enjoyed the way Poison Ivy’s “hero” turn immediately gets negated by her imprisonment of E. Nigma (the Riddler). Her keeping him hostage is a truly fiendish thing. Even more funny is what Ivy did with the money she evidently received from Catwoman on some assignment.

Harley Quinn’s arrival is fantastic, and she ups the homicidal maniac quotient immediately. In spite of all this, Catwoman offers them a chance to form a partnership and look out for each other, which has gotta be one of the most intriguing and frightening ideas in the Batworld. But what I really loved was how Poison Ivy and Harley Quinn agreed to the partnership so they could look out for Catwoman until she’s back on her feet.

The scene where Poison Ivy “talks” with Zatanna is priceless, and it has to be indicative of where this partnership is going. The women are going to be working for and against each other, and not everyone is going to be glad they’re around. I also liked the green lettering of Ivy’s dialogue when she’s speaking through plants. Great touch.

But best of all is the double-cross at the end of the book. It’s gonna be interesting to see how everyone bounces back from this, and what Catwoman’s answer to the question will be. I can’t help but think of this as a Birds of Prey riff that’s straight out of a nightmare. But I like what I’m reading.


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