Sunday, August 1, 2010

Comic Book Review: Gotham City Sirens #14

Book Information
Written by Tony Bedard
Penciled by Andres Guinaldo
Inked by Lorenzo Ruggiero
Colors by JD Smith & Tomeu Morey
Letters by Steve Wands
Cover by Guillem March

My Awe-Inspiring Opinion
Would everyone please sit down? I think you’ll need to if you’re not already. For the news I’m about to expose to you could very well shock you beyond belief. Here it is…This month’s issue is nothing like last month’s! It’s hard to believe, I know. With all the flack that Tony Bedard’s “feline possession” storyline was getting, it’s hard to imagine that DC Comics actually tried to do something new. It’s true, last month gave us a religious crazy person out to kill her sister as a way of exorcising the cat demon within, now Mr Bedard delivers a story about aliens and plant toxins that doesn’t disappoint.

Ivy discovered a few months ago that Star labs was experimenting with plant toxins in order to make plants grow stronger. She took a job there as a way of keeping a watchful eye on Star only to find out that the company was holding a plant-like alien as the gene donor to further their experiments. In a desperate attempt to free the outer space visitor, Ivy and her pals do all they can to escape Star labs and allow their new found friend to go home. What transpires, however, is a major twist in the pre-conceived notion of our flora friend.

I did enjoy having Ivy back in the pages of the Sirens; it just didn’t feel right not having her running around with the clown and the cat. It’s also nice when DC throws out a classic, cheesy sci-fi horror story in a very serious and dramatic comic book title. Having Tony Bedard writing this issue makes the book even that much more appealing. There’s nothing wrong with Paul Dini, in fact I consider the Sirens to be Dini's litery masterpiece, but Tony has a certain level of class in his writing. 
This story arc brings back so many memories from my early childhood when I was reading young adult sci-fi novels written by Bruce Coville and R.L. Stein; taking something as harmless as plants and turning them against the world. This comic is candy for the sci-fi nerd who appreciates a good classic sci-fi parade.

Lorenz Guinaldo understands how to make each character feel like they are actually moving, giving detail and amazing accuracy to each fist swing, leg kick, and jump. The only problem I face is that without the great Guillem March, I don’t feel like I’m getting the artistic nourishment from when he was consistently penciling the title. It’s a sad thing to say, but when a masterful artist is replaced by a lesser one, it’s hard for me to look past the flaws. Never-the-less, Guinaldo provides us with amazing visuals that most artists can only dream about.

My Awesomely Climactic Conclusion
I’ve wondered constantly when the Sirens are going to become a part of a major story arc in some other title or mini series. They’re already a product of the Batman universe, I could only assume when they would be utilized in the mess made by Grant Morrison. However, much to my surprise, the Sirens have stood to the test and, for over a year have been a successful entity on their own. This toggle between Dini and Bedard is working out to be something of a gold mine, and this issue shows that the potential for next month’s issue is of the charts.

Writing: 9
Themes: 10
Art: 8.5
Overall: 9.17 out of 10

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