Monday, August 30, 2010

Comic Book Review: Gotham City Sirens #15

Literary & Artistic Credits
Writer: Tony Bedard
Penciller: Andres Guinaldo
Inker: Lorenzo Ruggiero
Colorist: JD Smith
Letterer: Steve Wands
Cover Art: Guillem March

My Awe-Inspiring Opinion
This is the type of storyline I like to see coming out of the Gotham City Sirens; it’s bold, fresh, and separate from all the other titles, meaning you don’t have to rely on plot from other comics in order to understand this one.  It’s such a shame to see such a good idea fall short of its intended customer satisfaction.  That’s not too say this issue isn’t fun to read, there are simply a few unexplained details and uncharacteristic events that go all through out #15.

Ivy has become an unknowing slave-agent to her new flora boyfriend from another world.  Harley and Catwoman make a daring attempt to save their friend, but Ivy’s powerful green thumb (Or in this case purple) is more than the Siren duo can handle.  It takes Harley crawling on her stomach towards Ivy, pleading for her to remember they are friends and that this plant-guy is merely using her to progress his own personal goal.  Ivy comes to her senses and tricks her seducer into kissing her, killing him off almost immediately.

My problem with this issue comes in many small increments.  Overall the issue is fun to read and very creative, but there are a few aspects from Ivy and Catwoman that seem very uncharacteristic.

Catwoman has given Batman a run for his money numerous times and has held her own against some of the most powerful creatures in the universe.  Yet when it comes to plant beings from another world, she becomes as delicate as a little kitten.  Yes, there is a moment where Selina is able to slip in a significant attack which throws Ivy off guard, but overall I felt Catwoman was way off her game.  Now this could be to give Harley and Ivy that meaningful exchange as a way of reminding us that the clown and the plant have been best friends for more than a decade, in which case it makes sense.  But I’d prefer to have a stronger Catwoman that has, from time and time again, shown she is just as resilient and intelligent as Batman.

Likewise, I find it interesting that one of most villainous and diabolical characters in the Batman world is so easily manipulated.  This is Ivy’s forte, the ability to manipulate men into doing what she wants them to do, yet she immediately falls for this homely alien plant-man at the drop of a hat.  I would have at least been happy if Ivy stayed a little more cautious about her new boyfriend’s intentions.  I was ecstatic to see Ivy finally figure it all out after Harley’s groveling and put an end to the manipulative alien.

One question is wandering through my head though, is this alien’s queen actually on her way to Earth or not.  It seemed to me that she was already summoned and her arrival was inevitable.  So are we going to see this come up again later on, or is Bedard hoping we forget about that little fact?

Artistically I was not impressed, but it is very hard to move on to anything else after Guillem March has set the bar so high.  It’s nice to see he’s still doing the covers, but the pages within do not speak to the high level of artistic maturity that the cover establishes.  I say this knowing that Guinaldo is talented and has a better eye for art than most artists in the field, but the problem comes mainly with how stiff the characters seem to be.  I felt coloring Ivy in a shade of purple to help establish this “change” of heart she had gone through was a strange and poor choice to make.  I understand why it was done, but there are better colorization choices that could have been made to show Ivy’s evil side.

My Majestically Climactic Conclusion
Gotham City Sirens has been a delight to read ever since #1.  #15 does not boast well for the future.  Ever since Dini left, the quality of storylines has gone down and isn’t getting better.  But keep in mind the Sirens are still fun too read, but don’t expect anything spectacular or thought provoking.  Only pick up this issue if you just want something extra to read.

Rating: 5.67 out of 10
Writing: 7
Art: 5
Themes: 5

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