BookBin2016: DC Bombshells Volume 2: Allies

I’m still digging the DC Bombshells series, although I have to admit that Volume 2 didn’t captivate me quite as much as the first volume did. I’m not sure what the problem was this time, but I found myself struggling to stay focused on the stories. The pacing is a bit slow, I suppose, but I attribute that to the fact that there are so many different threads weaving their way through the story. There are quite a few Bombshells whose stories must be told. That causes some delay. Plus, this volume contained a side story that tangentially tied in with one of the Bombshells, but rather stiltedly. I personally could have done without the story at all, but I’m assuming that it might tie in more solidly at a later time.

I do like that the threads are now coming together and the team is starting to solidify. I love that Batwoman remains a strong member of the team. I’m so excited that DC is going to resurrect her solo line with the Rebirth series they’re doing. I can’t wait to get my hands on the first graphic novel collection (ditto with Wonder Woman and Supergirl)…in the mean time, though, I find Kate Kane’s story arc in the Bombshells universe to be an adequate filler until the main event returns.

Ooh, that almost sounds like I don’t really like these stories beyond their delivery of Batwoman to me. It’s not true, I promise. I love the way Marguerite Bennett is playing with each of the Bombshells’ backstories, keeping them intrinsically true while enjoying the play space that this alternate universe has granted her. Admittedly, Wonder Woman’s story hasn’t really fluctuated all that much from her original story, but I neither expected it to nor wanted it to since she is the only one of the Bombshells to actually originate during WWII. It’s with the others’ stories that I’m finding the most enjoyment. I especially enjoy the thread for Kara Starikov and Kortni Duginovna, Supergirl and Stargirl, respectively. They are heroes of Mother Russia, in a Splenda-light version of what I suspect the Red Son series must be like (a novel that is high on my list of novels to acquire in 2017…after I tend to some Crises that I’ve had my eye on for a while). Still, even lighter storylines can pack quite a gut punch, and our Russian roulettes were no exception to this rule. This volume pretty much belonged to Supergirl and Stargirl by the end. I know virtually nothing about Stargirl (there are only so many hours in a day and so many geeky pastimes to which I can dedicate myself, so some superhero obsessions never get a chance to start). After reading this volume of Bombshells, I kind of want to learn more about her. Maybe as time permits…

I’d also like to learn more about Big Barda and Doctor Light. Let’s just say that their appearance in this volume…piqued my interest.


Oh, the artwork once again is exceptional. There’s nothing more disappointing than lackadaisical art. It will yank me right out of a graphic novel and leave me unable to enjoy the story, even if it’s the best writing imaginable. Marguerite Sauvage, Laura Braga, and Mirka Andolfo are all solid illustrators, though, proving that they can provide strong and satisfying visuals to support Bennett’s stories. Plus, when you get powerhouse panels like this one, what is there not to love?

Yes, please.

Final Verdict: Still in it to win it with the Bombshells. I’ve already marked the third volume for acquisition.

BookBin2016: DC Bombshells Volume 1: Enlisted


Not only am I on a bit of a graphic novel kick at the moment, but I’m also still focused on my own books rather than ones from the library. This one is the latest graphic novel I procured from Amazon: the first volume of collected comics for the DC Bombshells story line.

I love the “organic” way that this series came about (I use organic in quotes because I’m pretty sure that this was ultimately DC’s plan right from the start. Because jaded.). What began as a series of one-off variant comic covers depicting DC heroines and villainesses as WWII-era “bombshell” pinups has spun into this special edition series of stories detailing how these characters played a role in the global fight against the Nazis.

I suppose that one could state that this feels a little flippant. It trivializes the bravery of real people. However, when you keep in mind that several comic heroes rose from the turmoil of this particular piece of history, including Wonder Woman (who should remain linked with World War II…but I’ll have more to say about that later), it brings things into better context. Horrific events sometimes require a different lens through which to process truths that we oftentimes do not wish to contemplate. An even better example of a graphic novel that deals with this devastating stain upon humanity would be Art Spiegelman’s Maus. If you haven’t read that one yet, then I highly recommend it.

Does this series deal with WWII with the same level of success as something like Maus? Oh, no. But that’s why Maus is a Pulitzer prize-winning effort and this is…not. It’s just different. It’s sometimes serious but mostly with this first volume, it’s more about introducing us to the various Bombshell variants chosen for this series. I love the characters chosen so far. Of course, my favorite is Kate Kane. I’m still mourning the demise of her solo run at the hands of DC Comics ineptitude (and possible homophobia). Seeing her in this series made that disappointment a little less tender. Also, I love how writer Marguerite Bennett pretty much erased Batman from this particular timeline thanks to Batwoman. Given my increasing apathy toward the Dark Knight (more on that to come as well), I really enjoyed this particular timeline shift. Also, I’m not really giving away any spoilers since this happens on the first page of the graphic novel.

Interestingly, my last encounter with Bennett’s writing style left me feeling a strong sense of meh-laise (yes, I have created a new word; you’re welcome). She wrote some of the final Gail Simone run for Batgirl. This time around, Bennett was much stronger in storytelling. Her words also garnered accompaniment from some beautiful time period-inspired artwork. Heavy line work, appropriate palette, and gorgeous renderings of our lovely ladies of DC in the styles of the times made a great visual impact upon a solid opener to this series.

Final Verdict: Keeping this volume and patiently awaiting the release of the next one this June.