DC Comics Bombshells #2 collects the second three parts of the digital-first series based on the popular DC Collectibles Bombshells statues.
The second issue continues the ‘Enlisted’ storyline but also has the subtitle ‘Combat.’ The story is written by Marguerite Bennet, but the artist credits change for each part this issue.
Part 1 (Art by Laura Braga and Colors by Wendy Broome): Themyscira, 1940 – Steve Trevor lies in the Prison of Trespassers and is nursed back to health by Princess Diana. Diana wishes to join the war to defeat the tyrant (ie. Hitler) and she brings back a story from Steve’s experiences to her mother, Hipployta. The Queen says they have enough wars and bloodshed and refuses to join the cause of strangers. When Diana leaves, the Queen orders the execution of Steve.
Later, Diana comes across Mera riding along the sea with dolphins. Diana tells her of her thoughts and Mera agrees to help her on this adventure. At night they break Steve out of his prison and Diana goes to get the armor that her mother has been keeping for her. In the throne room, Episteme and Techne try to prevent Diana from leaving with the armor but end up letting her go with their blessing since her goal is admirable. Diana, Steve, and Mera then begin their journey towards civilization and the war.
Part 2 (Art by Stephen Mooney and Colors by Wendy Broome): Moscow, 1940 – Kara and Kortni are about to be arrested as traitors. Kara tries some aerial acrobatics and the Night Witches fire their weapons which ends up putting one of their own in the path of a bullet until Kara saves her. The commander holds Kortni at gunpoint and Kara surrenders.
At Petrovsky Palace, the military seat of General Anton Arkayn, the General interrogates Kara about her origins. It seems that, at the time when Kara’s mother was pregnant with Kortni, a shooting star fell into the woods and their father searched for it and came back with Kara. Their mother called them “her little fallen stars.” The general asks her what her limits are and also for a display of her power. Kara destroys the candelabra above them with her heat vision, plunging the room in darkness. When the lights return, a mural of Supergirl and Stargirl is revealed. They will be the newest agents for the Motherland…so long as they behave.
Part 3 (Art by Ted Naifeh and Colors by Dough Garbark): Berlin, 1940 – At a Cabaret, Joker’s Daughter welcomes some German officers as the main act begins: the singer Zatanna! At the end of her act, she shares a cigarette with a soldier and realizes that he is an undercover Englishman named John Constantine. They go back and forth with their powers until Zatanna turns Constantine into a rabbit. The German officers want the spy but Zatanna protects him while Joker’s Daughter shoos the officers out and tells Zatanna that the master would be pleased with her performance. When Zatanna does not seem pleased by this, Joker’s Daughter threatens to send her in the ghetto of the Jews.
The first issue came out of the gate with a great story, intriguing characters, and beautiful designs and artwork. Unfortunately, this second issue leaves a lot to be desired, and I am surprised that Marguerite Bennet was credited for the writing because it seems like an entirely different person wrote these stories.
First of all, the first issue introduces three main players in the story (along with important side characters), whom we all expect would somehow be meeting each other somewhere along the way. The Wonder Woman and Supergirl stories are continued here, but not Batwoman. What happened to Amanda Waller confronting Kate and Maggie? The Supergirl story is in fact the only one which really stayed true to the first issue, because even the Wonder Woman part forgets the story detail of the giant eye lurking below the surface of the sea. This issue should have developed the current stories, rather than introducing more characters into the world. Mera somewhat fits in Wonder Woman’s story, so I can accept that, but adding Zatanna just obfuscates the story even more. How are these characters going to cross paths now? Will they?
And speaking of Zatanna, while I do like the character a great deal, she was not given the intro that she deserved and that the other female leads in this book got. For one thing, she spends several pages of an already smaller page count singing a song. This seemed like filler to me with no real purpose. Secondly, why are Zatanna and Constantine fighting if they are on the same side? She ends up revealing him, which puts him in danger, but we see that she is not really pro-Nazi Germany when she protects him in his rabbit-form, so shouldn’t she have just let him go? What was the point of that?
Another disappointment that came upon me quite suddenly while I was reading was Joker’s Daughter. For a naïve moment (since I was reading a book about heroines) I thought this was the Joker’s Daughter of old, who was a ‘hero’ and a brief member of the Teen Titans. Sadly, this is the recent Joker’s Daughter who is one of the worst characters in the DCU at this time, and still I cannot figure out why she is used in different books (and I’m not alone in this!). This put a bad taste in my mouth (mainly because of her teeth), and unfortunately, the art highlighting her evilness and decrepitude also made that particular part most unattractive.
Finally, the art, alas, the art! The first issue was so beautiful that I could not believe I was reading the same book! Perhaps it was because of the three different artists, or because of the subject matter (Joker’s Daughter), but the art was not as poignant this time around. The first part (Wonder Woman) was probably the closest to the original style, but even that fell short. One section of the art I did really enjoy was the flashback/origin of Kara and Kortni in the Supergirl story. It reminded me of stained-glass windows or a Christmas story, and was very unique. Here’s hoping for the return of Marguerite Sauvage.
While this is not the high quality that the first issue produced, I am hopeful that it is merely a slump and that storylines and art will converge for the next issue to present an outstanding continuation of a worthwhile story.