Review: Gotham City Sirens #1

Sirens

I hadn’t planned to pick this up, based on the previews, but after Dini’s fantastic Batman: Streets of Gotham and following his great run on Detective Comics, I though the book deserved a chance.  Gotham City Sirens operates as a team-up book between Catwoman, Harley Quinn, and Poison Ivy in the extremely chaotic new Gotham City.  Alongside the recent Batman & Robin #1, Detective Comics #854, Batman #687, and Red Robin #1 (and, of course, Dini’s other title, Streets), Sirens is also about the efforts of a number of former supporting characters trying to carve out their own piece of the City, in one way or another.  But how does it work?

Despite some quality work, both from writer Paul Dini and artist Guillem March, though, the answer for the book is largely ‘no’.  It’s a slight, breezy read, and Dini does a better job than I thought he would in introducing Catwoman into the beloved Harlvey/Ivy mix, but where it ultimately fails is in the art.  March and Dini appear to have taken the theory “Give them what they want” to rather extreme lengths – the amount of cheesecake in the book is absurd.

Which is unfortunate.  When March isn’t concerned with arching backs just enough to highlight both the breasts and the butts of the anti-heroines in every panel they’re in, he draws some genuinely dynamic fight scenes that were a pleasure to watch.  His style is a little too cartoonish for the book at times – it seems like he’s trying to go for funny through exaggerated and never quite gets there – but his work is far from bad, it just isn’t used as well as it could be.

I’m also glad that Dini is following up on what happened to Catwoman in Heart of Hush, even if what happened to Catwoman in Heart of Hush was absolutely ridiculous (in a bad way).  Dini provides the core of an interesting book here – Catwoman recovering from a recent trauma with two people she absolutely can’t trust… but the last she heard, Bruce was dead, Tim was seriously wounded, and the guy dressed as Batman beat the tar out of her, so her circle of ‘friends’ is diminishing quickly.

All that could be very, very interesting, played the right way.  But instead, Dini and March seem to have opted to play it Charlie’s Angels style, a concept that may not exactly have staying power when you consider the fact that two of the three of them are two of Gotham’s most hardcore villainesses.  And, to be entirely frank, I’m not sure I’d miss it if it were gone.

Grade: C+

Read/RANT

9 thoughts on “Review: Gotham City Sirens #1

  1. I was going to write this up today, but work was actually pretty busy. I may still take some time to do a write-up, but I agree with pretty much everything you said here.

  2. And that’s your fatal flaw.

    Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha!

    Nah, his Detective run, while good, was completely unnecessary. I regret reading them, and I figured these two titles would be more of the same.

    And I was right! 😀

  3. C’mon, you know what I meant when I said “unnecessary.”

    Would you prefer if I used the word fluff?

    There was no depth or weight to Dini’s Detective run. It was pure entertainment, nothing more.

    I don’t like those comics. If I want pure entertainment, I’ll watch TV for free. I go to comics for the same reasons others go for a novel, but I’m a visual guy. So, comics are my home.

    Will I go for some pure entertainment comics? Sure, but they have to be unique or have very pretty art. Secret Six is an excellent example of the type of fluff I like to read.

    But Dini’s Detective wasn’t that unique, and the art wasn’t that great. And, yes, continuity matters as well, and Dini’s run didn’t deliver there either.

    Morrison’s Batman > Dini’s Batman 😀

  4. Hrm. See, I’d say that Dini’s ‘Tec was really quite good. Not because of what he was doing with serialized storytelling, but for what he was doing without it.

    As a medium, the main mode of writing these days seems to be ‘for the trade’. You want arcs that collect well.

    Dini’s run was retro, but it was well-done, well-written retro that was just intended to explore Batman in a really, really basic way. Morrison’s was better, I agree, because it did more, better, but Dini’s run was still very good fluff.

    Compare it, for example, to, say, Loeb’s Hulk. Both are equally fluff, but one is a fun, well-written, well-conceived book… and the other is vaguely embarrassing.

  5. Hey, hey, hey, you know I’m fine with, and enjoy, Loeb’s Hulk. Don’t bring out the hate for DC to exploit.

    Other than that, you’re right, Seventh. Dini’s Detective run was good, just not what I’m looking for.

    Basically, and I’m just going by what I hear, Dini’s Detective run is like the current Jonah Hex series.

    Well-written, done-in-one tales with decent art, and great on occasion. I don’t read Jonah Hex either. Many do, and that’s great, but it’s not for me.

    I’ve already said what I want my comics to be.

  6. Pingback: December 2009 DC Solicits + Commentary « read/RANT!

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