Gotham City Sirens #1


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Gotham City Sirens #1


  • Words: Paul Dini
  • Art: Guillem March
  • Colors: Jose Villarrubia
  • Story Title: Union
  • Publisher: DC Comics
  • Price: $2.99
  • Release Date: Jun 21, 2009

Recent events have left Catwoman and Gotham City changed.  Can she get by with a little help from her…. Well, not friends…

Paul Dini is not only writing the new Dark Knight, he’s also taking the reins of another brand new series focusing on a trio of Gotham City’s bad girls.  The question here is just what form is this focus going to take?

With all the recent upheavals, Gotham City has become an even more dangerous place and, although she might not admit it, Catwoman is also still carrying around the scars of her encounters with Hush and Jason Todd.  When she struggles with a villain eager to make a name for himself she gets an unlikely rescue from Poison Ivy.  Discovering that Ivy has also taken in an at-loose-ends Harley Quinn, Catwoman decides to make the two women an offer… but it may be a decision she lives to regret…

Catwoman, Poison Ivy and Harley Quinn are three of the sultriest, smart insane and dangerous of Batman’s rogues.  All three are also fan favorites and all three have been written with loving care by Paul Dini at one point or another (in point of fact, Harley Quinn is his own creation from Batman: The Animated Series).  Putting all three together under his pen seems like a recipe for success but there is a problem here:  Namely where does he go from here?  This issue does not really set up what the characters expect to do here.  Are these three villains going to end up protecting people?  If so, what will be in it for them?  How will this team-up be sustained?  It seems that there are just too many questions and the premise behind the title is a little thin.  Not to mention the fact that Dini’s writing here is simply nothing to stand out.  There is very little of the dialogue or situations that induce any kind of an emotional response – no surprise, no laughter, no shock and a few of the lines and situations have actually been lifted wholesale from some of Dini’s scripts for Batman: The Animated Series.

The art for this series is provided by Spanish illustrator Guillem March.  Although this is not the first mainstream work March has done, nor even the first of his work for DC this is his first ongoing series from a major publisher.  His work has a slightly lyrical feel and he tends to exaggerate and elongate his figures slightly – trying to give them slinky, effortless motion.  His quieter moments, when he can use facial expressions to tell the story, are terrific but when it comes to fight scenes the figures twist in impossible directions and the impacts seem all too slight – robbing them of any real sense of impact or danger.

With fan favorite villains and a fan favorite writer, Gotham City Sirens should be a homerun knocked straight out of the park.  Instead it is a bit of a mediocre tale that seems all too derivative of earlier works.  This new title may yet shape up to be a hit but probably better to save some money and wait and see how things go.

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  • Andy Oliver

    Andy Oliver Jun 28, 2009 at 8:59am

    I felt this was a case where the debut could have done with being a double-sized issue. I got no feeling of a coherent premise and direction for the series beyond "random team-up" at this point. Still it's Paul Dini and, COUNTDOWN perhaps excepted, he's generally delivers the goods in the end.

  • Tonya Crawford

    Tonya Crawford Jun 29, 2009 at 11:45am

    I know. I'm just not sure what the point is either. I mean, are these three going to end up basically being anti-hero heroes -- sort of like the previous Catwoman run where she basically robbed only from the crooked to help the poor and downtrodden, or will this be more like "Secret Six" where we have villains who occasionally manage to do the right thing but most of the time they just cause a lot of mayhem and their only ultimate loyalty is to each other? If its the latter I think even Dini is going to work pretty hard to beat Gail Simone at that game. If it's the former well I think it runs the risk of watering down Ivy and Harley. Catwoman has always been a bit of a borderline figure. In the modern era she's not really been a killer and she's clearly not insane but Poison Ivy has been a mass murderer and Harley Quinn is crazy AND been an accomplice to the mass-murdering joker. It was okay in the animated series because it was a kids' show and no one actually ever DIED. Ivy and the Joker's antics injured people and scared people and they TRIED to kill but they never actually succeeded on screen but in the comic books both have been responsible for scores of deaths! So trying to turn Ivy and Harley into quasi-heroes seems a bit of an uphill task for one and then a kind of neutering of the characters for another.

  • Andy Oliver

    Andy Oliver Jun 29, 2009 at 2:14pm

    Yes very good points Tonya. I don't see much longevity in the basic setup of this book to be honest. It will be interesting to see whether they've run out of places to go with the premise after the first year. Of course by then Batman (the proper one) will be back anyway and the "status quo" may be shaken up again anyway.

  • Regent

    Regent Jun 29, 2009 at 3:27pm

    Is it possible that Dini will take them in a different direction altogether? For example, no matter how bad someone is, there's usually someone worse. Could the Sirens be the force that goes places and does things others cannot (or will not) in order to take down the REALLY bad criminal element in Gotham? And, along the way, profit handsomely from the work. I think that would certainly make for some interesting moral/legal/ethical situations for those who might want their services. Just a thought.

  • Andy Oliver

    Andy Oliver Jun 29, 2009 at 4:12pm

    It's a very interesting thought Regent! Although as Tonya mentioned there's thematic link with SECRET SIX there. Time will tell but one wonders how Bruce will react to Selina hanging out with a pair of psychos when he does eventually return...

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