The Divine Comedy #4 is a bit of a “peanut butter and chocolate” comic for me. For part of the comic we get several wonderfully depraved and satirical scenes with good ol’ Queenie. But in other parts of the comic we get some wonderful Silver Age-influenced goodness, with a wonderfully wacky super-heroine at its center. Like a Reese’s peanut butter cup, the whole thing really satisfies as a package. And, even cooler, we get some very clever crossover between the modern stuff and the Silver Age stuff. Reese’s often tastes even better when the peanut butter and chocolate are mixed up a little.
Bomb Queen’s lawless town of New Port City is plagued by food shortages and embargoes, and the citizens of the town are actually starting to turn against Queenie. Meanwhile, a serial killer is loose in the bucolic town of Littleville, and only the combined forces of an improbable heroine called Dee Rail and a group of online comics journalists seem to be able to save the day.
The most fun part of this comic is how the ideas in the two plotlines really cross over each other. For instance, remember in old ’60s era issues of Justice League or Batman, how readers would get these cool cutout views of the heroes’ hideaways? You know, here is where Batman keeps his Batplane, here is where the JLA keeps a big tank of water for Aquaman, stuff like that?
Here Jimmie Robinson gives readers the Bomb Queen’s hideout in cutout form. Readers get to see inside the T.I.T. (that’s the Tactical Information Turret, keep your mind a little bit out of the gutter) and see how Queenie has everything organized. Thus we get the inevitable sex rooms (I love all the mysterious devices that seem to be lying around in it), a weapons storage room containing bazookas and other vaguely phallic looking items, and a vehicles room that contains everything from a motorcycle to a rocket-launching jeep. It’s all very over-the-top, which fits Jimmie’s world perfectly.
Meanwhile Dee Rail is in peril from the serial killer, who attacks her, Psycho style, in the shower. It fits Jimmie’s satirical approach to have Dee be attacked when naked, journeying into a place no Julius Schwartz comic ever went. But it also fits Jimmie’s world to have Dee fight back viciously, and beat the killer even without the need for super-powers. The scene is a subtle way to portray both the changes inside the medium over the last few years, and the heroic ideals that still are at this medium’s heart.
In my review of the previous issue of this series, I talked about how much I liked Dee Rail. She’s a tremendously positive, Silver Age influenced character who just seems to love being a hero. I really enjoyed getting to see her adventures span more pages this issue. It seems she may have uncovered some dark secrets about Littleville, and it will be fun to see how this story proceeds. No matter what happens, I’d love to read more adventures of Dee Rail!
The issue ends with Queenie moving towards Littleville dressed in a giant robot suit. I can’t wait to see the kinds of death and destruction she’ll bring to that town, and what will happen when Queenie and Dee get together. Month after month, Jimmie Robinson delivers an amazing manic energy to this comic.