Gotham City Sirens marks the second entry into the post Battle for the Cowl Batman universe for writer Paul Dini. And while it isn't as engrossing as Batman: Streets of Gotham, Gotham City Sirens provides a fun, fresh look at the Batverse's famous femme fatales.
It's very clear right from the get-go that Gotham City Sirens roots itself firmly in Paul Dini's corner of the Batverse. We have plots carrying over from "Heart of Hush," as well as the two part "Last Rites" issues Dini penned revolving around Catwoman's revenge on Hush. For new readers coming into Sirens to see everything the new and improved Batverse has to offer, I would highly recommend checking out those two previous storylines from Detective Comics. While they aren't absolutely essential, they do give a lot more depth to the motivations for the entire cast of Gotham City Sirens. And to be honest, they are expertly written Batman stories. They are also the best Hush has ever been written, better even than the original "Hush" storyline by Jeph Loeb and Jim Lee.
But this review isn't about those previous Batman stories. This review is about the first issue of Gotham City Sirens and how the combination of Catwoman, Poison Ivy, and Harley Quinn make for a refreshing read among a lot of the darker toned Bat-books currently hitting shelves (Batman & Robin not included). What Gotham City Sirens does well right off the bat is never takes itself too seriously. This is a fun book. That should be apparent for readers by the opening fight scene with the laughable villain "Bonebasher." The dude is a total tool and Dini humorously gets that across. Even Poison Ivy's treatment of Edward Nigma makes for some good laughs with an exceptional payoff by issue's end. And discussing the humor of Gotham City Sirens wouldn't be complete without a mention of Harley Quinn who enters the picture with a scene that seem to pick right up where Dini left her in Streets of Gotham--returning home from a shopping spree having spent the majority of the loot handed to her by Catwoman.
DC also did a good job picking an artist for Gotham City Sirens. Guillem March did some great work on the Denny O'Neil two part, "Last Days of Gotham" and it's nice to see the man continue to work on the Bat-family of books instead of moving onto something wildly different. Sirens is also perfect because his artwork caters to the famed comic book "cheese shot." Gotham City Sirens #1 is full of T&A shots and March is a master of capturing the...err...goods. A very specific shot of Zatanna in a hot tub quickly comes to mind. I bet Paul Dini had a seizure when he got that page back. But I'm not trying to sell Guillem March short, he's a good storyteller as well. The final panel of Gotham City Sirens #1 goes a great job of capturing how quickly these lovely ladies can turn on a dime and that's thanks to Guillem March, not Dini's script. The cliffhanger is also a perfect place to leave fans because they will definitely want to come back next month to see how this twist plays out.
Gotham City Sirens is a good read. Time will tell if it really has the legs to stand next to the other important Bat-titles, but for a fun buddy romp with three of the sexiest ladies in the DCU, you can't beat this.
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