Fish and Cherries Productions

Creative content from a mad mind.


Ronin Reads – Gotham City Sirens

Title: Gotham City Sirens
Authors: Paul Dini (issues 1-11); Tony Bedard (issues 12-15); Peter Calloway (issues 16-26)
Artists: Guillem March; Andres Guinaldo; Jeremy Haun; Ramon F. Bachs
Type: Comic book
Genre: Superhero

Catwoman. Harley Quinn. Poison Ivy. Three of Gotham City’s deadliest ladies find themselves living together under one roof in the wake of a new Batman and other insanity. From alien plant people forming a bond with Poison Ivy to Joker wannabes trying to kill Harley to Catwoman dealing with her insane sister, the girls deal with the madness that only Gotham can bring. The real question is what will kill them first: the city or each other?

It may not seem like it from the morose description, but this series is actually a lot of fun and a lot of this comes from our three leading ladies. The three are such potent characters that all you have to do is put them in a room together and the scene just becomes electric. They can’t really be called heroes, but they’re still likable enough to keep following. That said, toward the end of the run when Peter Calloway took over, it felt like they were bickering because the script required them to, so that was disappointing.

For the first half, at least, there’s also a huge sense of fun to it, helped in no small part by the vibrant art of Guillem March. Apart from fighting wannabe superpowers in Gotham, we get to see how they spend their holiday seasons or searching for lost dogs, a plotline that has a darkly comedic payoff, which is well worth the detour. Things can get intense, for sure, but there’s still a sense of levity through it all. When Paul Dini was replaced with Tony Bedard halfway through the run, things took a darker turn with stories involving Catwoman’s sister going on a religious rampage to free her soul from “the cat demon” by killing her and Poison Ivy being seduced/taken over by a plant alien to prepare a landing zone for his people’s upcoming invasion. That’s fine, stories can go dark and the characters are still likeable enough.

When Calloway takes over, though, the art subsequently takes a nosedive and the girls’ bickering becomes more bitter and less fun. The stories get a lot less pleasant too. We have some dire stuff about people trying to extract Batman’s secret identity from Catwoman’s mind and Harley finally making off to kill the Joker, but it’s punctuated with some unnecessary stuff about someone’s murdered infant and it draws the comic into a very bittersweet ending. It’s still good in places, but it’s like following up a juicy t-bone steak with a dessert of plain water crackers. …

So why am I bringing up a five year old comic rather than a recent Saga book or something like that? Well, this comic, like many others, was canceled in DC’s massive reboot to make way for the New 52 and I wanted to highlight something we lost then. Most of the books now are overly dark and grim and severely lacking in anything fun. Before that, you could have a wannabe Joker midget that used to run with him kidnap Harley only for her to give him a verbal dressing down. But now we have bad futures that completely invalidate everything the heroes are fighting for, comedic characters and kids killed off with abandon, limbs are mauled and removed willy-nilly, and the subjects of consent and sexual orientation are handled with as much grace as a monster truck attempting to perform Swan Lake. In short, everything feels unnaturally miserable.

Even our mighty sirens don’t get off unscathed. Harley Quinn got a revamped origin that is a carbon copy of the Joker’s and a rather atrocious redesign, along with becoming the subject of an art contest where she was depicted in a “glamorous” suicide attempt. Catwoman lost all her memories of Batman’s secret and ended her first new issue having sex with him that was initially nonconsensual. Poison Ivy… okay, she didn’t get too much of a bad rap. And yet, despite their initial rocky start, there’s a bit of the old magic shining through. Poison Ivy and Harley connected and became more anti-heroes than villains. Same with Catwoman, who joined the Justice League of America for a spell before the Trinity War story. Harley even began forming her own female crime fighting team, which seems like it could be an attempt to reboot the old team. Hopefully that will be the case in the future. I’m not positive that they will keep the light tone, but I can certainly hope. Everyone deserves a chance for a new beginning, something I learned from a little series called Gotham City Sirens.

Posted under Ronin Reads

V-log – The Dark Knight Rises

Nananananananana nananananananana Ronin!

This would have been up days ago, but the internet’s been screwy for me lately.

Posted under V-logs

Social Widgets powered by