Saturday, September 17, 2016

DC Comics Bombshells Chapter 61 Review and **SPOILERS**

The Gods Must Be Crazy

Written By: Marguerite Bennett
Art By: Mirka Andolfo, J. Nanjan
Lettered By: Wes Abbott
Digital Price: $0.99
On Sale Date: September 16, 2016


Too much history is taught as being dictated by singular men or women (let’s face it, almost always men.) There have been and are visionaries, both creative and destructive, to be sure. But their ideas persist because we collectively allow them, by our direct support or uninvolved apathy. Take, for instance, Adolf Hitler. Yes, this was a supremely horrible individual, but he was elected to the position of Chancellor, and the rise of his Third Reich aided by hailing salutes or resolute shrugs. And this happens throughout history, we shove our shared achievements and deplorable actions into figureheads to make it all more bite-sized and easier to swallow. Because the toughest thing to swallow is that we are all culpable. Wherever we allow injustice to persist, whenever the next generation is sacrificed for the comforts of the current one, we are all guilty. It’s something to consider. With that in mind, check out my review of DC Comics’ Bombshells chapter 61, below!

Explain It!

Okay, this picks up right from where the last chapter left off. I don’t know why I expected anything different, this is the digital-first to a monthly print comic book. I think I got used to the rhythm of Wonder Woman ’77, which is one- and two-part chapters that eventually get cobbled into a print issue at some point. But I can adjust! I will just remember this is a more serialized story next week. So I mean this picks up right from the last chapter—the opening panel is a reverse shot of the closing panel from chapter 60. Cheetah is atop her ancient mechanical cheetah, which is asking “Where are our temples? Where are our priests?” Yes, the mechanical cheetah is saying this. I know it’s confusing, it reads better on the page than it does being recapped by some joker. Hawkgirl (“-Girl?” I’d have thought it would be “-woman”) refers to the unearthed robot animals as mechanical gods and surmises they’ve possessed Cheetah, which is almost as pertinent a bit of news as these beasts’ imminent attack! The Bombshells evade their blows—which include some lasers shot from the eyes of a three-headed ostrich—and then the mechanical rhino charges and almost kills Vixen’s dog, Blondie. That’s it, you don’t mess with Blondie! Vixen pulls some Ox power and punches the metal cheetah in the chin, sending that whole team of gods packing—but not before Vixen pulls off the cheetah’s robotic tail!

Back at the archaeological dig, the Bombshells are tending to their wounds while Hawkgirl tinkers with the cheetah’s tail. Vixen tries to get Batwoman to give up the goods on how she knew the secret word to shut down the mechanical rhino last chapter, but Batwoman brushes her pheromones away and says it didn’t even work—the word was supposed to blow the rhinoceros up! Way to evade the question, Kate. As Vixen resolves to get that dastardly Hitler and probably smack Cheetah around a little too, Hawkgirl shows up with some new weapons cobbled from the cheetah’s tail: some kind of gun for Reneé Montoya and a new super whip for Catwoman. For Batwoman, a new baseball bad that looks like it has just been hammered out of bronze somehow; its name is “Hot Sauce.” Then, they hop into a new “animal-unaffiliated mobile” that could be considered to represent any of the Bombshells, but let’s face it: it’s a Batmobile. Uh, when was this put together? And how? And from what? Or was this already here? I am so confused.

Elsewhere in the jungle, Cheetah is being mind-controlled by the mechanical gods to reveal her purpose: her mistress sent her here to find a secret weapon that would give her greater power than Adolf Hitler, though its implied she would exist in tandem with Der Fürher. The gods are like oh you can’t start the party without us, and by the way: we like blood sacrifice. So annotate your Christmas list. The gods take over Cheetah’s mind completely and make her nuts—and I guess this is Cheetah’s real origin story? She just had a penchant for animal prints before, now she’s a full-on murderous jungle cat. Newly brainwashed, Cheetah races atop her cheetah to the North Bank to meet her mistress—the Baroness Paula von Gunther, excavating a giant metal hawk akin to the other gods!

I have to mention the art first: it is so good. Save for the animal-unaffiliated mobile, which looked a little too sketchy, everything is so alive and expertly-rendered in a style that fits these characters and this time period perfectly. I think I’ve seen Mirka’s work before on other digitals, and I’d be glad to see some more of it. The story is interesting, but seems a little padded—there’s a scene between the mechanical animal gods and Cheetah whose dialogue is almost duplicated—and I have to wonder why. I mean, this is essentially one-third of a print comic book, you’d think maximizing story in as much of it as possible would be the thing to do. I did like a lot of the interactions between characters, which are not described in the recap, and they are pretty individualized for what is a fairly large cast. This comic is a good time, and it only costs a buck! The only other “good time” you can have for a dollar is probably illegal in most Northern states.

Bits and Pieces:

A little more intrigue, some friendly interactions, and spooky ancient blood gods make for a pretty cool chapter. This is sort of like Scooby-Doo crossed with H.P. Lovecraft. Except a lot of the characters have boobs. Also I didn't detect any overt racism. The artwork is spectacular in this chapter, and well worth the purchase price alone. Come on, ya cheapskate!

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