Tuesday, December 5, 2023

Fire & Ice: Welcome To Smallville #4 Review


Written by: Joanne Starer
Art by: Natacha Bustos
Colors by: Tamra Bonvillain
Letters by: Ariana Maher
Cover art by: Terry Dodson, Rachel Dodson
Cover price: $3.99
Release date: December 5, 2023

Fire & Ice: Welcome To Smallville #4 ventures deeper into slice-of-life territory with Drag Show brunches, random romances, and cannibalism.
Is Fire & Ice: Welcome To Smallville #4 Good?

Yes, you read that description correctly, but if the phrase that jumps out at you the most is "random romances," we may need to have a one-on-one chat about getting you some counseling. Fire & Ice: Welcome To Smallville #4 continues Joanne Starer's increasingly bizarre downward spiral into something. I just don't know what.

When last we left Fire and Ice, Jimmy Olsen turned into a giant turtle monster, but Honey was able to glamour Jimmy enough to change back. Meanwhile, Gina ate Beefeater.

[pause for understandable confusion]

Now, Fire and Ice are at odds over the mess Fire made, so Martha Kent separately invites them to brunch at Smallville's local Drag Club to get them in a room together to work out their difference. Elsewhere, Lobo shows up to get in on the Reforming Villains reality show, Rocky starts getting obsessive over Ice, and Honey locks lips with Roxy.

If you're wondering what happened to all the villains, Fire "relocated" them to a cave on the outskirts of Smallville, guarded by Krypto the Superdog.

Compared to the previous three issues, this one feels the most random and least connected to anything else happening. The heart of the story remains the personality impasse between Fire and Ice over the circumstances of their banishment and where the friendship goes when they appear to be headed in different directions.

If you're all in on this series for the Junior High level of maturity and drama Starer is developing between Fire and Ice, you'll get more of the same. Sadly, that emotional heart is the only good thing about this comic.

What's great about Fire & Ice: Welcome To Smallville #4? The emotional drama between Fire and Ice is relatable and sweet, despite their uncharacteristic lack of maturity and inconsistent personalities both display compared to any previous incarnations. Starer certainly has a knack for YA drama.

What's not so great about Fire & Ice: Welcome To Smallville #4? Everything else surrounding the YA drama falls apart like a house of cards in a mild breeze. Lobo's appearance makes no sense and has no pertinence to what we'll laughably call a plot. The immature nature of practically every character reflects a writer who didn't do any research before putting pen to paper.

In all, the story is going nowhere because YA slice-of-life isn't supposed to be going anywhere, but I wish Starer didn't make a mess of the characters in the process.

About The Reviewer: Gabriel Hernandez is the Publisher & EIC of ComicalOpinions.com, a comics review site dedicated to indie, small, and mid-sized publishers.

Follow @ComicalOpinions on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter

Bits and Pieces:

Fire & Ice: Welcome To Smallville #4 loosely tries to combine wacky superhero antics in a YA slice-of-drama, and it doesn't quite work. Starer's grasp on the juvenile drama between Fire and Ice feels somewhat authentic if they were anyone else, but the random developments and wildly misplaced character work amount to nothing but noise.



  1. I tried to read the review, but I think I had a stroke when *Martha Kent* the personification of wholesome Norman Rockwell Americana, going to a brunch at a local *drag club* in *Smallville.*
    Has Starer ever been to any of the fly over states? Or does she just write her zip code.

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