Tuesday, February 6, 2024

Fire & Ice: Welcome to Smallville #6 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: February 6, 2024

Fire & Ice: Welcome To Smallville #6 brings the miniseries to a close with a climactic battle in the streets of Smallville while Martha Kent runs for her life from a cannibalistic wraith.
Is Fire & Ice: Welcome To Smallville #6 Good?

In reviewing circles... the good ones... we do our level best to give each issue a chance to succeed or fail on its own merits, independent of the issues that came before or the reputation of the creators. If it's good, we say it's good. If it's terrible, so be it.

Fire & Ice: Welcome To Smallville #6 is terrible. Joanne Starer either has no idea how to write a structured story with characters and situations that make sense, or she reserved her creative energies for something else. Regardless, readers hoping the wonky, ill-conceived mini-series would end on a high note will not be rewarded for their faith.

When last we left Fire & Ice, we learned the strangely random fits of obsessive hunger experienced by nearby citizens and visitors sourced from an immortal god of hunger, Crave, from Ice's homeland. Crave came to Smallville to exact revenge on Ice for a past slight.

Meanwhile, Rocky is possessed by a mystical mask containing the spirit of a living island called Kooey Kooey Kooey, which wants to possess Smallvillians and re-grow itself into a full, living island in the middle of town. Between these bigger developments are returning occurrences of the emotional rift between Fire and Ice, the on-again/off-again romance between Tam and Honey, and Martha Kent's weirdly off-kilter secret life.

Now, the whole thing gets resolved when Linka boosts Honey's persuasion power to stop people from getting hungry, and Fire convinces the spirit of Kooey Kooey Kooey to settle into peaceful coexistence in the caves outside of town.

Is the rift between Fire & Ice fully healed/resolved? Yes and no. The heat of battle forces the two to work together and form a temporary truce, but the underlying issues causing their rift aren't really addressed.

Does the finale address why Rocky was so obsessively fixated on Ice? No, not really.

If Charlie can get Fire free by throwing a fire bomb on one of the Kooey Kooey Kooey vines, why can't Fire easily handle the plant/island monster? Who knows.

Where was Jonathan Kent while Martha was being held hostage by a hunger god? He's never brought up.

Where was Superman while his hometown and his mother were under assault? Starer quickly drops a news report that Superman was busy fighting Metallo. That doesn't explain why any other member of the Superfamily couldn't fly to the rescue, but nobody reads this comic expecting plot points to make sense.

If Martha Kent is running from her life from an ancient wraith, why aren't Fire and Ice urgently racing to save her? Who knows. There is no urgency in this comic about anything.

What's great about Fire & Ice: Welcome To Smallville #6? Realistically, nothing. Every bit of this mini-series, from the first premise to the finale, is flawed, broken, or outright dumb. Whoever dreamed up the pitch for this mini-series, whether Starer or somebody in DC Editorial, should be made to sit in a corner to think about what they did.

What's not so great about Fire & Ice: Welcome To Smallville #6? See above.

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

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Bits and Pieces:

Fire & Ice: Welcome to Smallville #6 ends the ill-conceived mini-series the way it started - badly. Starer's pitch and execution are fully terrible, several plot points make no sense, and the finale only partly resolves the myriad of conflicts, but not the most important one.


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