When I first heard that DC was dedicating an entire monthly book to Poison Ivy, Harley Quinn and Catwoman I was a little apprehensive. When I found out it was going to be called “Gotham City Sirens” it went from apprehension to giggles and laughter. However when I found out one of my favorite comic scribes Paul Dini was writing it I put all opinions on hold and I was right to do that. Once again Paul Dini proves why he’s one of the best as he takes what seems like an impossible task and makes it work.
The plot of issue one is pretty simple, Catwoman is back in action but she’s not exactly a hundred percent. Her run in with Hush and the revenge plot she hatched has left her week and slow. So slow in fact that when she faces a third stringer bad guy named Boneblaster she nearly gets killed. Enter Poison Ivy who is still on her good guy kick, sort of.
Ivy saves Catwoman and brings her back to the apartment she shares with Harley Quinn that’s actually Edward Nigma’s (aka Riddler) place. Ivy is keeping Nigma in a drugged state in order to provide this free housing for her and Quinn. By the time the issue is over the ladies have banned together, defeated Boneblaster (with some hysterical help from a freed Nigma) and set us up for a neat twist at the end.
What makes Gotham City Sirens work is Dini’s writing, his ability to make even the minutest conversations funny and interesting. In lesser hands this title could read like a simple ploy to rope in new readers but Dini gives it actual meat. You can feel the unease with Catwoman, as she has to admit to herself she’s not the self-reliant legend she once was.
Then there’s Ivy who Dini writes so you can root for her (no pun intended) but you still don’t trust her. Finally you have Harley Quinn and nobody writes Quinn better than Dini. Everything you love about her and her insanity is handled perfectly by the man who created her. By the end of Gotham City Sirens you’re excited to see where this goes, how these ladies work together and what it means for the new Batman.
Art wise Guillem March does some really solid work here. His ability to draw a cityscape is only rivaled by his obvious love for the female form. It’s weird for a grown man to admit this but between Dini’s writing and Guillem’s drawing Harley Quinn is, well really hot. Guillem gives Ivy the pinup look and Catwoman a more fetish vibe while keeping Quinn as that quirky bad girl we all dated, loved and nearly blew our brains out over. I also really liked how Guillem and colorist Jose Villarrubia made things bright and vibrant. Often when working within the Batman Universe artists stick to a shadowy and more film noir vibe. It was an unexpected pleasure to have panels pop out at me with color.
The only problem I see with Gotham City Sirens is when Dini steps down as writer. As good as this issue is the premise is still shaky and needs strong guidance to keep from falling apart the way Birds Of Prey did. If Dini leaves and passes it to somebody else with a good sense of dialogue and story structure then Gotham City Sirens will easily survive if not it may be done for. For now though we the fans get a kick ass new title that delves deeply into the lives of three largely peripheral characters. That itself makes it worth reading.