DC Comics: Bombshells Vol. 6: War Storiesby Marguerite Bennett, Aneke, Richard Ortiz, Carmen Carnero, Laura Braga, Mirka Andolfo, Sandy Jarrell Published 03 Apr 2018
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The ultra-popular statues from DC Collectibles come to life in their own ongoing hit comic book series, now in its sixth and final installment!
The Bombshells face their final battle as a supernatural Nazi invasion begins! On top of that, Hugo Strange unleashes his failed lab experiments on Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy's circus and Lois Lane has her chance to avenge her family on the villain -- will she take the shot? Amid the chaos, discover Lex Luthor's true colors as he reveals which side he's really on, and what that means for the future of the Bombshells!
The incredibly popular DC Collectibles line is brought to life in these stories that reimagine the course of history! From writer Marguerite Bennett (BATGIRL, EARTH 2: WORLD'S END) and featuring artists including Marguerite Sauvage (HINTERKIND), Laura Braga (Witchblade) and Mirka Andolfo (Chaos) comes DC COMICS: BOMBSHELLS VOL. 6. Collects DC COMICS: BOMBSHELLS #25 and #30-33.
"DC Comics: Bombshells Vol. 6: War Stories" Reviews
(originally reviewed at thelibraryladies.com )
I didn’t realize it when I reviewed our previous “DC Bombshells” Collection that “War Stories” was the last in the first large series within this alternate historical universe starring the awesome ladies of DC. I also didn’t realize that the second series, “DC Bombshells: United” was cancelled about a year into it’s run. Trust me, if I had known these things when we last visited this series, I would have gone on a long rant. In fact I’m pretty sure that I will be ranting before this review is through. But for now I’m going to try and focus on the big finale and pretty solid wrap up that was “DC Bombshells: War Stories”. Let’s see how long it takes me before I start going off. I’ll try to keep my cool.
When we left off, Ivy and Harley were in Russia helping civilians out, Raven had stowed away with them to try and find her father, Zatanna and Constantine were trying to find her, and Kara and Lois Lane had tracked down Hugo Strange and found that he’d used some of Kara’s DNA to make a clone of her, whom he called Power Girl. Also there was another captive they rescued, named Superman. And The Suicide Squad showed up, led by Batgirl and including Frankie, Killer Croc, Enchantress, and Ravager. So in this volume, all of these stories come to a head. Sadly, this means that Wonder Woman, Batwoman, The Batgirls, and Mera are all absent from this final volume in this large arc/first series, and to me that didn’t sit right. I know that all of them are going to have more to do in “DC Bombshells United” as the focus turns to the home front and the ills the American Government commits against it’s own citizenry, but this was a significant end and shift, and I think they should have shown up in some capacity. But the stories here as they are are all pretty satisfactory in spite of this glaring absences. I especially enjoyed the Suicide Squad mission, which took our team into a German Sub in hopes of finding Luc, Batgirl’s long lost paramour. I liked this storyline because while it continued the themes of Nazi occultism and mystic plotting, we got to see Edward Nygma and a few Lovecraftian-esque threats. Plus, this Suicide Squad is pretty excellent, all of them with a 1940s flair, which means that in my mind Killer Croc has a Mid-Atlantic accent and that just tickles me. Along with this already bonus storyline we get another one involving some of the Batgirl of Burnside characters, mainly Frankie, Qadir, and Nadimah dabbling in some magical mischief. It was a one off and didn’t really add much to the overall plot, but it was still enjoyable and fun to see more characters appear in this alternate timeline.
The climax of this series, however, comes with the Battle of Leningrad, as the Bombshells have to come together to not only fight Hugo Strange, Killer Frost, and the Nazis, but to try and save Leningrad and the people there. I liked seeing all of the ladies come together in one place, and I felt like they all got some decent moments to shine within this final battle. That said, it wouldn’t be a pivotal battle of a series if there wasn’t some sadness and sacrifice, and while it never reaches levels of Stargirl loss here, there are definitely repercussions and moments of sadness for some of our characters, which all were executed with deft emotion and feeling. What I love about this series is that it shows that sadness and pain are not weaknesses in our characters,, and it’s refreshing to see that some characters do get lost in their emotions, both in good ways and in bad ways. But even when it’s in bad ways you never get the sense that these emotions are bad to have, just that they need to be used in less destructive ways. Its a theme we see a lot in these stories and it makes me wonder if a comic that was starring the males of DC would be so bold as to take that stance. I think I know the answer to that, sadly.
And finally, there is a whole new threat that comes from the Russian side and brings more storyline to Kara and her origins: Faora Hu-El from Krypton has arrived once more (seen previously WAAAAAY back when Supergirl and Stargirl were being used as Russian Propaganda), and boy has she brought some serious baggage to our finale. And since I want to discuss it here, this is our SPOILER ALERT moment that almost always pops up in this series. One of the things that “DC Bombshells” has done is made this universe and it’s characters and storylines very female centric, and that has altered some backstories here and there. The biggest alterations to date are pretty Kryptonian centric. Not only is Superman a clone of unknown origins created in Strange’s lab (as far as well know at this juncture), Kara’s own origin story is shaken up with the arrival of Faora, who tells her that she is a perfect being created by Faora, Alura, and Lara. It’s pretty neat and ballsy to reveal within this final battle that Supergirl, the last true Kryptonian (given Superman’s new origin) and most powerful being in the story, is the product of three women and Kryptonian science. I have this image of ‘well actually’ toxic nerdboys pitching a HUGE fit about this. But that’s what “DC Bombshells” has always been about: it’s about women at the forefront, women supporting and loving and fighting women, and women as the main components of a story, with guys playing the traditional roles that women have played in comics for years. Frankly, it’s genius.
Which is ALL THE MORE REASON THAT IT SUCKS THAT DC HAS PULLED THE PLUG. Representation in comics is so important because representation in all types of media is important. With women being in the lead, women of all races, religions, and sexual orientations, “DC Bombshells” has been one of the best comic series DC has when it comes to representation (especially since apparently “Batwoman” is ALSO getting axed! Sure, I wasn’t a fan, but BATWOMAN IS IMPORTANT)! DC is still going to toss a whole lot of bank into it’s middling AT BEST movies (“Woman Woman” not included, and holy SHIT is THAT ironic given the context of this rant) and keep rebooting Batman and Superman over and over AND bastardize Alan Moore’s “Watchmen” universe for funsies, but it can’t throw a bone to a series where women are at the forefront and aren’t sexualized and objectified through a male-only gaze? IT’S UNACCEPTABLE!!!!
Well, regardless, this first arc of “DC Bombshells” comes to a solid close in “War Stories”, and while I know that “Bombshells United” isn’t as long, I’m going to really, REALLY savor it as I make my way through. These DC women continue to create a better world filled with compassion and justice, and I know that even though it’s ending that won’t change the importance of this series as a whole.
Oh, and is Black Canary going to show up in this next series? Asking for a friend.
This was a series I desperately wanted to love, and overall I enjoyed it, but there were times when the writing and the art just weren't up to the task. I was on board for a reimagining of the DCU, where the men who would be heroes were off at war, and that left the women at home to pick up the slack in the realm of crime-fighting.
Unfortunately, the final product felt a bit unfulfilled. None of the heroines really get enough time in the spotlight to be distinguished as anything but a 1940s version of themselves, plus a deliberately dolled-up boudoir style. The exception might be the Bat Girls. In addition, the story is one about occult Nazis and taking the fight to the fascists—entertaining and exhilarating, but there's no time for significant character development. The arcs that actually happen, like Raven's emotional journey and Lois Lane dealing with her grief after fighting in Spain, get lost in the noise.
It got a lot of stuff right, though. None of the titular Bombshells have to compromise on their heroism, and despite the preponderance of male characters, the only threat to their time in the spotlight is each other—Steve Trevor, John Constantine, and Lex Luthor stay in their secondary roles where they belong. Lois Lane as a freedom-fighter-turned-war-journalist works on so many levels. Above all, Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy steal just about every page they're on, and I think this series contains their first on-page kiss? I'm not sure, and I'm not going to risk looking up "Harley and Ivy kissing" at work. In any case, good on you, DC.
This last volume gets four stars, since it brings almost everything to a satisfying (if unmemorable) close. If you really like DC heroines, this is the book for you. Otherwise, pick it up from the library. Myself, I'll be giving the next series a pass.
World War II comes to an (early) conclusion in this final volume of Bombshells as Killer Frost, Hugo Strange, and a surprise appearance by another villain all play their last cards in the war to end all wars.
But first, we get a missing issue from earlier in the run as the Suicide Squad infiltrate a submarine to rescue a familiar face. This incarnation of the Squad are an eclectic bunch, and it's always nice to see them.
Then we get back to the main story. After the big conclusion a few volumes ago, we've slowly been building back towards another one. This one however is much more personal, with a lot more riding on the success of the good guys, especially for Raven and Supergirl. It's masterful storytelling with a lot of moving parts all coming together for a very satisfying (and actually quite hopeful) conclusion that even now manages to get some more Bombshell-verse characters in that we haven't seen before.
The Bombshells art team continues to impress as well, with chapters from Mirka Andolfo, Laura Braga, and Sandy Jarrell, with some help from Carmen Carnero and Aneke (who takes the entirety of the Suicide Squad story).
Bombshells comes to an end, but all is not lost; every ending is a beginning, and the Bombshells are just getting started.
As the first major arc/series of DC BOMBSHELLS comes to an end, I feel so very thankful that DC decided to print this series in the first place. I also feel bitter as hell that the second series, DC BOMBSHELLS UNITED, was cancelled, therein ending the world altogether. So going into this collection was bittersweet. It doesn't totally wrap up everything from the series, as the stories following Wonder Woman, Batwoman, The Batgirls, and Mera seem to have been put off until the next arc, but it did wrap up most of the issues in Europe, leaving the next arc to the homefront (and the ills that the American Government was perpetrating on some of it's own citizens....).
In spite of the glaring omissions of some of the major ladies on the team, WAR STORIES did a great job of wrapping up the battles in Europe, all culminating in Leningrad. But we did have a couple of side stories first. We finally, FINALLY, got to see the Suicide Squad in action, and also got to see other characters from Batgirl's BURNSIDE arc (like Qadir and Nadimah!). These were fun little off shoots from the darker and grimmer storyline that needed to be wrapped up, and a moment to breathe. The Leningrad story line brought out some sacrifice and sadness that was expected, but it also brought in some other characters that I was very happy to see (SWAMP THING!!!). I think that because we were missing so many girls this time around it didn't feel as strong, but overall it was a strong end to this part of the series.
I'm looking forward to BOMBSHELLS UNITED and have it requested from the library. But knowing it's going to end sooner than I'd like, I'm feeling sad about entering that phase of the Bombshells as well as excited.
So this is kind of standard super hero book stuff to say off gate, but I hate most of the character designs and costume choices.
That said, I enjoyed my time reading this. I haven't read the first 5 volumes of bombshells because doing things in order is for people of loose moral fiber.
I was worried at first because I'm sick to shit of WWII stories. Just. I'm over the whole thing. Or at the very least, I'm over the stories people choose to tell about WWII. This book isn't any different in those terms. Covers lots of the same ground we always get and the moralizing was weak. I never felt like we got anywhere new or uncharted despite all the changes being made.
That said, I'm a sucker for elseworlds stories. I'll probably go back and read the rest of these books if the library has them and whatever comes next.
I love the bombshells series. I really really do. But this issue, for a finale of sorts, lacked something. Maybe because I’m sad we haven’t seen two of the three main characters in any of the recent issues. Maybe because I’m not keen on all the characters they focused on in this issue because their stories were rushed or pushed to the side. I wi give them this. It concluded A LOT, but NOT ALL in only a couple of issues. Which is great for the type of finale this is. And it left me with enough curiosity to keep reading. I can’t give this one five stars like I can give the other ones, again maybe that’s partially my own fault for hyping the series for myself so much. But the bombshells concept - it’s narrative, art style, way of painting the picture, of reimagining old characters in new ways - I love it. So I’m still marking it as a favorite.