writer: Greg Rucka / artist: Cully Hamner/ DC Comics
Really, this issue should just be titled Gotham Hero Girlfriends Go on an Adventure because that’s essentially what you’re going to get. And you know what? I love it. Hell, if you’re marginally a fan of any of the three women on the front you’ll love it (and let’s be honest, the homage to Charlie’s Angels is a pretty cute start). Not since Gail Simone’s original Birds of Prey have I enjoyed the level of costumed snarkiness offered by this book and by Gotham it’s an absolute delight when placed in a super love triangle.
In the previous issue we learned that Renee’s father, who cut her off from the family after she came out, is quickly dying of cancer. I appreciate starting with this plot point as it really highlights the theme of sacrifice and the real consequences choosing to fight for justice can have, which in this case is Renee’s absence from her father’s side. We then cut to everyone’s favorite trio of constantly-confused-for-being-members-of-the-Bat-family-proper heroes bickering/flirting on a rooftop as they discuss what their plan is now that they know Two-Face must fight his other dimensional self in order for the city to be saved. And I’m not even joking about the bickering. Some key quotes include: “If you two are finished being sweet on each other” and “you and she… you’re very close.”
Spoilers, the alternate Harvey Dent turns out to be “good,” which in itself provides an interesting standoff since neither man is willing to kill the other, believing him to be innocent. This conflict, while intriguing, seems like it could be told better in a different comic; I don’t think that this moment of irony really gets to shine since really any threat to Gotham could arguably bring our three main characters together and didn’t have to be Two-Face especially. Unlike all the monologue boxes will have you believe, however, this comic also has some great action sequences including, but not limited to, Batwoman beating up a room full of criminals and the Question somersaulting over a group of gunmen to land in a handstand allowing her to place her hat perfectly on her head.
Overall, I’m still not a big fan of Hamner’s art but it feels like it’s improved a bit this issue (perhaps it’s a change in color palette). The ending is a little weak to me but maybe it’s because Rucka feels the need to tie a neat bow around it. Honestly, though? Buy it for the superhero girlfriends. Really. An added bonus is the sneak-peak of Starfire #1 which certainly makes up for what it may lack in story with pure eye candy.