Review by Ian Keogh
Allies concluded with the Bombshells fighting off the Germans and their demonic associates in London during a very different Battle of Britain, which was won at great cost. Before the consequences of that are fully explored, we pay another visit back to the Batgirls of Gotham, who meet another DC female icon as yet unseen in the series. She’s not the only one. They’re best kept as surprises, but in each case they’re well worked in with backgrounds remaining true to their original concepts, but twisted to fit the Bombshells world.
The longer the DC Comics Bombshells continues the more fun Marguerite Bennett has both toying with the known quantities of the DC universe and also in confounding expectation. An example is when some characters with familiar names are introduced in Gotham, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg as in terms of plot Bombshells begins to live up to its name in Uprising. Bennett organises trios of chapters under themes of love, ghosts and war while still moving her bigger plot forward in these small segments. It’s now 1941, and Bennett flips the template of Allies by setting just a couple of chapters in the British Isles, focussing most of the action in Germany, and concluding with a battle for Berlin. There’s some crossover with the cast gathered in London during Allies, but for the most part the attention is spread to other characters. Harley Quinn, Poison Ivy and Selina Kyle are back, and a fair few of the previously introduced women have their backgrounds disclosed, with Mera’s forming an interesting diversion as she returns to Atlantis. As the persecution of Jews and their ghetto segregation features, Bennett also includes explanations of Jewish legends and a prayer, which comes over as very natural in context.
The sample art is the wonderful, lively cartooning of Mirka Andolfo, but it could just as well be the more detailed, but equally expressive work of Laura Braga. Between them they draw almost the entire book beautifully. Sandy Jarrell illustrates a look back to the Spanish Civil War with an appropriate tiled framing of the pages, and in that and later chapters is more inclined to have his viewpoints from a less intimate distance. Pascale Qualano only draws one chapter of the Gotham story, but his work’s as good as the remainder, maintaining the high artistic standards of the series.
Bennett unifies the plot threads excellently by the end, and provides a real punch the air conclusion before dropping the cliffhanger that leads into the following Queens. Even that has been nicely foreshadowed by an earlier comment that seemed to be in passing. We should know by now that there’s nothing in passing about DC Comics Bombshells.