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Comic Review: ‘DC Superhero Girls’ Vol 1: Finals Crisis

DC-SHG_FC_56fc25070cbd98.43152928Title: DC Superhero Girls Vol 1: Finals Crisis
Written by: Shea Fonta
Art by: Yancey Labat
Published by: DC Comics
Release Date: June 29, 2016
Price: $9.99

Summary:

 “Preparing for high school exams is hard enough, but at Super Hero High, even the tests are super-tough! Principal Waller keeps an eagle eye on her students, drilling them in math, science, literature—and other subjects like flying and powers! And no one wants to fail, because Principal Waller hands out detention faster than a speeding bullet. In the first-ever all ages DC Super Hero Girls original graphic novel, Supergirl, Wonder Woman, Bumblebee, Batgirl, Harley Quinn, Katana, and Poison Ivy are studying hard—well, maybe not Harley Quinn— when they are each abducted by a mysterious villain! Will the students outsmart their captor, save Gotham City, and still pass their finals?”

Review:

I’ve always really liked the art style, the toys, and all around cuteness that comes with this brand. I never picked up any of the copies of this series until Free Comic Book Day, and I found that specific issue to be very cute but very weirdly focused on just Supergirl. I wanted more, hoping that I would get to see the others female heroes, and this graphic novel definitely provided that.

The story line for DC Superhero Girls is very simple, but not insultingly simple. The girls – which include Bumblebee, Supergirl, Wonder Woman, Harley Quinn, Poison Ivy, Katana, and Batgirl – are all kidnapped by a mysterious someone right before finals! Readers get to see how each girl is kidnapped and how each of the girls help to defeat that mysterious someone, who, spoiler alert, turns out to be Lex Luthor.

There are a few things that I did and that I’m going to just pick on real quick before finishing up this review. One of the things I did like was the nod to other superheros such as my girl, Starfire, and having some items being made by Wayne Enterprises. There was also a few nods to Lois Lane who was a reporter for the school. I thought that was super cute. I thought it was kind of funny that none of them knew who Lex Luthor was, but were ready to fight.

This is the perfect book for all ages.

I know that if this was out when I was a little girl, I would have been begging my mom to buy it for me. I can’t wait for more characters to be revealed (Starfire is already one of them!) and I can’t wait to see more stories in this format.

 

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Gotham Recap: Ep. 16, “The Blind Fortune Teller”

This is positively spoiler laden, so if you haven’t watched the episode or don’t want potential future plot points ruined, STOP RIGHT NOW. Seriously. Stop reading now because below, SPOILERS ABOUND.

As ruthless as our dear Penguin can be, he is no judge of talent. He proves that to us this episode by hiring his mother as chanteuse for his recently acquired club. Ever the mama’s boy, he unleashes that ruthless side and a bottle of liquor when someone (rightly) begins to heckle her vocal stylings. That vociferous clubgoer will find it hard to smile in future, methinks. Mr. Zsasz, on orders from Falcone, brings back Butch, Fish Mooney’s former right hand, to help Penguin turn his struggling club around and simultaneously make his bladder drop. Only when Mr. Zsasz reveals he’s been torturing poor Butch into docility does Penguin relax and realize that he now has a meek hand puppet who will help him be the success he knows he is on the inside.

Barbara is the worst. The literal worst. Why exactly does she think Jim will be just waiting for her after she basically skipped town on him and went back to her ex? Don’t be mad that he upgraded in your absence! Girl, get your life together. And ask a couple of questions about these two random girls who have obviously been eating up all your food and using your apartment as a squat. But instead of throwing some cold water in her face and asking the important questions, she makes friends. So that’s something, I guess.

We meet the Flying Graysons and their practically life-long rivals, the Lloyds, while Jim and Lee are on a date at the circus. And boy do they love to throw bows. I mean, these families HATE each other (they yell as much during the brawl!), but we get a glimpse of the future when we meet the parents Robin, Gotham City’s favorite sidekick who we all know from comics canon. Good thing they get past the blood feud and get married or we couldn’t have a Boy Wonder!

And of course we have the strong-minded Dr. Lee Thompkins who is dating Jim and really giving him a run for his money! I love it so much. She challenges every little patriarchal quirk Jim displays and never takes his guff. She is no pushover (unlike certain blondes we could mention) and she has no problem flexing her knowledge or calling BS when she needs to. I admit I don’t fully trust her but she is a breath of meadow-fresh air for Jim.

Arguably the biggest draw to this episode is the appearance of Jerome, the young man who will become the Joker. He is the son of a snake dancer at the Grayson/Lloyd circus who has just been found dead. Oh, and he killed her. Surprise! After masterfully pretending to be distraught at his mother’s disappearance and shutting down Gordon’s implications about sex and sexuality, he finally breaks character and devolves into a psychotic laughter-laden tirade about his trifling mother. He just really couldn’t take her nagging about him doing the dishes when she’s getting laid in the next room. (Did anyone notice that the actor who played his father – the eponymous Blind Fortune Teller – also played Felix Faust on Constantine recently?)

I feel like every scene including Fish Mooney should be soundtracked by Trina’s “The Baddest Bitch.” She has zero patience for anyone telling her what to do or how to be. With her newly acquired scarf and sweater, she is running the nameless prison she’s been relegated to – and it took her like three days? All of the prisoners ride for Fish.

She’s all, “Hey, captors. I’m the new ‘shot caller’ here. We need food, water, blankets, and the latest Vogue and you’re going to bring them to us.” And they’re like, “I’m not doing that. Hand over that prisoner. Someone needs a kidney transplant.” And Fish is all, “Bitch, please. You’re not in charge here. Watch me tell these guys to savagely beat that prisoner to death with a hand motion.” *commence beating* “Now go get someone with authority.” Fish is everything.

Then we have young Bruce who is throwing these corrupt Wayne Enterprises board members so much shade I thought a solar eclipse had happened. After continually blowing his meeting requests off, they thought he was going to come in with some fluff like, “Do you guys have a tablet to spare so I can play Angry Birds?” And their faces were absolutely priceless when Bruce pulls out his composition notebook and starts laying into them about how a few of those dirty buggers were definitely working with the criminal underworld to control the Arkham project and some subsidiary is into chemical weapon manufacturing and he wasn’t having that. “If I were a man I would be chairing this board.” BOOM.

All in all, it was a great episode. I get sick of Jim’s antiquated ideas about relationships, but with each episode we see how he becomes more and more of the iconic, hard-nosed, “what’s right is right” Gordon that comics fans know and respect. There was offensively little Nygma, a slight blow because I enjoy him so much, but this show is really ramping up to become something so awesome. The characters continue to be compelling and I can’t (always) predict the storyline, two hallmarks of great programming if you ask me.

Can’t wait for next week! Who’s holding Fish? Who is Red Hood (for those of us who don’t already know)? And who’s breaking into Wayne Manor trying to take out a kid this time?!

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