A comic series based on a statuette series might seem a little odd at first, but — considering how many forms of media are based on other ones these days — it’s not even remotely the strangest thing out there. More importantly, with a comic as fun as Marguerite Bennett, Laura Braga, Stephen Mooney and Ted Naifeh’s “DC Comics Bombshells” heading up the journey, I’m in for the ride no matter what its genesis was.
Set in an alternate World War II era DC Universe, “DC Comics Bombshells” #2 (bringing to print chapters 4 through 6 of the digital-first editions) follows up on Wonder Woman and Mera on Themyscira and Supergirl and Stargirl in Moscow, as well as dipping into new renditions of Zatanna, the Joker’s Daughter and John Constantine in Berlin. What makes “DC Comics Bombshells” work is that each of these characters is still recognizable while having their own particular spin to fit in with their new setting.
This is especially clear in the Wonder Woman segment, where she and Mera break Steve Trevor out of prison to save him from execution. We watch as Wonder Woman changes from a princess to a leader, and the Amazon’s reactions when they see what she’s doing is perfect for the character. I may have cheered a bit when one of them tells her, “You would save a life to save a world.” This is a great take on Wonder Woman; it’s true to her roots even as it gives us a fun new origin of her being on the run from her mother the Queen. The introduction of the Berlin segment is also a nice touch; we’re getting not only heroes but villains here too, and the clearly conflicted Zatanna is a character who has a lot of potential.
After Marguerite Sauvage provided an overall look for the series in its first issue, this one has each of its three chapters drawn by a different artist. While I’m looking forward to her return, each of the three other artists are ones I’d welcome back as well. Laura Braga tackles the Wonder Woman and Mera chapter, and I think her art is the best suited to the series out of the three new artists. She absolutely nails Wonder Woman’s look here; on the second page, watch how Braga can give us a tender and caring Wonder Woman on the first panel, and then a fierce warrior just two panels later. At her core, Wonder Woman needs to contain both, and Braga delivers. I like Braga’s strong ink lines here, and she brings moments like the shifting in the Amazons’ allegiances to life thanks to a good understanding of body language.
Stephen Mooney brings us to Moscow, and his figure work is good here, especially with General Khulun’s languid, dangerous expression as she contemplates Kara and Kortni. That said, what stood out for me were two other things: the “fairytale” interlude and the architecture. I love how Mooney handles the flashback, with its iconic borders and the old-time look and feel. It both instantly stands out as being in the past and also reminds you that we’re being told this story rather than watching it firsthand. The buildings from Mooney are also strong here; you get a real sense of this being Moscow and not just a random New York street.
Ted Naifeh brings us to Berlin and, after his work on comics like “Courtney Crumrin” and “Princess Ugg,” I think he’s a smart choice. Naifeh brings the Joker’s Daughter to life in a dangerous, unsettling way. Don’t get distracted by her ruffled bustier; when you see her teeth in the next panel it’ll almost make you jump. Zatanna shines the most here, though; you can see her revulsion and fear when dealing with the Joker’s Daughter in both her posture and her face, and it’s a great contrast to the joy that she exudes during the earlier performance.
“DC Comics Bombshells” #2 is a strong second issue, and I’m glad that this book exists. Bennett takes this series in a fun direction, and Braga, Mooney and Naifeh each handle their own chapters with distinctive and good styles. If you haven’t given this book a whirl, perhaps because of its origin, it’s time to give it a chance. So far, it’s proven to be thoroughly enjoyable.