DC Comics Bombshells, Volume 1: Enlisted by Marguerite Bennett & Marguerite Sauvage
Let me start with the things I don’t like so much about this volume:
1. Wonder Woman still has a thing for Steve Trevor (and only Steve Trevor). Whyyyyyyy? For once can we please have her with a female love interest? She’s not straight. I’m pretty sure that’s canon now. Maybe I’m projecting, but I’ve always thought the Diana/Steve (or Diana/any man she’s been written with that I’ve read so far – including Gail Simone’s run) romance feels forced and unnatural. I haven’t read her (yet) having great chemistry with a male love interest. And before anyone makes comments about me being sexist, I do have heterosexual ships in comics. I love Lois/Clark, and Dinah/Oliver are a riot together! I have a soft spot for a properly written Selina/Bruce. Babs and Dick are so adorable! Just not Diana and Steve. He is not her equal in physicality or personality, ultimately contributing nothing to Diana’s character/story. He can – and should – be easily swapped out for someone more memorable and who can stand toe-to-toe with Diana on some level.
2. The art is a mixed bag. Some are really good, some are cute, some are okay, and some are weird. It changes with each different character-focused story. If only the interior art looked as good as the covers…
3. There can be a lot of text. I had to read parts more than once to properly understand them. It’s not that they’re dense necessarily… Just… Not always as interesting as the other stuff going on that you want to hurry up and get to.
…Huh… I thought I disliked more about it…? There probably is more and I just can’t remember it right now. Moving on!
Things I like about this book:
1. Kate Kane is suuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuch a lesbian and it’s glorious. From domestic life with Maggie Sawyer (yeeeep!), to checking out the bigger-than-an-Amazon Barda. She’s living an openly queer life and no one around her seems to care. It’s beautiful and liberating.
2. Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy seem to be happening. Harley is almost as bad as Kate with how delightfully, adorably queer she is. A certain someone even notices the way she tries to pick up all the girls at a party and treats it like it’s perfectly logical and normal! And, okay, she’s still coo-coo for Joker right now, but things change, right? With a bit of a spin on the original “How Harley Met Ivy” story, the two sirens hit it off right away. They have the same dynamic and chemistry as I always imagine them to have.
3. Mera is a darn good wingwoman. I may not ship Diana/Steve, but I grinned at the way Mera teases Diana for liking him. She seems to be Diana’s best friend, and watching them interact is a joy. Mera’s sass and playfulness balance out Diana’s more business/duty-focused personality. And of course, when Diana asks Mera to drop everything and run away with her (I wish it was in a romantic way, but no), she’s thrilled to help.
4. Stargirl and Supergirl are sisters, which allows Bennett to portray a deep, loving bond between women that isn’t romantic. Variety in representation is always important, and I happen to love seeing sisters interact – especially when they’re sisters who’ve adopted each other. They’re also drawn with really nice muscles.
5. Kate almost immediately grows fond of Helena when they first meet. It’s during a fight, and Kate marvels at the young Helena’s skills with the crossbow. I love Helena. I love Kate. In the past, neither of them tended to warm to people right away. How they would react to each other when placed in the same room never occurred to me. This is going to get really cute if they’re allowed to bond (which I suspect they will).
There are things I like about this volume, and things I think could be done better. Overall, it’s a decent series with plenty of potential, but it’s still finding its feet. Still, considering all the thought and planning that must’ve gone into reimagining the entire DC universe, this is a pretty solid job.