By: Paul Dini (writer), Andres Guinaldo (pencils), Raul Fernandez (inks), Ian Hannin (colors) & Steve Wands (letters)
The Story: Harley and Selina look for missing dogs and Ivy starts her new job in this slice-of-life (Gotham-style) story.
What’s good: This title is the popcorn of the Gotham comics. Whereas other Bat-books are dealing with, “Who is the Black Mask? ” and “Will Damien kill Dick?” and “When will Bruce return?” this issue just consistently follows our three ladies as they get into minor troubles. They are always fun stories and nicely drawn and they never taken themselves too seriously. The fate of the planet will never be determined in these pages. It’s kind of a palate cleanser.
One of the things that either works or not in this title, is Harley Quinn’s weirdness. A lot of times, I don’t like her but the situation that occurs in this issue between her pet hyenas (yes…you read that right) and some stray dogs and the unintentional competition between the hyenas the local dog-fighting ring is kinda funny (in a very dark sort of way, but don’t worry…nothing is shown on page).
On a more serious note, Ivy starts her new job as botanical researcher at STAR Labs. She’s trying to be somewhat legit, but you just know that it won’t turn out well and she has herself in a pretty pickle by the end of the issue.
We get an artist change on this issue and I think it is a real improvement. This title was drawn by Guillem March (who has gone to Batman-proper) and in this issue we pick up Andres Guinaldo. I think it is a nice change for both books as I think I like Guinaldo better on GCS and I like March better on Batman than I did on GCS. The rare trade that works for both teams.
What’s Not So Good: I am an admitted continuity geek, so these issues always come off as a little fluffy. This title is never going to win any Eisners and if you want just one fun, different DC book every month, Brave and the Bold would be a better choice.
There is also some question in my mind about how long this series can run. Partially I wonder how long before this “odd couple” situation gets old. Selina is a quasi-hero. Selina is always exasperated in a big-sister sort of way by Harley’s dopiness. Selina then will hang out with Ivy just to have an adult to chat with, but Selina is always a little put off by the fact that Ivy is just a little more evil than her. All issues are some variations on these themes and I wonder how long this will be interesting. My guess is that this title only has a few more arcs left.
I also question what role this comic will have once Birds of Prey starts back up.
Conclusion: A cute start to a story-arc, but nothing too impactful.
– Dean Stell