Since the purchase of Marvel by Disney, it seems that the parent companies of the big two comics publishers have done more to laterally promote their properties across different forms of media. Recently, Warners Brothers put more effort into rebranding their Hannah-Barbera line this way, crafting comics and crossovers with DC that add some of the latter’s signature grit to the mix. DC’s BOMBSHELLS UNITED, based on a line of merchandise that began a few years back, is more than a marketing tool disguised as a story. While the Bombshells line started and still lives largely in the company’s merchandising side of things, Marguerite Bennett and artists Luciano Vecchio and Siya Oum have made sure to craft something more than a 23 page toy ad.
The third issue of the book continues a story that, along with Vecchio and Oum’s visuals, might give one the feel of a Saturday morning cartoon in the vein of Jem and the Holograms or Ronin Warriors. Crisp colors and thick, simple lines set the book apart from the style we usually see in big two superhero stories. There’s no great attention to realism or over-complicating the landscape, and Bennett’s writing plays on that angle to the same benefit. This is a fun book that anybody can pick up and enjoy, and that does mean anybody. Often, stories meant to appeal to everyone fall in the trap of grabbing a kid’s attention while alienating adults.
There are significant exceptions to this over all media, and although BOMBSHELLS UNITED pulls more from the campy, simpler stories of the 80’s, there’s a deeper message of empowerment that makes itself known by the issue’s end. Most of the drama in this issue is centered on Wonder Woman. The land is literally trying to swallow the team whole, a real concern when the land happens to be the villain Clayface. You can’t help but feel the panic shared by Wonder Woman and the other Bombshells, but triumph comes quick enough.
All-in-all, and possibly because this is a book children are reading, it felt like Wonder Woman didn’t face a big enough threat for the climax to be all that rewarding. With most books, readers assume the hero will find a way out of it, so the trick then becomes putting them in a situation where you’re not all that sure of the how. It doesn’t seem like Bennet set out to evoke a huge emotional response with her writing, so this isn’t something I would consider a hang up with BOMBSHELLS UNITED #3.
I had no major qualms with this book. If you’re looking for some light entertainment, and have enjoyed the character designs and visual vibe of Bombshells since DC first brought them on the scene, BOMBSHELLS #3 continues an arc that provides all this in a neat little package. If the price of comics has made you picky with your stories, this may not be the one to add to your monthly list.
(W) Marguerite Bennett (A) Siya Oum, Luciano Vecchio (CA) Emanuela Lupacchino