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GOTHAM CITY SIRENS #13
Author: John Bierly
July 11, 2010
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OFFICIAL SYNOPSIS: This issue features the second and final chapter of "Sister Zero", in which Catwoman confronts the monster that her sister Maggie has become. Will the sisters reunite by the end of this confrontation or will Selina forever be a "demon" in her sister's eyes?

For me, at least, the thirteenth issue of GOTHAM CITY SIRENS bore all the negative connotations of its numerical namesake. I love this title when written and drawn by series regulars Paul Dini and Guillem March. This issue features neither of those guys and is even missing one of its Sirens, as Ivy doesn't appear here at all.

Last issue, Selina was confronted by a new villain, a nun who just happens to be her crazy sister, Magdalene. Maggie is absolutely nuts, which is an admittedly understandable reaction to watching Black Mask scoop out your spouse's eyeball among other terrible atrocities, and now she's being guided by the Archangel He-Man -- seriously, just wait until you see this guy -- to punish Selina for stealing a church artifact. Maggie witnessed this, of course, during her sisterly tenure at the church, and has now decided that Selina is some kind of Cat-Demon who must be vanquished.

By the end of the issue, Maggie's been renamed Sister Zero and tossed some of her craziness Harley's way, as if our girl Miss Quinn really needed any extra. So what's really giving Maggie her powers? Drugs? The wrath of God? The power of Greyskull? I still don't know. I still don't care.

Nothing about Tony Bedard's script clicked for me. Even though the stuff coming out of Maggie's mouth is crazy, her inner thoughts tell us the story of the missing artifact (and a whole lot of other recent history) in a sterile, linear narrative devoid of character or style. It would be easier to digest if these weren't Maggie's own thoughts, but they are, and they're presented in a very flat, matter-of-fact manner that's hardly indicative of the insanity driving her.

A more interesting way to do it could have involved Maggie's deluded brain telling it to us one way, while Selina told it to us the correct way. As it is, when Bedard reveals a twist about Selina and the artifact, it doesn't come across as a surprise but rather just an addendum that's as clinical as Maggie's earlier narration.

Andres Guinaldo's art gets the job done, but it lacks the dynamics and sex appeal of March's.

The next two issues are by Dini and March, but then it's back to Bedard and Guinaldo for #16. I hope it's better than the last two issues. - John Bierly

Indiana native John Bierly started writing for publications when he was 17 and never stopped.
His favorite things in life are family and friends, concerts, burgers, Mountain Dew, and of course...
...THE BATMAN!
You can read his blog at JOHNBIERLY.COM.

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