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Author: John Bierly
July 23, 2009
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GOTHAM CITY SIRENS #2
OFFICIAL SYNOPSIS: "Tommy Elliott, a.k.a. the villainous mastermind known as Hush, has escaped the confines of Batman's headquarters and is wreaking havoc throughout Gotham City all under the guise of Bruce Wayne. Will the loose assemblage of Catwoman, Poison Ivy and Harley Quinn be enough to stop the madman's rampage? Or are Gotham's femmes fatales doomed to fail before they even begin?"


At the end of issue #1 of GOTHAM CITY SIRENS, Selina Kyle's new partners in crime (fighting?) -- Poison Ivy and Harley Quinn -- demanded that Selina let them in on the secret of Batman's identity.

Her answer in issue #2?

"Bruce Wayne."

But it's much more deliciously complicated than that.

One look at artist Guillem March's cleavage-popping cover might make one think this title is cheesecake, but there continues to be nothing cheesy about it. Writer Paul Dini continues to provide a monthly master's class in character beats and consistency, elevating what could have been a silly satellite title into something that's got every bit as much grit as the Gotham books where boys take the center stages.

So how does Selina tell Harley and Ivy that Bruce Wayne is Batman without really telling them that Bruce Wayne is Batman? It's a combination of Selina's wit and a sneaky trick she learned from another (non-Gotham) girl in Bruce Wayne's life.

You can read the book to find out who it is, and Dini writes their encounter as pitch-perfectly as usual. Every sentence respects and builds upon not only the character speaking it but the relationship between the two people having the conversation. It's one of those situations where if I started citing examples of my favorite dialogue, I'd end up typing the whole issue. Brilliant stuff.

But the thoughtful, thorough way that Selina plays Harley and Ivy is nothing compared to what the recently escaped (in STREETS OF GOTHAM #2, also by Dini) Tommy "Hush" Elliot has in store for all three of the girls. Hush has given himself Bruce Wayne's face and is ready to take advantage of the vacuum left by the real Bruce Wayne, who's currently scribbling bats on cave walls in the kooky interdimensional vistas of Grant Morrison's mojo. Selina and Ivy know better about these kinds of things. Harley, however ...

The thing that makes me the most jealous of (and, of course, thrilled by) Dini's writing is that he makes it all seem so effortless and natural. Nothing here is predictable, but everything said (and everyone saying it) remains entirely true to character.

March's artwork continues to be stunning and stylish with a flair for the unique, particularly as Dini challenges him much more than in the first issue with this story's more complicated narrative levels and twists. I love this book! - 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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