Bombshells United #9 – Marguerite Bennett, Writer; Siya Oum, Artist; J. Nanjan, Colorist
Ray – 8.5/10
WARNING: SPOILERS BELOW
Ray: The first two issues of this Bombshells United arc set in fascist Spain introduced us to a whole new world of Bombshells, including their new arch-nemesis – the Spanish fascist dictator of magic, Black Adam. Reuniting Kate Kane and Renee Montoya and plunging them into a mysterious labyrinth overseen by a heroic Talia Al Ghul, it was a huge level-up for the series. This issue pulls back and gives us the origin of Black Adam, and while he at first seemed like a relentless villain, this story actually makes him as sympathetic and tragic as he’s ever been. An orphan boy who found favor – and power – when he saved the life of the prince from bandits, his relationship with the goddess Shazam (does she have any link to Miri Marvel, who is powered by Jewish sages?) has been complicated, as his love led to obsession, which eventually drove him to evil.
While Black Adam dominates the first half of the issue, he’s actually not in the second half, as Kate and Renee are forced to confront the most painful part of their past – the death of their adopted son Jason, who was killed by Cheetah. The same Cheetah who has now found peace as a guest of Talia’s. While she seeks redemption, her victims are much less willing to forgive than, say, Wonder Woman would be. We get a brief flashback to Cheetah’s origin and how she wound up here, but her decision at the end of the issue throws the entire series for a loop – along with Kate’s relationships with both Renee and Maggie. And from Shazam’s words that end the issue, that’s not the only complication. The rich mythology in this universe expands with every issue, and that makes it one of DC’s most consistently entertaining books.
Corrina: This series mixes and mashes DC history and will naturally have some misses among among its hits. The Bombshells Batgirl origin didn’t work for me. And sending Renee Montoya and Kate Kane into the middle of Spanish fascism, and giving them Jason Todd as a son shouldn’t work.
But it does.
It even pulls from Jason’s story in the regular DC universe by using Talia as the catalyst for his rebirth. He’s the child killed by violence given a second chance, and, in this universe, he’s also given that chance by Cheetah, who was responsible for his death. Jason never received that kind of closure from his killer in the DC Universe. One wonders what this Jason will make of his rebirth in this one?
All that, plus Black Adam’s origin, makes this one of the top Bombshells’ arcs that I’ve read.
Disclaimer: GeekDad received this copy for review purposes.