Review – Fire and Ice: Welcome to Smallville #1 – Small Town Life

Comic Books DC This Week
Fire and Ice: Welcome to Smallville #1 variant cover, via DC Comics.

Fire & Ice: Welcome to Smallville #1 – Joanne Starer, Writer; Natacha Bustos, Arist; Tamra Bonvillain, Colorist

Ray – 8/10

Ray: When this book was previewed in the recent Power Girl special, I wasn’t sure about it. It’s been a long time since Fire and Ice had any kind of spotlight, and the sitcom-esque plot—after an embarrassing fight with Guy Gardener goes viral, Superman banishes the two superheroines to watch over his hometown—seemed out of step with the characters’ history. And it is—to get any enjoyment out of this book, you really have to accept that this isn’t the version of the characters we’re most likely to see in any other comic. Starer’s take is incredibly influenced by the Bwa-ha-ha League that DeMatteis, Giffen, and Maguire made famous. It’s just that this time, the ladies get to be at the center of the comedy instead of Booster and Beetle. So with Martha Kent essentially serving as their mentor in small-town life and L-Ron baking pies, Fire and Ice take over a local salon and try to fit into Smallville.

After the fire. Via DC Comics.

To say it doesn’t go smoothly would be putting it lightly. Ice actually starts enjoying the place, liking the break from superheroics and hiring a young, media-savvy stylist to work with them. Fire, meanwhile, squabbles with everyone in sight including Tora and is increasingly desperate to regain her past stardom—including by essentially putting together an ad that lures King Shark to the town for a fight. Shark might not be much of a villain, but he is a perfectly funny foil for the story. Unfortunately, this leads to another argument with Superman, another fight between the leads, and tension as we end the issue. It’s much more Gilmore Girls/Northern Exposure than it is a superhero comic, but it started to win me over by the end—and Natacha Bustos’ art is perfectly suited for it. There are shades of both Maguire and Amanda Conner in it, but it’s its own wonderfully colorful thing and really elevates the story.

To find reviews of all the DC issues, visit DC This Week.

GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.

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