I can’t think of anything wrong with “Gotham City Sirens” #2. I also can’t think of anything right with the issue either. Guillem March’s art is the sole exception, rendered in a lush style that uses inventive panel placements and exquisite figures. However, it sometimes slides into that ‘scantily-clad women posing in ways that women tend not to in real life’ area.
March’s style is quite lovely, mixing a quirky, off-beat sensibility with a very classic look. He changes between very clean, almost simplistic figures and more detailed ones with ease, each character having his or her own unique style much of the time. If it weren’t for the need to show Poison Ivy and Harley Quinn in positions that focus on their bodies for the sake of focusing on their bodies. Sometimes, it works well and with the characters, but a lot of the time, it doesn’t.
Paul Dini seems like a great choice for this book, but the writing here is uninspired with Poison Ivy and Harley tying up Catwoman and threatening her with torture so she’ll spill the identity of Batman. Thankfully, just for such an instance, Talia al Ghul taught Catwoman a mental trick three years ago that will prevent her from exposing Bruce Wayne as Batman no matter how much she wants to. Isn’t that convenient? Especially how that meeting has never been mentioned before? Oh ho ho, very smart, Mr. Dini!
The explanation Selina gives regarding Batman’s identity is clever and pokes fun at the Batman mythos, but the interaction between the three women is mechanical. They feel like they’re going through the motions here, playing the assigned roles with little feeling or gusto. The entire comic reads that way, never going beyond the surface story to give the impression that anything important is actually happening. Catwoman is tied up, she’s let go, Harley goes shopping, Hush impersonates Bruce Wayne, just another day in Gotham City ho hum.
All of the characters act consistently with previous portrayals, and the plot is interesting, and, no doubt, many readers will walk away satisfied, but the lacking energy or indefinable quality that elevates a book from workmanlike to great or brilliant is missing. Guillem March draws his ass off, but even that can’t save this issue from being completely forgettable once that final page has been read.