"Gotham City Sirens" is a title I wanted to like -- a monthly team-up between Catwoman, Harley Quinn, and Poison Ivy sounds too good to be true -- but never quite clicked when I gave it a chance in the past. Something felt off, but it was hard to tell if it was the total package or just one element in particular. With regular artist Guillem March gone this issue, though, everything came in sharper focus.
With Andres Guinaldo and Raul Fernandez providing the art, suddenly Paul Dini's script seemed a lot sharper than in the past. Even though this was the final issue in a longer storyline, I found myself interested and intrigued by the girls going up against Doc Aesop with the Riddler trapped in the middle. There was an energy here that had been lacking in the past, and for the first time I found myself thinking, "I'd like to read some more of this series." Without March's art to distract, you can tell that any faults with the book aren't at Dini's feet. It's almost as if March's art drained all of the life out of past issues, and for one shining month we're getting to see what the book could have been all along. He's got distinct voices for each of the three leads, and with all that Dini did with the Riddler over in "Detective Comics" I like seeing him write the character again.
Guinaldo and Fernandez would be, I think, a good choice for a replacement if March decides to leave the title. He's got a much more solid, substantial style that I think suits the comic well. For people looking for hot ladies, Guinaldo understands how to provide that without going sleazy, a mistake so many other artists make. There are some pages that really jump out at me, like the charging of Aesop's animals (especially that lion) or Harley talking to her cowering hyenas. On the other hand, there are several places in the comic where perspective seemed to be a bit off; something that would need to be worked on before going into a monthly stint. Aesop suddenly looking to be twice the size of a book certainly isn't what was meant, but it's distracting and throws you out of the experience for a moment.
I'm half-tempted to start picking up "Gotham City Sirens" on a regular basis again, but now that I know my issue with the book was down to March, it's a little hard to muster up a lot of enthusiasm. Dini's scripts deserve a strong artist, like he has over in "Batman: Streets of Gotham." Still, it might be worth giving March another try as well. Until then, though, I'll certainly keep an eye open for any additional guest artists to come visit the lovely ladies of Gotham.