**Originally posted on goodreads. Edited for this post.
I just finished revisiting this series in GN format. I remember when I bought the series as issues when they originally came out only to realize early on that it lacked direction. Maybe it was the art or the writing, I don’t recall but I defended it even though I felt that there was something ‘off’. Now that I am revisiting this series again, my initial gut feeling was not completely off and at the same time, I found it charming in some ways.
Volume 1 was better than the sequel. Clearly the credit goes to Paul Dini of BTAS fame. However, even I found that some of the writing was hokey. Some of the highlights included the reinterpretation of Golden Age characters (Gaggy Gagsworthy) and bringing them into the ‘modern’ age.
I think that if you read this series without taking too seriously, it can be enjoyable as a bunch of one shots and short stories. As for the art, I could never warm up Guillem March. His manga style interiors made my eyes bleed. I prefer him as a cover artist. There were times when it looked like he was drawing the girls as contortionists.
Ironically, I thought the artwork improved greatly under Andres Guinaldo’s pencils but the writing suffered and it is here where the writing suffered from being too bloated. When you have too many characters and it is blatantly obvious that this book was used to fill in issues for a story arc that took place outside this book, it is offensive to the reader. I am specifically referring to the inclusion of Talia al Ghul and Zatanna, two female characters who are intriguing in their own right but only served as chess pieces for an arc that DC was pimping out at the time. That is when the book loses its uniqueness.
This is not complexity. This is the equivalent of eating too much food and having gas as a result. Their inclusion was just as flimsy as the ending of the series. Some of the dialogue was forced and weird which made the inevitable ending lose it’s emotional punch. There were enough parts that kept me intrigued but little details made it clunky.
There was one highlight towards the end that stood out to me. When Harley and Ivy had their quarrel. I wasn’t too fond of the author toying with the Harley/Ivy relationship, whatever you choose to believe. I honestly felt that the writers (and perhaps the higher ups) were pandering when Harley made the comment ‘Is it because you love me?’ to Ivy before striking her. I get that it was supposed to be the end of the Sirens as a team but for Harley and Ivy to have a history and for their friendship/relationship to be reduced to fodder felt more like pandering to a group of Harley fans who prefer her with the Joker than with Ivy. In my opinion, there could have been a more sensitive and emotionally charged way to ‘break them up’. I DID like the part where Ivy tells Harley to choose and that she was willing to let Harley go back to the Joker if it meant that she would live.
This is Ivy who is now more than a misanthrope. It felt like an allusion to the story of King Solomon and the two women and the baby, Harley being the proverbial baby. Calloway could have done that but it was clear to me that by that point, GCS was on life support and they decided to throw it a bone.
3 out if 5.