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Precinct1313 Recommends: Bombshells United #1

DC Comics’ mega popular ‘Bombshells’ line deftly re-imagined some of its most iconic female Superheroes with a 1940’s pin up style makeover, originally envisioned by illustrator and cover artist – Ant Lucia.

bsuThe burgeoning franchise was adeptly brought to life in 2011 when DC Comics’ Collectables alongside Udon Entertainment produced four illustrations based upon Ant Lucias’s original artwork for a possible line of statues. The preliminary four characters of Wonder Woman, Harley Quinn, Stargirl and Poison Ivy were later redesigned by Ant Lucia and handcrafted into sculptures by Tim Miller in 2013.

Ant Lucia’s designs drew heavily upon the pin up culture from the 1940’s, WWII aesthetics and infused them with a rockabilly style. The final statue design paid close heed to the nostalgic golden age of comic books, with the initial figurine from DC Collectables – Wonder Woman, appearing on shop shelves in September of 2013.

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Now you may be thinking that the idea of a line up of classic female Superheroes re-interpreted as 40’s pin up girls doesn’t sound like a fantastically realised concept, especially Wonder Woman who has always been seen as a feminist icon and hero to the cause of equality and egalitarianism, but Lucia only drew upon the dynamic artistic technique of the original pin up style, and unlike its more graphic forebear Bombshells has mostly shied away from the titillation and suggestive nature of its predecessor and brought us powerful and uplifting renditions of its fabulously famous females and used any inherent sexuality to empower the Superheroines contained therein.

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To cement the idea of a group of powerful female heroes based upon a 40’s pin up approach, DC brought in two talented female comic book auteurs – writer Marguerite Bennett and similarly monikered artist Marguerite Sauvage, who took the premise and gave us a stunningly realised and playfully dynamic storyline entrenched firmly in its WWII setting that brought us weighty material heavily influenced by historical events of the time.

Bombshells proved a massive hit with the fans, and DC’s newest upcoming series ‘Bombshells United’ continues the heroic heritage of its predecessor, but with a significant twist to the motivations of its eponymous cast.

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‘Bombshells United’ reunites us with our favourite force of feisty fictional females, this time however rather than taking up the cause and battling the evil regiments of the Axis powers, they tackle a decidedly domestic threat, the internment of Japanese citizens by the American Government. Marguerite Bennet also adds to the fold, Wonder Girls – Donna Troy and Cassie Sandsmark re-imagining them as Japanese/American citizens whose parents are being forcibly held in the prison camps, Donna and Cassie ultimately join forces with Diana to fight against the U.S. executive order imprisoning their families.

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Bombshells United #1 is available at your local comic book emporium on September 6. Written by: Marguerite Bennett. Art by: Marguerite Sauvage. Cover Art by: Terry and Rachel Dodson. Variant Cover by: Babs Tarr.

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Comic Cover Of The Week: Batgirl #50

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Welcome my comic collecting cohorts, and this week’s captivating cover celebrates the 50th issue of Batgirl’s latest ongoing monthly series. Babs has gone through quite a significant change since this new series was introduced way back in the 2011 DC reboot – ‘The New 52’. 

Barbara Gordon had not donned the Bat suit since the tragic events of the 1988 ‘Batman: The Killing Joke’ storyline where she was shot and paralysed by the Joker. Undeterred by the event Babs became the wheelchair bound character known as the Oracle, and used her vast intellect, photographic memory and extensive knowledge of criminal networks to continue her crime-fighting career, beginning by anonymously offering her services to Amanda Waller’s Task Force X (aka – The Suicide Squad) before eventually forming the Birds of Prey team, that included lifelong friend Black Canary and The Huntress in its initial line up.

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In 2011 Babs triumphantly returned as Gotham’s flame haired guardian after the company wide relaunch of its new continuity following on from the ‘Flashpoint’ mini series saga. In this new and revised version, the Killing Joke incident happened three years previously, and whilst she had still spent time in a wheelchair as the Oracle, she had regained mobility in her limbs through experimental surgery in a South African private clinic. Gail Simone, the writer tasked with bringing Babs back to the costumed avenger fold remarked that her fictional recovery was based upon real life cases of paraplegia, and instances of PTSD experienced through traumatic life events, which gave the series a more realistically grounded and emotional set up.

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In 2014, Batgirl’s title underwent a minor reboot, with a new creative team brought onboard that included, Brenden Fletcher and Cameron Stewart on writing duties, with the cool and quirky art style by the appropriately named Babs Tarr. Injecting more humour and giving the readership a somewhat lighter approach to the character, effectively enabling Babs to escape, to a certain degree, from her trauma at the hands of the Joker. This soft reboot has proven popular amongst fans, bringing Babs back in line with the fun loving masked adventurer seen previously to the Killing Joke incident.

Batgirl #50 is available at your local comic book emporium right now. Written by: Brenden Fletcher and Cameron Stewart. Art by: Babs Tarr, Roger Robinson, John Timms and Eleonora Carlini.  Cover art by: Babs Tarr, Variant covers by: Kevin Nowlan.

Comic Cover Of The Week: Batgirl #48

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(DC Comics-2016)

New comics Wednesday is upon us once more, my comic collecting cohorts, and our spotlight of the sublime this week falls upon “Batgirl #48” and this fantastic Babs Tarr illustration featuring two of Gotham’s greatest guardians.

“When Batgirl gets taken down, Black Canary once again comes to her rescue. Babs and Dinah team up in an attempt to determine the identity of the malicious mastermind making their presence felt in Gotham’s Burnside district.”

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Babs’ awesomely quirky anime influenced art has been a real selling point for Batgirl since she took over artistic duties in issue #35. Batgirl’s change of pace and direction has been helped immeasurably by Babs’ style, which greatly suits the fun and upbeat nature of Ms Gordon’s nightly escapades as the feisty red-headed avenger. The refreshing change of pace ultimately suits the character, if you like your Bat-family adventures dark and brooding then you still have Batman and Batwoman to fall back upon, but if you want to read a fun, feel good comic with striking artwork, then why not let Batgirl be your femme-fatale of choice.

Batgirl #48 is available at your local comic-book emporium right now. Written by: Cameron Stewart and Brenden Fletcher. Cover and interior art by: Babs Tarr.