Each week, the non-comics reading Nina Stone picks out one random comic book based off her own made up criteria, reads it, and then writes about that experience. While she's been doing these columns for awhile, she's only successfully managed to enjoy, remember, and keep up with one series. This week, she picked Gotham City Sirens # 5.
You know what the best thing about this Gotham City Sirens comic was? The Batman/Doc Savage "First Look" in the back of the issue. Let me be clear. Coming from me, that's saying something. Because I never read the "sneak peaks" in the back of issues. But yo - this one has no word balloons, and all this super linear, super clean art. It looks amazing. It doesn't hurt that it's such a sharp contrast to the mess that precedes it.
Yes, I said it's a mess. I'm no art school chick, nor am I a huge comic book reader. I wanted to read Sirens because, well, I never had before, and it looked like it featured women--so why not? But all my problems with this comic are with the art. The story line I get. It's typical Joker stuff. Here are these three super-chicks who've been done wrong by Joker, one of whom is his apparent ex-lover. However, the guy we think is the Joker - SPOILER ALERT - turns out not to be. He's one of the Joker's old sidekicks, Gagsworth A. Gagsworthy. To be honest, it felt like this character was pulled out of the air, but I imagine those of you who've followed Batman for a long, long time might remember this guy from some other time and place.
Mr. Gag Reflex is apparently not over being dissed by Joker, and so the plot is about him taking his breakup feelings out on Harlequin, the Joker's ex-girlfriend. I don't know how this completely relates to the issue before, but maybe it means that the Joker and Harlequin aren't actually over. To be honest, I don't really care if I ever find out. It took too many pages of overwhelming art to tell this story. Let me explain.
The first page is a - well, I don't know what it is? A two-page spread? Not really. It takes two pages to spread out 6 consecutive frames attempting to show, um, a cactus growing and exploding? The whole thing lacks contrast in color. The cactus and Poison Ivy are the same color, and so is her hair and, um, the rest of the page...??? You can't tell what's what.
Then I flipped the pages and flipped them back again to try and figure it out.
Then, I got it. Basically--get ready for this, please--Poison Ivy "encourages" a cactus cock to grow and cum. Seriously. It's ridiculous. And the following page has all three girls covered in a white milky substance. What the fuck? And yeah, I just dropped an f-bomb because the more I look at this and write about it the more offended I am. This is like a comic drawn by an adolescent who can't see the world without seeing his dick. I've been told that it might not be him alone, that it was written this way, and I'm sure that's true. Still...
That's not all. On the following page there's this drawing from an unusual perspective - Harley is talking with Poison Ivy, and we're seeing the conversation occur through the legs of Catwoman. ?????? How is that a perspective? She's having a conversation with them. In the previous panel, she's a few feet away from them. Is she suddenly standing on a large stool? How is this the perspective? It doesn't make any sense, it's useless to the story, it just looks like someone LOVED the For Your Eyes Only poster a whole lot.
So, after all that, we've got some Joker-stuff happen. Fine. And then the girls are trying to sneak into his place, but, what is that stuff that follows Ivy around? Does she accidentally grow roots everywhere she goes? Is that on purpose? And, um, that's not ivy. That's not what ivy looks like. Those are just full on tree roots. This comic just keeps making no sense. Oh, by the way, I'm tempted to put on a black unitard and five-inch heels and balance in the pose cat woman is in on the bottom of the page where they bust through the ceiling into the Joker's pad. Then I'll post that photo here, just to prove that, um, it's impossible. Her ass and thighs are so large compared to the rest of her, especially her ankles, that her center of gravity would make her fall on her ass right there. She could do it in flats - but not in those heels! Just ridiculous. And why is Poison Ivy, like, riding that tree limb?
This is just fetish comics. And normally I'd just say "whatever", tee hee, move along and chalk it up as a "To each his own." But for whatever reason, the more I write about this the more pissed off I'm getting. Not on behalf of womankind or anything, I can't imagine that something this blatant has any impact on "womankind" beyond failing to get women interested in comics. No, I think I'm just angry because I just wasted a whole lot of time reading this comic and then I wasted more time writing about it. Feh. Ugh. I feel dirty. I'm gonna go take a shower.
-Nina Stone, 2009