Graphic Novel Review – DC Comics: Gotham City Sirens Volume 1

Gotham City Sirens Volume 1
Written by Paul Dini

Graphic Novel
Female Main Character X 3


Catwoman, Poison Ivy, and Harley Quinn—they’re beautiful, they’re deadly, and for the first time in their lives, all three are trying to fly on the straight and narrow. Tired of playing by other people’s rules, regardless of which side of the law they’re on, these tough ladies have a new agenda that’s all their own, and they’ll use any means necessary to pursue it.
Only, sometimes, friends can be more trouble than they’re worth. Particularly when they’re unaccustomed to things like loyalty… or sanity.
With the Bat away, these sirens will play, and no one— not Hush, the Riddler, or even the Joker—knows what to expect from the bad girls of Gotham City. But life off the lam is no bed of roses. Especially when maniacs are killing innocents and making it look like the Sirens are the culprits, when Ivy’s new civilian identity proves murderously difficult to maintain, and when Catwoman’s sister comes to town to ride of the demon she believes possesses her… and rid her of her life in the process!
Featuring the gorgeous artwork of Guillem March (BATMAN), Andres Guinaldo (NIGHTWING), and more, Batman’s hottest rogues tread a new path by the along with writers Paul Dini, Tony Bedard (SUPERGIRL), Scott Lodbell (TEEN TITANS), and Marc Andreyko (BATWOMAN) in GOTHAM CITY SIRENS BOOK ONE. Collects issues #1-13.

This was available through the Hoopla! app from my local public library. Hoopla is a great resource for getting to read different books that you may not be able to read otherwise. I usually reserve it for graphic novel collections that they have available, since they have a wide assortment on there from various publishers, including Marvel and DC Comics. I promise this is not an ad, but just a person expressing a deep appreciation for this app and what it adds to my life, as a comic book geek!

The main reason that I wanted to read “Gotham City Sirens” is that I love love love love love love love love Catwoman! I adore her, which seems to have no real reason behind it. I never read her growing up. I don’t really have any memories attached to her, but OMG I will literally read anything with Selina Kyle in it. Then you add that this title includes Poison Ivy, who I also adore. I was sold. There are moments that I love Harley Quinn, the other main character, but then there are moments that I truly want to smack her upside her head. This is largely because of the Mr. J stuff and how this relationship is obviously an abusive one. It makes it hard to enjoy the stories that she has sometimes. The three together though, I assumed that I would be able to get over anything related to Mr. J with Harley because there would be a bit more evenness because of the inclusion of two other voices. I was RIGHT! There is a story with what we assume for one issue is Mr. J, we find out it is something else (no spoilers though I promise). The Cat and the Ivy were voices of reason on her relationship with Mr. J, which made me appreciate that issue a lot more than I would have if this was just a “Harley Quinn” comic. 

I have to say that I enjoyed this volume. Every moment felt natural and organic for what you would expect, especially the moment at the end of the first issue. It bothered me at first the ending of the first issue, but I realized that it only made sense that if they were going to be teammates that this would occur. I also loved the explanation of how Selina could deal with it. Dini’s writing really was so well done. There are moments of slapstick humor within these 13 issues, which makes sense with Harley being involved. There are also moments that are a lot more serious though, which also makes sense with the character of Catwoman being involved. I felt that every story was very even across the board. My favorite storyline was the last 2 issues because they focused so heavily on Catwoman. The issues that I found myself rolling my eyes was that there was a bit of a focus sometimes on “The Riddler” because he was in the first couple of issues. There is an entire issue that revolves around him and his perspective, which I just wish had been in a Batman or Detective Comics issue instead of “Gotham City Sirens” because he is not a Siren by any means. Also storyline wise I did have a bit of a moment with Poison Ivy because it felt that Dini used the same concept of imprisoning her (again won’t go into details because SPOILERS), within a 13 issue run this just feels wrong. It took away from the story for me. It may have helped had I read them in single issue format, but when it is in this collected edition it is glaring that the story for Poison Ivy was a lot weaker than for the other two characters. Sometimes it seems like people do not know how to write for Poison Ivy for some reason. Maybe it is because a lot of people do not see wanting to keep plants alive as truly evil, which I think is why she has had to be portrayed as a killing machine from time to time. There are a few villains within the collection that some newer fans may wonder who they are, but Dini explains them out pretty quickly and effectively that you are not left wondering who they are for long. I had a general idea who these people were, but it was great to have them reintroduced to me. I appreciate a writer that recognizes that not everyone is going to recognize every obscure villain known to man, especially not in the Batman franchise where there have been far too many to name between all the various “Bat” books. 

The art within these pages never lacks. They are crisp and clear. Sometimes over a 13 issue run you expect the quality to be spotty in at least one issue, but that does not happen within this volume. It makes me wonder if it will in the other volume of the series. Here, however, everyone is clearly who they are. There is never a question who a character is from moment to moment. The closest is a side character, but this is because she isn’t seen in every issue. If you forget who she is then naturally you are not going to recognize her in the artwork and there is a scene where I went “who is that.” Dini intelligently though has another character call her by name almost immediately, so the reader is not distracted from the focus of the story. I thought that was clever of him. 

Overall, I really enjoyed the stories here and the artwork. There was enough humor, antics, and everything to truly find this collection enjoyable for even the beginner DC fan. While there are a few villain characters that may have new fans scratching their heads, Dini explains them pretty well to catch up anyone reading the volume. I can’t praise this collection enough because it is just such a fun little adventure! I highly recommend it. 

There is a second volume of “Gotham City Sirens” that was published by DC Comics as well. I intended to review this next month during my next DC Comics highlight!

Do you have a favorite DC Comic book? Would you want me to review it here? If so leave a comment and I will see if I can get a copy!

2 Replies to “Graphic Novel Review – DC Comics: Gotham City Sirens Volume 1”

    • Cassie Post author

      It was so much fun! It would be very approachable to you, as it didn’t seem to be contingent on having read a lot of other stuff that had happened in the universe. When you need to know something they lay it out. Definitely a fun little read. Definitely suggest reading it, if you have the time.


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