Friday, November 16, 2012

Comic Review: Ame-Comi Girls #2: Featuring Batgirl



Ame-Comi Girls #2: Featuring Batgirl
Rated T for Teens
3 Slimes
Copyright DC Comics 2012

THE CHARACTERS

Batgirl/Barbara Gordon: She is the female protector of the Gotham City.  Wearing an interesting looking bike helmet and getup, Batgirl fights is a wide variety of villains in their silly fetish costumes and also escapes from spy thriller like death traps.  It’s never a dull night for this redhead.

Robin/Carrie Kelley: She is the sidekick and technically cousin of Batgirl, who helps fight off the odd looking villains in Gotham.  She is very energetic and is big on snarky jokes while she fights.  She must be a fan of Spider-Man!

Steel/Natasha Irons: She is the tech girl who builds Batgirl and Robin all of their fun little toys.  Not much on fighting apparently, though I do wonder why she has that big hammer then? She also created this little gadget that turns Batgirl’s voice into a sonar weapon!  Does Steel know Black Canary in this universe?

Duela Dent: Batgirl’s arch nemesis, a Bond villain, and this universe’s version of the Joker, though she is much more normal than that.  While big into steam-punk, she seems to have upgraded her style to more high-tech at the request of her silent partner.  She sports a purple top hat like nobody else though!

Poison Ivy: Sort of looks like a forest elf and is really wearing the hell out of those plants.  I do wonder how she manages to keep her foliage on.  Does she use her powers to keep them on or are they glued on?

Catwoman: A thief that wears leather SM gear, green goggles, and a cattail, plus she also fights with a whip.  Make your own jokes.

Harley Quinn: A crazy psycho who dresses like a Jester and keeps forgetting to put her tongue back in her mouth.  She is obsessed with Duela and somehow even more insane here than in the actual universe.

LESSONS LEARNED
+ Costumes can be hazardous to one in a fight.
+ A can of mace has less affectability on a supervillian than on a regular individual.
+ Having your tongue hang out is perfectly fine when confronting a superhero.
+ Female super villains wear outrageous outfits all the time.
+ Having your mouth wide open while drowning will not cause you to drown.

STUFF TO WATCH FOR
Page 3 – Okay, male audience, are you awake yet?
Page 4 – I don’t get to hear people say that enough when they kick someone.
Page 6 – In one panel, nothing around her hand, in the next panel, boom!  Leaf glove!
Page 10 – Something’s up with those legs.
Page 18 – With that word choice, I could only imagine what it would take.
Page 20 – She must love James Bond movies to make something like that.
Page 26  – Superman logo on that hammer.  But if there is no Superman in this world, how can that be?!

NOTABLE QUOTES
Robin: (Kicking Poison Ivy) Boot to the face!

Harley Quinn: Man, who pooped in your litter box?  I was only trying to be clever.
Catwoman: If you ever make another litter box comment I’m going Benihana on your clown ass.

Robin: I think you’re crazier than Duela!
Harley Quinn: OHH!  Please tell her that for me!

Duela Dent: (referring to her team) You can’t imagine what it takes to wrestle all of that estrogen into a team.
 
THE PLOT
 
Having enjoyed the first issue of Ame-Comi Girls so much, I have decided to return to the series with its release of the second issue.  This issue moves its focus from the hot-blooded Wonder Woman to the more cool-minded Batgirl and plucky sidekick, Robin.  It also features a new artist as well (and only one artist instead of switching to another one two thirds of the way through).  As such, let’s continue forward into the silly costume comic world.
 
Our issue begins Barbara Gordon and her cousin Carrie Kelley (last name not revealed, but there’s no way that her last name isn’t Kelley) as they are getting dressed up to see a concert that night.  Jim Gordon, Barbara’s dad, warns the two of them not to stay out too late due to all of the freaks out at night.  The two of promise they’ll be home by midnight-30ish and head on out.  Of course what he doesn’t know is that they are the duo of Batgirl and Robin.  So… does this mean Carrie will eventually upgrade to Nightwing or possibly Red Robin?
 
Now speaking of freaks that come out at night, the first one up is the green, plant wearing villain herself, Poison Ivy.  She is up to no good by harassing a couple out a first date because… I think she’s pissed off that their relationship.  No seriously, she seems quite upset with them about not understanding love and not being fully committed yet.  I think she’s jealous.
 
Anyhow, Batgirl and Robin arrive on the scene with a proper “boot to the face”, rescuing the couple.  They fight the green girl and her vine tentacles (so many jokes, both appropriate and inappropriate) a bit, but eventually drop her with a blast of sonar power from a new gadget created by Steel, their weapons and toys creator.  Though the night isn’t over yet as Catwoman and Harley Quinn, who is wielding a deadly pastry weapon, appear and head in to rescue Ivy.
 
Just a quick side note before I move on, I spied a little typo in this comic!  When Harley and Catwoman first appear, they start bickering with each other and Robin yells at them if they are here to argue or fight.  When Robin yells to get their attention, she says, “Excuse, but are you two going to play boyfriend and girlfriend or are we gonna bust some knuckles?”  It really should be instead, “Excuse me, but are you,” etc. etc.  I hate to nitpick, but I’m paying for a professionally made product here and I would prefer it to not have such an obvious error.
 
Back to the plot, the two villainesses attack the Dynamic Duo but are also quickly dispatched by them with Robin swinging Harley into a tree and Batgirl just macing Catwoman (gotta love how she tries to wipe her eyes afterwards like a cat would).  Hmm, I’m suspecting these villains need to take some karate lessons or invest in better toys.  Poison Ivy, however, is not as easily defeated as she manages to get back up and disable Batgirl with some of her “magic mushroom pollen”.
 
The other two villains get back up and Robin is forced to retreat and get help, though she at least managed to slip a tracking device onto Harley when she was down.  The villainesses take Batgirl back to their hideout where Duela Dent, Batgirl’s arch nemesis, is awaiting them, along with Cheetah.  Apparently she broke the catgirl out of jail between issues.  I wonder how she did that.
 
Speaking of things I’m wondering about, Batgirl is still alive and is just put inside of a strange cell.  I’m never quite sure why villains ever leave the heroes alive when they capture them.  It always seems risky if you ask me.  When Batgirl is confronted by Duela, she starts asking the Joker girl what is going on here.  The whole hideout is very futuristic and Duela’s more into the old cranks and bolts of steampunk.  She dodges the question and just kind of gloats about with her out of the way, she’ll control Gotham City.  Then to wrap up all the James Bond villain similarities, Duela flips a switch and the cell Batgirl is in starts to flood, lasers start shooting, and harpoons come flying from the ceiling!
 
Well there certainly is no kill like overkill.
 
It would appear to be the end for Batgirl, but nope.  Once Duela is gone, she figures a way out of the crazy contraption and recovers her Bat-Belt (if it’s in the same room as the death trap, then Duela’s dumber than I thought).  Batgirl takes this opportunity to look around the area and makes a discovery.  Ignoring all the disgusting fleshy objects on the floor, ceiling, and glass containers; she discovers she is inside of a spaceship!
 
Meanwhile, Robin heads to Steel’s research lab/apartment to get some help.  Although not overly interested, she convinced by Robin to help her rescue Batgirl.  The question is though, where to find her?  The bug Robin planted on Harley points the two of them to the empty night sky, unaware of the spaceship situation.  Speaking of which, are Batgirl and Robin qualified to handle encounters with aliens?
 
From there, the comic comes to a close as we return back to Batgirl.  She discovers a whole bunch of monitors (which are in no way arranged in any manner that could benefit a person looks at them) that show images of other female heroes, like Wonder Woman or Power Girl, and also other alien races being attacked by some sort of light.   She then turns around to discover Duela and her gang right behind her.
 
So another issue is over.  How was it?  Well in comparison to the previous Wonder Woman issue, it’s not as good.  It’s certainly not bad by any stretch of the imagination, but not nearly as good.  For one thing, this isn’t really an origin issue.  We don’t know about how this all started with Barbara and Carrie as the Batgirl and Robin or why they are even doing this.  This is the sort of thing that would be nice to know to get an idea of their mindset and what put them up to doing this.  I also have a similar compliant with the same situation with the relationship between Batgirl and Duela.  I kind of want to know how this all started and why these two are mortal enemies.  Maybe the next issue, which focuses on Duela, will shine some light on this.  It’s not something that is preventing me from enjoy the comic, it’s just something that could improve the story, since this is our first introduction to these characters.
 
Besides that and obvious grammar error (seriously, between putting out the digital copy and then putting it to printed form, no one caught that?), I have no other complaints.  The villains’ motivations are clear with them really working together to get money and jewels (though Harley is just obsessed with Duela) so you got an idea of why they are doing.  Even though you don’t now the origins of the main characters, you do come off liking them and they feel very competent in their jobs.  The dynamics between the heroes, the villains, and all of them together creates a very enjoyable experience watching them whether they are fighting or talking amongst themselves.  The humor is also pretty good with the banter between the characters or even the action itself, which is also good.
 
The artwork for the comic this time around is drawn by Sanford Greene, who style really fits the comic and frankly, the whole series.  This is an animesque type of comic, so why not have artwork that is similar to that style?  The characters all look different and unique, the action looks great and you kind of feel the blows in some parts (that gut punch by Poison Ivy looked painful), the expression and emotions looked lively and helped convey the feelings of the characters (or it made them look silly like Harley), and the coloring helps set the tone.  It’s all around very nice.
 
While the second issue of Ame-Comi wasn’t as good as the first, it was still very enjoyable and a lot of fun to read.  As the series goes on, I hope it continues to keep improving or at least still manages to be this entertaining.  It’s always nice to have superhero comics that are upbeat and fun instead of grim and gritty tales or having the characters act like complete douchebags to one another.