Saturday, July 30, 2011

Gotham City Sirens: A Conflicted Goodbye

I’ve been thinking about Gotham City Sirens a lot lately.  Mainly because in recent months I have really enjoyed it after being indifferent for most of its run.  As a concept I think it was always doomed to fail for two reasons.  The first being that Catwoman, despite her moral flexibility is not a villain, and the second that Harley Quinn, although lovable, is not sane.

The series began with Catwoman, Harley Quinn, and Poison Ivy moving in together like some bastardized version of Charlie’s Angels, and right off the bat these three characters lost some of their depth.  One of them would get into a jam and the other two would have to get them out.  Obviously this is a simplification, but to be perfectly honest, not a large one.  I would read it every month and think, “It was okay.”  Selina Kyle and Ivy don’t need partners.  Catwoman is conflicted between looking out for number one and wanting to help the good guys, but she isn’t one to trust people.  Especially not Poison Ivy, who also has severe trust issues.  I will admit, I’m not a lover of Poison Ivy.  She is cold and charmless and was the only character who actually benefited from this series, but that too is a recent occurrence. 

I realize that this is coming across as a very negative outlook, so let me switch over to why lately, this is has become one of the books I really look forward to.  The mirrored relationships of Batman and Catwoman to Joker and Harley Quinn have been established in a brilliant way.  Obviously the issues between Bruce and Selina are staggeringly different from Joker and Harley, but in the end, both are relationships that can’t logically work but can’t end.  The Joker is hands down, the scariest character in the DCU but the unconditional, insane love that Harley Quinn feels for him makes him scarier and her oddly endearing.  We all know that one of these days, he’s actually going to succeed in killing her if the mood strikes him.  Quick sidebar, the implication that Joker and Harley had a sexual relationship was terrifyingly awesome. 

So this most recent arc which is bringing the series to its close has put all three characters at odds because Selina and Harley have chosen the roads we all knew they would choose from the very beginning and Poison Ivy is alone, and more than that, she’s lonely.  What does Poison Ivy do when she’s angry?  She tries to kill someone and right now Selina is at the top of her hit list.  But what’s fascinating is that Poison Ivy is still trying to save Harley, and I like her better for it.

With one issue to go before the relaunch, I have to say that part of me will be sad to see this dynamic trio go.  The new Catwoman series is at the top of my reading list come September but Harley on the Suicide Squad is leaving me feeling hesitant because I can’t help but think it’s going to be the same problem all over again.  



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