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DC Comics Bombshells #40 Review

4 min read

DC Comics Bombshells Issue 40 CoverA turn to love stories.

Creative Staff:
Story: Marguerite Bennett
Art: Laura Braga
Colors: J. Nanjan

What They Say:
Find out what happened to Aquawoman during the Battle of Britain, as she is stripped of her powers and captured by Nereus as a prisoner of war.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
All’s fair in love and war is how the saying goes and when you get most war stories there’s a general mingling of love stories as well. The two are often intertwined, though naturally we have plenty of both separate, but tales of war invariably have tales of heartbreak and loss amid them but also discovery, passion, and romance. With the Battle of Britain done and a very fun three part Batgirls story finished up, Bombshells moves to a new three part arc under the Love Stories arc to dig into some of the material after the Battle of Britain with its focus on Mera. Mera has certainly proven to be much more engaging in this series than I think she’s been in the mainline universe for some time, reminding once again that every character just needs the right writer. And it certainly doesn’t hurt that Laura Braga captures her softness, her power, and her intensity all too well.

Mera certainly has reason for all of this after her takedown of the titan and the subsequent (likely temporary) loss of her powers. While she manages to escape from her captors quickly enough, it’s not something she does easily without those powers and it’s only thanks to the fact that washes up near Ireland and into the helpful hands of one Arthur Curry. While she’s wounded and grieving, suffering from what happened and her inability to both get back and to help, it’s fun to watch how standoffish and rude she is in her own way. Dealing with the world above has never been her strong suit but she had her powers and what they presented to act as a buffer which in turn made her admired by others, her darling sailors as she calls them. Reduced to this, to being cared for of all things, just brings out the bad side of her. And she knows it, which makes it worse.

Her time with Arthur here is the first stages of healing and getting better while being driven by her desire to return to Diana. Braga captures the range of emotions well, especially those final pages where she softens and really understands what’s being done for her and finds a warmth and closeness to reach toward, and she does really well with Arthur, too. His interpretation through Bennett and Braga is certainly different with where he’s from and his peaceful nature built upon some issues underneath, but it’s his charming way with her that really stands out as she prods and teases her in certain mocking ways to try and get her out of the funk that she’s in. It’s all careful on his part – you know he likes her easily enough (who wouldn’t!) and is concerned about her well-being simply because that’s the type of person he is. While there are plenty of familiar echoes to how Arthur is often presented in his origins, this twist around works really well and has me curious how far his character might go.

In Summary:
Having enjoyed the previous arc, even if it ended a bit weakly for me, I was really curious to see what would come next. Working a subplot off of the Battle of Britain definitely works as Mera has quickly become one of my favorite characters, if not my favorite character, of the Bombshells. Her story has plenty of potential and Bennett has set up all the pieces well while having plenty of options to exercise with it. Introducing Arthur is a nice touch as the romantic point in her life (I do enjoy that the men tend to be “good” men, but not powered men in this series, leaving that to the women for the most part) and what she needs in someone during her period of healing and recovery. Laura Braga has been one of my favorite artists on this series and I’m thrilled every time I see her back on the book because I know there will be great layouts – those last couple of pages with their lengthy horizontal panels! – that will provide for plenty of material to re-read and savor in more detail. Great stuff all around and a solid kickoff to a new short arc.

Grade: B+

Age Rating: 13+
Released By: DC Comics via ComiXology
Release Date: April 22nd, 2016
MSRP: $0.99

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