When a new Bombshell recruit (Francine Charles) is chosen for a very special case (finding a rogue Bombshell-turned-vampire: Barbara Gourdon, or “Batgirl”), she travels to a house to find that Batgirl has joined a coven. Once Batgirl is convinced that her love is still alive, she agrees to go back home with Francine. But when sisters start a coven together, they stick together. The coven (a seer, a witch, and a vampire), their crocodile friend, and Francine make up the Bombshells’ newest tactical team: the Suicide Squad.
With an obvious nod to the recent Suicide Squad series and film, this issue takes us back in time to another Suicide Squad, circa 1941. There are a lot of similarities between the two, like the squad being made of outcasts and villains of some sort (at least, in terms of black magic). This was a really clever way for writer Marguerite Bennett to incorporate something modern into a story taking place decades ago.
Bennett writes Francine’s character to be really strong, independent, and successful. The character speaks with a confidence and conviction that lets us know she’s a big deal while also showing us that she uses it to her advantage. She’s a smart, clever woman who can easily find a way out of a tricky situation, what with her street smarts and extensive education.
I really love the characterization presented in the coven. The three sisters are all really different, but come together in one cohesive group with eerie, horrific harmony. I’m excited to see if/how their group dynamic changes while they take part in the Suicide Squad’s assignments.
Bennett’s script has good pacing overall, but comes off as a little rushed. I would have liked to take pauses and flesh out characters as they were introduced, but I’m sure Bennett will spend some time on each character with future issues. Batgirl’s story and song are really creative, imaginative, and effective. I’m hoping we get to see more of her as a hero then and a villain now. It’s an interesting binary that I’m curious to explore.
Artist Elsa Charretier does an awesome job of creating very expressive but stoic characters. The beauty and simplicity with which these characters are illustrated really shows through their actions and reactions. Along with Hi-Fi’s colors, this artwork tells the storyline beautifully and captures not only time and place setting, but the tone of the ambience in every single panel.
For Batgirl fans, Suicide Squad fans, and comic lovers alike, this is a great read for you. Be sure to pick it up at your local comic book shop (use comicshoplocator.com if you’re having trouble finding one) and let us know what you think!
Written by: Marguerite Bennett
Illustrated by: Elsa Charretier