FriEnds, Part Four”
Oops! I only thought I was finished with the “old” DCU … for some reason I did not get this comic with my end-of-August shipment, but rather with my somewhat delayed end-of-September shipment. I'm not sure why … my assumption that it was delayed in shipping until the first week of September was immediately refuted simply by googling it and finding that reviews were already hitting the web the last week of August. Maybe my mail-order source was shorted their copies. Whatever, I finally did get it.
It's a decent end to a generally fun series. After a knock-down, drag-out fight among the three principals that leaves Catwoman at the mercy of Poison Ivy and Harley Quinn, we find out that the whole reason that Selina took up with Harley and Ivy back in issue #1 was more or less as an agent of Batman, who thought he was manipulating her although she knew what was up from the beginning – the purpose being to moderate their more criminous impulses so he would not have to go after them. Ivy refuses to believe it, but Harley demonstrates that, for all her wackiness, there is a brain in there by immediately seeing the truth in what Selina tells them: “... he knew Catwoman would keep you and me from doing any real damage. … With her, there was even a chance that you and I might help him keep Gotham a safer place. … And the kicker is … he was right.” The alternative was that they would be taken down. “I kept you free,” Selina tells them. “Until you forced me to put you in Arkham.” Asked by Harley why she cared, Selina replies, “Because, believe it or not, I've never thought you were evil. You are more than that. ... Both of you. … And you sitting in Arkham … Gotham would be worse off for it. … And so would I.” Ivy is pissed that she has been so manipulated. Bruce Wayne Batman, who has been so far letting the three ladies resolve this on their own, jumps in as Ivy goes wild – and gets a roundhouse kick to the chin from Selina. “That's for thinking you can manipulate me” – then she holds Bruce at bay long enough for Harley and Ivy to escape. You can tell from the final two panels – Bruce looming ominously over Selina, followed by black – that he is not pleased.
And so the Sirens go their separate ways. I do have one question – By the timing, wouldn't it have been Dick Grayson Batman who “manipulated” Selina into the alliance with Harley and Ivy? So why did Bruce get kicked in the jaw? Or was that part of Selina's continuing obfuscation regarding the identity of Batman, for Harley and Ivy's sake? She had mentioned earlier – and I don't think it's the first time in this series – that Batman is not one person, but a “title.” So why would that be necessary? It's just kind of niggling at me.
Anyway, this brings the story of the Sirens to a satisfying end. As I said above, I have generally enjoyed this series. Far more often than not it's been a fun ride, and even if the past few issues haven't been “fun,” they've been better than I expected given that they were a long, drawn-out breakdown of an often strained friendship between three characters who, as Selina herself says, can't easily be categorized as “good” or “evil.” Heck, the “bad-girl” aspect of their characterizations has been part of the charm, as it was with the preceding Catwoman series. With the added bonus of never knowing what kind of zaniness might come from Harley. I will miss it. I hope the new Catwoman series that's for all intents and purposes replacing it is a worthy replacement.
And with that, I think I really have finished off the old DCU monthlies.
Thanks for reading – and Cheers!