This week we dive into the Arkham-verse to learn the origin of Batgirl, and celebrate Valentine’s Day early with Sam Humprhies’ Jonesy!
Batman: Arkham Knight Batgirl & Harley Quinn #1 (DC Comics)
She has one of the better Arkham Knight DLC missions, and now Batgirl is starring in her own Arkham Knight one-shot special issue. With Harley Quinn tagging along, Batman: Arkham Knight Batgirl & Harley Quinn is a look into the origins of the “Arkhamverse” versions of Barbara Gordon and Dr. Harleen Quinnzel, and while this isn’t a masterpiece of the comic book art form, the Tim Seeley and Matthew Clark issue is still a really solid comic.
The plot of this special revolves around; you guessed it, Batgirl and Harley Quinn. Both characters get their own stories that showcase their origins, with Barbara Gordon getting the meatier story of the two. Seeley’s origins for Barbara and Harley are very similar to what people are used to, but it’s still fun to see these familiar origins in a new light. Seeley’s characterizations of both characters are really great, but Barbara Gordon definitely gets more to go on from Seeley’s script, as she’s the star of both stories (she’s the one who first encounters Harley Quinn). Seeley’s work on the character is so good that I would be very happy if Tim Seeley was announced as the writer of a Batgirl series in DC’s “Rebirth” relaunch/reboot/whatever.
Matthew Clark’s pencils in both stories are really awesome, but there’s a noticeable change in inkers for the second story of the issue. It doesn’t completely ruin the book, but it’s definitely one that surprises you, and actually made me go back and check the credits for the second story to see if Clark was still the artist.
DC’s been churning out a LOT of Arkhamverse related books recently, but this one stands out as one of the better ones. Fans of both characters will have a lot of fun seeing their origins, but there’s nothing earth shattering here that will make you rethink the story of Arkham Knight. But when viewed as a “test run” for Seeley and Clarke taking on the Batman universe, it’s pretty great.
Jonesy #1 (Boom! Studios)
Valentine’s Day sucks for some people. Let’s face it, a holiday that revolves around love is bound to make a few single folks a little mad. Lucky for you, Sam Humphries and Caitlin Rose Boyle’s Jonesy feels the same way. Starring a girl who can make anyone fall in love with anyone (or anything), the latest Boom! Studios release is sure to please fans of hit all-ages titles Lumberjanes, Adventure Time, and Archie’s new reboot.
Jonesy #1 primarily serves as an introduction issue, with Jonesy introducing us to her school, family, and of course, her superpower. Now if you think Jonesy will be using her powers to help bring people together, you are wrong. No, Jonesy uses her Cupid-like abilities to basically cause chaos, get revenge, and help herself (even though her powers prevent her from using them to make someone fall in love with her). With the school in full Valentine’s Day mode, Jonesy’s disdain for the holiday is in full force, and naturally she starts mixing some things up for her classmates.
Sam Humphries’ script is really charming, and right away reads like something completely different from any other comic. Humphries is really having a blast introducing us to this character and her world, and by the end of the issue he’s created a new fully formed world with fun supporting characters. Jonesy’s dialogue is hilarious, and the flashbacks and asides are wicked funny as well.
Artist Caitlin Rose Boyle makes her comics debut with Jonesy, and honestly, this books wouldn’t work as well without her. Boyle brings a lot of character and fun with her pencils in this issue, and he cartoony style is right on. Many panels seem to move almost like a cartoon. In fact, you wouldn’t be mistaken if you thought that there was a Jonesy cartoon on the air that this is based on.
Jonesy is a really fun debut that fits right in with the other great indie All Ages titles. There’s plenty to like in this series, and it’s a unique idea that shouldn’t have any problems finding an audience. If you’re looking for a funny new series that skewers the ideas of love, teenagers, and being in school, then Jonesy is the perfect fit.