Hello and welcome to Comic Plug’s Woman Crush Wednesday (#WCW) – a weekly segment that shines a light on female series, characters, and writers. This week we’re heading to Germany with our best gals, DC Comics Bombshells, to sock it to the Third Reich!
In the heat of WWII American men were shipping off to fight with the allies. Meanwhile women were left behind to join the workforce, raise morale (with America’s favorite pastime), and to continue running their households. At this time in the DC Universe female superheros are saving the world without their male counterparts.
DC Comics Bombshells Enlisted transports classic heroines and villains of today, and plops them into the scrim of WWII. The beginning of the series shows how each character made her way to become a Bombshell. The Bombshell Squad is an American military squadron of supernatural women assembled to combat the Axis’ new undead army. Each character seems to stay true to her core persona that we would recognize (For example Batwoman still won’t kill) but there are some subtle differences that make the keep things from being to predictable.
The most striking difference may be the characters that are not American. Supergirl, Kara, is Russian and she has a sister Kortni. According to the stories their mother told them, when she was pregnant with Kortni there was a shooting star. Their father went to inspect and came home with baby Kara. The girls were raised as twins and learned to keep Kara’s supernatural abilities secret. Both Supergirl and Stargirl are patriots to their motherland Russia. They join the women’s pilot program, but to soon find out that what good they think they are doing is actually harming their people. They become deserters and join with the Bombshells to save their country. Instead of following orders they do what’s best for their people. The twins’ patriotism is honorable and certainly their defining characteristic.
Batwoman is still the lesbian, socialite, vigilante from her own series, but in this time frame her symbol does not come from identifying with The Batman. In fact, Kate Kane saves Bruce Wayne’s parents from their gruesome fate in the alley. Instead, “Bat” woman got her name from the Louisville slugger she wields on the diamond and in the streets of Gotham. As the war goes Kate feels restless in Gotham and seeks to find a way to help her people in the effort. She is approached by Commander Amanda Waller, leader of the Bombshells, and becomes a spy. Her story is all the more compelling when you discover that Kate is Jewish. The story of Jewish person burning to take action against the Nazi’s is nothing new, but still the imagery of Kane fighting to protect her people is inspiring.
Wonder Woman is roped into the war when an air fight breaks out over her home island, Themyscira. The Amazons attack the planes to protect their home. In the end there is one survivor, Steve Trevor, a US soldier with “battle fatigue”. He is taken prisoner and is sentenced to die by the queen. Princess Diana, who had cared for Trevor while he was weak, tries to persuade her mother to allow the Amazons to join the fight but is denied. Instead, she rescues Trevor and goes out to fight the war herself. What is interesting in Princess Diana’s story is the portrayal of PTSD. Mental illness is often stigmatized in our world and Diana’s kindness toward Trevor, who seems to be suffering from this disorder, sets a great example.
DC Bombshells is an interesting story set against the backdrop of WWII. These notable characters have been changed enough to fit the story, but not so much that they are unrecognizable. The story is by no means tense or life-changing, but it is a fun read and an interesting concept.
What did you think about our #WCW this week? Who or what would you like to see featured? Let me know in the comments below!