Gotham Girls (2003) was a 5-issue comic mini-series produced by DC Comics. The comic was based on the Flash animation series (2000-02) of the same name, and, as such, was set in the DC Animated Universe. Gotham Girls was written by Paul Storrie, with Jennifer Graves (Penciller) and J. Bone (Inker). Jennifer Graves co-created, pencilled and inked DC Comics’ Bad Girls. J. Bone also inked that comic.
I found that the 5 issues of Gotham Girls were available on Amazon in a Kindle editions. However, I don’t have a Kindle, or a tablet, or a smart phone. So, I downloaded the free Kindle Cloud Reader, and purchased all 5 issues for a whopping $0.99 per issue. More than $4.95 worth of delightful fun ensued. Shipping was free!
Each issue of Gotham Girls focuses, primarily, on one character [Catwoman, Poison Ivy, Harley Quinn, Det. Renee Montoya, and Batgirl], but, all issues are connected by a single story arc in which Catwoman, Ivy and Harley fight over a vial of chemicals, while Batgirl and Det. Montoya attempt to apprehend them. The wonderful artwork is inspired by the Flash animation series, but, with a more vibrant retro coolness. As far as cartoony comic art goes, Gotham Girls is definitely one of my favorites.
Gotham Girls #1 (of 5): Cat’s Paw. Catwoman breaks into Zehn Chemical and steals a vial. Batgirl appears and tries to stop her, but Catwoman flees. Batgirl chases her through the streets and rooftops of Gotham City. Det. Renee Montoya arrives at the scene and questions Dr. Yurkovich who tells her that Catwoman stole experimental fertilizer. Catwoman eventually evades Batgirl, and goes to an empty warehouse to meet with the man who hired her, Schneider. However, she finds that Poison Ivy is actually behind the caper, with Harley Quinn in tow.
Catwoman sums up the events of issue #1, succinctly, at the beginning of issue #2 …
First you send a drugged guy to dupe me into stealing this formula, then you tell me I’m not getting paid, and, to top it all off, your loony tunes gal pal smacks me with a mallet… and you think I’m gonna cooperate? Girl, you’re nuts!
Gotham Girls #2 (of 5): Ivy League. Poison Ivy tells Catwoman that Zehn Chemical stole what’s in the vial from her. She tries to convince Catwoman that they should be working together, that they’re kindred spirits, but, Catwoman just wants to get paid. Then, Batgirl crashes the party. Across town, Schneider tells Det. Montoya about the “knockout redhead” he bumped into at a cafe. Back at the warehouse, Batgirl takes the vial from Catwoman but Ivy tries to reason with her. She tells Batgirl that she trusted Dr. Yurkovich once, and gave him the formula, but, he took it to Zehn Chemical and claimed it as his own discovery to revolutionize farming. However, if Zhen uses the formula, the devastation will be enormous. Batgirl would rather check out Ivy’s story first and flees. Ivy stops her in Robinson Park and Harley takes the formula.
Gotham Girls #3 (of 5): Harlequinade. Catwoman returns, and Ivy tells Harley to take the vial and get out. She obeys and Catwoman chases after her, while Batgirl restrains Ivy. Meanwhile, Det. Montoya talks to the waitress at the cafe where Ivy and Harley first met with Schneider. Harley manages to tie Catwoman and Batgirl‘s hands together, then retreats with Ivy and the formula to Ivy‘s lair. Catwoman convinces Batgirl that they need to work together to free themselves, but, when they do, Catwoman double-crosses her. Later, Det. Montoya drops by Ivy‘s lair, unannounced.
Det. Montoya sums up Poison Ivy and Harley Quinn, succinctly, at the beginning of issue #4 …
They’re two of the worst, Harleen Quinzel and Pamela Isley. A nutcase in love with The Joker… and a freak who cares more about plants than people.
Gotham Girls #4 (of 5): I Carry a Badge!. Det. Montoya, following the trail, drops in on Poison Ivy and Harley Quinn at Ivy‘s lair to arrest them. However, when they realize she’s alone, Ivy apprehends her. Soon, Batgirl arrives and frees Montoya, ending up in a Gotham stand-off against Ivy and Harley. Then, Catwoman appears and takes off with the vial. Ivy and Harley chase after her. Batgirl and Det. Montoya decide to work together. They follow a tracer that Batgirl put on Harley, and find her and Ivy fighting Catwoman on a rooftop. Harley throws an exploding cigar down on Montoya‘s car. “Okay. We’ll do this the hard way,” Batgirl tells Montoya.
Gotham Girls #5 (of 5): Bat Attitude. Catwoman drops down to the street, followed by Harley, then Ivy, and the fight for the vial continues. Batgirl apprehends Harley, but Catwoman and Poison Ivy flee the scene. Batgirl and Det. Montoya follow the trail to Dr. Yurovich’s house where they find a vengeful Ivy. “One step closer and I swear I’ll kiss him!” she threatens. However, Batgirl and Montoya save Yurkovich and arrest Ivy. Next, the crime-fighting duo, on a hunch, find Catwoman in a warehouse attempting to sell Ivy‘s formula to Schneider. Batgirl apprehends Catwoman and recovers the vial. In the epilogue, Barbara Gordon is relaxing after the long day when her father stops by and offers to take her out on the town. “You could use a little excitement in your life!” he tells her. Barbara winks at us.
I love this comic! It’s filled with pages and pages of action-packed retro fun! But, each character’s psyche, which drives them through the story, is also explored in more detail: Catwoman‘s love of danger, Poison Ivy‘s need to protect the environment, Harley Quinn‘s need to be loved (by Ivy and The Joker), Batgirl‘s compassion for the criminals she chases, and Det. Renee Montoya‘s need to prove herself to her family who didn’t want her to become a cop. I think my favorite part of Gotham Girls is when Batgirl and Montoya join forces. They make a great crime-fighting duo! Gotham Girls, the comic, is an awesome extension of Gotham Girls, the Flash animation series. Oh, and the cover art by Shane Glines is an added retro bonus.
Poison Ivy and Harley Quinn returned for more capers together in the 3-issue mini-series, Batman: Harley and Ivy (2004). Catwoman doesn’t actually join forces with Ivy and Harley in Gotham Girls, but, in the grittier 26-issue series Gotham City Sirens (2009-11), she does. Issues #1-13 of Gotham City Sirens were recently re-published in TBP format as Book One (2014), but, I’m waiting for Book Two (2015) before I do a post; so, next up, for me, is Batman: Harley and Ivy, whose 3 issues I downloaded into my Kindle Cloud Reader.