Gotham City Garage #1

Writers: Collin Kelly and Jackson Lanzing
Artist: Brian Ching
Colorist: Kelly Fitzpatrick
Letterer: Wes Abbott
Publisher: DC Comics

Gotham City Garage #1 is an elseworlds story spun from a line of collectible statues featuring recognizable DC heroines perched atop badass motorcycles. That sentence might have seemed even crazier not too long ago, but now that we live in a post-Bombshells world, crafting a narrative from mere character designs isn’t so unbelievable. And if Bombshells has taught readers anything, it’s that something that may start out as a novelty might end up becoming a work with something truly worth saying, thus totally eclipsing the source material.

It’s still too early to put Gotham City Garage in such an esteemed echelon as Bombshells, but what writers Collin Kelly and Jackson Lanzing deliver in this first issue shows a heck of a lot of potential. Kelly and Jackson lean fully into the elseworlds aspect of the story by setting up a world where Lex Luther is the governor of the last city on Earth, Batman acts as a ruling lawman with an army of drones, and at the center of it all is a version of Supergirl that’s been raised by James Gordon. Yeah, it’s a little bonkers within the first few pages, and Kelly and Lanzing continually find ways to keep their hooks in the reader. Where and how the actual Gotham City Garage ladies fit into all this I’ll let you discover for yourself, but I will entice you by saying that the ending of this first issue is INSANE.

Drawing all of this madness of the first issue is Brian Ching, who is certainly no stranger to Supergirl as he wrapped up his run on her monthly series back in July. His very angular designs fit in with both the science fiction and apocalyptic dystopian universes this issue explores, and he does an exceptional job with Kara’s expressions as she enters into both of these completely disparate landscapes. Unfortunately, a lot of detail gets lost in some of the smaller panels of the book, resulting in some very plain-looking characters. This is a shame given the very slick redesigns for the characters under the Gotham City Garage namesake. However, Kelly Fitzpatrick’s colors do help to give the art a much-needed pop in some of these less detailed sequences. For a series set to rotate its art team, Gotham Garage City #1 is a solid start.

Verdict: Buy it! While the idea of a comic based solely on a series of statues sounds like a mindless cash-grab, Gotham City Garage #1 is anything but that. It’s got a real solid sci-fi elseworlds story at its core with familiar characters taking on some intriguing roles. Plus, did I mention it’s got various DC heroines riding motorcycles? Because it does! It’s too early to call this the next Bombshells, but it is worth checking out if you liked the way that series turned its slim source material into something fantastically robust.

John Dubrawa

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