Wonder Squad | Book Club 2 | Bombshells United 1-10

Welcome to this month’s book club, Wonder Squad! In honor of Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month, we’ll be checking out the first 10 issues of Bombshells: United! If you haven’t read any Bombshells before, this is a great place to start! Especially since it involves our beloved Wonder Family. :wondersquadron1:

Bombshells United 1-10

Wonder Woman heads to Arizona to aid 2 honorable young ladies, Donna Troy and Cassie Sandmark, while they defend displaced friends and family from persecution, after Executive Order 9066 has been issued…but there’s another threat among them.

This activity will be running ALL month long! (5/2–5/31)

:boom: Reading begins: Right now (5/2)!

:boom: Discussion begins: As soon as you like! We just ask that you please try to blur spoilers. Did you enjoy it? Have you read it before? What did you think of the dialogue, plot or artwork? Anything at all about the reading you’d like to discuss—drop your thoughts below when you’re ready. :black_heart: See ya soon!

:wondersquadron2: You can join or learn more about The Wonder Squad HERE.

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Bombshells is an alternate universe where the female DC superheroes play pivotal roles in the outcome of World War II. In the graphic novel volume of this story, there is an afterword talking about the true events involving the Japanese Internment Camps. I’m including it here since it is not part of our DCUI library versions and has wonderful information and resources. (If you’re sensitive to spoilers, you may wish to read this after you read the story.)

Summary
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Rereading this again as its been some years since I last perused it, my thoughts have not changed overmuch from then as to now.

The A plot concerning Japanese internment camps and the United States pulling its own efforts at being absolutely awful and Wonder Woman striving to stop them was quite awesome. I heartily cheer on Wonder Woman fighting against oppression. Donna and Cassie being in there was also a delightful touch.

Using Clayface as the jarhead military villain works surprisingly well. A horrible asshat who claims the land as his own by BEING the land. Declaring anyone who isn’t his definition of American as being the enemy. So fixated on his idea of what Wonder Woman is as a symbol for America that he cannot handle the truth that his vision of her is shallow at best.
Plus, its admittedly a bit fun to see the two characters made out of clay face off once in a while. :stuck_out_tongue:

Seeing Diana seemingly fall and the five girls all take up Wonder Womans armaments to continue the battle in an effort to keep her message alive was also rather powerful.

Seeing Paula Von Gunther of all characters pop back up to play the role of a reformed ally of Wonder Woman thanks to the compassion and mercy Diana showed her. Heck, that Clayface would do a heel face turn thanks to compassion and a chance to reflect made it all the better.

Including Dawnstar and making a comparison to the treatment of Native Americans was an inspired choice.
The notion that this iteration of the character possesses the memories of all iterations of herself across realities and can in turn grant someone the memories of lives they never lived makes for some compelling storytelling that I wish I could see explored more in other comics. I know thats not actually Dawnstars thing in the regular stuff, but STILL!

And that finale! -chefs kiss- Diana dead and reborn. A sister to Donna Troy. That whole scene was gloriously heartfelt and amazing to read. I thoroughly loved it.

In hindsight I recall having thought Emily Sung was Tina Sung (Damien Waynes great great great grandaughter) and being a bit thrown by the writer working in three Batman characters who had been around for less than a year.
But no, instead it was Element Woman all along.

To voice my one nitpick of the story, I was kinda pulled out of the story at points by how heavily Bat-centric the cast largely was.
Yuri and Yuki who were two of the Wonder Girls in this are Batgirl villains (a pair of bikers)
The General is ‘General’ a Tim Drake villain
He of course led Clayface and the Mud Pack which need little introduction.

Im well aware its a silly nitpick to make given that it served the story well, and im sure Bennett made those choices because the Bat-books are what she is most familiar with and thus thats why most of the characters in Bombshells are from the Batbooks.
But STILL~ I just wish this could have been a chance to shine some attention on some of Wonder Womans fun characters.

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Cool! I haven’t read all of the first series, but hopefully it should be easy enough to catch up. :slight_smile:

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You can jump in with United without having read the first Bombshells series! They may make a few references to previous events, but there won’t be anything impeding your understanding of the plot. :+1:

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Wanted to pop in real quick and say: There’s just a lot of great little narrative decisions in here. The premise is excellent, because not only is this a real historical event we should think about, but WW not tolerating oppression is one of my fave things about her. :wondersquadron1: :black_heart:
Anyway. I’m re-reading this one to refresh my memory—just started, so I’ll be back!

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I just reread this for the…I don’t know how many times I’ve read this, actually. :sweat_smile: It’s one of my favorite stories because it exemplifies how Diana not only stands against injustice, but inspires those around her to do the same.

Some of my favorite panels

This hits me on a personal level about Diana and the limited way some people choose to see and think of her.

This is a fun panel spread - and I just love the idea of the Wonder Girls as a super group, much like the Batgirls are in the first Bombshells series.

I feel this in a big way, too.

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oh good. Because that’s what I did. Also, I was not aware there was more than one Bombshells series.

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I went through the issues and I dug it for the most part. I liked the premise of it, the idea of how the war would be different with these super-powered beings involved in the conflict and, more importantly, how they would react to the injustices done even by their own team. I mostly liked the characterization of Diana and Dawnstar, though honestly I felt like most of the Wonder Girls felt really interchangable in terms of personality and dialogue.

I think the biggest…I don’t know if issue is the right word, but nagging criticism is this:

Why bother having Diana sacrifice herself if they were just going to bring her back a couple of issues later? It took what was an effective sacrifice moment and kind of cheapened it. Also, I feel like it kind of betrays the Elseworld nature of the book. It makes sense that mainline WW can’t die for very long, but an alternate universe one, in a WAR book? I would have been perfectly fine if Diana died and Donna took over completely.

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I know what you mean, although for me I really appreciated the mythological aspect of this. She was born of clay; returned to clay when she died; and then was reborn from clay. That’s good stuff. :blush:

From a story standpoint, Donna seems to be a teenager in this world and I think it would be difficult for her to go to Europe and continue Diana’s fight there. I like that she stays to defend America from injustice.

But also I’ll add the caveat that I am very biased - Diana is my favorite and I probably would have tapped out of the rest of this series if she was gone for good. :sweat_smile:

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@Angel212 @Jay_Kay

image

Granted, not true love’s kiss…

I kind of agree with you both. The sacrifice would have been more of a driving force for the Wonder Girls. Once the war is over, the story can be over. On the other, it is hard when you lose a character you are invested in.

I thought this was rather meta…

image

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:drum: Yes!

I’m torn here, because I do :100: agree—I like a poignant sacrifice, but I also love a rebirth. :cry: Great panel choices, btw, @AntLeon.

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Are Yuki and Yuri (And that other girl whose name I cannot recall at the moment) original to Bombshells? I don’t recognize their names.

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@AntLeon! :raised_hands: Long time, no See! :laughing:
Anyway, I consider @Angel212 our resident Bombshells expert. :face_with_monocle: She will know, Im certain of it.

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I dunno about “expert,” but I have read it kinda obsessively… :face_with_hand_over_mouth:

Yuki and Yuri Katsura were apparently Batgirl villains. @DC89, you got any insight for us?

Emily Sung is Element Woman. From Doom Patrol, I think.

Obviously none of them would normally be tied to the Wonder Family, but as with the Batgirls of Bombshells, things are reimagined to fit into this universe. And frankly, the author was probably scouring the history of DC for interesting and non-offensively stereotypical Asian characters to feature in this story.

My understanding of Bombshells is that none of the characters featured are actually original to the series - again, just reimagined in an Elseworlds fashion. I came at the series kinda backwards…I didn’t really know who any of these people were (other than Diana) when I first read the series.

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Close enough to expert for me.

I like the elseworld reimaginings. I await the next report.

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I do, too! I almost always find Elseworlds fun and interesting.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us, @AntLeon! And thanks to @nuuninuunani and @Jay_Kay for participating, too! Stay tuned…it’ll be June before you know it. :world_of_wonder:

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Batgirl villains~ Here they are on the sole issue they starred in


and some concept art

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I probably have more thoughts to share, I just have to get them out there.

@nuuninuunani thanks for confirming they are Batgirl villains. Now to find the right Doom Patrol fan(atic) to confirm Emily is Element Woman.

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(I just Googled it. :sweat_smile:)

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