DC celebrates summer with pin-ups and stories featuring an alien dog cop, a naked Penguin, and a gay gorilla in G’nort’s Illustrated Swimsuit Edition. Here’s my review.
G’nort’s Illustrated Swimsuit Edition
Writers: Julie Benson, Shawna Benson, Steve Orlando, and John Layman
Artists: Meghan Hetrick, Paul Pelletier, and Norm Rapmund
Cover Artists: Vasco Georgiev, J. Scott Campbell, Tanya Lehoux, Adam Hughes, and Pablo “Lobos” Villalobos
Colorist: Marissa Louise and Adriano Lucas
Letterer: Steve Wands and Rob Leigh
Editor: Katie Kubert and Michael McCalister
You know what there’s not enough of in superhero comics these days? Fun.
In DC and Marvel, there are relaunches, ideas being recycled ad infinitum, baffling story choices all in the name of corporate synergy, and the exhausting cycle of events on top of events on top of events. It’s refreshing to just take a break from all of it with a story about some lady superheroes (and Poison Ivy, I guess?) in bathing suits.
In the first of two stories featured in this swimsuit special, writing duo and sisters from the same mother Julie and Shawna Benson give us a quick, funny, and explosive beach adventure with Batgirl, Black Canary, Vixen, Huntress, Poison Ivy, and a very naked Penguin. It’s full of quips, action, and some quite entertaining gags, including Huntress running on the beach, Baywatch-style.
Also, this story should have been called Baewatch starring the Baerds of Prey, but that’s just me.
The action, the sexy running on the beach, the naked criminal mastermind, and all the other fun stuff were drawn by Meghan Hetrick with beautiful, aquatic colors by Marissa Louise.
The pin-ups are great. A bunch of them are scattered before, in between, and after the two stories, drawn by stellar artists like Mike and Laura Allred, Amanda Conner, Terry and Rachel Dodson, Artgerm, and Francis Manapul.
It brings a level of nostalgia, at least for me who started really getting into comics in the ’90s, the golden age of shameless swimsuit specials. But it also brought some giggles, because it shows us how silly sequential art could be and how fun comic books should be.
Here’s Batman menacingly, but also sexily, watching a cat playing with a ball.
If there’s one thing that disappointed me when reading this book, it’s the fact that the whole premise of the one-shot is explained in a single text-only page. I don’t know, maybe I expected a fully drawn story with G’nort going undercover to bust an intergalactic illegal adult magazine operation or something. Maybe next year. You can have this idea, DC. You’re welcome.
Thanks to this book, I just learned that Monsieur Mallah, a super-intelligent gorilla who often carries a machine gun, and Brain, the disembodied brain of an evil scientist, are a gay couple. That’s awesome.
Steve Orlando pens a story that starts off as the stereotypical fight between the good guys and the bad guys, but ends up being a touching tale of empathy and unstoppable longing. It’s a quick ride, but the destination is a satisfying celebration of pride, love, and all the things that bring all of us — humans and gorillas alike — together. Out Here proves that sometimes, in the fight between good and evil, love wins.
Also, Apollo and Midnighter are here too.
G’nort’s Illustrated Swimsuit Edition might be a distraction from the serious, repetitive, and painfully corporate state of superhero comics, and it mostly likely doesn’t have long-term consequences in the bigger DC picture, but it’s also a reminder that it’s alright to have some good old-fashioned dumb comic book fun every once in a while.
The two stories by Orlando and the Benson Sisters may have nothing in common beyond people in swimsuits, but they’re both short, lighthearted, wholesome reads with pretty art from Hetrick and Pelletier, complemented by a bunch of sexy and usually silly pin-ups.
It will, maybe for just a bit, take your mind off boring superhero comics and the real, actual world that is really, actually on fire. I give it 4 out of 5 sexy stars.
G’nort’s Illustrated Swimsuit Edition is available now wherever fine comic books are sold.