Script: Joanne Starer
Art: Natacha Bustos
Colors: Tamra Bonvillain
Letters: Ariana Maher
Publisher: DC Comics
Release Date: October 3rd, 2023
Fire and Ice continue their new life in Smallville in Fire & Ice: Welcome to Smallville #2 and the small-town life is threatening to tear them apart! Fire is all about action and excitement, and that’s pretty non-existent in good old Smallville. While she seeks out ways to get a million hits on social media, Ice is making new friends and enjoying the slow lifestyle. Will Fire go too far trying to become an online star, especially when she brings Ambush Bug and his insanity to Smallville to help her?
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I have to admit, I’ve never been a fan of either Fire or Ice, I’ve always felt their characters were as generic as their powers. They just seemed incredibly dull. But what an amazing and super fun surprise Fire & Ice: Welcome to Smallville #2 was, a fantastic combination of hilarious moments and great character development. The first two issues of this series have made Fire and Ice dynamic interesting characters, more interesting than they’ve been since they were first introduced decades ago. What makes things so enjoyable are Fire and Ice’s developing friendships with other people in Smallville.
Ice is becoming close friends with Rocky Rhodes (yes, that’s really her name) who’s exuberant, loves doing charity work and loves used bookstores. Fire, of course, is getting a bit annoyed and jealous by it, but she’s focusing most of her time on getting those delicious social media hits by any means necessary, bringing in a hilarious group of grade-Z villains (including Gentleman Ghost and Maxie Zeus) and concocting a scheme to boost the viewers on her social media account.
The villains, of course, have conflicting personalities and it’s going to be a blast watching them interact with each other (as well as Fire and Ice) in future issues. I wasn’t sure if some of these villains even existed in DC Continuity (like Smarty Pants for example, who looks like a bizarre character Jack Kirby would have created with his two brains, huge build and constantly shocked expression, as if he suddenly realizes he ate some bad Taco Bell), but they’re all a perfect hodge podge of personalities.
Also, Ambush Bug makes an appearance and he’s even more insane than usual, much to Fire’s exasperation. The book feels very much like a good light-hearted drama or sitcom, which I’m really enjoying. It has a much different vibe from other books, it’s never over dramatic and never overly silly. Last issue and this issue feel like you’re just hanging out with the characters as they go about their daily lives and as a result, the humor comes naturally.
Fire and Ice seem to be growing farther and farther apart. Fire is frustrated by Ice’s contentment with the dullness of Smallville, and Ice is infuriated that Fire is bringing is wreaking havoc trying to get attention. Whether this drives a permanent wedge between them remains to be seen, but it lends the book a nice tension in their scenes together. This is by far my favorite DC book this week, and possibly my favorite overall book of the week also. And given the surprise character who shows up at the end of the issue, a character from Superman’s supporting cast, next issue should be even better than this one.
Natacha Bustos’s art on Fire & Ice: Welcome to Smallville #2 is wonderfully stylish and makes the comical situations through the book even more hilarious. She does a great job of making Smallville look like an everyday small- town, complete with all the Mom and Pop Diners and stores, but also deftly handles the bizarre look and behavior of Gentleman Ghost and the other characters in the book as well. Her art is the perfect complement to Joane Starer’s equally great writing, making the characters come to vivid life on every page.
If you want to read a fun series with lots of interesting characters and hilarious situations, grab up Fire & Ice: Welcome to Smallville #2. While you’re at it, pick up the first issue too. Get in on the ground floor of this excellent series, you won’t regret it. Who knew Smallville could be such a blast? Highly Recommended.