Writer: Joanne Starer
Art: Natacha Bustos
Colors: Tamra Bonvillain
Letters: Ariana Maher
Publisher: DC Comics
Release Date: November 7th, 2023
Fire & Ice: Welcome to Smallville #3 has arrived! Fire, desperate to get a million hits on YouTube, has brought a bunch of D-list villains to Smallville and given them jobs in their hair salon. After some major issues between the villains (they wanted to kill each other), Fire and Ice have finally got them working together and everything’s going to be great now. Oh $%$t!, Jimmy Olsen just showed up? And he’s wanting to write a human interest story on how great Fire and Ice are doing in Smallville? Looks like Jimmy’s going to be the first victim…er, I mean customer at Fire and Ice’s hair salon!
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The best sitcoms like “Three’s Company”, “Laverne & Shirley” and “I Love Lucy” are classics because they combined clever dialogue, misdirections and physical comedy to create shows that are timelessly hilarious. They’re as hilarious now as they were in the time they were first appeared.
Fire & Ice: Welcome to Smallville #3 has that same hilarious timeless quality.
As great as the last two issues were, this issue takes things to another level, as Jimmy Olsen shows up unannounced in the midst of Fire and Ice trying to get the D-list villains Fire brought in (including Maxie Zeus, Gentleman Ghost and Gorilla Grodd’s sister) under control. Both Fire and Ice are terrified that Jimmy will see the disaster they’ve created and will let Superman know about it, and both women are tired of Superman popping up all the time to interfere in their lives. Things get more frenetic as the issue rolls on, as Fire and Ice’s friends show up to divert Jimmy’s attention, but they get mixed up in the chaos also. Ambush Bug is there too and generates his own brand of bedlam.
I’m loving the huge cast of characters that has been built up over the last 3 issues. This miniseries has one of the biggest supporting casts of any comic I’ve ever seen and each person has a different personality that plays off the others wonderfully, from Maxie Zeus’s massive ego and snooty attitude to Ambush Bug’s Daffy Duck-style lunacy to Fire’s quick-tempered impulsiveness and Ice’s quiet calm exasperation at it all. There’s always something hilarious around the next corner and it makes each issue a blast to read. Don’t get too comfortable though, because the last page has a startling shocker that turns the light-hearted mood 180 degrees and delivers a brilliantly dark ending to the issue.
Natacha Bustos’s art on Fire & Ice: Welcome to Smallville #3 keeps the issue’s chaotic pace flowing beautifully. There are so many characters and locations throughout the issue, but you never get lost as Ms. Bustos gives each character unique body language and expressions with enough background detail to easily know where you are and who’s in the scene at every moment. She adds visual flair to the sight gags throughout the issue (especially when L-Ron is attacked by a group of cats). She enhances the hilarious situations throughout the issue.
Fire & Ice: Welcome to Smallville #3 is another fantastic issue of the series. It’s hilarious throughout, feeling like a really great episode of a classic sitcom, then ends on a very dark cliffhanger that sets the stage for grimmer things to come. It’s a roller coaster ride of a book and it’s highly recommended.