Fire & Ice: Welcome To Smallville #3 is here and with Jimmy Olsen paying a visit to their c-lister villain salon, they must go on full damage control in a true situational comedy fashion. The two take a backseat in this issue along with any action and let the unique supporting cast carry the show in their quirky ways.
Terry and Rachel Dodson make “a close shave” literally with their cover. This time, Fire and Ice aren’t just smiling and looking photogenic as their own squabbles and differences cause them to botch a haircut. It’s truly amazing how Jimmy is still the wide-eyed, bow-tie, and green vest-wearing reporter at the Daily Planet he’s always been throughout the decades. The newspaper is also loaded with Superman easter eggs and even has the Dodson’s artist signatures integrated into the headings.
Maika Sozo captures the vacation gateway-type aspect of Fire and Ice’s time in Smallville with a variant. There’s something cozy about photo borders on a picture as well as the coffee Bea and Tora are enjoying at the local Smallville café. It’s one of those places that has the glossy wood table tops as you can tell. It does give a literal meaning to photorealism.
Joelle Jones also gives Fire and Ice and the vacation theming, but perhaps more as a road trip. They even look the part with a stylish heartland-inspired wardrobe. Chickens and a pickup truck are there to also represent the like. The use of colors here makes the heroes pop with them being the only ones that are fully colored while everything else is limited to blue, green, and pink.
Jimmy Olsen got wind of Fire and Ice’s salon operation in Smallville being used as a community service and rehabilitation center for nine lesser villains. Some are familiar faces like Zeus Maxie, Gentlemen Ghost, and Beefeater and some are new like Miss Congeniality, Smarty Pants, Linka, Honey, Lot’s Wife, and King of Cats. Fire and Ice probably understand his pain of having to hear cats as they have to get this highly, dysfunctional group of ticking time bombs into a working salon staff so that Jimmy has a good story to tell about them.
The Smallville cast of Tamarind, Charlie, and Rocky are also on the scene. While Charlie is there for a haircut, Rocky arrives later to tell Fire and Ice about strange happenings like cows eating each other at one of the local farms. An interesting development and possibly an adventure waiting to happen, but it has to wait as they try to make the salon look good for Jimmy.
Joanne Starer should give writing for a television sitcom a shot with some of the chuckles that ensue in this issue. It’s also no easy task to manage that many characters, but she manages to stay on top of it by giving them their own quirks that make every line they say a punchline in its own right. And, you just know that it just frustrates Fire and Ice. Jimmy Olsen fans will also love his appearance because there are several references to some of his past solo adventures. Letters are done by Adriana Maher.
Natacha Bustos and Tamra Bonvillain puts Fire and Ice’s salon through the wringer in terms of all the characters she squeezes into it. For an issue with just one setting for its entirety, a lot happens in it – fights breaking out, cats running amok, and Ambush Bug who is still here for some reason despite not being a villain. It’s a lot of fun, chaotic, and lighthearted visual read…at least until the last page.
Fire and Ice: Welcome to Smallville #3 is carried by the unique and goofy supporting cast it has built up over the last three issues. It’s like the Suicide Squad except the mission is to be presentable for Jimmy Olsen and the Daily Planet. That could be a tall order.