Fire & Ice: Welcome To Smallville #4 refocuses back on Bea and Tora after the last issue’s circus brought to us by the supporting cast. Martha Kent makes her return to try to rebuild a bridge between the two heroes and Lobo also enters the picture and his history with Fire may complicate things.
Terry and Rachel Dodson ring in the Main Man’s arrival to the series with the main cover. You can see the crazy in Lobo’s eyes like a Rat Fink illustration as he burns a picture of Fire and Ice, challenging them. You also got to love how they integrated their names on the cover by having them on a pin Lobo wears on his jacket. There’s also a small memo from Ice on the photo saying that she wants to talk things out with Fire. Here, Lobo serves as the literal obstacle between them.
Oscar Vega’s variant continues the great trend of stunning Fire and Ice covers with an emphasis on fashion. Tora doesn’t get the chance to wear a lot of sundresses back home in Norway, but when she can, she looks beautiful in them. Fire always pulled off the more urban outfits depending on where she is and she’s been accessorizing with plaid shirts like a regular Smallville farmhand. The smooth styling and texture are just gorgeous.
David Talaski’s feels like a photoshoot featuring Fire and Lobo as the models, which is fitting because Fire is actually a model. You would also be surprised at how many pin-up covers Lobo has been a part of, too. The setting of a Smallville cornfield acts as the set for this really photogenic cover. The brownish tone also makes it feel like it was taken by an old-timey camera with that rustic country feel.
Ice and Rocky are cleaning up the salon after their misadventure with Jimmy Olsen last issue while Fire has moved the C-list villains they hope to rehabilitate to the local Kawatchee caves, away from the town. Ice briefly reflects on her friendship with Rocky, how it’s nice to have that friend who will always “drag you out on the dance floor.” That’s the pretty way of saying, she’s my best friend and she’s a lot.
Fire and the others are joined by Lobo, who she has a history with and actually cares for. That’s insane given the fact that Lobo is usually loathed through the DC Universe. Like any bad boy and good girl, he brings out the worst in her. Martha Kent returns to try to mend things between Fire and Ice and brings them to a drag show brunch. The two Justice Leaguers seem to forgive each other, but the introverted Ice freaks out when Rocky enters and tries to put her in the center of attention. From there and after a scuffle with Miss Congeniality, Fire and Ice go their separate ways for the time being. But could it be forever?
Joanne Starer has a special place in the Dawn of DC with this series. It’s nice to come back to Smallville and see how Bea and Tora are doing every month. Any Superman fan will also love the guest starring roles of characters from his lexicon like Martha, Jimmy, and now Lobo. Martha really takes on the role of the wise old woman here trying to help them. Every other panel continues to keep the jokes and gags coming and you know it’ll be a fun ride when the first jokes on the very first page are puns. Letters are by Ariana Maher.
Natacha Bustos, coloured by Tamra Bonvillain has done some cool 90s-esque panels of Lobo now that he’s in the story. The two pages where he first makes his appearance have more action than the last two issues combined with his brief wrestling with Fire. There are a lot more settings and people to be visually explored here rather than the singular setting of the salon.
Fire & Ice: Welcome to Smallville #4 sees our heroes come closer together only to be sent back to square one. However, they’ll need to realize that they are the ones moving themselves backward, not someone else.