Along with Power Girl, DC Comics announced that we will be getting a new series starring Beatriz da Costa and Tora Olafsdotter titled Fire & Ice: Welcome to Smallville. Fire & Ice have been DC Comics superheroes for a long time, though they have been positioned as more minor Justice League members. We haven’t seen much of them since before the start of New 52. With that said let’s take a look at what we can expect from Fire & Ice: Welcome to Smallville.
NOTE: You can check out my breakdown of Power Girl’s Dawn Of DC announcement by clicking here.
WHAT WILL FIRE & ICE BE ABOUT?
While we haven’t seen Fire & Ice in a while we will get a prelude to their new series in the upcoming Power Girl Special, releasing on May 30th. In the Power Girl Special, there will be a ten-page backup story that will be set up by series writer Joanne Starer, artist Natacha Bustos, and colorist Tamra Bonvillain. From there Fire & Ice: Welcome to Smallville will pick up the story when it begins releasing on September 5th.
In the teaser DC Comics mentions the following:
“In Fire & Ice: Welcome to Smallville #1, Superman sent the former Justice Leaguers packing for Smallville to lie low following their extremely public and utterly disastrous mission in Baltimore, and in doing so doomed them to a fate worse than death: irrelevance. Ice finds herself drawn to the quiet life and dreams of planting roots. But Fire…well, Fire will do just about anything to get the hell outta dodge and back on the Super Hero circuit—including challenging the DC Universe’s biggest villains to a knock-down, drag-out, live-streamed brawl in the streets of Smallville!”
Based on this information, and the title itself, Fire & Ice: Welcome to Smallville looks to be included as part of the Superman franchise. The series joins franchise titles. Action Comics, Superman, Adventures of Superman: Jon Kent, Steelworks, Superboy: Man of Tomorrow, Power Girl, and Superman: The Last Days of Lex Luthor. Though the Justice League International ties will still exist as Guy Gardner plays a role in Fire & Ice new status quo.
Unlike Power Girl, the status of Fire & Ice: Welcome to Smallville as either an ongoing or mini-series is not clear. Based on the title alone it does seem that this will be a mini-series. This would be to the series benefit as the creative team can focus on telling a single story rather than building out a narrative for an ongoing story. It would also help to gauge the interest in Fire & Ice after they have been extremely minor characters in the modern DC Universe up to this point.
FIRE & ICE: WELCOME TO SMALLVILLE CREATIVE TEAM
Fire & Ice are certainly characters that are surprising to see get new titles ahead of many other characters DC Comics has prioritized in recent years and are currently MIA. That said, Fire & Ice are characters that do help add diversity to the line-up of comics DC Comics is publishing. They are also characters because they are almost never leads in a comic book they have a ton of untapped potential.
This brings us to the series creative team. We know from the announcement the creative team will be writer Joanne Starer, artist Natacha Bustos, and colorist Tamra Bonvillain. From that line-up honestly, the most well-known is colorist Bonvillain. Both Starer and Bustos are unknown when it comes to DC Comics.
That is not to say they don’t have a history of writing and drawing comic books. Because they do, with Bustos having done fill-in work for various Marvel titles along with some mini-series and one-shots. From experience with Bustos’ Marvel work her art style does remind me of what we would see from DC Comics Young Adult Graphic Novel line rather than the traditional DCU superhero style. How Bustos adjusts her style when it comes to drawing DC characters that are larger than life will be interesting.
When it comes to Starer she is a new talent in the industry. The bulk of her comic book work has come in the last three years, with her current “The Gimmick” series with reviewers mentioning it is entertaining. Though beyond that, when looking at Starer’s comic book catalog it appears to have leaned into the slice-of-life category rather than superheroes.
Starer’s biggest comic book superhero experience will be the ten-page Fire & Ice backup story in the Power Girl special. That does put a lot on Starer making a good first impression on DC Comics readers. The lack of superhero experience is a concern for Fire & Ice: Welcome to Smallville.
This is where the editor for Fire & Ice: Welcome to Smallville will play a bigger role in helping Starer with working within the DCU and the superhero world in general. With Fire & Ice: Welcome to Smallville about four months away that time will be crucial with Starer working with her editor and the Superman team in general. A first impression is everything and that is key here with Fire & Ice: Welcome to Smallville getting at least some push as part of the Dawn Of DC direction.
KNIGHT TERRORS IMPACT ON FIRE & ICE SERIES
Just like with Power Girl, Fire & Ice: Welcome to Smallville is in a tough spot with its planned September 5th release. Given how DC Comics is pushing the upcoming Knight Terrors event hard enough where a majority of their publishing line is going on hiatus for two months to make way for tie-ins September will be a busy month. Because we will have whatever DC Comics’ normal publishing line-up returns in September. Not only that but a majority, if not all of them, will be dealing with the fallout of Knight Terrors in some way.
Unlike the Power Girl series, it looks like Fire & Ice: Welcome to Smallville story won’t be tied to the fallout of Knight Terrors. Instead, the focus of Starer and Bustos following up on the groundwork from their ten-page backup story in the Power Girl Special releasing in May 30th. That’s a three-month gap between the start and follow-up in Fire & Ice’s story. In the meantime, we will have the Knight Terrors event taking all the attention of both DC Comics and their readers.
Because of the timing, it puts Fire & Ice: Welcome to Smallville in a tough spot for gaining attention. Especially since DC Comics isn’t done announcing new titles. Given the way they are announcing titles, we could see more new comic book series released in September. That is along with all the ongoing titles returning in September from their short hiatus. With Fire & Ice in general being lesser-known DC superheroes it will be an uphill battle for attention for this new series.
Fire & Ice: Welcome to Smallville is an example of how DC Comics is trying to bring in new talent to work within their universe. That does create a greater sense of the unknown in what to expect from Joanne Starer and Natacha Bustos as the creative team for Fire & Ice: Welcome to Smallville. While we can hope it does critically and commercially well that will be a tough task with how busy September is shaping up to be for DC Comics post-Knight Terrors.