Surprisingly enough, leading ladies Catwoman, Poison Ivy and Harley Quinn take a back seat in issue 3 of this new series. Donâ€™t expect this book to pick up where issue 2 left off; we donâ€™t discover what becomes of Harley who was kidnapped by Tommy Elliot (posing as Bruce Wayne). The storyline will pick up again in issue 4 titled â€œHush and Harleyâ€.
This book focuses on The Riddler (who was last seen in issue 1 as Harley and Ivyâ€™s heavily sedated roommate) as he investigates two suicide cases centering on high profile athletes. Why the interest? Tennis player Natya Turgeneva, who happened to be claustrophobic, committed suicide by stepping in front of a train wearing a racing helmet. The incident occurred on 37th street which is the same number of floors Nascar driver Bob Battleman leapt from, falling to his death. There were two very strange things upon his broken body; his right hand was positioned in the â€œI Love Youâ€ sign (in sign language) and the words â€œI Love Youâ€ were written across his chest. The Riddler has concluded that the killer is leaving clues on who the next victim will be on the current victim. For example, Natya was wearing a racing helmet and so the next victim was Nascar driver Bob Battleman. Bobâ€™s corpse was discovered with signs of love and The Riddler has concluded that the next victim will be romance author Alison Gulbrait.
While working on the case, Edward is approached by Catwoman and Poison Ivy who demand his assistance in finding Harley. Uninterested and bitter about being kidnapped by â€œthe redheadâ€, Edward dismisses them and refuses to help. After connecting the dots, he calls for a press conference and reveals that these â€œsuicidesâ€ are in fact the work of a serial killer. During the conference a street light shatters, thus distracting the members of the press and The Riddler disappears. He finds himself perched on top of a gargoyle face to face with The Batman.
The first thing The Riddler notices is the differences in The Dark Knight. He analyzes everything from his voice to his mannerisms and instantly knows that this is not the same man but a different person entirely. This revelation is something that greatly amuses Edward and he decides to â€œplay alongâ€.
Batman doesnâ€™t approve of the press conference, stating that all Edward was accomplishing was scaring the people of Gotham. The two discuss the cases and Batman (with the assistance of Alfred and the Batcomputer) has come up with the same conclusions as Edward. Alison Gulbraitâ€™s new book will go on sale at midnight that night which will also be twenty-five hours after Bobâ€™s murder. Batman decides to check on Alison and instructs The Riddler to look after her twin sister, Angela who is currently closing the Heart of Poe bookstore.
At the sight of The Riddler emerging from the shadows, Angela reaches for her gun but he disarms her using his cane. As he tries to explain that he is there to save her life and has given up his villainous ways, the store telephone rings. Expecting a call from the Bat, Edward answers and learns that the Caped Crusader has captured three people who attempted to kill Alison. With the murderers safely behind bars, The Riddler bids goodnight to Angela when the lights suddenly go out, startling them both. Realizing that he missed a very important clue, Edward realizes that a bomb is about to go off. He instructs Angela to duck for cover and protects her as the building explodes. A woman accompanied by two men enter the building and she tells them to plant the clues on Angelaâ€™s body before law enforcement arrives. Although the menâ€™s names remain a mystery, the woman calls herself Conundrum. The Riddler silently takes out one of the men and Conundrum tells the remaining member to find him while she plants the clues. Using an over sized book featuring Gotham City rogueâ€™s, The Riddler takes out Conundrumâ€™s partner but at a price; she now holds Angela at gun point.
The planting of clues and the choices in costumes clearly show that the gang was highly influenced by The Riddler. Itâ€™s confirmed when Conundrum confesses that he is in fact, her idol and is honored when Edward requests to guess her origin. After correctly guessing her background, a stunned Conundrum (who is greatly impressed) apologizes for having to kill him. Edward is not worried however and informs her that a GPS is built into the top of his cane and has been activated to notify Batman on his location. Conundrum, along with Angela, doesnâ€™t buy his story but Edward insists that Batman is on his way and sure enough, Conundrumâ€™s head is smashed against a pile of books and she is apprehended by the Bat.
The Riddle confesses that he made the whole thing up and asks Batman if he really does have a GPS system installed in his cane. Sadly, he does not and Batman arrived after figuring out that the address of the store matched the time of the murder of Bob Battleman. Batman leaves when the police arrive and Edward and Angela enjoy a dinner date afterwards. While in the menâ€™s room, Edward is watching the flat screen when a story airs of Bruce Wayne out and about with Harley Quinn. He immediately calls Selina and instructs her to turn on her television. This concludes issue 3 of Gotham City Sirens.
Being that this title focuses on three females leads, it was clearly a surprise that this issue was about The Riddler. Writer Scott Lobdell (who took over for Paul Dini), did a fantastic job with the murder mystery. It was anything but predictable and I enjoyed seeing Edward work with Gotham Cityâ€™s new Savior (Dick Grayson as Batman). Multi-talented artist Guillem March (who acts as artist and colorist) art work is nothing short of stunning. He beautifully draws both men and women and his shadowing techniques are striking. The way he draws the characters facial expressions along with their poses, almost feel as if these characters should be springing to life in an animated feature.
This issue is highly enjoyable. I give Gotham City Sirens #3 4 out of 5 stars.