“Whistle: A New Gotham City Hero“
Writer: E. Lockhart
Artist: Manuel Prevano
Color Artist: Gabby Metzler
Letterer: ALW’s Troy Peteri
Review by Kendra Hale
A New Hero Appears
All it took to decide to read Whistle: A New Gotham City Hero was Liebowitz, a character we meet in the tale, and the premise. A 16-year-old girl, Willow, who even with her own burdens tries taking on the world around her in order to better it for everyone She gets entangled with some elite villains and even gets superpowers, all of which makes for an amazing and insightful story. There are so many wonderful aspects and things to note in this 193 page YA graphic novel, so let’s just jump right in!
Life Is A Riddle
Willow Zimmerman is your typical 16-year-old girl, she wants her neighborhood and school district to get better, she’s kind to strays and even has made friends with a Great Dane named Liebowitz. Sadly her former professor of a Mom is battling cancer, so she obviously has a lot on her plate, and all that’s even before a new love interest enters her life. Willow has to learn to wear a mask – emotionally to begin with – to help keep face for those around her.
Getting a part-time job to help with their bills and her Mom’s medical bills, Willow starts working at a local shelter. Also makes a new friend while at a rally, Pammie Isley. Shortly after starting her new job, her Mother’s best friend from childhood, Eddie Nachtberger, reaches out with a puzzle for Willow. Her life is about to change.
What’s In A Name?
Eddie Nachtberger and Willow’s Mom were friends until college when the party life changed him. They were two people who had been brought close together by a mutual thirst for knowledge and intellect. Eventually, though, they began to feel a wedge which finally led to a break. Willow always liked Eddie, so when he comes back into her life to inquire about her and her Mom, leading her with a riddle, she jumps at the chance to see the man who gave her so many happy memories.
A name change and a sober spirit have made E. Nigma a real estate tycoon and a party thrower. His are elite and masterfully catered gambling parties, Willow even meets Pam there again. Nigma wants to help Willow with her school and her Mom with the cancer treatments, but Willow knows her Mom won’t be open to the idea unless she is ready to forgive him. However, having recently lost his previous game runner Vivienne to an attack by Killer Croc, leaving Eddie in need of a new employee. He offers Willow the position, and she accepts.
Brilliance In Execution
What I love to see in any new character is depth, and frankly, we’re given that in droves. Whistle: A New Gotham City Hero has many places for the eyes to go to find treats. Fans of DC and their characters will recognize the names and faces of the characters featured, but seeing a brand new side to Edward Nigma and Pamela Isley was such a joy, as it was done in a way that made me love these villains even more. Manuel Prevano’s art is beautiful and enjoyable, as each of the characters comes to life. Pamela in her Poison Ivy garb is luscious, and I love this new take on her character.
E. Lockhart has given us a new hero with some bite (pun intended, unless you’re a belly rub person). Willow was fun to meet, has a stable grounding on her outlook on the world, and she’s aware of her settings… for the most part. She’s not naive and knows that underground gambling is illegal, but it helps her Mom survive. This makes it a necessary evil, one they need in order to live. She’s a relatable character and one I look forward to seeing so much more of since she’s completely captivated me.
This book is highly recommended for all ages and fan types. I was honestly invested as soon as I saw Liebowitz, which makes me an easy target. However, being immersed in this world was so worth it. Whistle: A New Gotham City Hero is a book full of hard decisions, real-life scenarios, and a new hero with a heart of gold. The story has so much heart and is a wonderful journey of self-discovery in Gotham City.
Images Provided Courtesy Of DC Entertainment