Warning: SPOILERS for Bombshells United #19
DC's Bombshells United comes to an end this week with the nineteenth issue, where fans bid a fond farewell to this alternate DC universe. The Bombshells' series is set during the Second World War, in a reality where the world is protected by female superheroes with a unique aesthetic, inspired by 1940s pin-up art and dieselpunk. Bombshells United #19 wraps up the series run that began in November 2017, with an issue that reveals the eventual fates of each of the Bombshells... and that begins the journey of a new superhero for this world.
The issue begins with the end of the final battle, as the Bombshells win their biggest victory and the war comes to an end. However, the real farewell starts when the story jumps fifteen years, to a time when the war is long finished, and the Bombshells have disappeared. The rest of the story is then told by none other than Selina Digatti (Selina Kyle in the main DC universe), a.k.a. Catwoman.
Bruce Wayne, a young man who has spent his life idolizing the Bombshells, has come to Selina to try and learn their fates, fearing that they will be needed as the world gears up for war once again. As she tells him what he wants to know, we learn how the Bombshells have dispersed, building new lives for themselves: some still as heroes, some as mothers, some as rulers or teachers or fashion designers.
It's a beautiful wrap up to a huge cast of characters that fans have come to know and love since the original DC Bombshells series first launched in 2015, but one that left this world's Bruce Wayne wondering what he can do next... and Selina already has a plan.
Selina tells Bruce that she will train him to be a hero, to keep Gotham safe and to learn to train new generations of Bombshells in the future. She's clearly had this in mind for a little while, too, as she has a gift-wrapped box containing a suitably diesel-punk version of the classic Batman costume. In the final panels, it is made clear that Batman has come to this universe's Gotham City at last, with a shot of the bat-signal shining into the sky, and of Batman and Catwoman standing on a rooftop together, looking out over the city.
It's a beautiful end to the series, although a somewhat surprising one, as DC's Bombshells and Bombshells United have always been fiercely female-led, with none of the male superheroes of the main DC Universe included in the story. Choosing to end with the introduction of Batman definitely veers from that, but it is also made very clear that Selina is not training Bruce Wayne to become a hero above all other heroes, but as an interim measure. He is there to protect Gotham while they wait for the next generation of girls to become old enough to be heroes, and there to train them when that happens.
It also means that he is repaying the favor he owes to Batwoman, and allowing her to live retired from the world of superheroics, bringing up her daughter in the peace that the Bombshells fought so hard to create.
Bombshells United #19 is available now from DC Comics.