Setting up the upcoming Batgirl and the Birds of Prey series, Batgirl and the Birds of Prey: Rebirth #1 introduces to the three key characters of the team while explaining the past relationships of Batgirl and Black Canary. Barbara’s time as Oracle stays in the continuity as does her former partnership with Black Canary. Wiped from continuity is any official Birds of Prey team featuring other members (Huntress, Zinda Blake, and others).
Batgirl and the Birds of Prey: Rebirth #1 works to get everyone up to speed on where these characters are now, with most of the focus on Batgirl. I didn’t like Dinah as much here as the version of the character we’re seeing in Green Arrow and we see so little of the new Huntress it’s too early for me to make a judgement on her quite yet. And, for me, the comic could use a firecracker like Lady Blackhawk to liven things up.
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It takes more than half the issue but Batgirl finally joins the team. The addition of Batgil may mean good things for the future of the comic but it doesn’t do much to help out here as the story is still stuck in neutral with invisible ninja assassins and super-secret scientists planting bombs in peoples heads.
Birds of Prey is a comic I want to like but now for four months it’s given me little reason to do so. The addition of Batgirl isn’t the only change that needs to be made on this title. We still know next to nothing about Starling, Katana remains a one-note character, and I don’t see how Babs sticks around for a team that includes Poison Ivy as one of its members.
The good news is Batgirl works well here, especially with Black Canary. It’s good to see the Babs/Dinah team back together. Now if we can just figure out a way to get Zinda Blake and the Huntress to replace Poison Ivy and Katana we might, might have something. Hit-and-Miss.
The entire team is assembled (well, almost, but we’ll get to that in a minute). Black Canary‘s worst fears are realized as Starling and Kantana are less than thrilled with the fact that Poison Ivy has joined the team. To tell the truth, I’m with them.
Because this is DC’s reboot it wouldn’t be complete without a complete character redesign for Poison Ivy. Although it is a shock that the character is one of the few female DC’s characters that got less sexualized as part of the New 52.
The issue itself, once Starling and Katana stop trying to kill their new partner, isn’t great but it works well enough to keep my interest (even if the art looks extremely rushed). The issue ends with a cliffhanger as Black Canary learns she’s a ticking timebomb set at the mercy of whoever is in charge of this legion of invisible assassins.
The real interesting tidbit is the news that Batgirl won’t just be guest-starring over the next couple of issues but will become a permanent member of the team beginning next issue. Babs inclusion could be just what this book needs. Hit-and-Miss.
When last we left the new Birds they had just gotten a reporter blown up in broad daylight in the middle of a crowded airport. After escaping the airport Black Canary and Starling collect the third member of their team and look for answers.
Issue #2 introduces the New 52 version of Katana who it appears is more than a little unhinged in this version of the DCU. Katama is still deadly with a sword but this one talks to her death husband who she believes resides spiritually inside her sword. Yeah…
Anyway, the trio look for answers regarding the invisible terrorists and the dead journalist which leads them to the fourth member of their team – Poison Ivy. Okay, stop the bus; I need to get off.
This isn’t a bad issue, and the art by Jesus Saiz is more consistant this time around, but this team of Birds is getting farther away from the team Gail Simone made popular (Poison Ivy, really?). Aside from Black Canary these aren’t characters I really want to spend time with every month (especially for $3 a pop). Hit-and-Miss.
For the first time since 2003 the regular writer of Birds of Prey is not named Gail Simone. As part of DC’s New 52 writer Duane Swierczynski takes over a team that, quite frankly, has seen better days.
The recent run of the title never matched the heights of the first volume and, although I love Gail Simone, I wasn’t opposed to giving someone else a shot at the title. Sadly, this isn’t what I had in mind.
Not only does Barbara Gordon‘s return as Batgirl throw Stephanie Brown under the proverbial bus but it leaves a huge hole to be filled on a title that centered around her as Oracle. The comic was about the relationship between Babs and Black Canary, and started clicking on all cylinders with the inclusion of the Huntress (and great supporting characters like Zinda Blake).
Although Black Canary is present here (in another puzzling costume redesign that makes me nostalgic for any of other costumes – even her Justice League look), the Huntress isn’t part of the team and Babs is present only a token appearance.
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