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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The current “Blood” storyline continues with Felicity captured by the new Brother Blood, and Green Arrow and Arsenal unable to find her, Oliver agrees to turn himself over to Blood in exchange for her safety. Not trusting the madman, Oliver keeps Arsenal in reserve with a back-up plan should things go wrong by sending his protege to A.R.G.U.S. for some unexpected back-up.
Although we get a couple of scenes continuing the Kahndaq storyline (and likely ending any chance of seeing a Black Adam show up any time soon), the issue mainly deals with the search for Felicity (who spends most of her time tied to a chair insulting her captors) and setting up the surprise appearance of the Huntress as our hero’s back-up.
With Oliver and Felicity both in enemy hands it should be interesting to see Arsenal and Huntress team-up to save them in the storyline’s conclusion. Sadly, I have to admit the apparently imminent death of Khem-Adam makes me less interested to see how that plot thread eventually plays out. Worth a look.
With Power Girl and the Huntress returned to their own Earth, and the latest issue of Worlds’ Finest turning its attention away from the heroines, I decided I’d give Earth-2 a shot. Despite the fact it concerns a dystopian world still fighting armies of Apokolips, I was pleasantly surprised in this character-driven story centered on the relationships of Kara, Helena, Thomas Wayne, Red Tornado, and Val-Zod. Whether intentional or not, the current feel of Earth 2 (with a black Superman, elderly Batman, and robotic Lois Lane) feels more like the early days of Marvel’s Ultimate line than the New 52.
Carrying on the tradition of Worlds’ Finest, Earth 2 #27 has multiple artists splitting the work. Thankfully, the art meshes reasonably well in telling to story of the foursome’s battle against an army of demons while focusing on reunions none of them ever expected. Once returned to their own Earth I had planned to turn my attentions elsewhere, but despite being stuck in a world I care little about this issue tempts me to continue sticking with Helena and Kara’s adventures… at least for a little while longer. Worth a look.
The Huntress and Power Girl‘s return to Earth-2 begins here. I’m on record as being vehemently against the move. Although the Worlds’ Finest #26 doesn’t sell me on the concept it at least doesn’t lose its way by delving headfirst into a war-torn new world. It’s actually odd, but we see very little of the modern day homeworld of the two heriones in their first issue back home.
Worlds’ Finest‘s best issues have all centered on the friendship between Power Girl and Huntress which continues here and (thankfully) doesn’t get overwhelmed by their new surroundings. I’m still not looking forward to months of New 52 Apokolips storylines (or Desaad‘s return) but at least the core relationship of the book appears to remain intact.
Oddly, the comic also continues the storyline on Prime Earth where Tanya Spears has been apparently tapped to take Power Girl’s place (both in and out of tights). How or why this is possible is unclear. I also wonder how long the comic plans to split focus between two worlds taking several pages away from its established stars. For fans.
The twenty-fifth issue of the series sees both the Huntress and Power Girl make their goodbyes before returning to their own Earth. Although the journey back home has been foreshadowed for some time, I’m less than thrilled with the comic sending the two heroes back to a universe I care even less about than the New 52 version of Earth-1. However, given that future solicitations suggest one or both characters will be making appearances in titles taking place on the main New 52 Earth it’s a bit unclear how long their trip home will last.
With at least the next several issues taking place on their hellish homeworld which has fallen to Apokolips and an evil Superman, Worlds’ Finest #25 plays to the series strengths by centering the storyline on the friendship and interaction of our two heroines. The issue works well and even an appearance of the New 52 version of Desaad (adding a bit of action to the proceedings) can’t ruin what works as a bittersweet portend that perhaps the series’ best issues may now have already been told. Worth a look.