Review: Birds of Prey #1

Written by Duane Swierczynski, Art & Cover by Jesus Saiz

Solicitation Info (from Previews): One is wanted for a murder she didn’t commit. The other is on the run because she knows too much. They are Dinah Laurel Lance and Ev Crawford – a.k.a. Black Canary and Starling – and together, as Gotham City’s covert ops team, they’re taking down the villains other heroes can’t touch. But now they’ve attracted the attention of a grizzled newspaper reporter who wants to expose them, as well as a creepy, chameleon-like strike team that’s out to kill them. Don’t miss the start of this hard-hitting new series from mystery novelist/comics writer Duane Swierczynski (Expiration Date, Cable).

Bias: I honestly haven’t cared about any of the previous incarnations of Birds of Prey (I collected the last one because Hawk & Dove were in it, but they were more of an after-thought in that book, and I wasn’t impressed with it for the most part.) Still, while many of the characters are the same, Oracle will no longer be in the book (for obvious reasons – namely, she’s not Oracle anymore) and there’s a new writer on the book. And yet, I’m skeptical.

What I liked: The bad guys were interesting, and I liked the conspiracy tone set by the story. At first, I was annoyed that Starling was just a new character, but she won me over in the end – she was an interesting and likeable character.

What I disliked: I didn’t like the portrayal of the guest appearance, and some of the details contradicted. Mostly, the title was simply “meh.” It wasn’t out and out bad, but it wasn’t terribly exciting either, and combined with a few things that really did annoy me, and I just didn’t care for the title very much.

Verdict: I’m dropping this title.

As always, SPOILERS in comments, including my favorite scene, thoughts on what happened, and questions about what’s to come.

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1 Comment

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One response to “Review: Birds of Prey #1

  1. My favorite “scene” wasn’t so much a scene as the places that Starling was depicted. I loved the line where she said “What are you worried about? It’s my eternal soul on the line. I mean, where do you even begin to confess a sin like this?” followed immediately by a flashback where she says “Who does a bitch have to cut to get some service around here?” I dunno. I just loved the dichotomy there.

    I would’ve liked to’ve seen the rest of the team show up in the issue, though. Heck, we have a guest appearance by Barbara Gordon, who was surprisingly unsupportive – wouldn’t she be more interested in helping Black Canary clear her name? I would also think she’d love to actually be out in the field with the Birds of Prey after being cooped up in the tower for so long directing them… Speaking of which, what about the rest of the team? Why didn’t Black Canary try to recruit the Huntress?

    Babs also mentioned that Ev Crawford’s name pops up on government watch lists all the time, yet the reporter couldn’t find any trace of her? This is one of those details that annoyed me. If you wanted Babs to be upset about how Starling operates, that’s one thing, but to say that she’s showing up on watch lists, and then say that there’s no trace of her anywhere for an investigative reporter to find…well, it just didn’t sit right with me. Also, if Babs dislikes Starling, why is she recommending someone that would fit right in with her?

    I was rather amused that Black Canary was poisoned the same way the Doctor was in the recent “Let’s Kill Hitler” episode of Doctor Who. Note: I’m not implying the one had anything to do with the other – as far out as these things are written, neither would know about the other doing it. I just thought it was a fun coincidence. Also, I’m assuming it was the kiss. I found it odd that when one of them punched her in the back of the head, her comment was “Ow. Did one of them just bite me?” You would think it wouldn’t’ve felt like a bite, based on the picture, so I wonder what actually happened there…

    In any case, there was some good in the issue and some bad, but overall, it just felt pretty “meh,” so I’ll be dropping this one.

    As for the mysterious, hooded woman from Flashpoint #5, she showed up in the center of the middle panel on page 11.

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